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I Wonder As I Wander

Author: Ron Pen
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813139813
Size: 58.83 MB
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Louisville native John Jacob Niles (1892--1980) is considered to be one of our nation's most influential musicians. As a composer and balladeer, Niles drew inspiration from the deep well of traditional Appalachian and African American folk songs. At the age of sixteen Niles wrote one of his most enduring tunes, "Go 'Way from My Window," basing it on a song fragment from a black farm worker. This iconic song has been performed by folk artists ever since and may even have inspired the opening line of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe." In I Wonder as I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles, the first full-length biography of Niles, Ron Pen offers a rich portrait of the musician's character and career. Using Niles's own accounts from his journals, notebooks, and unpublished autobiography, Pen tracks his rise from farm boy to songwriter and folk collector extraordinaire. Niles was especially interested in documenting the voices of his fellow World War I soldiers, the people of Appalachia, and the spirituals of African Americans. In the 1920s he collaborated with noted photographer Doris Ulmann during trips to Appalachia, where he transcribed, adapted, and arranged traditional songs and ballads such as "Pretty Polly" and "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Niles's preservation and presentation of American folk songs earned him the title of "Dean of American Balladeers," and his theatrical use of the dulcimer is credited with contributing to the popularity of that instrument today. Niles's dedication to the folk music tradition lives on in generations of folk revival artists such as Jean Ritchie, Joan Baez, and Oscar Brand. I Wonder as I Wander explores the origins and influences of the American folk music resurgence of the 1950s and 1960s, and finally tells the story of a man at the forefront of that movement.

I Wonder As I Wander

Author: Gwenyth Swain
Publisher: Eerdmans Young Readers
ISBN: 9780802852984
Size: 72.71 MB
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In this fictional account of the folk song's origin, a girl writes a song that expresses her feelings about Jesus while dealing with the loss of her mother and life on the roads of Appalachia after her father becomes an itinerant preacher.

Wayfaring Strangers

Author: Fiona Ritchie
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469618230
Size: 64.94 MB
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Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a steady stream of Scots migrated to Ulster and eventually onward across the Atlantic to resettle in the United States. Many of these Scots-Irish immigrants made their way into the mountains of the southern Appalachian region. They brought with them a wealth of traditional ballads and tunes from the British Isles and Ireland, a carrying stream that merged with sounds and songs of English, German, Welsh, African American, French, and Cherokee origin. Their enduring legacy of music flows today from Appalachia back to Ireland and Scotland and around the globe. In Wayfaring Strangers, Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr guide readers on a musical voyage across oceans, linking people and songs through centuries of adaptation and change. From ancient ballads at the heart of the tradition to instruments that express this dynamic music, Ritchie and Orr chronicle the details of an epic journey. Enriched by the insights of key contributors to the living tradition on both sides of the Atlantic, this abundantly illustrated volume includes a CD featuring 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, including Dolly Parton, Dougie MacLean, Cara Dillon, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, David Holt, Anais Mitchell, Al Petteway, and Amy White.

Letters From A Life Vol 1 1923 39

Author: Benjamin Britten
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 057126591X
Size: 75.18 MB
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Volume One of these remarkable letters and diaries opens with a letter from Britten aged nine to his formidable mother, Edith. Music is already at the centre of his life, and it accompanies him through prep and public school and then to London to the Royal College of Music, where the phenomenally gifted but inexperienced young composer is plunged into metropolitan life and makes influential new friends, among them W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood. This was a time of prodigious musical creativity, a growing awareness of his sexuality, and the dawning of his political convictions. Most importantly, during this period Britten met Peter Pears and established the musical and personal relationship that was to last a lifetime. Volume One comes to a close in May 1939, when Britten, accompanied by Pears, departs for North America. The letters and diaries in this illuminating first volume and its successor are supplemented by the editors' detailed commentary and by exhaustive contemporary documentation. Together they constitute a comprehensive portrait not only of the composer but of an age.