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trap door

trap door

Bob Frank and John Murry : Boss Weatherford 1933

2y ago


"Every since the crime was committed he has assumed a cool and jovial attitude, which never left him in the last few seconds he had to live after he was placed on the trap door of the gallows. Just before Weatherford was taken to death trap, the sheriff read the death warrant to him; his comment after the reading was, 'They gave me plenty, didn't they?'" ~The Booster, May 26, 1933 It was 2006 when Bob Frank and John Murry's first album as a duo arrived on my doorstep. "World Without End" is a chilling collection of ten original murder ballads based upon true, if unknown, tales of murder, death and suicide from America's past. Frank and Murry had spoken of making an album of murder ballads, then had the brilliant idea of writing their own. After researching crime records, libraries and newspapers, they found details of characters - and their gruesome and mysterious crimes - ranging in time from 1805 to 1961. The writing and recording began, and World Without End is the result. "Boss Weatherford 1933" is one of the songs on the album. The opening segment features a brief rendition of "O Luaidh" with old friends Billy Mazappa on guitar and Ans Steenman on accordion. In making the video, I decided to use a number of photographs, purposely blurred a little, from my own family's early albums. I did so after some consideration, my concluding thought being, "They were such characters themselves, I'm sure they wouldn't mind being cast, posthumously, as actors in a tale of this kind." Other photographs were borrowed from the brilliant work of Dorothea Lange. A few were simply taken from archives, cropped and altered to suit the story. The quote opening the video is from The Booster, a small newspaper, and is taken from the liner notes to Frank and Murry's album. "Secret crime of passion. Body buried in the garden where the roses never grow. Blood curse from long gone yesterdays - doomed sinner homeless, even in death. Outlaws, murderers, their phantoms wander searching for impossible redemption. Dare the darkness. Hear the tormented cry of soul beyond mercy. The lost cry out in song. Cold as an assassin's blade. Burning with the heat of a pistol's breath. Dark and deep as the grave. This recording is timeless as death. It will haunt your dreams and follow you down the shadow-filled street just out of sight." -Jim Dickinson, Independence, Mississippi There is another video of "Boss Weatherford 1933" on youtube, directed by Teddi Dean Bennett. I knew that going in, but wanted to see what I could accomplish with still photography and suggestion, versus moving pictures and a more literal translation of the song. Note: If anyone objects to this video due to copyright issues, please make contact and it will be removed.