Peter Stampfel's Mammoth '20th Century In 100 Songs'
Four npr music. it's all songs considered. I'm bob boylan. Peter stamp is an absolute eccentric. His obsession with american popular music in the twentieth century is unlike anyone i've ever known for the past twenty years. He's been combing through that rich history selecting one favorite song from every year in the twentieth century and then performing them. All of that culminates in a collection called peter stamford twentieth century. The one hundred song collection was produced by mark bingham at those who don't know peter staple hughes something of a legend in the one thousand nine hundred sixty s freak folk movement as founder of the holy modal rounders. His voice has always been somewhat of an acquired taste now. That's true more than ever because of a diagnosis of this phony a- making his voice raspy her sometimes skier and strained. But that didn't stop them from finishing this project and today a conversation along with the music from this mammoth project of twentieth century american music and i began by asking peter sample what this crazy idea drugs. I was smoking we thought. Hey what about. And then. I asked mark whether you would be interested in involving himself in this and mark is mark bingham nineteen. Oh nine hundred seventy five. On behold a boeing hold years later by gum we stumble across the finish line and face first into the. What kind of process did you have to choose the music. you've chosen. Some automatic dearly loved like along comes mary at nineteen sixty six ongoing far. What had to be. Nineteen forty four ragtime cowboy joe how to be nineteen twelve kind of like Automatic and a lot of. I wasn't quite sure when they were written. So it was uh research was involved of course when you think about the scope of songs. Is there something that you can see a commonality like you are drawn to something about a song and then and then let's play one. Share analogy is melody a full for melody and believe that many contemporary writers seem to have a fear of melody like like uses demonize. That's going to like you know up and bite their ass or something this a lot of current indie music. You know which it reminds me of a period beach boys and there tends to be Great vocal great vocal arrangements. Great back back apart but kind of weak on melody. Another factor is Do i adore the song door. It can i pull it off. Does it somehow hopefully resonate in a special way with that particular ear. So let's pick one from early times for me. That would be nine hundred zero six. Nobody bert williams bird williams was vaudeville. Was he was first. black superstar. Williams was a wildly popular entertainer. Actually from the caribbean and series alpha male over six feet tall incredibly medicare medic despite the fact that he was one of the biggest draws in vaudeville hire a white guy for the owners of the venues to put the money into the hands of because the they they couldn't actually put money in this black superstars and it'd be i don't know what it is. I mean i mean you know it's so sad. Yeah let's play. Nobody from bird williams and then we'll talk about it lives rain in pain and ray nobody when winter snow and sleet cold feet. Who says here's twenty house is live no. Nobody never got a rhino him. So i get something from