The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #267

The Boswell Sisters


Testify said...

A little late commenting on this I know but its just come to me. I knew I'd heard of The Boswell Sisters but couldn't for the life of me remember why. Today I suddenly remembered this from Colin Escott's book 'Roadkill on the Three Chord Highway':
"On October 1934, The Boswell recorded 'Rock And Roll'. One month later, it became the first record with rock n roll in the title to dent the charts"
Escott goes onto add "The Boswells aren't the key that unlocks the secret history of rock'n' roll though. 'Rock And Roll'was just a goofy novelty record."

swac said...

There's a lot more to the Boswells than that. In fact, Ella Fitzgerald, when she received a lifetime acheivement Grammy in the early '70s cause a bit of a stir when she declared that her first major influence was Connie Boswell, and not the jazz or blues singers you'd expect. The Boswells could swing with the best of them, and cut a lot of great records before they called it a day (and Connie went on as a solo act). Some favourites of mine include I Hate Myself (For Being Mean to You) and Coffee In the Morning, Kisses at Night.

Els said...

The Boswell Sisters' music is a treasure people are FINALLY starting to find again. The better known Andrews Sisters started out as Boswell Imitators, and were never quite as good as the originals, imho. It's heartening to see the renewed interest, from induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 to a musical play based on their lives. If you've never heard the Boswell Sisters, take a listen at