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5/31/2008

It’ll tickle your innards: vintage Mountain Dew commercial

Ethnic stereotypes are on parade in this 1960s commercial, in which hillbilly cartoon characters guzzle caffeinated sugar water and play with firearms. The soundtrack uses the Bascom Lamar Lunsford tune Old Mountain Dew, and one of the characters sure sounds like Grandpa Jones.

2/2/2008

Bascom Lamar Lunsford playing Doggett’s Gap

I’ve raved about Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s work several times before on this site. This is an early video clip of Lunsford’s fiddle playing. The tune is, for all intents and purposes, Cumberland Gap. His vocal performance in this ensemble piece is impressive, and displays a power not necessarily evident in his solo recordings.

The film speeds up and slows down over the course of the performance, causing the music to sound a little wobbly. Deal with it.

10/4/2007

Bascom Lamar Lunsford playing Dry Bones

North Carolina-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a multi-talented musician and folklorist with an extensive repertoire of Appalachian music. So extensive, in fact, that he is credited with contributing more material to the Archive of Folk Song than any other performer. Equally important as the breadth and depth of his repertoire, though, is Lunsford’s skill as a performer. He is an engaging and energetic vocalist and musician, and his recorded performances are consistently excellent.

This piece, recorded in Ashland, Kentucky, for the Brunswick label in 1928, is a fine example of Lunsford’s relaxed, idiosyncratic vocal style. He takes liberties with phrase lengths, as is common in old-time music, and often places his vocal accents in unusual places. The galloping sixteenth-note banjo accompaniment serves the vocal well, and gives the performance a good deal of energy.

There is a worthwhile collection of Lunsford’s material on the Folkways record Ballads, Banjo Tunes, and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina.

Dry Bones (MP3)
Courtesy of Archive.org

Earlier posts:
Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays Lost John Dean
Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground
Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays Little Turtle Dove

7/4/2007

Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays Lost John Dean

North Carolina-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a multi-talented musician and folklorist with an extensive repertoire of Appalachian music. So extensive, in fact, that he is credited with contributing more material to the Archive of Folk Song than any other performer. Equally important as the breadth and depth of his repertoire, though, is Lunsford’s skill as a performer. He is an engaging and energetic vocalist and musician, and his recorded performances are consistently excellent.

There is a worthwhile collection of Lunsford’s material on the Folkways record Ballads, Banjo Tunes, and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina.

Lost John Dean (MP3)
Courtesy of Archive.org

Earlier posts:
Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground
Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays Little Turtle Dove

6/1/2007

Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground

This 1928 Brunswick recording is probably Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s best-known performance. Like the previous Lunsford performance posted to this blog, this is an assemblage of commonplace verses. Grammarians will note the incorrect formation of the subjunctive case. As William Saffire would no doubt point out, it should be “I Wish I Were a Mole in the Ground.” Ahem.

I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground (MP3)

Courtesy of Archive.org

5/30/2007

Bascom Lamar Lunsford plays Little Turtle Dove

North Carolina-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a multi talented musician whose extensive repertoire of traditional songs made him a valuable source for folklorists and song collectors. He made his first recordings for a collector in 1922. His first commercial recordings came in 1922, with what would become his most famous song: I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground. This tune, Little Turtle Dove is an assemblage of commonplace verses, and was recorded in 1928 for the Brunswick label.


Little Turtle Dove
(MP3)

Courtesy of Archive.org