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The Beautiful Music All Around UsField Recordings and the American Experience$
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Stephen Wade

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036880

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036880.001.0001

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Nashville Washboard Band

Nashville Washboard Band

Something Out of Nothing

(p.129) 5 Nashville Washboard Band
The Beautiful Music All Around Us

Stephen Wade

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the recordings of the Nashville Washboard Band. In the spring of 1942 Fisk University music professor John W. Work III welcomed a quartet of street musicians called the Nashville Washboard Band into his home. This visit marked the first of two. The second took place that July when the group, bringing along a fifth player, returned to make their sole recordings. The group was a frequent sight in downtown Nashville, playing less than a hundred feet from the War Memorial Auditorium, where the Grand Ole Opry broadcast its weekly radio show. When not stationed there or beside the Andrew Jackson Hotel nearby, they entertained the lunchtime crowd that gathered on the south steps of the state capitol. The group's four principal members all lived within walking distance of these spots where they toted their largely climate-resistant instruments. They also offered a repertory bound to pique the attention of passersby.

Keywords:   Nashville Washboard Band, Library of Congress recordings, John W. Work III, quartets, street musicians, Nashville

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