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

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Offline 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
     

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 

Offline 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
   

Offline 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

   

Offline 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.

Offline Johnm

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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

Offline 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 

Offline 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

   

   
   

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »

Offline Johnm

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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

Offline playon

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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 »

 


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