November 26, 2008 by gadaya
Nelstone’s Hawaiians’s World
Hubert Nelson and James D. Touchstone, the duo forming Nelstone’s ( a combination of the member’s surnames) Hawaiians were from southern Alabama and recorded a few 78rpm records at the end of the 1920′s. One of the first country group to use Hawaiian steel guitar and record the country music standard “Just Because”.
The craze for hawaiian music in America started in the early 20th century. The exotic sounds of hawaiian guitars and ukuleles were featured everywhere in pop and mainstream music of that time and hawaiians musicians were blending their own styles with jazz and country influences. Blues musicians were inspired by the slides techniques and made it their own, using bottlenecks and knifes. The hawaiian falsetto singing was echoed by the yodel in the voice of country singers like Jimmy Rodgers and Gene Autry and steel guitar would soon be an essential part of western swing and modern country music.
I’ve compiled all the tracks available by Nelstone’s Hawaiians and added several ones by another early country duet that featured hawaiian slide guitar, Darby and Tarlton.
1.Fatal Flower Garden
4.Mobile County Blues
5.Adam & Eve
6.North Bound Train
7.You’ll Never Find A Daddy Like Me
8.Down in Florida on a Hog
10.Columbus Stockade Blues
12.Captain Won’t You Let Me Go Home
13On The Banks Of A Lonely River
The Fatal Flower Garden Variations
“Fatal Flower Garden” comes from the english traditionnal folk song “Sir Hugh”, it’s one of the oldest of the “Child Ballads”, dating back to the Middle-Ages, and one of the scariest too. In fact, it’s not easy to talk about the subject of this song, the murder of a child by a “jew’s daughter”, wich has very antisemitic overtones. It was common in those days, in Europe, to accuse “foreigners” (gypsies, jews) when a ritual murder was commited and It leaded to pogroms and lynchs and other many horrible doings. Put in his context, it’s otherwise a “fine” traditionnal folk song and many modern versions simply eluds “the jew’s daughter” reference.
-You can go here to read more about the song’s background.
-Here, you’ll have another fine article and the complete lyrics for the Nelstone’s Hawaiians’s version.
-I found also this on the net, wich evokes the figure of Harry Smith also.
-I gathered 10 variants of the song for your listening pleasure:
1.It Rained a Mist, Ollie Gilbert, from “Southern Journey, Vol. 7: Ozark Frontier”
2.The Jew’s Daughter, Cecilia Costello, from “Classics Ballads fom Britain & Ireland vol.2″
3.Little Sir Hugh, Steeleye Span, from “Commoner’s Crown”
4.The Jew’s Garden, Fran Majors, from “The Max Hunter Folksong Collection”
5.The Jew’s Garden, Mrs Allie Long Parker, from “ The Max Hunter Folksong Collection”
6.Little Sir Hugh (Child 155), Ian Campbell Folk Group, from “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
7.Fatal Flower Garden, The Black Strap Molasses Family, from “The Elixir That’ll Fix ‘Er”
8.Little Sir William, Graham Johnson, from “BRITTEN: Folk Song Arrangements”
9.Fatal Flower Garden, Andrew Bird, from a live recording
10.Fatal Flower Garden, Peggy Seeger, from “Heading for Home”
-Here’s a video clip that features Gavin Friday’s version of “Fatal Flower Garden” and speaks about anti-semitism and racism in Ireland.