Finding the Avant-Garde in the Old-Time: John Cohen in the American Folk Revival

Finding the Avant-Garde in the Old-Time: John Cohen in the American Folk Revival BrIan Jones In the summer of 1959, forty-seven-year-old roscoe Holcomb1 of Daisy, Kentucky, worked construction in the nearby town of Hazard. He recalled, I come in from work one evening, poured concrete about all day. a little fellow was setting there on the porch with one of my first cousins and wanted me to play [him a song]. . . . I said, "My hands are sore from pouring that concrete, and I'm tired." [He said,] "Well, you can play one." . . . anyhow, when I got started, he said, "Wait, wait,"--he had one of those old crank-up tape recorders--said, "Care for me to tape that?"2 The man on the porch was John Cohen, a new York­based photographer, painter, and folk-revivalist who had come to Kentucky to make field recordings and find material for his old-time country band, the new Lost City ramblers. Cohen returned nearly every day for the next three weeks to record music and take photographs. Holcomb remembered, "If he wasn't there at the house whenever I come in from work, it wouldn't be but a few minutes and he'd be there. . . . I didn't expect anything to come of it, but http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Finding the Avant-Garde in the Old-Time: John Cohen in the American Folk Revival

American Music, Volume 28 (4) – Nov 24, 2010

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
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Abstract

BrIan Jones In the summer of 1959, forty-seven-year-old roscoe Holcomb1 of Daisy, Kentucky, worked construction in the nearby town of Hazard. He recalled, I come in from work one evening, poured concrete about all day. a little fellow was setting there on the porch with one of my first cousins and wanted me to play [him a song]. . . . I said, "My hands are sore from pouring that concrete, and I'm tired." [He said,] "Well, you can play one." . . . anyhow, when I got started, he said, "Wait, wait,"--he had one of those old crank-up tape recorders--said, "Care for me to tape that?"2 The man on the porch was John Cohen, a new York­based photographer, painter, and folk-revivalist who had come to Kentucky to make field recordings and find material for his old-time country band, the new Lost City ramblers. Cohen returned nearly every day for the next three weeks to record music and take photographs. Holcomb remembered, "If he wasn't there at the house whenever I come in from work, it wouldn't be but a few minutes and he'd be there. . . . I didn't expect anything to come of it, but

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Nov 24, 2010

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