Mississippi Delta & Hill Country (1978)

Bluesmen; fife-and-drum ensembles; former muleskinners and railroad tie-tampers; and tall-tale reciters. Performers include Skip James collaborator Jack Owens, former Mississippi Sheik Sam Chatmon, diddley-bow player Lonnie Pitchford, fife legend Otha Turner, and R. L. Burnside in his first film appearance.

 

 
Fragmentary verses of "John Henry," sung by Joe Savage and Walter Brown. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Walter Brown and Joe Savage sing variants of a levee camp shack-rouster's song that woke the laborers in the morning. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
 
Walter Brown and Joe Savage discuss John Henry. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Walter Brown recalls a pickle he got into while gambling at a rice-mill in Crowley, Louisiana, with "all them Creoles and Frenchmens." Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Former muleskinner Walter Brown recites a rhyme recalling a particular payday in the Greenville levee camp. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.
 
Former muleskinner Walter Brown tells the story of a particular payday in the Greenville levee camp. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi, August 22, 1978.

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