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Teodar Jackson – African-American Fiddling from Texas – FRC728
Teodar Jackson (1903-1966) was an old-time fiddler with deep roots in Texas. He was born in Gonzales County, where his family had farmed since his grandfather emigrated from Mississippi sometime after 1850. African-Americans numbered roughly a third of the county’s population in the 1880s. Communities like Wesley Chapel, Monthalia and Canoe Creek were small rural sanctuaries where many musicians came of age to the sound of old-time fiddling at dances and country suppers. By the 1940s the family had moved north to the Austin area, settling in the St. John’s community, where Mr. Jackson remained a fiddler known to all as ‘T-olee’ and to family as ‘Papa-T’. Familiar square-dance tunes, blues, and rags made up a large part of his repertoire, but in addition he played a number of set-pieces that hint at something perhaps older, otherwise lost to our ears, until his playing was recorded by Tary Owens in Austin, in 1965. – Dan Foster
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John Cohen and Peter Hoover
Two of our collectors passed away recently. Ray knew each of them for a long time and both were involved with the Field Recorders’ Collective from the very beginning. We will miss their contributions both in music, knowledge, and camaraderie.
John Cohen (August 2, 1932 — September 16, 2019)
The NPR tribute to John (linked below) starts: “John Cohen straddled two worlds: as a photographer, he immersed himself in the avant-garde visual arts scene of 1950s New York; as a musician, he was an integral part of that city’s folk revival of the same era.” All very true, though for those who knew him well, John straddled many more than two worlds. Every time we saw him he loved to discuss some new interest such as South American textiles, inform us of the history and back stories of the tunes and songs we played and stories of his experiences following his passions throughout his long and productive life. He was certainly a valuable contributor to FRC and to the traditional music scene in general. He will be missed.
John was responsible for these FRC recordings:
- John Summers (FRC310)
- Reverend Gary Davis (FRC116)
- Berkeley in the 1960s (FRC609)
- The Lost Recordings of Banjo Bill Cornett (FRC304).
- John Cohen, Champion of Old-Time Music, Is Dead at 87 – New York Times, Sept. 17, 2019
- John’s web site
- Banjo Player, Folklorist, Photographer and Filmmaker John Cohen Has Died – NPR, Sept. 17, 2019
- John Cohen Obituary – The Guardian (UK)
- Remembering John Cohen – Musician, Photographer, Filmmaker, Collector – Smithsonian Folkways
Peter Hoover (April 29, 1939 – October 11, 2019)
Peter Hoover was a larger than life character, both figuratively and literally. His many, diverse passions as well as his undeniable quirkiness are documented thoroughly and lovingly in the obituary piece that appeared in the Ithaca Journal. In 1959, Peter took it upon himself to journey South, to meet older-generation musicians and to record their music. He did this over a period of three years, and the recordings that he made have resulted — thus far — in 10 excellent CDs issued by the FRC.
These FRC recordings were from Peter’s extensive collection:
- Calvin Cole (FRC704)
- Addie Leffew & Claude Wolfenbarger (FRC509)
- Heywood Blevins (FRC508)
- Wade Ward (FRC507)
- Dan Tate (FRC506)
- Byard Ray, Manco Sneed & Mike Rogers (FRC505)
- Sidna & Fulton Myers (FRC504)
- Santford Kelly (FRC503)
- Marcus Martin (FRC502)
- Uncle Charlie Higgins, and Wade Ward & Dale Poe (FRC501)