1.22.19 – Carolina Cotton Loves To Yodel

Is there anything better than this clip from the 1944 film, “I’m From Arkansas”? I doubt it.

PS: This is a great film…a brief description: “The national spotlight falls on Pitchfork, Arkansas when a local farmer’s sow has 18 piglets. How the townspeople relate to city folk and handle fame is the ingredient for laughs.”

1.14.19 – New album “Busker’s Blues” out now!

I’m so excited! My new album “Busker’s Blues” is out now. I wanted to share with you some info from the album page

Jack NortonJack’s new solo album of hokum blues, ragtime, vaudeville folk and lost gems from the 1920s and 1930s is now available!

The songs on this album are a throwback to Jack’s days as a “busker”, singing for tips on the streets of Toronto and Detroit. Recorded with two vintage microphones on tape in a small cabin in rural Manitoba, Canada. Truly a solo album, Jack is the only musician on this release – scatting, yodeling and crooning his way through the tunes while playing guitar, ukulele, mouth trumpet and stomp box. The sparse production, raw recording and vintage hiss of the reel-to-reel tape deck make for a refreshing and relaxing stroll down memory lane. Beatnik jive and vaudevillian hokum make this album strikingly original and honest. For track listing and more info, click here.

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Stream “Busker’s Blues” below…

1.12.19 – Chord Charts For Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin

I am slowly going through some of my old CDR’s. Do you remember those? It was back in the days when it seemed easier to “burn a CD” to archive photos and videos. Whoa – how things have changed.

My laptop doesn’t even have a CD drive anymore! So I figured it would be wise to slowly transfer all my old documents off these hundreds of CDR’s I have and on to a hard drive. It’s a long, slow process.

I’m realizing a lot of things about my life. Mostly, that I take a lot of pictures and always have. I’m also occasionally discovering some gems I completely forgot about…lots of cool old musicology stuff that I’ve gathered over the years. I will share with most with you on this blog (which will hopefully become a near-daily blog).

That said, I found a few charts I scanned from an old book that really helped when I was learning to play banjo and mandolin. The guitar chart is pretty nifty too. I know there’s tons of things like this all over the internet, but these scans have sentimental value…and were helpful as I learned new instruments. Perhaps you can find some benefit in them too. Here ’tis…

 

1.10.19 – Orson Welles, Film Theory

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“When we had only blanc et noir (black and white) in the cinema, we demanded something from them. When we had no sound, we demanded something. Then closer we got to an approximation of life, the less was asked of the public and therefore the less impact it had on the public.”

Orson Welles

1.7.19 – Vintage Cartoon Postcards

One of my favorite things about touring is getting to go to junk stores, thrift shops and antique stores while on the road.

I was cleaning out a closet and just found several old postcards I bought a few years ago. Thought you’d get a kick out of them.

I love this era of art/comedy. The first postcard is especially profound…

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12.26.18 – Rare film of Esmereldy

Hello friend,

As our team continues to develop the scope of this new website, we thought it’d be fun to add a blog where I can share some various films and music I find inspirational.

In that spirit, I invite you to please enjoy this rare short film of my favorite female cornball yodeler, Esmereldy.

Happy holidays,
Jack

PS – If you ever found yourself wondering, “What does Esmereldy’s tombstone look like?”, you are in for a treat (and don’t even need to drive to Memphis to find out). Behold:

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