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Interview about the benefits of whiskey; maintaining at work; negotiating differences in foremen; Bacon's work history6649A, , 8-8-1942

Interviewed by Lewis Jones and Alan Lomax, with some comments by Elias Boykin. After discussing whiskey, bosses, Mexicans on a crew in Kansas, he explains his work history, first on a levee camp (at Wolf River Bottom, Tenn.) and later on the railroad. After getting laid off, he followed musician friends Joe and Buddy Davis into Memphis where he became “a little sheik on gamblin'” before he started following the harvest until 1929. “…a pint of whiskey, and go on home and drink it, and he stay by the fire, that’ll help him. When they fixed it so a man [who] went out in the exposure couldn’t get a whiskey that’s the worst thing they could do. That’s the life of a man, out, you see. When he come in and open the pores of his skin, see. He been out chill all day long, some time he wet, sometime he be in a place he can’t make a fire. Well, out in the exposure, and all that exposure and stuff goin’ in his skin—if he drink him a little whiskey—I don’t mean go and do like some folks, get on the streets and get sloppy drunk and things like that—which, why, you can’t take care of your job if you do that. But just drink a little whiskey, you know, along. That better for him, you see. He’ll live and last and be whole lots more super than a man who don’t never drink no whiskey. You catch a man who don’t never drink no whiskey and be out in the exposure, well, why, he’s always be hurting, or aching, or he can’t halfway pick up or somethin’ all the time. But if he drink him a little whiskey along, it help him. That gives him pep. Nerve.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

spokenvocalclarksdalecoahomamississippitourist
Interview about Georgia Skin and gambling / Jack O' Diamonds6649B, , 8-8-1942, ,

Discussion of gambling and hustling cards interspersed with singing of “Jack O’ Diamonds” and assorted floating verses. Band begins with idle guitar picking. Band ends with a woman’s voice: “I wouldn’t let those boys sit on the bed.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

holler spokenguitar vocalclarksdalecoahomamississippitourist
Interview about whites' attitudes towards blacks6650B3, , 8-9-1942

“They’d rather have ignorant niggers; don’t know nothing.” Identified on AFS card as “Attitudes of white people toward Negroes.”

spokenvocalclarksdalecoahomamississippi
Interview about ghosts6654B2, 8-9-1942, spoken storyvocalclarksdalecoahomamississippi