Sun 3 May 2015
|B.B. King||My Own Fault, Darlin aka It's My Fault||The Vintage Years|
|B.B. King||Dark Is The Night Pt.1 & 2||The Vintage Years|
|Freddie Brown||Whip It To A Jelly||Barrelhouse Mamas|
|Rosa Henderson||Papa If You Can't Do Better (I'll Let A Better Papa Move In)||The Essential|
|Olive Brown||Lookin For A Home||Peacock Chicks & Duchesses|
|King Queen & Jack||Stack-O-Lee Blues||Hawaiian Guitar Hot Shots|
|Casey Bill Weldon||Go Ahead Buddy||Bottleneck Guitar Trendsetters Of The 1930's|
|Hauulea Entertainers||Railroad Blues||Hawaiian Guitar Hot Shots|
|Oscar Woods||Come On Over To My House Baby||Texas Slide Guitars: Oscar Woods & Black Ace|
|Big Joe Turner||Johnson and Turner Blues||Have No Fear, Big Joe Turner Is Here|
|Henry Gray||I Declare That Ain't Right||Knights Of The Keyboard: Chicago Piano Blues|
|Meade Lux Lewis||Rising Tide Blues||Meade Lux Lewis 1940-1944|
|Mississippi John Hurt||Cow Hooking Blues||D.C. Blues: The Library of Congress Recordings Vol. 2|
|Wilbur Sweatman and His Orchestra||The Hooking Cow Blues||Wilbur Sweatman Vol. 2|
|Ace Holder||Leave My Woman Alone||R&B On Lakewood Boulevard|
|Elmore Nixon||A Hepcat's Advice||Lyons Avenue Jive|
|Sam Morgan's Jazz Band||Short Dress Girl||Breaking Out Of New Orleans 1922-29|
|Danny Barker||Chocko Mo Feendo Hey||History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Vol. 1 29-49|
|Forest City Joe||Down on the Levee Blues||Sounds of the South|
|Boy Blue||I Got To Go||Sounds of the South|
|Texas Alexander||Texas Troublesome Blues||Texas Troublesome Blues|
|Josh White||Josh And Bill Blues||Josh White: The Remaining Titles 1941-1947|
|Tampa Red||Black Hearted Blues||Down In Black Bottom|
|Big Joe Turner||Poor House||Singing The Blues|
|Roy Brown||Hard Times||The Blues Are All Brown|
|Lela Bolden||Southern Woman Blues||Piron's New Orleans Orchestra|
|Lela Bolden||Seawall Special Blues||Piron's New Orleans Orchestra|
|Mississippi John Hurt||Frankie||Avalon Blues, The Complete 1928 OKeh Recordings|
|Nick Nichols & Whistlin Moore Alex||Frankie And Johnny (The Shooting Scene) Part 1||Whistlin' Alex Moore 1929-1951|
|Jewell Long||Frankie And Albert||Rural Blues Vol. 2 1951-1962|
|Joe Callicot||Frankie And Albert||Ain't A Gonna Lie To You|
|Tiny Grimes||Frankie And Johnny (Boogie)||Tiny Grimes Vol.4 1950-53|
An eclectic show on tap for today including several songs with a New Orleans connection which is not surprising after just spend the last week in the crescent city. In addition we spin a pair of vintage numbers by B.B. King, a batch of Hawaiian flavored blues, sets revolving around W.C. Handy's "The Hooking Cow Blues", Frankie and Johnny", a pair of tracks from the Bluesway vaults, several fine woman singers and some outstanding piano players.
From New Orleans we spin tracks by Sam Morgan, Armand Piron and Danny Barker. The recordings by Sam Morgan's Jazz Band for Columbia Records in 1927 are some of the best regarded New Orleans classic jazz recordings of the decade.The band was one of the most popular territory bands touring the gulf coast circuit (Galveston, Texas to Pensacola, Florida).
In New Orleans he Danny Barker was dubbed "Banjo King of New Orleans." In 1930 Barker moved north to New York City where he switched from banjo to guitar and in 1938 joined Benny Carter's Big Band and from 1939 to 1949 was the rhythm guitarist for Cab Calloway. He also worked as a freelance rhythm man around New York playing and recording with Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow, Bunk Johnson, Edmond Hall and Henry "Red" Allen. By 1965, Barker, back in New Orleans, had married singer Blue Lu Barker. He split his time between performing with his wife and the Fairview Baptist Church Christian Band which he founded, lecturing on traditional jazz and working as Assistant to the Curator of the New Orleans Jazz museum up until his death in 1994.In the 1980's Barker published the wonderful autobiography A Jazz Life. From 1945 we play his "Chocko Mo Feendo Hay" a New Orleans classic recorded by others as "Jockamo."
After touring briefly with W.C. Handy in 1917, Armand Piron started an orchestra under his own name. Piron's New Orleans Orchestra quickly became the best paid African American band in New Orleans. In 1923, Piron took his band to New York City as part of his ambition to make the group nationally known. He succeeded in making a hit there, landing a residency at the Roseland Ballroom, and making recordings for three different companies, Okeh, Victor and Columbia. Lela Bolden cut one 78 for Okeh backed by Piron on violin and Steve Lewis who played Piano in Piron's band.
B.B. King was in hospice care Friday at his home in Las Vegas, according to a longtime business associate with legal control over his affairs. Probably my first blues album was B.B.'s Live At The Regal which I picked up for $3.99 at Tower Records in NYC. After that I started picking up those great reissue albums put out by Ace Records which collected his 50's sides. Ace has done a great job collecting B.B.'s early sides on well over dozen CD's including a 4-CD box set called The Vintage Years which I highly recommend. We open the show with a couple of early gems, the two-part "Dark Is The Night" and "My Own Fault, Darlin'."
Some Scholars have suggested that the slide style was directly influenced by the “diddley bow” or “jitter-bug,” a single-stringed instrument they say was carried to America by West African slaves. The more likely story, John W. Troutman argues in his article Steelin’ the Slide: Hawaii‘i and the Birth of the Blues Guitar (the article can be found below) is that the musical technique popularized in the Mississippi Delta came from traveling Native Hawaiian musicians who laid the guitar flat on their lap and played it with a piece of metal slid across the strings. Oral testimony, newspaper clippings, and other evidence show that Hawaiian musicians frequented southern cities from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to Memphis, to New Orleans, and sometimes collaborated with black musicians. Most of the earliest documented African-American slide guitarists, and certainly the most significant, understood their style as that of playing ‘Hawaiian guitar. Casey Bill Weldon, for example, was even billed as the Hawaiian Guitar Wizard.
“The Hooking Cow Blues” was a tune was written by Memphis bandleader Douglas Williams in 1917, published and recorded by WC Handy and recorded for Columbia by him the same year. The recorded was listed as a fox trot. "The Hooking Cow Blues" was recorded by Wilbur Sweatman and his Orchestra with vocal by Corky Williams and ssued in 1935 on Vocalion. Mississippi John Hurt recorded the song in the 1960's. It's unclear who put lyrics to the song.
ABC-Paramount formed the BluesWay subsidiary in 1966 to record blues music. The label lasted into 1974, with the last new releases coming in February, 1974. The label issued over 70 albums, numerous 45's plus several titles that remain unreleased. To give the new label legitimacy B.B. King, who was recording for ABC at the time, saw his releases put out on BluesWay (his Blues Is King was the label's first release). BluesWay seemingly signed every major bluesman available. I did a feature on Bluesway in 2010 and will finally get around to a belated sequel this year. Today we play cuts from Big Joe Turner's Singing The Blues from 1967 and Roy Brown's Hard Times from 1968 (also issued on Bluesway in 1973 as The Blues Are All Brown and reissued on Charly as The Bluesway Sessions).
The song "Frankie and Johnny" was inspired by one or more actual murders. One of these took place in an apartment building located at 212 Targee Street in St. Louis, Missouri, at 2:00 on the morning of October 15, 1899. Frankie Baker a 22-year-old woman, shot her 17-year-old lover Allen (also known as "Albert") Britt in the abdomen. Britt had just returned from a cakewalk at a local dance hall, where he and another woman, Nelly Bly (also known as "Alice Pryor"), had won a prize in a slow-dancing contest. Britt died of his wounds four days later at the City Hospital. On trial, Baker claimed that Britt had attacked her with a knife and that she acted in self-defense; she was acquitted and died in a Portland, Oregon mental institution in 1952. In 1899, popular St Louis balladeer Bill Dooley composed "Frankie Killed Allen" shortly after the Baker murder case. The first published version of the music to "Frankie and Johnny" appeared in 1904.The song has also been linked to Frances "Frankie" Stewart Silver, convicted in 1832 of murdering her husband Charles Silver in Burke County, North Carolina. Unlike Frankie Baker, Silver was executed.Hundreds of versions of the recording have been made in all genres. We feature an eclectic mix of versions by Mississippi John Hurt, Jewell Long, Nick Nichols with Whistlin Moore Alex, Joe Callicot and Tiny Grimes.