Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The music video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here.
When Texas Gladden was a young girl (17 years old, to be exact), she got married. Over the next 20 years, she raised her seven children in Salem, Virginia. In the mid-1930s—which, coincidentally, was when she was in her mid-thirties—Gladden started to make a name for herself by singing at the White Top Festival in Smyth County. Word quickly spread, and Texas was asked to record some songs for the Virginia Folklore Society. In the 1940s, Gladden collaborated with her brother—musician Hobart Smith—and famed American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax on Texas Gladden: Ballad Legacy, her largest body of work. While the influential album features a total of 37 songs and interviews, “When I Was A Young Girl” was not one of them. Still, the song has survived the test of time as one of Gladden’s most important works.
Though Gladden never achieved mainstream notoriety in her lifetime, her songs, her unmistakable voice, and beyond-her-years perspective have all lived on and thrived well after her 1967 death. In the years since her passing, Gladden has been referenced by the great Joan Baez and covered by countless musicians. Since then, versions of “When I Was A Young Girl” have been recorded by the likes of Nina Simone, Odetta, Barbara Dane, Feist, Marlon Williams, and many more. Now, Appleton-based country outfit Dusk—on the heels of releasing out an LP with Tim Buchanan on the band’s Crutch Of Memory label—is the latest to extend Gladden’s legacy with this outstanding rendition they performed at The Back Room @ Colectivo.