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mardi 31 octobre 2017

BROTHER WILL HAIRSTON: Detroit Blues Masters Vol. 11

BROTHER WILL HAIRSTON
Detroit Blues Masters Vol. 11

           
Ce 11ème volume sur Detroit est consacré au magnifique compositeur et chanteur de Gospels, Brother Will Hairston.
            Will Hairston naît le 22 novembre 1919 à Brookfield (Ms) d'une famille de pauvres fermiers et, très jeune, chante dans la congrégation de ses parents. Vers 1938, il part à Saint Louis, puis est mobilisé et à son retour de la guerre en 1945, se marie avec Ms Willie et s'installe à Detroit où il travaille chez Chrysler afin d'entretenir sa famille qui comptera 10 enfants. Très religieux, Will Hairston s'impose dans son Eglise par sa voix qui lui vaudra le surnom de "Hurricane of the Motor City", tellement il est capable de soulever d'enthousiasme ses paroissiens par ses sermons qui reprennent souvent l'actualité tumultueuse de l'Amérique Noire.
            Pour répondre à une forte demande, il enregistre lui-même My God don't like it à propos du jeune Emmet Till, un adolescent noir de 14 ans massacré en octobre 1955 dans sa ville de Money (Mississippi) parce qu'il avait crié "Bye baby" à une jeune fille blanche! La photo de son corps mutilé reproduit dans de nombreux journaux avait alors soulevé l'indignation dans toute l'Amérique. En même temps, Brother Will enregistre aussi deux titres (Let him come in; Ain't nobody there but Brother Will que je n'ai pas réussi à me procurer).
            Hairston vend ses disques depuis son camion (acheté pour transporter sa nombreuse famille) sur lequel il a installé des hauts parleurs qui diffusent sa musique tandis qu'il parcourt le ghetto noir de Detroit!
Joe Von Battle's record shop. Photo©Jacques Demêtre 
            Le succès est tel que le producteur et disquaire Joe Von Battle (qui a joué un rôle considérable dans le Detroit blues) lui fait enregistrer une magnifique séance qui comprend le puissant Alabama Bus, premier morceau consacré à la longue grève des autobus de Montgomery (Alabama) à la suite du refus de la militante noire Rosa Parks de céder sa place à un blanc et qui aboutira à la première brèche dans la ségrégation qui sévissait dans les Etats du Sud depuis les années 1870-80. Alabama bus est aussi le premier disque qui mentionne le nom de Martin Luther King Jr.
            Les années suivantes, Brother Will continuera à enregistrer dans cette veine, entre Gospel et protest songs, notamment Shout, school children sur la première tentative de déségrégation des écoles blanches de l'Arkansas; The story of President Kennedy sur l'assassinat de JFK à Dallas; Reverend King had a hard time après l'assassinat de Martin Luther King Jr en 1968.
            Lui-même victime d'une tentative d'assassinat qui le laisse très affaibli, Will Hairston prend sa retraite de chez Chrysler en 1970 et se consacre entièrement à sa congrégation, le Greater Love Tabernacle Church avec laquelle il enregistrera une poignée de titres en 1972.
            Brother Will Hairston décède à Detroit le 7 mars 1988, laissant une oeuvre superbe et vibrante qui malheureusement - et à l'exception d'une poignée de titres - était très difficile à trouver. Nous avons ajouté ici le seul titre enregistré en 1957 pour Brother Will par son ami le Reverend Reuben Henry.
            Nos plus vifs remerciements à Pierre Monnery et Justin Brummer sans lesquels cette compilation n'aurait pu voir le jour. Ainsi qu'à Guido Van Rijn dont l'article sur Brother Will dans le magazine britannique Blues & Rhythm #167 a largement servi à écrire cet article.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            This 11th Volume of our Detroit blues series is entirely dedicated to the great Gospel singer and composer Brother Will Hairston.
            Will Hairston was born 22 November 1919 at Brookfield (Ms) in a very poor faming family. At an early age, he sings in his parents' church, goes to Saint Louis for better job opportunity during the 1930's, is drafted and after the war, settles in Detroit, having a secure job at the big Chrysler's plant and marrying the young Willie with whom he'd have ten children.
            A very religious man, Brother Will Hairston gains the nickname of "The Hurricane of the Motor City" for his capacity to spark enthusiasm among the faithful of his church with a strong voice and his sermons that very often reflect his own views about the situation of African-Americans.
            To cope with strong requests, Mr Hairston records himself his first session with the striking  My God don't like it about the slaughter of the young Black teenager Emmet Till in his hometown of Money (Ms) after he had shouted a "Bye baby" to a white girl. The photos of the mutilated corpse published in several magazines had raised a wave of indignation throughout the USA. Two other titles were recorded the same day (Let him come in; Ain't nobody there but Brother Will) that I unfortunately wasn't able to get a copy.
            Brother Will Hairston sells his records from his own truck while a sound system he had hooked on the roof of his vehicle blasts the music when he is driving around!
            Such is the success of Brother Will that the record producer and dealer Joe Von Battle (who of course played a major role in the Detroit blues scene) brings Hairston in his studios for an historical and magnificent 1956 session with the powerful hit Alabama Bus, the very first song about the Montgomery (Al) bus strike after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, like she should have done according to the segregation laws. Alabama bus is also the very first song mentioning Martin Luther King Jr.
            The following decade, Hairston will continue to record in this Gospel/ protest song vein, notably Shout, school children about Little Rock Central High events, forcing the integration of some black school children in a only white school; The Story of President Kennedy about the murder of JFK; Reverend King had a hard time just after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
            Brother Will is himself the victim of a shooting and retires from Chrysler in 1970, focusing entirely to his family and his Greater Love Tabernacle Church with which he records a last session in 1972.
            Brother Will Hairston dies in Detroit 7 March 1988, leaving a vibrant, powerful and largely remarkable recording works that are unfortunately - and apart a couple of tracks - very hard to get. We have herein also  included the sole 1957 record by Rev. Reuben Henry, a close friend to Hairston.
            Our big thanks to Pierre Monnery and Justin Brummer for their invaluable help.
            And a great thank to Guido Van Rijn whose article in the very good British magazine Blues & Rhythm #167 has largely been used to write this article!
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft


BROTHER WILL HAIRSTON
Complete Recordings
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; band. Detroit, Mi. décembre 1955
01. My God don't like it I & II
Let Him come in
Ain't nobody here but Brother Will
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; Louis Jackson, pno; Washboard Willie, wbd. Detroit, Mi. 1956
02. The Alabama Bus I & II
03. Mighty wind
04. The Bible is right
05. Seems like a dream
06. He comes rushing like a mighty wind
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; The Dixie Aires, vcls; band. Detroit, Mi. novembre 1957
07. Shout school children
08. Jesus had a hard time
Brother Will Hairston, vcl;  band. Detroit, Mi. 1964
09. The Story of President Kennedy
10. Holy Ghost don't leave me
11. Shout Brother Shout
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; Rev. Henry, vcl; g; dms. Detroit, Mi. 1964
12. Here comes the Lord
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; Louis Jackson, pno; Washboard Willie, wbd. Detroit, Mi. 1965
13. March on to Montgomery
14. Angels watching over me
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; Louise Jackson, pno or Magnolia Tillman, pno; g; Washboard Willie, wbd. Detroit, Mi. 1968
15. St John
16. Reverend King had a time
17. That's alright
18. The War in Wietnam
19. When I'm gone
Brother Will Hairston, vcl; The Greater Love of Tabernacle, vcls; band. Detroit, Mi. 1972
20. This may be the last time
21. Minny, your dress too short
22. Death knocked at my door, Jesus got the key
Let the church roll on
Reverend Reuben L. Henry, vcl; g; The Dixie Aires, vcls. Detroit, Mi. novembre 1957
23. God's going to ring those freedom bells

Paul Monnery/ Justin Brummer



10 commentaires:

  1. Brother Will Hairston:

    https://www.mediafire.com/file/mhdkinqu27c15pr/HAIRSTONBW.zip

    OK? (And grab it while it lasts if you're interested)

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  2. This certainly looks interesting, and I've just grabbed myself a copy. As always many thanks Gerard for giving us the opportunity to hear all these obscure recordings.

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  3. Thank you very much Gerard. Looks good.

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  4. I've now had a chance to listen to the compilation and I love it! Thank you very much again Gerard.

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  5. Magnifique artiste ! Un grand merci pour ce nouveau partage. Un régal !

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  6. Merci beaucoup ! mis a part The Alabama Bus 1 & 2 , tout le reste est nouveaux pour moi .
    Marc

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