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Thread: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

  1. #1
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    John would have been 80 years old today. John's wife, Marie Hartford died on John's birthday, the same year that John died (2001). John died in June of 2001 and Marie followed just months later. She went to the ER for pneumonia and was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died at the hospital just a week later. Marie at one time worked for the Glaser Brothers and, she was a songwriter in her own right. She composed a number of songs with Conway Twitty.

    Every year, beginning in 1980, John and Marie Hartford hosted three-day parties at their home. They celebrated John's birthday, their anniversary, Christmas and the New Year. Here's one of the invitations that John drew to send out for the event. Anyone who was anyone in Nashville, passed through those doors for those parties. A who's who of well known musicians.

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    I read this note recently from a guy who attended one of these parties, Eddie Allen:

    I have been to a lot of parties. I was at this one once. It wasn't like any I'd been to before or any I've been to since. You could go out to the living room and listen to John playing music with Bill Monroe and Benny Martin and anybody who just finished up their set at the Opry or you could go into a bedroom where Norman Blake was putting new strings on an old guitar and visit with him or you could go out to the kitchen where Marie was cooking red beans and rice and cornbread and eat the best food you ever had. I sat at the table talking to a pretty woman who asked me how I knew John and Marie and I told her I was just a regular guy who was a fan of John's and I met him at a show and we became friends and he invited me. I asked her the same question and she said, "Me, too." Their hospitality was enormous.
    I didn't know John or Marie except as a fan, but an acquaintance was close to the family and shared this photo, as well as a blurry one that was taken of John and Marie at Christmas, in their home in Madison, Tennessee.

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    It occurred to me that there might be members here who've played with John, or maybe personally knew John and Marie. Posting this for John Hartford fans, and to say Happy Birthday, John
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    I heard the story that when John was having the house built, he told the architect that he needed it built strong enough that every room in the house could be packed with people and then all those people could be jumping up and down. I imagine that happened a time or two. Here's some footage from a party in 1987.



    If you're on FB, Mike Compton had some live stuff up today telling some stories on a radio show and playing a Hartford tribute show. They should still be available to watch.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

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  5. #3
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    Cool stuff Don, thanks. I found Mike's page on FB but didn't see anything on there about John. Maybe it was from the radio station's FB page? Thanks anyway, enjoyed the video!
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    Scroll down on this page: Mike Compton - mandolinist

    https://www.facebook.com/taterbugmus...fuvPKdzCF8fmE8

    There's lots of footage from the tribute show. Mike's solo set is the one with cartoon up on the screen. The radio footage is down below. Lots of other live video of Mike if you keep scrolling down.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
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  8. #5
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    Thanks for that link, Don, I had only found his personal page. A lot of great stuff on this page, much appreciated.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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  9. #6

    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    Really fun video from the New Years Eve party. Very cool how John H changed his back up style during the fiddle tune that starts at about the 8 minute mark. He goes from a roll while the fiddles are playing to a chunking back up for the mando break. That way he isn't muddying up what the fellow in the Austin City Limits t-shirt is doing. This might be a good clip to send to all our banjo playing friends for New Years.
    Can anyone identify any of the player in this video? Old Bill and John are obvious but how about some of the others?

  10. #7

    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Thanks for that link, Don, I had only found his personal page. A lot of great stuff on this page, much appreciated.
    Yes, indeed. There's a treasure-trove of great playing by the master on there. Enjoy!
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

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  12. #8

    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    JimKo, I think that's the Whites early in the video singing acapella. I think that's Grandpa Jones' daughter playing the hammered dulcimer--she played on one cut on the Compton/Grier CD. Looks like Roy Husky Jr on the bass towards the end of the movie. Peter Rowan is singing Rough and Rocky toward the end. Is that Mark O'Connor on fiddle at the end?
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

  13. #9
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    I thought it might be O'Connor at the end - he sure plays that thing!
    Clark Beavans

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  15. #10
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    It looked like the little girl running the camera was trying to get a better shot of Peter Rowan a few times. I thought the audio on the music was pretty darn good for a camcorder in the hands of a kid.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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  16. #11
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford's Birthday Bashes

    I don't recognize the music John included as "John and Marie's Annual Waltz" on that invitation in OP - it doesn't sound to me like the tune, Annual Waltz. I had a go at trying to learn it this morning. Anybody recognize that piece of music?

    Here's a tense interpretation, having to think too much about the notes here as it's not ingrained yet.

    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
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