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78 BluesFolksongs and Phonographs in the American South$
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John Minton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781934110195

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781934110195.001.0001

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I Ought to Be Recording Right Now

I Ought to Be Recording Right Now

(p.125) Chapter Six I Ought to Be Recording Right Now
78 Blues

John Minton

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter argues that many old-time records actually celebrate the incompatibility of folksongs and phonographs, discovering in that contrast a marvelous fund of perceptual dislocation or semantic disjunction. These items own up to an undeniable fact: despite its eminently human character, the old-time record is after all a thing: a shellac disc, holed at the center with a gaudy paper label, produced, purchased, and consumed like any other fashionable commodity. But unlike some such curiosities, it record plunges participants into an existential quandary—especially those accustomed to thinking of music as a natural outgrowth of their closest personal acquaintances and most familiar routines.

Keywords:   old-time records, Southern music, folk songs, phonographs, sound recordings, recorded paradoxes

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