1414Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Martha Copeland
- Sep 16, 2005on 16/9/05 8:26, tommersl at tommersl@... wrote:
> TheseThere is documentary evidence that the jug band sound in Louisville was
> examples shows in my opinion that it's impossible to know how music
> was sound in the 1860's and 1870's or even the 1880's and 1890's, and
> that it's not a surprise that old musicians could sit in easily with
> the commercial music of the 1920's.
fully formed when B.D. Tite returned to the city in 1900. If this is true
the jug bands were by modern standards very old-fashioned by the time they
recorded. But we cannot truly know what music the accounts and recollections
are describing, since even descriptions by survivors may be influenced by
tricks of memory (and self-aggrandizement).
The only hard evidence we have of what African-American female vaudeville
singers sounded like in 1900-1910 is the records made in Europe by Belle
Davis and Laura Bowman. We can guess on a number of internal grounds that
various white singers who recorded in this era are imitating black
performance styles, but this judgement can essentially only be based on our
knowledge of later black performance styles and of the general contemporary
sound by contrast. Even when they claim to be imitating black performance
styles, as many singers who recorded in Europe did, we can't be sure they
were telling the truth rather than trading on a public demand for novelty.
Those singers who claimed to be doing so certainly sound different from
those who didn't.
Which in terms of the present discussion is merely to say that we really
don't know how likely or otherwise it is that Martha Copeland might have
been that old. We certainly have no evidence to suggest that she couldn't
Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>