Discussion:
Old-time "black" fiddle in Texas
(too old to reply)
j***@msn.com
2005-03-01 16:28:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Surprising and disappointing how few recordings (commercial or not) we
seem to have of "black" fiddlers born before, say, 1920 in Texas,
considering the dozens from other states who recorded, and the fact
that it's routine for a "black" Texas guitarist to mention that his
father played fiddle.

Joseph Scott
Kerry Blech
2005-03-01 17:48:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I believe the late Texas A&M professor William A. Owens made some
instantaneous disk recordings of African-American old time fiddlers in
Texas in about 1942, around the same time he recorded Peter
Tumlinson Bell. I don't have information handy at the moment, but
Steve Green some years ago sent me an online link to listings (perhaps
at University of Texas-Austin) of Owens' recordings, which is where
I learned of this.

In my research and scouring for the P.T. Bell recordings, I found that
the original aluminum disks seem to have disappeared, though one of
the deans at Texas A&M thought they were in an archive there in
College Station. Reel-to-real acetate tape "safe" copies were made of at
least some of this material, the Bell recordings for certain.

I will be sorting through my files in the near future, so if I find my notes
on this, I will certainly post them.

Best regards,
kerry

--
Post by j***@msn.com
Surprising and disappointing how few recordings (commercial or not) we
seem to have of "black" fiddlers born before, say, 1920 in Texas,
considering the dozens from other states who recorded, and the fact
that it's routine for a "black" Texas guitarist to mention that his
father played fiddle.
Joseph Scott
Bill Rogers
2005-03-01 23:49:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Acetate tape copies are anything but "safe." Likely they're just
plastic pieces & flakes by now.

Bill
.... Reel-to-real acetate tape "safe" copies were made of at
least some of this material, the Bell recordings for certain....
l***@maroon.tc.umn.edu
2005-03-01 23:59:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bill Rogers
Acetate tape copies are anything but "safe." Likely they're just
plastic pieces & flakes by now.
Bill
.... Reel-to-real acetate tape "safe" copies were made of at
least some of this material, the Bell recordings for certain....
Sad but true. With any luck, they weren't acetate. Polyester tapes seem
to be as close to permanent as one could hope for -- certainly more
permanent than CDs, which, if they don't disintegrate, will become
quickly unreadable due to technology changes. I have Scotch 1.5 mil
polyester reel-to-reel tapes from the early 1960s that have not
noticeably deteriorated. The Ektachrome slides we took back then --
well, that's another matter.

Lyle
Seven Inch Dilly
2005-03-02 15:48:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
... Polyester tapes seem
to be as close to permanent as one could hope for -- certainly more
permanent than CDs, which, if they don't disintegrate, will become
quickly unreadable due to technology changes...
Not really. Lifetime estimate for CDR is currently ~100 years, more or
less.

But the primary benefit is that once analog audio has been digitized, copies
made to other digital media in the future result in no further information
loss. All media eventually deteriorates and all technology eventually
becomes obsolete. Magnetic media degrades in storage and analog tape suffers
from "print through", as the particles magnetize the adjacent layers on the
reel. Thicker tape is better than thinner tape, respooling the tape helps,
but it is only a matter of time. Information will be lost with each
generational copy from analog media. However, once digitized, audio (and
images) last indefinitely as as long as someone bothers to copy them to
whatever digital media is currently available.
David Sanderson
2005-03-02 00:56:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bill Rogers
Acetate tape copies are anything but "safe." Likely they're just
plastic pieces & flakes by now.
Bill
Depends on the tape used; some was stable, some was a disaster. I've
got 40-year-old quarter-inch tapes that are in quite good shape; various
techniques exist for getting at deteriorated older tapes, including baking.
--
David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine

***@adelphia.net
http://www.dwsanderson.com
Bill Rogers
2005-03-02 06:50:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I have good 40-year-old tapes too; they're Mylar (polyester), not
acetate. But I may just have had bad luck with acetate.

Bill
Post by David Sanderson
Post by Bill Rogers
Acetate tape copies are anything but "safe." Likely they're just
plastic pieces & flakes by now.
Bill
Depends on the tape used; some was stable, some was a disaster. I've
got 40-year-old quarter-inch tapes that are in quite good shape; various
techniques exist for getting at deteriorated older tapes, including baking.
--
David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine
http://www.dwsanderson.com
b***@gmail.com
2014-06-14 00:01:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by j***@msn.com
Surprising and disappointing how few recordings (commercial or not) we
seem to have of "black" fiddlers born before, say, 1920 in Texas,
considering the dozens from other states who recorded, and the fact
that it's routine for a "black" Texas guitarist to mention that his
father played fiddle.
Joseph Scott
Hmm. 2005. That's a long time ago. I am working on a project that involves three fiddles from black communities in central Texas, all born about 1900. Recordings were made 1965-66. If interested contact me. ***@fostersplace.com
Loading...