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The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson

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Deckman 08 Dec 11 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Robert Benjamin S. 15 Dec 15 - 01:54 PM
maeve 15 Dec 15 - 03:13 PM
Deckman 15 Dec 15 - 04:45 PM
maeve 15 Dec 15 - 09:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Dec 15 - 08:02 AM
Deckman 16 Dec 15 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Robert Benjamin S. 16 Dec 15 - 02:44 PM
Deckman 17 Dec 15 - 02:21 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 15 - 07:25 PM
maeve 17 Dec 15 - 07:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Dec 15 - 11:07 PM
Deckman 17 Dec 15 - 11:16 PM
GUEST 18 Dec 15 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,nickp (cookieless) 19 Dec 15 - 07:14 AM
GUEST 19 Dec 15 - 11:24 AM
Alice 19 Dec 15 - 11:25 AM
open mike 19 Dec 15 - 11:56 AM
Bill D 19 Dec 15 - 12:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Dec 15 - 12:32 PM
Deckman 22 Dec 15 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Dec 15 - 10:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Dec 15 - 04:13 AM
Deckman 24 Dec 15 - 02:20 PM
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Subject: I'll looking for the family ...
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 07:04 PM

of "Juanita Montrond." I knew them, "Juanita", "Lola" and "Benny" in Sausilito, California, during the summer of 1959. They, as a family, sang the most beuatiful of the traditional Mexican folks songs, in the supper clubs of the Bay area.

I want to find them as I have some quite rare, and private, recordings of a rehersal they did in Juanit's home in September of 1959.

I'm hoping that someone can connect me with any familly members ... PLEASE. Bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: I'll looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: GUEST,Robert Benjamin S.
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 01:54 PM

Hello, I've just found your recordings (http://guides.lib.uw.edu/c.php?g=341882&p=2304629). Benny is my Grandfather (Papou as it were) and my namesake. I'm assuming you've gotten a hold of my Uncle Christian, as he shared the link with us.

I'm very appreciative of the recordings, as I've never met my great grandmother but heard a lot about her, and I haven't heard Lola's voice in over a decade as she has sadly passed away, in Sausilito, mind you.

Feel free to call me if you like
(nine tw0 3ight) s1x 0 0 - thr33 s1x thr33 0ne

-Robert


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Subject: RE: I'll looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: maeve
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 03:13 PM

Robert, I've sent a message to Bob that you've left a note here. Check back soon!

Maeve


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Subject: RE: I'll looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 04:45 PM

This has been one of the most extraordinary events following my five years' work on the archive project. To finally have the family of the late Juanita Montrond family contact me has thrilled me to my bones. I was only able to place a few songs of the 16 songs I recorded of the family sing, on the U.W. website. But I have now sent the family a CD of all songs.

When I took on this project, I was fullfilling a promise I made to myself to preserve this music. Little did I dream just how far, and how many generations it would reach.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR MUDCAT ..../ bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Found: the family of Juanita Montrond!
From: maeve
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 09:56 PM

Let's also hear it for Bob for preserving such unique recordings and making the effort to find the family. That's simply wonderful!

Here's to promises kept and music preserved.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: I'll looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Dec 15 - 08:02 AM

I hope you'll write up the entire story - how you met, when you made the recordings, and how you got to this point now of sharing the songs with the family. It's a great story, Bob!


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Subject: RE: I'm looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Dec 15 - 11:38 AM

I've been thinking of doing just that, but I first must get the families permission. bob


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Subject: RE: I'm looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: GUEST,Robert Benjamin S.
Date: 16 Dec 15 - 02:44 PM

I just heard the songs on Sunday for the first time and since then I have been playing them non stop and showing anyone who walks by my office. Hopefully I'll be seeing my grandfather Benny over xmas, and I can't wait for him to hear these if he hasn't already.

A little background for you on what this experience means to me:
My Mother has always told us about weekends when they would drive from Lodi to Juanita and Lola's apartment in Sausalito. They would invite all their friends over and have parties where Juanita, Benny, and Lola would end up singing at some point after my Mother and her cousin were sent to bed. The two of them would peek their heads out the door to see those three commanding the entire room with these songs. My Mother said you could hear a pin drop in what had previously been a boisterous room full of drinking and smoking and story-telling.
Benny *loves* to sing whenever the occasion presents itself. Birthdays, weddings, graduation, and sometimes even just if it strikes him. The last few years he has been volunteering at a hospital, giving magazines to patients in the wards. He told me that if they look up for it he presents them with a barter: "I'll give you this magazine, but only if you let me sing you a song." And of course they always take him up on the offer.
Hearing his sweet voice in chorus with his Mother and Sister who have both passed has brought more than a few tears to my families eyes in the days since my Uncle shared your recordings.

Please feel free to email me at [ariznarob at gmail dot com] (I've typed it this way to avoid spammers grabbing my email.

Thanks,
Robert S.


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Subject: RE: I'm looking for the family ...Juanita Montrond
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 02:21 PM

I just sent Joe Offer some notes I wrote about how these recordings came to be. He'll post them to this thread soon.   bob


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Subject: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 07:25 PM

THE STORY OF THE MONTROND TAPES

It was in the Spring of nineteen fifty nine that the late Don Firth and I left Seattle and headed south, seeking our fame and fortune. (our fame was fleeting, as was our fortune). As was the plan, we crashed with "Patti" for a few days until we could get our bearings. Patti and Don and I had been a trio in Seattle and she'd headed south a couple of months before us and had landed well in Sausalito, the San Francisco Bay area. Within a few days of our arrival, Patti introduced us to one of the most remarkable persons I have ever met. Her name was Juanita Montrond. She was 59 years old, and the mother of Lola and Benny.

I was a very young 22 and believe me, it was love at first sight. Juanita was the most amazing lady I'd ever met. She was native Mexican, and as she explained to me, she earned her "beans and tortillas" in her early years as a cook and a singer in the border towns "down south." She just exuded what I call the 'Latino passion.' When she greeted you with a hearty "Good Morning" ... you really knew it was going to be a very GOOD MORNING. No doubt about it ... IT WAS GOING TO BE A GOOD MORNING ....!

Just as she lived her everyday events with passion, it was when she picked up her guitar, closed her eyes and slowly began to strum her guitar, that the hair started to rise on my head and the chicken skin would appear on my arms. TRUE. Her favorite guitar chord was E. All guitarists can play the chord E. Try it right now, and I'll tell you now, without even being able to hear you, you failed to to play E as Juanita could. Just a single strum on her old no-name guitar with worn out strings sent electricity through the room. She held her guitar as a mother does her baby. She caressed it. I can see the expression and smile on her son Benny's face as he reads this, as he'll know exactly what I mean. It was like the power and very energy of her soul came out through her fingertips and entered the guitar. AMAZING !

As Juanita had a larger home than Patti's place, she settled Don Firth and me into her home for a couple of week's of free lodging. It didn't take us long to line up enough gigs in the bay area to afford to move into a cheap apartment in Berkeley. But for the next six months of our California adventure, we maintained our close connection with Juanita and her daughter, Lola and Benny.

It was when the family trio came together and sang that I received my first learning of what magic music can become. I was 22, and certainly knew my way around my voice and guitar, and could handle any stage I'd encountered, but the music that came from these three family members was stunning. It was like nothing I had ever heard before, and rarely since.

As I listen to these recordings today, they also bring me back to the scene that was happening at Juanita's home. These were the days of "The Beatniks." Everything in the Bay area was electric: the poets, the street scene, the folk scene at the Hungry i, the Purple Onion, the Blind Lemon in Berkeley, the hoots, on and on. And Juanita was everyone's Grandmother and cared for all of us. Her home became a way stop for many of the best performers that were touring the country. Most Saturdays ran like this: Don and I would sleep late, rise, practice for a couple of hours, go perform our gig that night. Then after the gig, about midnight, we'd head across the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and go to Juanita's. We'd arrive about one in the morning, at the same time that other traveling musicians would also be arriving. Juanita's home was the place that where many of the traveling folkies of the day usually came to wind down from hectic Saturday night gigs. It was there and then that I found myself in company of, and trading songs with, the likes of Rolf Cohn, Bob Gibson, Jim Brentano and many others. This was all quite heady stuff for this very young Bob Nelson. I often would join Juanita in the kitchen as she started cooking a banquet for everyone. She would cook, we would sing, we would eat, and we'd all go out on the deck over looking Sausalito and greet the Sunday morning sunrise.

These recordings came about because in those days (1959) I lugged a 60 pound WebCor tape recorder with me wherever I went. It was heavy, but look at what I was able to capture! The recording you can now hear on the University of Washington website (click) happened during a Sunday afternoon rehearsal in September at Juanita's. The family trio had a gig later that evening at a high end supper club in San Francisco. In those days, they could command quite a high performance fee at several supper clubs in the city. They were very popular. I well remember sitting on the floor, holding a small microphone up in the air, as the trio stood above me and rehearsed.

WHAT TO LISTEN FOR: As you listen to this music, open your ears to the passion that comes through. Listen to the gentle, yet powerful guitar strumming of Juanita, listen to her diction ... don't let a language barrier interfere ... you'll get the soul of the music. When Don and I said goodbye to Juanita, Lola and Benny, they all came out on the deck overhanging the hillside and sang us away with "Al Morir la Tarde", as we descended the steep hillside to the car. Today this song remains my favorite.

Of course as I listen to these songs today, my eyes fill, as Don was very much a part of this time and place. He passed away just a few weeks ago.

So, to close this long story of 54 years span, I would encourage all of you not to throw those old tapes away, thinking that no one would be interested in them today. I was contacted by Juanita's grandson just last week. It turns out that I have the ONLY recordings in existence of the trio. What an honor to be able to give them to the family.

CHEERS, bob nelson


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: maeve
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 07:31 PM

What a treasure this whole experience is! Thank you, Bob.
(Thanks also to Joe for posting Bob's words here.)


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 11:07 PM

Is this the place that Don mentioned that had the long steep flight of stairs? It seemed quite memorable to him for the stairs as much as the people (Don had polio and used crutches, I'm not sure when he switched over to a wheel chair full time).

These are great memories, Bob. Thanks for sharing them, and for the link.


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 11:16 PM

Yes ... it certainly was. 176 steps ... both ways ... up and down and up and down. bob


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Dec 15 - 10:35 PM

That's a great story Bob. In the holiday spirit!
Thanks,

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: GUEST,nickp (cookieless)
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 07:14 AM

What a wonderful story. Thank you - and the family


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 11:24 AM

Thank you, Bob.


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Alice
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 11:25 AM

That thank was from me before I realized I was not logged in.
Thank you for recording the music and for giving us that history.
Alice


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: open mike
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 11:56 AM

wonderful!! so glad this is archived!! thanks for directing us back to the original cat box....we do not get the whole picture if we only go to the mudcat facebook page.....nice reminder to return to our (electronic) roots!


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 12:18 PM

The stories of how Deckman has preserved and shared old songs goes on...

Several years ago he did the same for me... finding and preserving old tapes of a singer I knew in Kansas over 50 years ago. I now have CDs of songs & voices I never imagined I'd hear again.

Cheers, Bob... you done good!


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 12:32 PM

It makes me think I ought to get busy with all of my father's reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes. Ms. Montrond's family has received a real gift out of the blue - and it makes a wonderful story in itself, on top of the great singing in the clips.


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Dec 15 - 07:42 PM


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Dec 15 - 10:51 AM

Thank you for the history and the links, Bob. I'm listening.


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Dec 15 - 04:13 AM

This is one of those intangible gifts that the family will remember for a long time. It's a great christmas this year for her family, with this set of recordings to listen to.


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Subject: RE: The Story of the Juanita Montrond Tapes-Bob Nelson
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Dec 15 - 02:20 PM

There really is a lot more to this story than just the 16 songs I recorded of the Montrond family singing:

I now have been contacted by several more family members, including some grandchildren, if I have my family linage correct. As I've been telling the family, it's been a perfect Christmas gift for me also, as I've wondered all these years where Lola and Benny are.

BUT ... through Mud Cat, as well as the internet, I have also re-connected with several other friends that had dispersed over the many years.

And once the archive became public, I have been contacted by people as far away as Bosnia, Israel, Canada, Florida and several other U.S. states who were thrilled to hear the music again and regale me with wonderful stories of adventures they had with these various musicians.

Sooooo .... the world of folk music lives on and on and on.

(P.S. I'm still searching for the widow (Joann Spence) and son (Aaron Spence) of the late Dave Spence).    CHEERS,   bob(deckman)nelson


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