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No fan of music and mystery can name a better puzzle than the missing women of 1930s American music known as Geeshie and Elvie.

Here’s how John Jeremiah Sullivan’s story about them on the New York Times website starts:

In the world of early-20th-century African-American music and people obsessed by it, who can appear from one angle like a clique of pale and misanthropic scholar-gatherers and from another like a sizable chunk of the human population, there exist no ghosts more vexing than a couple of women identified on three ultrarare records made in 1930 and ’31 as Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley. There are musicians as obscure as Wiley and Thomas, and musicians as great, but in none does the Venn diagram of greatness and lostness reveal such vast and bewildering co-extent.

Read more to get even more hooked on the enigma.  


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  • Phyl Dupret November 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

    What a treat learning about the lives and music of LV and Geeshie is…I am looking forward to reading more about their music and the music of the times……………….