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Commentary by Vera Hall on Rich Amerson, spiritual and secular songs, and her widowhood

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Hall learned blues and other secular songs from Rich Amerson, a friend of her parents. She was a child when Rich started to come around her house and she would sit in his lap and watch him sing. She sings both spiritual and secular songs. The church tried to give her a hard time for it, but she explains that she wants to share the songs with others and teach them the words and the melodies. She says that her heart is in the spiritual songs and not in the blues. On weekends she and other church members will go to the clubs to hear music and watch people dance and have a good time. Vera believes that religion should not make one emjoy life any less. Some Saturday nights she likes to smoke, drink, play the record player and have a good time. The church leaders do not know about this or they would turn her out of the church. She first began to drink when she married Nash Riddle. She was fifteen and met Nash in Tuscaloosa on the Blue Front Street. He was a brown skinned man with a few freckles in his face, and he wrote to her parents and asked for permission to marry Vera. They wanted to see him, so he came down to Livingston. They were both very nervous, but her father gave his approval. They got married in Birmingham when Vera was 16. After they married Nash let Vera go back home...
29:48 Minutes
Created Date:
May 1948
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