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Accordion Noir radio playlist 2011-11-09: Before the Blues with Jared Snyder

November 8, 2021
AccNoir 2011-11-09

sadie saddler.jpg

From ten years ago, here’s episode 258 of CFRO Co-Op Community Radio’s weekly hour-long Accordion Noir program.  On this occasion, Bruce interviewed Jared Snyder, the preeminent scholar of the Black American accordion tradition, and this episode can be considered foundational to one of the most interesting chapters in Bruce’s “Accordion Revolution” history book, answering the question of how and why Leadbelly and Muddy Waters knew how to play windjammer.  At its original online home, this episode logged some 5810 listens, but you can continue enjoying it as digital audio today courtesy of the Internet Archive.  Here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2011-11-09, African Americans played Accordion before they played the Blues, with Jared Snyder

Many thanks to the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College for use of a number of these rare recordings:

Some Blue Ridge Institute recordings are happily online at the Digital Library of Appalachia:

*Artists – Song – Album (year) and more information

* Andy Fielding – Accordion Noir theme (short version, 1:06) – Accordion Noir (2010) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – recorded special just for our show! More,
* Frank Tolliver, Hiawatha Giles – Get Right With God – Digital Library of Appalachia, recorded by Lip Lornell (1981) – Massies Mill, Nelson County, Virginia, USA – Digital Library of Appalachia /
* Lead Belly – John Hardy (b) – African American Accordion (1943) – Mooringsport, Louisiana (in Caddo Parish), USA
The five Lead Belly accordion tunes are: “Corn Bread Rough,” “John Hardy” (2 different versions), “Laura,” and “Sukey Jump.”) They can be found scattered over a few compilations from the Library of Congress and Smithsonian/Folkways and Mose Asch’s recordings available on Document:
* Walter Rhodes – The Crowing Rooster (1927) – Ruleville, Mississippi, USA –
* Blind Jesse Harris – Sun’s Gonna Shine in My Backdoor Someday – African American Accordion (1937) – Shuqualak, Mississippi, USA (recorded in Livingston, Alabama) –
*Sidney Babineaux, Rayne One Step… Zydeco Early Years (Various Artists) –
* Clarence Waddy – Eve – Virginia Traditions: Non Blues Secular Black Music (1977) – Northumberland County, Virginia, USA – (recorded at Wicomico Church by Roddy Moore and Kip Lornell. April 6, 1977.) – The Blue Ridge Institute has released some of these recordings over the years:
* Lead Belly – Laura – Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (1947) – Mooringsport, Louisiana (in Caddo Parish), USA
* Amédé Ardoin and Dennis McGee – Les Blues De Crowley (1934) – Louisiana, USA – Mama, I’ll Be Long Gone: The Complete Recordings of Amede Ardoin, 1929 – 1934,
* Frank Tolliver – Death’s Cold Hand Be Leaving Me – Digital Library of Appalachia, recorded by Lip Lornell (1981) – Massies Mill, Nelson County, Virginia, USA – Digital Library of Appalachia /

Tonight’s cover illustration is: Sister Sadie B. Saddler, in Shaw Mississippi, 1972. From Jared Snyder’s article “Squeezebox: Legacy of the Afro-Mississippi Accordionists.” Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 17, 1997. (pg 37-57)

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Thanks much,

Bruce and Rowan


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Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

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