Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"This is where the soul of man never dies" - Sam Phillips

Ed Young (quills) and Hobart Smith (banjo).

Look at the command in those faces: the absolute, bedrock conviction in the power and validity of one's own musical and cultural expression. Currently reading Halberstam's The Children, a history of the fight to integrate schools in Nashville in 1959-60, and this, this right here, is precisely what those mush-mouthed bow-tie-wearing cynical Southern Democrat pols and "good folks" in the Jim Crow South feared:

that the poor black folks and the poor white folks would get together, realize that the skin color that divided them was a hell of a lot less important than the class-exploitation that united them, and would fucking rise up.

Class warfare? You bet your ass that's what the "good folks" with a vested interest in the exploitative status quo feared. That's why they riled up the poor, low-information crackers: to do their dirty work and to keep them from making common cause with other minorities.

That's still why.

One time when Alan Lomax got it right.

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