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Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving

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Deckman 29 Sep 11 - 04:36 PM
SINSULL 29 Sep 11 - 06:33 PM
mg 29 Sep 11 - 06:36 PM
Leadfingers 29 Sep 11 - 06:42 PM
Desert Dancer 29 Sep 11 - 06:46 PM
Leadfingers 29 Sep 11 - 06:46 PM
Leadfingers 29 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM
Deckman 29 Sep 11 - 06:53 PM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 11 - 08:24 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 11 - 11:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 11 - 11:13 PM
katlaughing 29 Sep 11 - 11:40 PM
Deckman 29 Sep 11 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,mg 29 Sep 11 - 11:56 PM
Deckman 30 Sep 11 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,mg 30 Sep 11 - 12:46 AM
Deckman 30 Sep 11 - 06:27 AM
gnu 30 Sep 11 - 01:39 PM
open mike 30 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM
Deckman 30 Sep 11 - 03:44 PM
ranger1 30 Sep 11 - 03:47 PM
mg 01 Oct 11 - 03:27 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 11 - 03:50 PM
Joe Offer 16 Oct 11 - 02:18 AM
Deckman 16 Oct 11 - 02:31 PM
Stewart 16 Oct 11 - 02:43 PM
Deckman 17 Oct 11 - 11:32 AM
Jon Bartlett 18 Oct 11 - 02:39 AM
Elmore 18 Oct 11 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 11 - 03:08 AM
Desert Dancer 16 Nov 11 - 12:35 PM
SINSULL 17 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM
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Subject: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 04:36 PM

As some of you know, I've been archiving my reel to reel (R/R) tape recording for many years. I started recording my mentors, teachers, hoots and friends in 1955. About four years ago I decided it was time to get serious about archiving these over 300 tapes. I went through quite a learning process, burned up 6 R/R tape recorders, and finally had major success last week.

I have signed a "Deed of Gift" with the University of Washington, Seattle. I have been working with John Vallier, a U.W. library director, for four months now. Together we are building my folk music collection that will be available to the world in the Fall of 2012.

Tommorow, Friday September 30th, at 4 PM Pacific Coast time, John Vallier and I will be interviewed on live radio about the collection. It will be broadcast on KSER radio. You can live stream the broadcast and listen to it on your computer. The website will provide a toll free phone number if you want to call in with questions or comments. Just google KSER radio and follow the prompts.

This whole question (delemma) of what we should do with our collected tape recordings is becomming increasing important. Hopefully my years of work might encourage others. CHEERS, bob nelson, still safely hiding out in Everett, Washington ... where the neighborhood cats chase the dogs!



http://kser.org/content/archiving-pacific-northwest-folk-sound


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:33 PM

Nicely done but I thought maybe someone had posted pictures of you in the buff. Maybe on Facebook?
Ah well.
4PM PCT I will be in my office and banned from folk music.
Is it recorded maybe? Any Walt Robertson material?
Mary


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: mg
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:36 PM

I will not post the pictures but they can be had for a price. mg


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:42 PM

Sounds Good Bob - I will have to check to see if its available in UK and at what time !


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:46 PM

KSER 90.7: Recorded History w/ Bob Nelson, Sound Living - Fri 4pm

~ Becky in Long Beach, a little further down the coast


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:46 PM

The WebSite is here -- Clickie


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM

You looked harder than I did Becky !


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:53 PM

Sins ... Actually YES ... you will hear one snippet of a recording of Walt Robertson singing a concert at Eagleson Hall, in Seattle, in 1958. And I will have a recording of the live show on a CD.

In addition, you will hear a brief snippet of Bill Higley (AKA WilliWaw Willy.

This "coming together" of the U.W. and I has been very rewarding. John Vallier, my collaborator at the U.W. has been a blessing to me. Early on, he caught the importance of the collection and has thrown all of his resources into the project. I'm sleeping a lot better since I signed the agreement with the University.

I can't help but wonder just how many thousands of valuable R/R tape recording are out there, stored away in attics, garages, etc. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 08:24 PM

Excellent!

Now I suppose I'll have to review my reel to reel collection. I wonder where I stored the boxes?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:11 PM

That link again:


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:13 PM

Spleen Cringe is in the UK and is doing a similar project over there. We've been exchanging information about simply hooking the old machines with the new machines, but this is something I need to do, and I bet Bob would know who is on most of the reel-to-reel tapes I have from Dad's house (John Dwyer).

SRS


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:40 PM

Roope! that is wonderful! Congratulations and thanks for sharing. I can't wait to hear your collection! Will try to tune in tomorrow.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:48 PM

SRS ... so far, I've got your father and I singing two concerts together. One in Olympia and one in Chehalis. What treasures. bob


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:56 PM

I hope that you really elaborate on the magnificant growth of music specific to the Pacific Northwest..USA portion. B.C. has always had bountiful stores of its music but for some reason, if we did we didn't know about it. I still maintain that is because so many of the workers were not English-speaking, but I could be wrong. Certainly Finns and Croatians and Italians must have written songs about their new homes. Anyway, there are so many excellent newish writers who do such great work..especially I would say in SW Washington, where Matt is writing about the Grays Harbor area, and Nathan and Kate about Eastern Oregon, almost like WOody Guthrie, and the Brownsmead Flats about the Astoria region and the Willapa Hills group about the Lower Columbia. I know you mentioned someone was skeptical about this but I think it is just growing exponentially and if you don't believe me come to Sunnycamp where hopefully we will have some..Tim W. of Guemes Island is supposed to be leading a workshop on this and we will have some very good songwriters in attendance I must say. mg


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 12:27 AM

Mary ... As you and I have discussed many times, the Pacific Northwest is a hot bed of rich folk material, old and new. I'm simply amazed at the amount of new and rich material that is happening now. And as far as I'm concerned ... YOU and Linda Allen started it. I now include seveal of YOUR songs in my concerts.

Archives are all about our heritage ... where we came from ... who proceeded us ... what and when and where they sang, and what songs they sang. Many years from now, writers, historians, researchers can go to these collections amd hear of our issues. It's all living history and we have an obligation, while we're still living, to document it. bob


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 12:46 AM

Linda for sure..I came later...I would also add Jinx Davis, RIP and Hobe K, both of Oregon...Susie Mc as certainly written some great ones, with John D and by herself...lots of others, but right now it is just blossoming...mg


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 06:27 AM

SRS ... After all these years, I'm still a bit amazed at how basic the archiving process becomes. I've many, many "hoot" tapes without any documentation. I listen to them, over and over, and by a slow process I often identify the singer, or place, or the time by such "clues" as ... only Stan sang that song. Or perhaps, that would have been when Patti was in the "U" district ... etc. It's a kind of detective work that is a challenge, yet is also rewarding. I make a LOT of long distance phone calls across america to try to get information about what I've just archived.

Some years ago, I was faced with the decision of whether to toss all the tapes or get serious about archiving them. I know that you also have many boxes of material from your late father. Be prepared ... it will be a mixed blessing. Part of you will rejoice in the treasures you have, and of course you will also occasionally weep when you hear the voices of long gone friends, including your wonderful father.

As I've said to you before, if I can be of any assistance to you, don't hesitate to call me. CHEERS, bob


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: gnu
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 01:39 PM

Well done!

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: open mike
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM

will this be linked to thePacific nORTHWEST FOLK SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 03:44 PM

Maybe ... the possibilties are awesome. But, we have been so busy getting to this point that we haven't yet had those conversations. bob


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: ranger1
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 03:47 PM

Sinsull, will you still be in the office at 7 PM? Pacific time is 3 hours later than Eastern time.


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: mg
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 03:27 PM

So how did it go and I forget if you said it would be archived. mg


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 03:50 PM

I think the show went very well. Ed Bremer, of KSER, is an excellant interviewer. He really does his homework. bob


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Subject: RE: The DECKMAN exposed! 30 Sept 2011 4p PCT
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 02:18 AM

An archived copy is available for online play or download.

http://kser.org/content/archiving-pacific-northwest-folk-sound

right-click to download


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for posting the interview Joe. I see that to make it play, you have to click on the the little icon of a speaker and an arrow at the bottom of the page.

I'm four years into the archiving project now, and signing an agreement with the University of Washington was a major hurdle. I'm now getting the techinical help I needed.

I'm guessing that part of the collection will be made public somewhere around nine months from now. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Stewart
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 02:43 PM

Here's a link to the U. Washington Library website

Puget Sounds: Archiving Music Cultures Close to Home - Nelson Folk Music

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 11:32 AM


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 02:39 AM

Howsabout starting a traditional music fest in Washington? There's sure enough trad singers in our part of the world (NW to you, SW to us).

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Elmore
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 07:08 PM

Deckman: How can we miss you if you won't go away?


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 03:08 AM

Here's an article about Bob's project, published at crosscut.com on November 15, 2011:

    Everett archivist hands over the keys to legendary NW folk library

    Folk archivist Bob Nelson has been recording Northwest folk songs for almost 60 years. Now, in the spirit of oral tradition, Nelson is giving his collection - the stuff of legends - to the public.  

    In a mid-century rambler on a quiet street in the south Everett neighborhood of Pinehurst sits a remarkable collection of Pacific Northwest folk music recordings, spanning over half a century. Thanks to its owner, Bob Nelson, and the Puget Sounds project at the University of Washington Libraries Media Center, it will soon be available to the world.

    Nelson, a retired carpenter and co-director of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, has been recording local folk music for the last 57 years. Initially he used reel-to-reel, then switched to cassettes in the 1970s. Combine his own collection with those of John Ashford, Ed Bremer, Patti DiLudovico, and Walt Robertson, the late founder of the society — all of which have been entrusted to Nelson’s care — and you have nearly 300 reel-to-reels and over 400 tapes preserving the sounds of long-ago concerts, lessons, and hootenannies. (Incidentally, Pete Seeger is supposed to have picked up the use of “hootenanny” to mean “folk jam session” in Seattle. The word, of Appalachian origin, was originally a synonym for “whatchamacalit.”)

    Seeger is probably the best-known musician to make an appearance in this collection, on five to six songs recorded with Sonny Terry and J.C. Burris in the basement of Nelson’s parents’ home in Burien. A teenage Nelson found himself president of the Seattle Folk Singing Society, which in 1957 put on a concert by the trio at the Moore Theatre. They drew a full house, striking some of the first blows against Seeger’s blacklisting. Other familiar names in the archive include Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, and — especially to those native to this area — Ivar Haglund. Still, there are plenty more recordings by those who, in Nelson’s words, are “lesser known, but very good.”

    YouTube Video

    For three to four hours every morning, Nelson digitizes part of another recording — he estimates it takes up to 8 hours per reel — burning the digital files to CD-R and filling in as much metadata as he can. It’s a boon that the folkie and the archivist are combined in the same person. Even though the UW library-science student he is working with is a fiddler, only Nelson would be able to look at a note saying, “Patti and me and an unknown couple,” and be able to get the missing information from DiLudovico in Santa Cruz.

    Why is Nelson doing this? “I don’t have a choice,” he says. “It’s my obligation.”

    There’s a sharing ethos in the folk world that he picked up at the feet of Bill “WilliWaw Willy” Higley, a KVI DJ in the mid-’50s. Higley, who took the teenage Nelson under his wing and let him read the occasional weather and traffic report, later moved to Westport to operate a charter fishing boat. Nelson spent a few summers there working for and learning from Higley. He remembers him drilling him on the English murder ballad “Matty Groves” for hours and hours, until he was able to flawlessly sing all 33 verses. “[Higley] always ended every single lesson by saying ‘you have an obligation to pass it on. I’m teaching you, you teach it,’” he said.

    It’s for much the same reason that John Vallier, head of distributed media at UW Libraries, was interested in adding Nelson’s archives to Puget Sounds, which is also home to historic recordings from the Crocodile Café and Kearney Barton.

    "It's about preserving and providing access to the music, but it's also about providing access to history,” says Vallier. “A history that's overlooked oftentimes by mainstream society, and maybe purposely overlooked by the culture industry and major labels. I see this as part of what we do, our obligation to provide access to knowledge in all of its forms."

    Nelson began to seriously think about the future of his archive around the turn of the millennium, after a conversation with the editor of Sing Out! Four years ago he began moving forward in earnest, and has managed to digitize over a third of the reel-to-reels in that time. After a few other plans failed to come to fruition, he finally signed the deed of the collection to the UW this fall.

    Some logistics: Nelson is handing over the digital files and physical tapes to the university. Just what will be posted to the Web depends on copyright and permissions issues — fortunately for Nelson, that’s the UW’s problem to deal with — but the public will still have access to the entire collection if they are willing and able to visit the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. (The bulk of the compositions are in the public domain, but there is the matter of those that are not, and any rights or preferences the performers or their estates may have.) Final disposition of the tapes is undetermined. There is talk of their ending up at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, but everyone’s immediate goal is to get as much available to the public as soon as possible. A few songs are available now, but it’s likely to be a year before the collection formally launches.

    It’s sobering to think that, had Nelson less time, inclination, or historical foresight, these recordings might be languishing unplayed in basement boxes, waiting for an eventual trip to the landfill. He literally saved the bulk of DiLudovico’s collection from the garbage truck. He and some friends did the same with 22 boxes of reel-to-reel tapes belonging to the late John Ross, past president and director of the folklore society. Nelson lacks the bandwidth to add them to his project, so in another past president’s basement they will sit until some other would-be archivist comes along. And there are “at least six [other] houses where this stuff is.” Happily, he has agreed to take on Linda Allen’s tapes, when his own project is complete.

    Nelson is at pains to emphasize that this project is about the music, and not about him. The name of the collection may end up changing as a result. “Fifty years from now,” he says, “I hope that someone will discover this collection and say something like ‘Wow . . . I never heard that verse to "Pretty Saro."'" This is true. It is about the music. But it’s also about the people who make the music, and who make that music available.

    I told Nelson this, and said that 50 years from now, I too hope someone will say that about “Pretty Saro,” but I also hope they’ll notice the name Bob Nelson, wonder who he is, be able to find out a little bit about him, and thank him in their minds. He asked if I were therefore, by writing this piece, archiving him. Well — in a sense — isn't that what we do when we tell someone's story?

    Benjamin Lukoff is a Seattle writer and editor. His first book, Seattle Then and Now, was published by Thunder Bay Press in 2010. You can send him e-mail at lukoff@gmail.com.


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 12:35 PM

There's a YouTube video on the page, which can be seen here: History is Sung. But, folks should go to the link for the whole article (at the top of Joe's post), because there are some pictures there, including one of Bob, himself.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Deckman interviewed on Folk Music Archiving
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM

I hope it is used and appreciated and NOT discovered fifty years from now. Nice work, Bob.


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