Thursday, December 17, 2009

Introduction and recent activity

This my blog for the Juneberry78s website. Let me introduce myself. I am Tom 'Norm' Morrison. I love Roots Music from the 1920s and 30s and wish to help provide access to these treasures. I started collecting roots music in 1964 when I was still in high school. Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers were early favorites. I also watched Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest every week on KQED. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area provided the necessary access. I loved taking the bus from my parent's home in Alameda to Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. At the time there were several very good independent record stores there. Also there was Moe's Book Store that also let you trade, buy and sell used records. The main branch of the Oakland Public Library had literally many thousands of LPs of all types. This included lots of the good stuff on labels such as Folkways, Folk Legacy, RBF, OJL, Milestone, Biograph and other independent labels. I used a Reel to Reel Tape deck to capture the many new and exciting sounds. If I liked the album enough I'd buy it (often at Moe's). Collecting 78s was still several years away.

Getting to the present I've begun working on an album of early Riley Puckett and Gid Tanner tracks not on previous Juneberry albums. Riley is one of my favorite old time singers. I also enjoy Gid's rustic playing and singing. This material comes from my friend Brett who lives up in Chico California.

I've also been listening to some great interviews from the 1960s of Old Time Artists who recorded in the 1920s. These were provided by Kilby from North Carolina. One has my buddy Robert Nobley interviewing Tom Darby. Tom also played and sang some of the songs that he and Jimmie Tarlton recorded many years prior. The Red Steeley (of Red Headed Fiddlers fame) interview was great because he also played fiddle and was still in fine form. Other interviews included Bill Helms, Clayton McMichen, Charles and Ira Stripling.

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