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Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD

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THE SIGNIFYIN' MONKEY


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GUEST,dwditty 29 Nov 06 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Jim 29 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,dwditty 29 Nov 06 - 12:25 PM
Inukshuk 29 Nov 06 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Jim 29 Nov 06 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Jim 29 Nov 06 - 07:05 PM
dwditty 29 Nov 06 - 09:44 PM
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Subject: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: GUEST,dwditty
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 11:39 AM

I have been following the production/release of the full documentary on Oscar Brown, Jr. - Music is My Life, Politics My Mistress. Looks like the film is garnering alot of awards/attention and is scheduled for release on DVD in Feb 2007. Click OSCAR BROWN, Jr. for more info.

dw


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the tip dw. The man is an obscure genius. I still play SIN & SOUL and HEAVEN & HELL (both on vinyl, of course). Did you know that Bob Dylan mentioned him on his first or second album cover? I think he called him a "groovy cat".

What has Oscar been doing recently?


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: GUEST,dwditty
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 12:25 PM

Oscar died a couple of years ago. He and Van Ronk rank 1/2 in my list of all time musical heros - now both sadly gone.

A lot of OBJs records have made it over to CD, including the ones you mention above - Tells It Like It Is is another favorite.

I still cover alot of his songs including Signifyin' Monkey, All Blues (he wrote lyrics to Miles' classic), But I Was Cool, Rags and Old Iron, Sombeody Buy Me A Drink, etc. Signifyin is a crowd pleaser.

I never knew that Dylan mentioned him - I will have to go back and look.


dw


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: Inukshuk
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 02:19 PM

We still do his "The Snake" regularly. I agree woth Guest jim. The man most certainly was a genius.


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 06:58 PM

I taught music in grade school for many years and Signifying Monkey was always a hit with the kids.
A song that often creeps into my mind is When Melindy Sings. I also find myself singing Excuse Me For Livin' when I'm driving.


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 07:05 PM

Here's an excerpt from the liner notes to Freewheeling Bob Dylan:

"Bob Dylan's Dream" is another of his songs which was transported for a time in his mind before being written down. It was initially set off after all-night conversation between Dylan and Oscar Brown, Jr., in Greenwich Village. "Oscar," says Dylan, "is a groovy guy and the idea of this came from what we were talking about." The song slumbered, however, until Dylan went to England in the winter of 1962. There he heard a singer (whose name he recalls as Martin Carthy) perform "Lord Franklin," and that old melody found a new adapted home in "Bob Dylan's Dream." The song is a fond looking back at the easy camaraderie and idealism of the young when they are young. There is also in the "Dream" a wry but sad requiem for the friendships that have evaporated as different routes, geographical and otherwise, are taken.


By the way dw, although I never did get to meet or see Oscar live, I did get to shake hands with Dave Van Ronk and to tell him how muchhe influenced me and that I learned to finger pick from the Dave Van Ronk - Folk Singer album.


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Subject: RE: Oscar Brown, Jr. DVD
From: dwditty
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:44 PM

Inukshuk - ah yes, The Snake...I will have to reach back and pull that one right out of my repertoire...have not done it in a long time.

Jim, thanks for the info. Yes kids and Signifyin sure do go together. A few years ago I was playing at a small place....a large group of adults with their young children came in to have coffee, deserts, etc. The people plunked the kids right down in front of me as if to say - now watch the nice man play music. I did Signifying, Swinging On a Star (Van Ronk's version), You've Got A Friend in Me (which the kids all knew), and some others. Lesson learned? - entertain the kids so the parents can relax and chat a bit and you get a very full tip jar!

I sat with Dave on a couple of occasions. The guy could talk about almost anything I think. I learned to play from his old audio lessons (now available on CD from Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop). With the patience of a saint, he takes you through note by note, string by string, fret by fret to learn the songs. The only "can't miss" lessons I have ever run across.

dw


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