Morton Feldman’s anti-opera ‘Neither’, a collaboration with Samuel Beckett

The Rome Opera commissioned Morton Feldman to write an opera in 1977. In the same year, the composer collaborated with Irish writer Samuel Beckett, and Neither was completed and premiered. However, it is not an opera in the traditional sense of the word. Feldman and Beckett had first met in 1976 in Berlin, where the latter was directing … Continue reading Morton Feldman’s anti-opera ‘Neither’, a collaboration with Samuel Beckett

Scott Joplin : King of Ragtime

Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime" music, was born near Linden, Texas on November 24, 1868. He moved with his family to Texarkana at the age of about seven. Even at this early age, Joplin demonstrated his extraordinary talent for music. Encouraged by his parents, he was already proficient on the banjo, and was beginning … Continue reading Scott Joplin : King of Ragtime

Bascom Lamar Lunsford : Minstrel of the Appalachians

Bascom Lamar Lunsford, born in 1882 in Madison County, was a fruit tree salesman, teacher, and lawyer, who is celebrated for his lifelong devotion to Appalachian music and dance.  Lunsford learned to play the banjo and fiddle, and collected songs and tunes.  He began his repertoire during the folk revival of the 1920s. One voice … Continue reading Bascom Lamar Lunsford : Minstrel of the Appalachians

Erynn Marshall : Love, intention, generosity, humor and soul

“You can hear love, intention, generosity, humor and soul in the music of Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones. They welcome us in and awaken a deep sense and feeling for traditional music that is carved right into our bones.” – Dirk Powell (2015) Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler who resides in Galax, Virginia. She … Continue reading Erynn Marshall : Love, intention, generosity, humor and soul

Clarence “Tom” Ashley : Country Music Pioneer

Clarence "Tom" Ashley (September 29, 1895 – June 2, 1967) was an American musician and singer, who played the claw-hammer banjo and the guitar.  He began performing at medicine shows in the Southern Appalachian region as early as 1911, and gained initial fame during the late 1920s as both a solo recording artist and as … Continue reading Clarence “Tom” Ashley : Country Music Pioneer

William Henry “Papa Charlie” Jackson

No wonder they all fall for him! He's just a red hot papa in a class by himself and it takes a cop or two to hold the mamas back when he struts down the avenue. Papa Charlie sure knows how to sing this kind of Blues. Papa Charlie Jackson (November 10, 1887 – May … Continue reading William Henry “Papa Charlie” Jackson

Hazel Dickens : It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song

Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. In the early 1950s she moved to Baltimore. She met Mike Seeger, younger half-brother of Pete Seeger and founding member of the New Lost … Continue reading Hazel Dickens : It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song