Cecil Barfield



Plains, GA  – Feb 8, 1979                                                                                                                  Nikon F2, Tri X

Cecil was first located by Jim Pettigrew, writing for Brown’s Guide to Georgia. He published “Can’Cha Hear Me Cryin’, Ooo-hoo” in the Jul/Aug 1976 issue (Vol 4/ No 4), pp 40-47. Jim was taken with my field work activities in the SE and got the magazine to assign he and photographer Paul Dingman to see what they could find in the Spring of ’76! Besides Cecil, they located the likes of Rev. Pearly Brown, Cliff Scott, Bud Jones, Melvin Jackson, Cleveland Nick Davis, Sammy Henderson, and Uncle Jack Henry. Some had been already located by George Mitchell, but not all… including Cecil. Both Mitchell and I recorded Cecil in some depth, while Axel Kustner did so a decade later. The tapes that I played of Cecil to field recording doyen Alan Lomax blew him off his stool while visiting me… probably helped me get hired by him to work with him at the LofC Folklife Archives! Another iceberg tip in the story of African American secular music in GA.

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