John Jacob Niles
This is another departure. John Jacob Niles (1892— 1980) was known as The Dean of American Balladeers. As a collector of traditional songs he was very influential on the folk music revival of the 1960's.
I saw John Jacob Niles on TV when I was a child. I had nightmares afterwards. I was convinced that I had been watching a ghost.
There was an other wordliness about his undulating falsetto, eerie strained expression and his huge Appalachian dulcimer. Add to this the subject matter of his songs- murder ballads and songs of doomed love and death- and the haunting effect was complete...