Mudcat Café message #2776123 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125356   Message #2776123
Posted By: Stringsinger
29-Nov-09 - 12:52 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Bess Lomax Hawes 1921-2009)
Subject: RE: Obit: Bess Lomax Hawes (Nov. 28, 2009)
Looked for an obit in the NY Times. Couldn't find it.

People who do great important work are often overshadowed by shallow celebrity.


Bess contributed more to folk music than many performers who capitalized on it through their ego-centric appearances.

One thing for sure, the comments elicited by some Mudcatters show that Bess's contributions have been ignored. She and Alan fought for the recognition of traditional folk music in the face of imperial musical commercialism and consumerism. They knew what it was and knew what it wasn't. In a way, they defined it for us so that we could appreciate it from a cultural and aesthetic standpoint. Unfortunately, their voices have been silenced and the "new" breed of "folkie" would like to redefine it to suit their own agenda.

Sorry, but the Beatles and rock and roll are not folk music. They are manufactured in the same way that you manufacture any other product for sale. That is not to say that the product has no value. Folk music is not manufactured but an outgrowth of cultural experience and tradition. Bess and Alan showed us that.

Frank Hamilton