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Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford

Related threads:
Bascom Lamar Lunsford's recordings -youtube link (13)
Lyr Req: I Shall Not Be Moved (Bascom L Lunsford) (3)
Pete Seeger and Bascom Lamar Lunsford (12)
Lyr Req: Dry Bones (Bascom Lamar Lunsford) (9)


Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 05 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 15 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Aug 05 - 11:33 AM
Le Scaramouche 15 Aug 05 - 07:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM
Deckman 13 Aug 05 - 03:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 05 - 02:57 PM
Deckman 13 Aug 05 - 02:25 PM
Joe Richman 13 Aug 05 - 11:57 AM
Le Scaramouche 01 Aug 05 - 03:38 PM
Pinetop Slim 01 Aug 05 - 03:36 PM
georgeward 01 Aug 05 - 01:28 PM
Le Scaramouche 01 Aug 05 - 01:20 PM
Charley Noble 31 Jul 05 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 31 Jul 05 - 03:44 PM
Deckman 31 Jul 05 - 02:46 PM
Severn 31 Jul 05 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 31 Jul 05 - 01:50 PM
Franz S. 25 Jul 05 - 10:47 AM
Joe Richman 24 Jul 05 - 10:19 PM
katlaughing 24 Jul 05 - 09:34 PM
Franz S. 24 Jul 05 - 09:25 PM
Judge Mental 24 Jul 05 - 01:57 PM
Peter T. 24 Jul 05 - 12:21 PM
Joe Richman 24 Jul 05 - 11:37 AM
katlaughing 24 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Russ 24 Jul 05 - 10:20 AM
Frankham 24 Jul 05 - 09:54 AM
Le Scaramouche 24 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM
Deckman 24 Jul 05 - 09:39 AM
voyager 24 Jul 05 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 24 Jul 05 - 07:36 AM
Deckman 24 Jul 05 - 12:30 AM
Pinetop Slim 24 Jul 05 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 23 Jul 05 - 11:57 PM
Deckman 23 Jul 05 - 11:18 PM
Peter T. 23 Jul 05 - 11:06 PM
GUEST,Joe Richman 23 Jul 05 - 06:07 PM
Peter T. 23 Jul 05 - 05:36 PM
Le Scaramouche 23 Jul 05 - 02:29 PM
Joe Richman 23 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM
Frankham 23 Jul 05 - 01:42 PM
pdq 23 Jul 05 - 01:24 PM
Joe Richman 23 Jul 05 - 12:33 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Jul 05 - 09:46 AM
Deckman 23 Jul 05 - 08:39 AM
Peter T. 23 Jul 05 - 07:09 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Jul 05 - 01:33 AM
Peter T. 22 Jul 05 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Jul 05 - 10:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 03:31 PM

Thanks for the review, Dave. Used copies are pretty reasonable, so I may pick it up.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM

It's a moot point whether or not "modern standards" can be applied retrospectively. The danger is that if I "apologised" for BLL, I could be accused of "justifying" his repugnant views.                                                            

I had this problem with banished Irish patriot John Mitchel who ended up in the US, believed in slavery (which he had witnessed in Brazil) and supported the South in the Civil War. He was born in 1815. Two of his sons died as Johnny Rebs. Didn't George Washington own slaves?

I love BLL doing "Queen Jane". (Must acquire his bio and Dave Van Ronk's autobio - thanks for info).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 11:33 AM

Q:

I just finished reading Minstrel of the Appalachians", and I found it pretty interesting. Not the most stirring writing, but that's one of those things. I learned a great deal about his life and influence.

No, the "compilation" of his songs was far from complete. And to tell the truth, I didn't care for many of the selections included. That sentence needs clarification (though not stylistic improvement): "And to tell the truth, for many of the selections included, I didn't care."    There were a number of good songs. Not always the same version as I have BLL on Folkways LP singing.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 07:06 AM

Well, they had threatened my grandfather in the early '70s (if not mistaken). Not only was he Jewish but had associated with what they considered the wrong set.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM

The book, "Minstrel of the Appalachians," has a 'compilation' of Lunsford's music, and 'music transcriptions' by John M. Forbes. Is this material comprehensive? I would like to get a copy if it has solid material.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 03:08 PM

My ignorance is profound! Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 02:57 PM

The KKK was active in western Canada in the 1930s. Their targets were non-English workers, radicals or any group agitating for change. Many small businessmen supported them. Meetings, especially in Edmonton. attracted many conservative-leaning citizens. A panoramic photo taken at one of their meetings in Memorial Hall, hung with Union Jacks, shows some 1000 men, women and children in attendance. In the coal-mining towns, they opposed strikers and organizers.

They were active in the western mining States as well at that time.

The politics and mindsets of that time seem foreign to us now, but it was a time of strife.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 02:25 PM

Joe ... well said. And by gosh, I learn something EVERY day. This is the first time that I heard that the kkk targeted anyone other than Negros. Thanks for your comments! Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Joe Richman
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 11:57 AM

OK Deckman, I'll accept that explanation. But you can't paint the entire pentecostal movement with that brush, especially since one of the oldest pentecostal churches is the Church of God in Christ. Think Andrae Crouch ( a great live performer; I saw him perform once).    My mother grew up in Maine in the 20s and there was even a Klan there. But the Christian churches she attended were opposed to the Klan. She was helping support herself at an early age by caring for children who were half French-Canadian, and the main target of the Maine Klan's fury was French-Canadians. She was out walking with these kids one day when she spied a Klan march. Scared the heck out of her. There's more to the story , but I'll pass on telling all. In Maine in the 20s, the Klan was made up of folks low on the totem pole, and was viewed negatively by the vast majority, just as it is today.

I think it's agreed that BLL was suspicious of Yankees, but not a Kluxer. He understood the Communist totalitarian menace better than most of the posters on this site, although he didn't differentiate between Communists and Anti-Anti-Communists (i.e. wishy-washy liberals). This led him to dismiss people who were good people at heart but just didn't totally agree with him across the board. Something I try to avoid doing.

Joe


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 03:38 PM

Thankee.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 03:36 PM

MINSTREL OF THE APPALACHIANS, The Story of Bascom Lamar Lunsford,
By Loyal Jones, University of Kentucky Press.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: georgeward
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 01:28 PM

I've nothing to add but my own appreciation for this thread and the tone of it.
Charley's right. This is what Mudcat can be, at its best. Thanks to you all.

- George


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 01:20 PM

Very fascinating posts here which leads me to ask, is there a biography?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 05:02 PM

This is the kind of Mudcat thread I enjoy, where people talk from their experience and even respond to each other, generally in positive ways.

Thanks for the postings!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 03:44 PM

These personal and obviously sincere posts prove, again, how just about everything is best viewed with shades of gray---or, at least, with pastel colors--if one is to incorporate fairness and wisdom into our perceptions and judgments. Thanks from me to both Bobs---and Joe Richman as well.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 02:46 PM

Joe Richman,

I appreciate your comments regarding my "linking of the KKK with Christian bigots and Holy rollers." Let me explain why I make that comment:

Both of my late parents were raised in the Pentecostal Church, in Eastern Washington. We're talking of the 1920's and 1930's here. I grew up with many family stories, and I had no reason to not believe them, of the many times that the KKK came to Yakima, Washington and held meetings and crusades. Many of the Pentecostal Preachers brought their entire congregations to attend those meetings. They came from Mabton, Wapato, Tieton, Union Gap, and other small towns.

I suspect there were many different reasons for the attraction to these nightime KKK meetings. Probably the biggest draw was the pure "entertainment" of the event. I'm sure that sounds outrageous, but consider just how boring these small farms town were and just how poor people were. And I'm sure that all the other reasons you could imagine were there also, including horrible racism.

Please know that I do not consider the Pentecostal Church of the 1920's to be the same as it today. I am well steeped in the 1920's beliefs, as both of my grand mothers were Pentecostal preachers, one in English, the other in Finnish.

I hope that these comments clear the air a little. It was not my intent to insult anyone. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Severn
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 01:54 PM

Bur Lives!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 01:50 PM

Mr. Lunsford was a hard man to get along with. He was hospitable enough to invite us into his house, let us sit down and break out the banjos. But he would not sing any of his more unusual songs. Just those already available on record, like "Swannanoa Tunnel" and "Mole In the Ground." He did not much like northerners, who tended to be rude about his many prejudices, and he was very protective of his commercial rights, as he had been ripped off before.

He was a complex man. Racist yes, but, hey face it, life often presents us with indigestible mixtures. Lunsford was also one of the finest early collectors of folk songs. His dedication to preserving them was astounding and without him we would lack many of them. His 300-some recordings for the Library of Congress contain some appallingly beautiful, unusual gems. He's the only one that saved songs like "Death of Queen Jane," "Italy," "Mr. Garfield," "Sundown"...the list is endless.

He was THE pioneer folk festival man. And he was fiercely protective of "his" rural musicians. He fought to keep them from being laughed at, called hillbillies, pried into and sneered over by outsiders who did not understand them. One of the most poignant things I've ever seen was on a Lunsford TV tribute special many years ago when the camera showed a poverty-stricken elder singer in what he considered pitiful circumstances. He got in front of the camera, blocked it and turned his back to it rather than have that person shown up as what some people might call a cracker.

W'e're all a mixed bag. We all have our prejudices. Yes he is frequently called Bastard Lamar Lunsford because he was proud, bigoted, an angry man sometimes. But he did all of us traditional music people a favor that can never be repaid. He is the sage of Asheville. Many intelligent, far more liberal people than he revere him, and remember, along with his foibles and his misdeeds, his dedication to the real traditional roots.

Pete Seeger has been called folksong's Johnny Appleseed, but Lunsford was the model. As a young man he wore himself out on foot and muleback, selling fruit trees throughout the Smokies, meeting singers in back hollers, staying the night (difficult personality and all) and swapping songs. In his odd voice and hitchy banjo style (the origin of the Seeger strum, by the way, which has now gone all over the world) we hear the echoes of the vast range of back-country singers he met. It's quite something to be that kind of conduit.

I remember him with some tension, but always with respect. Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Franz S.
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 10:47 AM

I guess this is why it is so often considered bad manners to discuss religion or politics.   If Lunsford had known that I was a Red Diepers baby with a black stepfather, would he have been as welcoming? If I had known his views on Communists and blacks, being a smart-ass kid at the time, would I have said something that would have violated his hospitality?   How do the responsibility to stand up for your beliefs and the obligation to treat others with courtesy and respect work together?

I've found in my own life, though, that the people (for example) that I would trust with my children's care and safety were frequently people whose religious and/or political beliefs I couldn't respect.   And people whose political beliefs and/or love of folk music were close to mine were often people I found hard to like and impossible to trust.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Joe Richman
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 10:19 PM

A couple of weeks ago, the so called "Liberals" on the Supreme Court declared that it's OK for the government to take people's houses and give them to private developers just to make money for the government and the developer, while the so called "Conservatives" opposed this.   Crazy world, ain't it?

I have friends who are good church-going Christians who consider themselves Socialists.   I know agnostics who consider themselves Conservatives, and routinely vote Republican.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford according to Franz S was willing to have people who he hardly knew over to his house to listen to music because of their shared love of the music. To me, that is reaching out.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:34 PM

Maybe not, Franz. It was the goal of our human rights org. in Wyoming, to "reach across the aisle" and start a *dialogue* with those "whose political, religious, or other attitudes" were different from our own. We believed our society would benefit from people meeting face-to-face and finding out there were things we could like about each other despite our difference. Of course, being liberals (I agree, Judge Mental) we also hoped to educate folks to be more open-minded and accepting.:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Franz S.
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:25 PM

Back in 1961 I happened to be in Madison County, NC, visiting a friend, and somehow wound up at a sort of party at someone's house where a string band was playing in the living room and the rugs were rooled up and kids were dancing with their grandmas. In 1994 I was back in Madison County visiting Obray Ramsey. I told him of my memory, and he said, "Why, that was Bascom Lamar Lusford's house. Didn't you know that?" A couple of years ago I bought a biography of Lunsford, and recognized a oicture of the house.

If I had known more about Lunsford then I'm sure that I would have been uncomfortable being in his house. And he very likely would have been uncomfortable about me being there. But all he knew about me at most was that I was a Yankee college boy. And the music was wonderful.   

It's amazing to me how often in my life I have wound up liking and even admiring people whose political, religious, or other attitudes I despised. Guess I'm just wishy-washy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Judge Mental
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 01:57 PM

Another thing, those who use the term "communist" mostly don't know what they're talking about. "socialist" is lumped into that designation as well as other unpopular ideas. It is used as a catchall perjorative by abusive people. Now it is being replaced by the all-inclusive "terrorist" or as more commonly pronounced today..."terrist". Ignorance abounds.

Actually Frank, I find that the word "liberal" is being used nowadays the way that "communist" was used in the 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:21 PM

It is certainly difficult to recapture the feel of the way in which people were very comfortable in North America until very recently in referring to people as Wops and Dagos, etc., because people lived in much more closed communities and would use these labels back and forth at each other in a kind of low-level warfare that would sometimes escalate, but was widely accepted as a kind of shorthand. It was like a weapon that everyone had in their arsenal, and part of the game was to give as good as you got.   A classic example was in war movies and war comics, where you had someone from every relevant ethnic group so as to suggest "We are all Americans!", the wop from Brooklyn or whatever. Of course, the default norm was white anglo saxon protestant males, who were the power nexus for it all.   And there are places where it is still widespread (go to a country club anywhere, and wait for five minutes, God knows, I was in one last week, and reasonably educated people were obsessing over increasing immigration, which was ironic, given that virtually all of them were making their living from the boom in real estate!!!!!!!!). But at some point very recently it became unacceptable in public. Thirty years ago people said things quite openly that are completely unacceptable now, things that brand you.

I don't think the anthropology of these shifts in public pressure on language has been studied very much.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Joe Richman
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 11:37 AM

Pinetop Slim's statement about BLL is what I think, too.    I object to Deckman's linking of KKK members with christian biggots (sic) and Holy Rollers.   I'm on my way in a few minutes to a Holy Roller church, where I'll hear some good gospel music, and people of all races will worship God.   And, no I do not personally speak in unknown tongues.

Joe


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM

My Dear Fine Art, thanks so much for your Look Back. ALWAYS much appreciated and educational!

Frank, your comments on the way it was are also always appreciated.

As Russ, said, maybe he was a product of his time, which of course can be so different depending on where one grew up,etc. And the thing about admiring people who may not be good role models...my own dad thought nothing of using derogartory names for people of different races, but considering many were his closest friends (one of his best friends was a "Dago"), it is my belief he did not mean anything terrible. It was just the the way of his Time to speak thus. Thank goodness mom thought differently and discouraged it, esp. in front of us kids.

I do think there are parts of socialism? which are worthy of consideration, as in HEALTH CARE, etc. Interesting thread.

kat


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 10:20 AM

He was a product of his time and place.

As are we all.

I suppose that NONE of the "old people" the revivalists learned from would pass muster when judged in accordance with moderm sensibilities.

I have learned the hard way (repeatedly) that people I admire and respect for certain accomplishments are rarely those I would choose as role models.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Frankham
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:54 AM

it ws interesting to meet Mr. Lunsford in 1954. He was quick to judge us. We were called "commonists" because we came down from New York City. Does this sound fair-minded?

He didn't know us from Adam. But he knew enough to make us uncomfortable. He was a shrewd country lawyer but not what I would call a hospitable person.

He didn't like Pete Seeger. Pete was responsible for getting him on Folkways Records and wrote glowing liner notes about his album. Bascom was ungrateful although he gloated about his recording accomplishment. How do I know? Guy Carawan, Jack Elliott and I were in his house when he received the Folkways Record in the mail. He didn't exactly throw us out but he enjoyed "toying" with us. But what he said to Red Parham about us was mean. he could have at least asked us what our political views were before condemning us.

Another thing, those who use the term "communist" mostly don't know what they're talking about. "socialist" is lumped into that designation as well as other unpopular ideas. It is used as a catchall perjorative by abusive people. Now it is being replaced by the all-inclusive "terrorist" or as more commonly pronounced today..."terrist". Ignorance abounds.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM

Burl Ives controversial? Couldn't possibly be true, why, he even gave a concert for the Queen!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:39 AM

Hey ... people are people and events are events. Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: voyager
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 08:23 AM

Art -

Thanks for you common sense remarks.
Honestly, when I posted this thread about BLL I had no sense of
the man's controversial place in folk music history.
Now I know.

Next time I'll try creating less controversy by starting a dialogue
about, hmmmmm, let's see....

Burl Ives!

Cheers-

voyager
FSGW Ghetto


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 07:36 AM

Bob,

It has been an amazing roller coaster ride---sometimes more like a tilt-a-whirl. I've felt from these threads that you and I, and some others here, see the panorama with eyes that glory in the many hues of the displayed rainbow. Seeing through the smoke of explosions, whether they are from today's true believers or those who might've been our friends, or even us, maybe, in the '60s, makes the colors dim and gray. But seeing the gray has been my "curse" or my "gift" all along the journey. Seeing, and learning to appreciate the gray scale of this life has made the occasional wonderful sunsets all the more spectacular. If my friend B.K. puts the rest of my photos up on his website, you might see some of what I've saved of those sunsets --- and the spectacular gray storms as well.

Onward and upward!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:30 AM

Art,

You ARE making perfect sense to me ... as you always do.

Here we are, in the year of 2005, trying to remember what it was like, way back then. Our memories differ. And our interruptions differ. Yet we KNOW that those were some incredible times and experiences. And they ceratinly were.

Today, we are worried about the dangers of strange bombings that seem to make no sense. And yet the social "explosions" that we experienced "back then" didn't seem to make a lot of sense either. But somehow, for better or worse, we survived them until today.

Over the years of chasing the wiley folk song, I've had to sit and exchange thoughts and talk and songs with many people that were not necessarily of my preference. I've spent time with biggots, racists, KKK members, right wing biggots, christian biggots, many holy rollers, people of all colors and likes and disslikes.

If this has taught me anything, it has taught me to not be judgemental, to keep my tape recorder handy, and look for the song.

As always, I look forward to your postings! Cheers, Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:08 AM

See Loyal Jones' book about Lunsford for a fair appraisal. No saint, but no klansman either.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 11:57 PM

I've always seen the immensely positive aspects of many of the Rooseveltsian New Deal programs that have, sadly, come under heavy attack in recent times. I feel it's wrong to toss them out with the baby and the quenching waters of Socialist thought that managed to seep into American life. I am afraid that this U.S.A. as a nation will be much the worse for these deletions.

And I did have some feelings of betrayal when I realized that some within my/our folk revival, people I had lauded for their many humantarian stands over the years, had, indeed, been communists---and they may have had other ulterior motives and agendas on their minds when they were accepted by me to be my own personal pied piper. (Not unlike, as some here would certainly say, having a personal relationship with God ;-) But no matter. Their Social examples through the many years, I did in the end decide, were the glowing more humanitarian side of the coin---and not the dark side --.

As with all of us, there are two sides (maybe more) to our beings!! Sadly,Bascom Lunsford did introduce the string band from the North by saying to the audience at his North Carolina festival, "Here's 3 Jew boys from New York!" ---- Still, he was a great folksinger and preserver of traditional music. I love the songs like "Sundown" and "Mr. Garfield" that I learned from him--and then recorded. Hearing Bascom Lamar Lunsford's recorded works are as close to actually stepping into a time machine as I will ever get. I'll always be grateful to him, and to so many others who kept the songs for me to find, and resurrect, and carry to other singers. That's the romance of the social aspects, the community, the treasure hunt, the process that is called the oral tradition!!

Note that I said community-----not communism. The first is people working together, and incorporating the good and decent aspects of socialism for the betterment of the many----- and not just the "lucky" few.------------ Those positive aspects can be utilized WITHOUT resorting to the terrible excesses of totalitarian regimes---whether Communist or Fascist or whatever.

Lunsford, like all of our dysfunctional families and governments, to a lesser or a greater extent, had the traits that made us love them tied up in the same package with the merde we hated. For me, when I look in the mirror and see those same downer familial traits, I try to, at least, minimize them. At most, I do the wishy washy thing; I "change my mind" (an apparent no-no for politicians)---and move on from there.

I do hope this makes sense. I'm mixing metaphores again. It's getting late...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 11:18 PM

You had to have been there to understand it. I wasn't there then ... and I still don't understand it! Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 11:06 PM

Tell that to the Scottsboro Boys.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Joe Richman
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 06:07 PM

I'd say that the Communists used the race issue as a wedge to get in the door. The real leadership of the Civil Rights movement were Christians. Dr M.L. King was a Baptist minister. The Communists in the Soviet Union practiced race based deportation en masse; like deporting all of the Chechens and all of the Volga Germans to starve on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Russia today is reaping what the Communists sowed, just as America has reaped the harvest of slavery and Jim Crow. Lunsford did not like Communism. That much I get. He may have had ideas on race relations that were colored by the time and place he grew up in. But I don't see that race hatred was a major part of his life, like for instance, in the lives of the leaders of the Mississippi Klan. I doubt those gentlemen (ha) would see any merit in any non-white music that wasn't a gross parody meant to demean non-whites.

PS I may need to reset cookie here!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:36 PM

While we are on the subject of contradictions it is worth recalling that it was the Communists in the United States that were at the forefront of anti-racism for decades.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 02:29 PM

He liked Cherokee and minstrel show music but doesn't mean he liked the people. A great musician however.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Joe Richman
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM

So let me get this straight: he liked Cherokee and Black musicians, but didn't like Communist musicians (or perhaps anti-anti-Communist musicians)? He talked with a hick accent. So? I'm not getting the point of tarring him with the 'racist' brush.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Frankham
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 01:42 PM

Jack Elliott referred to him as "Bastard Lampoon Lunchfart."

Our experience with him was negative as he was convinced that we were "commonists". He even told that to Red Parham, the amazing rawboned harmonica player who worked with George Pegram. Bascom was not known for his Southern Hospitality.

He was nonetheless a great folk singer. He had a unique banjo style and could deliver a ballad as good as anyone. He was the inspiration for the late Derroll Adams.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 01:24 PM

If we hold one man's personal 'opinions' up to ridicule, we must certainly call other's 'actions' to task.

Please match the following musicians,

       "Sleepy" John Estes, Rice Miller (alias "Sonny Boy" Williamson II), Hudie Ledbetter (alias "Leadbelly), Chuck Berry

with the following crimes: rapist, drug dealer, child molestor, wife-batterer, murderer. Hint: most of the above are not limited to just one offense.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Joe Richman
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 12:33 PM

The racists in the USA lynched 3500 Blacks between the 1880s and the 1960s (Tuskeegee Inst. stats published today in OC Register). The Communists in the Soviet Union murdered millions, so many that the exact figure is hard to state, giving rise to a sort of Red holocaust denial.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 09:46 AM

Thanks Peter.
Commies I don't mind, but racists no.

eric


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:39 AM

I've often heard that he was referred to as "that old bastard Lunsford!" Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:09 AM

To quote Van Ronk: "Lunsford himself was a racist anti-Semitic white supremacist who in later years would steadfastly refuse to come to the Newport Folk Festivals because of Seeger's involvement" (being a suspected Commie).

On the other hand, Lunsford had this fascination with the Cherokee, and of course Negro minstrel music. Part of the contradictions.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 01:33 AM

For the uninitiated Peter T, what politics are you talking about ?
cos I haven't a clue.

eric


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 10:57 PM

Scary politics indeed. I have just been reading Dave Van Ronk's opinions of him, in his autobiography.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Bascomb Lamar Lunsford
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 10:05 PM

B.L.L. did some good work. He saved many songs for us. I've recorded at least 3 of the songs he unearthed. He had an opinion on many things that were a bit off the mark, to say the least. But his good work was just that---good work.

Art


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