33 items found
Keywords: "Willie Eason" (All words)
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Folklife People:  Willie Eason

Folklife People: Willie Eason

Date
Description
Willie Eason was a pioneering figure in the African American "Sacred Steel" guitar tradition of the House of God, Keith Dominion Holiness-Pentecostal churches. He influenced dozens of musicians and inspired many to play the steel guitar for worship services in nearly 200 House of God churches found in more than two dozen states. Florida is home to more than 40 House of God churches, more than any other state. Eason used the steel guitar to imitate the ornamented, improvised singing he heard in church and became known as "Little Willie and his Talking Guitar." His reputation increased as he made seven 78 rpm records in the 1940s and 50s for black gospel labels. Eason and his family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1986 where he continued to play for House of God services. He received the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1995.
Collection
Folklife Subject: Sacred Steel

Folklife Subject: Sacred Steel

Date
Description
Since the 1930s, the sounds of steel guitar have been heard in an unlikely place, far removed from Nashville or the Hawaiian islands. Musicians in the Pentecostal House of God church use the steel guitar instead of the often-heard organ or piano to lead their lively, music-driven worship services. The very human, voice-like qualities of lap and pedal steel guitars are perfectly suited to underscore a spirited sermon or lead an ecstatic choir in praise. In 1992, while serving as State Folklorist, Bob Stone unearthed what became known as Sacred Steel music in South Florida.
Collection
Florida Crossroads: Florida's Folk Festival

Florida Crossroads: Florida's Folk Festival

Date
1995-07-13
Description
One video recording. (3/4 tape; 28 minutes)An episode of the Florida Public Television series, "Florida Crossroads." Filmed by Florida Public television (through a Florida Dept. of Education grant), the episode features performances, demonstrations, interviews, and presentations at the 1991 Florida Folk Festival (26-28 May). Included are interviews with folklorists, park employees, musicians, artisans, and park attendees, as well examples of the folklife on display at the Festival.
Collection
Video of gospel musician Willie Eason winning the 1995 Florida Folk Heritage Award

Video of gospel musician Willie Eason winning the 1995 Florida Folk Heritage Award

Date
1995-10-07
Description
One video cassette. A popular gospel musician in the St. Petersburg area. He influenced most gospel steel guitarists. He won the 1995 Florida Folk Heritage Award. Video is of that ceremony.
Collection
Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry Nelson performing sacred steel music at various events

Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry Nelson performing sacred steel music at various events

Date
1993-11-26
Description
One audio cassette recording. (Duplicate can be found on tape 5.) The first half of the tape was recorded at a House of God "Family and Friends Day Celebration" in Daytona Beach on 5 September 1993. The second half was recorded at the Ocala House of God Church #2 on 26 November 1993, and the then at the 1994 Florida Folk Festival on May 24 1994 (for entire festival performance, see D94-20 in S 1576.) On the second half, the vocals are weak. The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Aubrey Ghent performing Father in Jesus Name

Aubrey Ghent performing Father in Jesus Name

Date
1993-09-05
Description
One audio cassette recording. For more of these two, see tape 3. The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Glenn Lee performing Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior

Glenn Lee performing Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior

Date
1994-03-07
Description
One audio cassette recording. For more of Lee, see tapes 2 and 4. The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Glenn Lee performing sacred steel music with a band at a House of God church

Glenn Lee performing sacred steel music with a band at a House of God church

Date
1994-03-07
Description
One audio cassette recording. (Duplicate can be found on tape 5.) Recorded at a Church of God church (not during church services)in Perrine, Florida. The band consisted of Glenn Lee (steel guitar), Alvin Lee (bass), Benjamin Beckford (drums), and John Hampton (guitar). Excerpted from a longer recording (see tapes 18-20 in S 2044). The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Henry Nelson performing Amazing Grace

Henry Nelson performing Amazing Grace

Date
1993-09-05
Description
One audio cassette recording. For more of Nelson, see tape 3. The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Interview with steel guitarist Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry Nelson

Interview with steel guitarist Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry Nelson

Date
1993-11-26
Description
Four audio cassette recordings. Recorded at Nelson's sister's house (Mary Linzy) in Ocala. Ghent and Nelson discuss the origins of the Sacred Steel tradition, early influences (e.g. Troman and Willie Eason), the House of God tradition, and playing styles. The Sacred Steel Guitar Recording Project originated in 1992 when Florida Folklife Program folklorist Robert Stone discovered that several predominantly African American House of God churches (a sub-sect of the Pentecostal church) in the St. Petersburg area were using steel guitars in their religious services. The practice began by Willie and Troman Eason in the 1930s, and expanded upon by players such as Henry Nelson and Lorenzo Harrison. Realizing that this was a unique musical tradition, labeled Sacred Steel, the Florida Folklife Program to applied for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct fieldwork and create a music album for public dispersal. The aim of the project was to increase public awareness of the gospel steel guitar tradition, as well as document it for future generations. Matched with state funds, the grant period originally ran from October 1993 through October 1994, but was extended for another year. In that time Stone, along with sound engineers William Dudley and Mike Stapleton, interviewed and recorded several steel guitarists in the St. Petersburg area. An album entitled Sacred Steel was released in 1995. It was then re-released through an agreement with Arhoolie Records in 1997.
Collection
Identifier Title Type Subject Thumbnail
flp_easonFolklife People: Willie Easoninteractive resourceGospel, Sacred Steel/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/folklife_people.png
fls_sacred_steelFolklife Subject: Sacred Steelinteractive resourceReligious Music, Gospel, Worship Music, Steel Guitar/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/folklife_subjects.png
Florida Crossroads: Florida's Folk FestivalFlorida Crossroads: Florida's Folk FestivalMoving ImageSingers
Musicians
Guitarist
Artisans
Leather workers
Metal-workers
Dancers
Whip maker
Secretary of State
Public officer
Festivals
Folk festivals
Folklore revival festivals
Special events
Performing arts
Music performance
Video recording
Television
Singing
Park Ranger
Saddles
Leather craft
Craft
Whipcracking
Whips
Fiddle music
Fiddlers
Old time music
Bandura
Hammer dulcimer
Dulcimer music
A capella singers
A capella singing
Gospel (Black)
Gospel music
Signs and signboards
Arts, Cuban
Cuban Americans
Workshops (Adult education)
Yodeling
Storytelling
Dance
Cooking and dining
Food preparation
Basket making
Basket work
Blacksmithing
Guitar music
Interviews
Interviewing on television
Secretaries of State (State governments)
Bands (Music)
Folklorists
Volunteers
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/catalog_video.jpg
Video of gospel musician Willie Eason winning the 1995 Florida Folk Heritage AwardVideo of gospel musician Willie Eason winning the 1995 Florida Folk Heritage AwardMoving ImageSingers
African Americans
Gospel (Black)
Gospel musicians
Awards
Public speaking
Rites and ceremonies
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/catalog_video.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape03Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry Nelson performing sacred steel music at various eventsSoundGuitarist
Singers
Fieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Festivals
Folk festivals
Special events
Church attendance
Church services
Protestants
Christianity
Churches
Religion
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape09Aubrey Ghent performing Father in Jesus NameSoundFieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Bands (Music)
Musical groups
Churches
Religion
Christianity
Protestants
Guitarist
Singers
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape10Glenn Lee performing Pass Me Not Oh Gentle SaviorSoundFieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Bands (Music)
Musical groups
Churches
Religion
Christianity
Protestants
Guitarist
Singers
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape02Glenn Lee performing sacred steel music with a band at a House of God churchSoundGuitarist
Singers
Fieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Musical groups
Churches
Religion
Christianity
Protestants
Bands (Music)
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape11Henry Nelson performing Amazing GraceSoundGuitarist
Singers
Fieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Bands (Music)
Musical groups
Churches
Religion
Christianity
Protestants
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg
a_s2044_02_tape12Interview with steel guitarist Aubrey Ghent and his father Henry NelsonSoundGuitarist
Singers
Fieldwork
Steel guitars
Guitar music
Performing arts
Guitarists
Music performance
African Americans
Religious songs
Religious music
Gospel songs
Gospel musicians
Gospel (Black)
Personal experience narratives
Interviews
Oral histories
Life histories
Oral history
Protestants
Christianity
Churches
Religion
Musicians
/fpc/memory/omeka_images/thumbnails/audio.jpg