So Glad I'm Here So Glad I'm Here" (Bessie Jones; Rounder Records)"

ink and watercolor
2008

Well, everyone should know of Bessie Jones (1902-1984).... the Georgia Sea- Islands grandaughter of a slave brought straight-over from Africa and one of the most valuable transmitters of that particular musical heritage.

Harry Belafonte brought her (and an entire tribe of children) up to New York for the multi-volume "the Long Road to Freedom" (recorded 1961-1971). The logistics of that endeavour were (from what I've read of them) mind-boggling. That boxed set is FINALLY available on amazon.com. Buy it. At least read about it....

I admire the woman and her spirit a great deal. I don't know of another singer who can so completely convey a capacity for joy. Most of her recordings are available on ever-reliable Rounder Records.

The original of this illustration now hangs in the office of a University of Virginia administrator, who claims to hope that it has a calming effect on the hordes of students-with-complaints who come into her office every day......

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