Why nerdy white guys who love the blues are obsessed with a Wisconsin chair factory


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Aha, so now I know why the Uncensored History of the Blues podcast referred in one episode to Charlie Patton and Son House traveling up to Grafton, WI to record some sides. According to the podcast, House managed to steal Patton’s girl by the end of the trip! I guess it was a long ride.

BTW Mark if you’re into old blues at all you should really check out this podcast. It’s absolutely my favorite podcast but unfortunately only updates every 2-3 months.


our dining room table and chairs were made by the WCF, and date to the 20s or 30s. somehow, this makes our set even cooler to me.


I can’t remember if it was here on Boing Boing or somewhere else that I was reading that radio nearly killed the record industry in the '20s and '30s, and it was by bringing in and popularizing new artists and new types of music that weren’t widely available on the radio that record companies were able to survive.

Also, besides selling record players that people needed records for, it seems likely that large-scale furniture producers would have experience in working with shellac. It was a resin used to produce a sort of natural plastic furniture finish, back before synthetic resins became widely available, and it was something that needed to be mixed up from scratch on site because of the very limited shelf life of pre-mixed shellac.


Do y’all say “rezz-in” or “rozz-in” ?

As a nerdy white guy who loves the Blues and drove across Mississippi looking for ( one of the graves ) of Robert Johnson, I suspected that the Wisconsin chairs may have been a reference to the squeaky chair that Charlie Patton sat in in his recordings.

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In “American Splendor,” doesn’t Harvey Pekar meet R. Crumb while looking thought a crate of 78s at a yard sale? Cute meet.

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One reason I love PBS:

Of all the things to happen, I got a chuckle out of the notion that record sales plummeted during the Depression because people were getting their music from radio. Today, the thing that’s killing music sales is streaming.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie
On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace.

Interactive journalism at it’s finest.


Now there’s a movie I must see again. Haven’t seen it in years.

What record is that he’s holding in the heading picture?

These are Mississippi bluesmen, being brought to this white rural town in Wisconsin, and you can’t imagine how foreign it must have been to them to see that landscape.

Having lived in the South as well as rural Wisconsin, I doubt that. The geography is a bit different, but not that much, and it even snows in the South–not as much, and it doesn’t stick as long, but it does. I imagine that it was probably more of a shock for the rural Wisconsinites.


I grew up saying “rezz-in” for liquid resin and “rozz-in” for the amberish stuff (rosin) people rubbed on violin bows.


This post brought to you by a white guy. Special isn’t it, denoting the race of the subject. Can’t say nerdy guy, have to say White nerdy… If he was Asian would you say Yellow guy or Tan nerdy guy? If the blues obsessed person was of North American Aboriginal heritage would you say “Nerdy Red Guy”? Yes we have to keep segregating our races into catagories. Well done BoingBoing, staying head and shoulders above all the police shock articles you post. Congrats.

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uh uh. It’s the rubbish output.


Came onto boingboing after not coming around for awhile. Did not leave disappointed: found the same stupid commentary as usual in the title of Mark’s post.

You know, you’re absolutely right. It’s likely that NPR would have said African-American instead of black, so this headline should have said European-American instead of white.

When socially-constructed races stop being segregated in hierarchical categories, then we can stop labeling whites on an equal basis with the others. Until then, it’s only fair.

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