Sounding for Harry Smith
by: Bret Lunsford
Sounding For Harry Smith: Early Pacific Northwest Influences / 232-page hardcover
“What’s striking about Bret Lunsford‘s portrait of Harry Smith is that it brings to the foreground what most arts biographers ignore or treat as scenery: the community in which the artist first emerged. This book is the fullest vision of Smith’s early years we’ll ever likely see. Lunsford writes as a native who knew people in Smith’s life who were still alive. As a local artist, he fathoms the deep history of the arts in Anacortes. Again, acting as a local historian he found documents, newspapers, pictures, scrapbooks, yearbooks, and letters that illuminate Smith’s childhood and also give us a biography of the city.” —From the Foreword by John Szwed
“A major accomplishment in the scholarship on Harry Smith”--Rani Singh, Director of the Harry Smith Archives
Harry Everett Smith (1923-1991) was a boyhood resident of Anacortes, Washington for ten years of the Great Depression. Sounding for Harry Smith: Early Pacific Northwest Influences is a visually compelling oral history-based biography that immerses the reader in Salish Sea traditions and discord to explore the myths of a counter-cultural shaman whose strange impacts on art, music and film resound from studies of place to beat improvisation, through brain paintings to a Grammy Award for his folk music bible, Anthology of American Folk Music (Smithsonian Folkways).
Pacific Northwest musician-historian Bret Lunsford (Beat Happening/D+) unravels a string of mysteries to reveal the avant-garde shards of a 20th century alchemist in his hometown. A beautifully printed and bound 232-page hardcover book that includes chronology, selected bibliography, endnotes, maps and over 100 historic photographs within 17 substantial and hearty chapters.