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Tennessee Troubadour: 1935

Tennessee Troubadour: 1935

October 1935. Street musician in Maynardville, Tennessee. View full size. Photograph by Ben Shahn. Another shot here. Scan from 35mm nitrate negative.


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The Eternal Teenager, # 4

Although GoogleMaps has documented Maynardville, try as I might, I couldn't get a bead on where, in town, this photo may have been taken. I kept 'driving' around, looking for the oldest part of town, but never found one that was convincing. The only thing left to do is to call up the current P.O. and ask if anybody there knows where the P.O was sited in the 30s. One of the surprises I found there was the Roy Acuff Library and Museum! Our teenage guitar heroes would have been familiar with him and very probably used his success in the music biz as encouragement for their own efforts. I've linked to Maynardville on G-Maps for anyone who mosies by and wants to give it a shot. I presumed that Main St. would eventually lead me where I wanted to go, but its "main"-ly a rural road. Good luck!

Whoever that guy is in the photo, I hope he found his way to the place in life he wanted to be. There's no telling what he sounded like, but he certainly looks like a star! And its a great photograph, too!

[There are 13 Maynardville photos in the LOC archive. - Dave]

Re Re: Strummin'

Alright, for all I know the guy could be an undiscovered Segovia, but I believe he'd probably be proud to call himself a working class "Bumpkin" (a word that I don't consider to be insulting). My guess is that he's probably singing a Carter Family tune.

[Perhaps the bumpkins of Maynardville know who he is? I'd be happy to forward their replies to you. - Dave]

Re: Strummin

"Leads you to believe"? "Self-taught bumpkin"? "Can play just well enough"? Pompous windbag.

Strummin' and a Yodelin'

The fact that he is fingering a C chord in this photo and a G chord in the other would lead me to believe that he's probably a self-taught bumpkin, who can play just well enough to accompany himself while croonin' a simple country tune.


This guy is so cool. Makes me wish I played the guitar.

He's not in touch with an image...

He's looking at a girl across the street. I've seen this expression before.

C chord

It's a nice shot, looks like a happy guy

Such an Expression

such an unusual expression..his mind is sure in touch with an image that the song is giving him......wonderful picture.


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