MUNDELEIN IL - The Fremont Public Library, 1170 N. Midlothian Road welcomes "Chicago’s official troubadour” Mark Dvorak for a special performance of “Chasing the Great Lead Belly” on Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00 pm. The program is free and open to the public.
The show was adapted from a script developed by Dvorak in the early 1990s after he sought out and found the grave of Huddie Ledbetter, better known as “Lead Belly,” outside the small town of Mooringsport, Louisiana, in the in northwest part of the state.
Dvorak distilled his notes into a script which was produced into an audio documentary by WDCB 90.9 fm, Glen Ellyn IL. The show, “Lead Belly’s Legacy” aired in one hundred sixty cities and in 1993 earned Dvorak a Peter Lisagor for Journalism.
“I had always wanted to develop the script into a live presentation,” said Dvorak who has listened to and studied Lead Belly’s music since he took up the guitar in 1980. “I wound up contacting my friend Suzanne Strom, who is a great singer and storyteller. She has such a soothing reading voice, but at the same time, can really belt out the songs. We scheduled our first performance of the show in 2008, and recorded it. It was quite an exciting evening and was well received. I am so thrilled to be working with Suzanne again. Hopefully we can bring Lead Belly’s amazing story to audiences across the country.
Along with Woody Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter is regarded as one of the great American folk song composers and performers. Born in the late 1800s, Lead Belly was a song collector, an animated entertainer and a crack musician. Although he never achieved great success as a performer and recording artist in his lifetime, his songs and legend are inherently woven into the fabric of American folklore and folk music.