"As in many parts of rural Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century, the social life of the Churchtown area was largely dependent on house dances. The various townlands invariably set aside a particular night of the week for the local dance, thereby ensuring that there was dance almost every night of the week in the area. The dances were generally rotated from one house to another within the townland on a weekly basis. They frequently included refreshments and a gamble or card game, and were usually all-night affairs, concluding around 6 am to allow for the commencement of farm duties. The house dances continued throughout the first half of the twentieth century but they became progressively less frequent. In the late 1920s many local house dances were moved to a derelict lodge in the area and held there every Saturday night. The public paid an admission fee and the musicians were now paid for their services. The house dances eventually died out in the area around 1950 due to the advent of popular music and dance halls. After the Dance Hall Act of 1935 the occasional fine for holding a dance without permit also helped to hasten the demise of the local house dances. During the 1940s the local musicians formed themselves into bands and began to play for ceilís in halls in the neighbouring towns. There was a marked decrease in the number of active musicians, singers and dancers in the locality; house dances had disappeared; the local stages were on the decline and were soon to follow the house dances; older types of the dances, which had been popular earlier in the century, had disappeared and with them had gone many of the tunes and tune-types which had been part of the local repertory." (C. Moloney)
The most popular instrument at the Irish house dances was invariably the fiddle. John "Boss" Murphy (1875-1955) was a farmer and fiddle player from The Leap, Churchtown, Mallow, Co. Cork. He was renowned locally for his ability on the fiddle and a regular performer at dances in the area. It was important to him that his children would continue the family tradition by learning to play the fiddle and pass on the musical heritage which he had received from his father and other local musicians. Unfortunatly his four children never mastered an instrument, so John began to direct his thoughts towards future generations.
John Murphy compiled a manuscript collection from tunes that he had written
down in jotters or from his memory. It is a 96-page manuscript containing
312 individual tunes.
Much of the repertory reflects what was popular in his younger years in rural Munster,
and many tunes and tune-types has disappeared from aural tradition.
The music in the manuscript is idiomatic to the fiddle and
a number of tunes have a range which requires second or third position.
Dr Collete Moloney, currently a lecturer in music at the Waterford Institute of
Technology with a Ph.D. degree on the subject of the
manuscripts, has edited and re-published The Boss Murphy Musical Legacy.
The volume contains 306 airs, barndances, flings, galops, hornpipes, jigs, marches,
mazurkas, polkas, quadrilles, reels, set dances, schottisches and waltzes,
plus three introductory chapters providing biographical detail on John Murphy,
a musical history of the Churchtown area in the first half of the 20th century, and
a discussion of the manuscript, its music, and the editorial procedures.
You can find the entire spectrum from real trad hits to session standards to
the rather obscure. Some tunes have been only recently recorded, to give you some
examples and an idea what's happening today:
"Cailín Deas Crúite Na mBó"
"Captain Keller" (-> FW#27),
"Cock and the Hen" (-> FW#21),
"Connachtman's Rambles" (-> FW#12),
"Coulin" (-> FW#28),
"Dusty Miller" (-> FW#21),
"First of May" (-> FW#21,
"Gallagher's Frolics" (-> FW#25),
"Green Fields Of America" (-> FW#24),
"Humours Of Bandon" (-> FW#21,
"Lord McDonald's" (-> FW#23),
"Nora Chrionna" (-> FW#24,
"Paudeen O'Rafferty" (-> FW#26),
"Rocky Road To Dublin" (-> FW#27),
"Rodney's Glory" (-> FW#12,
"Salamanca" (-> FW#23),
"Wind That Shakes the Barley" (-> FW#27).
The popular rebel song "Wearing of the Green" (->
is given as an Irish quadrille, the well-known "Green Grows the Rushes" as a schottische.
You can also find the "Donau Lieder Waltz" by Mr Strauss (-> FW#13)
and another waltz taken from Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz".
There certainly is much to discover that you have never encountered before.
Only recently there have been made some attempts to fuse Irish and Jewish music
(e.g. -> FW#28).
Eastern European Jews took their music to America as did the Irish.
However, while the Irish didn't alter their legacy very much,
the Jews almost invented a new musical genre
The word klezmer comes from Yiddish and denoted a professional instrumentalist
who earned a living playing for celebrations in the far-flung communities of a
multimillion Jewish population that existed in eastern Europe until 1939. Klezmer
music is a term coined in English around 1980 in the United States to define a
bounded repertoire and playing style, mostly based on the 78 rpm recordings of
American Klezmer - It's Roots and Ofshots, edited by Mark Slobin, Professor of Music at Wesleyan
University and author of several books on Jewish music (-> FW#22), traces klezmer
from Jewish wedding music in the Old World to the contemporary musical culture and
musical sound track for the construction of a new progressive, secular, Yiddishist
youth culture in the New.
Dr Collete Moloney, currently a lecturer in music at the Waterford Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. degree on the subject of the Edward Bunting manuscripts, has edited and re-published The Boss Murphy Musical Legacy. The volume contains 306 airs, barndances, flings, galops, hornpipes, jigs, marches, mazurkas, polkas, quadrilles, reels, set dances, schottisches and waltzes, plus three introductory chapters providing biographical detail on John Murphy, a musical history of the Churchtown area in the first half of the 20th century, and a discussion of the manuscript, its music, and the editorial procedures.
You can find the entire spectrum from real trad hits to session standards to the rather obscure. Some tunes have been only recently recorded, to give you some examples and an idea what's happening today: "Cailín Deas Crúite Na mBó" (-> FW#23), "Captain Keller" (-> FW#27), "Cock and the Hen" (-> FW#21), "Connachtman's Rambles" (-> FW#12), "Coulin" (-> FW#28), "Dusty Miller" (-> FW#21), "First of May" (-> FW#21, FW#26), "Gallagher's Frolics" (-> FW#25), "Green Fields Of America" (-> FW#24), "Humours Of Bandon" (-> FW#21, FW#24), "Lord McDonald's" (-> FW#23), "Nora Chrionna" (-> FW#24, FW#28), "Paudeen O'Rafferty" (-> FW#26), "Rocky Road To Dublin" (-> FW#27), "Rodney's Glory" (-> FW#12, FW#24), "Salamanca" (-> FW#23), "Wind That Shakes the Barley" (-> FW#27). The popular rebel song "Wearing of the Green" (-> FW#13) is given as an Irish quadrille, the well-known "Green Grows the Rushes" as a schottische. You can also find the "Donau Lieder Waltz" by Mr Strauss (-> FW#13) and another waltz taken from Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz". There certainly is much to discover that you have never encountered before.
Only recently there have been made some attempts to fuse Irish and Jewish music (e.g. -> FW#28). Eastern European Jews took their music to America as did the Irish. However, while the Irish didn't alter their legacy very much, the Jews almost invented a new musical genre (-> FW#12, FW#22, FW#25, FW#24, FW#26, FW#26, FW#28).
This collection of essays is divided into two parts. The first half concentrates on the early history of klezmer. ROOTS: the permanent underground stock of a plant from which the stems or leaves are perodically produced.
In the early 1900s few performers referred to themselves as klezmorim. They tended to think of the term as a vestige of old Europe, and used it only as a derogarory reference to those whom they felt could not adapt to the demands of the contemporary American music scene. Gregor Fidler said: I am not a klezmer, I am an artist. Klezmer music was never supported and never used as a positive symbol within Jewish society. But the music itself thrived, at least more or less, while the music of the Yiddish musicians underwent significant changes, examplified in the transformation of the bulgar type of music:
Within the repertoire of klezmer music in eastern Europe, the bulgarish was a regional phenomenon, originating in Bessarabia as the bulgareasca, and then spreading as the klezmer bulgarish to parts of easter Ukraine. In America betwen 1881 and 1920, however, the bulgarish became increasingly identified as a major genre of klezmer dance music for Jews of various regional backgrounds. The klezmerization of the bulgarish, then known as the bulgar, attained its final shape in New York City between 1920 and 1950. The European-born klezmorim who dominated the professional Jewish dance music of this city together created the new form of the bulgar. Among these musicians, the most influential was the Podolian clarinetist David Tarras (1897-1989). He composed a vast repertoire of bulgars that exemplified the new bulgar structure and that came to replace most of the Jewish bulgarish repertoire that had been brought from eastern Europe, and he composed tunes that combined the rhythmic and melodic features of the American Jewish bulgar with various Jewish musical genres. After World War II, the American conception of Jewish dance music centered around the bulgars (mostly of American vintage) and the new bulgar-hybrid melodies. The older core klezmer dance repertoire, which had been somewhat current in America until the 1940s and in eastern Europe until the contemporaneous Holocaust, was replaced almost entirely by the new America klezmer gneres, the bulgar and the bulgar-hybrids.The second part of this volume examines the klezmer revival of the 1970s. OFFSHOOTS: anything conceived of as springing or proceeding from a main stock. The term klezmer hadn't been introduced yet again, and still in 1981 the Klezmorim's "Metropolis" album carried the instruction: File under: Folk or Jazz!
The Klezmorim, founded in 1975 in Berkeley, Cailfornia, was one of the first Yiddish bands to become active in arranging, recording, and touring, and certainly the first to use the word klezmer in its name. The Klezmorim began to recognize in klezmer the ingredients of an irreverent, idiosyncratic, and distinctly California counterculture. The Klezmorim latched onto a diverse repertoire, of which Yiddish dance music of eastern European Jews was a single part. This repertoire had its origins in experiments with tight ensemble playing, improvisation, klezmer/jazz fusions, neo-klezmer composition, street music, world beat, and New Vaudeville. The band's top priority was refining the role of collective improvisation. Toward the mid 1980s The Klezmorim began plotting a new kind of rigorously theatrical stage presentation. We loved performing in fezzes and tossing rubber chickens into the crowd. This kind of spectacle enabled The Klezmorim to break out of the moribund folk circuit and into musical theatre, concert halls, music festivals, arts residencies, national TV, rock, and jazz arenas. The event did not really work for their Jewish audiences. In fact, the strongest showing of enthusiasm for The Klezmorim came from Europe. The European audiences brought few preconceived notions to their hearing of the music. They could simply enjoy the blend of klezmer and shtick.Partly sharing the Klezmorim's Californian roots, Brave Old World (-> FW#2) draws upon a wide range of sounds and styles. They realized that
klezmer music could be a Yiddish-rooted alternative to the middle-class Jewish mainstream of the time, with all of its Israeli resonance. Shortly after it was formed in 1989, Brave Old World became one of the most visible and groundbreaking klezmer groups on the international scene. Their instrumentation and the absence of a drummer is more evocative of a classical chamber music ensemble than a klezmer group. Brave Old World does not like to use the word klezmer to describe the category of music it plays. It should be called 'newish' music. As secularists and non-Zionists, they offer an alternative mode of Jewish consciousness. The rhetoric severs Yiddish language and Yiddish music from their nostalgic, schmaltzy connotations, instead linking them to the development of anti-Zionist sentiment and radical political consciousness.This collection features contributions by Michael Alpert (Brave Old World), Hankus Netsky (Klezmer Conservatory Band), Henry Sapoznik (-> FW#21, Kapelye), and Alicia Svigals (Klezmatics, Mikveh -> FW#22). Frank London (Klezmer Conservatory Band, Klezmatics, Klezmer Brass All-Stars -> FW#23, see also the Rudolstadt report in this FW issue) explains how we traveled from obscurity to the klezmer establishment in twenty years:
I first became actively aware of Jewish music around 1970. We studied a mixture of classical and jazz, as well as pop, folk, and ethnic musics, while developing a practical philosophy that still guides my own musical life. The idea is that one can study and assimilate the elements of any musical style, form, or tradition by ear. Assorted theme concerts were organized, including a concert of Jewish music. I was already playing salsa, Balkan, Haitian, and other musics. Why not Jewish? All the band members received cassettes of the songs from old 78s whose level of surface noise made the task of learning parts akin to deciphering hieroglyphics without the Rosetta stone. The concert was a smash! We, a group of students with a shared repertoire and knowledge of three Jewish tunes, were besieged with offers to perform at concerts, parties, and weddings. Newly named the Klezmer Conservatory Band, we got down to the serious work of learning the style and nuances of klezmer and Yiddish vocal music. We slowly became aware that we were part of a scene, dubbed the klezmer revival. We were trying to play some music, make some money, and have some fun. Many of the musicians who were doing klezmer music weren't Jewish. A lot of them were in it for technical reasons. Here was a music that was technically challenging, fun to play, and had a market.There seem to be only few links between klezmer music and the bulk of American music. But, mind you, an 1939 tune by Artie Shaw called "The Chant" plays on the close relationship between the "St James Infirmary Blues" and "Khosn Kale, Mazeltov". While Jewish repertoire may not have been central to the folk song revival of the 1950s/60s, Jews certainly were. Moses Asch established Folkways Records; Jac Holzman ran Elektra. Aliza Greenblatt, the mother of Woody Guthrie's wife Marjorie, was a published poet; and Jean Richie's husband, George Pickow, a Jew from New York, built her an improved mountain dulcimer. And don't forget jewboy Kinky Friedman (-> FW#28)!
There seemed to be an unquenchable thirst for Yiddish music, as if it could fill the void created when American Jews divested themselves of their ethnicity in order to assimilate into the mass culture. Much of our work was playing weddings for young Yews who, in the wake of "Roots" and the rise of identity politics, were seeking to redefine their own cultural and religious heritage. They were alienated aesthetically and politically from a Jewish American tradition that seemed overly schmaltzy, dominated by Israeli culture and ideas, and unrelated to the rest of their lives. This klezmer music, played by people to whom they could relate, perfectly fit the bill.
Southern Music/American Music by Bill Malone (-> FW#23) and David Stricklin defines southern music as the primary source from which all forms of American music can be traced (we are talking about the North American South), including bluegrass, blues, cajun, conjunto, country, gospel, hillbilly, hoedown, honky tonk, jazz, minstrelsy, protest song, ragtime, rhythm & blues, rockabilly, rock'n'roll, soul, spirituals, tex mex, western swing. (Well, maybe not surf music.) Its rather short 180 pages, but including lots of stories and detailed analysis, span the time from before the Civil War through the Great Depression to the contemporary music scene, literally from Scott to Janis Joplin.
The South as land of music is more than a myth. In the very beginning
there were the British-Celtic and the African cultures.
Olive Dame Campbell contributed directly to bringing the folk music of Appalachia to
the attention of the nation. She wrote to English folk dance authority Cecil Sharp
and encouraged him to come to the southern mountains where, she predicted, he would
find a body of folk songs larger than that in his own country.
The region was indeed a land of ancient values, a cultural outpost of England, a preserve.
From 1916 to 1918, Sharp spent a total of about twelve months in the hills, talking to
local singers and transcribing in his notebooks both words and melodies of traditonal
songs. Many of these songs were included in "English Folk Songs from the Southern
Appalachians". [-> FW#26]
The Afro-Americans brought their instruments and musical styles:
Long recognized as an instrument of African origin, the banjo has been associated
with black Americans as early as 1749. The addition of the fifth, or drone, is
often attributed to a white southerner, Joel Walker Sweeney, a popular minstrel
entertainer from Appomattox, Virginia, although there is little proof for this assumption
and some evidence that slaves had added a fifth string long before Sweeney's time.
The five-string banjo became an integral component of white rural instrumentation, and
some minstrel-derived banjo styles remained common in country music until
introduced the three-finger bluegrass style in the 1940s.
The 20th century saw the emergence and growing popularity of numerous musical styles, e.g. cajun music
(-> FW#8, FW#28)
[Stephen] Foster was the most important, if not necessarily the most popular, product of the minstrel school of songwriters, Minstrelsy presented to northerners a non-threatening picture of blacks, but Stephen Foster specifically must be given much of the credit for implanting the romantic image of the Old South in American popular culture. Foster painted descriptive pictures of southern characters and themes, but his music came from the general and diverse body of influences available to most popular songwriters of his era. He absorbed some influence from German music [-> FW#26], but more came from American hymnody and the international body of genteel popular music, including that of the Irish composer Thomas Moore. People responded to his music not so much because it presented a realistic picture of southern blacks or of life in the South in general, which it did not, but because it reinforced the values of the family fireside and featured the stereotypical characters of nineteenth-century sentimental literature: the beautiful but doomed maiden, the dying child, the departed mother, the saintly old man.
was discovered commercially, and somewhat inauspiciously, in 1928 when a singer and accordionist from Rayne, Louisiana, was recorded in New Orleans. Joseph Falcon, accompanied by his guitar-playing wife, recorded a song called "Allons a Lafayette". Leo Soileau of Ville Platte, Louisiana, did contribute to the develoment of enduring fiddle styles, he was also partly responsible for popularizing the high-pitched, wailing vocal style so typical of Cajun music. After World War II, segments of the populace at large discovered Cajun music in its hybridized country-and-western form, or as as Zydeco, the blues-influenced dance music of the French-speaking black Creoles [-> FW#8, FW#28].Meanwhile southern civilians took their musical preferences all over the United States, their sons and daughters in the military took them all over the world. Rock'n'roll came with a southern accent, and most of its early practioners drew upon country, gospel, and rhythm and blues roots.
By the end of the '30s, the Hackberry Ramblers [-> FW#28] combined Cajun and country music. Founded in 1933 by fiddler Luderin Darbone, the Hackberry Ramblers kept their group intact probably longer than any other string band in the U.S. Like many other Cajun bands that came after them, the Ramblers used both, French and English lyrics and employed instruments that permitted them to shift easily from one style to another: fiddle and accordion, steel and standard guitars, plus bass and drums. In 2002 accordionist Edwin Duhon (aged ninety-two) and fiddler Luderin Darbone (aged eighty-nine) were rewarded with National Heritage Fellowships. [Hackberry drummer Ben Sandmel also help out with the discographie for this book.]
By the time country music began its comeback about 1958, the term hillbilly had been abandoned. The word country was now almost universally employed to describe the music, and the acknowledged center of industry, was Nashville. The country music industry reacted to the rock'n'roll threat by attempting to create a product that would appeal to the broadest possible spectrum of listeners, that is to say, a music shorn of most of its rural characteristics. The music that emerged from the recording studios of Nashville de-emphasized or omitted fiddles and steel guitars and introduced pop-styled background voices and sedate, multi-layered instrumentation. Nashville became to be described as Music City, USA.Well, but even country music has its Willie Nelson (see CD review in this FW issue), and despite
Country music's commercial revival and national surge of popularity in the 1960s and '70s were marked by an accompanying identification with national purpose and definition. Country music's emergence as an ultrapatriotic and even jingoistic genre during the late stages of the Vietnam War was not simply an extension of southern working-class values into a national setting. It also reflected the polarization of the period and the country industry's attempts to gain acceptance by identifying with national trends and attitudes and capitalizing on public fears and neuroses. The music was described as the perfect musical extension of the Nixon administration and a repository of values that ought to frighten every longhaired progressive urbanite, and every black man who is not part of it.
all the modernizing trends of the postwar period, many of the older forms did persist. Much of the impetus behind the revival of tradition-based styles came from the urban folk revival of the late 1950s and early '60s. The folk fad did contribute to an awakening of interest in real grassroots American music. Once their appetites for folk music were whetted, many young people reached back for the rural roots of such music.This is nowhere else more apparent than in bluegrass music:
Born in Rosine, Kentucky, in 1911, Bill Monroe preserved acoustic instrumentation and the high-lonesome style of singing, and in so doing created a genre of tradition-based music that spread around the world. Monroe's chop-style of mandolin chording was crucial in setting the distinctive rhythmic surge of bluegrass music. Earl Scruggs perfected a highly syncopated, three-finger style that made the banjo a solo instrument of dazzling speed and versatility. Alan Lomax [-> FW#23], the best-known American folklorist, popularized the music among academics and avantegardists when he termed it folk music with overdrive. By the 1970s, if bluegrass fans had enough time and money, they could attend a festival somewhere every week in the United States from May until November. The festivals became meeting grounds for young and old, liberals and conservatives, hippies and rednecks. Probably nowhere else in the polarized '60s and early '70s could one find a similar forum where such disparate groups communed so peacefully. Their shared passion for bluegrass suggested a common aestethic based upon a genuine search for sources and a reaction against the plasticized offerings of pop culture. Bluegrass even vaulted to unexpected heights of popularity through its inclusion in the movie soundtrack "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" [-> FW#23].According to Malone and Stricklin, country music exhibited one of the key factors that always characterized southern music, the ability to combine the quicksilver of adaptility with the touchstone of continuity with the past. Nowadays we have the insurgent alternative country movement with its opposition to Nashville's industrial approach to music making and the homogenized predictability of Top Forty radio programming and the singer/songwriter, a figure far removed from the tunesmiths of Tin Pan Alley or the slavish devotion to old forms simply for the sake of preserving them and denying the claims of all subsequent experience. On the other hand musicians such as West Virginia native Tim O'Brien (-> FW#11) still produce albums and perform music that employ traditional themes. His "Songs from the Mountain" had been inspired by the novel "Cold Mountain" (see also the Tim Eriksen CD review in this FW issue), and "The Crossing" is a collection asserting a link between southern country music and Celtic roots.
[Johnny Cash] is one of the last country music superstars rooted in the rural reality that birthed and sustained country music. And just as the world knew Ali meant boxing and Elvis meant rock and roll, Cash meant country music. He became the face of the genre.If that's so, it was a good choice. Michael Streissguth from Pennsylvania University, where Shakespeare, Tocqueville, and Freud were frequently drowned out by Cash, Presley, and Lewis, compiled The Johnny Cash Reader: 32 articles and essays, reviews and analyses, full of praise and reproof alike, chronicling Cash's career and shining a light from different perspectives (for our German speaking readers see also -> FW#25, FW#27).
Writers include Peter LaFarge, Nick Tosches, and the man himself speaks in excerpts from his 1975 autobiography "Man in Black". Many pieces are long out-of-print and are now reintroduced to the public. For example, Sam Philips of Sun Records recalls how they created the Sun Sound:
When Johnny Cash arrived for his audition at Sun Records, the first thing he did was apologize for his band. From a technically purist point of view, Cash had a lot of reason to apologize. But far more importantly, Cash and his band produced a very special, totally unique sound. Luther Perkins was a remarkably limited musician. The term lead guitarist doesn't really fit. Even a slow learner could play like Luther in a matter of weeks, if not days or minutes. But if Perkins' playing was limited, it met its match in Cash's singing. Cash's voice was deep and lonesome, but it's hard to find a more restricted range in any singer of Cash's stature. Fortunatly, if ever there was a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts it's Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two. Together they produced an utterly compelling, often spectacular and innovative country sound. Of course, it didn't hurt that Cash wrote some of the finest country material of his day. It also didn't hurt that Phillips' use of tape delay or slapback echo was nowhere better suited than on Cash's records. His stark baritone became even more lonesome sounding. The chigga-ching chigga-ching rhythm became even more sticky and impenetrable. Phillips also had Cash insert a piece of paper between the strings on the neck of his guitar. When Cash strummed it simulated the sound produced by brushes on a snare drum.It was the prison concerts that made him the kind of anti-establishment figure the press could adore. Most wanted Albert Nussbaum recalls a prison gig at Leavenworth in the early 1970s:
We've been to most of the good prisons - most of 'em, June Carter said at one point, catching her breath between songs. An old convict called back, So've I! The show consisted of the fast-paced, highly polished acts of the Statler Brothers; Carl Blue Suede Shoes Perkins; June and the Carter Family and Johnny Cash - all backed up by Johnny's band the Tennessee Three. This is the same show we took to the President a few weeks ago, Cash said and we all grinned at him like a bunch of happy high school kids. It wasn't his size or his costume that captured and held everyone's attention - it was the look on his face and the sound of his voice. Cash is real. He has a bad cough and smokes too much. So did most of us. He has a look of suffering caused by a hard life and years of one-night stands in forgettable places. We all had pasts we didn't like to think about either. Cash is a man's man. The songs he sings are a man's songs, full of life's sad and unkind moments.The first angry man of the country songsters, trying to entertain while moving away from the rackety, say-nothing song types sang about the world into which he was born, the rural South in the midst of the Depression. Later he was occupied with cruelties done to the Indians and questioned the war in Vietnam while at the same time supporting President Nixon. He struck friendship with both Bob Dylan and Billy Graham, mixing fundamentalist morality with sympathy, if not approval, for the life-style of the young.
Cash is no Andres Segovia. He doesn't pretend to be a guitar virtuoso, but only Cash could stand in front of that audience strumming the neck of his guitar like a music student waiting for his first lesson and not get laughed off the stage. When he sang "Folsom Prison Blues," he substituted the word Leavenworth for Folsom. And when he reached the words - I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when... - we who hadn't see the horizon in years were able to identify with the tone and mood of the song. It captured our own feelings so exactly that our roar of approval completely drowned out the music and the amplified sound of his deep bass voice.
I think it was a fine, unselfish thing for him to come here, one of the guards said as we were filing back to our cells for the late afternoon count. He can command a lot of money for his time, and if he wasn't here, he could be somewhere else being well paid. That pretty well sums up Johnny Cash's visit to Leavenworth - he didn't earn a nickel, but he made a lot of friends.
Cash had mellowed measurably when [Rick] Rubin met him in the 1990s, singing for evangelist Billy Graham's crusades, championing religion and love of country. When Johnny Cash released the album American Recordings in 1994, the publicity machine fed the dark side of Johnny Cash into its processors. And many shouted hallelujah for the return of the old Cash. No more overproduction, no more Carter women moaning on his records, no more dressing up as cowboy with Waylon Jennings to sing sappy odes, no more Muppet Show appearances. Fans who had drifted away from Cash in the '70s and '80s rediscovered him, and new fans saw him as American Recordings had marketed him - as the godfather of metal and gangsta rap. At a time when mainstream country music was filled mostly with faux cowboys and clichés, there returned a voice harking back to the themes of sin and redemption and rural life that once were just as common as faux cowboys and clichés.The Reader ends with Cash's 2000 album "Solitary Man". He passed away on 12th September 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee, just half a year after the death of his beloved wife June Carter Cash. Johnny Cash declared: Nothing ever written about me has told it right. Maybe we're getting closer now. Maybe, T:-)M.
Americana: FW#22, FW#23, FW#24, FW#25, FW#26
Celtic: FW#19, FW#20, FW#24, FW#27, FW#28
Klezmer: FW#21, FW#22
Tune-Books: FW#21, FW#24, FW#26, FW#28
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