Washtub Bass - History

History

Ethnomusicologists trace the origins of the instrument to the 'ground harp' - a version that uses a piece of bark or an animal skin stretched over a pit as a resonator. The ang-bindi made by the Baka people of the Congo is but one example of this instrument found among tribal societies in Africa and Southeast Asia, and it lends its name to the generic term inbindi for all related instruments. Evolution of design, including the use of more portable resonators, has led to many variations, such as the dan bau (Vietnam) and gopichand (India), and more recently, the "electric one-string", which amplifies the sound using a pickup.

The washtub bass is sometimes used in a jug band, often accompanied by a washboard as a percussion instrument. Jug bands, first known as "spasm bands", were popular especially among African-Americans around 1900 in New Orleans and reached a height of popularity between 1925 and 1935 in Memphis and Louisville.

At about the same time, European-Americans of Appalachia were using the instrument in "old-timey" folk music. A musical style known as "gut-bucket blues" came out of the jug band scene, and was cited by Sam Phillips of Sun Records as the type of music he was seeking when he first recorded Elvis Presley.

In English skiffle bands and Australian and New Zealand bush bands, the same sort of bass has a tea chest as a resonator. Before the Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney's band, The Quarrymen, featured a tea-chest bass, as did many young bands around 1956.

A folk music revival in the U.S. in the early 1960s re-ignited interest in the washtub bass and jug band music. Bands included Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions which later became The Grateful Dead, and, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band featuring Fritz Richmond on bass.

According to Willie "The Lion" Smith's autobiography, the term "gutbucket" comes from "Negro families" who all owned their own pail, or bucket, and will get it filled with the makings for chitterlings. The term "gutbucket" came from playing a lowdown style of music.

Read more about this topic:  Washtub Bass

Other articles related to "history":

Xia Dynasty - Modern Skepticism
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...
Spain - History - Fall of Muslim Rule and Unification
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
History of Computing
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and slate ...
Voltaire - Works - Historical
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
Casino - History of Gambling Houses
... in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...

Famous quotes containing the word history:

    To history therefore I must refer for answer, in which it would be an unhappy passage indeed, which should shew by what fatal indulgence of subordinate views and passions, a contest for an atom had defeated well founded prospects of giving liberty to half the globe.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

    It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Indeed, the Englishman’s history of New England commences only when it ceases to be New France.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)