Title: Interview with Larry Warriax (November 2, 1974)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006822/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Larry Warriax (November 2, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: November 2, 1974
Subject: Urban Lumbee
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006822
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Urban Lumbee' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: UL 16

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Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
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For all other permissions and requests, contact the
the University of Florida

Russ Hyden 1 LUM 197 A

B: This is November 2, 1974. I'm] Lew Barton recording for the

University of Florida's History Department and their American

Indian Oral History Program. This afternoon is November 2, as I

said, 1974 and we are in Silver Springs, Maryland, in the home of

Mrs. Doris Atwood. Now with me is Mr. Larry Warria$ and he sCgoin

to talk to me about music of yesteryear. Larry I understand yo'r
5or4 c -C
SVan expert on y yesterday 's m usic Y gn_.gi _h y y ou 've got all these

wonderful recordings of the past)

W: I do have a fine collection.

B: atbtt- is that a Victrola machine? How old is that machine,


W: Well, its, About 1902 model.

B: A 1902 model. Do you think it would operate?

W: Oh, sure. aS it has the cKcr-S the windup. 1e' li ry

a record if yu' likee to hear one.

B: Okay. Listen, you wind these machines up, don't you. This is a floor

model. It, s called ah=saif.

W: Victrola. Manufactured by Victrola Talking Machines. C>rC '<, New

Jersey, U.S.A.

W: Patented in the United States and foreign Countries. Ttj wtat it


B: ftmMa. Let's see, iet's hear what it sounds like, Larry.

W: Okay. The first tune 4e1) play will be Lucilia

B: The Lucia Sextet?

W: Right.

B: Lucia, right?

W: Right.

2 LUM 197 A

B: UM1E-L- Let's hear just a little bit of what they sounded like. 3tmms

abmat, thas)dated about 1902, right?

W: Right.

B: Alright, I wonder what it's oing to sound like.


B: e w we got an idea of what it sounds like. That really sounds

loud, doesn't it? -Hsa at---?i 2effjt? ? Is there any

way to adjust the volume on that Larry?

W: By the doors. Let me.....

B: By the doors.

W: By the closing and opening of the doors. It smothers the sound.

B: Oh, I see. In other words, you don't ave a switch on there you can

turn it up and down with, do you?

W: No, "^is-re- pJht this was made strictly without electricity.

B: It was recorded without electricity?

W: Right.

B: And w replaying it ,thout electricity, r iht? You just turn the

cranks, to wind it up.

W: Right. Here'sone I know you remember, a ene Autry tune.

B: Oh, good. Wht hat. Whts the name of that one?

W: "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes"

B: Oh, yes. Wha sthe label on there? What record is that? What


W: Okeh.

B: Okeh records. Oh, that 'san old firm. Is probably been out of business

3 LUM197 A

for years. Okay let's see what some of that sounds like. This

is Gene Autry in his hayday. Can you imagine him playing, was there

a date on there Larry?

W: /^fe "'. {^ t- >^.

B: There should be a date on there. They used to date all these records.

But, I remember Gene Autry very wAl. Gene Autry of course, Sa,.

was a cowboy actor and a great idol.

W: Here we go.


B: Oh, me. V\ -, CUA_ t ____

W: 1- d/O5 r speed control?

B: "t-9hou

W: And I think the slowest speed on it is about 78.

B: gKg. Well, that's)surprisingly good considering they did it without


W: It is.

B: 1Sa they sang directly into a horn, like, when they were recording



B: ej cut it off right there and, because we vant to play some'ore of

these. What have you got there, Larry?

W: Just to show you that a good voice never fails, here's a little

White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

B: Oh, tha( san old too. It )still a good. Syrsrat y White

Christmas has become a classic. Some of these recordings may skip a

little bit. They may, i i3=r Ly they're very old, and very delicate.


4 LUM 197 A

I think Bing Crosby- sdI abbr-i heia among the four people who have

sold more records in history than anybody else. Is that right?

W: Yes.


W: It is skipping, I'll have to get over maybe to the center.

B: BmAn. \71


(Dog barks)

B: Oh, me

W: inaudible

(Dog barks, again)

B: Ci irL wants to get into the act here. He has a good

German Shepard dog .. her name is iT r I She wants to get

in to the act, too.

(Dog whines, in time to music)

B: The sound quality is amazingly good considering the conditions wev

described, right Larry?

W: Yes, sir.

B: Wha(-sthe label on this record, Larry?

W: Decca Records. This is Decca Records

B: Right.


B: Well, let us stop it right there because it's acting up a little bit.

The threads on it are worn probably.

W: Here's-a 1903 recording I think yollemember.


5 LUM 197 A

B: Vgamu,. girl-

W: 1903.

B: Is this Bing too? l&s- e i-_g?

W:-is is a choir.

B: It was Edison, of course, who invented what people called then"talking

machines". We call them now, stereos and record players and that sort

of thing. Thomas Edison invented this machine long ago. People thought

he was a nut when he went around talking about recording human voices in


W: Right.

B: But he accomplished it, didn't he? And they still record voices in was,



B: Okay)


W: You can tell the thickness of these records, thyr ,,

B: Thye) very heavy, aren't they?

W: Right.

B: Wonder if they broke easily, Larry?

W: No, S20 these have been around for quite a while.

B: Well, they use about half as much wax in the records now as they did then.

They made them very thick for some reason. But I suppose tha' the way

you had to do it back then, right?

W: Right.

B: WhaE's the name of that one y5Q looking at?

W: This is a 'Perfect Day".

B: "A Perfect Day". Who does that one?

W: Imperial Quartet, this is a male quartet.

B: Is that record dated Larry?

6 LUM 197 A

W: It's 1903.

B: 1903. Let's hear a little bit of that. Tha's)interesting. '1Q ust

keep talking while you4Ea- change the records there.

W: Maybe I should wind him.

B: Yei, you better wind him, because I forget that, don't you?

W: Right

B: And when it rung down, of course, it slows up and it distorts the

sound. ( os ot it wound up and e'r about ready to go now.

W: You have to wait on these turntables to pick up their speed-tthet're

run by strings.

B: ZSh.am, Kind of like winding a watch, only it's ibga"e-a bigger

mechanism, right?

W: Right X C tr- i


B: Well, th4t, the old barbar-shop quartet type singers, isn't it?

W: Right.

B: "When you come to the end of a perfect day." (quoting record) Okay,

w ) stop it right there, Larry. Do you have something else over

there yo ure looking at?

W: Right. I'mtrying to look for maybe a good march tune, or something.

B: A good march tune.

W: tW MvM found one here. This is a Victor. I's by the Victor

Millery Band, D.W. Reeb. This is dated September 22, 1903.

B: 've never heard of the gentleman.

W: March FrC-ACI Let's see ia -'-what its like.

B: Okay. Ti ,this is interesting to me. I hopeQ.r interesting to

others as well.


7 LUM 197 A

B: That's really arousing march, isn't it? t's stuck, I believe.


B: These bands were quite good back then, weren't they?

W: Right.


W: Now let me tell you how the volume works. I close one door.

B: When you close one door, that cuts the volume down.

W: Right. Now both doors.

B: tmt*um.

W: See, if you did have

B: It smothers the volume.

W: Right.

B: PaEbSf

W: Now with one door open. Now both.

B: Uiimr. Thakm ) amazing.


B: Larry, I wonder if yo'v got anything here by Stephen Collins Foster or

Stephen Foster Collins?

W: Let me look in here.

B: Ils Btephen Collins Foster.

W: Right, yetd.

B: You know, hes&j the very famous composer who gave us such songs as

"Old Kentucky Home"

W: I have that one.

B: "Old Black Joe", you have "Old Kentucky Home"?

W: Right, I don know who made it but I have it.

B: Well, yo got a fabulous collection.

8 LUM 197 A

W: Right. Here it is, "My Old Kentucky Home" and it's by Stephen Foster.

B: Yeal, he wrote that.

W: Right.

B: But who's singing it?

W: '.' rr with orchestra in English. Alma Cluck. Alright, this

is a 1902.

B: I( )iated 1902.

W: Right. It even has the price: a dollar fifty in the United States.

It has the dollar sign on it.

B: (laughs) How about that. Well, the prices then haven't changed much

over the years, have they?

W: No.

B: The prices remain about the same even in inflationary times I imagine

you can get a record for about two dollars, can't you?

W: Yes.
B: They, okay, let's hear some of Stephen'Foster's "Old Folks at Home" if

we can get this

W: Wind him up I 'at

B: Yeai, you got to wind-o )forget about winding it. You can hear him

winding it, I guess and you can tell about how long it takes to wind

it. t.aam

W: Now we got a nice tight spring. Get ready. Here we go.


B: Tha a beautiful melody, isn't it -...--2.:.- ---s Stephen Collins

Foster. You might say he is the grandfather of country and western.

He also wrote "Suwanned River" "Camptown Races" things like this.

And "I'm Dreaming of Jeanie with the-vS Hair".

9 LUM 197 A

W: Let me see. I think I have age somewhere here, I'm)not positive.

B: "Suwannee River", it's probably a different amm from the one he did, but

you know "Swannee, SGannee"?

W: No.

B: It's pretty old, too. People play it today. It'sbecome one of the

classics and people play it quite frequently. Maybe you could find

us one of those. Yo v got a fabulous collection here.


W: Well Lew, I found that copy of "Sannee".

B: Okay. Let's see what it sounds like teaszJ-_-r f ,

W: George Gershwin, is that how it goes?

B: George Gershwin?

W: Right.

B: Yeah.

W: This is a September 22, 1903.

B: OH I didi t realize that song was that old because icisitill played

very frequently today, isn't it?
W: Yeah, it says saxaphone, xylophone and piano for dancing. This is

Swannee-One Step. I guess that one-step means some kin of an old

type dance, right?

B: Right, right.

W: Swannee has got a dash.

(Third person in background--designated by "T")

T: Yeafd, yea, thas a one-step.

B: Like a one step, two-step, three-step.

W: a

T.: That's a one-step, two-step, three-steps, four.

W: Five potato, six potatoes, seven potato., more.

10 LUM 197 A


B: That xylopho's recorded well, isn' t it?

W: I's)good.

B: Okayr -- .i--

W: Hers) some of the words to that, Lew, could you sing along with that?

B: (Lew sings) .....will see me no/ more, when I get to that Sannee


How I love you, How I love you my dear old Sannee.


W: I guess back then they didn't know what a fuzz box and a wa-wa was?

B: No, not at all A

Have you ever noticed that the tone quality is different with different
instruments and differen6.people seem to have voices especially suited

to this type of recording like Bing Crosby and like Gene Autry. Speaking

of entertainers of yesteryear, I think you have something by Wild
Bill and the Twxas Playboys?

W: Right. I believe you picked it out and laid it over here. Yei, here

it is.. It's got "Home in San Antone"

B: San Antone?

W: Right. And Miss Molly

B: Oh yeah. Let's play a little bit of them.


W: Wild Bill
B: And the Texan Playboys.

W: Right.

B: ,hea, they were quite popular 454 maybe, twenty-five, thirty years ago.

And 4f longer back than that. -BfF It sounded like the needle sworn.

You have to change these needles. They wear out. They have to do heavy

duty on this type of machine, I imagine. And the tone arm-is quite

11 LUM 197 A

heavy, isn't it Larry?

W? .taam .Okay, here we go. I had tolchange the needle.


B: I think (t4stuck.

W: Wind him up.

B: Let's try it again. we forgot to wind up the machine that time.

Oh, thank you.


B: They were strictly western Crclr t- weren't they?


B: Tha 'sa steel guitar there, that's electric, isn't it?


W: Thats )not electric.

B: Well Larry, the sound quality of that' not too good. We(lget some-

thing else if you will. Larry, do you have numbers, you know, that

are strictly country? Like, say like,"lurkey in the Straw" in the

way they used to do it way back?

W: I can try to find. Let me see what this will do

Some of these haven't been played in over a year.


"B: "tidlike to give my dog to Uncle Sam" (Barton quoted records)


B: No, I think that was WW I, Larry. We'll have to check the date on that


B: (inaudible)

W: "Memories of the War"

12 LUM 197 A


B: Vcheck;the date on that, Larry, see if it has a date on it. I believe

that's WW I.

W: On this one here.' "I'd like to Give My Dog to Uncle Sam".

B: "I'd Like to Give My Dog to Uncle Sam". RS people doQ' have

that spirit nowadays, or at least they didjuring the Asian war.

The attitude was quite different than during WW I and WW II. Of course,

the Asian war was a quite unpopular war throughout the world. Larry,

as you know, music is quite historiVal because, like literature, music

reflects the action of the day and the attitudes of the day.

W: a well, her 's ne its)February, 1904. This is a Victor

record. Conway's Dance, it' "Memories of th War".

B: "Memories of the War"

W: Right. It says......

B: That must be the Civil War their talking about there

W: Well it 'sgot different songs. IF ts "Tramp, the Boys are Marching",

"Johnny Brown's Body", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

B: Oh, yea, that's the Civil War now(

W: "Marching Through Georgia," "The Battle Cry of Freedom ', "Arkansas

Traveller", "Bugle Calls and Drums", "Dixie Star Spangled Banner"

B: -.k iaem

W: Dixie, you know "Dixie".

B: Oh yea, j23arr let's play all that "Dixie" stuff.

W: Okay well here goes. Let me wind up real good.

B: Southern music certainly reflected the attitude of 'Rotyl the people

during that day.

W: I hope this record doe J't skip any.

B: -fabta, I hope so too, Larry.

13 LUM 197 A


W: Let me change thea-i& needle in this, Lew.

B: Okay, Larry, let's hear that. That sounds interesting.

W: L I .- -<'7'9j V These needles are over twenty or

twenty-five years old

B: Is that right?

W: Thts eight.


14 LUM 197 A


B: If you forget to wind her up, y 'reout of luck.

W: Th4t's right. She'll ure quit on you. See if you can tell me the

name of this.

B: Okay.


Bi. ft"Turkey in the Straw". Th ts real folk song. -SRtsa

W: I have another here I want to play.

B: Whatshe date on that one Larry?

W: Ill ave to look after I pick it up.

B: Okay.


B: I believe e's laying a concertina or an accordian--one or the other.

Hi'stood at it, too.


B: I like that.


B: Larry, I understand that your folks, on your mo their's side, were

quite talented musically, is that true?

W: Yes, it seems like all of them played different instruments. I have an

uncle C'- '-' that used to ride a bicycle when he was maybe twelve

or thirteen and play the guitar. Just ride around and play.



B: Let's look at the date on that and see if it has a date on it, Larry.

This is a number thao played ,,J\Wi- by every country and western band

in the country, the dance number, square dance number.

W: T- January 5, 1904.

15 LUM 197 A

B: 1904, tht' uite something. Every country band in the world plays

that sometimeg)yQt-kn, it's good square dance number. They do it

W: Let me try this. Let me see.

B: What's he name of that one?

W: Let me see if you remember it.

B: Okay.


B: That'san Irish singing. I believe th n's n Irish tune. Oh, that's

"My Wild Irish Rose" I believe.

W: Right.

B: I love that refrain. "The sweetest flower that grows" (Barton quotes song)

"You may search everywhere, but none can compare with my wild Irish rose."

That sounded a little sexy there on the end: "And some ay for my sake,

they may let me take, all the blooms from my wild Irish rose".

W: UtO. 0-;

B: '11 et that was con idered to be very risque in that day.


B: (singing) "My wild Irish Rose, the sweetest flower that grows.

You many search everywhere, but none can compare with my wild Irish rose.

My wild Irish rose, the sweetest flower that grows.

And someday for mp sake, they may let me take

The blooms from my wild Irish rose"


B: Well, I fixed him up, didn't I. Don't you have another song there

written by Stephen Collins Foster, like "Masss .in the Cold, Cold


W: Rights

16 LUM 197 A

B: Let's play a little bit of that.



W: ggg heir's Gene Aiixyx Austin.

B: Ja-imkt He was rt-6aentertainer, too, in the country and western



B: Larry, it interesting to bnow that Itephen Collins Foster, although

he wrote about the South all the time and is know everywhere for his

southern music, was not actually a southerner. He was born in

Pennsylvania. He was born and brought up in Pennsylvania.


B: iB b iJ's tuck. e stuck on eihtnt.

W: Well, so much for that.

B: Yea&. TIat s kind of cute. t a novelty song.

.W: Pm ust reminiscing here, just playing some different ones.


B: Aneto. Well, you kow something? It' amazing that you could get

any sound at all out of these records as ..old as they are. And out

of this machine as old as it is. Right, Larry?

9: Right.

B: You (ant find a machine like this anywhere that I know of, not today.

It still works, I guess there are a few around, but these records are

very old and they hav n ,t lost too much of their original sound; except

the grooves break throughvthey run into each other.. What have you got

there Larry? Something that looks interesting?

W: I' l et you pronounce it.

B: "Ah_ h ia "--,L-i is there a date on this?

W: -Ajfh no.

17 LUM 197 A

B: Lets just see what it sounds like, Larry. qlm, I'm fascinated by

these old records. This certAinly gives you an index as to what

music was like yesterday.


B: Itf uck.

T: "nvx-f 15 ci^.opi^ .

W: Yes. Chopin

B: -4ie* th Chopin was a great master in his day.


B: Would you check and see if it has a date on it ap too? This is Chopin,

one of the great masters of all time. ]'s *amazing how many of the

popular songs take these old melodies by the great masters of yesteryear

and put modern lyrics to them. This is done very frequently.

W: I d't see a date on there.

B: For Example, Elvis Presley took the melody "Oh Solo Mio" and wrote

a modern song about it, t least he recorded it. The name of this

is "There's No Tomorrow", (sings) There's no tomorrow. The last two

lines go: "There's no tomorrow. There's just tonight." I believe it

went, "It's now or never'! is the name of that song, (sings) It's now

or never, come hold me tight. Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight.

Tomorrow may be to late, It's now or never, my love can't wait"

Tha the way that went, of it, Elvis Presley did. I was a little

mited up on my into there.
W: Wka is Pearl Bailey?

B: W goes back quite a way. Let's see what its like.


W: A lot of people do that today.

B: Things have) changed very much.

18 LUM 197 A


B: That just goes to show you that the love themes and all, the laments

and complaints have changed very little basically over the years,

although the ways of presenting them certainly changes. And the music

itself changes.

W: Here one you hear every once in a while.

B: Still hear it every once in a while?

W? Right? I heard it in a movie not too long ago.



W: Just a minute. m going to have to change my needle again.

B: aimut. These needles wear out very quickly. I think maybe you can

play a couple of records with one needle, and then you have to put

a new needle in it, because that tone arm is very heavy and they

wear down very quickly While y u're doing that, by the way, Larry,

how far are we here in Silver Springs, how far is this from Washington,


W2 Maybe seven miles.

B: About seven miles from Washington.

W: To the White House.

B: Uzinma


B: I believe that was WW II, wasn't it?

W: I believe it was.

B: You need to wind it again, Larry


19 LUM 197 A

B: I'sa cute arrangement, isn't it?

B: Is that a sax?

W: Ns;hh. 5.

B: Uh oh.


B: --AS is there a date on that one, Larry? I believe that sWWII. Im

not sure. At least they were playing it during WW II. It was quite

popular then, but it might have been written earlier and that record

might be earlier than WW II. Is it dated at all?

W: It doe at ave a date on it.

B: I see.

W: HerJe one. It says "Country Blues" Redball Rocket Train, Mack O'Dell.

B: Mack O'Dell, okay.

Wi Mercury,3i S S

B: Mercury 2

W: And this is getting ,

B: Mercury Records.

W: Right


B: The tone quality on that is pretty poor, isn't it?

W: Yea, is)poor.

B: I noticed that the steel guitar he'osplaying on there is a non-electrified

steel guitar. I's what they call in the business a "hound dog" guitar.

In other words, it's played with the- steel but i( s'ot electrically


B: Larry, some of these old hymns Veally date back. For example, one

20 LUM 197 A

record ran across in your collection is called "Take Up Thy Cross and

Follow Me". Do you remember who does that on there?


B: These hymns are quite old.
D^r-s Doc .
W: Homer, Roberta and 3_ge a-ee.

B: Mefiat. Let's see what that sounds like. This is church music,

really --========p_ ,you know. This is "Take Up Thy Cross and Follow

Me". It'sstill played sometimes in country and western circles today.

I still pretty popular.


B: Tt's definitely a church organ, isn't it?

W: Right.

B: (quoting record)

I walked one day along a country road

And there a stranger journied too.

Then lo, beneath the burden of his cross

There was a cross, a cross I knew.

I cried "Lord Jesus" and He spoke my name

I saw his hands all bruised and torn

I stooped to kiss away that mark of tkaO-C
-S \- The paat for me that He had born.

Take up thy cross and follow me

I hear the blessed savior call

And Jesus gave his all

My cross 1 carry till the crown appears

And though my journey soon will end

21 LUM 197 A

And God himself can wife away our tears

And fellowship

W: Inaudible

B: Inaudible


B: Larry, this is the second interview with you that l've done

W: ia The last one was in Pembroke, North Carolina

B: light.

W: And now w e' in D.C.

B: Right. But this shows your tremendous interest in music and that

you really work at it and that you do have a genuine interest. About

how many of these records do you think you have?

W: Irve got a h

B: i

W: But the majority of them skip, and, wll" it'speen o"oer a year since

JCDfeeen up here last and I fired it up then, but I diyt' play but

one or two.

B: lbrdas All these were quite old records. This shows that you have

a $deep and abiding interest in music and, of course, this talent

dates back br among your family. Larry, wvDebeen listening to all

these sold records on thi very old machine. This machine is probably

ab t 70 years old, and some of the records re almost that old or maybe

that old. And now, we want to switch for contrast and listen for a moment

to some of the modern music. You can see that there are some similarities

but there is quite a switch--quite a bit of difference in the rhythm,

wouldn't you say?

W: Yes.

22 LUM 197 A

B: ft now who is this you're going to put on there?

W: The Doobie Brothers.

B: The Doobie Brothers.

W: The title of the song is "Nobody".

B: "Nobody", by the Doobie Brothers. This is quite modern. This is ,

would you caL this hard rock, Larry?


B: Of course, this is electrically ampli ied with all electric instruments,

just about. MUSIC ENDS

W: That'some of the Doobie's. Let's see if I can find another one. Hed e

one I like.

B. *t \/ -, -

W. .....very much.

B: Wh s the name of it Larry?

W: "Greenwood Creek".

B: And it's sy the Doobie Brothers?too? Okay.


B: Of course, this electrically alified recording and electrical

instruments and everything Just to show you they really are improved,

aren't they?


B: Larry, I sure appreciate your giving me this interview. It s een

W very enlightening and very enjoyable and I want to thank our aunt

and your grandmother ofrcourse, for allowing to come into your home,

to their home here


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