Nearly half a century ago, musical satirist Peter Schickele created the figure of P.D.Q. Bach and thereby launched a career performing the works of this ‘lost’ member of the Bach family.
I wouldn’t describe W.T.F. Bach as ‘lost’ – he never left Leipzig so he could hardly be lost – so much as ignored. His early form of 12-bar Delta blues simply wasn’t welcome in Prince Leopold’s eighteenth century court. It wasn’t really until the 1960s that his music began to be played, often falsely attributed to figures such as Mississippi Fred Macdowell or Elmore James or arranged by young rock bands without any attribution at all.
That, I’m afraid, is the downside of being ahead of your time.
This post demonstrates how much I miss Richard Thompson, cartoonist and illustrator, who died earlier this year. I never knew him, but the world was a better place for his presence.