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 #299

Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family


swac said...

One of my favourite reissues of the past decade or so is an RCA CD called The Bristol Sessions, which presents many, if not most, of the recordings made by RCA Victor in Bristol, Tenn. in the summer of 1927, including the first sides cut by both Rodgers and the Carters. But the range of artists that converged on that makeshift studio in a converted warehouse is nothing short of remarkable, even today.

proud and true said...

Rodgers was already very sick, I think, to the point that Maybelle had to play some (at least) of his guitar parts.

Tom Sutpen said...

I'd read that also.

I've also read that (to engage in understatement) the Carters and The Singing Brakemen did not get along very well on that session; which totally belies the folksy bonhomie of the final recording