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Polk Miller:
Polk Miller And His Old South Quartette
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Description On September 23rd, 2008, NYC’s Tompkins Square label will release historic recordings by Polk Miller and his Old South Quartette. These are some of the earliest sound recordings of African Americans and whites making music together. Polk Miller was born James A. Miller near Burkeville in Prince Edward county, Virginia on August 2, 1844. He picked up the banjo early on and grew up learning the music of the slave quarters on a large Virginia plantation. In 1892, he created a traveling show, “the Old Virginia Plantation Negro,” including banjo tunes, nostalgic dialect stories and a lecture, without resorting to farce or black-face. The show glorified the plantation music and important African American spirituals that our young country was hungry for in the ‘gay ‘90s.’ Mark Twain, upon hearing Miller and his quartette exclaimed, “I think that Polk Miller, and his wonderful four, is about the only thing this country can furnish that is originally and utterly American.”

It is in this historical context that Tompkins Square reissues a CD of seven 1909 Edison cylinder records and seven 1928 QRS/Broadway disc recordings. The booklet includes photos and memorabilia with notes by African-American music scholar Doug Seroff. The CD package is designed by multiple Grammy award nominee, Susan Archie.
Track Listing The Bonnie Blue Flag
The Laughing Song
What a Time
The Watermelon Party
Rise and Shine
The "Old Time" Religion
Jerusalem Mournin'
Oh What He's Done for Me
Watermillion Party
Bohunkus and Josephus
Oysters and Wine at 2 A.M.
Pussy Cat Rag
When de Corn Pone's Hot
No Hiding Place Down Here
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Label TPKS - Tompkins Square
Number 2028
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