(Yes, a photo of my mother).
My idea for this posting evaporated, and only the original title remains, the rest not being so lucky. For most of my life, I've come up with the title before anything else (yes, school papers too), so that I can by pretence, at least, have something. I can then look back at the title for further enthusiasm, were I to reach a state of depletion.
This time, though, no enthusiasm when I look above. Where has it gone? I will draw it from elsewhere.
How about, from a record I just got? My new theme: (taken from the album title of Fred Gerlach's 1970 Takoma LP) "Songs My Mother Never Sang." It still relates to the original title above (or at least I will make you believe it (like I made my school teachers, who, reaching the end of my essays, would cry out, "Now, this isn't really about that at all, Mr. Hay...").
Does anyone still sing songs their mother sang? Does anyone's mother still sing? If she didn't, do you?
I hope I am flooded with audio recordings proving me wrong.
Here are the songs:
#1) The Jenkins Family - 'If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again' 78 RPM (Okeh #40214) (1924)
This recording and its A-Side (The Church in the Wildwood), though not the family's own compositions, are one of the first recordings of a family playing together on disk (this predates the Carter Family 's first recordings by several years). The title could almost be changed to 'If I could hear my mother [sing] again.' Aren't they often one and the same?
#2) Rita Weill - 'Pretty Fair Damsel In the Garden' from "Sings Ballads and Folksgongs" (Takoma, 1970).
A collection of mostly songs for voice (a few, like this one, have accompaniment) that was brought into being after Weill received a phone call from John Fahey. In her liner notes to the album, she says of another song, she learned it from a man who, "learned it from his mother." I, howerver chose one that was not learned from a mother. She learned the above piece from Clarence Ashley, familiar to some through Harry Smith's 'Anthology of American Folk Music' as a solo banjo player as well as member of the Carolina Tar Heels. What's the difference? He's someone father, and he must have had a mother.
Rita Weill's LP has never been reissued in any other format. Aside from this, she worked with Mike Seeger co-producing a record for Folkways in the 1970s. She wrote for numerous music publications, and was consistently involved with preserving traditional American musics.
Josephine Foster once sang "I had a mother, her mother had a mother, no one remembers her name!"
#3) Fred Gerlach - 'Eyrie' from "Songs My Mother Never Sang" (Takoma, 1970).
In Fred's words: "An eagle's nest." The overdubbed vibraphone adds an unusual and reeling undercurrent. The guitar-maker recorded another LP featuring 12 string guitar (and voice) for Folkways in the 1950's. Gerlach's inclusion on Fahey's Takoma label is most fitting, as he is a direct link from the music of the 1920-1940's to the development of experimental solo guitar from 1959 and onward. Unfortunately, this LP has never been reissued in any format. Gerlach was included on the Tompkins Square compilation, 'Imaginational Anthem Vol. 2.'
Fred Gerlach passed away earlier this year. Read More Here
Don't you wish your mother sang to you?
Imagining sound, the eagles in the eyrie.