Pioneers of the Blues Revival

Pioneers of the Blues Revival

STEVE CUSHING
INTRODUCTION BY BARRY LEE PEARSON
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 424
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/j.ctt6wr71k
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  • Book Info
    Pioneers of the Blues Revival
    Book Description:

    At the heart of these cases, Carlson reveals clearly just how narrow was the line that women had to walk, since the same womanly virtues that were expected of them--passivity, frailty, and purity--could be turned against them at any time. These trials of popular status are especially significant because they reflect the attitudes of the broad audience, indicate which forms of knowledge are easily manipulated, and allow us to analyze how the verdict is argued outside the courtroom in the public and press. With gripping retellings and incisive analysis of these scandalous criminal and civil cases, this book will appeal to historians, rhetoricians, feminist researchers, and anyone who enjoys courtroom drama.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09620-4
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xxii)
    Barry Lee Pearson

    Pioneers of the Blues Revivalbrings together interviews with seventeen notable blues researchers/collectors in a single accessible volume. Their commentary, which covers the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century, comes primarily from Steve Cushing’s long-running radio show,Blues Before Sunrise. An experienced interviewer, Cushing knows what questions to ask his subjects, and they, in turn, are more than capable of telling their own stories in their own words, even when they have a particular axe to grind. My role in writing this introduction is to provide a general context for their observations,...

  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
    Steve Cushing
  6. PAUL OLIVER INTERVIEW
    (pp. 1-21)
    PAUL OLIVER

    Well, I was born in Nottingham, England, but my family actually came from the west of England near Wales. So that was in 1927.

    If you were born in 1927, that would make you about twelve years old when the war broke out. Do you have any home-front experiences that you can relate?

    Well, I was in the London suburbs during much of the war, so I was there at the time of the bombing, but it wasn’t as heavy in the suburban areas as it was in the East End of London and Central London. We did have incendiary...

  7. SAM CHARTERS INTERVIEW
    (pp. 22-48)
    SAM CHARTERS

    I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1929. My family moved to California in the fall of 1945. I began traveling a few years later. I spent a year in Europe when I was eighteen. I first went to New Orleans and began the research in December of 1950 when I was twenty-one. I went into the army in the spring of 1951 and spent two years in Alaska. I got out of the army two years later and spent six months in northern Alaska, then to San Francisco for six months and back to New Orleans. I was twenty-four...

  8. PETE WHELAN INTERVIEW
    (pp. 49-68)
    PETE WHELAN

    I was born in New York City, May 17th, 1929. My father was an ex-millionaire’s son. They had lost their money in the crash of ’29. My mother was a budding painter. She studied at the Sorbonne and fell in love with a Russian count who was a cab driver, and her parents dragged her away from Paris and brought her back to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. My parents met at a Florida resort. It was sort of a golf resort for the well-to-do.

    Where did you go to school?

    Well, I got thrown out of a Catholic boarding school at...

  9. DICK WATERMAN INTERVIEW
    (pp. 69-84)
    DICK WATERMAN

    I was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which is, of course, home of Plymouth Rock and which has the nickname of “America’s Hometown.” I was born in 1935 and went to school there. I graduated in ’53 and then went to college for several years. Then I was in the army for three years. I was a cryptographer, which sort of accounts for my ability to remember numbers over the years. I have a very bad memory for names and faces, but if I ever called you, I remember your phone number or your area code or your zip code or...

  10. GAYLE DEAN WARDLOW INTERVIEW
    (pp. 85-120)
    GAYLE DEAN WARDLOW

    I was born August 31, 1940, in a little town called Freer, Texas, which is down in South Texas. My daddy worked as an oil man; he worked in the oil fields, and we were moving around so much, Steve. My granddaddy lived down in Louisiana, you know, so my mom built a house down there next to my granddaddy. We lived in a little town in Louisiana called Castor. And that was close to Minden; Minden was the county seat. Later on when I found King Solomon Hill, he was from Minden, or Sibley, right below Minden. I used...

  11. ROBERT M. W. DIXON INTERVIEW
    (pp. 121-134)
    ROBERT M. W. DIXON

    I was born in Gloucester—in the UK, of course—on the 25th of January 1939. I was brought up for the first few years in Stroud, a little town in the Cotswolds. At the age of eight we moved to Nottingham, and I spent my formative years in Nottingham.

    How I got interested in all of this, there was a trad [traditional] jazz boom in the 1950s in England, bands like Ken Colyer and Chris Barber and Mick Mulligan. Chris Barber had Ottilie Patterson as a singer with his band. I remember she sang “Weeping Willow Blues” and “Nobody...

  12. BOB KOESTER INTERVIEW
    (pp. 135-165)
    BOB KOESTER

    When and where were you born?

    October 30th, 1932, in Wichita, Kansas. There was my mom and dad, and I was one of five brothers.

    Was there music in your family background?

    We bought—sometime prior to December 7th, 1941; everybody remembers where they were on December seventh—we bought a house from my grandmother on Douglas Avenue, a big house! Grandpa Koester had died back in the mid-1930s and had left behind—aside from a lot of wine-making apparatus, which I didn’t appreciate at the time—a stack of old 78s. There was one by the Georgians—a pretty...

  13. JOHN BROVEN INTERVIEW
    (pp. 166-178)
    JOHN BROVEN

    I was born in Maidstone, Kent, England, in 1942—that’s in the southeast of England—and was raised in what was then a little village called Polegate, outside of Eastbourne in Sussex, on the south coast.

    What did your parents do?

    My father was an electrician who did a variety of jobs, including farm manager, before finishing up with the local electrical utility company called Seeboard. He was in charge of transformer substations throughout East Sussex and part of Kent. My mother was a post office worker. She had a little bit of a sabbatical when she was raising my...

  14. MIKE ROWE INTERVIEW
    (pp. 179-187)
    MIKE ROWE

    I was born in Plymouth, Devon, in 1938. My father was a bus conductor, and later he worked in the dockyard, just a typical working-class family. I went to school in Plymouth.

    Wasn’t Plymouth one of the cities that took quite a bit of punishment during the war?

    The city was a naval center with the dockyards. The whole city’s center was destroyed. Yes, Plymouth had several nights of absolutely concentrated bombing of civilian residential areas. There were a lot of casualties in Plymouth; I don’t know how many. My father was in the RAF [Royal Air Force] and stationed...

  15. RAY FLERLAGE INTERVIEW
    (pp. 188-206)
    RAY FLERLAGE

    First of all, Ray, how do I correctly pronounce your last name?

    Well, it’s up for grabs in our family. But we say Fler-laydge. We used to say Fler-ledge, and then every time I was on radio for about fifteen years, every announcer would say Flerlaydge. And my present wife liked Fler-laydge better than Fler-ledge, so we compromised and now it’s Fler-laydge. [chuckles]

    With me is Ray Flerlage, and Ray has a brand-new book. It’s mostly photographs, but there’s also some light text. It’s calledChicago Blues as Seen from the Inside. Ray, if people dig into this and read...

  16. JIM O’NEAL INTERVIEW
    (pp. 207-226)
    JIM O’NEAL

    I was born November 25th, 1948, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both of my parents were from Mississippi and they returned to Mississippi after six weeks, so I never knew Indiana. My father was a minister at the time, but he became a doctor later, and my mother was a teacher.

    What part of Mississippi were you from?

    The Gulf Coast, really—around Biloxi, Gulfport. And I still have a lot of family down in Hattiesburg. Later in life I moved to the Delta, but I didn’t know anything about the Delta when I was growing up.

    Can you explain how...

  17. RICHARD K. SPOTTSWOOD INTERVIEW
    (pp. 227-241)
    RICHARD K. SPOTTSWOOD

    I’m better known as Dick. I was born in Washington, D.C., in 1937. My mother stayed at home, and my father was a mid-level executive at the telephone company. I’ve always enjoyed music. People used to dump old recordings on me when I was a child. I enjoyed the sound on them more than I did the late-era swing music and the pop crooners that were commonplace in the 1940s. I thought some of those older dance bands on acoustic records were kinda cute—maybe a little cooler too, although the concept of “cool” hadn’t evolved yet. But I was...

  18. JACQUES DEMETRE INTERVIEW
    (pp. 242-252)
    JACQUES DEMETRE

    I was born in 1924 in Paris. Jacques Demetre is a pen name I’ve used over the years for all my written work. My parents came from Russia, émigrés after the Revolution in 1917, who came to Paris. My father was a classical composer in the style of Alexander Scriabin, a Russian composer. My mother was a painter, the daughter of a well-known painter in Russia. My parents met and married in Paris. Until the war I lived in a Russian atmosphere, always speaking Russian at home. I went to school and learned to speak French, which I spoke outside...

  19. PHIL SPIRO INTERVIEW
    (pp. 253-269)
    PHIL SPIRO

    I was born in New York City in 1940. My mother, a housewife, was also born in New York, although her parents came from Russia. My father was born in M³awa, Russian Poland (yes, there is a stroke through the letterL; it’s pronounced like aWin English), where the family name was written as “Szpiro.” The judge who naturalized my father’s brother as a US citizen advised that nobody would ever pronounce it right or spell it right, theZgot dropped, and it became “Spiro” for those who ended up in the US. All but one of...

  20. CHRIS BARBER INTERVIEW
    (pp. 270-291)
    CHRIS BARBER

    I was born on the seventeenth of April 1930 in Welwyn, a small town thirty miles north of London. My mother was a teacher and my father was an economist statistician.

    You would have been a schoolboy during World War II. Can you talk about your memories during this period.

    Sure, I remember it quite well. I didn’t see any fighting [laughs]—luckily, I was too young. The war was about to begin, and we knew it was about to begin. I was from a political family. My parents were political people, they were left-wing. In the US “left wing”...

  21. DAVID EVANS INTERVIEW
    (pp. 292-322)
    DAVID EVANS

    I was born in Boston, January 22nd, 1944. I grew up in a solidly middle-class family mostly in Massachusetts. I spent a good part of my early years, up until fourth grade, in Lexington. Then my father, who worked for Prudential Insurance, was transferred to Dallas, Texas, and we lived there for four years—1954 to 1958. I was young, between ten and fourteen, but it gave me a little bit of exposure to the South—and even to blues, though I wasn’t aware of it by that name, through the radio. These were the years that rock ’n’ roll...

  22. CHRIS STRACHWITZ INTERVIEW
    (pp. 323-344)
    CHRIS STRACHWITZ

    I was born in a little village in Lower Silesia [southwestern Poland] in 1931. During the war we lived on a big farm, and I was lucky to get out of where we lived before they grabbed us. You see, we left before the Russians came in—that was in February of 1945—because we were considered capitalists and would not have survived. We eventually took a train to a friend of the family; she actually was a nanny when we were little. She was in Sondershausen in Thuringia [in east-central Germany], and that’s where we met the American forces...

  23. LIST OF INTERVIEWS
    (pp. 345-346)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 347-368)
  25. Back Matter
    (pp. 369-376)