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Just because those words were the ones that got to be on the record don't mean that it was the only ones that could fit there. We changed them songs around all the time. It don't matter what you want me to listen to right now. I probably never done it again that way anyhow! - Son House, responding when asked to decipher some lyrics from one of his records. Quoted in Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues by Paul and Beth Garon

Author Topic: Charley Patton; "a jerk!"  (Read 4821 times)

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Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: Charley Patton; "a jerk!"
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2014, 05:10:54 PM »
Cleoma once told me this priceless Jimmy Martin quote: "The problem with bluegrass music is jealousy and stupidy."

I suspect you could say the same thing about some blues performers.


Offline claudecat

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Re: Charley Patton; "a jerk!"
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2014, 11:54:31 PM »
The only thing I can add to this topic, seeing as how Son House (who I met as a youth - talk about scaring the bejeezus out of an 8 year old) is referenced, is that Son was kind of a clown. If you take a look at the Howlin' Wolf documentary, there's a great scene where Wolf basically calls House a drunken old fool and an embarrassment to himself. One of the highlights of the doc. Not that I don't love Son House's music, but he was "irascible" at times.

Offline Shovel

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Re: Charley Patton; "a jerk!"
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2014, 04:58:32 AM »
In Calt's book, Skip James had a response close to:  "Bah! If Patton was alive today, he'd say the same thing about Son House!"

Also, there's a quote in this thread about Rube Lacy saying Patton was a good guy, Bukka White mentioned adoring him.  His personality in his music seems good-natured.  HC Spier seemed to like him.  He seemed able to schmooze/charm his way from plantation to plantation without becoming persona-non-grata due to jerkish behavior.  And Son House is the only person I've heard saying Patton was a jerk or anything else derogatory about him.  Even Skip James complimented Patton in the Calt book and Skip James didn't compliment many from what I've read and heard.

From watching Son House in the room with Howlin Wolf, Skip James, etc. from the Newport festival, I could see him making a one-off comment while drunk that he could have contradicted 5 minutes later depending on his mood.

That said, any quotes from these guys is  a treasure.  Can take them with a grain of salt, but it's great that folks captured some of their thoughts and stories.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 05:02:19 AM by Shovel »


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