. . . One-String Blues

. . .

One of our Brooklyn/Toronto readers queries:

It would be a great help to my current project if you'd get back to me with your idea of the two or three greatest LINER NOTES of all time.

1. One-String Eddie Jones & Edward Hazelton - One-String Blues
The original 1964 liner notes are unsigned (and typewritten); some quick web research reveals the writer as folk music collector Samuel B. Charters. However, in the great tradition of Anglo-American fiction, Charters is only a framing narrator. The next-level-down storyteller (and illustrator) is "a Los Angeles designer and artist who has for many years been seriously interested in ethnic music of every kind," Frederick Usher Jr. ("with assistance by Roderick Usher"). The innermost stories, told by Jones and Hazelton on the recording itself, integrate with the frames to form an overwhelmingly resonant narrative about American class structure, race, and the limited power and unlimited enticement of art. I think about this package all the time.
A One-String

Where is Foot Foot   2. The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World
The jacket is a beautiful work in its own right and an essential rounding out of the aural experience: have you ever heard anyone talk about the Shaggs without mentioning the backstory?

3. The complete works of Pedro Bell & Associates
If I have to pick a single example, I guess it'd be his wildly offended and offensive Electric Spanking of War Babies for Funkadelic. But I got to specially mention the Funkcronomicon panel where Bill Laswell gets eaten by a skanky demon girl.
  I'm DEEP


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.