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Some folks say the Big Bill Blues ain't bad. Musn't have been the Big Bill Blues I had - Big Bill Broonzy, Big Bill Blues

Author Topic: SOTM Aug 7: Tippin' Out/Ha-Ha Blues  (Read 725 times)

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Offline Lastfirstface

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SOTM Aug 7: Tippin' Out/Ha-Ha Blues
« on: August 07, 2016, 07:25:23 AM »
I chose this song not because it's universal or widely recorded, but because the three recorded versions I know of are so starkly different in their style and approach. The lyrics and style of the song suggests a pop/ragtime origin but I?ve been unable to dig up any earlier sheet music, and all three recordings credit their respective singers as the lyricist.  However the song was disseminated, the lyrics are more or less intact in all three recordings.

The first recording, under the title ?Ha-Ha Blues,? was made by singer Rosie Mae Moore in the Memphis Auditorium on February 3, 1928. She?s deftly accompanied on the recording by guitarist and mandolinist Charlie McCoy. There seems to be very little biographical information available about Rosie Mae Moore, but I did find a reference to her being McCoy?s girlfriend at the time. She may have also recorded under the name Mary Butler on four sides cut with McCoy, Walter Vinscon, and Bo Carter.

Two months later Pink Anderson and Simmie Dooley cut their version of the song in Columbia records mobile recording studio on Pryor Street in Atlanta. Born in 1881, Simmie Dooley was among the older generation of blues singer/songster performers and would have been 47 at the time of his one recording session. Gary Davis spoke highly of his guitar prowess, rating him alongside Willie Walker, and Pink Anderson credited his guitar playing skills to tough tutelage under Dooley. Pink Anderson was a medicine show veteran known for his buck-dancing skill, and had spent many years playing in a Spartanburg-based string band. Columbia disliked Dooley?s voice but offered Anderson the opportunity to record further. He declined out of loyalty to Dooley and would not be recorded again until 1950.

At the moment I?m having trouble digging up much info about the performers of the last recording: James Albert AKA Beans Hambone and his accompanist El Morrow. They recorded their version of ?Tippin? Out? in Charlotte, NC in May of 1931. I believe Paul Oliver?s Songsters and Saints has some information about the duo, but I don?t have access to a copy at the moment. I think Oliver speculates that instrument(s) on the recording were possibly homemade, and I can see why he would think that. While not exactly in tune, the plunking accompaniment sort of sketches out the circle of fifths chord change implied by the vocal line. Hambone and Morrow?s ?Beans, Beans, Beans? was derived from a Chris Smith composition, further suggesting to me that ?Tippin? Out? comes from a similar 19teens sheet music source.


Offline Harry

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Re: SOTM Aug 7: Tippin' Out/Ha-Ha Blues
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 11:26:31 AM »
The song structure has been discussed here at Weenie


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