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Author Topic: Alec Johnson Lyrics  (Read 4831 times)

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Offline LB

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Alec Johnson Lyrics
« on: April 06, 2006, 08:49:38 PM »
Hi anyone know these few missing lines in the last two verses. I am having trouble with them. See the question marks for the two lines I am missing. Thanks...LB


======================================
Sundown Blues – Alec Johnson Atlanta Ga 1920/30s

I hate to see the evening sun go down
That’s the time by baby left this down
I get the blues when the evening sun goes down

She was the meanest gal for miles around
She made me love her then she called me down
I get the blues when the evening sun goes down

Hmmm Hmmm

Now everybody scorns me with a frown
Since my baby left me broke in town
I sigh and cry when the evening son goes down

Instrumental break

My friends are skating they cannot be found
Cause my gal she quit and left this town
Oh how I grieve when the evening sun goes down

??????                                                     <<<-------------------- BEGIN MP3 SAMPLE BELOW
They aching bout the gal who left this town
 How I despair when the evening sun go down

Hmm hmm

When shadow spread that dreary dew around
From a far I hear a ?????? sound
My soul just weep when the evening sun go down
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 11:34:17 AM by Johnm »

Offline LB

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 08:54:52 PM »
adding MP3 sample of the two last verses....

PLAY MP3

Online Johnm

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 11:04:14 PM »
Hi Little Brother,
Here's what I hear on "Sundown Blues".

   I hate to see the evening sun go down
   That's the time my baby left this town
   I get the blues when the evening sun goes down

   She was the meanest gal for miles around
   Made me love her then she called me down
   I feel so sad when the evening sun goes down

   Mmmmmmm

   Now everybody's scorned me, with a frown
   Since my baby left me broke in town
   I sigh and cry when the evening sun goes down

   My friends are scarce and they can not be found
   'Cause my gal she quit and left this town
   Oh, how I grieve when the evening sun goes down

   Straight for the madhouse I'm surely bound
   Thinkin' 'bout the gal who left this town
   How I despair when the evening sun goes down

   Mmmmmmmmmm

   When shadows spread that dreary hue around
   From afar I hear a doleful sound
   My soul just weeps when the evening sun goes down

It's nice the way he varies the tag line at the end of each verse.  These lyrics are very unusual; the last verse sounds like Alec Johnson had been reading Victorian poetry.  I never noticed before how unusual the phrasing is on this song.  It works out like so--measures are four beats unless otherwise indicated:

When shadows spread that dreary hue around,      
        |              I                      |          I           |
        From afar I hear a doleful sound, my soul just
        |              I          |             I-4 + 2 beats    |
        Weeps when the evening sun goes  down
        |                         IV-4 +I-2 beats |         I        |         I          |

I suppose you could say the song has the same number of beats as a conventional 8-bar blues, but he doesn't phrase it that way.  He's very consistent, 7 bars with the fourth and fifth bars each long by two beats.  He never hits a V chord either.  This song is a real one-of-a-kind one.  The melody to the first two lines is an awful lot like Charlie Lincoln's "Jealous Hearted Blues".  I wonder what the flip side to this song was like?

Edited, 12/30/10 to pick up correction from uncle bud
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 10:18:41 PM by Johnm »

Offline LB

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 06:57:03 AM »
John,

Your mind is a national blues treasure trove. Thank you sir!

LB

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 08:26:31 AM »
The flip side to Sundown Blues is Miss Meal Cramp.  In my opinion, EVERY Alec Johnson recording is one-of-a-kind.  The guitarist here, and on all his recordings, is Joe McCoy, and on most of them (including Miss Meal Cramp) he's joined by Charlie McCoy on mandolin and Bo Carter on violin! (and an unidentified pianist)  Truly a blues supergroup with a bizarre twist, these country blues masters playing very comfortably behind this vaudevillian singer who trills his R's and over-enunciates.  I don't think I've ever heard recordings like these.  I particularly like Joe McCoy's playing on "Next Week Sometime" and the full band's creepy accompaniment to "Mysterious Coon."  Beautiful stuff.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2006, 08:33:02 AM by Montgomery »

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 08:32:26 AM »
For those who haven't heard it, here's "Mysterious Coon."

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline LB

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 08:42:11 AM »
Wow, that is fantastic Montgomery .. How cool is that! What a super treat, thanks.

Online Johnm

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 11:57:35 AM »
I will second Little Brother's thanks, Montgomery.  I actually have that set, but it hadn't registered that the singer was the same Alec Johnson who did "Sundown Blues", and I didn't know any of that information about the personnel on his recordings.  From his singing style, I thought he might be a college professor or something like that.  Vaudeville makes more sense.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 07, 2006, 02:36:41 PM by Johnm »

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 01:51:05 PM »
Okay, here's "Next Week Sometime," the other Alec Johnson with just Joe McCoy as accompaniment.  As usual, McCoy is incredibly inventive with a relatively simple progression.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline LB

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2006, 08:42:28 AM »
Fantastic stuff. Reminds me of Bo Carter's "Shes your cook but she burns my bread sometimes". I never ever get tired of this stuff. Glad I'm not alone.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2010, 07:57:49 AM »
My friends are skating they cannot be found
Cause my gal she quit and left this town
Oh how I grieve when the evening sun goes down

Just a minor correction to this verse from Sundown Blues. The first line is "My friends are SCARCE AND they cannot be found". IMO.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 08:51:30 AM »
Just a minor correction to this verse from Sundown Blues. The first line is "My friends are SCARCE AND they cannot be found". IMO.
In the 1967 booklet to RBF15 I amended Sam Charters's [skating] to "scarce" but all those decades ago hadn't obviously figured out the "and" after it.

Online Johnm

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 10:13:00 AM »
Good catch, uncle bud.  I missed that one.
all best,
Johnm

Offline Chezztone

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    • Steve Cheseborough 1920s-30s-style blues
Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 05:33:14 PM »
Not strange that Bo Carter backed Alec Johnson on record -- Alec Johnson is Carter's brother Ferdinand. Also Joe and Charlie McCoy were brothers, who played often with the Chatmons (all are from the same area). And the McCoys may have been cousins to the Chatmons. The Alec Johnson recordings were very much a family affair!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 06:09:33 PM by Chezztone »

Online Johnm

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Re: Alec Johnson - Sundown Blues need a few missing lines ATLANTA BLUES
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 08:15:42 AM »
Thanks for that info, Chezz.  I never knew Alec Johnson was one of the Chatmon brothers.
All best,
Johnm