Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Don Richardson--very early country! (1916 and 1921)

From my collection, eight sides by this marvelous violinist/fiddler.  Rather than try to write a blurb myself, let me refer you to some terrific passages about Richardson from Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Old-Time Fiddlers in Missouri, by Howard Wight Marshall: Richardson.

Amen.  It's a crime against country music history that accomplished, "legit" players like Richardson and D'Almaine have been denied the credit due them on account of the usual idiotic obsession with authenticity vs. lack thereof (paging Rolling Stone mag).  That kind of snobbery happens in every area of collecting, it seems, and I'm more than tired of it.  Which won't stop it from happening, of course.  But I'm still tired of it.

Those folks who get off on putting the bulk of popular music into an "other" or "miscellaneous" status are people who take themselves far more seriously than the history they're studying.  As a rule, I look for reasons to include a given recording into a given genre, even if this means denying myself the thrill that comes with declaring artists and their performances unworthy of a proper classification. And there are two darned many categories in the first place, many of them imaginary or redundant.  300 categories of punk, for instance.

Anyway, eight virtuoso fiddle sides, and I'm sure I have another Richardson 78 hiding in my rows, but it refuses to show up.  Thanks to my (you guessed it) 3.5 mil 78 stylus, these sides have an up close and personal sound I've heard anyplace else, including in my own previous files.  Even the piano accompaniments ring out, something they don't do anywhere else.   Condition on these sides in not Excellent-plus, so bear with the hiss.  Pristine Richardson 78s must exist, but none have found their way into my stash....

Click here to hear:  Don Richardson--eight sides

Titles listed above.  All 1916, save for Dance Wid' a Gal and Irish Washerwoman, which are 1921.  Enjoy these awesome performances!



Aging Child said...

Lee, I strongly agree with you on the overcategorization and genre-fragmentation of recorded music! And it's a clear kind of shallow temporal snobbery to thrust one's imagined niches generations back into an era that neither knew nor kowtowed to them... nor was the least bit interested in those tidy little boxes.

Partly through your patient and deep generosity, what I've come to know and hear in 1910s-1920s music is fascinating... and delightfully sidestepping all imagined genres a hundred-some years later.

Why NOT have a banjo in an early jass band? Sure, blow that licorice-stick clarinet with the bluegrassers (long before it was even called bluegrass): it's music for its own sake, part art, part faith and worship, part downright fun.

Keep it coming, Lee - and thanks for the added background on Don Richardson... except he couldn't POSSIBLY have been born in 1910. Well, there are prodigies...

Kind regards,
A. Gene Childe

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Good grief--1910? I hadn't even noticed that! I checked, and Don's real birth date was 1878, which seems a tad more feasible. He wasn't six when he recorded these!

Thanks for noticing that, and glad you're enjoying my rips. (I've always wanted to type, "my rips.")