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FILM STILL OF FRED RAMSEY AND MICHAEL HURLEY

FRED RAMSEY


Lovers of music owe a great deal to Fred Ramsey for his recordings of rural American musicians of the 1940s and 1950s, many of which were released by Folkways and are now part of the Smithsonian collection. Michael Hurley first encountered Ramsey in Bucks County, PA, where Ramsey was living along with his wife and a great collection of records and books. The two men intersected on the road where a guitar-slinging Michael was trying to hitch a ride. Ramsey picked him up and took an interest in the young musician, soon getting Michael his first record deal with Moe Asch on Folkways for the stunning First Songs, 1965. The album was recorded in Ramsey’s home on the same reel-to-reel tape recorder that he had used for Led Belly's Last Sessions. Ramsey also took care to record a long interview with Michael around the same time, in which the 21 year old musician already set to wandering can be heard telling the stories of his trips to New Orleans and Mexico and describing the many a song bumping around his head.


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A FILM BY Lisa Foti-Straus & Susannah Morse WITH Michael Hurley ANIMATED BY Drew Christie