Monday, October 21, 2002

As a regular visitor to Bishop Seraphim Segrist's LiveJournal, I was delighted to find that the good Bishop is an admirer of Manly Wade Wellman's Appalachian tales of John the Balladeer. Wellman was one of the great "pulp" writers of our age, active from the 30's until his death in the mid 80's. The "Silver John" stories are some of his best work, by turns charming, scary, funny and wise. There are five John the Balladeer novels, which are worth reading, but the real treasures are the stories, now alas, out of print. Night Shade Books is reprinting selected stories of Wellman's in a series of volumes, the fifth of which is scheduled to include all the John the Balladeer stories.

Folk musician Joe Bethancourt has RealAudio samples of his versions of John's ballads at a web page devoted to his cassette release, (title taken from a Wellman tale), Who Fears the Devil.