Flaskaland
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
 
That summer of 64, I also went to a concert featuring "Mississippi John Hurt" at some coffee house on San Pablo, I believe it was the Cabale. Chris Strachwitz was there recording the show on a big reel to reel stand up recorder and everyone had to be quieter than normal. Only snapping fingers for applause in that beatnik-style coffee house. Mississippi John Hurt did a different style of "Candyman" than Dave Van Ronk or the later Donovan version. And by 1964, Hurt had been performing that song quite a lot during the folk music craze (He first recorded it in 1928!) "Candyman" is a naughty little tune if you listen carefully to the lyrics, but the alternating bass line is what caught me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMG_6xa0qRA&feature=related

In hindsight, there is something a little weird about a teenybopper girl smiling to what sounded like a harmless little ditty when an old black man was singing about the size of his penis and sexual prowess. John Fahey thought so even at the time.

And John occasionally shared his views on the matter, from events which he said he'd observed, or from witnesses or first hand accounts, and from the amount of data he'd acquired, it was as if he were gathering evidence for some future treatise. He had a long string of stories about Rev Gary Davis, for instance, who toured regularly on the folk music circuit. All of which would be quite funny in the retelling, but they were John's stories not mine. The problem was that Fahey seemed to be entirely serious about the matter. And he would warn me away from these "pervs".
 




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