In de vorige (2e) aflevering van deze serie haalde Bill Clifton herinneringen op over de beginnende carrière van Bill Monroe en z’n Bluegrass Boys, over Earl Scruggs en vertelde hij een prachtig verhaal over Uncle Dave Macon. In deze aflevering keren we terug naar Bill herinneringen aan de Carter Family Conference in Londen enkele jaren voorafgaand aan dit interview. Vergeet niet het geluid van uw computer (tablet, telefoon) iets harder te zetten…

Carter Family conference recordings


Do you mind if we tam back to the conference for a minute? What did you think of that conference in the first place? It was wonderful. I mean: to put all those people together and I didn’t know who half of those people were. I mean I’d never put the name with the faces, you know. I mean: I knew who they were when I found out who they were but I didn’t know who a lot of them were. And I didn’t get to all of the workshops because I was told by Lucy Rainbow, who’s the secretary who did a lot of the work, she really did a lot of work… And Lucy said, Mike Seeger and I were talking the night before the conference started. And he said: ‘Well, I think I’d better go to bed because I need to get up in the morning, I want to go to the first workshop, or whatever they called it’. I said: ‘Ghee, I’m hoping they’re going to tape record this so I don’t have to get up in the morning to do that tomorrow morning. Because I’d really like to sleep in tomorrow morning and I have to be there tomorrow afternoon. So I’d like to sleep in tomorrow morning’. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘That’s a great idea. Let’s call Lucy and see if we can find that out’. And she said ‘Yes, absolutely. Everything would be tape recorded’. Well, to this day I’ve had any number of people, including myself on several occasions trying to get copies of the tapes. If they exist.

Mike Seeger (foto van de Smithsonian-Folkways site)

They exist… They do exist?

We’ve got copies. You have them?

Yes… I’ve been unable to get them and Richard Townend has tried his best to do that in England on our behalf. I would love to have those tapes, I really would. Oh wonderful, that’s wonderful. And I know that Mike Seeger doesn’t have them, and Janette doesn’t have them. I mean if I have them then I can make copies for them, you know. But… eh…

Jeanette Carter (de dochter van A.P. en Sarah Carter) en Mike Seeger tijdens The Sunny Side, de Carter Family Conference in Londen in 2002.

We’ve asked for a copy of them, to do the articles, and were given them. But we were not to use them because we were told that Bill Malone was going to write a book on it. Ah, I figured that that was probably it. That there was something to do with Bill [C. Malone]. Well, in fact I only recently learned that. Because  Bill decided that he had too much to do already and he’s turned it over to somebody else. I can’t remember who he turned it over to. He asked if somebody else could undertake that. Now who was that? I should know. I’ll think about it a minute and maybe I’ll remember. That was a thought that I’d had that maybe they were withholding them because of that. But, yeah I thought…

I can understand that they don’t want them all over the world. But for the participants? It would have been a good idea to supply them. Well, I thought so and then that’s what I had expected. And when I didn’t get them I was very discouraged about it. I thought: ‘Well, that’s something I really wanted to  have’. You know.

Didn’t we transcribe all of that, Kees? Yes, we did. Well, but it’s in Dutch. You didn’t transcribe it in English.

Yes, we did. Did you?

We transcribed it in English and then we translated it into Dutch. In the magazine?

Nederlands Dagblad, 19 augustus 1978

No not in there. And I’ve asked Tineke to read it to me. And she said: ‘We’ve been together for 28 years. You can learn to read Dutch’. Well, I have an obituary that she cut out of the newspaper when my uncle died, who was from Groningen and he was living in Wassenaar when he died. And it’s not that long. It’s about that long, maybe, something like that (shows size with his hands). And she knew he was dead before I did because the news came on KLM, on the airplane. I’d put her on the airplane in New York City and she was travelling back. And the news came on there that he’d died and … so, you know, I have this article. It’s all in Dutch and I still have no idea what it says about the man. My uncle. He married my father’s sister and she became Dutch. She took out a Dutch citizenship when she married him. And he was very close to Wilhelmina and she assigned him to the Dutch East-Indies to be the (last) Governor General. Sent him off to Batavia. And then the Japanese came. And the Japanese put my aunt and one daughter, one of my cousins, into a concentration camp. They took him to Japan and then they took him to other places. And he was finally released by the Russians in Manchuria or Mongolia. I can’t remember somewhere. On the edge of China. I think it was Manchuria, maybe. And the Russians came in and he said the Russians opened the gates and they said: ‘You’re free to go now’. He said: ‘Free to go where?’ They didn’t know where they were. And they said: ‘Anywhere you want to go’. And he said: ‘We go with you. We have no food, no clothes, no nothing, you know’. So they walked back to Moscow and they took the trains whenever the trains went. But they also walked a lot of the way back to Moscow. It was a long time after the war ended before we finally saw him again.

You can send a copy of that article to Harry and he will translate it. That would be great. I just keep thinking Tineke is going to translate it for me but after all these years…

Noot van Harry Vogel: Het verhaal van de oom waar Bill Clifton het in de voorlaatste alinea over had liet me op een bepaalde manier niet los. Ik had daar een kort zinnetje over gelezen in het boek van Bill C. Malone (op bladzijde 96). Dankzij Delpher weet ik nu dat het blijkt te gaan om Jonkheer Mr. Alidius Warmoldus Lambertus Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer (Groningen, 7 maart 1888 – Wassenaar, 16 augustus 1978). Op Wikipedia is een aardige, zij het korte, biografie van de man te lezen. Zowel hij als z’n vader zijn Commissaris van de Koningin in Groningen geweest. Het Van Starkenborghkanaal in Groningen is naar de familie vernoemd. Het grappige is dat P. en ik amper een kilometer van het Van Starkenborghkanaal wonen…

Vorige post Volgende post

Onderaan de post is een blokje waar u een reactie achter kunt laten. Ik stel dat zeer op prijs! U wordt gevraagd om een mailadres. Dit mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd, maar stelt mij – als beheerder van deze site – in staat om te reageren op uw reactie.