Monday, 23 March 2009

A man, a woman, a story

This photograph shows:

a field of corn
a thin old man
violin and bow
poised fingers
round wire rimmed glasses
an eye behind reflection
a bent nose (possibly broken)
a tie and fastened collar
creased, puckered lapels (an old jacket)
grey short hair
a moustache and stubbled chin
browned weathered skin
missing front teeth
A woman (younger but not young)
long neat skirt and jacket (circa 1920's)
a stockinged ankle with shinned shoes 
a pencil or pen held against a notepad
dark tidied bobbed hair 
a plain face with frown marks
straight back chairs (one leaning)
uneven ground

each of these details can tell a story or is part of a story.

The photograph is of the great fiddle player J W Day (aka Jilson Setters or "Blind Bill Day") and his manager Jean Thomas,  taken in Rowen County, Kentucky 1926. The self-taught fiddle player Day was a recluse who lived in the Kentucky mountains. Aged 65 he was discovered by Thomas (a traveling court stenographer) who presented him at Ashland's American Folk Song Festival. Thomas managed Day and he traveled the world, recorded for RCA Victor, played at folk festivals, high society functions and to King George V at the Royal Albert Hall. 

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