Diggin’: Cootie Stark – Silent Night
inDiggin'on December 4, 2014
Cootie Stark was a dear friend to Music Maker. A blind blues bard who spread joy and hope, and inspired everyone he met. Not one to stay home, Cootie would often call me from the Durham, NC Greyhound Bus station. Cootie would take the bus up to come visit me and my family at my home in rural Hillsborough, North Carolina. We had a guest house out back next to our studio and that is where Cootie would stay. One holiday season Cootie was with us on such a visit. With a few phone calls, Macavine Hayes, Whistlin’ Britches, John Dee Holeman, Cool John Ferguson and Captain Luke all were over with Cootie at my studio busily working on ringing in the Holidays. My brother Dan, my friends Donnie Saverese and Katie O’Brasky were there as well.
I simply set up a pair of microphones and suggested this incredible group of our nation’s finest country blues artists sing a few Holiday songs. Cootie just launched into this song. All devout Christians, the group sang with all the passion and spirit; tears soaked the faces of Macavine and Whistlin’. To me this is what religious music is about, utter conviction, belief and absolute inclusion of your fellow man, true brotherhood. You feel it when this group sang together; as far as I can remember this was the only time they performed together.
– Tim Duffy