Friday, January 06, 2006

What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?

Happy New Year, everyone.

Washington Phillips recorded this Charles Tindley hymn in the late '20s accompanying himself on a zither. Beautiful stuff.

Washington Phillips - What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?

Peace abounds like a river, they say...


Andy said...

Washington Phillips actually played the dolceola/dulceola, a bizarre instrument that put a keyboard on top of a zither (like he is holding in the picture). Lotsa information at:

4:00 PM  
Rob Hutten said...

Actually, the dulceola theory has been pretty soundly debunked, even according to that page you posted. Phillips was never pictured with one, no-one remembers him playing one, and his instrument simply doesn't sound like one.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous said...

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7:18 PM  
frankie said...

That's exactly right - Yazoo even put out a new reissue of Washington Phillips' sides with new liner notes (and a pretty snappy cover painting) by Pat Conte, explaining his role in the confusion over the years. I see him now & then - he was excited to be able to help set the record straight in some way.

The new Yazoo re-mastering of WP is just wonderful, by the way - definitely worth purchasing again. It also includes the recordings of Blind Mamie and A.C. Forehand. Their music would fit right in here!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous said...

No link to the song?

6:27 AM  
Rob Hutten said...

Wow. I'm out of practice :) The link is there now. Thanks, anonymous.

7:41 AM  
John said...

two other washington phillips tracks over at The Smudge of Ashen Fluff
including a version of the Rev. I B Ware's 'I Wouldn't Mind Dying..."

3:08 PM  
Kurt G. said...

Hey! Ain't it me what suggested this song? Shouldn't I get a check or something? Anyway, great information on this guy -- many thanks, as always. ... You know, back when I was a young punk, if you had told me anything this beautiful had been recorded in the 1920's, I wouldn't have believed you.

7:15 PM  
The DoorKeeper said...

Beautiful is right. This is Wonderful. Thank you.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hey, I know this is slightly old but could you please fix the link? I heard the song somewhere but I can't find it anywhere.

6:57 PM  
Rob Hutten said...

Washington Phillips' music can be found on CDs still in print; Amazon has at least one. Email me directly if you're having trouble...

7:16 PM  
Rob Hutten said...

ps - my email address is [my first name] at [my domain name without the www].

7:17 PM  

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