Recordially, Lou Curtiss
  • 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 […]

  • A Letter from Woody Guthrie to Fred Scratcher (aka Fred Gerlach) with a comment or two from little Anny Guthrie

    Note: Fred Gerlach was one of the few 12-string guitar players who played in the Leadbelly style back in the day. Although he never met Leadbelly, he did live for many years with Leadbelly’s niece, Tiny, and was a part of People’s Songs. Gerlach ran regularly with Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Pete Seeger, and all […]

  • Tales from My Dad

    My dad was 14 years old when he hopped the Great Northern Freight Train, determined to see the world and work his way doing it. In his 70 years he managed a good piece of things, met a lot of people, became a member of the board of the Hobos Union, joined a bunch of […]

  • A Bunch of Hard-to-Get Records

    TOMMY COLLINS: Tommy was one of the first Bakersfield Country Singers and songwriters but other than the Bear Family box set this is the first set of his to appear. Tommy always had good bands and his sides for Capitol featuring Tommy’s distinctive vocals accompanied by Buck Owens, Fuzzy Owens, and others. It includes his […]

  • Mary McCaslin

    We were putting on a Lightnin’ Hopkins concert at the Bifrost Bridge coffeehouse back in the late ’60s and needed an opening act. Conrad von Metzke who was really in charge of the thing got in touch with Ed Douglas at the Blue Guitar who recommended this young singer-songwriter named Mary McCaslin, whom he had […]

  • Reminiscing

    I used to stay in Chula Vista with my Grandmother in the summer months back in the 1950s and that’s where I got acquainted with the Maddox Brothers and Rose. They owned a club in National City (I think it was called Club Twenty-One). At any rate, they played there quite a bit. Now, I […]

  • Frank Stokes

    There was a Memphis area blues singer, one of my favorites, in the ’20s and ’30s, named Frank Stokes, who was one hell of a guitar picker and an exciting and original vocalist. He made several records on his own and worked with another guitarist named Dan Sane in a duet that they called the […]