In 1987, with the help of John Lee Hooker, Del Goldfarb designed, created and launched launched what continues to be the USA’s biggest and longest-running annual music festival/food drive: the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon. The massive event continues to raise millions of dollars and boxcars of food each year for those in need.
Returning to Memphis in the mid-1990s, Del worked as assistant curator at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and also recorded his cd, “Up To My Neck.” It was on a foray into Mississippi during this time that his made the momentous discovery of the virtually unmarked and nearly-lost grave of Gus Cannon. He had been the original composer of “Walk Right In,” a bawdy 1920s-era tune which later became a major pop hit for the Rooftop Singers in 1962.
Money Raised for Tombstone
After organizing a fund-raiser at B.B. King’s Club with the Beale Street Blues Society, Del purchased a tombstone for Gus. With
artwork contributed by Eric von Schmidt, the memorial was officially dedicated by a send-off by Fritz Richmond and John Sebastian. The impact of Gus Cannon on much of today’s popular music is explored in the documentary, “Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost.”
During this time, Del continued to sharpen his songwriting skills, landing a tune (“Portable Man”) with the prestigious label Appleseed Records. The anthology, “Give Us Your Poor” is a collection of urban-themed songs by artists such as Pete Seeger, Bonnie Raitt and other notable artists.
Del and Billy Joe Shaver swap tunes in Memphis
Del Goldfarb is “the best new writer of good-time music,” according to former Lovin’ Spoonful frontman Sebastian, who has added accompaniment on occasion. A recent music review (Kingston Daily Freeman) cited Del’s all-original solo cd “a must-have for any purist.”
“Something Special” (L&D Music)
“Up To My Neck” (Tone Pome)
“Give Us Your Poor” (Appleseed Records) compilation with Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, Keb’ Mo’ and others.
“Soul Activated” (Shanachie) by Curtis Salgado
“Rose City Blues Festival” (Front Ave.)