Episcopal Cemetery ~ Galveston, Texas, April 5
Circles of beads, circles of memories, circles of love —
some circles remain unbroken.
Many musicians from this 1989 recording are gone now, but the music remains.
41 thoughts on “Blest Be the Beads that Bind”
Happy Easter, Linda.
Happy Easter to you and yours. I hope you’re blessed with great bike-riding weather!
Sometimes, it’s good to stop, sigh, and breathe a little more easily. I hope your coming days are easy, and filled with joys.
I love this post Linda, the play on words in the heading and the beads, and the beautiful bluegrass music. Very touching.
It’s not always possible to fit an image, some words, and a bit of music together in a pleasing way, but I was happy with the way this one turned out. The Episcopal cemetery is part of a group known collectively as the Broadway cemeteries: seven cemeteries all in one place, both private and civic. Had I not decided to take the time to walk the Episcopal cemetery, I would have missed the gravestone with the beads. I’m glad I didn’t.
And the sparkle also there, too.
I found one other gravestone adorned with Mardi Gras beads, but they were much older, and had lost their sparkle and shine. I’m sure these are from this year, and I’ve spent some time imagining the descendent who left them there.
PS: we got out and hiked!
Happy Easter to you and yours, Misti! I’m so glad you got out — I spent some time late this afternoon watching a boy about Forest’s age stalking my squirrels with a little bow and rubber-tipped arrows. The squirrels were in no danger at all, but it was fun to watch, and fun to watch him respond to their scolding.
I was surprised at how many I recognized and could name before their names appeared. Truly a roll call of country greats. My mom and I were talking just the other day about how sad it is to discover musicians and actors whose performances you have enjoyed for decades have “gone on ahead.” She went through it with her generation of greats and I am realizing that I have also reached that stage where goodbyes are starting to noticeably outnumber hellos. Just recently I watched a video where Alice Cooper (!) was talking about how he frequently played golf with Glen Campbell (!!) (who we lost in 2017),who was underappreciated as a guitar player in his own right and as a member of the famous Wrecking Crew of studio musicians who made so much of the music we grew up with. (Campbell played on most of the Beach Boys records.) He was, like Vince Gill, a gifted instrumentalist as well as a singer.
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around Alice Cooper and Glen Campbell playing golf together. What a vision that is — although I suppose Mr. Cooper doesn’t play golf in his stage makeup.
It is a little disconcerting when the artists who’ve been such a part of our own lives begin to fade away — especially when they’re younger than we are. We do have the advantage of more than audio recordings now, although even that has changed substantially over the years. Just look at the differences between the recording studio in the NGDB video above, and what’s in use today. Amazing what thirty years can do.
Of course, it goes the other way, too. We have a chance now to follow the development of young musicians through social media and such. Watching a thirteen year old Derek Trucks open for the Allman Brothers is a trip, and seeing what constitutes father/daughter collaboration these days is even more so. Obviously, Derek’s achieved Wrecking Crew status, and Sina might, too.
Love the song. And the beads? Those are the perfect touch.
Have a lovely Easter, Linda.
Thanks, Jeanie. I hope you and Rick are able to have a fine, sweet weekend, too. I’ve never seen beads draped around a gravestone before, but why not? Around here, they drape them around almost anything — remember the Mardi Gras Dog?
What a tremendous recording, thank you, simply marvellous! Got me right in the mood! Happy Easter Linda!
The three “Circle” albums are classics in every sense of the word. Here’s a bit of history about Volume One that you might enjoy, too. You’ve shared enough about the concerts you’ve enjoyed that it doesn’t surprise me you liked this. Mother Maybelle Carter (she of our Carter family) was part of Volume One — that amazed and delighted me.
And to you, Linda
It’s a day for celebration, despite it all. No “dead end” paths around here!
I had to watch this three times in a row, and I still need more. I’ve shared it with the other members of my band, and my sense of inspiration is yet again renewed. Thank you so much for this.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it. Live musicians with real instruments is a combination that can’t be beat — especially when they’re these musicians. I loved the glimpses of Roy Acuff, and of Earl Scruggs playing with his eyes closed. I think Randy Scruggs might be doing the same — I recently learned that his introduction to playing came via an autoharp that Maybelle Carter left at their house. Oh, my!
Happy Easter, and happy inspiration. Better to be inspired than to expire!
Happy Easter, Linda!!!
And to you, GP! Put on your beads, and sing!
A Happy Easter to you, too, Linda,
Pit & Mary
How did you do with the storms, Pit? I saw there was a tornado warning for just south of Willow City, so I suspect you might have rocked and rolled a little. Happy Easter to you and Mary, too. Is there going to be a treat on the grill this year?
Good morning, Linda! We had no problems – except for the fact that I was woken up at around 4:40 by my cell phone loud beeps with a tornado watch. But luckily, nothing came of it.
I don’t think there will be any BBQ this Easter. But lots of other goodies. Just now, Mary has finished the pancakes and I’m going to have a yummy breakfast.
I’m glad you didn’t suffer any ill effects — and my best to the cook!
Will tell her!
You know, Linda, I remember seeing lots of Mardi Gras beads beside/on top of/around tombstones at a cemetery I walked through when I was in Gulfport last (seems like AGES ago!!). Perhaps the deceased had a special affinity for that celebration?? You’ve got a good picture here and a lovely message. Happy Easter to you!
Whatever the reason for the bead garlands on the tombstones, I love the gesture. It’s like the living saying to the dead, “Keep those bon temps roulezing!” I must say, if I were given a choice between heaven as fluffy clouds and harp-playing cherubs or a good old-fashioned Mardi Gras celebration, I’d go with Mardi Gras every time — especially if the heavenly banquet was gumbo!
Happy Easter to you, Debbie!
Happy Easter to you. I had just heard that song for the first time on Ken Burns Country Music PBS series. I am not really a country music fan, but I have watched the series a couple of times and that song keeps circling through it. It has circled back again.
It’s a song with an interesting history. It took me a while to learn that A. P. Carter’s version wasn’t original, and that his was based on a hymn from the early 1900s. The three albums produced by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came to be known as the “Circle Sessions” because of the song. It’s a good one — almost as good as “Keep on the Sunny Side,”. The Carter Family isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this version by the White family is nice.
Here’s the story behind Elizabeth Percival’s early death.
That’s quite a story. I usually read inscriptions on gravestones, but in this case I didn’t. I was caught by the image of the beads draped around it, and stopped there.
In fact, I have that book sitting next to me now. I bought it a couple of years ago, and it’s been languishing on my bookshelves. That’s not the only coincidence. When I read through the comments to her post, I found an inquiry from a woman about the possibility of her making a presentation to the book club at Lakewood Yacht Club. Lakewood’s where I do most of my work, and one of my best customers is a member of that book club. You never know.
Happy double coincidence. Let’s hope the book gives you subjects for more posts of your own, especially if nature offers up a good wildflower spring there.
If the wind ever stops roaring, I intend to make a trip down there one afternoon this week. The bloom has been spotty so far this year. I’ve wondered whether last fall’s sickening vandalism might be partly responsible.
Happy Easter, Linda, from all of us here!
I am enjoying the music, and your interesting and touching gravestone image.
I thought of you when I posted the song, Lavinia. Reading the Wiki about the Circle sessions, I found a comment by one of the participants that the recording sessions were more like a living room picking session than anything else. That certainly is part of their charm!
I hope your weekend was a good one. We’ve got glorious weather, at last, and a whole week of it, at that. It certainly seems less gloomy when the sun shines.
A day late, but Happy Easter, Linda. That was a great choice for a video. I recognized most all. The first NGDB album of the series of “Circle” recordings remains one of my favorites. The later ones not far behind. That grave marker with the beads is so poignant.
You’re not late at all, Steve. Like Christmas, Easter is a season — athough according to the church calendar we only get those Twelve Days of Christmas, while Easter gets forty. It takes time to eat up all that dark chocolate, don’t you know!
I love all the Circle sessions, although the first is my favorite, too. It took a while for the association between the circle of beads and the song to come to mind, but when it did, I thought it was perfect.
Happy Easter to you too! Yes, circles remind me of the cycles in life which continue to flow, both in the physical and spiritual realm.
The seasons certainly are one of the best of those cycles. When I lived in Liberia, just north of the equator, it was hard to adjust to a lack of the four seasons I’d grown up with. We had the dry season and the rainy season, but it wasn’t the same. The interminable heat of summer or the lingering winter snows in the north make the changes of spring and autumn even more noticeable, and delightful.