Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Me & Folkmusic, Part Eight

Back in the 1990s I figured, as I said in the last part, that I had written my last word on folk music. I wrote that on a Macintosh computer and stuck it up on the internet in a primitive way. I had no idea that Steve Jobs was going to change the face of music.
It took me a while to catch up, but as a retired old codger with more time than money, iTunes and the iPod was a perfect way to get reinvolved with folk music.

The first thing was calypso. Calypso still exists, more or less, but it had a Golden Age after World War 2. American soldiers who had been stationed in the Caribbean guarding the Panama Canal brought it back to the mainland and the Andrews Sisters diluted it enough for American tastes. But it remained what it had been in the Caribbean and particularly in Trinidad, for another generation. I had enjoyed Calypso in the late '40s, what little I could find, so when we started comind down in the winters I looked for CDs. Eventually, in the airport in Antigua, I found a record of The Mighty Sparrow. Then a couple more, here and there, on Rounder Records or the Smithsonian. But Calypso was old fashioned. Finally I ran across Irwin Chusid on WFMU. He plays an hour a week of Calypso and Soca and I have downloaded three thousand or so Calypso tunes since I started listening. He plays some soca and pan (steel drum) but no ska, dub and reggae. There's plenty of that elsewhere.

I have also been downloading, and sometimes purchasing, old Timey and Gospel music.

Later I'll add to this a list of links. I intend to go back and add links to these essays, too.

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