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Dock Boggs iTunes Tracks

Dock Boggs

Old-timey hillbilly or austere white folk-blues singer and clawhammer banjo-picker, Dock (b. Moran Lee Boggs, February 7, 1898, Norton, Virginia) learned his trade from his family and local black musicians whom he worked with in the mines. Married at 20 to a devoutly religious wife named Sarah, Dock (his nickname stemming from the doctor who delivered him) subsidised pittance wages by moonshining hard liquor and performing at the odd social dances.
BOGGS’ dexterity and talent were finally discovered in 1927, when A&R people at the Brunswick plant invited him to studio time after winning a local audition (beating A.P. of the CARTER FAMILY into 2nd place). With only four 78s (and four subsequent sides for Lonesome Ace Records) issued, things took a downturn for Dock when the Great Depression of ’29 hit the American economy for six, resulting in countless record companies biting the proverbial dust. Years later, however, these cuts became available on HIS TWELVE ORIGINAL RECORDINGS (1983) {*9}, the unsettling honesty shining out best through the warts ’n’ all `Danville Girl’, `Pretty Polly’, `Sugar Baby’ and `Country Blues’.
With folk, country and the blues finding favour with a fresh audience in the early 60s, retired miner DOCK BOGGS was rediscovered by MIKE SEEGER, who persuaded the people at down at Folkways to release a couple of LPs: DOCK BOGGS (1964) {*8} and DOCK BOGGS, VOLUME 2 (1965) {*7}; DOCK BOGGS, VOLUME 3 (1970) {*5}, was released by Asch Records and partly recorded at Canterbury coffeehouse on February 10, 1968. Many folk-blues acolytes will be in their element through a mix of traditional cues and BOGGS originals such as `Oh Death’, `Prodigal Son’, `John Henry’ and his own `Wise County Jail’.
Having performed at various festivals from Asheville, North Carolina to Newport, it was indeed tragic but inevitable when BOGGS died on his 73rd birthday in Needmore, Virginia.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Oct2016

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