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Lyr/Chords Add: Abilene 24 Jul 98 - 01:38 AM
S.P. Buck Mulligan 24 Jul 98 - 08:23 AM
BSEEDKRATZ 25 Jul 98 - 03:47 AM
Roger Himler 25 Jul 98 - 08:07 AM
BSEEDKRATZ 25 Jul 98 - 07:11 PM
BSeed 25 Jul 98 - 11:05 PM
Art Thieme 26 Jul 98 - 12:43 AM
BSeed 26 Jul 98 - 02:28 AM
Roger Himler 26 Jul 98 - 11:45 AM
BSeed 26 Jul 98 - 05:19 PM
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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: ABILENE (new verses)
Date: 24 Jul 98 - 01:38 AM

I've written a couple of new verses to "Abilene" which I think finish it better than the ones in the data base, and I also made some changes in the traditional second verse to bring it in line with the rhyme scheme of the rest of the song.

    C        E      F        Fdim  C     A7
Abilene, Abilene, prettiest town I ever seen
D7 G7
People there don't treat you mean,
C C7 F Fm C G7
In Abilene my Abilene

Crowded city, there ain't nothin' free,
Nothin' in this crowd for me,
Wish to God that I could be
In Abilene, my Abilene

I stand at my window every night
Watch them trains roll out of sight
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Ride one back to Abilene.

I came to this city but I can't remember why,
I've been scratchin' to survive as the years go by,
Hope that sometime before I die,
I make it back to Abilene.

I get so lonely I lose my way
If I don't get straight there'll be hell to pay,
Lord, I hope I make it back some day,
To Abilene, my Abilene.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 4-May-02.

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: S.P. Buck Mulligan
Date: 24 Jul 98 - 08:23 AM

I think Bob Gibson would like these verses just fine. I also think he'd be happy that they make "Abilene" even more of a real "folk song."

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Subject: RE: Abilene
Date: 25 Jul 98 - 03:47 AM

Buck: is bob gibson still performing? i just a few weeks ago played "Bob Gibson Live" from thirty or so years ago. Did he write Abilene? I learned it from Sing Out about that long ago, but i don't have that issue any more, and I don't remember what the magazine said about it. --Seed

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: Roger Himler
Date: 25 Jul 98 - 08:07 AM


Sadly, Bob Gibson passed away about two years ago. Though certainly not a purist in the folk tradition, he was a dynamic entertainer with folk roots.

Roger in Baltimore

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Subject: RE: Abilene
Date: 25 Jul 98 - 07:11 PM

Roger, Thanks for the information. I'm not really sure what is implied by the phrase "folk purist" and whether it involves a moral judgement of some kind or not. maybe it's like Charlie, a guy I play with, who insists on singing Wildwood Flower a la Maybelle Carter: "...the pale and the leader and eyes look like blue..." Or Maybelle herself, who remembered the words from her mother's singing and sang them throughout her life though they make no sense whatsoever. or maybe it means someone other than an urban picker like Gibson who played and sang folk music but learned to play and sing and learned the songs, not from traditional sources from which he was a direct descendent, but from lessons and books and listening to records and from playing with other people. pardon my argumentative tone. as i said in an earlier message, I recently relistened to an old Gibson LP. I agree with your description of him as a dynamic entertainer, but I thought he was a pretty damned good folksinger and instrumentalist as well as an "entertainer."

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: BSeed
Date: 25 Jul 98 - 11:05 PM

I just looked at my submission at the start of this thread and saw that it didn't come out the way I had written it, with the chords over the appropriate words. Besides, as I was trying to work out the harmony playing air guitar, I had the chord changes a bit off.

/C . . . /E7 . . . /F . Fdim . /C . A7 . /D7 . . . /G7 . . . /C C7 F Fmin/C . G7 .

Slashes are measures, periods are beats between chord changes. It goes two measures per line, but I don't have much faith that that's how it will show up. By the way, the midi tune on the digital index is a bit off the tune as I learned it, in case these chords don't fit that melody.

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 12:43 AM

O.K. folks, I just sent these notes for a new CD off to the graphic designer! This is what will be printed in the CD booklet for the last song on the CD!

22) A HANDFUL OF SONGS (by Jerry Rasmussen)

Jerry Rasmussen, a great friend who has pulled me out of more tight situations than I want to think about, wrote this magnificently true song! A while back he and I took note of the fact that our most prized posessions were small things (not big things) that had come to us as mementos from deceased friends. Things like my uncle's pocket watch or a mug from the NO EXIT COFFEEHOUSE in Chicago where I've sung for 37 years! (Yeah, I can't believe it either!) And for us folksingers there's a precious memory with every song we've ever learned from folks out on our roads less traveled. That's pretty much how Jerry came to write this one.

Bob Gibson was one of those singers who influenced the folks around Chicago so very much. Since the 1950's he was a larger than life character. Especially in those early days, when he did mostly traditional music at the Gate Of Horn in Chicago, he was a great folksinger! We'd wait for new Gibson albums and quickly learn every song on them. Somewhere along the way Bob developed a terrible rare disease of the nervous system---progressive supranuclear palsey---and in the 1990's he, of necessity, went to live with his daughter in Portland, Oregon. In mid-August of 1996 many of us received a letter from Bob.

"As my health has declined, I've found that I may miss the music most of all. I miss making music and I miss being around people who have music in their blood. So I'm going to have a party and invite everyone to bring their voices, instruments and songs. Please come to the Sheraton North Shore on Friday, September 20th, 1996. This may be the last chance I have to see many of you. I won't be able to play and sing with you, but I'm really looking forward to being an audience of one!"---After that came several phone calls from Bob---terribly sad phone calls---I could barely understand him... The party was a great one! Many folks from the old days were there. We sang for Bob well past midnight. Thanks to Alex McDougall of the Lake County Illinois Folk Club for recording my rendition of Jerry's song that night.

After flying back to Portland with his electric wheelchair and his full-time caregiver, Bob Gibson died in his sleep exactly one week after he held his own wake! A pretty classy way to go!! And he certainly did leave us many, many more than just a handful of songs!

art thieme

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 02:28 AM

Art, Thanks for adding your liner note to the thread. I'll watch for your CD at Down Home Music, here in El Cerrito. Do you get out to the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley? --Seed

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: Roger Himler
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 11:45 AM


I did not mean to offend. I am finding that people cannot notice when I "speak tongue in cheek" on the internet.

There is an on-going, raucous, periodic discussion of what is "folk music" on this site. The "purist" comment was a small jab at those who think folk-music died with the written word and all else is some sort of "pop music".

Bob was everything I could every hope to be in an entertainer, as muscian, singer, writer, and humorist. My strongest impression was that Bob could take a song and make it his own. He could really put the Bob Gibson stamp on it. I believe that the mark of a true artist and folksinger. Others, like your friend, who want to sing it "just like Maybelle" might disagree.

Please, accept my apologies. If we had spoken face to face, I think you would have known I was disparaging the purists, not Bob.

Roger in Baltimore

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Subject: RE: Abilene
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 05:19 PM

Roger, Thanks for the clarification, and sorry I misinterpreted your intent. Not knowing you, I didn't know the clues to your irony. As the kids say these days, "My bad." --BSeed

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