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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: West Coast Jazz

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  • bernard mills
    RE Turk Murphy/Lu Watters..Many thanks for all the interest and Gen. I am a Brit coming to Trad Jazz in the early 50 s Cut my teeth on Humph Lyttleton and
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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      RE Turk Murphy/Lu Watters..Many thanks for all the interest and Gen. I am a Brit coming to Trad Jazz in the early 50's Cut my teeth on Humph Lyttleton and progressed onwards. I remember Turk Murphy and his Jazz with great affection..Once again Cheers..Thanks a lot !!

      "David N. Lewis" <udtv@...> wrote: I must confess, like Dave, I am completely mystified by this thread.
      Lu Watters and the Yerba Buena are absolutely legendary - among the
      VERY best of the revival groups, if not THE best.

      I probably play their Mercury 78 of their recording of "Strut That
      Thing" as often as any traditional jazz record I own. It kicks. If
      you want to experience the spirit of the city of San Francisco before
      its landscape became dominated by corporate monoliths, then the Yerba
      Buena is a must.

      I also have the four volumes of reissues on Good Time Jazz of Lu
      Watters on single disc - not the box. I really like Volume 4, "On the
      Air" which is taken from transcription service recordings averaging 2-
      3 minutes in length. You can put that thing on auto repeat and play
      it for days...

      They may not belong to the time period proscribed by redhotjazz.com,
      but boy could the Yerba Buena rock the house.

      Uncle Dave Lewis

      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, David Richoux <tubaman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Are you ALL suffering from irony deficiency?
      >
      > that was maybe a somewhat lame attempt at humor - I have been
      playing
      > in jazz bands in the Bay Area for 30+ years and hosted a jazz
      radio
      > show for 23 years. I have played Earthquake McGoon's and worked
      with
      > many of the members of Turk's band (and even a few survivors of
      YBJB!)
      >
      > anyway,
      >
      > Dave Richoux
      > On Oct 3, 2006, at 12:41 PM, Gary wrote:
      >
      > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, David Richoux <tubaman@> wrote:
      > >>
      > >> Weren't they the ones who tried to recreate the music of Lewis
      > >> Harmstrong and the the Kansas City Hot 8?
      > >>
      > >> Dave Richoux
      > >> On Oct 3, 2006, at 9:09 AM, millsbernard wrote:
      > >>
      > >>> Anybody know anything of Turk Murphy Yerba Bueno Jazz Band..and
      > > Lou
      > >>> Watters?
      > >
      > > Turk Murphy and his Yerba Buena Jazz Band played in San Francisco.
      > > Recording under the name of Lu Watters. I have 2 10" Lp records
      > > in my collection recorded in the early 1950s
      > >
      > > Gary
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      >






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    • Robert Greenwood
      Not that I really want to promote the music of this rather leaden ensemble, but subscribers in the UK who live anywhere near a branch of Fopp may like to know
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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        Not that I really want to promote the music of this rather leaden
        ensemble, but subscribers in the UK who live anywhere near a branch of
        Fopp may like to know that I have glimpsed in the Tottenham Court Road
        branch of that outlet copies of the GTJ boxed set of the Lu Watters
        YBJB for a mere fifteen quid. I personally wasn't tempted. They also
        have the GTJ issue of the recordings made by Watters with Bunk Johnson
        for three pounds. Now that I would recommend, although the issue on
        Document is preferable.
        Robert Greenwood
      • Howard Rye
        ... Mike Meddings says: BTW, on the Red Hot discussion board, the piano roll of Soap Suds for Capitol is definitely played by JRM. This has been confirmed by
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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          on 4/10/06 16:57, Mordechai Litzman at folke613@... wrote:

          > After Turk Murphy's death a foundation was set up to preserve his legacy. I
          > have a couple of CDs from the San Fransisco Traditional Jazz Foundation with
          > early Turk material from 1937-1947 which are very enjoyable.
          > At the end of vol 2 ((SFTJF 106) is a bonus: four piano recordings with Jelly
          > Roll Morton. Two are from 1938, a third is a hitherto unknown piano roll of
          > the Pearls from 1924, but the fourth recording is what puzzles me. This is a
          > piano roll that was discovered in 1999 which came without a label. The song is
          > "Soap Suds" (Fickle Fay Creep). Several experts identify this recording as
          > being played by Jelly himself. After listening to it I don't believe it is
          > Jelly at all, especially since the left hand playing is poor and unlike Jelly.
          > Would be interested to know if somebody concurs or has information or
          > knowledge of this piano roll.

          Mike Meddings says:

          BTW, on the Red Hot discussion board, the piano roll of "Soap Suds" for
          Capitol is definitely played by JRM.

          This has been confirmed by Jim Dapogny, Larry Gushee, Mike Montgomery and
          Frank Himpsl. See:

          http://www.doctorjazz.co.uk/page7.html#capitol

          Haven't yet looked at it myself but I can't see how any of those named can
          possibly come nearer to proof than to say that they believe it is JRM!



          Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          howard@...
          Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
        • Howard Rye
          ... It d be interesting to know whether there is any literature on the point, but I suspect that many of the pioneers of revivalism in France and Britain would
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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            on 4/10/06 23:29, Martin at martin@... wrote:

            > There is no doubt this band was at the vanguard of the revivalist
            > movement. By recreating (or imitating) Oliver's CJB, this group made way
            > for the numerous bands and festivals that still dot the landscapes of
            > the U.S., the U.K. and Europe.

            It'd be interesting to know whether there is any literature on the point,
            but I suspect that many of the pioneers of revivalism in France and Britain
            would indignantly repudiate any suggestion that they needed or used Lu
            Watters as an intermediary between the creators and their own recreations,
            or that he was in their vanguard.

            It is possible (just) that George Webb's band had somewhow contrived to hear
            Yerba Buena records, though I doubt much space was available for records
            from Californian private labels on the convoys, but Claude Luter and his
            mates across the Manche certainly cannot have known Lu Watters existed.

            In short, whatever Watters's pioneering role in the States, I think the
            Europeans did their own pioneering here.

            Following this line of thought at another tangent, many on this list will
            have heard Delmark's recent issue of the 'lost' Frank Melrose session of
            1939 or 1940. For my part I was disappointed at how "revivalist" it was.
            This was really Pete Daley's band and it owes much more to the inspiraions
            of Daley's later work that Kansas City Frank's earlier work. Daley, like
            Watters, was a graduate of minor-league dance bands in the very latest 20s
            (which brings him on topic here?) and there is a trend here.

            Passing thought: Daley was clearly unable to make up his mind how to spell
            his own name. If you prefer Dailey, fine. He used that too, also Daily.
            Let's not discuss it.

            Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
            howard@...
            Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
          • bernard mills
            Hi Rob! Don t agree with the Leaden ensemble bit ...but is the boxed set 78s? Or what? And where in Tottenham Court Road is the outlet and...Whats the name?
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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              Hi Rob! Don't agree with the 'Leaden ensemble' bit ...but is the boxed set 78s? Or what? And where in Tottenham Court Road is the outlet and...Whats the name? I'm a Brit in the Midlands Cheers.. Sorryjust re-read its Fopps....Ta a lot...Regards

              Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote: Not that I really want to promote the music of this rather leaden
              ensemble, but subscribers in the UK who live anywhere near a branch of
              Fopp may like to know that I have glimpsed in the Tottenham Court Road
              branch of that outlet copies of the GTJ boxed set of the Lu Watters
              YBJB for a mere fifteen quid. I personally wasn't tempted. They also
              have the GTJ issue of the recordings made by Watters with Bunk Johnson
              for three pounds. Now that I would recommend, although the issue on
              Document is preferable.
              Robert Greenwood






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            • David W. Littlefield
              ... The 2-beat nature of the West Coast style makes it seem leaden to folks who prefer/respond more to the 4=beat swing style of the Condonites. It s
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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                At 05:04 PM 10/05/06 +0100, you wrote:
                >Hi Rob! Don't agree with the 'Leaden ensemble' bit
                >
                >Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
                > this rather leaden ensemble
                >Robert Greenwood
                >

                The 2-beat nature of the West Coast style makes it seem "leaden" to folks
                who prefer/respond more to the 4=beat swing style of the Condonites. It's
                brighter, happier feel makes the body move very differently than the
                driving 4-beat, and the banjo and raggy piano appeal to a broader, and, I
                suspect, less sophisticated, audience than 4-beat jazz, as does the body of
                20s pop and novelty tunes in the repertoire.

                My basic reservation is the all-too-frequent 2-trumpet/cornet line--I much
                prefer the cleaner sound of a single cornet, especially since they usually
                seem play together rather than following the Oliver-Armstrong model...




                --Sheik
                David W. Littlefield, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Washboard
                http://americanmusiccaravan.com DixFB VOL.2 (C, Bb) available
                "BOOK NEWS: click on "Books" click on "Book News"
                eMail: dwlit@...
              • silverleafjb
                snip ... way for the numerous bands and festivals that still dot the landscapes of the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. I m always surprised to read or hear
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 5, 2006
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                  snip
                  > There is no doubt this band was at the vanguard of the revivalist
                  > movement. By recreating (or imitating) Oliver's CJB, this group made
                  way > for the numerous bands and festivals that still dot the
                  landscapes of > the U.S., the U.K. and Europe.

                  I'm always surprised to read or hear references that the Watters and
                  Murphy bands "recreated" or "imitated" Oliver. Watters very
                  emphatically stated in print (and to me personally) that was not the
                  point of the band. There is an interview where he clearly states "How
                  can you copy the King Oliver band?" Watters concept was to use two
                  trumpets (or cornets) partly because he liked the sound, and he wanted
                  to play the tunes from the 1920s, some of which had been recorded by
                  Oliver. But the band played and recorded a lot of numbers that weren't
                  recorded by Oliver. BTW, the Oliver tunes the band played were all
                  originally available as stock arrangements from Melrose Publishing. In
                  addition, not very many people at that time had copies of the original
                  recordings. None had been reissued and the originals were not easy to
                  come by.

                  As was mentioned in another post, Watters and Turk came out of the
                  dance band scene of the 1920s and 30s, as did most of their
                  colleagues, playing with bands that often had tuba rather than string
                  bass, or a bassist that doubled. I believe Watters was attempting to
                  grab a slightly different audience than most swing bands of the time
                  simply by playing two beat with a tuba in the rhythm section. There
                  were lots of people around in the 1940s who would have preferred
                  dancing to Watters' music rather than, for example, Benny Goodman's
                  band blasting away on a fast-tempo killer-diller. By having two
                  trumpets, Watters could attempt to get some of the volume of a big
                  band with a smaller combination, making it more financially viable. As
                  it was, he had played in a conventional big band at Sweets Ballroom in
                  Oakland a couple of years prior to his forming the Yerba Buena group
                  (in 1937, and those recordings are available from the San Francisco
                  Trad Jazz Foundation). And that band played quite a few 1920s numbers,
                  in addition to playing popular tunes.

                  Regarding Strickler, he was a favorite of Watters, and he was one of
                  Turk's favorite trumpet players. On the boxed GTJ set, there are
                  versions of "Muskrat Ramble" and "Trombone Rag" with Strickler that
                  were previously unissued (that I helped supply for that set), and I
                  believe one of the San Francisco Trad Jazz Foundation CDs has a
                  previously unreleased "Ace in the Hole."

                  Regarding the Watters band being "at the vanguard," this is not
                  strictly the case. They were part of an ongoing interest in early
                  jazz. Just some of the media attention at that time were articles on
                  record collecting in Esquire magazine; publication of the book
                  Jazzmen; recordings by Bob Crosby's band (especially the Bobcats)and
                  by Eddie Condon's groups on Commodore; and a number of reissues of
                  1920s recordings. I belive the only reason Watters gets a good deal of
                  attention is simply due to the fact he was able to make a number of
                  recordings, first for the Jazz Man label (based in LA) before WWII,
                  then after WWII on his own labels (first West Coast, then Down Home).
                  Other groups didn't have this opportunity until after WWII (with the
                  exception of the Castle Jazz Band in Portland, with two 78 issues from
                  recording sessions in 1944).

                  BTW, regarding the Castle Jazz Band, that band was originally oriented
                  more towards the Chicago style until the band's session from December
                  1947, when leader Monte Ballou switched to banjo and cornetist/valve
                  trombonist Bob Short switched to tuba.

                  Cheers,
                  Chris Tyle
                • john schott
                  Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks. ... From: silverleafjb To: Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006
                  Message 8 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                    Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "silverleafjb" <silverleafjb@...>
                    To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 11:13 PM
                    Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: West Coast Jazz
                    [...]
                    > I'm always surprised to read or hear references that the Watters and
                    > Murphy bands "recreated" or "imitated" Oliver. Watters very
                    > emphatically stated in print (and to me personally) that was not the
                    > point of the band. There is an interview where he clearly states "How
                    > can you copy the King Oliver band?" Watters concept was to use two
                    > trumpets (or cornets) partly because he liked the sound, and he wanted
                    >
                    [...]
                    >
                    > Regarding the Watters band being "at the vanguard," this is not
                    > strictly the case. They were part of an ongoing interest in early
                    > jazz. Just some of the media attention at that time were articles on
                    > record collecting in Esquire magazine; publication of the book

                    [...]

                    > Cheers,
                    > Chris Tyle
                  • Howard Rye
                    ... Hear, hear. I can t think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was
                    Message 9 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                      on 6/10/06 8:41, john schott at john@... wrote:

                      > Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.
                      >
                      >
                      Hear, hear.

                      I can't think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an
                      enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was doing is what
                      Watters thought he was doing.

                      By contrast I think the early European revivalists were consciously engaged
                      in "re-creating" what they heard on their records, and of course the Oliver
                      Creole Band Gennetts were freely available in Britain (and pre-Nazi Europe),
                      albeit in diabolical dubs whose deficiencies sometimes seem to be reflected
                      in the music of the revivalist bands. Everyone remotely interested in jazz
                      had heard them.

                      The Graeme Bell band down under were engaged in an enterprise much more
                      analagous to what Watters was doing, and there is a lot of testimony to how
                      startled homegrown revivalists were when this freewheeling ensemble playing
                      for dancers fetched up in London. Inadvertently, the Bells are the true
                      fathers of British Trad are they not? Their records are also some of the
                      most rewarding and enduring of the revivalist output.

                      Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                      howard@...
                      Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                    • Robert Greenwood
                      David Littlefield has admirably articulated what I cannot get along with in the Lu Watters YBJB (described once by Max Harrison as the Yerba Buena Yobs).
                      Message 10 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                        David Littlefield has admirably articulated what I cannot get along
                        with in the Lu Watters' YBJB (described once by Max Harrison as the
                        Yerba Buena Yobs). Thanks, David. It's good to see mention on here of
                        Doc Evans – a fine player. And the Bell Band were excellent. Lazy Ade
                        Monsbourgh died very recently; a fact which went unreported (as far as
                        I know) anywhere in the UK press who eagerly report in their obituary
                        pages the demise of any jazz musician. The boxed set of LW I saw in
                        Fopp consists, I think, of the various Yerba Buena JB GTJ albums/CDs.
                        Fopp is a vaguely trendy-looking outlet selling mostly bargain priced
                        CDs, DVDs, and paperback books for those who seek constantly to be
                        entertained somewhere down the shallow end; although they do sell a
                        fair number of jazz, blues, and classical music CDs.
                        Robert Greenwood.
                      • Michael Rader
                        I sometimes read the archive of the dixieland jazz mailing list. Bill Haesler (it s a pity he doesn t post here as well) recently pointed out an article by
                        Message 11 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                          I sometimes read the archive of the dixieland jazz mailing list. Bill Haesler (it's a pity he doesn't post here as well) recently pointed out an article by Eddie Condon, of all people, on San Francisco trad , mainly Turk Murphy. It's on Jim Cullum's Riverwalk website: www.riverwalkjazz.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr006=18wmbbgcn4.app14a&page=NewsArticle&id=5434&am
                          Incidentally, Condon put together a tune called "Duff Campbell's Revenge", named after one of the SF scenes's characters. It was recorded both by Condon and Murphy.

                          Wouldn't the earliest influence on British trad be George Webb? The earliest recordings, which I have on a George Buck issued LP predate the Bells' visits to the UK and were probably not influenced by Watters, due to lack of awareness of their existence. The tuba's also not exactly flexible - a legacy of the British brass band tradition, at a guess.

                          At this distance, it's difficult to do any of these early revivalist bands justice, since we tend to hear their flaws more than any of the contemporary listeners. But hidden in the recordings are redeeming features, such as Bob Helm's solos - the late Frank Powers really opened my ears to Helm, who sounds off-tune to many critics, like Pee Wee Russell - an acquired taste.

                          Cheers,
                          Michael Rader
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                        • Howard Rye
                          ... What I had in mind was that it was the Bells who introduced music for dancing. See p.150 of Humphrey Lyttelton s I Play As I Please. Lyttelton agrees that
                          Message 12 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                            on 6/10/06 17:23, Michael Rader at Rader.Michael@... wrote:

                            > Wouldn't the earliest influence on British trad be George Webb? The earliest
                            > recordings, which I have on a George Buck issued LP predate the Bells' visits
                            > to the UK and were probably not influenced by Watters, due to lack of
                            > awareness of their existence. The tuba's also not exactly flexible - a legacy
                            > of the British brass band tradition, at a guess.

                            What I had in mind was that it was the Bells who introduced music for
                            dancing. See p.150 of Humphrey Lyttelton's I Play As I Please. Lyttelton
                            agrees that the Bell band was in the Yerba Buena mould though he
                            characterizes the results rather differently from the way anyone has done
                            here. Which brings us round in a circle.

                            If I express the view that the commercial phenomenon that became British
                            Trad (and the tired mainstream in which its practitioners took refuge when
                            the bubble burst) owes much more to Joe Daniels and Freddie Randall than to
                            George Webb, I will need a triple thickness tin hat, so forget I said it.

                            Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                            howard@...
                            Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                          • Bob Eagle
                            I ll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came up during the Oz version of Britain s Trad Jazz craze, and I heard the Bell band
                            Message 13 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                              I'll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came up during the Oz version of Britain's Trad Jazz craze, and I heard the Bell band (particularly on record but occasionally live when they visited Melbourne), and a number of worthwhile Melbourne bands.

                              It has struck me forcibly in later years how much the approach and "feel" of the Aussie bands resembled that of the best Western Swing bands, despite the obvious differences in instrumentation. Australian popular music has had the pervasive influence of hillbilly music, from Jimmie Rodgers through Hank Snow and beyond. Of course both sets (Bell etc and Light Crust Doughboys et al) were geared towards dancers, but I think it again demonstrates the interconnectedness of all good American music, even when filtered through players from Down Under.

                              Bob

                              Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                              on 6/10/06 8:41, john schott at john@... wrote:

                              > Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.
                              >
                              >
                              Hear, hear.

                              I can't think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an
                              enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was doing is what
                              Watters thought he was doing.

                              By contrast I think the early European revivalists were consciously engaged
                              in "re-creating" what they heard on their records, and of course the Oliver
                              Creole Band Gennetts were freely available in Britain (and pre-Nazi Europe),
                              albeit in diabolical dubs whose deficiencies sometimes seem to be reflected
                              in the music of the revivalist bands. Everyone remotely interested in jazz
                              had heard them.

                              The Graeme Bell band down under were engaged in an enterprise much more
                              analagous to what Watters was doing, and there is a lot of testimony to how
                              startled homegrown revivalists were when this freewheeling ensemble playing
                              for dancers fetched up in London. Inadvertently, the Bells are the true
                              fathers of British Trad are they not? Their records are also some of the
                              most rewarding and enduring of the revivalist output.

                              Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                              howard@...
                              Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098





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                            • David Richoux
                              Going the same way in a slightly different direction - when a major FM Rock station in San Francisco presented a 3 day History of Rock in SF show - the very
                              Message 14 of 29 , Oct 6, 2006
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                                Going the same way in a slightly different direction - when a major
                                FM Rock station in San Francisco presented a 3 day "History of Rock
                                in SF" show - the very first song they played was YBJB's "Annie
                                Street Rock" - to my ears it fit right in with the late 1940's R&B
                                and other "pre-rock." Again, YBJB was geared to teen age and young
                                adult dancers as much as the slightly older "listeners" of the
                                previous generation.

                                Dave Richoux


                                On Oct 6, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Bob Eagle wrote:

                                > I'll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came
                                > up during the Oz version of Britain's Trad Jazz craze, and I heard
                                > the Bell band (particularly on record but occasionally live when
                                > they visited Melbourne), and a number of worthwhile Melbourne bands.
                                >
                                > It has struck me forcibly in later years how much the approach
                                > and "feel" of the Aussie bands resembled that of the best Western
                                > Swing bands, despite the obvious differences in instrumentation.
                                > Australian popular music has had the pervasive influence of
                                > hillbilly music, from Jimmie Rodgers through Hank Snow and beyond.
                                > Of course both sets (Bell etc and Light Crust Doughboys et al) were
                                > geared towards dancers, but I think it again demonstrates the
                                > interconnectedness of all good American music, even when filtered
                                > through players from Down Under.
                                >
                                > Bob
                                >
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