Thursday, August 13, 2009

tight person of the day: washington phillips

I think it's safe to say that there is no one like Washington Phillips. When I first saw this picture, I thought he was holding the Ten Commandments. But then I realized those are two of his instruments that he might have played on his records. One's like a zither, sort of, I think. Autoharp's cousin? Tight. The other is supposedly some kind of phonoharp?

When I reading some stuff about Washington, I stumbled upon all these articles were people get really heated and fired up about what he actually played on his recordings. Some claim it was the zither thing, and still others think it was some kind of mini piano thing. I don't know about you, but it IS a pretty sweet image to think of Washington like Schroeder, all hunched over a tiny piano. ANYWAY.

Washington is a gospel singer that was born in Texas. Thank you. He recorded around sixteen songs in two years with bananas instruments. Can you believe these records were made in the late twenties? That blows my mind. Like, how can we still listen to it that on vinyl today and it sounds good? So tight. Something else that blows my mind: Washington was born in 1880! DANG. His voice is pretty recognizable and he was probably a leader in gospel recording. This song is really sweet. I like how you get to hear his speaking voice at the beginning. Also, can we discuss that scratchiness? I LOVE IT.