Recordially, Lou Curtiss
  • The Golden Age of Country Music

    The 1950s was a golden age for country music on television here on the West Coast. Along with Town Hall Party, which ran the whole decade and into the 1960s, it seemed as if every station had a country music show or two and several of them had even more. Along the way I remember […]

  • Getting Connected with the Blues

    Up until 1966 my connections with old-time blues had been mostly in collecting blues records and going to concerts and festivals. In the ’50s and ’60s I managed to see live a good many important treasures of that music, including Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, […]

  • Mike Seeger

    I guess the first time I met Mike Seeger was at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Up until that time country music for me was the kind of stuff I heard and saw around Southern California like Town Hall Party, Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree, and San Diego’s Smokey Rogers, etc. Folk music included a pretty […]

  • A Very Mellow-as-a-Cello Vout-o-Reenee Guy Named Slim

    We were recording on Sunset Boulevard, right across from a TV station. After we did three sides, the A&R man sent us out for some air. I was glad to get it because I didn’t have a fourth song. Just outside the studio they were repairing the street, and one of those cement machines was […]

  • The Sign of the Sun

    Harold Darling opened the Sign of the Sun bookstore at Adams and College Ave. in San Diego sometime around 1960, catering to the students of San Diego State (then College) with used textbooks and magazines of a political and artistic bent, It was the time of folk music’s all-too-brief tie up with the pop music […]

  • More Memories from Lou Curtiss

    Note from the Editor: Lou Curtiss passed away on July 8 at the age of 79. The Troubadour will be rerunning selections of Lou’s column, Recordially, Lou Curtiss, indefinitely, from the vast archive of his writings, dating back to 2001, so here are a few more golden nuggets from Lou. There are so many great […]

  • Town Hall on Any Saturday Night

    Note from the Editor: For those who don’t know, Lou Curtiss passed away on July 8 at the age of 79. The Troubadour will be rerunning selections of Lou’s column, Recordially, Lou Curtiss, from the vast archive of his writings, dating back to 2001, at least through the end of the year and perhaps beyond. […]

  • The Local Coffeehouse Scene Back in the Day

    Like many kids who grew up during the ‘50s, I guess I was attracted to (among other things) the Beat Movement. I read the books and fantasized about being “on the road” and even later did some of that, but first I had to check out the coffeehouse scene. It was 1957 (and I was […]

  • A Letter from Woody Guthrie to Fred Scratcher (aka Fred Gerlach), part two

    Dearest Fred (continued), I guess I’m really trying to say that Leadbelly hated this brand and breed of a full-blooded imitator just about as bad as I’ve always hated them. My worst pain so far in my trip through this revoluting life-span of mine has been set off and caused by these armies of blind […]

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