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Everywhere I go, people know who I am, but I don't know who they are - Bluesman Jack Owens at Port Townsend

Author Topic: Wille Walker and Friend  (Read 2807 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2012, 04:41:06 AM »
Quote
That's an easy one: the Depression.

I'll say.  I've got my music sorted into smart playlists by year.  While my collection is obviously very incomplete, I have the following song count in the playlists, which illustrates the precipitous drop off in blues and gospel recording activity:

1929:   1048
1930:    840
1931:    367
1932:    216

And remember, that's songs.  Divide by 2 to get numbers for records.  Even a major artist like Leroy Carr had to take a 2 year hiatus from the recording studio, from March 1932 to February 1934. 
 

Offline jharris

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2012, 12:17:57 PM »
I have an ongoing theme where I spotlight different blues years on my show. I'm up to 1933 which I'll be airing tomorrow. Here's some information I've extracted from the book Recording the Blues  (reprinted in Yonder Come the Blues):

By 1931 race records were selling about a tenth as well as they had four years previously. For example, Paramount went from waxing over a hundred blues and gospel items in 1930 but only about three dozen in 1931, Columbia had no new artists and its releases were cut by over a third and Victor also cut their releases by a third. In 1932 they were half that. Things hit rock bottom in 1932 with less than 150 new issues ? the lowest level since 1922.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2012, 05:23:55 PM »
In an interview by Paul Oliver back in the day that was published in BLUES UNLIMITED, Josh White referred to Willie Walker as "the Art Tatum of blues guitar". Not too shabby. Baby Tate would not play his tunes no matter how hard I tried to get him to do so (I was especially interested in the two unissued and other tunes) before he died. He played "South Carolina Rag" w. Larry Johnson backing him at a concert in '72 at the college I taught at in New Paltz, NY. Besides those two, i also got Eddie Kirkland to come up!

Peter B.

Offline dj

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 07:24:10 AM »
Baby Tate played at New Paltz in 1972 and I missed it?  Peter, it's 40 years later, and I truly feel devastated by that news.  I was probably down at the Thesis drinking and playing pinball.  I want a do-over!

At least I saw Larry Johnson and Eddie Kirkland at other times, in other venues. 

Offline oddenda

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 06:57:00 PM »
dj -

          It was May 6 and the headliners were The Persuasions, I do believe. The blues guys were even advertised in the school paper with a lay-out (by the late Raoul Vezina) on the suggestion of one of my students involved in the show - one of the things I initiated from my position of faculty member of little power (Biology!). The show was taped by me off the PA board, but the tapes are (of course) in storage in NJ, with safety copies at The L of C's Folklife Archives. Lots of wind noise on the mics, too.

          Larry said after meeting and playing with Tate that he'd go South with me that summer and record with him... someone who actually knew Willie Walker! The Nick Perls effect!! Sadly, he backed out at the time, the enthusiasm waned (and probably rethinking going South with the likes of myself) - I should have taken them both to my apartment to record the and there, but Tate had to head off to the Albany area with Kip Lornell for a coffee house gig. By then Tate was  willing to attempt to record Walker's tunes - sadly he died that summer before those could be done properly, including unreleased material by Willie and new, original songs from Tate.

pbl

p.s. - pubbery is its own reward!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 07:57:42 PM by oddenda »

Offline RobBob

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 06:39:58 AM »
While the blues resides with a few white players in the Greenville-Spartanburg area, a Black man walked into the 5th String in Greenville two weeks ago an ordered a resonator guitar.  I asked him what inspired him to buy the guitar and learn to play blues, he said the movie, "Honeydripper".  Let's hope things are changing here.

RB

Offline RobBob

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2012, 08:26:29 AM »
So, this guy call me up and is talking about South Carolina Rag and says there are two takes of this tune.  Is that true?  Where is the second one available?

Offline RobBob

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Re: Wille Walker and Friend
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2012, 08:52:59 AM »
Never mind, I found it on DOCD-5062 Ragtime Guitar. Will have to get a copy of that CD now.

 


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