John Jeremiah Sullivan has written the most interesting, and, yes, inspiring, thing I have read this year.
Sullivan has been trying to track down more info about two country blues artists of whom nothing, really, was known but the power of the six songs they recorded back in 1930: Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley. Sullivan first heard their music as part of the soundtrack of what has been called one of the top documentaries ever, "Crumb," a film about the artist Robert Crumb.
The story of the search is amazing.
The story of the two women, Geeshie and Elvie, needs to be a film itself
The NY Times link is interactive. It has links to all six songs, video, and photographs.
I hope that some of you who are interested in any or all of the following will read and comment:
Blues music and its history
Thorny questions of jounalistic and historical ethics
Great personal stories of quests
The miracle of the survival of one's best works
Meaning and history of blues lyrics