Mudcat Café message #1385645 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29288   Message #1385645
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
22-Jan-05 - 10:00 PM
Thread Name: John Dwyer - Songs & Stories
Subject: RE: John Dwyer - Songs&Stories
Hello, all,

The time has come for me to start some serious research. I'm quite sure I'll start a new thread or two here at Mudcat before I finish. (One to come up very soon has to do with library finding aids and the disposition of collections.) Over the holiday I put up one more set of shelves in my office, and this was the set that finally put me in a position to move books around and clear out a tall double-wide bookcase for all of the stuff that came from my father's house. Not counting his books or LPs.

Those of you who knew him know he recorded everything. He kept copious notes. He kept published journals, posters, albums, books, cassettes. He bought and was given recordings by friends. He has tapes and CDs from performers who visited the Northwest. He made recordings of albums--some that he didn't have or couldn't get--others that he wanted to study until he could get the LP for himself. Some perhaps to have the duplicates of his albums so he could listen to them in the car. His earliest recordings are on reel-to-reel tapes, the most recent are CDs, and there is everything in between.

I have been unpacking those 13 U-Haul moving boxes of his stuff this weekend, and the sheer volume of wonderful material is staggering. I'm finding recordings that go back to the late 1950s. So many familiar names, and in many instances, faces, when there are photos tucked in with the paperwork. There are files of songs in progress (including some of his parodies!), the folders from events that he helped plan, and notes about things he was working on over the years. He was a reference librarian, so it is no surprise that he kept master lists of several sorts, and I am about to take the plunge, into transfering his floppy disks to CD to preserve the data and to begin to sort it out. I also have some old computer stuff that hasn't been cranked up in years, but will be given space and hopefully I can download the data easily.

It has been just over seven years since Dad died, and just under a year since I was in the Northwest to scatter his ashes. Because of the Mudcat disarray, political and social, I know that a number of people who might help me with this have dropped out. But if you're one of that folks who I've spoken with about Dad's music, or someone who I've missed but who wants some information that you think is contained in his files, please send me a PM and let me know your email address so I can keep in touch as I get started on this work. And please pass the word that I'm beginning to sort this all out. I would prefer to communicate with people through regular email, but send the PM to get it started and I'll know to add your name to my email directory. (That way you can still get through if I have to torque up the spam filter!)

Tonight (to name a few I'll listen to this weekend) I found a tape of his mother's songs that Paddy Graber recorded for Dad, and tapes of Don Firth from the late 1950s, Peggy Seeger in Seattle in the 1970s, and some recordings (copies?) made of Art Thieme's--maybe from albums. Walt Robertson is in there, Merrit Herring, Bob Nelson, and so many other names I grew up with and/or have become aquainted with here at the Mudcat. I see Jean Smith's work throughout the collection as well as Suzi MacAleer and Flip Breskin.

Wow. Such riches! And I have a lot of work to do!

Maggie Dwyer (SRS)