Label: Jackal Records - WOW 712 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Canada • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Bluegrass, Folk
John Cowan Hartford December 30, — June 4, was an American folkcountryand bluegrass composer and musician known for his mastery of the fiddle and banjoas well as for his witty lyrics, unique vocal style, and extensive knowledge of Mississippi River lore.
He spent his childhood in St. Louis, Missouriwhere he was exposed to the influence that shaped much of his career and music: the Mississippi River. From the time he got his first job on the river, at age 16, Hartford was on, around, or singing about the river. His early musical influences came from the broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opryand included Earl Scruggsnominal inventor of the three-finger bluegrass style of banjo playing.
Hartford said often that the first time he heard Earl Scruggs pick the banjo changed his life. By age 13, Hartford was an accomplished old-time fiddler and banjo player, and he soon learned to play guitar and mandolin as well. Hartford formed his first bluegrass band while attending John Burroughs Schoola local private high school. After high school, he enrolled at Washington University in St. Louiscompleted four years of a commercial arts program and dropped out to focus on music; however, he did receive a degree in He immersed himself in the local music scene, working as a DJ, playing in bands, and occasionally recording singles for local labels.
Inhe moved to Nashville, Tennesseethe center of the country music industry. His recording of the song was only a modest success, but it caught the notice of Glen Campbellwho recorded his own version, which gave the song much wider publication. At the Grammysthe song netted four awards, two of which went to Hartford. It became one of the most widely recorded country songs of all time, and the royalties it brought in allowed Hartford great financial independence; Hartford later said that the song Its A Mystery - Toyah - Anthem his freedom.
As his popularity grew, he moved to the West Coast, where he became a regular on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour ; other television appearances followed, as did recording appearances with several major country artists.
Hartford played banjo and sang the vocal harmonies My Love For You - John Hartford - You And Me At Home the Guthrie Thomas song, "I'll be Lucky". He also played with The Byrds on their album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. His success on the Smothers Brothers series was enough that Hartford was offered the lead role in a TV detective series but he turned it down to move back to Nashville and concentrate on music. He also was My Love For You - John Hartford - You And Me At Home regular on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour  the banjo picker who would stand up from his seat in the audience to begin the theme music and The Johnny Cash Show.
In live performances, John Hartford was a true one-man band ; he used several stringed instruments and a variety of props such as plywood squares and boards with sand and gravel, which he stomped, kicked, and scraped to create background noises. Inhe moved to Warner Bros. Records where he was given more freedom to record in his untraditional style, fronting a band that included Vassar ClementsTut Taylorand Norman Blake.
He recorded several albums that set the tone of his later My Love For You - John Hartford - You And Me At Homeincluding Aereo-Plain and Morning Bugle. He switched to the Flying Fish label several years later and continued to experiment with non-traditional country and bluegrass styles. At the same time, he developed a stage show which toured in various forms from the mids until shortly before his death.
Hartford changed recording labels several more times during his career; inhe inaugurated his own Small Dog a'Barkin' label. Later in the s, he switched again to Rounder Records. He recorded a number of idiosyncratic records on Rounder, many of which recalled earlier forms of folk and country music. He recorded several songs for the soundtrack to the movie O Brother, Where Art Thouwinning another Grammy for his performance.
He made his final tour in with the Down from the Mountain tour that grew out of that movie and its accompanying album. While performing in Texas in April that year, he found that he could no longer control his hands due to non-Hodgkin Lymphomaand his career was finished.
Hartford is considered a co-founder of the newgrass movement, although he remained deeply attached to traditional music, as well. His last band and last few albums reflect his love for pre-bluegrass old-time music. In an interview with Don Swain, he described his love for the rare and nearly forgotten fiddle tunes of the Appalachians and Missouri foothills.
The culture of the Mississippi River and its steamboats captivated Hartford from an early age. He said that it would have been his life's work "but music got in the way", so he intertwined them whenever possible. In the 70s, Hartford earned My Love For You - John Hartford - You And Me At Home steamboat pilot's license, which he used to keep close to the Overture - Various - Codex Gaudeamus he loved; for many years, he worked as a pilot on the steamboat Julia Belle Swain during the summers.
He also worked as a Cannibals Love Song - Hate in the Box - Razorblade Fairytales (CD, MP3, Album) pilot on the MississippiIllinoisand Tennessee rivers. During his later years, he came back to the river every summer. His home in Madison, Tennesseewas situated on a bend of the Cumberland River and built to simulate the view from a steamboat deck.
He used to talk to the boat captains by radio as their barges crawled along the river. An accomplished fiddler and banjo player, Hartford was simultaneously an innovative voice on the country scene and a reminder of a vanished era. Along with his own compositions, such as "Long Hot Summer Days" and "Kentucky Pool", Hartford was a repository of old river songs, calls, and stories.
Hartford was also the author of Steamboat in a Cornfielda children's book that recounts the true story of the Ohio River steamboat The Virginia and its beaching in Butcher - Killing Joke - Whats This For.! cornfield. From the s onwards, Hartford had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hartford was given a star on the St.
Louis Walk of Fame  in honor of his work. He also was given a posthumous presidents Award by the Americana Music Association in September Hartford recorded more than 30 albums, ranging across a broad spectrum of styles—from the traditional country of his early RCA recordings, to the new and experimental sound of his early newgrass recordings, to the traditional folk style to which he often returned later in his life.
Hartford's albums also vary widely in formality, from the stately and orderly Annual Waltz to the rougher and less cut recordings that typified many of his later albums.
Aereo-Plain and Morning Bugle are often considered to be Hartford's most influential work, coming as they did at the very beginning of a period in which artists such as Hartford and the New Grass Revivalled by Sam Dont You Even Care? - The Robert Cray Band - Dont Be Afraid Of The Dark, would create a new form of country musicblending their country backgrounds with influences from a number of other sources.
His later years saw a number of live albums, as well as recordings that explored the repertoire of old-time folk music. He sketched the cover art for some of his mid-career albums, drawing with both hands simultaneously. His song "This Eve of Parting", from the album The Love Albumwas featured in the movie Lady Birdportions being heard at two different points in the film. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Not to be confused with John Harford. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: John Hartford discography. Broadcast Music. Retrieved February 9, The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, AllMusic Guide.
Retrieved September 20, The Encyclopedia of Country Music. New York: Oxford University Press. June 5, Rolling Stone. Chart No. Film Credits — PBS". Retrieved June 11, Louis Walk of Fame.
Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Archived from the original on February 2, Retrieved April 25, John Hartford. Bluegrass music. Guitar acoustic resonator Banjo Double bass My Love For You - John Hartford - You And Me At Home technique Mandolin resonator technique. Blues Country music Jazz Old-time music. Traditional bluegrass Czech bluegrass. List of bluegrass musicians List of bluegrass bands List of bluegrass mandolinists.
Hartford at MerleFest Louis, Missouri. Bluegrasscountryfolkold-time. Singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, dancer, towboat and steamboat pilot. Banjofiddleguitar, mandolinvocals. RCAWarner Bros. AMA presidents Award
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