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The Pink in Pink Floyd: Pink Anderson Medicine Show Man

The Medicine Shows of the 19th and early 20th centuries were a wonderful oddity of Old America. Along with the Minstrel Show, Vaudeville and the Freak Show, few people these days know much about them and even less are all that interested. But in their day the Medicine Shows were a booming industry, crisscrossing the country selling bottled cure-alls out of wagons (snake oil anyone?) and bringing quality low-brow entertainment to the masses.
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Carolina Tar Heels Handbill 1930

Selma Kurz, Soprano 1874-1933

Selma Kurz was born in Biala, the poorer of two adjoining Austrian towns (the other was Bielitz), to a very humble Jewish family of eleven children. She grew up in Bielitz. (Today they are a single city known as Bielsko-Biała, in the Polish province of Silesia. While still a girl she was taken to a convent of nuns, with the hope that she might learn to be a seamstress; the nuns quickly discovered the beauty of her voice, however, and she also often sang in the local synagogue. These circumstances led local people to raise some money so that she could go to Vienna and audition for professor Gänsbacher, a prominent vocal teacher. Gänsbacher did not teach women, but wrote some important letters of recommendation. Little Selma was thus enabled to visit the imposing Schloss Totis, the Viennese residence, en villéggiature, of the famous patron of the arts, count Nicholas [Miklós]Esterházy de Galántha, who agreed to pay for her lessons with another prominent vocal pedagogue, Johannes Ress.On…

An Introduction to Ma Rainey

Credited with recording the first blues song "Crazy Blues" in 1923, Ma Rainey was a Huge influence on performers like Bessy Smith.
She began performing at the age of 12 or 14, and recorded under the name Ma Rainey after she and Will Rainey were married in 1904. They toured with F.S. Wolcott’s Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group called Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. From the time of her first recording in 1923 to five years later, Ma Rainey made over 100 recordings. Some of them include, Bo-weevil Blues (1923), Moonshine Blues (1923),See See Rider (1924), Black Bottom (1927), and Soon This Morning (1927).Ma Rainey was known for her very powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, and a ‘moaning’ style of singing similar to folk tradition. Though her powerful voice and disposition are not captured on her recordings, the other characteristics are present, and most evident on her early recordings, Bo-weevil Blues and Moon…

Early Recordings from the New York Stage 1890-1908

Early Harmonica Blues Recordings zip

The first recordings of harmonicas were made in the U.S. in the 1920s.These recordings included “race” music, intended for the African-American market of the southern states with solo recordings by DeFord Bailey (who appeared on the first episode of the WSM Barn Dance after it had changed its name to the Grand Ole Opry), duo recordings with a guitarist Hammie Nixon,Walter Horton, Sonny Terry, jug band performers such as Jaybird Coleman, as well as hillbilly styles recorded for white audiences, byFrank Hutchison, Gwen Foster and several other musicians. There are also recordings featuring the harmonica in jug bands, of which the Memphis Jug Band is the most famous. But the harmonica still represented a toy instrument in those years and was associated with the poor. It is also during those years that musicians started experimenting with new techniques such as tongue-blocking, hand effects and the most important innovation of all, the 2nd position, or cross-harp.
Download Early Blues Harm…

Free Mp3 Pre War Blues Collection as Zip File

Fifty great pre war era blues performances in MP3 format. Classic stuff from well-knowns like Charley Patton and Blind lemon Jefferson, as well as lots of cool music from lesser-knowns too like Geeshie Wiley and Dick Justice.
Click here to download the collection