Jun 25, 2010

The Carter Family

YouTube - Anita Carter - Don't Worry 'Bout Me - Prague 1978

That's Anita Carter, sister of Helen and June Carter Cash. They are the daughters of Mother Maybelle Carter. If you don't know her or the family's classic, "Wildwood Flower," take a listen. This is American History, so sit down and be good. And watch Maybelle's right hand on the guitar. I recently read a description of her picking style, and it's baffling.

YouTube - The Carter Family - Wildwood Flower

I'm having a good time with June's 2003 CD, titled Wildwood Flower, one folk or country classic after another. Her version of "Sinking in the Lonseome Sea" is rivaled only by Odetta's version (titled "The Golden Vanity," I think). Now I want all of Anita Carter's songs plus Marty Robbins' oldie-goldies. Happy weekend, exploring the Carter family stuff available on YouTube. What a resource. Maybe progress isn't all bad after all.



gothpunkuncle said...

I enjoy all of these recent postings, but I'm not sure if arrogance is the theme that binds them -- arrogance and confidence shades of the same color and all.

Oil monarchs who don't feel particularly accountable for their fuck-ups? Yep. They're arrogant. What about any mayor or governor or legislator who isn't down with public transportation?

I don't read a lick of arrogance in the "Turret Gunner," but there's anger in that last line, to be sure.

Was A.P. Carter demonstrating arrogance when he signed his name to all of those traditional mountain tunes or just doing business?

John Ashbery was anything but arrogant when mutual friends introduced him to me, but name-dropping him just now is a cry for some kind of attention. I'd recommend scrounging up "The Instructional Manual" at your regular haunt. Even if you dislike it, you'll understand every word. Kenneth Koch wrote about wanting to pull the whole world onto the stage in his (Koch's) poems -- also of the delight that reading in French gave him when he wasn't that good at it, the mystery of not understanding juxtaposed with the jolt of occasional communication in a largely unreadable text. I think both of Koch's observations have something to do with what Ashbery is up to.
Peace out. (As the kids say.)

Banjo52 said...

GPU, I'd need more info on your mayors and govs.

No, I don't hear the gunner as arrogant, but I'm reading between the lines (too much?) to infer that the human system, the political machine, that put him there, perhaps blithely, might have been arrogant in their indifference. As I said, it might be a slightly odd poem to set beside the BP disaster, but a comparison of puppeteers might make sense.

Interesting info on A.P. and Ashberry. I should have suspected as much about A.P. I'm not sure why I keep thinking I want to know what goes on behind the scenes. But at least Ashberry, the person, comes off well, apparently? Still, I question the whole dynamic of anyone's producing an art s/he cannot expect many intelligent, well-intentioned people to access. Am I making false assumptions about Ashberry's audience? And therefore him? Maybe I've read too much student work where the uber message was "Read my mind. I'm worth it." Invariably, my silent response was, "No, you're not." Then, of course, I'd have to soften and distort that into some kind of polite, probably ineffectual communique. Ditto for much of what we see in the magazines, of course. And I AM often willing to work at a difficult thing if I feel it's been put out there with honesty, urgency, intelligence and good will.

Obviously, these are judgment calls.

Banjo52 said...

GPU, I'll give you this: "The Instruction Manual" (1956) is a kinder, gentler Ashberry. How representative of his work is it?

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