Highway 61 Revisited: The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, and Country Music

By Gene Santoro | Go to book overview

11
The Folk Revival

I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL in the 1960s, when I first saw Dave Van Ronk at the Gaslight, one of those little cellar clubs that used to line a Greenwich Village that now lives in myth and legend. I didn't understand what he was doing. It didn't fit anywhere neatly, musically speaking. It seemed like a jumble whose elements I recognized—folk tunes, ragtime, early jazz, Delta blues—but couldn't line up into what my 15-year-old mind thought was coherence but was really my expectations, which were being uncannily exposed and exploded. I felt like Dr. P in Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, scanning deconstructed faces for that single telltale feature that would reveal to me who I was looking at. It took me several days to recover from that set, to piece together what had hit me. Aside from nagging annoyance, I didn't know how to think about it. I couldn't have been more confused if Louis Armstrong suddenly ambled onto the Ed Sullivan Show and followed “Hello Dolly” with “The Times They Are A-Changin'.”

Two things, however, I knew even as I was alternately squirming and transfixed through Van Ronk's show: he was a hellacious guitar picker, a real—and therefore, in pop and folk circles, rare musician (I later studied with two of his students), and he was the only white guy I'd ever heard whose singing showed that he truly understood Armstrong and Muddy Waters. When he roared and bellowed, it felt like a hurricane blast shaking that little club.

Oh yeah: Van Ronk was funny. Really funny. He did bits from W. C. Fields, whose irreverently transgressive movies were being revived, part of the 1960s rediscovery of great American anarcho-comics like the Marx Brothers. He did “Mack the Knife” in mid-show with a suddenly acquired tremolo I later found out was Marlene Dietrich's; it threw my teen spirit and forced me to rethink what I thought I knew about folk music. When he did “Cocaine,” the perennial crowd-pleaser and set-closer he'd adapted from the Reverend Gary Davis, his friend and teacher, his asides (“Woke up this morning and my nose was gone”) seemed made to order for the drug counterculture. (Of course, some of us had already discovered how

-104-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Highway 61 Revisited: The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, and Country Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Highway 61 Revisited - The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, Rock, & Country Music iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I: Avatars 5
  • 1: Louis Armstrong 7
  • 2: Woody Guthrie 17
  • Part II: The Postwar Jazz Era 31
  • 3: Mary Lou Williams 33
  • 4: Max Roach 37
  • 5: Sonny Rollins 49
  • 6: Chet Baker 64
  • 7: Miles Davis 68
  • 8: Herbie Hancock 80
  • Part III: Rebirth of the Blues 91
  • 9: The Gospel Highway 93
  • 10: Chess Records 99
  • 11: The Folk Revival 104
  • 12: Willie Nelson 119
  • 13: Lenny Bruce 124
  • 14: Sweet Soul Music 135
  • Part IV: In the Garage 151
  • 15: Bob Dylan 153
  • 16: Electric Blues Revival 171
  • 17: Buffalo Springfield 179
  • 18: Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris 185
  • 19: The Grateful Dead 193
  • 20: The Band 204
  • 21: The Firesign Theatre 216
  • 22: Bruce Springsteen 223
  • 23: Tom Waits 235
  • Part V: Possible Futures 241
  • 24: Ken Burns, the Academy, and Jazz 243
  • 25: The Politics of Music Don Byron and Dave Douglas 257
  • 26: Cassandra Wilson 265
  • 27: Marty Ehrlich 278
  • 28: New Jazz Fusions 283
  • 29: Ani Difranco 297
  • Index 302
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 312

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.