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John Lomax's credibility, an example

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GUEST,Joseph Scott 21 May 20 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Starship 21 May 20 - 08:35 PM
Joe Offer 21 May 20 - 09:10 PM
Mr Red 22 May 20 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Starship 22 May 20 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Starship 22 May 20 - 08:11 AM
cnd 22 May 20 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Starship 22 May 20 - 11:39 AM
meself 22 May 20 - 01:00 PM
femuse 22 May 20 - 01:00 PM
Joe Offer 22 May 20 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Starship 23 May 20 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Starship 23 May 20 - 03:19 PM
cnd 23 May 20 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Starship 23 May 20 - 07:32 PM
Reinhard 23 May 20 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,Starship 23 May 20 - 10:26 PM
Jim Carroll 26 May 20 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 01 Jun 20 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 01 Jun 20 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 01 Jun 20 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 01 Jun 20 - 12:56 PM
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Subject: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:03 PM

If you read J. Lomax's 1941 book you'll come away believing that the (unusual, in the second line) stanza

If I feels tomorrow like I feels today
Take a long freight train with a red caboose to carry my blues away

was sung by Enoch Brown.

He wrote a 1939 article that said this stanza was from John Wesley Gordon, who hadn't been discovered by Howard Odum until the mid-'20s.

His 1917 article filed this stanza under a blues attributed to the female singer "Dink."


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:35 PM

I just read your excellent article on the www. I have a question. Is the John Wesley Gordon you just mentioned the same as John Wesley 'left wing' Gordon?


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 20 - 09:10 PM

You kinda lost us there, Joseph. You're referring to page 348 of Our Singing Country (Folk Song U.S.A.), the 1949 book by John and Alan Lomax.

And yeah, I admit I get frustrated reading John Lomax, because he leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Alan Lomax is much better, but I think the trade of collecting had become much more sophisticated by the time Alan came of age.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 May 20 - 05:59 AM

I just read your excellent article on the www

What article was this? I can't find anything with numerous permutations of the names n the OP.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 22 May 20 - 07:41 AM

I read it but can remember how I got to it. I don't think I had his name in the search. I will have to try and recreate my search later today. Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 22 May 20 - 08:11 AM

Crap. I can't find it again. I'll check Google Images, because right now I have no idea. Later. (Perhaps Mr Scott will be kind enough ????)


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: cnd
Date: 22 May 20 - 10:37 AM

It could be that it's just a floating line that Lomax said multiple people sang? In other words, he's not attributing authorship to them, but just mentioning that they sang it.

I'll admit that I haven't checked the sources for their context, though.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 22 May 20 - 11:39 AM

I had something written by Mr Scott that would have been helpful. Idiot me read it, closed it and made the second post. Because I clear browsing data frequently, by the time I realized I should have at least bookmarked the site it was too late. It wasn't as Mr Red said something to do with permutations of Mr Scott's post. All I can say is %$#@, and %$#@ again.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: meself
Date: 22 May 20 - 01:00 PM

I suppose I'm butting in to some conversation that's been going on for years, so forgive me if I'm missing the point but ... is there any reason that the stanza could not have been sung by all three singers? Would anyone's 'credibility' be impugned?


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: femuse
Date: 22 May 20 - 01:00 PM

in 1928, in "Rainbow around my shoulder ...." Odum started with the songs ... of one armed-laborer named

John Wesley 'left wing' Gordon

https://tinyurl.com/y9oxzw49


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Subject: ADD:It Takes a Long Long Train with a Red Caboose
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 May 20 - 07:44 PM

Phrases in blues songs have a habit of being repeated over and over again, by various singers. I'm trying to find more context for the Singing Country quote. I'm searching for my Ruby Pickens Tartt book because I'm sure that's the Mrs. Tartt Lomax refers to. The phrase also was used by Peggy Lee and Dinah Shore in 1947, so I'm sure that by the time Lomax published his book in 1949, lots of people were singing it.

IT TAKES A LONG LONG TRAIN WITH A RED CABOOSE
Dick Charles / Lawrence W Marks Jr

as recorded by
Peggy Lee with Dave Barbour & his Orchestra
1947

also recorded by
Dinah Shore '47


I went out to the depot to meet the twelve-o-two,
He wrote me he'd be on it but the train went right on through!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee! Hear that whistle say,
"It takes a long long train with a red caboose to carry my blues away!".

The engineer was wavin' as the train went down the track,
I felt so heavy hearted that I couldn't wave him back!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee! Hear that whistle say,
"It takes a long long train with a red caboose to carry my blues away!".

I listen to that lonesome whistle,
Listen to that mournful bell;
The echo said, "I told you so!",
But my heart said, "Fare thee well!".

I stood there in the station with his letter in my hand,
Cried just like a baby 'cause I lost my lovin' man!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee! Hear that whistle say,
"It takes a long long train with a red caboose to carry my blues away!".

I listen to that lonesome whistle,
Listen to that mournful bell;
The echo said, "I told you so!",
But my heart said, "Fare thee well!".

I know he didn't miss me 'cause he's always on the dot;
He told me that he loved me but I guess he loves me not!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee! Hear that whistle say,
"It takes a long long train with a red caboose to carry my blues away!".
Hoo-oo-oo-ee!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee!
Hoo-oo-oo-ee! Carry my blues away!


Discogs.com attributes the Peggy Lee version to songwriters Dick Charles and Larry Marks, recorded on Capitol by Lee in early 1947. The Dinah Shore recording was released in August 1947.


Here's Peggy Lee (1947): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Kfx5jsAyE

Dinah Shore (1947): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSJ9f8ZJeQ8

Patti Page (date unknown): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMoQQ1oBzFU

The Browns (date unknown): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Lu1qXgfjM

Janet Seidel (tribute to Peggy Lee): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxksflzXfKE

There's a nice recent recording by the Roe Family Singers (click) of Minneapolis.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 23 May 20 - 03:17 PM

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1817&dat=20010603&id=f0ogAAAAIBAJ&sjid=J6YEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6206,334816

Hopt that link works.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 23 May 20 - 03:19 PM

Yeah. BUT, I don't know how to get at p.48.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: cnd
Date: 23 May 20 - 06:24 PM

Though it looks a lot like a 48, that says 4B, which is page 7 on the Google paper viewer


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 23 May 20 - 07:32 PM

LOL, thank you. Couldn't find my glasses. Now I have 'em. So I'll rephrase myself: BUT, I don't know how to get at p.4B.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 May 20 - 10:23 PM

Just scroll three pages to the right?


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 23 May 20 - 10:26 PM

LOL. So that's how. Thank you again, Reinhard.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 May 20 - 11:43 AM

I assume THIS is available to non-subscribers to Academia - it seems well worth having
I have the hard copy but am always happy to have digitised versions
Jim


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 12:29 PM

Regarding would those three singers sing the same stanza that similarly, realistically no (and you look up what Enoch Brown really sang for J. Lomax and... where is it), but maybe this helps:

In his 1912 letter printed in the Donaldsville _Chief_ the very distinctive
"Long come the Katie Adams with her headlight turned downstream
And her side-wheel a-knocking, 'Great-God-I-been-redeem'"

is attributed to the black "Mississippi riverman."

But much later he's saying he learned it from Dink, in 1908, or 1904, depending on when he's writing. (If Dink existed, which I think she did, it seems likely that he recorded her in the summer of 1909 or summer of 1910 while he was mostly concentrating on cowboy songs, funded by two guys from Harvard he knew. His story that he later tried to look up Dink in Mississippi and someone there knew who he was talking about rings rather false.)

His 1917 article has lyrics lifted without credit from Prescott Webb's 1915 article in the Journal of American Folklore about bluesman Floyd Canada; some of those he altered for the 1917 article and some not. So in some cases that's Dink pretend-singing what Floyd Canada sang about five years after her, and he does have a qualification in the article that Dink didn't really sing everything he's saying she sang. (!) But no mention of Canada and Webb.

Anyway, caveat emptor.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 12:39 PM

_Our Singing Country_ was the 1941 book I mentioned. I think the guys who wrote the late '40s pop song had seen it.


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 12:47 PM

"in the summer of 1909 or summer of 1910" Sorry, this should read "in the summer of 1908 or summer of 1909."


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Subject: RE: John Lomax's credibility, an example
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 12:56 PM

The cylinder of Dink is lost, by all accounts. What Lomax handwrote based on the cylinder (which still exists) might include him throwing in a Katie Adams stanza that he'd learned from a riverman because he liked it, for all we know. And if that, other non-Dink stanzas for all we know. We can't listen to the cylinder.


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