Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interesting Things I Find In Thrift-Store Books

"The Smoky God" is a 1908 science fiction / fantasy tale in the "Hollow Earth" vein. Inside this copy was an interesting autographed polaroid-style b&w photo:

(Click on pics for bigger scans!)

Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys

* Originally from Clay, West Virginia. Moved to Detroit, Michigan and performed there for most of their career.
* Real names: Denslie and Wilma Ann Holcomb.
* Formed their band in 1955.
* One of the first bluegrass acts to perform and record in the Detroit area.
* Dan worked for the Chrysler Corporation.
* Carmen Flatt (second cousin of Lester Flatt) was a member of their band. (He died in 1993).
* Retired from performing in the early 1980's.

A few of their tracks can be heard on YouTube:

Curly Dan - I Flubbed My Dub

Curly Dan - You'll Be The One To Cry

Curly Dan & Jim Maynard - You`ll Be The One To Cry

Here's the discographical info I could find online; Delighted to note they had 3 records on Detroit's obscure Fortune label. Note two interesting references to Michigan highway US23 - "North on 23" and "South on 23"

Fortune Records
196 - Curly Dan & Wilma and the Danville Mountain Boys: Sleep Darling / My Little Rose 1956
197 - Dan Curly And The Danville Mountain Trio: Sleep Darling / My Little Rose - 1956
228 - Curley Dan & Wilma Ann and the Danville Mt. Boys: North On 23 / I Don't See No Wings On You - 196?

Danville Label
102 Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys: Mixed up life / I'd better drink up and go
103 Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys: Beautiful memory / Live in peace
104 Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys: I'm in heaven / I'm sorry if I'm crying    
105 Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys: Teenage prayer / South on 23
106 Curly Dan, Wilma Ann & the Danville Mountain Boys: Just to hear them say you all / I hide the hurt

"THE SMOKY GOD" or A Voyage to the Inner World
1908 By Willis George Emerson
Text version of this book can be downloaded at Project Gutenberg:

Author's Wikipedia info:

"The Smoky God" is early science fiction / fantasy tale in the "Hollow Earth" vein. Here's an excerpt:
The great luminous cloud or ball of dull-red fire--fiery-red in the mornings and evenings, and during the day giving off a beautiful white light, "The Smoky God,"-- is seemingly suspended in the center of the great vacuum "within" the earth, and held to its place by the immutable law of gravitation, or a repellant atmospheric force, as the case may be. I refer to the known power that draws or repels with equal force in all directions.

The base of this electrical cloud or central luminary, the seat of the gods, is dark and non-transparent, save for innumerable small openings, seemingly in the bottom of the great support or altar of the Deity, upon which "The Smoky God" rests; and, the lights shining through these many openings twinkle at night in all their splendor, and seem to be stars, as natural as the stars we saw shining when in our home at Stockholm, excepting that they appear larger. "The Smoky God," therefore, with each daily revolution of the earth, appears to come up in the east and go down in the west, the same as does our sun on the external surface. In reality, the people "within" believe that "The Smoky God" is the throne of their Jehovah, and is stationary. The effect of night and day is, therefore, produced by the earth's daily rotation.

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