"...We played for white people...I still think about that...You go play dances, you could get in the front, or anywhere. The next day you wanted to buy a drink, you had to go in the back, if you was black."
"George Jones, I’m the one who put him where he’s at…That man was poor. He begged me to play. I didn’t need him, I had a 7 piece band. I hired him anyway…five dollars a night...After the dance he would just sleep on the table ‘til daybreak and get a ride back to Beaumont."
Sonny Simmons with Michael White
& Frederick Harris – Land of the Freaks – 2000
Listen as record producer J.D. Miller and musician Abe Manuel talk with Chris Strachwitz about the legendary Cajun fiddler Harry Choates. Choates had a unique style that combined Cajun music and Western Swing, and was best known for his 1946 hit recording of Jolie Blon. Listen to the interview here..
Chris Strachwitz — "Paul was a remarkable person and devoted educator who taught me so much and inspired me to become serious about the music and the musicians who continued to create the Blues and who were willing to record for my microphone with which I attempted to document their ever changing music yet which retained a marvelous tradition". ...read more...
Down South 1960 — The beginning of a record label.
In the summer of 1960 Chris Strachwitz took the first of many trips that would start his long career as a "song catcher". He wrote about his journey in an article for the International Blues Record Club Bulletin shortly after his return to California where he would issue the first Arhoolie Record "Mance Lipscomb - Texas Sharecropper and Songster". His travels and encounters with Mack McCormick, Bill Quinn (Gold Star Records), Paul Oliver, Mance Lipscomb, Bob Pinson, Lil' Son Jackson, Jasper Love, Bo Carter, Gus Cannon, Clifton Chenier, Sam Chatman, Black Ace, the Hodges Brothers, and others describe a world long gone . Read the article...