Re: [Harp-L] Bluegrass Harmonica

Eh cobber....that was good. All I can say apart from that is "Yes".

On 16 December 2012 20:17, eskeene@xxxxxxxx <eskeene@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> "Given all of that, Earl Taylor, playing for Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
> and the Foggy
> Mountain Boys in the 1950's would be the first harmonica player recorded
> in a bluegrass
> band (as far as I know)." As far as I know, Earl Taylor didn't play with
> or record (or wasn't credited with recording) with Flatt & Scruggs until
> the latter part of the '60's, before F&S parted company. There was a time
> in my life (the 1970's) when I became obsessed with Bluegrass banjo and
> fiddle (particularly Flatt & Scruggs) and memorized every note of every one
> of their recordings available at that time (including reissues and the
> famous "Ben Dover" bootleg of wire recordings of radio shows)*and did my
> best to imitate them on the banjo and fiddle. We didn't have as much
> information available to us in those pre-internet days, but I'm not aware
> of anyone other than Curley Seckler and Everett Lilly playing mandolin with
> them during the 1950's (Earl Taylor had his own band, the Stoney Mountain
> Boys).  Those first generation  Bluegrass musicians were made of stern
> stuff, and their performing schedule was unreal by today's standard (I
> doubt you could find musicians today, with families no less, willing to
> travel as much, and perform as much as they did (and for as little money).
> There is a lot of stuff being released now on CD and DVD that wasn't
> available in the 1970's, and F&S performed so often, that there may be
> personnel and recordings from the 1950's  that I'm not aware of (I would be
> especially interested to know of previously unreleased  Columbia recordings
> featuring Earl Taylor)   During the 1960's F&S released a whole series of
> Lp's with very distinctive cover art that were produced by Don Law and
> Frank Jones. Their studio sound changed markedly (remember, Mitch Miller
> was big at that time) and some of those albums credit Charlie McCoy on
> harmonica (and yes, the snobs turn their noses up at that stuff, but to me
> it's just different, and I love it!). That said, due to some physical
> problems, I don't fiddle or pick banjo much anymore, but Earl is still the
> best as far as I'm concerned, and Paul Warren is still one of my top three
> all-time favorite fiddlers. * In regards to the snobbishness of many
> Bluegrass musicians and the  poor social skills displayed by them (not ONLY
> in Australia!), I would like to say this: Before we had Aspberger's and
> OCD, before we had Apples and PC's, before we had Trekkies and Star Wars,
> before Bill Gates made being a nerd fashionable, we had the five-string
> banjo. On and off over the years, I have subscribed to the Banjo
> Newsletter, a magazine which spends an incredible portion of its pages with
> arguments over whether Earl played the high "g" in the fourth measure of
> the second break of "Randy Lynn Rag" using the open g or 5th fret of the
> 1st string or the 8th fret of the second string and whether he used the pad
> of his finger or his fingernail to fret it. There is also a VERY
> competitive aspect to Bluegrass-almost like stags locking antlers-as if
> executing some difficult run better than someone else is going to allow you
> to eat and propogate your genes.  As  friendly and welcoming as many of
> those circles of Bluegrass musicians look on the surface, the "Kumbaya"
> circles are rare, and most of the more accomplished jams are a study in
> primate dominance behavior. Unless you've already "earned your bones", you
> have to fight your way in, and once in, nobody but the most confident is
> going to be willing to go outside of their comfort zone, which very often
> is the "way it went on the record".  Innovation in "traditional" music
> (though a lot of traditional music isn't really all that old) is a VERY
> tricky business**. I heard a possibly apocryphal story about Vassar
> Clements playing a 6th chord on the fiddle while performing with Monroe.
> Monroe turned to him and said, "That note isn't in this song", to which
> Vassar replied, "Well it is now."-whereupon Monroe fired him on the spot
> saying, "It may be, but you're not.".   ** Like the old Bob and Ray comedy
> commercial where they advertised the "Monongahela Iron Doorstop
> Company-Monongahela-the name that you've gradually grown to trust over
> generations". P.S. Don't forget about Cousin Emmy and Curley Fox-two more
> harmonica players that showed up on the Opry.Cheers, emily
> ____________________________________________________________
> Frenzy Over New Diet Pill
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Rick Dempster
RMIT Libraries

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