Ramblin' Jack Elliott

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Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Ramblin Jack Elliott at Knuckleheads Saloon Gospel Lounge.JPG
Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Knuckleheads Saloon's in Gospel Lounge on May 2, 2013
Background information
Birth nameElliot Charles Adnopoz
Born (1931-08-01) August 1, 1931 (age 88)
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Folk music
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, harmonica
Website ramblinjack.com

Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk singer. [1]

Contents

Life and career

Elliott was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, United States, the son of Florence (Rieger) and Abraham Adnopoz, an eminent doctor. [1] His family was Jewish. He attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and graduated in 1949. Elliott grew up inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to be a cowboy. [1] Encouraged instead to follow his father's example and become a surgeon, Elliott rebelled, running away from home at the age of 15 to join Col. Jim Eskew's Rodeo, the only rodeo east of the Mississippi. They traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. He was with them for only three months before his parents tracked him down and had him sent home, but Elliott was exposed to his first singing cowboy, Brahmer Rogers, a rodeo clown who played guitar and five-string banjo, sang songs, and recited poetry. Back home, Elliott taught himself guitar and started busking for a living. Eventually he got together with Woody Guthrie and stayed with him as an admirer and student. [1]

Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you're about to meet right now. He's got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. [2]

Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969

With banjo player Derroll Adams, he toured the United Kingdom and Europe. By 1960, he had recorded three folk albums for the UK record label Topic Records. In London, he played small clubs and pubs by day and West End cabaret nightclubs at night. When he returned to the States, Elliott found he had become renowned in American folk music circles.

Woody Guthrie had the greatest influence on Elliott. Guthrie's son, Arlo, said that because of Woody's illness and early death, Arlo never really got to know him, but learned his father's songs and performing style from Elliott. Elliott's guitar and his mastery of Guthrie's material had a big impact on Bob Dylan when he lived in Minneapolis. [3] When he reached New York, Dylan was sometimes referred to as the 'son' of Jack Elliott, because Elliott had a way of introducing Dylan's songs with the words: "Here's a song from my son, Bob Dylan." Dylan rose to prominence as a songwriter; Elliott continued as an interpretative troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in his idiosyncratic manner. Elliott also influenced Phil Ochs, and played guitar and sang harmony on Ochs' cover of the song "Joe Hill" from the Tape from California album. Elliott also discovered singer-songwriter Guthrie Thomas in a bar in Northern California in 1973, bringing Thomas to Hollywood where Thomas' music career began.

Elliott appeared in Dylan's 1975-1976 Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour, [1] and played "Longheno de Castro" in Dylan's movie Renaldo and Clara accompanied by guitarist Arlen Roth. In the movie, he sings the song "South Coast" by Lillian Bos Ross and Sam Eskin, from whose lyric the character's name is derived. [4] Elliott also appears briefly in the 1983 film Breathless, starring Richard Gere and directed by Jim McBride.

My name is Longheno de Castro
My father was a Spanish grandee
But I won my wife in a card game
To Hell with those lords o'er the sea

Elliott plays guitar in a traditional flatpicking style, which he matches with his laconic, humorous storytelling, often accompanying himself on harmonica. His singing has a strained, nasal quality which the young Bob Dylan emulated. His repertoire includes American traditional music from various genres, including country, blues, bluegrass and folk.

Elliott's nickname comes not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he relates before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer Odetta claimed that her mother gave him the name, remarking, "Oh, Jack Elliott, yeah, he can sure ramble on!"

His authenticity as a folksy, down-to-earth country boy, despite being a Jewish doctor's son from Brooklyn, and his disdain for other folk singers, were parodied by the Folksmen (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer) in the satirical documentary A Mighty Wind in the name of their "hit" album Ramblin'.A Mighty Wind also referred to a former member of the New Main Street Singers, Ramblin' Sandy Pitnick, a somewhat geeky-looking white man in a cowboy hat, apparently in parody of Elliott.

Elliott's first recording in many years, South Coast, earned him his first Grammy Award in 1995. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998.

His long career and strained relationship with his daughter Aiyana were chronicled in her 2000 film documentary, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack.

At the age of 75, he changed labels and released I Stand Alone on the ANTI- label, with an assortment of guest backup players including members of Wilco, X, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album was produced by Ian Brennan. [5] Jack said his intention was to title the album Not for the Tourists, because it was recorded partially in response to his daughter's request for songs he loved but never played in concert. When asked why he did not, he told her, "These songs are not for the tourists."

In 2012 he was featured on the song "Double Lifetime" on the album Older Than My Old Man Now by Loudon Wainwright III.

In September 2016, Rolling Stone reported that he will appear alongside Bob Weir, on Weir's new solo album Blue Mountain , on the track "Ki-Yi Bossie". [6]

Discography

Studio

Live

With Derroll Adams

Compilations

Additionally, Three Score and Ten , Topic Records' 70th-anniversary boxed set released in 2009, included "Talking Dustbowl Blues" from Woody Guthrie's Blues as track twelve on the seventh CD.

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<i>Friends of Mine</i> (Ramblin Jack Elliott album) 1998 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Friends of Mine is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1998.

<i>Kerouacs Last Dream</i> 1981 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Kerouac's Last Dream is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1981.

<i>Young Brigham</i> 1968 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Young Brigham is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1968.

<i>The Essential Ramblin Jack Elliott</i> 1976 greatest hits album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

The Essential Ramblin' Jack Elliott is a compilation album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1976. It was originally issued as a double LP including Elliot's only Vanguard release Jack Elliott and other live tracks. The album was reissued on CD in 1998.

<i>Jack Elliott</i> (album) 1964 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Jack Elliott is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1964. It was his only principal release on the Vanguard label.

<i>Vanguard Visionaries</i> (Ramblin Jack Elliott album) 2007 compilation album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Vanguard Visionaries is the title of a recording by American folk music artist Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 2007.

<i>Best of the Vanguard Years</i> (Ramblin Jack Elliott album) 2000 greatest hits album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Best of the Vanguard Years is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 2000.

<i>Jack Elliott Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie</i> 1960 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Jack Elliott Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in September 1960. It consists of songs written or well known as performed by Woody Guthrie.

<i>Ramblin Jack Elliott Sings Songs by Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers</i> 1960 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack Elliott Sings Songs by Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1960 in Great Britain and in 1962 in the US on the Monitor label.

<i>The Lost Topic Tapes: Cowes Harbour 1957</i> 2004 compilation album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

The Lost Topic Tapes: Cowes Harbour 1957 is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 2004. Elliott recorded a number of albums on the Topic label in London in the 1950s. The songs on this compilation are taken from rediscovered tapes found in the British Library in London. They were recorded on a yacht at Cowes Harbour in 1957. Several songs were issued in Britain on Jack Takes the Floor.

<i>The Lost Topic Tapes: Isle of Wight 1957</i> 2004 compilation album by Ramblin Jack Elliott

The Lost Topic Tapes: Isle of Wight 1957 is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 2004. Elliott recorded a number of albums on the Topic label in London in the 1950s. The songs on this compilation are taken from rediscovered tapes found in the British Library in London. They were recorded on a yacht at Cowes Harbour in 1957. Several songs were issued in Britain on Jack Takes the Floor.

<i>The Rambling Boys</i> 1958 studio album by Ramblin Jack Elliott and Derroll Adams

The Rambling Boys is an album by American folk musicians Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Derroll Adams, released in 1958 in England.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 427. ISBN   1-85227-745-9.
  2. "Spring Music - Ramblin' Jack Elliott". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston . Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  3. Dylan paid tribute to Elliott's music in Chronicles, Vol. 1 , pp 250-252
  4. "South Coast" lyrics Archived 2010-12-05 at the Wayback Machine - Arlo.net, Arlo Guthrie's website
  5. "49th annual Grammy nominations list — part 2". Variety. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  6. "Fall Music Preview 2016: 35 Must-Hear Albums". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 12 January 2018.