Entries tagged with “Lucille Bogan”.


ARTISTSONGALBUM
Texas Alexander Days Is LonesomeTexas Alexander Vol. 2 1928 - 1930

Bo Carter Tellin' You 'Bout ItGreatest Hits
Mississippi SheiksIt's Done Got WetBo Carter & The Mississippi Sheiks
Lindberg Sparks I.C. Train BluesSparks Brothers 1932-1935t
Dorothy Baker Steady Grinding BluesBarrelhouse Mamas
Ernest RogersBaby Low Down, Oh Oh Low Down Dirty DogField Recordings Vol. 16 1934-1940
Blind Pete & George RyanBanty Rooster Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues
John BrayTrench BluesDeep River Of Song: Louisiana
Bumble Bee SlimSail On Little Girl, Sail OnWhen The Sun Goes Down
Leroy CarrBlues Before SunriseWhiskey Is My Habit, Women Is All I Crave
Scrapper BlackwellMorning Mail BluesScrapper Blackwell Vol. 2 1934-1958
Lucille Bogan Pig Iron SallyShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Walter Roland Big MamaWalter Roland Vol. 2 1934-1935
James “Iron Head” Baker Black BettyDeep River of Song: Big Brazos
LeadbellyTake A Whiff On MeLeadbelly: Important Recordings 1934-49
Joe PullumBlack Gal What Makes Your Head So Hard?Joe Pullum Vol. 1 1934-1935
Buddy MossSomeday BabyThe Essential Buddy Moss
Son BondsTrouble, Trouble BluesSon Bonds & Charlie Pickett 1934-1941
Bertha LeeMind Reader BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol 1
Charlie Patton'34 BluesPrimeval Blues, Rags, and Gospel Songs
Mary Johnson Peepin' At The Risin' Sun Mary Johnson 1929-1936
Peetie WheatstrawThrow Me In The AlleyFolks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!
Barrelhouse Buck McFarlandMercy Mercy BluesPiano Blues Vol. 2 1927-1956
Bob CampbellStarvation Farm BluesA Richer Tradition
Memphis Jug Band Jug Band QuartetteMemphis Shakedown

Big Bill Broonzy Serve It To Me RightAll The Classic Sides
Alfoncey Harris Absent Freight Train BluesThe Piano Blues Vol. 11: Texas Santa Fe
John OscarOther Man BluesChicago Piano 1929-1936
Lee GreenMemphis FivesThe Way I Feel: The Best Of Roosevelt Sykes & Lee Green
Joe McCoyI'm Going Back HomeThe Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Charlie McCoy Charity BluesAin't Times Hard: Political & Social Comment In The Blues
Moses Clear Rock PlattThat's All Right, BabyBlack Texicans
Wilson Jones (Stavin' Chain)Can't Put On My ShoesField Recordings Vol. 16 1934-1940

Show Notes:

Charlie Patton: 34 Blues

Today’s show is the eighth installment of an ongoing series of programs built around a particular year. The first year we spotlighted was 1927 which was the beginning of a blues boom that would last until 1930; there were just 500 blues and gospel records issued in 1927 and increase of fifty percent from 1926 a trend that would continue until the depression. To feed the demand other record companies conducted exhaustive searches for new talent, which included making trips down south with field recording units. The Depression, with the massive unemployment it brought, had a shattering effect on the pockets of black record buyers. Sales of blues records plummeted in the years 1931 through 1933. Things picked in 1934, and in addition to labels like Gennett and Columbia a new label emerged that year. Decca Records began recording in New York and Chicago in August and by the end of the year had issued dozens of race records. During this period it was the urban style of blues that dominated the market – artists such as Tampa Red, Roosevelt Sykes, Memphis Minnie, Big Bill Broonzy, Bumble Bee Slim and Leroy Carr recorded prolifically. Still some down home blues artists were recorded such as Texas Alexander and Charlie Patton. In parallel to the commercial recordings were some remarkable field recording made by John Lomax for the Library of Congress. All those and more can be heard on today's program.

From 1934 until 1945 there were three main race labels, all selling for 35 cents: Decca, the Brunswick Record Corporation's Vocalion, and RCA-Victor's Bluebird. Whereas Decca had a special race series, Bluebird and Vocalion numbered blues and gospel material in their general series. Although the Gennett label went under at the end of 1934, Decca bought the Gennett material and bought the Champion trademark. Later that year they started their second race series, the Champion 5000s; it feature some reissues of Gennett blues, some reissues from Paramount as well as some material recorded by Decca. The Brunswick Record Corporation bought Columbia issuing records by Papa Charlie Jackson and the Memphis Jug Band. They also operated five "dime-store labels" – Perfect, Oriole, Romeo, Banner and Melotone which sold for 25 cents.

A sign that the market was reviving was the fact that the labels were once again sending out field recording units. Much of the activity was in Texas where Brunswick-ARC recorded Texas Alexander in San Antonio and Fort Worth, Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks in San Antonio and a new artist called Joe Pullum. Texas Alexander cut sessions in 1934 in the company of the Mississippi Sheiks, the jazz band His Sax Black Tams, the guitar duo of Willie Reed and Carl Davis for a total of two dozen sides. These were his last sides until 1950 where he cut a lone 78 for the Freedom label.The popular Mississippi Sheiks cut fourteen sides on March 26 and 27th. "Black Gal What Makes Your Head So Hard?” was a huge and influential hit in 1934 for Joe Pullum. After Pullum recorded it in April 1934 it was covered by Vocalion by Leroy Carr, for Decca by Mary Johnson and Jimmie Gordon (under the pseudonym of Joe Bullum!), and by Josh White—all within ten months. Pullum went on to cut four sessions in less than two years which produced thirty songs including two sequels to "Black Gal" , yet few sold very well.

With the popularity of the urban blues it's not surprising that Leroy Carr and his imitator, Bumble Bee Slim, recorded prolifically. Slim waxed around fifty sides apiece in 1934 and Carr even more.  Slim cut sides for all three major labels in 1934. Carr cut some iconic songs in 1934 including blues classics like “Blues Before Sunrise” and “Mean Mistreater Mama” among others, most with his partner Scrapper Blackwell.

Thanks to a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, John Lomax was able to set out in June 1933 on the first recording expedition under the Library of Congress' auspices, with his son Alan in tow. John and Alan toured Texas prison farms recording work songs, reels, ballads, and blues from prisoners such as James "Iron Head" Baker, Mose "Clear Rock" Platt, and Lightnin’ Washington. In 1934, Lomax was named Honorary Consultant and Curator of the Archive of American Folk Song, and he secured grants from the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others, for continued field recordings. In September 1934, Lead Belly, who was out of prison, wrote to Lomax requesting employment, since he needed to have a job in order not to be sent back to prison. At the urging of John, Jr., Lomax engaged Lead Belly as his driver and assistant and the pair traveled the South together collecting folk songs for the next three months. We spin some remarkable sides today by James "Iron Head" Baker and  Mose "Clear Rock" , who Lomax had recorded the previous year, plus new discoveries like Wilson Jones (Stavin' Chain).

Leadbelly was "discovered" by folklorists John Lomax and his then 18-year-old son Alan Lomax during a visit to the Angola Prison Farm in 1933. They recorded him on portable aluminum disc recording equipment for the Library of Congress. Those recordings are very poor quality. They returned to record with new and better equipment in July of the following year (1934). From those sessions we hear Leadbelly deliver a powerful version of "Take A Whiff On Me."

Stavin' Chain playing guitar and singing the ballad "Batson," (fiddler also in shot), Lafayette, La, 1934.
Photo by Alan Lomax.

Notable this year were the last recordings by Charlie Patton. Patton's last recording sessions were in New York where he cut twenty-six sides for Vocalion between January 3oth and February 1st. Seventeen of those sides were unissued. On January 31st Patton backed his common-law wife Bertha Lee on three sides, one of which was unissued.  On the morning of Saturday, April 28, 1934, Charlie Patton was buried the following day at Longswitch Cemetery, less than a mile from his last home at Holly Ridge. He was 43. Patton was a popular performer among both whites and blacks, and at Dockery's Plantation he often played on the porch of the commissary and at all-night picnics hosted by Will Dockery for residents.. In “34 Blues” Patton sang of being banished from Dockery by plantation manager Herman Jett, apparently because Patton was running off with various tenants’ women.

There were some notable piano blues recorded in 1934. St. Louis had an abundance of talented blues pianists including Henry Brown, Peetie Wheatstraw, Roosevelt Sykes, Lee Green, and Aaron "Pinetop" Sparks all who were recorded during the year. Also notable were pianists Alfoncey Harris who was recorded in Texas and John Oscar who was recorded in Chicago.

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ARTISTSONGALBUM
Blind Willie McTellSavannah MamaThe Classic Years 1927-1940
Blind Willie McTellLay Some Flowers On My GraveThe Classic Years 1927-1940
James Iron Head BakerBlack BettyDeep River of Song: Big Brazos
Moses Clear Rock PlattDats All Right HoneyField Recordings Vol. 13 1933-1943
Washington (Lightnin') Long JohnField Recordings Vol. 6: Texas 1933-1958
Will BattsCountry WomanMemphis Masters: Early American Blues Classics
Jack Kelly R.F.C. BluesRuckus Juice & Chittlins Vol. 2
Coot Grant & Wesley Wilson Meat Cuttin' BluesRaunchy Business: Hot Nuts & Lollypops
Eva Taylor Organ Grinder BluesClarence Williams & His Orchestra Vol. 1 1933-1934
Curley Weaver Some Cold Rainy Day
Atlanta Blues
Fred McMullen Poor Stranger Blues Georgia Blues 1928-1933
Curley Weaver Tippin' TomAtlanta Blues
James ''Stump'' Johnson Steady Grindin' Down On The Levee: The Piano Blues of St. Louis Vol. 2
Sparks BrothersChicago's Too Much For MeDown On The Levee: The Piano Blues of St. Louis Vol. 2
Georgia Boyd Never Mind BluesSt. Louis 1927-1933
Joe Stone (J.D. Short)It's Hard TimeWhen The Sun Goes Down
Ruth Willis Man Of My OwnGeorgia Blues 1928-1933
Lucille BoganGroceries On The ShelfShave 'Em Dry: The Best Of Lucille Bogan
Memphis MinnieToo LateQueen Of Country Blues
St. Louis Jimmy Sitting Down, Thinking BluesSt. Louis Jimmy Oden Vol. 1 1932-1944
Walter Davis Oil Field BluesWalter Davis Vol. 1 1933-1935
Henry TownsendShe's Got What I WantSt. Louis Country Blues 1929-1937
Sonny Scott Rolling WatersWalter Roland Vol. 1 1933
Walter RolandEarly This Morning ('Bout Break Of Day)Walter Roland Vol. 1 1933
Josh WhiteBlood Red River BluesJosh White Vol. 1 1929-1933
Buddy MossHard Road BluesSlide Guitar Bottles, Knives & Steel Vol. 2
Buddy MossJealous Hearted Man BluesSlide Guitar Bottles, Knives & Steel Vol. 2
Whistlin' RufusWho's Gonna Do Your Sweet Jelly Rolling Piano Blues Vol. 6 1933-1938
Turner Parrish The FivesBarrelhouse Piano Blues & Stomps 1929-1933
Carl Rafferty Dresser With the DrawersRoosevelt Sykes Vol. 3 1931-1933
Charlie ''Specks'' McFaddenLow Down Rounders BluesTwenty First. St. Stomp: The Piano Blues Of St. Louis
Roosevelt Sykes Devil's Island Gin BluesThe Essential
The Mississippi Sheiks Show Me What You GotThe Road To Robert Johnson And Beyond
Teddy Darby Bought A Bottle Of GinBlind Teddy Darby 1929-1937

Show Notes:

Today’s show is the seventh installment of an ongoing series of programs built around a particular year. The first year we spotlighted was 1927 which was the beginning of a blues boom that would last until 1930; there were just 500 blues and gospel records issued in 1927 and increase of fifty percent from 1926 a trend that would continue until the depression. To feed the demand other record companies conducted exhaustive searches for new talent, which included making trips down south with field recording units. Between 1927-1930 Atlanta was visited seventeen times, Memphis eleven times, Dallas eight times, New Orleans seven times and so on. The record companies advertised their records in black newspapers, mainly in the Chicago Defender, which was the nation’s most influential black weekly newspaper. The Depression, with the massive unemployment it brought, had a shattering effect on the pockets of black record buyers. By 1931 race records were selling about a tenth as well as they had four years previously. For example, Paramount went from waxing over a hundred blues and gospel items in 1930 but only about three dozen in 1931, Columbia had no new artists and its releases were cut by over a third and Victor also cut their releases by a third. In 1932 they were half that. Things hit rock bottom in 1932 with less than 150 new issues – the lowest level since 1922. Many of the era's top sellers like Leroy Carr and Lonnie Johnson made no records at all. Labels took several measures: cutting record prices, making one take instead of two and maximizing studio time by recording lengthier sessions. As always there were still plenty of good records by artists such as Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Moss, Jack Kelly, Roosevelt Sykes, Walter Davis, J.D. Short among others.

A 1930's ad for the Perfect label. Top row: Spark Plug Smith, Weaver and McMullen, Curley Weaver, and Ruth Willis.Bottom row: Buddy Moss, Coot Grant and Sox Wilson, Fred McMullen, Joshua White. All of these artists recorded in 1933.

In order to survive the hard times, Victor for example, were forced to follow ARC-BRC and enter the cheap record market. Their 35-cent label, Bluebird, was launched of old Victor material-by Walter Davis, the Memphis Jug Band, Cannon's Jug Stompers and Rev. Gates. Victor also needed new material In the past, tent tiles a day was a good days work. Now, as a further economy, engineers were told to make maximum use of the studio facilities and their own time. Thus, on Wednesday August 2, 1933, no less than thirty-five race titles  were recorded in Chicago, by a dozen artists including Roosevelt Sykes (as Willie Kelly), the Sparks brothers,  and Walter Davis. The Walter Davis items were put out simultaneously on Bluebird, at  35 cents, and in the Victor 23250 series, at 75 cents. However, it soon became apparent that there was little point in continuing to produce 75-cent race records and at the end of 1933 the Victor race series-which had reached 23432- was withdrawn.

1933 was a particularly good year for the talented Atlanta artists: Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Moss and Curley Weaver. Over the course of several days in September 1933, Blind Willie recorded four sessions for Vocalion in New York City resulting in some two-dozen sides all featuring Curley Weaver.  Several sides were unissued at the time only too be issued decades later. Weaver recorded around two-dozen sides at six session in 1933 for Vocalion, Brunswick and ARC.  Some sides were unissued. Fred McMullen was recorded around th same time, cutting seven sides for Brunswick and ARC with each playing some of the others sessions. Ruth Willis, Buddy Moss and Blind Willie also show up on Weaver's sessions from this period. Moss cut some two-dozens sides at several sessions in 1933 for Brunswick and ARC in New York City. Some sessions featured fellow Atlanta friends Blind Willie McTell, Ruth Will, Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen.

Buddy Moss playing guitar in the Green County Convict Camp

Other artists who recorded prolifically during 1933 were Jack Kelly,  Roosevelt Sykes, Walter Davis, Walter Roland, Sonny Scott and Josh White. Singer/guitarist Jack Kelly was the front man of the South Memphis Jug Band, a popular string band whose music owed a heavy debt to the blues as well as minstrel songs, vaudeville numbers, reels and rags. He led the group in tandem with fiddler Will Batts, and they made their first recordings in 1933, cutting some two-dozen sides between August 1 and 3rd for Banner and ARC. Roosevelt Sykes cut two sessions in 1933 for Victor and Bluebird and was busy backing several artists like Walter Davis, Carl Rafferty, St. Louis Jimmy, Clarence Harris and Charlie McFadden. Walter Davis cut two-dozen sides in 1933 for Blue Bird all backed by Sykes. Walter Roland and Sonny Scott recorded on the same dates for Vocalion between July 18-20, 1933 and playing on each others sessions. Roland cut eighteen sides while Scott cut fourteen sides. Josh White cut a dozen sides for Brunswick in 1933.

By 1933 the era of the blues Queens was past with Bessie Smith making her last sides in 1931, Clara Smith in 1932, Rosa Henderson in 1931, although several hung in there for a bit longer like Ida Cox, Victoria Spivey and Eva Taylor who was one of the only ones to record in 1933. In 1920 Taylor moved to New York City, where she became a popular singer in the night clubs of Harlem. The following year she married pianist, publisher and producer Clarence Williams. The couple collaborated on many projects. In 1922 Taylor made her first record for the African-American owned Black Swan label, who billed her as "The Dixie Nightingale". She would continue to record dozens of Blues, Jazz and popular sides for Okeh and Columbia throughout the 1920s and 1930s. She made a handful of strong sides in 1933 backed by Clarence Williams' Jug Band which included Willie "The Lion" Smith and Banjo Ikey Robinson among others.

Among some older styles that were hanging on were some of the vaudeville styled blues, namely with some sides cut by  Coot Grant and Wesley Wilson. Coot Grant was the main stage name of Leola B. Pettigrew, a blues singer from Alabama whose legal name became Leola Wilson following her marriage to performing partner Wesley Wilson. The husband and wife, billed as Grant & Wilson, Kid & Coot, and Hunter & Jenkins, cut over sixty sides between 1925 and 1938, often backed with top jazz artists such as Fletcher Henderson, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong. They also performed in musical comedies, vaudeville, traveling shows, revues, and in film.

In addition to commercial recordings there was some important non-commercial sides recorded by John Lomax for the Library of Congress. Through a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, John Lomax was able to set out in June 1933 on the first recording expedition under the Library of Congress' auspices, with Alan Lomax (then eighteen years old) in tow. In their successful grant application they wrote, that prisoners, "Thrown on their own resources for entertainment . . . still sing, especially the long-term prisoners who have been confined for years and who have not yet been influenced by jazz and the radio, the distinctive old-time Negro melodies." They toured Texas prison farms recording work songs, reels, ballads, and blues from prisoners. They also recorded music from many others not in prison. The most important find was Leadbelly but also were recorded were fine singers like  James Iron Head Baker, Moses Clear Rock Platt and Washington (Lightnin'), all of whom are featured today.

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ARTISTSONGALBUM
Georgia WhiteSinking Sun BluesGeorgia White Vol. 2 1936-1937
Georgia WhiteGet 'Em From the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts) Sings & Plays
Georgia WhiteNew Dupree BluesGeorgia White Vol. 11930-1936
Lucille BoganJim TampaLucille Bogan Vol. 1 1923-1929
Lucille BoganCoffee Grindin' BluesThe Essential
Lucille BoganAlley BoogieThe Essential
Hattie HartWon't You Be Kind To Me?Memphis Masters: Early American Blues Classics
Hattie HartI Let My Daddy Do That Memphis Masters: Early American Blues Classics
Hattie HartI'm Missing That Thing Memphis Blues 1927-1938
Geeshie WileyLast Kind Word Blues The Best There Ever Was
Geeshie WileySkinny Legs Blues Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Georgia White Black Rider
Georgia White Vol. 2 1936-1937
Georgia WhiteRattlesnakin' Daddy Georgia White Vol. 1 1930-1936
Georgia White I'm So Glad I'm 21 TodayGeorgia White Vol. 2 1936-1937
Lucille BoganThey Ain't Walking No MoreThe Essential
Lucille BoganBaking Powder BluesThe Essential
Lucille BoganPig Iron SallyShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Mattie Delaney Down The Big Road Blues I Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Mattie Delaney Tallahatchie River BluesMemphis Masters: Early American Blues Classics
Hattie HartColdest Stuff In TownMemphis Blues 1927-193
Hattie HartPapa's Got Your Water OnI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Hattie HartCocaine Habit Blues Blues Image Presents Vol. 4
Georgia WhiteWalking The StreetGeorgia White Vol. 2 1936-1937
Georgia WhiteAlley Boogie Sings & Plays
Georgia WhiteThe Blues Ain't Nothin' But???The Piano Blues Vol. 13
Lucille BoganReckless WomanShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Lucille BoganShave 'em DryShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Lucille BoganBarbecue BessShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Geeshie WileyEagles On A Half I Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Geeshie WileyPick Poor Robin Clean I Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Hattie HartMemphis Yo Yo BluesMemphis Jug Band and Cannon's Jug Stomper
Lucille BoganStew Meat BluesShave 'Em Dry: The Best of Lucille Bogan
Georgia WhiteLittle Red Wagon Georgia White Vol. 2 1936-1937

Show Notes:

On today's program we spotlight five tough blues ladies from the 1920's and 1930's; Lucille Bogan and Georgia White recorded extensively with Bogan cutting over sixty sides between 1923 and 1935, and White cutting over 80 sides between 1930 and 1941. Memphis singer Hattie Hart cut a handful of terrific sides under her own name and several with the Memphis Jug Band. We dip down to Mississippi to hear the only known record by mysterious guitar player Mattie Delaney and the equally shadowy, under-record and brilliant Geeshie Wiley.

Read Liner Notes: Pt. 1Pt. 2Pt. 3

In the 1982 liner notes to Georgia White: Sings & Plays the Blues (the first collection of White's recordings) Rosetta Reitz wrote: "Is Georgia White alive or dead? [she died in 1980] Nobody seems to know. If she is alive she is living in obscurity and would be 80 years old. If she is dead, her death went unnoticed for there were no obituaries. I checked and double checked with people who might know. I've been looking for her. I would like to tell her how important I think she is, important to to the history of American music (even though hardly anyone knows her name today)." Thirty years after these notes were written virtually nothing has changed, White is still forgotten and nothing of significance has been written about her in the intervening years. I suppose I should backtrack and mention that the Document label has issued her complete recordings spread over four volumes which is the source of several of today's recordings.

White reportedly moved to Chicago in the 1920's and began working as a singer in the nightclubs during the late '20s. She first recorded in May 1930 for the Vocalion label with Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra recording one song, "When You're Smiling, the Whole World Smiles With You."  After her initial session, White didn't return to the studios until 1935, but recorded regularly from then on through the early '40s for the Decca label (the label billed her as "the world's greatest blues singer"). In 1935, she also recorded a couple of songs, including "Your Worries Ain't Like Mine," under the alias Georgia Lawson. From her first sessions until the late '30s, White was accompanied by herself on piano then pianist Richard Jones, great bassist John Lindsay plus outstanding guitarists like Banjo Ikey Robinson, Les Paul, Teddy Bunn and Lonnie Johnson. White had a good repertoire of songs, many of which sold well and many risque such as I'll Keep Sitting on It, "Mama Knows What Papa Wants When Papa's Feeling Blue" and "Hot Nuts." She was also one of the blues' first revivalists, reaching way back to cover Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues", covering the like of Bessie Smith,  Ethel Waters, Sara Martin, Ma Rainey but more surprisingly are covers of Lucille Bogan's "Alley Boogie" and borrowing from Leadbelly ("Pigmeat Blues") and the obscure Joe Dean ("I'm So Glad I'm 21 Today").

Blues scholar Paul Oliver was on of the few others who wrote about White. In Jazz On Record published in 1968 he wrote: "Undeservedly neglected in recent years, Georgia White was one of the most popular of the recording blues singers in the thirties. She had a strong contralto voice with a keen edge to her intonation and was a capable pianist in the barrelhouse house tradition."

There was mention of White's passing in Arnold Shaw's Honkers And Shouters when he talks about Broonzy. White worked with Broonzy at the Bee Hive and another club in Chicago in a group called The Laughing Trio in 1949-1950. Shaw writes: "There was also Georgia White, a gorgeous Georgia Peach of a blues singer herself whom Big Bill credits with launching 'Trouble In Mind'"  (Bertha "Chippie" Hill cut the first version in 1926). Shaw quotes Broonzy: "When I say Georgia White", Big Bill murmurs, in introducing his version of 'Trouble In Mind', "she was a real nice-looking gal. All the musicians liked her. But there was no way of getting to her because her husband was always around. He was her valet-dressed her, brought her all of her food. Was no chance of anybody getting close to her."

Lucille Bogan, Circa 1933

In the late '40s, White formed an all-women band. She also worked with Big Bill Broonzy from 1949-50, and returned to singing in the clubs during the 1950's. Georgia Her last known public performance was in 1959, after which she retired from the music business.

Lucille Bogan got off to a rather shaky start on her two 1923 sessions. The feisty, boisterous singing she became known for came into much better focus when she returned to the studio in 1927 backed by papa Charlie Jackson on fine numbers like "Sweet Patinua", "Jim Tampa Blues" and "Cravin' Whiskey Blues." As Tony Russell writes in the Penguin Guide To Blues: "Over the next few years she constructed a persona of a tough-talking narrator – 'They call me Pig Iron Sally, 'cause I live in Slag Iron Ally, and I'm evil and mean as I can be,' she sings in 'Pig Iron Sally' – who knew the worlds of the lesbian and the prostitute. She reports from the former in 'Women Don't Need No Men' and 'B.D. Woman's Blues', and the latter in 'Tricks Ain't Walking no More' – best heard in the affectingly sombre version titled 'They Ain't Walking No More' …and 'Barbecue Bess.' Other notable recordings are 'Coffee Grindin' Blues' …and the first recording of  'Black Angel Blues,' which after a great change became a blues standard."  On these recordings she finds strong backing from pianists Will Ezell and Charles Avery. "…Thanks to the generally better sound quality and the ever sympathetic accompaniment of Walter Roland, her mid-30s recordings …are the most approachable. " Notable from this period are "Baking Powder Blues", "Reckless Woman", "Stew Meat Blues" and "Shave 'em Dry" which also exists in an extremely dirty version never intended for commercial release and one that can't be played on the air.

Bogan was born as Lucille Anderson in 1897 in Monroe county, Mississippi. In about 1914 she married Nazareth Bogan, Sr., a blues singer who also worked as a railroad man. The following year a son was born. In 1974 Bogan's son was interviewed by Bob Eagle (Lucille Bogan: Bessie Jackson, Living Blues no. 44, 1979) so quite a bit is known about her.

Bogan recorded for OKeh in 1923, for Paramount in 1927, and for Brunswick in 1928, 1929, and 1930. Although she had an uncommonly large Depression era output, she made no recordings at all in 1931 and 1932. When she switched to ARC for the 1933, 1934, and 1935 sessions, she had to use the pseudonym Bessie Jackson for contractual reasons. After the Second World War Bogan made some trial discs for a New York company. She was mad when the records were rejected and died shortly afterward in 1948.

Don Kent wrote in the notes to Mississippi Masters: Early American Blues Classics 1927-35: "Although Geeshie Wiley may well have been the rural South's greatest female blues singer and musician, almost nothing is known of her. …If Geeshie Wiley did not exist, she could not be invented: her scope and creativity dwarfs most blues artists. She seems to represent the moment when black secular music was coalescing into blues." Wiley recorded just two 78’s in 1930 and 1931, both highly sought after and worth a fortune to 78 record collectors. There are no known photographs and little is known about her. Ishman Bracey provides what little we know about her: "She lived 'round there on John Hart Street for a while. Charlie McCoy got her for his old lady. She could play on the guitar as good as on that record [Eagles On A Half, Pm 13074]. She said she was from Natchez; close by Natchez was her home. She didn't stay here long, couple of months and she done left." In the 1920's she spent three months in Jackson as a resident of John Hart Street; while there, she played in a medicine show. "She could play a guitar, but she had a guitar player with her," Bracey recalled. "She'd play a guitar, and a ukulele too." Wiley recorded "Last Kind Word Blues" and "Skinny Leg Blues" in Grafton, Wisconsin for Paramount Records in March of 1930, with Elvie Thomas backing her on second guitar. Thomas also recorded two songs for Paramount at the session, "Motherless Child Blues" and "Over to My House," Wiley, providing second guitar and vocal harmonies. In 1931 Wiley and Thomas returned to Grafton to record two more sides for Paramount, "Pick Poor Robin Clean" and "Eagles on a Half."

In Bengt Olsson's Memphis Blues and Jug Bands some light was shed on singer Hattie Hart: "Hattie Hart and Allen Shaw came together on record when they engaged in one memorable session in New York, in the late summer of 1934. Willie Borum was also present, playing guitar behind Shaw on some of the songs as well as singing four of his own. He and Shaw were new to the recording studio, but Hattie Hart had appeared on several of the Memphis Jug Band's discs in 1929 and 1939, 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 voice was strong, sensual and moving. She was born, says Willie Borum, 'just around 1900.  She was dark skinned. She and her husband lived on Keil and Main …they were married as long as I knew them. Hattie used to throw lots of parties. " Borum recalled their New York session: "Hattie recorded just after Jack Kelly. She sang 'I Let My Daddy Do That'  and 'Travelin' Man' …but it was never out on record.  I went in the army from 1943 till 1946. When I came back Hattie had left town. I don't know what happened to her."

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. In the course of four days she recorded some eighteen songs backed by guitarist Allen Shaw with the possibility of Willie Borum playing guitar on some of the cuts. Out of the eighteen songs, only four were issued giving Hattie two more records to her credit. It was also during these sessions that Shaw recorded his only issued sides. Hart may have moved Chicago where in in 1938 she cut sides as Hattie Bolten.

Mattie Delaney cut just one 78: "Down The Big Road Blues b/w Tallahatchie River Blues" for Vocalion on February 21, 1930 in Memphis, TN. Her name evoked no response from Son House or from any Delta resident when researcher Gayle Wardlow made a tri-county search of those towns which boarder the Tallahatchie. The song "Tallahatchie River Blues" was first issued on the Yazoo anthology Mississippi Blues 1927-1941 in 1968. Supposedly she was born Mattie Doyle in Tchula, MS 1905. Wardlow was the one who discovered the record: "But the prize was Mattie Delaney doing "Tallahatchie River Blues" (Vocalion 1480), a song that refers to a river flood in the Delta. My copy of this 1930 disc was the only one known to surface. I learned this from New York collectors eager for me to trade it away. " According to collector John Tefteller there are about five copies known to exist. Tefteller paid $3,000 for his copy which he says isn’t horrible but sure isn’t mint, either. He expects a like-new copy would draw $6,000 to $8,000.

Here's the two Lucille Bogan sides I couldn't play on the air and one by Walter Roland:

-Shave 'Em Dry (unreleased version)

-Till The Cows Come Home (unreleased)

-I'm Gonna Shave You Dry (unreleased)

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Earl GilliamPetite Baby Sarg Records Anthology: South Texas 1954-1964
Earl GilliamWrong Doing WomanSarg Records Anthology: South Texas 1954-1964
Mississippi John HurtLet The Mermaids Flirt With MeDiscovery: The Rebirth Of Mississippi John Hurt
Mississippi John HurtRichland Woman BluesDiscovery: The Rebirth Of Mississippi John Hurt
Ramblin' Hi Harris I Haven't Got A HomeThe Legendary Jay Miller Sessions Vol. 55
Morris "Big" Chenier I Wanna Know I Know NowGoldband Blues Collection Pt. 3
Left Handed Charlie MorrisYou Thrill MeGoldband Blues Collection Pt. 2
Jed Davenport Jug BluesMemphis Shakedown
Memphis Jug Band Going Back To MemphisMemphis Jug Band and Cannon's Jug Stompers
Minnie WallaceLet's All Do That Thing Memphis Shakedown
Howlin' Wolf I'm Leaving You (Alternate Take) Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960
Howlin' Wolf My People's GoneSmokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960
Skip JamesNo Special Lover Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond
Lightnin' HopkinsUp On Telegraph (Avenue) Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond
Mance Lipscomb Mean Boss ManHear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond
Johnny Sayles Food Stamps Pt. 1The Johnny Sayles Story
Good Time Charlie (Charles Taylor)Welfare Blues President Ford's Blues 1974-1976
B.B. Odom & The EarbendersThe World's In TroublePresident Ford's Blues 1974-1976
Kid ColeSixth Street MoanRare Country Blues Vol. 3 1928-1936
George ToreyMarried Woman BluesBlues Images Vol. 3
Blind Willie McTellTravelin' BluesThe Classic Years 1927-1940
Memphis SlimCold Blooded WomanSavoy Blues 1944-1994
Sonny Boy Williamson II Can't Do Without YouThe Chess Years Box Set
Mighty Joe YoungWhy BabyN.Y. Wild Guitars
Big Joe Williams Hand Me Down My Old Walking StickHand Me Down My Old Walking Stick
John Dudley Clarksdale Mill Blues (previously unissued version)I'll Be So Glad When The Sun Goes Down
Babe Stovall Woman Blues Babe Stovall
Blind Willie JohnsonThe Rain Don't Fall On MeThe Rain Don't Fall On Me: Country Blues 1927-1952
Hattie Hart Coldest Stuff in TownMemphis Blues 1927-1938
Bessie JacksonThat's What My Baby LikesThe Essential
K.C. Douglas Hear Me Howling Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond
K.C. DouglasHad I Money Deadbeat Guitar And The Mississippi Blues

Show Notes:

We've had a run of interesting theme shows in the past few week and this time we take a pause with a mix show. We open today on a sad note with a pair of tracks from Houston stalwart Earl Gilliam. Also on deck  we spotlight the following recent collections: Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond, Discovery: The Rebirth Of Mississippi John Hurt, Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 and President Ford's Blues 1974-1976. In addition we spin a trio of fine artists from Louisiana, a batch of vintage Memphis blues and some outstanding country blues sides both pre-war and post-war.

Earl Gilliam

We open up with "Petite Baby" and "Wrong Doing Woman", two fine sides Earl Gilliam recorded back in 1955. Pianist Earl Gilliam passed away on Wednesday, October 20, 2011. He was part of the Houston blues scene for the past 60 years. Over the years, Gilliam would become known as Houston's premiere blues pianist, and he performed alongside such greats as Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert King, Albert Collins, and Joe "Guitar" Hughes, among many others. By 17 Gilliam landed a gig playing the Eldorado Ballroom with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. He cut a four song session for the Sarg label in 1955 backed by Lucian Davis & His Orchestra and cut one side for the Ivory label in 1962. Gilliam also led his own band, performing frequently in Houston clubs throughout the 1990's and 2000's. Gilliam only released one album under his own name, 2005's excellent Texas Doghouse Blues for the Dialtone label. I recall playing this one quite a bit when it first came out and even got an opportunity to interview Gilliam.

We feature four tracks today from the superb Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads & Beyond, an anthology of recordings made by Chris Strachwitz in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1954 and 1971 in the early days of his Arhoolie record label. Arranged chronologically over four discs and 72 tracks, and packaged with a 136-page hardcover book, these sides (many of them previously unreleased) were recorded at coffeehouses, festivals, and living rooms, and sometimes in studios. When performers came through the area, Strachwitz would tape them at a show, at a party, or in somebody’s home – often his own. He wound up with more material than he could release at the time. Some of the leftovers, collected for the first time, are stunning. We hear tracks from Lightnin' Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb, clearly among Strachwitz' favorites, plus the gorgeous "No Special Lover" one of several Skip James tracks from 1965 and the title track by K.C. Douglas.

Speaking of K.C. Douglas we also play his "Had I Money" from the album Deadbeat Guitar And The Mississippi Blues (subtitled Street corner blues 'bout women and automobiles). I've always been intrigued by this album which was states that this material  was "collected" by Sam Eskin in Oakland in 1952.  The album was issued possibly in 1954 or maybe 1956 which would make it one of the earliest blues records issued that wasn't a reissue of older material.  As for Eskin, he was a folklorist who made field recordings between 1939 and 1969 and during this period made many cross-country trips from New York to California where he recorded American folk music. Beginning in 1950 he made recordings abroad in Mexico, Israel, Spain and the British Isles.  Eskin's recordings and notes are now housed at the Library of Congress. Other artists he recorded include Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton and Leadbelly.

This has been a good year for Mississippi John Hurt. Earlier this year so the publication of the biography Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues and now we get Discovery: The Rebirth Of Mississippi John Hurt, a collection of previously unissued recordings.  In  in 1963 guitarist and blues fanatic Thomas Hoskins rapped on the door of a small house in rural Mississippi. Inside the house Hoskins found found an amiable, humble man, who farmed to make a living. John Hurt was surrounded by family and friends. He hadn't owned a guitar in years, and was amazed that a young white man had sought him out 35 years after his last recording sessions. Hoskins gave Hurt his guitar and turned on his reel to reel recorder. On Discovery Hurt plays several of the songs from his 1928 sessions as well as some others that later became staples of his folk festival repertoire including "Let The Mermaids Flirt With" and "Richland Woman Blues" both featured today. Overall sound quality is surprisingly good considering the source and Hurt is much less polished then his studio recordings. All in all a fascinating document from the dawn of the blues revival. It's hard to believe that within a few year Hurt, Bukka White, Skip James and Son House would all be back in circulation. Amazing times.

Read Liner Notes

Two other collections featured today: Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 and President Ford's Blues 1974-1976. The Wolf collection is a 97-track, four-disc limited-edition box set containing everything the Wolf cut in his first decade of recording. President Ford's Blues is a companion CD to the book The Nixon and Ford Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on Vietnam, Watergate, Civil Rights and Inflation 1969-1976. Guido van Rijn has written four previous books on topical blues and gospel songs. Good Time Charlie's (Charles Taylor) "Welfare Blues" is a funky slab of 70's blues  while B.B. Odom & The Earbenders deliver the tough "The World's In Trouble." Although from a different collection we also hear Johnny Sayles "Food Stamps Pt. 1", another hard hitting topical number.

We head down to Louisiana to hear records from the Lake Charles based Goldband label and a recording by legendary producer J.D. Miller. Goldband was formed by Eddie Shuler in 1945. In the early 1950's Shuler established the Goldband complex – including recording studio, record store, and TV store  in Lake Charles, and began recording all genres of music, including R&B, blues, country, rock and roll, swamp pop and Cajun. Hit recordings included Boozoo Chavis' "Paper in My Shoe" (1954) and the company's biggest seller, Phil Phillips' "Sea of Love" (1959). The label recorded a fair bit of blues including sides by Clarence Garlow, Juke Boy Bonner, Hop Wilson and today's selections from Morris "Big" Chenier and Left Handed Charlie Morris. Of Miller, Bruce Bastion wrote: "Close to South Louisiana bayou country, Crowley is the home of J.D. Miller's studio, responsible as much as any other factor for the sound we now know as the moody, loping blues of the Louisiana swamps. Many completely unknown artists found fleeting fame through Miller's recordings  and through the Excello issues of his recordings, he helped support one of the most consistent blues labels of the 1950's." Today we spin "I haven't Got A Home" by the mysterious Ramblin' Hi Harris who waxed just three sides for Jay Miller that were unissued at the time.

We head to Memphis for a fine set of vintage blues by the Memphis jug Band, Jed Davenport and Minnie Wallace. Davenport came from a tent show and medicine show background. Davenport cut around a dozen sides as leader between 1929-30. Wallace Cut six sides at sessions, plus several unissued sides, in 1929 and 1935 backed by members of the Memphis Jug Band.

I remember picking up the album Praise God I'm Satisfied by Blind Willie Johnson on Yazoo over twenty years and it was one of those albums that made a huge impression on me. I suppose I was more interested in his slide numbers that I overlooked today's featured track, the beautiful, "The Rain Don't Fall On Me" with second vocal by Johnson's wife Willie B. Harris. The track comes from an album on the Mississippi label that a friend gave me called The Rain Don't Fall On Me: Country Blues 1927-1952. The Mississippi label reissues an an eclectic mix of music strictly on vinyl including some interesting blues collections.

I also want to mention a great post-war recording by John Dudley. In early October 1959 Alan Lomax recorded an inmate named John Dudley in the "Dairy Camp" portion of the Mississippi prison camp known as Parchman Farms. Our selection, an unissued version of "Clarksdale Mill Blues", is a cover of Charley Patton's "Moon Going Down." Only three songs were issued but several others remain unreleased. This version comes from the album I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down issued on the Mississippi label. Lomax didn't give us much information on Dudley: "Lastly, in John Dudley's blues, we meet a country musician of the sophisticated, yet completely folk, tradition of the 1930's. Dudley and Robert Johnson both come from Tunica County, Mississippi and belong to the same school." In all Dudley recorded the following numbers:  "Clarksdale Mill (2 takes)", "You Got a Mean Disposition","Big Road Blues", "Cool Drink of Water Blues (2 takes)", "Poor Boy Blues",  "I'm Gonna Move To Kansas City" and an interview about "playing guitar at dances."

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ARTISTSONGALBUM
Funny Papa SmithMama's Quittin' And Leavin' Part 1The Original Howling Wolf 1930-1931
Ruby Glaze (Katie McTell) & Blind Willie McTellLonesome Day Blues BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Mae Glover I Ain't Givin' Nobody NoneI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Eliot ShaversFool, Fool, FoolMore West Coast Winners
Wille HeadonFind Another WomanMore West Coast Winners
Eddie LangTroubles, TroublesTroubles, Troubles: New Orleans Blues From The Vaults Of Ric & Ron
Lucille Bogan They Ain't Walking No MoreBarrelhouse Mamas
Alberta Jones Where Have All The Black Men GoneVocal Blues & Jazz Vol. 1 1921-1930
Muddy WatersOne More MileOne More Mile
Muddy WatersEvans ShuffleThe Complete Chess Masters 1
Muddy WatersWee Wee BabyBlues From Big Bill's Copacabana
Luke "Long Gone" MilesCountry BoyCountry Boy
Howard Armstrong38 Pistol BluesLouie Bluie: Film Soundtrack
Johnny YoungWhy Did You Break My Heart I Blueskvarter Vol. 1
Barbecue BobGood Time RounderBarbecue Bob Vol. 2 1928-1929
Charlie ''Specks'' McFaddenLow Down Rounders BluesTwenty First. St. Stomp: The Piano Blues Of St. Louis
Frank Stokes Memphis Rounders BluesThe Best Of
Frankie Lee SimsBoogie 'Cross the CountryLucy Mae
Frankie Lee SimsFrankie Lee's 2 O'Clock JumpLucy Mae
Furry LewisBig Chief BluesThe Best There Ever Was
Allen ShawMoanin' The BluesMasters of the Memphis Blues
Sugar Boy Crawford Troubled Mind BluesThe Centennial Edition Sugar Boy Crawford 1953-154
Sugar Boy Crawford What's WrongSugar Boy Crawford 1953-154
Buster Johnson & James Cole's Washboard BandUndertaker BluesTimes Ain't Like They Used to Be Vol. 3
Texas Bill Day Good Mornin' BluesDallas Alley Drag
Amos MilburnMy Love Is LimitedThe Complete Aladdin Recordings
T-Bone WalkerThrough With WomanThe Complete Recordings 1940-1954
Howlin' Wolf My Last AffairHowlin' Wolf 1952-1953
Big Boy Teddy EdwardsW - P - A BluesBig Boy Teddy Edwards 1930-1936
Big Boy Teddy EdwardsAlcohol Mama Big Boy Teddy Edwards 1930-1936
The Earthworms FishtailDown And Broadway And Main

Show Notes:

The last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic so today's mix show was put together at the last minute. Still a solid set of blues on deck including some fine early blues ladies, a varied collection of pre-war blues, twin spins by Frankie Lee Sims, Big Boy Teddy Edwards, Sugar Boy Crawford and trio of sides by Muddy Waters.

Both Mae Glove and Ruby Glaze (Katie McTell) backed Blind Willie McTell's "Lonesome Day Blues" come from I Can't Be Satisfied an unbeatable two volume set on the Yazoo label which I've featured often on the program. Little is known of Mae Glover who cut fourteen sides at two sessions; four for Gennet in 1929 and the rest for Champion in 1931. Her best sides are from the first session where she backed by guitarist John Byrd. The two turn in a driving, sexy performance on "I Ain't Givin' Nobody None." Katie McTell first appeared on record with Blind Willie on 1932's "Rollin' Mama Blues b/w Lonesome Blues"and appears on several of his religious sides from a 1935 session. "Lonesome Day Blues" is sung in Katie's laconic, nasal style interjected by some asides by Blind Willie.

We hear a another duet between the utterly obscure Magnolia Harris and J.T. "Funny Papa" Smith on the two part "Mama's Quittin' And Leavin'." Smith was popular and relatively prolific, yet virtually nothing is known about him. He cut 20 sides at sessions in 1930, 1931 plus a batch of unreleased sides in 1935. Thomas Shaw who played with Smith in Oklahoma remembered Smith as a plantation overseer and convicted murderer. His debut single, the two-part "Howlin’ Wolf Blues" was a big hit. A June 1931 letter from Brunswick to dealers called it "the biggest selling record on the market today. …It is true that this is a Race Record and you might think therefore that its sales would be confined to your colored trade. Not so. You will be surprised how many white folk will buy it."

Lucille Bogan often focused on explicit sexual themes, like prostitution, adultery and lesbianism, and social ills such as alcoholism, drug addiction and abusive relationships. She was born in Mississippi but grew up in Birmingham. In 1923 she made her debut but the records apparently didn't sell well because she didn’t record again until 1927 for the Paramount and Brunswick labels after moving to Chicago. Between 1933 and 1935 she performed and recorded under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson and worked with Walter Roland. Bogan’s recording career came to an end in 1935. In the late 1930s or early l940s, Bogan moved to the West Coast. She died in Los Angeles in 1948. "They Ain't Walking No More" is a classic tale of walking the streets to earn a buck.

In contrast, little is known of Alberta Jones who cut sixteen sides between 1923 and 1930. She was a good singer, often backed by some sympathetic bands, and is heard to good effect on "Where Have All The Black Men Gone." Lillian Glinn cut the song a few months prior.

We spotlight a trio of songs about the those low down rounders. "Rounder" is a term that crops up in numerous blues songs. Here's the definition from the late Stephen Calt's Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary: "'A man who won't work' (Skip James). The sense of the word is implicit in most blues references to a rounder; the word otherwise signified 'who who makes the round of prisons, workhouses, drinking saloons, etc,;  a habitual criminal, loafer or drunkard' (OED which dates it to 1854). Most blues singers were by definition rounders, since performing homespun music was not considered legitimate music by anyone of the blues er, the singers themselves included." We travel around around to Atlanta to hear Barbecue Bob's "Good Time Rounder", St Louis' Charlie "Specks" McFadden's "Low Down Rounders Blues" and from Memphis, Frank Stokes' "Rounders Blues."

Little is known about "Big Boy" Teddy Edwards, a Chicago singer played both guitar and tiple and cut around two-dozen sides between 1930 and 1936 as well as contributing vocals to sessions by the Hokum Boys and Papa Charlie Jackson. Big Bill Broonzy recalled working with him and Papa Charlie Jackson. Today we spin the solo "Alcohol Mama" and the band backed "W – P – A Blues", a terrific cover of the Big Bill number.

Frankie Lee Sims claimed to be a cousin of Lightnin’ Hopkins. Sims cut his first 78's for Blue Bonnet Records in 1948 in Dallas, but didn’t taste anything resembling regional success until 1953, when his "Lucy Mae Blues" did well down south.  Sims recorded fairly prolifically for Los Angeles based Specialty into 1954, then switched to the Ace label in 1957 to cut great rockers like "Walking with Frankie" and "She Likes to Boogie Real Low." He recorded for Bobby Robinson in late 1960 but these sides were unreleased and didn’t surface until decades later when they were released on the British Krazy Kat label. .Sims died at age 53 in Dallas of pneumonia. We spin two of his infectious Specialty boogies, "Boogie 'Cross the Country" and "Frankie Lee's 2 O'Clock Jump."

I had the pleasure of seeing pianist Davell Crawford last week at the Rochester Jazz Festival who put on a hell of a show and is firmly in the tradition of great New Orleans pianists like Professor Longhair and James Booker. He's also the grandson of Sugar Boy Crawford so I'd thought a play a pair of his numbers. Sugar Boy is best known for cutting the original version of  "Jock-A-Mo" in 1953, later recreated as "Iko Iko. " We hear Crawford croon on "Troubled Mind Blues" and pick up the tempo on the rollicking "What's Wrong."

I never get tired of playing Muddy Waters and there's plenty to choose from his deep catalog. From 1963 we hear the moody gem "One More Mile" spotlighting some fine harp from James Cotton and tasteful guitar from Luther Tucker, from the same year we listen to Muddy Live on "Wee Baby Blues" featuring Buddy Guy recorded at a WPOA live radio broadcast emceed by local Chicago disc jockey Big Bill Hill emanating from the Copacabana Club. From 1950 we spin "Evans Shuffle" (Ebony Boogie), featuring a virtuoso performance by Little Walter from just his second session in Muddy's band.

I want to also mention Howard Armstrong who we hear today on "38 Pistol Blues" playing with pals Tom Armstrong, Ted Bogan, Ikey Robinson and Yank Rachell. The track comes from the soundtrack to Louie Bluie by director Terry Zwigoff and the story that inspired this music collector to become a documentary filmmaker. The film he shot it on apparently was suffering from a lethal degradation called "vinegar syndrome," but fortunately Criterion has recently released it on DVD. At an hour long, Louie Bluie is packed with information, half about fiddle and mandolin master Howard Armstrong, and half about the history of old-time traveling bands. Zwigoff shot the film partially in Armstrong's Detroit housing project, recruiting musicians Ted Bogan, "Banjo" Ikey Robinson, and Yank Rachell in order to capture Armstrong jamming out with musicians of his ilk, and to extract the same charisma he entertained with in his 1930's and '40's heyday.

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