Sun 24 May 2015
|Hattie Hart||Won't You Be Kind to Me?||Memphis Masters|
|Hattie Hart||You Wouldn't, Would You. Papa?||Memphis Jug Band and Cannon's Jug Stomper s|
|Memphis Jug Band w/ Hattie Hart||Memphis Yo Yo Blues||The Best Of Memphis Jug Band|
|Memphis Jug Band||K.C. Moan||The Best Of Memphis Jug Band|
|Memphis Jug Band||Cocaine Habit Blues||The Best Of Memphis Jug Band|
|Memphis Jug Band||Fourth Street Mess Around||Ruckus Juice & Chitlins Vol. 1|
|Memphis Jug Band w/ Memphis Minnie||Meningitis Blues||Memphis Shakedown|
|Sleepy John Estes||The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair||I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More|
|Sleepy John Estes||Divin' Duck Blues||I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More|
|Sleepy John Estes||Milk Cow Blues||I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More|
|Sleepy John Estes||Watcha Doin'?||I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More|
|Frank Stokes||South Memphis Blues||The Best of Frank Stokes|
|Frank Stokes||Bunker Hill Blues||Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!|
|Frank Stokes||Right Now Blues||The Best of Frank Stokes|
|Blind Clyde Church||Number Nine Blues||Piano Blues Vol. 1 1927-1936|
|Blind Clyde Church||Pneumatic Blues||Piano Blues Vol. 1 1927-1936|
|Cannon's Jug Stompers||Ripley Blues||The Best of Cannon's Jug Stomp|
|Cannon's Jug Stompers||Viola Lee Blues||The Best of Cannon's Jug Stomp|
|Cannon's Jug Stompers||Last Chance Blues||The Best of Cannon's Jug Stomp|
|Memphis Sanctified Singers||He Got Better Things For You||How Can I Keep From Singing Vol. 1|
|Cannon's Jug Stompers||Noah's Blues||The Best of Cannon's Jug Stomp|
|Cannon's Jug Stompers||Going To Germany||The Best of Cannon's Jug Stomp|
|Noah Lewis||Devil in the Woodpile||When The Sun Goes Down|
|Bessie Tucker||Key to the Bushes Blues||Bessie Tucker 1928-1929|
|Bessie Tucker||T.B. Moan||Bessie Tucker 1928-1929|
|Shreveport Home Wreckers||Home Wreckin' Blues||Texas Slide Guitars: Oscar Woods & Black Ace|
|Shreveport Home Wreckers||Fence Breakin' Blues||Bottleneck Blues Guitar Classics 1926-1937|
|Kokomo Arnold||Paddlin' Madeline Blues||Kokomo Arnold Vol. 1 1930-1935|
|Bukka White||I Am in the Heavenly Way||American Primitive Vol. 1|
|Bukka White||The Panama Limited||When The Sun Goes Down|
|Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe||I Never Told A Lie||Four Women Blues|
|Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe||Don't Want No Woman||Four Women Blues|
|Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe||Georgia Skin||Four Women Blues|
Today's show is the fourth installment spotlighting great recording sessions. The first spotlighted two sessions conducted by the Victor label in New Orleans in 1936 and 1937, the second was conducted by Brunswick in Memphis in 1929 and 1930, the third was recordings Columbia made in December 1927 and December 1928 and the fourth spotlighted Victor in Memphis in 1928 .
To feed the demand for blues and gospel records the record companies conducted exhaustive searches for new talent, which included making trips down south with field recording units. As Robert Dixon and John Godrich wrote in the seminal Recording The Blues book: "Victor was the only company systematically to exploit the gold mine of black talent in and around Memphis." Today we spotlight Victor in Memphis again, this time between Sept. and Nov. 1929 and May through June of 1930. In 1929 Victor recorded Hattie Hart, the Memphis Jug Band, Cannon's Jug Stompers, Noah Lewis, Sleepy John Estes, Blind Clyde Church, Frank Stokes, Memphis Sanctified Singers and Bessie Tucker. In 1930 they recorded several of the same artists in addition to the Shreveport Home Wreckers, Kokomo Arnold, Kaiser Clifton, Bukka White and Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe.
According to Recording The Blues: "The record industry as a whole had not been in too healthy a state during the early twenties. After the boom year of 1921, in which for the first time 100 million discs were sold, sales declined slowly but steadily. Eventually even Victor began to feel the squeeze – their sales fell from $51 million in 1921 to $44 million in 1923, and then dropped to $20 million in 1925. Something had to be done, and one obvious move was for Victor to begin large scale production of race records, and compete for a market that had been growing an an enormous rate during the period when overall sales had been falling." After a not too promising start, "…Victor hired Ralph Peer who had been largely responsible for building up Okeh's fine race and hillbilly catalogs. Peer realized that Victor was several years too late to be able to get a substantial share of the classic blues market and decided to concentrate his efforts on the country blues field." Victor begin going in the field in a big way in 1927 stopping in Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans.
Jug bands are synonymous with Memphis and Victor recorded two of the greatest groups: Memphis Jug Band and Cannon's Jug Stompers. The Memphis Jug Band first recorded for Victor in February 1927 and over the next four years recorded 57 sides. Hattie Hart had appeared on several of the Memphis Jug Band's discs in 1929 and 1930, singing the unforgettable "Memphis Yo Yo Blues", "Cocaine Habit Blues", "Oh Ambulance Man", "Papa's Got Your Bath Water On" and "Spider's Nest Blues." Her first recordings were made in Memphis for the Victor label in 1929. Three songs were recorded but only two were issued for her debut single. In 1934 she was recorded again in New York City in September of that year. She moved Chicago where in in 1938 she cut sides as Hattie Bolten.
In 1928 Ralph Peer, who had previously recorded the Memphis Jug Band, returned to Memphis looking for other jug bands to record. Charlie Williamson, the manager of the Palace Theater, recommended Gus Cannon. Gus called up Noah Lewis and Ashley Thompson and on Jan 30 1928 they recorded 4 sides in an old auditorium as Cannon's Jug Stompers. They recorded over two-dozen sides with the group through 1930 for Victor.
Noah Lewis was born in Henning, Tennessee, and raised in the vicinity of Ripley. He played in local string bands and brass bands, and began playing in the Ripley and Memphis areas with Gus Cannon. When jug bands became popular in the mid-1920's, he joined Cannon's Jug Stompers. He cut seven sides under his own name at sessions in 1929 and 1930. Recording as Noah Lewis' Jug Band, he was backed on two numbers by Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell with just Estes backing him on two other numbers cut a couple of days apart.
When the Victor recording company sent a field recording unit to Memphis in September 1929, Estes recorded several sides backed by the Three J's, with Jones playing piano instead of the jug. . He was invited to record again for Victor in May 1930. This session yielded the up-tempo "Milk Cow Blues," a tune Robert Johnson would later record as "Milkcow Calf Blues." In all the group cut fifteen sides, three were unissued, over the course of eight session in 1929 and 1930.
Frank Stokes was first recorded by Victor in 1927 with his "Downtown Blues" and "Bedtime Blues" selling well and when Victor returned to Memphis in August 1928 they recorded ten further selections. In 1929, Stokes and Sane recorded again for Paramount, resuming their 'Beale Street Sheiks' billing for a few cuts. In September, Stokes was back on Victor to make what were to be his last recordings, this time without Sane, but with Will Batts on fiddle.
Among the major artists recorded by Victor during these sessions were Bukka White, Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe and Kokomo Arnold. In 1930 Bukka White met furniture salesman Ralph Limbo, who was also a talent scout for Victor. White traveled to Memphis where he made his first recordings, singing a mixture of blues and gospel material under the name of Washington White. Victor only saw fit to release four of the 14 songs Bukka White recorded that day.
Memphis Minnie's marriage and recording debut came in 1929, to and with Kansas Joe McCoy, when a Columbia Records talent scout heard them playing in a Beale Street barbershop. In 1930 Minnie recorded a pair of songs back by her friends, the Memphis Jug Band. She may also be on sides Jed Davenport and His Beale Street Jug Band cut that year.
Bukka White made his debut for Victor in 1930 and it may be Minnie's voice backing him on "I am In The Heavenly Way" b/ "Promise True And Grand."
Kokomo Arnold made his debut in 1930 although would not record again until he was in Chicago in 1934 where he recorded prolifically through 1938.