In Memory of Thornton Spencer / by Cameron DeWhitt

Welcome to Get Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron DeWhitt and Friends! This week’s episode is a rerun, because I’m on vacation in Oregon with my family, but I thought this would be a great opportunity to remember Thornton Spencer. We recorded this interview and jam with him and his family last spring, and Thornton passed on Nov. 25th at the age of 82 after a short battle with cancer. I am so glad that I got the chance to record him when I did. When I set out to make this show, it was just a pretense to invite myself over to people’s houses and play music with them; I didn’t think I would be confronting mortality, or comforting the dying; Thornton’s son Kilby told me that the day before he passed, he listened to this episode twice, and it was the last time he saw him grinning and talking. I still feel pretty humbled and pensive about the whole thing. But mostly, I’m just relieved that I got to meet him and catch a little bit of his music and his story.

Tunes we’ll play:
Sugar hill
Johnson boys
Lost Indian
Eighth of January
Stagger Lee
John Brown’s Dream

Spencer Family and Friends’ bands: 
Field Recorders’ Collective: 
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