Page 16 - With Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
W''gmm''0000' Estwood Davidson, ix'.i . • . >' '' , Angus D. Beaton. Little Jack was down on a vacation. And I had never met him. I'd heard his re? cordings , and a lot of people that knew him--he was well known. So we had been hitting the booze fairly heavy that night, you know. Devils. But we got to bed--I don't know--3 o'clock, maybe, or something. But the next morning one of the girls came up, knocked on the door. She said, "You'd better get up. Little Jack is downstairs." And this Estwood Da? vidson, you know, he's a critic--one of the worst critics--fellow who plays with me. An awful critic. And I remember him shaking me, "Get up. Black Man." He always called me "Black Man." "Get up. Black Man. Your back is against the wall today--Lit- tle Jack is downstairs!" So I didn't care any more playing before Little Jack than I did before you. Al- though I figured he was probably a better player. Anyway, we got downstairs. And we had no liquor, no rum. Little Jack was on the keg. But he had a quart of wine. By God, we were shaky. I got a glass of wine in me, straightened out a little bit, you know. He wanted to hear me play. I said, "Okay, sure." So we go in the room, tuned up. I played for about 15 minutes, I suppose. So I walked over and passed him the violin. I said, "Here, Little Jack, I want to hear you play. I'm a better listener than I am a player." He said, "You must be a goddamn good listener then!" So that was my first and only appearance with Little Jack. I never met him anywhere else. He played some (that day). He played a few tunes. (Did you like Little Jack's playing?) Yes, I did, very much. He had a style of his own, of changing tunes, too. He had his own feeling in them. You learn a tune out of a book. (But) if you don't put anything in it, you know, you might just as well wash your feet with your socks on. To me. Because there's no fla? vour, no taste to it. (You were saying, some fiddlers just play--) The book. Play the book. And that's what happened to a lot of violin players around this part of the country. They played too much book. (Some people say, "The book is correct, and that's the way to do it." What do you say to that?) The book might be correct, but it's not the way to do it. Because--J. Scott Skin? ner said it himself. He said, "I will make the tune. You must play it." (Very nicely said.) Yeah, very smart words. And Little Jack MacDonald had that style. And a lot of people criticized him for it, but not NOTE: The photo on page 16 was taken at George Marsh's in New Waterford, 1956. Lt to rt: Angus Roach, Little Angus MacDonald, Mary Hughie MacDonald, Winston, Mary Jessie MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald Senecal, John Ar? chie MacDonald, Tootsie Graham, Claire MacDonald. Open Fireplace Historic comfortable Dining Room Telegraph House "We stopped at the door of a very unhotel-like appearing hotel. It had in front a flower-garden; it was blazing with welcome lights; it opened hospitable doors, and we were received by a family who expected us." - Baddggk and that Sort pf Thing Est. 1860 - Five Generations of the Dunlop Family Baddeck, Nova Scotia BOE IBO Telephone (902) 295-9988 236 Townsend St., Sydney, N.S. BIP 5E8 Phone 539-4566 Limited Edition Coilectors Plates & Fine Giftware MacLean Industrial SuDDly ''' "Serving Atlantic Canada" T|j|| INDUSTRIAL - MINE AND MILL SUPPLIES 207 Kings Rd., Sydney, N. S. (902) 564-5540 QUALITY SOFT DRINKS SINCE 1906 AT THE PRICE THAT REFRESHES Pbp Factory iRon BR.GCi3 McKinlay &Sons; Ltd. Midway Motors Ltd. Now with Two Locations: HEAD OFFICE '' NEW OFFICE Middle River w5r Port Hastings 295-2290 ' 625-3641 (16) 262 BROOKSIDE 849-6644 GLACE BAY We've Been CHRYSLER Since 1926
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