Music: 11 A Priceless Fragment of American Blues History

Adventures in Music

Lead Belly

In case your credit card isn’t maxed out from my previous recommendations, here is another “must have” set of three DVDs… Legends of Country Blues Guitar.

“Three Songs By Lead Belly” 1945

This landmark film distills the essence of folk blues. The staging and cutting in this little film is exquisite. Lead Belly was a man whose temper kept him in trouble with the law. Bob Dylan described him as “one of the few ex-cons to record a children’s album”. But he is best known as the “King of the 12 String Guitar”. Like the Carter Family, his extensive recording career was responsible for documenting and preserving scores of folk songs that would not have survived otherwise. His importance to American folk music can’t be overemphasized. This little clip is a treasure of the first magnitude.

A commenter has pointed out an interesting fact about the “Gray Goose” song. The goose represents the indomitable spirit of the black man, oppressed and forced to suffer countless indignities, but still surviving and persevering.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Adventures in MusicAdventures in Music

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Adventures in Music.

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