Tag Archives: forgotten gems & dusty classics

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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Vashti Bunyan, Bob Wills, Bud Freeman, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Pete Williams

Amassing rare and forgotten music is a peculiar sort of hobby — one that slowly transforms into an addiction. It’s not that I don’t love mainstream music. It’s just that the thrill of listening to some forgotten gem that everybody else has overlooked is powerful. It also feeds into the collector’s impulse I have to...Read...
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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: The Nickname Edition – Lead Belly, Bukka White, Doc Watson, Jelly Roll Morton, Hot Lips Page

Musicians tend to attract quirky nicknames, and more than a few of them stick for life. Louis Armstrong was Satchmo, Coleman Hawkins was Bean, Charlie Parker was Bird, and Lester Young was known as Prez or Tickle Toe. Sometimes they take over an artist’s identity. When Furry Lewis was asked in the 1970s how he...Read...
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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Blind Bluesmen – Willie Johnson, Willie McTel, Willie Reynolds, Gary Davis, Snooks Eaglin

The “blind bluesman” is perhaps the dominant image of the genre, and one that evokes a number of associations. As noted by scholar Joesph Witek, the idea of the “blind genius” dates at least as far back as Homer. Given that many of these musicians were extraordinarily talented, their blindness might have fed popular interest...Read...
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