Sun 28 Oct 2012
|Barbecue Bob||Motherless Chile Blues||Chocolate To The Bone
|Barbecue Bob||It's Just Too Bad||Chocolate To The Bone
|Percy Wilson||Katy Left Memphis||Don'tcha Hear Poor Mother Call
|Joe Callicot||Lonesome Katy||Ain't A Gonna Lie To You|
|Sam Price||Blow, Katy, Blow||Sam Price 1942-1945|
|Margaret Carter||I Want Plenty Grease In My Frying Pan||Female Blues Singers Vol. 4 1921-1930|
|Lizzie Miles||Done Throwed The Key Away||Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol. 2 1921-1938
|Mae Glover & John Byrd||Gas Man Blues||Mississippi Moaners|
|Blues Boy Rawlins||I Got A Woman Shining My Shoe||A-K-A Sweet Lovin' Daddy|
|Blues Boy Rawlins||Baby She Loves Me||A-K-A Sweet Lovin' Daddy|
|Lil McClintock||Furniture Man||Atlanta Blues
|Lil McClintock||Sow Good Seeds||Blues Images Vol. 10
|Johnny Williams||Silver Haired Woman||Juke Joints 3
|Boogie Bill Webb||Love Me Mama||Juke Joints 3|
|Houston Boines||Operator Blues||Juke Joints 3|
|Will Shade||I'll Get A Break Before Long||Will Shade & Gus Cannon 1961
|Laura Dukes||Stella||Will Shade & Gus Cannon 1961
|Washboard Sam & Freddie Spruell||Ocean Blues||Blues Images Vol. 10|
|Washboard Sam & Freddie Spruell||Y.M.V. Blues||Blues Images Vol. 10|
|Cornelius Bright||My Baby's Gone||Goin' Up The Country
|Jack Owens||B&O Blues||Goin' Up The Country
|Dusty Brown||He Don’t Love You||Hand Me Down Blues|
|Dusty Brown||Yes She's Gone||Hand Me Down Blues|
|Charlie Patton||Some These Days I'll Be Gone - Take 1 [unreleased]||Blues Images vol. 10|
|Robert Johnson||Last Fair Deal Gone Down||The Centennial Collection
|Freddie Spruell||4A Highway||When the Levee Breaks|
|Freddie Spruell||Mr. Freddie's Kokomo Blues||When the Levee Breaks|
A fine mix showed lined up today with an emphasis on pre-war blues. Every year around this time record collector John Tefteller, through his Blues Images imprint, publishes his Classic Blues Artwork Calendar with a companion CD that matches the artwork with the songs. The CD’s have also been one of the main places that newly discovered blues 78’s turn up. In addition the calendars have also been a showcase for never before seen photos. This year marks the tenth year of the calendar and CD's and once again Tefteller has turned up newly discovered sides which I'll be featuring today including the only known copy of Washboard Sam's first record which recently turned up and an unissued Charlie Patton test pressing. Washboard Sam is backed by guitarist Freddie Spruell so I thought I'd take the opportunity to spotlight a couple of solo sides from this fine artist. Also on tap are a set of excllent early woman singers, twin spins by Barbecue Bob, the mysterious Blues Boy Rawlins, Chicago blues great Dusty Brown, a pair by Detroit harp man Little Sonny and a few of album spotlights.
"Ocean Blues b/w Y.M.V. Blues" are both sides of Washboard Sam's debut 1935 recording for Bluebird. This record comes from the only known copy of this record which just turned up and have never before been reissued before. I have to admit that I had no idea this record was missing. While nothing earth shattering, it's a very solid record aided by the guitar work of Freddie Spruell and Carl Martin. Sam went on to record hundreds of records between 1935 and 1949 for the bluebird label, usually with backing by guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. Throughout the rest of the '30s and the '40s, Sam was one of the most popular Chicago bluesmen, selling plenty of records and playing to packed audiences in the Chicago clubs. Y.M.V.refers to the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad who's predecessor was the Yazoo Delta Railway which appears in a number of blues songs as the Yellow Dog Railroad. According W. C. Handy, locals assigned the words "Yellow Dog" to the letters Y.D. on the freight trains that they saw. The Mississippi Blues Commission placed a historic marker at the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad depot site in Rosedale, Mississippi, designating it as a site on the Mississippi Blues Trail. The marker commemorates the original lyrics of Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues" which traced the route of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad which ran south from Friars Point to Rosedale among other stops, including Vicksburg and north to Memphis.
We also spin two sides by Freddie Spruell cut under his own name. Spruell has the distinction of being the first delta bluesman to make a record. Spruell recorded almost two years before Tommy Johnson and three years before either Charlie Patton or Garfield Akers. One of the first self-accompanied guitarists to record, Spruell lived in Chicago when he made his debut for OKeh Records in 1926. Spruell cut ten sides at sessions in 1926, 1928 and 1935 for Okeh, Paramount and Bluebird. He gave up blues for the church by the 40's and passed in 1956. All we know of Spruell comes from and interview done by intrepid blues researcher Gayle Dean Wardlow who interviewed Spruell's widow.
Also from the companion CD to Tefteller's calendar we spin tracks by Lil McClintock and Charlie Patton. McClintock is one of those guys I never thought much of, but after listening to the slide driven "Sow Good Seeds" I've changed my tune. We also spin his "Furinture Man" which is not on the Tefteller CD, a fascinating throwback to the coon song era. Almost nothing is known of McClintock except that he was from Clinton, South Carolina and travled to Atlanta to record four songs for Columbia on December 4, 1930. The first record released was a blues, “Furniture Man b/w Don't Think I'm Santa Claus.” His second record was gospel, “Sow Good Seeds b/w Mother Called Her Child To Her Dying Bed.” In the calendar there appears the only known photo of him, a wonderful full-length shot, which has never been reproduced before. As for the Patton song, 'Some These Days I'll Be Gone", it's from an unissued test pressing. Both the released and unreleased are included and I can't discern much difference between the two.
We open the show with a pair of sides by Barbecue Bob, both from Yazoo's excllent Chocalate To The Bone collection. Robert Hicks was spotted by Columbia talent scout Dan Hornsby while working at the all-white Tidwell’s Barbecue in upscale Buckhead, serenading patrons for tips and entertaining after work at private parties. Hicks began cutting for Columbia in March 1927 and was identified as “Barbecue Bob” on all but two of his 78s. For the next three years, Barbecue Bob made records every time Columbia visited Atlanta. As Sam Charters pointed out, “Over the three and a half years he was a Columbia artist, he did sixty titles, and his releases sold almost 200,000 copies. He consistently outsold every artist on the Columbia race series except Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and Blind Willie Johnson for the years he was recording.”
We spotlight a few interesting records today including sides by Blues Boy Rawlins, late period tracks by members of the Memphis Jug Band and a trio of sides from a fine down blues collection on the JSP label. Blues Boy Rawlins A-K-A "Sweet Lovin' Daddy" is something of a mystery man. He cut one LP which was released in 1978 on Shakey Jakes' Good Time label with Shakey backing him on harmonica. It's a strong set of gut-bucket blues and it's a shame he didn't record more. Apparently Rawlins played in the streets in L.A. There is a photo of him floating around on the internet with harmonica man William Clarke.
I finally tracked down a copy of the very hard to find album Will Shade & Gus Cannon 1961. These recordings were made by members of the band in 1961 at a private party in Memphis and is a charming lo-fi document. There's a companion album with more sides from this party on the Wolf label. The Memphis Jug Band were one of the most popular musical groups of the late 1920's and early 1930's cutting some 80 sides between 1927 and 1934. Eventually the band’s live engagements became less frequent, and the group could no longer get recording dates after 1934. Still, the group occasionally performed in and around Memphis for years after that, and in 1956, Will Shade and Charlie Burse made a few recordings for the Folkways label (credited as the Memphis Jug Band). In 1963 Shade recorded one last time with 79-year-old Gus Cannon, former leader of Cannon’s Jug Stompers. They recorded the album Walk Right In, on Stax Records, a result of The Rooftop Singers having made Cannon's "Walk Right In" into a number one single.
We also spin three tracks from JSP's Juke Joints 3, a four-CD set of down-home blues sides. This is the third box set filled with raw rural blues cut for a slew of tiny labels and as the titles suggest, was probaly the sound of the blues in the late 40's and 50's to be heard in juke joints, taverns and beer joints all over the south. The lastest collection contaisn 104 tracks form well knowns like Slim Harpo and Jimmy Rogers to the uterly obscure like Johnny Beck, Hank Kilroy, Stick Horse Hammond and the like.