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Category Archives: Vaudeville

– How criticism helped the vaudeville: The spotlight on Franklin “Baby” Seals

Read the print-friendly version here   I have always had a soft spot for persons and events which for whatever reason have fallen out of grace in history books. Often, their story discloses much more of their environment than the historic relics which have been promoted on a pedestal, for the historic aura of the […]

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– The Whitman Sisters: why we may never silence them.

For the colored PDF-version, click here _______________________________ “Black Voices, White Visions.” Such was the subtitle Marybeth Hamilton (2007) reserved for her book “In Search of the Blues”, in which she argues that the concept of the Delta Blues emerged in the late twentieth century mainly as the product of a longstanding white fascination with the […]

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– Marketing Patent Medicine Folk and Blues

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Willem van Dullemen, who in his passion for folk (music) helped me in getting at my disposal part of the reading material. I also owe a great deal to watching the documentary “Free Show Tonight” produced, in 1983, by Paul Wagner, Steven J. Zeitlin, and Barr Weissman. It is a […]

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– Blues from the circus tent

Acknowledgements The credits for the essay below go completely to Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff whose invaluable research in the historical archives have permitted to unearth the role of the circus side show in the spread of the popular music (Ragged but Right, 2007) ________________________________ The circus brings to mind feelings of joy, laughter and […]

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– Butler May: was he the real Father of the Blues?

Acknowledgements: I sincerely thank Kevin Nutt of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and the Alabama Folklife Association for putting at my disposal the writings of Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott, published in: “Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association”, 2002, Joey Brackner editor. It has to be mentioned, in addition, that the main […]

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