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Newport Folk and electric guitar

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GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Jul 15 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 12:02 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Gwynplaine 06 Jul 15 - 07:11 PM
PHJim 06 Jul 15 - 08:28 PM
PHJim 06 Jul 15 - 08:47 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 15 - 08:52 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Jul 15 - 12:45 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 15 - 01:19 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 15 - 10:45 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 15 - 10:38 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 15 - 01:56 AM
PHJim 08 Jul 15 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 09 Jul 15 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 09 Jul 15 - 09:14 PM
PHJim 09 Jul 15 - 11:36 PM
PHJim 09 Jul 15 - 11:36 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 15 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,henryp 04 Aug 15 - 04:48 AM
GUEST 04 Aug 15 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 04 Aug 15 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Aug 15 - 05:05 PM
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Subject: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 11:39 AM

What players preceded Dylan in playing electric at Newport? Any details are appreciated. No, it could not have been Dylan. I am thinking that it was Muddy Waters and it could have been as early as 1963? I am ultimately looking for the best documentation, but some good leads and guesses might be the best start.

Thanx


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 11:56 AM

Are you referring to the Newport Folk Festival or the Newport Jazz Festival or both?


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 12:02 PM

I didn't think of that. I'll take both. I am primarily interest in the introduction of electric guitar or other electric instruments in a Folk context.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 03:48 PM

Can we get this moved down to BS? Because I think that there may be people there who are more interested in this question.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 04:44 PM

I did a bit of searching and found this:
At Newport 1960
Muddy Waters played electric guitar in 1960 at Newport Jazz. That still does not tell me when the electric guitar was introduced at Newport Folk. I am sure that Blues players played electric at Newport Folk prior to Dylan's 1965 performance.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM

testing one two


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 05:08 PM

"Muddy Waters: At Newport (1960)" is an album I heard and I must have gotten a wrong idea in the back of my mind that electric was played at Newport Folk. This album is from a performance at Newport Jazz. Why would electric Blues be played at a Jazz festival rather than a Folk festival?


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,Gwynplaine
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 07:11 PM

There is nothing wrong with an electric guitar that can't be cured with a good power failure....

Gwynplaine


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 08:28 PM

I'm sure there were very early electric players at the Newport Jazz Festival. Jazz guitar is usually played on arch top electrics. People like Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Gabor Szabo, Jim Hall. . . must've played from the very beginning of the Jazz Festival.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 08:47 PM

The first Folk Festival was in 1959. There was one in 1960 and then two years without a festival. In 1964, Muddy Waters and Yank Rachell both played with electric instruments.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 08:52 PM

Yes, that is a very good point. Hollow body electric guitar was more common in Jazz even in the 40's, I believe. But I would still like to document this. A lot has been said about Dylans's 1965 performance, but the proliferation of that story could make people think that Dylan was the first to use an electric at Newport Folk and I just cannot believe that none of the Blues players played electric there. Unless, the two festivals separated those sounds one from the other and acoustic Blues players were sent to Newport Folk while electric players were sent to Newport Jazz? Only problem is that many of the Blues cats played both.

I just want to know this with a better degree of certainty. Can anyone suggest a way to begin researching this with just the Internet?


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 12:45 AM

The Historic Films Archive has a library of over 80 hours of film shot at NFF between 1963 and 1965....I reckon that would be a good start as somewhere to look for visual evidence.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 01:19 AM

Here's a link to the Historic Film Archive:

And TuneIn has streaming recordings of the Newport Folk Festival:

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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 10:45 AM

Thanks a lot everybody. This is great. I was wondering if there was a set list, at least a list of performances covering the first decade of Newport Folk. I would like to determine a few things:

1) Did anyone play electric previuosly to the July 25, 1965 Dylan appearance? PHJim answers: "In 1964, Muddy Waters and Yank Rachell both played with electric instruments."

But how does PHJim know this? What is the documentation behind this?

2) Who were all of the electric players before Dylan.

3) Which was first and deserves the credit (or the blame) for introducing the electric guitar at Newport Folk.

I ask this question because the Dylan story recieved so much spin that you a body might think that Dylan introduced the electric at Newport.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 10:38 PM

The Newport Folk Festival Web page has some interesting information under "history" - http://www.newportfolk.org/

I get the impression that the issue wasn't that Dylan's performance was the first time "electric" instruments were used at Newport. The issue was that this was the first time that Dylan had used electric instruments in a public performance.

The Newport Folk Festival had a huge audience from the very beginning, so it's natural that some sort of amplification would be used. But Dylan was the darling of the folkies, and his going electric was a big change.

Stefan Wirz has an excellent discography of Newport Folk Festival recordings, and you'll learn a lot from him: http://www.wirz.de/music/american.htm


I'm still looking for programs or the like from early Newport festivals one would think that images would be available on the Internet.

Here's

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 01:56 AM

I'm guessing that Sing Out! Magazines from 1959-65 might give a lot of good information on the Newport Folk Festival. My collection starts in 1966, so I can't help much there.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 11:33 AM

Here are the performers on a recording made at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band definitely used electric instruments and members of the band served as Dylan's back-up band at the festival. I'm not sure about this festival, but the Chambers Brothers often used an electric guitar.


The Newport Folk Festival 1965

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
- Mellow Down Easy
The Lilly Brothers (with Tex Logan & Don Stover)
- Black Mountain Rag
Son House
- Sundown Blues
Ishangi Dance Troupe
- Washwoman
Moving Star Hall Singers
- Been In The Storm So Long
Eric Von Schmidt (with Fritz Richmond, Mel Lyman, Geoff Muldaur & Maria d'Amato)
- My Love Comes Rolling Down

Bill Keith & Jim Rooney
- Banjo Medley
John Koerner (with Tony Glover, hca)
- Duncan And Brady
Maria d'Amato (with Geoff Muldaur, g)
- Trick Ain't Walkin' No More
Son House
- Death Letter Blues
Chambers Brothers
- Bottle Music
- I Got It
Mel Lyman, hca
- Rock Of Ages

rec. July 24/25, 1965 Newport, Ri.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 08:58 PM

At least six acts used electric guitar at the Newport Folk before Dylan did: Johnny Cash (1964, I've heard the recording), the Staple Singers (1964, I've heard the recording), John Estes (1964, photo in _Sing Out_ 11/64), Muddy (1964, per Robert Shelton who was there), the Chambers Brothers (1965 before Dylan did, I've seen a photo), and the Butterfield band (1965 before Dylan did).


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 09:14 PM

"Hollow body electric guitar was more common in Jazz even in the 40's, I believe." That jazz had a special relationship to early electric guitar is a myth imagined into existence by jazz partisans. C&W musicians, pop musicians, and blues musicians all got interested in the electric guitar during about 1936-1941 at much the same rate that jazz musicians did. For instance, country singer Al Dexter had electric guitar in 1936 on "Honky Tonk Blues"; one of the most influential of all blues harmonica players, John Lee Williamson, had electric guitar on hits (such as "Miss Ida Lee") that were recorded before Charlie Christian recorded anything; and the pop musician Len Fillis recorded "Dipsomania" in April 1936.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 11:36 PM

I stated above that Yank Rachell had used an electric instrument (a Harmony Batwing mandolin)at the 1964 festival. I had read this in an old blues magazine or perhaps Sing Out! I noticed that Joseph Scott mentioned that Sleepy John used an electric at the 1964 festival as well. I wonder if they were playing together, as they often did.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 11:36 PM

I stated above that Yank Rachell had used an electric instrument (a Harmony Batwing mandolin)at the 1964 festival. I had read this in an old blues magazine or perhaps Sing Out! I noticed that Joseph Scott mentioned that Sleepy John used an electric at the 1964 festival as well. I wonder if they were playing together, as they often did.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 01:05 PM

Friday 7 August 11:00am BBC Radio 4
Seth Lakeman at Newport Folk Festival to mark the 50th anniversary of the occasion when Bob Dylan 'went electric'.

And from the recent press;

Dylan Goes Electric! The Guardian review; 10 July 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/10/dylan-goes-electric-elijah-wald-review-when-bob-took-stratocaster-newport-folk-festival

Dylan Goes Electric! The Independent review 23 July 2015
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/dylan-goes-electric-by-elijah-wald-book-review-the-times-really-were-achangin-10410440.html

Bob Dylan: The myths of the singer-songwriter's electric debut at the Newport Folk Festival; Al Kooper interview; The Independent 25 July 2015
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/bob-dylan-the-myths-of-the-singersongwriters-electric-debut-at-the-newport-folk-festival-10415946.html


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 04:48 AM

You might also enjoy Geoff Muldaur with Bob Harris
Broadcast 00:03 Saturday 2 August 2015 BBC Radio 2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02y5zg8


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 10:08 AM

John Lee Hooker played electric at Newport Folk in 1963, performing "Boom, Boom" and a variation of "Green Onions," among other songs. As noted by others, Johnny Cash and the Staple Singers performed with electric guitars in 1964, as did the Swan Silvertones. Muddy Waters did not--he played only acoustic, subbing for Son House and in a duet with Otis Spann. In 1965, the Chambers Brothers, Lightnin' Hopkins, and the Butterfield Band all played electric before Dylan.
I have never before seen a suggestion that either Estes or Rachell used an electric guitar at Newport in 1964, and would love to see the evidence--I've heard their sets, and it sure doesn't sound like either of them is amplified, except with microphones.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 11:15 AM

Has anybody yet mentioned the film "Jazz n a Summers Day" filmed at the Newport Jazz festival 1958 or 59 There plain for all to see is Chuck Berry playing electric.

Muddy Waters appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in the Blues Afternoon segment playing his usual electric in 1960.


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Subject: RE: Newport Folk and electric guitar
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 05:05 PM

Dylan Goes Electric! The Independent review 23 July 2015
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/dylan-goes-electric-by-elijah-wald-book-review-the-times-really-were-achangin-10410440.html

"Wald examines the entire three-day festival in forensic detail, placing the headline historical event in a thorough context, which shows more clearly the burgeoning divide between the old guard's weakening hold, as the more traditional acts played to diminishing crowds, and the immense power wielded by Dylan, whose new fans overwhelmed the occasion."


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