9.01.2009

PASSING THRU THE GARDEN: NIMROD WORKMAN

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Born in Kentucky but a nearly life-long resident of Chattaroy, West Virginia, Nimrod Workman was coal miner for 42 years. After developing black lung in the 1950's, Workman began a nearly-50 year second career as a union activist and folk balladeer, releasing a couple of albums in the 70's and appearing in the documentary Harlan County, USA and in the film Coal Miner's Daughter, about the life of Lorretta Lynn.





Possessor of high, reedy, and strong voice, despite chronic lung problems, Workman's music embodies what I love about the best songs and performers of Appalachia. Mournful but not self-pitying, the songs resonate with all the truth and beauty of life, instantly transporting the listener a place both specific and yet somehow universal.


The funeral scene from Coal Miner's Daughter, with Workman leading the mourners in Amazing Grace.

2 comments:

Lou said...

Wow.

...Do you happen to have any albums by him that you can share?

J. Everett Dixon said...

I don't, but 50 Miles of Elbow Room does.

http://www.50milesofelbowroom.com/artists/nimrodworkman.html

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