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Stories of Jefferson Davis and Isaiah T. Montgomery4777A9/2/1941,

Stories of Jeff Davis and Isaiah T. Montgomery. Johnson was born a slave at Davis’s Hurricane Plantation. Primary interviewer is Lewis Jones.

www.loc.gov/resource/afc2004004.ms070317/?sp=34johnsongoral-history storyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
Recollections of Jefferson Davis' slaves band and dances; settlement and bands in Mound Bayou4777B9/2/1941

Story by Unidentified man (named, in some capacity, after Jefferson Davis) concerning the 14-piece brass band that Jeff Davis organized originally for his slaves, of which the speaker was a member till 1884. Discusses the repertoire and some of the dances (ring plays; quadrilles). He also discusses his resettlement and bands in Mound Bayou. Interview ends with a discussion of diminishing African American presence in the town.

www.loc.gov/resource/afc2004004.ms070317/?sp=34johnsongoral-historyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
Recollections of church at Hurricane; field hollers and blues; dances and church songs; Davis Bend excursions; cotton-pickings and community celebrations4778A9/2/1941

Recollections of “getting religion” at Hurricane Plantation, meetings and songs (including a short performance of “Mercy Seat”). Jones asks about singing in the field; the interviewee sings “Old Black Joe.” Discussion of first hearing the blues – “too wild” – when he first arrived in Mound Bayou 54 years previously; dance music around Mound Bayou; songs in the A.M.E. church (with brief sung example) and old-time jubilee/revival songs; a local fiddler and recitation of “I lost my fiddle and I lost my bow”; childrens’ games; white excursions to Davis Bend.

www.loc.gov/resource/afc2004004.ms070317/?sp=34johnsongoral-historyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
Recollections of bands at Davis Bend; studying music at Alcorn; contemporary musicians in Mound Bayou4778B9/2/1941

Recollections of Davis Bend bands (string and brass) and their instrumentation; fife-blowing; studying music at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University); lack of contemporary musical ability in Mound Bayou. Brief discussions of farming and raising children in Mound Bayou; white vs. black musical ability; the price of fuel; Jeff Davis’ glass eye; his grandmother.

www.loc.gov/resource/afc2004004.ms070317/?sp=34johnsongoral-historyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
Recollections of learning music; reels, blues and march music; mother's Creole origins4779A9/2/1941

Recollections of learning to read music; drummers and bones players; marches and quick steps and his distaste for blues; more on Jeff Davis; his mother’s Louisiana Creole origins (he cusses Jones out in Creole French); fiddles and banjos; brief talk on jazz and “tough songs.”

www.loc.gov/resource/afc2004004.ms070317/?sp=34johnsongoral-historyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
Recollections of slavery-time conditions and activities at Hurricane Plantation4779B9/2/1941

Recollections of conditions for slaves on Jefferson Davis’ Hurricane Plantation; Davis’ mule Righteous Bill and barnyard; corn-huskings, horse races, and riding tournaments; ghosts, spirits, and black superstitions; lullabies his mother sang; Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox (stories he purports to have never heard because he wasn’t interested in hearing them); dance steps. The interview ends with a discussion of Jeff Davis’ walking stick of given to the speaker by Montgomery and, after a distorted passage, conditions for young Negroes in Mississippi.

johnsongoral-historyvocalmound-bayoumississippi
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