Take Cover

Take note that Susan Archie, who handled the design of this package, was also the svengali behind the amazing-looking Albert Ayler and Charley Patton boxes from Revenant (I think I'm right about this...not going to check now); her work is so fine, to my own taste, that the wickedly timely sounds are beyond-done-justice. I only say this because this small, support-worthy label seems to have gone all-out in creating a product worth hanging on to. But this is no lecture, just a public service announcement. As for the music....

PEOPLE TAKE WARNING! Murder Ballads & Songs of Disaster 1913-1938
(Tompkins Square Records, 3CD box set, 2007)
(mp3-vbr, no booklet art, unfortunately...folder slightly mistitled, oops)

Label description:
“In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, the Depression gripped the Nation. It was a time when songs were tools for living. A whole community would turn out to mourn the loss of a member and to sow their songs like seeds. This collection is a wild garden grown from those seeds.” – Tom Waits, from the Introduction

Songs of death, destruction and disaster, recorded by black and white performers from the dawn of American roots recording are here, assembled together for the first time. Whether they document world-shattering events like the sinking of the Titanic or memorialize long forgotten local murders or catastrophes, these 70 recordings – over 30 never before reissued – are audio messages in a bottle reflecting a lost world where age old ballads rubbed up against songs inspired by the day's headlines.

Featuring beautifully remastered recordings by the some of the cornerstones of American vernacular recording such as Charlie Patton, Ernest Stoneman, Furry Lewis, Charlie Poole and Uncle Dave Macon, these songs tell of life and death struggles forever immortalized on these rare and compelling 78 rpms. Produced and annotated by the Grammy winning team of Christopher King and Henry “Hank” Sapoznik with an introduction by Tom Waits, the accompanying 48-page three-CD anthology designed by Grammy award winning Susan Archie brims with many eye-popping historic images never before reproduced.


Disc 1: Man vs. Machine
1. Titanic Blues - Hi Henry Brown & Charley Jordan
2. Wreck Of The Old 97 - Skillet Lickers
3. Bill Wilson - Birmingham Jug Band
4. The Crash Of The Akron - Bob Miller
5. The Fate Of Talmadge Osborne - Ernest Stoneman
6. El Mole Rachmim (Fur Titanik) - Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt
7. The Wreck Of The Virginian - Alfred Reed
8. Fate Of Will Rogers & Wiley Post - Bill Cox
9. Down With The Old Canoe - The Dixon Brothers
10. Wreck Of Number 52 - Cliff Carlisle
11. Kassie Jones Part 1 - Furry Lewis
12. Kassie Jones Part 2 - Furry Lewis
13. The Brave Engineer - Carver Boys
14. The Sinking Of The Titanic - Richard Rabbitt Brown
15. Fate Of Chris Lively And Wife - Blind Alfred Reed
16. Wreck On The Mountain Road - Red Fox Chasers
17. The Unfortunate Brakeman - Kentucky Ramblers
18. Altoona Freight Wreck - Riley Puckett
19. The Fatal Wreck Of The Bus - Mainer's Mountaineers
20. Last Scene Of The Titanic - Frank Hutchison
21. Casey Jones - Skillet Lickers
22. The Wreck Of The Westbound Airliner - Fred Pendleton & The West Virginia Melody Boys
23. The Titanic - Ernest Stoneman
24. When That Great Ship Went Down - William & Versey Smith

Disc 2: Man Vs. Nature
1. The Story Of The Mighty Mississippi - Ernest Stoneman
2. Mississippi Heavy Water Blues - Robert Hicks (Barbecue Bob)
3. Dixie Boll Weevil - Fiddlin' John Carson
4. Mississippi Boweavil - Charley Patton
5. Ohio Prison Fire - Bob Miller
6. Memphis Flu - Elder Curry
7. Explosion In The Fairmount Mine - Blind Alfred Reed
8. Storm That Struck Miami - Fiddlin' John Carson
9. When The Levee Breaks - Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie
10. Alabama Flood - Andrew Jenkins
11. Burning Of The Cleveland School - J. H. Howell's Carolina Hillbillies
12. High Water Everywhere, Part I - Charley Patton
13. High Water Everywhere, Part 2 - Charley Patton
14. Ryecove Cyclone - Martin & Roberts
15. McBeth Mine Explosion - Cap, Andy & Flip
16. Dry Well Blues - Charley Patton
17. Baltimore Fire - Charlie Poole
18. Tennessee Tornado - Uncle Dave Macon
19. Dry Spell Blues, Part 2 - Son House
20. The Santa Barbara Earthquake - Green Bailey
21. The Death Of Floyd Collins - Vernon Dalhart
22. The Porto Rico Storm - Carson Robison Trio
23. Boll Weavil - W.A. Lindsey & Alvin Condor
24. The Flood Of 1927 - Elders McIntorsh And Edwards

Disc 3: Man vs. Man
1. Peddler And His Wife - The Appalachia Vagabond (Hayes Shepherd)
2. The Little Grave In Georgia - Earl Johnson
3. Kenney Wagner's Surrender - Ernest Stoneman
4. Henry Clay Beattie - Kelly Harrell
5. The Murder Of The Lawson Family - Carolina Buddies
6. Ommie Wise - Clarence Ashley
7. Railroad Bill - Will Bennett
8. Frankie - Dykes Magic City Trio
9. Trial Of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 1 - Bill Cox
10. Trial Of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 2 - Bill Cox
11. Lanse Des Belaires - Dennis McGee & Ernest Fruge
12. Darling Cora - B.F. Shelton
13. Billy Lyons And Stack O' Lee - Furry Lewis
14. Tom Dooley - Grayson And Whitter
15. The Story Of Freda Bolt - Floyd Country Ramblers
16. Pretty Polly - John Hammond
17. Fingerprints Upon The Windowpane - Bob Miller
18. The Bluefield Murder - Roy Harvey & The North Carolina Ramblers
19. Frankie Silvers - Ashley, Clarence And Gwen Foster
20. Fate Of Rhoda Sweeten - Wilmer Watts
21. Dupree Blues - Willie Walker
22. Poor Ellen Smith - Dykes Magic City Trio


atrophied said...

thank you!!

exceptional collection from an exception blog.
any idea where one can find the release dates for these tracks?

thanks agin

zhao said...

bigup grasp. but you forgot the mindblowing New Guinean flutes music... i don't care that much if shit is in print or not any more. especailly when it comes to records like that where the original musicians will never see a cent of the proceeds anyway...

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal… sign up for paypal and just buy your own free
rapidshare premium account.


then go to

http://bux.to/?r=bob112 (best one - has MANY ads to click)

http://paid.vg/?r=diviownsjoo (2nd best site)

register and click ads for like 2 mins each day and in no time you’ll
have 10+ bucks in your paypal account for your account or online shopping.

Incredulous said...

if you are such a fan of archie and the tompkins square label's efforts, why "share" the fruits of their labor and prevent them from gaining royalties? wouldn't a sample from the box set, or simply a breathless review, suffice to get people's interest up.

i will never understand how blog owners rationalize posts like this. i'll be sending a link to tompkins square.

grasprelease said...

A late response to atrophied: sorry, I don't yet have dates for these performances. If anybody has a tracklisting with more info, please do drop a post in these here comments.

Anonymous said...

To the little tattle-tale "incredulous": ALL the stuff on this set is in the Public Domain. That means anyone can do whatever they want with it. Like put out a 3-CD box set or download it. There are no royalties associated with public domain music, movies, etc. You can dress it all up fancy, like Tompkins Square, or you can do cheapos like those "5 for $10" DVD bins in drug stores. No diff.

Bradelbee said...

Ummm..."Anonymous" is completely wrong. Not ALL of these songs, and the recordings (which would be considered separate copyrights) are in the Public Domain. Current copyright laws state that for anything registered before 1978 (that would be all of these), the copyright can be renewed so that it eventually covers a total of 90 years.

That means that while the songs on this set that were copyrighted before 1918 are indeed considered to be PD, anything registered from 1919 onward may still be under copyright. In addition, please remember that the song itself is considered as one piece of property, and the recording is a completely separate piece of property, so essentially there are TWO pieces of copyrighted material for each recording.

And finally, some works may have existed prior to 1919 but didn't actually get registered with the Library of Congress until years later, so while a recording from 1913 may exist, it may not have been officially copyrighted until 1924, meaning that the work will not enter the Public Domain until 2014. I know it's complicated, but I thought I should correct the inaccurate statement that was made about PD material.

Many thanks...

Byrnzie28 said...

What's the password?

zhao said...

i don't think there is one?