In het vorige (3e deel van deze reeks) gingen Bert Nobbe, Kees Jansen en ik terug naar de opnamen van The Carter Family Conference die Kees Jansen en ik in 2002 bezocht hadden. De interviews met Bill Clifton vonden twee jaar later plaats. Op Kees Jansen en mij heeft The Carter Family Conference een enorme indruk achtergelaten, iets waar we kort geleden nog over spraken. Om op een manier als deze opnieuw met deze periode aan de slag te kunnen is eerlijk gezegd nog veel leuker dan ik dacht…

Recordings and conference


After the conference we asked Lucy about these recordings because we knew that things were being taped. And then Lucy said: ‘Well yeah, you can have those recordings on one condition: don’t quote directly from spoken word’. Yes, we could quote but not too large parts. Ah… I see…

Janette Carter.

Because of copyright infringements and stuff like that. Especially Bill Malone who was working on a book that tied into the conference was quite adamant about that. And then we said: ‘Oh, okay’. But we got those recordings anyway, so we made copies for… Kees has a set of recordings and I do too, I think. And Kees has transcribed all of that into English and we’ve, both of us, have translated that into Dutch. And we used that as a basis for Rienk’s articles. But you can have those. We can give them to you. We could give you the recordings and the transcriptions as well. The English transcription, that is. Because we still have that. I would love to have those. Yeah, I will gladly provide you with blank CDR’s or whatever you need to do that because I would love to have those. Well, I’ve been wanting those and so has Mike Seeger and so has … well, I don’t know that Janette will be so interested now. She was interested at first about it and then I think now she maybe… She’s had so much pain and she’s been in so much… She’s been really confined to the house. Except Saturday nights she goes down to the fold. But she has a very difficult time walking; she uses a cane and she does walk but with great difficulty and still some pain. But I guess Mike and I would both really like to have. So if I have a set then I can get copies made for Mike too, you know.

Foto van één van de optredens op de 2e dag van The Carter Family Conference in 2002.
John Forman.

Well, we did not get to talk to Mike all that much. We shook hands, I think. But I was impressed with the things he had to say. But with the concert afterwards, the second day, the concert, my goodness… I know that Kees sat in the audience with his little tape machine and his microphone, and he taped the concert as well And ifs not that good but it’s good enough to enjoy. The concert wasn’t really all that good, I don’t think. But I do think the show of people who came to the concert was very impressive. Now you may not have known a lot of those people and I didn’t recognize a lot of them. But one very old friend of mine who I didn’t recognize and who I should have because he hadn’t changed that much was John Forman. Now John Forman is a singer of musical, music hall songs. And he’s a teacher, also. But he used to, when I was singing in England, he was going around and singing in folk clubs doing music hall songs. Like ‘My baby’s gone down the plughole’ and this kind of thing, typical music hall songs. And he showed up for that. And I was amazed to see him there because, I mean… But he knows The Carter Family through me and he knows The Carter Family songs through me. And so he wanted to meet Janette and to hear where those things…

The Carter Family. Van links naar rechts: Maybelle, A.P. en Sarah.

We still talk about that event. What do you think of all the information that was presented at that conference? Well, you see: having not heard those things I don’t know. The only one I know about is the one that I was part of. That was Bill Malone’s, the one that he was in charge of. And I think Bill did a fine job of it and I think a lot of good information came out. How much can you give in a couple of hours or an hour and a half or whatever it was? I don’t know. It wasn’t very long. Was it an hour and a half?

Yeah, something like that. It wasn’t much more than an hour and a half. It might have been two hours, but I don’t think…

Kees Jansen en Bill C. Malone tijdens het interview dat we in 2002 tijdens de Carter Family Conference deden voor Strictly Country. Het boek dat Bill C. Malone over de conferentie zou schrijven is er volgens mij nooit gekomen. In plaats daarvan verscheen ongeveer 6 jaar geleden een boek van zijn hand over Bill Clifton. Toen ik dat in de gaten kreeg bleek het de aanleiding te zijn voor het publiceren van deze reeks ‘unpublished Bill Clifton interviews’.
Bill Clifton tijdens zijn presentatie tijdens The Carter Family Conference in 2002.

What stood out for me was that Neil Rosenberg’s talk and Bill Malone’s talk and Nolan [Porterfield]’s talk, they were vocal things. Just word. And then you came with your computer and apparatus and you had the pictures with it. That gave another dimension to the whole thing. Yeah I had some pictures of Poor Valley, yeah. Well, I’ve always said I think people have to know where The Carter Family comes from to understand the music. Because the music is pastoral music. It’s beautiful music about a time and a place. And the time and the place haven’t changed. They really haven’t changed much. The time in Poor Valley is, well… John Lair used to run a program on Renfro Valley on Sunday’s from CBS when I was growing up. And he said: ‘This is Renfro Valley days. The land where time stands still’. And time has stood still, pretty much around Mendota and around Maces Spring. It hasn’t changed much in fifty years.

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