Yazoo Records was founded by J. Nicholas Perls not as a way to distribute Robert Crumb's music related artwork, but as an extension of a serious record collecting habit shared by himself and a handful of other 78-rpm country-blues afficianados. Following in the footsteps of trailblazer Harry Smith and his famous anthology, over the years Perls and a few employees (notably Stephen Calt who wrote many if not most of the brilliant Yazoo liner notes) released dozens of collections of rare sides—from the raunchy blues of Bo Carter to the Hawaiian guitar of Roy Smeck. [more inside]
"With this blog, I want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore American folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best I can." (via)
Harry Everett Smith was a, "20th-century Renaissance man, working as an abstract film-maker, painter, musicologist, anthropologist, theoretician, self-mythologizer and connoisseur of arcana". His Anthology of American Folk Music was hugely influential on American music, while his alchemical, synæsthetic films were to have a similar impact on experimental film and animation. Enjoy his mesmerising and astonishing "Early Abstractions" on Youtube [part 1 or 4], hear Harry lecture, or listen to some tracks from The Anthology.
Without Harry Smith I wouldn’t have existed!
… I put Harry Smith with the three most dear to me GRAND INTELLIGENCE!! Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Harry Smith…These were sharp motherfuckers… and heavy… talk about heavy!!
Harry Smith, a central figure in the mid-20th-century avant-garde, was a complex artistic figure who made major contributions to the fields of sound recording, independent filmmaking, the visual arts, and ethnographic collecting. Along with Kenneth Anger, Jordan Belson, and Oskar Fischinger, Smith is considered one of America’s leading experimental filmmakers. He would often hand-paint directly on film creating unique, complex compositions that have been interpreted as investigations of conscious and unconscious mental processes. Smith began as a teenager to record Native American songs and rituals. He is best known for his Anthology of American Folk Music, a music collection widely credited with launching the urban folk revival.The Anthology is the focus here, but Harry Smith, the artist, avant garde film maker, polymath, musicologist and quintessential hipster must be mentioned, too. Details Within