Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music at 66

Thanks Ed for another fascinating piece. I've never actually listened to the Harry Smith records but I've sure read about them and how important they were to so many artists and how it bascially started the whole folk revival movement. But I do have the DVD of those concerts you mentioned and love it. The eclectic selection of artists is impressive and almost every performance is riveting,

My son turned me on to it, and made some cassettes for me. I heard inspirations that vibrated Dylan, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones and molrcules that were encased in my own DNA and the cells of my D 28......

I've heard this anthology described as "one of the greatest bootlegs" since copyright/royalties were pretty much ignored until the 1997 re-release.  There is no debating the historical and musical importance of the collection. I'm wondering what are your thoughts on that EasyEd?  I don't even know if what I wrote is true so feel free to debunk that bit o' FAKE NEWS. Thanks as always for an entertaining column.

Yes, it was sort of a bootleg. Many of the record labels that produced the 78s were out of business by WW2 and this was pure folk music, handed down with no claim to authorship. The Smithsonian tried to make amends where they were able to but I can’t speak to their success. Asch and Folkways were a different sort of record label, with often little thought to accounting. When Woody Guthrie recorded for them he would just stop by the offices whenever he was hungry or broke, and Moe would buy him dinner and give him a few bucks until the next time. 

Thank you for filling up all of the available time for the rest of my life. Could be the most incredible website I've ever visited. Going back for more....see you in 32 years.