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1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

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1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby SierraSummits » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:56 am

Found these beautiful photos stumbling around online. Looks like the photographer is "Don Davis" based on sig on one of the photos. I tried digging up some info on him but couldn't find anything. Any ideas where these came from or who "Don Davis" is / was? Date appears to be 1950's.

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Re: 1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby madeintahoe » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:03 pm

Those are absolutly priceless! Wonderful photos....Thank you for sharing them...I have not heard of Don Davis. I remember those wonderful old canvas tents!
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Re: 1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby Diego Sahagún » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:40 am

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Re: 1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby Palisades79 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:45 pm

The photos are listed for sale on eBay as "43 Sierra Nevada Photographs Norman Clyde camp life ". Does anyone know the place and date ?
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Re: 1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby iHartMK » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:40 pm

Great photos
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Re: 1950's black and white photos of the High Sierra

Postby SierraSummits » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:29 pm

Here's what I've found. "Don Davis" is the pseudonym for "Donald Michel Levy" and was born in 1918. I think these photos were part of his traveling musical act, which you can read about below from a 1972 article from the UC SD musical department. As for the photos themselves, I purchased them from ebay. I'll scan them and digitally re-touch them and share them in full resolution if people are interested.

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A music concert at noon,Thursday, November 9, will feature "one-man band" Don Davis.

Following his unmistakably American path of music which includes Harry Partch and John Cage, Davis has explored the one-man band and expanded it into what he calls "total media. "

"Never," one of his many environmental signs declares, "have so many been played by so few." Using an incredible array of instruments - banjo, piano, a stereo harmonikazoo, bass drum, his hat, and a reconstructed glockenspiel, his repertoire runs from old-time classics such as "When the Saints Go Marching In" to a rescoring of the finale of Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" - "without omitting a note," he declares.

Davis believes in using anything that will add to the pleasure-producing impact of his presentations. His ability to incorporate ideas, slogans, tunes, a basement workshop, Christmas tree lights, and any kind of instrument is at the root of his being a "total media" artist.

He was born in Los Angeles of a family which has been Californians since 1846. His grandfather had been a close friend of Mark Twain's. While his formal education has been in agriculture and forestry, Davis began his musical career in an old miner's shack in 1932 during a 12-week stay on the Kern River. There, an old miner, Dick Weed, taught him to play the banjo and harmonica at the same time.

Davis kept adding instruments until he could play six at once and while in the army, entertained around Fort Lewis. At one time he tried out the insurance business but finally quit to devote his entire time to music. He has toured the U.S. and has been on several national television shows.

He has been doing research on American songs of every type for almost 30 years and has an extensive collection and library on American music. He has organized his material into a one-hour, 350-year tour of American popular song with stories, comment, instrumental accompaniment, and audience participation - and many surprises.
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