Thursday, June 7, 2007

Your Old Crazy Aunt

Congress-Woman Malinda Jackson Parker - Tubman Goodtyme Songs of Liberia

I'm guessing a few of you might have an eccentric old aunt in the family. You know the one, she is unmarried, dresses a bit weird, maybe drinks a bit much at family get-togethers. I always tend to think of this as a Euro-American tradition, but it might just be a worldwide phenomenon.

As evidenced by the record at hand. I'm not honestly sure if Ms. Parker was a congress-woman, married, or even an aunt. If I were a gambling man, though, I'd answer no, no, and yes. Because she's a bit, um, touched (by the hand of mayhem).

Her songs have strange obsessions, usually with blood-sucking bugs and repeated words. They start with melodies, but turn into rants. If you think about Nina Simone at her most angry, you wouldn't be far from the mark.

But her songs also reveal talent with the madness, or else noone would remember this (OK, just crazy does have its own cult, I guess). She clearly has some training on the piano, and her sense of melody and dynamics is that of someone with an ear. She just doesn't deploy it like you might expect.

If anyone out there can shed some light on this one (not cut and pasted from other sources - I know how to use Google, too), please give it up.

Hey - who's got either of those Robert Pollard comedy records? Are they any good? Worth the crazy price tag they have?

http://rapidshare.com/files/35807820/Tubman_Goodtyme_Songs_of_Liberia.rar

16 comments:

dok said...

Hey, thanks for posting this. Irwin Chusid used to feature Ma Parker on his Incorrect Music show on WFMU. At the time, I think he claimed that these songs were used for public education. The Cousin Mosquito songs are classics, so I can't wait to hear the rest.

BTW, the album seems to be called "Goodtype", not "Goodtyme". Yes, I know that makes no more sense.

nhennies said...

THANK YOU!!! I have been trying to find this complete album for years with no luck! Thank you so much.

Percy Dovetonsils said...

The Pollard albums are just cut together live banter, mostly from audience recordings I think. Do you want me to upload them?

David Bruce said...

Silly question... are there any track titles?

Thanks in advance...

David Bruce said...

Was able to discover the answer to my question:

1. Palm Tree 7:38
2. No Bananas 4:42
3. Bush Cow Milk 5:23
4. Cousin Mosquito #1 3:33
5. Cousin Mosquito #2 7:49

I loved the review that accompanied the track list -- sorry, I have to share:

Lovable Liberian eccentric who conjures up a heavenly hash of Nina Simone and Lucia Pamela. Though not a politico by profession, the late "Ma Parker" served a term in Liberia's House of Reps in the '50s during the William V. S. Tubman administration. Musically, the dizzy yet dignified Parker mauled folk songs and addressed societal concerns with a freewheeling half-sung, half-narrated style, while pounding mercilessly on a grand piano. The album offers odes to bush cow milk and palm trees, along with not one but two diatribes against bloodsucking bugs. On "Cousin Mosquito #1," Parker utters the word "cousin" 204 times in three and a half minutes. Madame had independent wealth, was by reports kind, generous and beloved, and was never without a bag of candy to bestow upon street urchins. She dressed flamboyantly, was renowned for an overload of cosmetics and sported a turban festooned with safety pins.

Cary Grant said...

this is way rad

Eugenio said...

THANKS YOU!!
Try post more albums and info of Malinda Jackson Parker, please.
This songs now occupy a very special site in my music-theque.

Eugenio said...

THANKS YOU!!
Try post more albums and info of Malinda Jackson Parker, please.
This songs now occupy a very special site in my music-theque.

Eugenio said...

THANKS YOU!!
Try post more albums and info of Malinda Jackson Parker, please.
This songs now occupy a very special site in my music-theque.

Eugenio said...

THANKS YOU!!
Try post more albums and info of Malinda Jackson Parker, please.
This songs now occupy a very special site in my music-theque.

nastyskimmedmilk said...

hey check out the compilation "songs in the key of z". that is where i first listened to ma parker and the awesome mosquito and read about her. sadly don't have the cd anymore in order to post some info. the album also compiles some amazing out-there recordings worth checking out if you still haven't.

oui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oui said...

thanks!

honeybunny said...

sweet stuff, thanks very much

littleottergirl said...

I lived in Liberia the summer of 1968 and met the Hon. Malinda Jackson Parker at her house in Monrovia.
She was every bit as eccentric as you might imagine, but a gracious hostess. We drank Fanta on her porch and she played for us on a funky old upright piano. Her playing was florid as an old bawdyhouse musician, and her voice, well you can listen to the cuts on the website. Mr. Mosquito was in truth used in the LIberian schools as a warning against malaria. Before we left, she played for us Saint Louis Blues. It was fantastic!

littleottergirl said...

I would love to hear from anyone else who knew her!