Sarita 5/39

One tune performed by Frank Goodwyn and Manuel Salinas, and a ballad by the latter accompanied by Omero Lopez. (If more recordings were made during this session, they have not survived.)

From Ruby T. Lomax's field notes: “Miss Frances Alexander, professor of English at the College of Arts and Industries at Kingsville, Texas, first told us about Frank Goodwyn. He was at that time a student of the college interested in the study of English literature, in music and how to write English compositions. We were told that Mr. Goodwyn was surprised to learn that music had a notation by which it could be written down. He lost no time in setting down on paper some of the tales that he had heard all his life; for he was brought up on the King Ranch, where his father was once a foreman and where Frank himself had learned the arts of the cowboy. There he had learned the many tales current among the Vaqueros and the English-speaking cowhands, and he had also picked up their traditional and local ballads and dance tunes. He learned to play the fiddle and the guitar with enough skill to give himself, his family and friends some pleasure and amusement. He is a distant cousin of J. Frank Dobie and through his friends of the College faculty and through Mr. Dobie’s written versions of Mexican Border tales came to the attention of the Texas Folk Lore Society, in whose publications Mr. Goodwyn's tales and song texts appear. In 1940 Mr. Goodwyn is instructor in English and graduate student at the C and I College [?]. At the time the Lomaxes met him, Mr. Goodwyn was married and was teaching in the La Gloria School, a rural school in a Mexican community, near Falfurrias, Texas. There we found him and arranged a meeting. Many of his songs Mr. Goodwyn learned from his mother and from Blind Eddie, fiddler, who used to hang around Mr. Goodwyn's uncle's country store. Many tunes he learned from cowboys, but often he had to get full texts later from books, such as the Lomax Cowboy Songs. One night he played for two hours in our tourist camp room, mostly American cowboy songs and "funny" songs that he had learned from his m mother. We found that he knew a great many "concert hall" and other popular songs that had been printed for sheet music sale. The next day, being Saturday, he took us to Sarita, Texas on the edge of the great Kennedy [sic, "Kenedy"] Ranch. We were searching especially for a certain Mexican feud ballad which a blind store-keeper in Sarita knew. Mr. Goodwyn had formerly taught school there and knew all the boys. Mr. Lopez, proprietor was not in; but other musicians were around, and so we set up the machine on a store-counter. Manuel Salinas consented to second Mr. Goodwyn with the guitar, and they played Chinese Breakdown.

This was the usual bare, dusty, poorly equipped general merchandise Mexican store. One glance around took in a few cotton dresses, bandanas, belts, dried oranges, boxes of salt, sheet-iron stove, a dozen Irish potatoes, a few cans of milk, tobacco, an old phonograph, bottles of patent medicine with faded labels, a pair of elk horns, a dusty violin.”

Chinese Breakdown

Los Versos Del Mojado

Recording announcement

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