"When did you write that? How did you happen ... to ... uh ..." The nervous and incredulous male voice stops there on the tape. It's 1954, and Connie Converse, the singer and songwriter who has elicited this response, has just recorded one of her songs onto the reel-to-reel. Fifty-five years later the quality of the song is undeniable and the questions put to her still have a strange poignancy. How did she write these songs? How did it happen that at the great cultural crossroads of postwar New York there was a lone woman writing songs on guitar with a sophistication of lyric and melody unmatched by any other folk songwriter of the time? It stumped the man who was recording her, and her answers, if she gave any, aren't on the tape.
Crossposted at mulberry road.