Florida Memory is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, Bureau of Archives and Records Management. The digitized records on Florida Memory come from the collections of the State Archives of Florida and the special collections of the State Library of Florida.
State Archives of Florida
Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night
Blues Music from the Florida Folklife Collection
The music presented on Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002.
Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard Blues by Albert "Buck" Thompson, Charles Atkins and Martin "Tampa Blue" Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont Blues.
The blues has enjoyed a rich and varied tradition in Florida. Folklorists such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alan Lomax, and Stetson Kennedy documented blues from the late 1920s until the early 1940s. Blues musicians received widespread attention during the 1960s blues and folk music revival. In 1978, the North Florida Folklife Project began to reexamine and document performances by blues musicians throughout the state.
The music presented on this CD was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002. Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard blues by Albert "Buck" Thompson, Charles Atkins, and Martin “Tampa Blue” Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo, Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont blues. Other performances from the Florida Folk Festival include renditions of classic blues forms on piano with powerful and colorful vocal performances from Ida Goodson, Mary McClain, Marie Buggs, and Alex McBride. Florida Folk Heritage Award winner William "Washboard Bill" Cooke's unique combination of blues, street performance, and folk art illustrates the musician’s love for his home state. Songs by Roy Book Binder, Johnny Brown, Sammy Lee Williams, and Johnny Shines exhibit masterful talents with traditional blues forms through their performances of original material.
With the work of folklorists and archivists, as well as the legacy of creation passed on to future generations by the artists themselves, Florida blues music will remain to be treasured and enjoyed.
1. Palm Trees Shakin' in the Night - Roy Book Binder
Recorded May 28, 1994, in White Springs
2. Careless Love - Ida Goodson
Recorded May 30, 1982, in White Springs
3. Rollin' Stone - Buck Thompson
Recorded February 14, 1985, by Mary Anne McDonald in Hastings
(S1714, Tape 23)
4. Step Up a Little Bit Bigger - Sammy Lee Williams
Recorded April 13, 1980, by Dwight DeVane in Pahokee
5. Dog Days of August - Cephas & Wiggins
Recorded May 25, 1991, by Sherry King in White Springs
7. Nobody Likes Mexico Like I Do - Johnny Brown
Recorded May 10, 1978, by Brenda & Stephen McCallum in St. Petersburg
8. St. Louis Blues - Mary McClain & Ida Goodson
Recorded May 29, 1982, in White Springs
9. M&O Blues - Tampa Blue
Recorded May 24, 2002, in White Springs
10. Crow Jane - Etta Baker
Recorded May 28, 1994, by Nancy Buchanan in White Springs
11. Old Time Rounders - Emmett Murray
Recorded March 9, 1980, by Dwight DeVane & Peggy Bulger in Pahokee
12. Feeling Happy - Marie Buggs & Isaac Hamilton
Recorded May 24, 1986, in White Springs
13. (In the Evening) When the Sun Goes Down - Alex McBride
Recorded May 30, 1993, by Ben Stainer in White Springs
14. Have to Pay the Cost - Johnny Shines
Recorded April 16, 1977, in White Springs
15. Key to the Highway - Charles Atkins & the Blues Boys
Recorded May 26, 1995, by Janet Stainer in White Springs
16. Sunshine Florida - Washboard Bill
Recorded May 27, 1995, by Gerry Langevin in White Springs
17. I'm Grieving All Night Long - Richard Williams
Recorded May 27, 1978, by Dwight DeVane, Brenda McCallum & Stephen McCallum in Jonesville
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