The Ballard of Geeshie Elvie: This is a great read in you like history, investigative journalism, and/or Blues music:
Dear Caitlin Rose Love,
I was catching up on some past NYT Magazines and was totally captivated by the Geeshie and Elvie story. Tracing music back through its roots is exciting stuff for sure. I have an ongoing playlist on Spotify of hip-hop songs followed by the funk/soul/jazz song they sampled (kids stuff compared to your work). Nothing comes from nothing and you can always dig deeper …but not much deeper than the earliest Blues recordings. Your research is truly at the headwaters of American music.
So I’m curious. The article purposely doesn’t go into much detail about your time with Mack McCormick though it makes allusions to the goals you had in mind with the project. I’m wondering what you were hoping to achieve and how you were going to set about doing it. Did you have a pet project in mind like Geeshie & Elvie? Also, what do you think will happen to all of McCormick’s notes when he passes?
That story aside, I’m a Dallas native and am proud of our rich Blues history here. People are finally working to preserve 508 Park Ave, where Robert Johnson recorded. Deep Ellum is coming back strong and traces of “the tradition” live on. Has any of your research brought you to Dallas?
Thanks Caitlin. Rock on.
PS: Have you read In Search of the Blues by Bill Minutaglio (a previous letter recipient in the project)? He writes in a similar vein but looks at a broader scope of African American culture.