“The drunken cherub,” they called him, this bolt of delicious verbal lightning from Swansea, Wales, the rolling rich voice that so enunciated the wet and delirious imagery on those Caedmon records played over and over. I was in the final grade in high school, listening to His Master’s Voice… (that dalmatian with its head cocked to the speaker horn…) with Gene Gonder, along with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Ferlinghetti. Thomas was rebellious, he was soulful, a perfect post-adolescent poet model. Allen Ginsberg also mentions somewhere the influence of his recordings, that voice soaring and dipping like a fine church organ, drinking in its own music: a public pronunciation.
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