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Author Topic: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics  (Read 10964 times)

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Online Johnm

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Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« on: September 16, 2009, 10:20:16 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims' "Frankie's Blues" has a striking melody.  Frankie Lee accompanied himself out of E position in standard tuning for the song, and that position makes the melody readily accessible, right under the hand.  The opening line of the melody, which he plays right under his singing, sits so in the scale:
   VI-V-IV-III-I-VI-V-IV-I-III
The song's emphasis on the VI note is unusual and really pretty.  (Another melody that particularly emphasizes the VI note, just living on it, is "Mack The Knife".) 
Frankie Lee's phrasing and phrase lengths are fluid and varied in ways that seem perfectly natural and work so well.  He keeps a funky little time lick going between the vocal phrases.  Most often he sings the verses as two-line stanzas, but for two of them he switches to the more conventional three-line form.  Occasionally he hints at a IV7 chord under the opening line, but the over-all feel of the song emphasizes the melody much more than the accompanying chords, which works out much to the good.  This is a great track.

   I used to have a little woman, man, she sure was swell
   You know, what was her name, I declared it was poor Verdell

   I heard she was in Big Sandy but I'll be there 'fore long
   Why don't you stop your foolishness and bring your clothes on home?

   Goodbye everybody, little man, it's fare you well
   Goodbye everybody, little man, it's fare you well
   And eve'y time I see you, woman, I think about poor Verdell

   B'lieve I love you, babe, and I just can't help myself
   I can't get Verdell I don't want nobody else

   I got two little children, they don't favor me
   I got two little children, they don't favor me
   One looks like a Chinaman, the other 'un like a Japanese

All best,
Johnm     

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 04:30:13 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Lucy Mae Blues" at a session in Dallas on March 5, 1953, on which he was joined by Herbert Washington on drums and an unknown bass player.  Frankie Lee played the song out of dropped D tuning in D, and it surely must rank as one of the finest performances ever recorded in that tuning.  In terms of its phrasing, the song is a one-off that I will discuss in more detail in the "Vocal Phrasing--The Long and the Short of It" thread. 
Lyrically, the song combines elements of "Saturday Blues" and "Every Day of the Week".  I agree with Lindy's interpretation of the conclusion of the refrain in the Cecil Barfield Lyrics thread, that it is saying, "ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do" as opposed to, "ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy may do", though at this point, there is no way of being certain.  This is another stellar performance from Frankie Lee Sims.

   My Sunday woman brings the daily news, that Monday woman buys me stockin's and shoes
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

   My Tuesday woman totes that pocket change, that Wednesday woman wants to do the same
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

   My Thursday woman knocks upon my door, that Friday woman, boy, is gotta go
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

   My Saturday woman totes a Gatling gun, cut you if you stand, shoot you if you run
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

   SOLO

   She left one Christmas comin' back that afternoon, next time I see her, boy, it was the nineteen of June
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

   Goodbye little woman, babe, you call that gone, you may leave Frankie, baby, don't think you won't stay long
   REFRAIN:  Better not let my good gal catch you here
   Ain't no tellin' what poor little Lucy Mae do

All best,
Johnm

     

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 02:03:18 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Married Woman" at the March 5, 1953 session in Dallas that also yielded "Lucy Mae Blues".  He played the song, a rocking one-chorder, out of A position in standard tuning.  It's actually a bit of an over-simplification to describe the song as a one-chorder, for it starts that way, but before he arrives at the end of the rendition Frankie Lee inserts some IV7 and V7 chords in various passing functions, all of which work just fine.  For his first solo, Frankie Lee hits a number of notes that call to mind Garfield Akers' and Joe Callicot's playing on "Cottonfields, parts 1 & 2".  I think it's very unlikely Frankie Lee ever heard that record, more a case of the same cool possibilities of a position being remarked upon and utilized by different players.  I think there is a consciousness here of the instrumental portion of the song operating on an equal footing with the singing, for the verses alternate with solos from the beginning to the end of the rendition.
Frankie Lee utilizes two-line verses here, much as on "Frankie's Blues", though he sticks to that phrasing model more strictly on "Married Woman"

   Don't take a married woman, a-honey babe, to ever be your friend
   She will spend all your money, take the same man back again

   SOLO

   You know I started to write a letter but a telegram will make it near
   I don't get no answer, this black boy is goin' himself

   SOLO

   I give you all of my money, a-little girl, and all my time
   You messed up another man, don't want to pay poor me no mind

   SOLO

   I don't care to where you go, I don't care how long you stay
   You know good kind treatment will bring you home someday

   OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
      
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 01:35:59 PM by Johnm »

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 08:47:44 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Cryin' Won't Help You" at his Dallas session on February 5, 1954, immediately after "Frankie's Blues".  He played "Cryin' Won't Help You" out of A position in standard tuning, and it is a funky medium tempo groover with a very catchy signature lick.  This performance would be relatively easy to figure out by ear.
He was such a great singer.  He is absolutely not stagey or dramatic in his singing, and perhaps because of that is utterly believable; it wouldn't occur to you to question what he's saying.  That believability makes verses like the next-to-last one all the more sobering.

   SOLO

   Tell me, little woman, who been tellin' you?
   Tell me, little woman, who been tellin' you?
   Tellin' you, baby, ev'y little thing I do

   SOLO

   Don't need to be jealous, it ain't no need of that
   Don't need to be jealous, it ain't no need of that
   'Cause if your woman love you she comin' where you're at

   You know, cryin' won't help you and cryin' ain't gonna help you none
   Says, your cryin' ain't gonna help you, it ain't gonna help you none
   When I find you, little woman, and shoot you with my .41

   SOLO

   So, listen now, baby, I've stood all in the world I could
   Says, so listen, little baby, I stood all in the world I could
   You know it's all your fault, you're not doin' the little things you should

   SOLO

All best,
Johnm 

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 10:05:53 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Don't Take It Out On Me" at his March 5, 1953 session in Dallas that also yielded "Lucy Mae Blues" and "Married Woman".  Played out of A position in standard tuning, "Don't Take It Out On Me" is a medium tempo shuffle, a little more uptown-sounding than most of Frankie Lee's material at first listening.  Closer listening to the solo sections and Frankie's singing of the last two verses places the sound more squarely in the Country Blues camp, for Frankie Lee's solos are essentially one-chord vamps rather than playing the form and his vocal phrasing is irregular and short, though perfectly natural sounding.  I'm not sure I have the bent bracketed portion of the lyric in the final verse right.  I take it to mean, "The times when I wasn't having to call you on your misbehavior, I declare you sure was swell.".  I'd welcome fresh sets of ears and other interpretations.

   Every good-bye ain't gone, every shut-eye sure ain't sleep
   Every good-bye ain't gone, every shut-eye sure ain't sleep
   If you're mad at someone else, baby, don't take it out on me

   I'm your boyfriend, baby, and not your mother dear
   I'm your boyfriend, baby, and not your mother dear
   I'm talkin' about the woman, baby, that really brought you here

   SOLO

   So listen, little woman, baby, here is my right hand
   So listen, little woman, baby, here is my right hand
   I can go ahead on now, baby, make out a life the best I can

   SOLO

   So listen, little woman, good-bye and it's fare you well
   So listen, little woman, good-bye and it's fare you well
   The time I [wasn't on] you, baby, I declare you sure was swell

All best,
Johnm

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 10:17:49 AM »
John, I also hear "wasn't on" in the last phrase.

Dave

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 11:23:53 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Married Woman" at the March 5, 1953 session in Dallas that also yielded "Lucy Mae Blues". 
A quick rewind here. I'm sure that the booklet notes must mention this but "Married Woman" along with a further 11 titles were never released at the time. In fact FLS only enjoyed three 78 releases (459, 478 and 487) so it makes one wonder just what Specialty/the record buying public were hoping from him. It apparently wasn't what he was producing since most were eventually released on LP in the mid 70s and missing items in the 90s on a CD.

Apologies for waffling on at a tangent and hijacking your transcription thread.

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 12:16:00 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks for the listen, Dave.  I wasn't sure if it was "wasn't on" or "wasn't knowing", but leaned towards the first choice.  I'm glad you hear it the same way.
No apology is necessary, Bunker Hill. that kind of information is always welcome, and Neil Slaven's notes to the JSP set corroborate your information, for he says, "One single was issued from each session. . . .", speaking of Frankie Lee's March '53 and February '54 sessions.  Good catch!
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 09:30:29 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "I Done Talked and I Done Talked" at his great session in Dallas on February 5, 1954.  He accompanies the song out of E in standard tuning, and it begins with a very swampy, low-down groove, only grudgingly moving forward.  His vocal here is perfectly amazing, some of the greatest blues singing I have ever heard.  He does a complex swooping melodic line on the words that are written out in an elongated fashion that I'm sure would resist any attempts at notation.  The front end of the rendition is particularly interesting, because it is virtually formless.  It sounds very ruminative, as though you are hearing an interior monologue as it moves around, free-associating. Kudos to the bass and drummer for keeping the song going.  As is most often the case with Country Blues, the song accelerates over the course of the rendition and the form becomes more regular.  Even when you know it is coming, the next-to-last verse is a shocker.  Like some of Skip James' songs, this rendition flies in the face of the idea of Blues as necessarily an entertaining dance music.  This is DOWN.

   I done talked and I done talked, seem like my talk d--o--n--'--t do no good
   Let her go, may God bless her, she don't even know, no need of me carin',
   Oh yes, you'll need m---y help someday
   Well, it could be tomorrow, baby, I could be s----o far away

   Don't try to jive me, woman, you know, you didn't m--e--a--n me no good
   Don't try to jive me, woman, you know, you d--o--n--'--t mean me no good
   'Cause I'll cut your head, baby, just like it w--a--s a stick of wood

   But if I lose my life, little girl, o--n account of you
   If I lose my life, little girl, o--n account of you
   Send my soul on to the devil, you know my love was true

   SOLO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:28:27 AM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 03:24:49 AM »
The swooping vocals on this song certainly defy any kind of written description, don't they? Vocal risk taking par excellence - and one of my favourite FLS songs.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 05:26:57 AM »
Well I had to hear this so I checked out my CDs. I only have two songs by Frankie Lee Sims from the JSP set Jook Joint Blues - That's What They Want. Must get the JSP Texas Blues set.

I guess Frankie Lee deserves a mention in the 1950s electric blues topic also.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 05:34:42 AM by Rivers »

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 04:54:45 PM »
You are right, Prof. Scratchy, that singing defies description.  The best you can hope is that you'll convince people who have not heard it to seek it out and give it a listen. 
Your point is well taken, Rivers--Frankie Lee definitely belongs in the '50s electric blues thread.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 05:20:51 PM »
Quote
The best you can hope is that you'll convince people who have not heard it to seek it out and give it a listen. 

Or that you'll make people who have heard the song go back, listen closely, and really appreciate it.  I have all the songs you've mentioned so far on the Specialty CD, and have counted myself a Frankie Lee Sims fan, but the current thread has made me appreciate Sims and what he does much more than before.  Thanks, John.

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2009, 05:51:57 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Well Goodbye Baby" at the last session represented on the JSP set, from Jackson, Mississippi in 1957.  He was working with a bigger band here, consisting of piano, bass, drums and tenor sax in addition to Frankie Lee's electric guitar and vocals, and it was a really strong-sounding ensemble.
This is a tremendously exciting track which has an additional bonus of being a one-off in the formal sense, employing different forms for the solos and verses.  Frankie Lee plays it out of G in standard tuning, with a recurring signature lick that the saxophone joins him for in unison.  The solos almost conform to a regular 12--bar structure, like so, with each measure in 4/4:

   |    I    |    I    |    I    |    I    |

   |   IV   |   IV   |    I    |

   |   V7   |   IV   |    I    |  I/V7   |

The pianist always sounds surprised by the early move to the V7 chord at the end of the second phrase.
The sung verses employ an altogether different form and use it consistently throughout the course of the rendition.  It works beautifully, and you might not notice how unusual it is without careful listening and counting, it sounds so natural.  It works like so, with all measures of 4 beats except where indicated:

   |    I    |    I    |    I    |

   |  IV (6 beat measure)|    I    |    I    |

   |   V7   |   IV   |    I    |  I/V7  |

So it is that you end up with a 10-bar structure which includes a bar of 6/4 over the IV chord, opening the second phrase.  The ensemble sound, Frankie Lee's singing and playing all sound super-exciting.  Frankie Lee's vocal is terrific, as usual.  I love the tag line on the fourth verse.  I'd be much more inclined to listen to modern amplified blues if it sounded more like this.  The song ends with a fade, something not encountered all that much in songs of the era in which it was recorded.

   SOLO

   I'm down now, baby, I'm down now, baby, won't be down always
   Then I won't have to put up with your evil ways
   But someday, baby, you ain't gonna worry my life anymore

   So goodbye, baby, so goodbye, baby, goodbye, baby
   I'm leavin' you and my troubles behind
   Well I'm tired of bein' worried, little girl, bothered all the time

   I ain't got nobody, I ain't got nobody, I ain't got nobody
   Got nobody, little girl, to teach me right from wrong
   Well, I know you don't want me, little girl, you just go ahead on

   SOLO

   I'm leavin' you baby, I'm leavin' you, baby, I'm leavin' you, baby
   Leavin' you, baby, ain't comin' back here no more
   How can you fly so high, little girl, and live so low?

   So goodbye, baby, goodbye, baby, goodbye, baby
   Goodbye, baby, I'm leavin' by myself
   Well, I know you don't want me, I guess I'll get me someone else

   SOLO

   I told you, baby, I told you, baby, I told you, baby
   Told you, baby, great long time ago
   Well, you a no-good little woman, babe, and I have to let you go

   SOLO, fade

All best,
Johnm


   

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 10:18:21 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Long Gone" at a session in Dallas on May 14, 1953, accompanied by bass and drums.  He plays the song out of E position in standard tuning.  It's a lively, up-tempo song with a pronounced pre-blues feel, and this despite the fairly modern instrumental sound.  I could easily hear this song appearing on the George Mitchell Collection sung unaccompanied, or by a chain gang group, or by an Old-Time banjo player.  The verses are all floating verses and there is not any narrative flow, a quality that also would seem to emphasize it's folk roots.  I believe the lyrics to the refrain refer to the singer having made a prison break at night.  This is a tremendously infectious number that would work well in a variety of treatments.

   REFRAIN:  But now, you know I'm long, long gone
   A-like a turkey through the corn
   A-with my long drawers on

   Oh Rattler, Rattler is a water dog
   He can swim Big Brazos and walk it foot log

   REFRAIN:  But now you know I'm long gone (guitar finishes refrain)

   I ain't got nobody, no worrisome kin
   Nobody but myself to be bothered with

   REFRAIN:  But now, you know I'm long (guitar finishes refrain)

   SOLO

   If you knowed you couldn't make it, you oughta stayed at home
   Picked up chips for your grandma down on your grandpa's farm

   REFRAIN:  But now, you know I'm long, long gone
   A-like a turkey through the corn
   A-with my long drawers on

   SOLO

   Boy, look-a look-a yonder, what do I see?
   Lord, good kind captain, you know he comin' up to me

   REFRAIN:  But now, you know I'm long, long gone
   A-like a turkey through the corn
   A-with my long drawers on

   OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
   

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 11:17:54 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "I'll Get Along Somehow" at his session in Dallas on February 5, 1954.  The song is played out of E position in standard tuning, pitched at F, and is an 8-bar chorus blues in the mold of Big Maceo's "Worried Life Blues", but with an interesting wrinkle--Frankie Lee goes long in the sixth bar with a measure of 6/4 that he employs consistently throughout the course of the rendition.  The progression works so:

   |    E    |    E7   |    A7    |    A7    |

   |    E    |6/4  B7  |    E     |   E / B7  |

For his solo, Frankie develops an idea that is really pretty and works beautifully over the first three bars of the progression.  He starts out playing the seventh fret of the first string and ninth fret of the second string over the E chord, with the voices of the E chord being the fifth on the first string and third on the second string.  In the second bar he moves the position down two frets intact, so that relative to the E7 chord he is now playing a suspended fourth on the first string and a ninth on the second string.  In the third bar, when the chord switches to A7, he moves the position down two frets further, and the notes relative to the A7 chord are the seventh on the first string and fifth on the second string.  It is a really elegant set of moves, and sounds terrific.  When he makes the first two-fret downward descent with the shape you think, "Oh, that's nice", and when he does it again, it's like tumblers clicking in a lock, everything is in place so neatly.  The idea is easily transferrable to other keys and positions.  It makes so much sense and I've never heard it down before.  Hats off!

   You told me, baby, once upon a time
   If I'll be yours, baby, you would sure be mine
   REFRAIN:  But now it don't matter, whatever happen
   I can get along somehow

   Can't rest in the daytime, couldn't sleep at night
   Tryin' to eat my breakfast, I lose my appetite
   REFRAIN:  But now it don't matter, whatever happen
   I can get along somehow

   Jumped up and quit me without a cause
   You'll need me, baby, before the roll is called
   REFRAIN:  But now it don't matter, whatever happen
   I can get along somehow

   So goodbye, baby, it's fare you well
   The way I love you, you will never tell
   REFRAIN:  But now it don't matter, whatever happen
   I can get along somehow

   SOLO

   I did everything, babe, get along with you
   You wasn't doin' nothin' but breakin' my heart in two
   REFRAIN:  'Cause now it don't matter, whatever happen
   I can get along somehow

All best,
Johnm
     

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2009, 06:41:47 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Raggedy and Dirty" at a session in Dallas on May 14, 1953. He was joined by an almost inaudible bass and a drummer for the song, which he played out of A position in standard tuning.  His accompaniment style is more modern-sounding here, almost all single string fills with heavily accented chordal strums.  
In his solo, he relies heavily on pentatonic runs, and they provide a sort of "huh?" moment for the listener.  It took me a little while to figure out what was giving his playing such an unusual sound until I figured out that he was using the notes of a D pentatonic blues scale rather than an A one, running from C down to A an octave and a third lower.  The A and D pentatonic blues scales differ from each other by only one note.  They have D, C, G and A in common, but the D scale has F and the A scale has E; only one note difference, and those notes differing by only a half-step.  You wouldn't think it would make such a difference in the sound but it does.  Frankie Lee, after very strongly setting up the A tonality plays this run a couple of times in his solo:  first string--8th to 5th fret, second string--8th to 6th fret, third string--7th to 5th fret, and ending on the fourth string--7th fret.  That 6th fret of the second string is the odd man out, and it really does sound odd in the context, not wrong necessarily, but surprising. Try it out and I think you'll hear what I mean.

   I'm ragged and I'm dirty, dirty, baby, broke and I ain't got a dime
   I'm ragged and dirty, baby, broke and I ain't got a dime
   I like for my heavy loved one to love me, to love me all the time

   SOLO

   Let me come in, pretty mama, set down in the middle of your floor
   Let me come in, pretty mama, set down in the middle of your floor
   I can leave so early in the mornin', your main man won't never know

   But if you ever go to New Orlean, please drop down there, dancin' hall
   Yes, you go to New Orleans, baby, please drop by that dancin' hall
   You don't find him down on Rampart, come on up to the City Hall

All best,
Johnm
    
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:18:30 AM by Johnm »

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2009, 08:40:15 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims' "I'm So Glad", dating from his May 14, 1953 session in Dallas, bears no musical resemblance to Skip James' song of the same title.  Frankie Lee's song is a medium tempo shuffle that he accompanies in E in standard tuning.  The performance is sort of simultaneously not anything out of the ordinary and excellent, simply by virtue of Frankie Lee's singing.  He accords practically equal space to solos and sung verses. 
He opens his final solo with an oft-quoted passage from Lonnie Johnson's accompaniment to Texas Alexander's "Levee Camp Moan".  Buddy Moss quoted the same passage in the intro to his song "Someday Baby".  Lonnie Johnson's playing was so influential--and it is just about as common to hear his licks produced in keys/positions other than the key he played them in as it is to hear his licks played in his key of choice.  This is most unusual, in that copped licks are generally reproduced in the key in which they were originally played.  It says something about the quality and sound of Lonnie Johnson's ideas that people would want to reproduce them wherever and however they could.

   SOLO

   Well, I'm so glad that trouble don't last always
   Yes, I'm so glad, baby, that trouble don't last always
   'Cause if it had-a been, little baby, it'd done carried me to my grave

   SOLO

   Well, ev'ybody laugh in your face, man, don't take them to be your friend
   Ev'ybody laugh in your face, now man, don't take them to be your friend
   Well, they'll dig a grave for you in the mornin', I'm so glad, ain't gon' try to shove you in

   SOLO

   Well, I'm down now, baby, but I'll be up on my feets again
   Yes, I'm down now, baby, but I'll be up on my feets again
   I will remember my enemies, baby, and my intended friend

All best,
Johnm 

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2009, 01:37:18 PM »
Hi all,
"Walking With Frankie" dates from Frankie Lee Sims' session in Jackson, Mississippi in 1957, for which he was joined by a bigger ensemble than was usual for him, with tenor sax, piano, bass and drums.  The song is a terrifically exciting one-chord riff number (except for a lone hold-out's occasional IV chords--it's either the piano or the bass, because Frankie Lee, the sax player and the drummer are all definitely on the same page).  In the Country Blues canon, the song that "Walking With Frankie" most closely resembles, in terms of it's phrasing and feel for time is Peg Leg Howell's "Please, Ma'am", a real oddity that seemed old at the time it was recorded, in 1928.  The way the two songs keep a consistent, almost droning sort of phrase length going throughout creates a trance-like state in the listener and, I suspect, the players themselves.  You can compare the scansion of the two songs by going to the Peg Leg Howell Lyrics thread at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=437.msg9944#msg9944.

   Well, now and I walked and walked
   I walked my fool self down
   I's lookin' for my woman
   You know she can't be found
   But, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   But you love me
   A-like I do you
   A-let us a-get together
   And be as two
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said Lawd, oh Lawd
   I got the mighty oh Lawd

   SOLO

   Well, if I cook your breakfast
   A-bring it to your bed
   Don't let your friends and relations
   Let that swell your head
   Because I'm all alone
   A-don't you do me no wrong
   I mean, from now on
   I said, Lawd, Lawd
   I said, Lawd, Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I got the mighty oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, Lawd
   I said, Lawd, Lawd
   I says, jump with me, baby
   A-rock with me, baby
   Because you're drivin' me crazy
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I got the mighty oh Lawd

   SOLO

   I wanta be your dad'
   You know it won't be long
   I'm gonna find me a woman
   That I can call my own
   And I'm a-walkin' and walkin'
   I keep a-walkin' and walkin'
   I gone up and come down
   I been lookin' for a woman
   And she can't be found
   I said, Lawd, Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I said, Lawd, oh Lawd
   I got the mighty oh Lawd

   SOLO
   
   A-goodbye, goodbye
   Babe, I'm 'bout to go
   But I'd a-hope and pray
   We don't meet no more

   FADE

All best,
Johnm
   

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2009, 08:33:34 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "She Likes To Boogie Real Low" at the same session in Jackson in 1957 that yielded "Walkin with Frankie".  "She Likes To Boogie Real Low" is another infectious rocker, really great dance music.  The words don't necessarily make a lot of sense and it makes not one iota of difference to the song's effectiveness and appeal.   
Formally, the song works some unusual territory.  It holds a I chord for the verses, and for the refrain, in which the guitar and sax complete the vocal line instrumentally, it moves to the IV chord.  It never goes to a V chord, and the band's ability to swing hard throughout is impressive, because the timing is irregular, with the line, "But she could boogie real low, and-a" accorded a six-beat measure.  The band does not straighten out the form for the solo, either.  Drummer Jimmy Mullen does a terrific job here, and throughout the session.
Frankie Lee adopts some mannerisms of inserting strategic "a" or "ha" sounds, pronounced "uh" and "huh" on these rocking numbers, and these syllables really make the phrasing pop and come alive.  This would be a great song to play if you were throwing a party and wanted to get people up dancing.

   I went to a party, but all we did was rock
   Oh, what a party!  She really blowed her top
   REFRAIN:  But she can ----------------------
   But she could boogie real low, and-a ------------------

   I's takin' my baby, by to the picture show
   But my baby don't wanta go there no more
   REFRAIN:  She couldn't ----------------------
   But she could boogie real low, and-a ------------------

   SOLO

   So tell-ha me, baby, what are you gonna do?
   But I love her, because she's nice and true
   REFRAIN:  And yeah, and ----------------------
   'Cause she can boogie real low, and-a -----------------

   But I love how my baby, I love her for myself
   Bye bye, baby, I mean for no one else
   REFRAIN:  'Cause she can ------------------
   'Cause she can boogie real low, and-a -----------------
   'Cause she can boogie real low, and-a -----------------
   She like to boogie real low, and-a --------------------

   FADE

All best,
Johnm

   

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2009, 08:22:33 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee's "Misery Blues" dates from a 1957 session in Jackson, Mississippi for which he was backed by piano and drums.  The tune, a medium-tempo shuffle, finds Frankie Lee playing in a more modern, perhaps T-Bone Walker-influenced single-string style.  His guitar is sort of strategically out of tune--it's out, but still sounds great, just a bit of an edge.  
Frankie Lee tends to go long with his instrumental responses behind his singing and then goes considerably short for his solo, like so:

    |    I    |    I    |    I-6 beats  |

    |   IV    |   IV   |   I-6 beats   |

    |  V-2 beats |  IV    |    I    |   I/V    |

It's tremendous the extent to which his alteration of phrase length in the moment does not result in any bumpiness for the ensemble.  As a unit, they just go ahead on.
I take "City Water" to refer to a utility, since if the line refers simply to turning a water faucet on or off there is no reason to say "city" water specifically.  You can do that with any faucet, right?

   I don't want no woman, oh man, boys, that don't want me
   I don't want no woman, oh boys, that don't want me
   'Cause if I should get that woman, I have nothin' but misery

   You don't want my lovin', little girl, you just go ahead on
   You don't want my lovin', little girl, you just go ahead on
   'Cause where it ain't no love, little girl, there'll never be no gettin' along

   Your love is like the city water, you can turn it off and on
   Your love is like the city water, you can turn it off and on
   You got friendly when I got plenty of money, but no love when my money gone

   SOLO

   You treat me like a child, on my big-foot way to school
   You treat me like a child, on my big-foot way to school
   But you must remember, little woman, everybody on earth's somebody's fool

Edited 11/6 to pick up correction from John D.

All best,
Johnm
  
    
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 08:39:52 AM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2009, 08:33:47 AM »
Quote
I take "City Water" to refer to a utility, since if the line refers simply to turning a water faucet on or off there is no reason to say "city" water specifically.  You can do that with any faucet, right?

I think it's a bit of cynicism, the implication is that her love is easily turned off and on (depending on cash supply).  "Country water" takes some effort - you have to go out to the well, pump it and carry it back in.

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2009, 08:38:29 AM »
That makes sense, John D., the ease with which a tap is turned off.  I'll un-capitalize City Water.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2009, 08:39:26 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Hey Little Girl" at the Jackson session of 1957 with the big band, including piano, bass, drums and tenor sax.  The song is another rocker, opening with the piano walking a boogie bass, eight to the bar, a feel that is maintained throughout the performance.  Each of the sung lines is answered by a unison response riff, played by the guitar and sax.  It's not hard to figure out why this style of music was popular (and still is, when a band can do it really well).  The opening verse is more often sung by woman singers, from a woman's perspective, "He may be your man, but he come to see me sometimes."  I'd love to hear a solo version of this tune pulled off.

   She may be your woman, but she come to see me sometimes
   Yeah!  She may-hay be your woman but she come to see me sometimes
   You better watch yourself, 'cause I'm liable to make her change her mind

   But don't get mad at me, I ain't gon' get mad at you
   But don't get mad at me, I ain't gon' get mad at you
   Because I can not do more than the woman let me do

   But hey, hey, little girl, a-hey, hey, little girl
   Hey! little girl, a-hey, hey, little girl
   A-hey, hey, little girl, she's all right with me

   SAX SOLO X 2

   You know, you better settle down, make some man a good wife
   Yeah, you better settle down, make some man a good wife
   And you can be a goodly woman, I declare it, the rest of your life

   I said, I love my baby, man, indeed I do
   Yes, I love my baby, man, indeed I do
   But all I want you to tell me, to let your heart be true

   GUITAR SOLO

All best,
Johnm 

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2009, 01:21:14 PM »
Hi all,
"My Talk Didn't Do No Good" dates from one of Frankie Lee Sims' 1957 sessions in Jackson, Mississippi.  It is a song that especially features the lyrics and doesn't accord nearly as much solo space as most of the other songs from those sessions did.  "My Talk Didn't Do No Good" is a chorus blues, and Frankie Lee begins the second and third verses with 8-bar lyric breaks.  In the portion of the verses prior to the chorus, Frankie Lee often omits either subjects or verbs to his statements, but the meaning still comes through clearly, and the phrasing is more rhythmically punchy than it would have been had he squeezed in more words.  I'm missing a word in the second verse and would appreciate some help.  The word in the bent brackets is nonsense, but sounds the closest to what he is saying, as far as I can hear it.

   Well, I done talked and I talked, talk didn't do no good
   This is all your fault from doin' the things you should
   REFRAIN:  But if I lose my life, little girl, on the account of you
   Send my soul to the devil, 'cause you know my lovin's true

   Well, I can stand right here, look in my baby's door
   Where she used to live, don't live there no more
   I know you don't want me, tell by the way you do
   Soon as I'm turned, I'm [folder] to you
   REFRAIN:  But if I lose my life, little girl, on the account of you
   Send my soul to the devil, 'cause you know my love is true

   You know, summertime, little girl, babe, is almost here
   Sayin', "I love you", you don't feel my care
   But I'm tellin' you, baby, tellin' you to your face
   If you don't need me, on your merry way
   REFRAIN:  But if I lose my life, little girl, on the account of you
   Send my soul to the devil, 'cause you know my love is true

   Well, I love my little woman, love her for myself
   Know by that, don't want her with no one else
   REFRAIN:  But if I lose my life, little girl, on the account of you
   Send my soul to the devil, 'cause you know my love is true

   SOLO

Al best,
Johnm

   

   
   

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2009, 05:28:17 PM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Walking Boogie" on May 14, 1953, at a Dallas session that included bass, drums and a pianist.  The song is built around a call-and-response riff between the guitar and the piano, and while it would be over-stating things to describe the song as a shambles, it could fairly be termed a bit of a mess.  Between Frankie Lee's variably short phrasing and the pianist's determination to go to a IV chord in the fifth bar in a song that has no IV chord there, the ensemble situation is somewhat dire. The ending of the song is as ungainly as everything that preceded it--Frankie Lee tries to end the song three times before it finally grinds to a halt.  All this having been said, "Walking Boogie" still has some character and content, and a mess with content and character beats a pristine take that is a contentless vacuum any day, in my book.

   INTRO

   You know, I may look crazy but I ain't nobody's fool
   I may look crazy but I ain't nobody's fool
   I ain't no donkey and I sure ain't gonna be your mule

   SOLO

   You know, a horse is for the rider, a mule was made for the plow
   Yes, a horse was for the rider, a mule was made for the plow
   I wanta get me a job, but, baby, I don't know how

   SOLO

   I like the life I'm a-livin' and the one that I like
   Yeah, like the life that I'm a-livin' and the one that I'm crazy like
   I never had an old woman that I couldn't bring her back

   SOLO X 2

All best,
Johnm  
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:24:02 AM by Johnm »

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2009, 05:00:54 PM »
Hi all,
"Yeh, Baby!" dates from Frankie Lee Sims' May 14, 1953 session in Dallas, and it features his pared-back guitar/bass/drums trio sound.  It's an exciting shuffle, and Frankie Lee's rhythm chordal shots on the electric guitar are a treat to hear.  There's lots of great singing as per usual with Frankie Lee.  I take the meaning of the opening line of the last verse to be, "Yes, baby, yes, [what have] you got on your mind?".  The tag line of the last verse is an awkward usage (assuming I have it transcribed correctly), but I think Frankie Lee is saying, "I gave you my money and you let your kid go without."  I'd be interested in other interpretations.

   I'm gon' leave here walkin', talkin' to myself
   Yeaaaah, leave here walkin', talkin' to myself
   Yes, I'm tired of walkin' along, you is walkin' with someone else

   You can't be mine, live on the way you do
   Yeah, you can't be mine, baby, live on the way you do
   Yes I'm walkin' along, baby, baby, tryin' to forget about you

   SOLO

   Goodbye, goodbye, doin' all in the world I could
   Yes, goodbye, baby, did all in the world I could
   Yes, I've searched the whole world 'round, walkin' over my neighborhood

   SOLO

   Yes, baby, yes, you got on your mind?
   Yes, baby, you got on your mind?
   I used to give you my money, let your son didn't have a dime

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 06:56:25 PM by Johnm »

Offline playon

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2009, 05:38:03 PM »
Quote
I take "City Water" to refer to a utility, since if the line refers simply to turning a water faucet on or off there is no reason to say "city" water specifically.  You can do that with any faucet, right?

I think it's a bit of cynicism, the implication is that her love is easily turned off and on (depending on cash supply).  "Country water" takes some effort - you have to go out to the well, pump it and carry it back in.

Yep out in the country of Lousiana even in the 1950s people often still had to pump water from a well... only 'city water" could be turned off & on so easily.

Frankie Lee Sims is one of my favorite post-war blues guys. Personally I'm more partial to his later sides recorded in Jackson for Ace records than the Specialty stuff.  On his earlier stuff he sounds more like his cousin Lightning Hopkins, where as he sounds more individual on this later music, at least to my ears.

"She Likes To Boogie Real Low" is a Frankie's version of a song that Louis Jordan did.  Sims omits the bridge and lets the guitar answer the vocal instead of singing the lines.

BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE
(Robinson)

Recorded by : Mary Coughlan; Jellyroll; Jive At Five;
Louis Jordan; Magic Sam; Taj Mahal; Jim Mesi; Texana Dames.

They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low
They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low

1
I went to a party, was nothin’ there but bobby socks
Went to a party, man you oughta seen ‘em to reel and rock
They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low
They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low

2
I started rockin’, man I threw my left foot out.
I started swingin’, somebody begin to shout
You got to Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low
You got to Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low

3 (bridge)
The girls boys, they made so much noise
They even had a raid
But when the police got there all they could find
Was ice cream and lemonade

4
Oh what a party
I'm so glad I didn't stay at home
Oh what a party
They didn't treat me like I was a chaperone
They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low
They did the Boogie real slow with the blue lights way down low

repeat 2

5 (bridge 2)
The Women had they're heads laid on their fellas' shoulders
Who were boogie-woogeyin’ and squeezin’ em up in the room
I couldn't see how they was dancin
Cuz their feet, they didn't move

Another note, I have all of Frankie Lee Sims 45s on Ace but on a recent CD reissue I was surprised & excited to hear a longer, unedited version of "Walking With Frankie"... it's at least a minute longer, apparently the song was kind of an impromptu jam and the producer edited it down to fit the 45 and to be a suitable length for radio play.

One thing I notice that is Sims trademark of sorts, is his unusual timing in going to the IV chord (as well as some unique guitar lines).

BTW, Hi John!

-- Al Kaatz
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 07:10:19 PM by playon »

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2009, 06:34:19 PM »
Hi Al,
Nice to see you here!  It sounds like you have a bunch of Frankie Lee that I don't have.  Bring it on--the more the merrier!  I agree, Frankie Lee is often quick to the IV chord, and he especially tends to phrase everything short behind his solos; his lengths are usually more regular behind his singing, though he was never what you'd call a "12-bars-and-4-beats-to-each-bar" kind of musician, and all the more interesting and individual sounding for that.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2009, 07:14:57 PM »
Hi John, Well I just have all the stuff that he did that came out on Ace, about 10 cuts, plus this CD that I just got two days ago, which adds one unreleased track plus the longer version of "Walking".  All this music was recorded in Jackson MS in the late 50s as per your posts, and was released on Ace at that time, the LA stuff was for Specialty.

Kind of funny that I was thinking about this guy a lot recently and then saw all this stuff you posted about him.  The liner notes of the CD mention a 1969 interview with him where he says that they were just messing around when they cut "Walking". but that it was the biggest seller he ever had and one of the only records that ever made him any money.  He died in 1970.  According to the notes, he was a schoolteacher for awhile (kind of hard for me to imagine) before going back into music.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 11:31:41 PM by playon »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 02:02:46 AM »
"She Likes To Boogie Real Low" is a Frankie's version of a song that Louis Jordan did.  Sims omits the bridge and lets the guitar answer the vocal instead of singing the lines.
BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE
(Robinson)
I'm of on a tagent as usual, Magic Sam also did a version of Blue Light Boogei in 1961. The talented Jessie Mae Robinson wrote the song and many other well known R&B hits too. She died in 1966 aged 47. In the 80s Juke Blues magazine devoted most of an issue to her life and achievements.

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2009, 08:04:14 AM »
You can hear Magic Sam's version (entire thing) on http://lala.com  - similar to Louie Jordan's version.  It's a great song and Frankie Sims does a credible job of it given he has no horns or piano (I think no piano). 

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2009, 09:51:09 AM »
Hi all,
Frankie Lee Sims recorded "Rhumba My Boogie" at his February 5, 1954 session in Dallas, accompanied by piano, bass and drums, in addition to his own guitar.  Though this track has had some uncharitable reviews elsewhere, it is dangerously catchy, and the drummer, in particular, really shines.  Despite the title, Frankie Lee clearly says "rumble".

   You know, it's south of the border, down Mexico way
   There was a picture for Spanish lace
   I had no dinerda for my mujerda
   But-a my sensarita esta huendo for me

   But amigo catch-a loco he's drinkin' too much vino
   South of the border down on Mexico

   SOLO

   I tell you I love you, sensarita, I'll tell you
   South of that border, down on Mexico way
   We'll do the rumble boogie, a-to the break of day
   Tell me south of the border, down Mexico way

   SOLO

   I love my baby, she don't like-a me
   But you leave me, sensarita, you just wait and see

All best,
Johnm 

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Re: Frankie Lee Sims Lyrics
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2009, 12:46:41 PM »
Hi all,
Frakie Lee Sims recorded "No Good Woman" (which should have been titled "No-Good Woman") at his May 14, 1953 session in Dallas.  He was joined by a harmonica player for this cut who didn't add a lot to Frankie Lee's sound.  The ensemble has a looser than usual sound on this number, and not in a way that benefits the music.  Frankie Lee delivers a very strong vocal, as usual.

   Well, goodbye ol' no-good woman, you don't mean one man no good
   Yeah, goodbye ol' no-good woman, you don't mean one man no good
   Yeah, but it all your fault, baby, not doin' the things you should

   SOLO

   I don't want no woman that want every man she sees
   Yeah, I don't want no woman that want every man she sees
   Man, get a woman like that, buddy, she don't want me

   Get you a nickel and a dime in the morning, you won't even wash and iron
   Give you a nickel a dime in the morning, she won't even wash and iron
   She don't want to do nothin', stay in the street, boy, all the time

All best,
Johnm

 


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