Lead Belly's music has had a profound influence on Mark, and remains a beacon in his creative life. In the summer of 1990, Mark set out towards Louisiana on his own in search of the grave of the great Huddie Ledbetter. The trip was chronicled in the 1993 documentary Lead Belly's Legacy, produced for WDCB public radio, Glen Ellyn IL. The show aired in 160 cities and won a Peter Lisagor Award for journalism.
In A Tribute to Lead Belly, Dvorak and the excellent singer Suzanne Strom recreate the original script, complete with narration and thirteen classic songs from the singing of the great Lead Belly.
Mark accompanies the program on a custom made Ralph Bown 12- string guitar, a replica of the Stella played by Huddie Ledbetter and now on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. in Cleveland OH.
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 folkore and folk music.
Bring A Tribute to Lead Belly to your school, library, community group or arts organization.