This Historic Day In Music: Georgia Turner Sings Her Favorite Song For Alan Lomax

I woke up this morning with an idea for a blog post.

I worked on the idea off and on in my head all day as I did chores, ate lunch, drove to and from Portsmouth and then mowed the lawn.  

I had my topic, a title, the music I wanted to write about and how I was going to start the post.

Finally, with dinner eaten and the dishes done, I sat down at my desk.

While waiting for my computer to start up, something told me to check my September list of music history dates that I often reference for blog post ideas. I reached into the file drawer next to my desk, pulled out the manila file containing the carefully compiled and typed lists and opened the file on my lap. 

The “September” page was right on top and there, for the 15th, was written the following entry: “‘Rising Sun Blues’ recorded by Georgia Turner for Alan Lomax, Library of Congress, in Middlesboro, KY.”

The idea that woke me up this morning would have to wait.

Now, I’ve already written a substantial post on this event and I’m hoping that you’ll take a few minutes right here and now to go into the blog archives for September 2010 and read the entry titled On This Day In Music History: “Rising Sun Blues” Again.

I’ll wait.

Hmm, hm hm, hmmm.


OK. Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed that post.

When I wrote that, I’d not yet learned how to embed YouTube videos in my posts. But now, here in the wonderland of blogging in 2013, I’m very excited to be able to present to you: Miss Georgia Turner herself as recorded by Alan Lomax in Middlesboro, Kentucky on this day, September 15, in the year 1937.

P.S.: The first time I visited the American Folklife Reading Room at the Library of Congress, curator Todd Harvey showed me an archival storage binder containing the original heavy paper sleeves that once held and protected the original discs that Lomax recorded onto during his song collecting trip through the mountains of Kentucky in 1937.

On the paper sleeves, in Alan Lomax’s own handwriting, were the names of the musicians, titles of the songs and pieces of music contained on each disc. But also, Lomax had added  personal observations about an individual performer or performance here and there among the listings.

After the listing for “Married Life Blues” (the song that Georgia sang with harmonica player Ed Hunter before she sang “Rising Sun Blues”), Alan Lomax had written: “She had a bad cold.”

If I were you, I’d go back and listen to that recording again.

This entry was posted in Posts with Video, This Historic Day In Music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to This Historic Day In Music: Georgia Turner Sings Her Favorite Song For Alan Lomax

  1. Chuck Rhoades says:

    I always though that this song’s lyrics needed to come from a woman’s perspective and voice. Thanks for this!

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