Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An American Poets Song Book

Jim Bartow & The Harlem Blues Consort: Away

Jim Bartow & The Harlem Blues Consort: Philosophy

I pulled this record out of my father's collection. I pulled it out cause I'd never seen it before in any of my travels and it looked interesting. And when I flipped it over I saw that it was inscribed to my pops from the dude who made the record.

My father's name is Larry Cox. He's a good man. He spent his whole life fighting for Human Rights and Social Justice. I admire him greatly.

The inscription is dated march 1976.  Back then my pop's was doing a radio program on WBAI called "taking it easy, but taking it". Political stuff and music and revolution. You know.

I couldn't find any information about Jim Bartow.
On this particular record he sets poems by people like Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and Paul Lawrence Dunbar to music.

The way he arranges the singing of "Away", which is a Robert Frost joint, is so weird and beautiful that I had to share it. I'm also posting one of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar songs. He was a was a seminal American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of course I had never heard of him because the teaching of accomplishments by black Americans, at least when I was a kid, was not really a priority in the New York City public school system. It was a quick Langston Hughes joint in February and then it was like: move on.

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