collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

"That ain't the goddam blues," says Bussard, disgusted. "You ever hear of Charlie Patton?" - Joe Bussard, story by Eddie Dean, washingtoncitypaper.com

Author Topic: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?  (Read 448 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cjblues04

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
  • Howdy!
Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« on: August 17, 2021, 07:08:25 AM »
I started listening to Barbecue Bob not too long ago, and I can't help but be fascinated by his early death at the age of 29. I know his older brother, Charley Lincoln, reacted horribly to it, and he became an even more bitter man that would eventually cause his own downfall (he murdered a stranger in the mid 1950s, and spent the rest of his life in prison).

Did Barbecue Bob's early death cause a strong reaction in the Atlanta area at the time?

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2823
  • Howdy!
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2021, 01:02:32 PM »
Among those who knew him, almost certainly.

Among the general public, even among the general Black public, almost certainly not.

No one recorded a tribute record, as happened after Blind Lemon Jefferson died, and Bruce Bastin's Red River Blues doesn't mention any special reaction to Bob's death.  The Atlanta World, precursor to the Atlanta Daily World, was the Black newspaper based in Atlanta at the time of Bob's death.  If you can get online access, you might want to search the issues immediately following his death.

Offline cjblues04

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
  • Howdy!
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2021, 02:00:37 PM »
Among those who knew him, almost certainly.

Among the general public, even among the general Black public, almost certainly not.

No one recorded a tribute record, as happened after Blind Lemon Jefferson died, and Bruce Bastin's Red River Blues doesn't mention any special reaction to Bob's death.  The Atlanta World, precursor to the Atlanta Daily World, was the Black newspaper based in Atlanta at the time of Bob's death.  If you can get online access, you might want to search the issues immediately following his death.



Okay, I will do that. It's just interesting how he became a local celebrity, especially considering his guitar work, and just passed away unknown. He was almost like the Jimi Hendrix of the late 1920s, lol. Thanks!

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2823
  • Howdy!
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 05:10:28 AM »
Quote
Okay, I will do that.

If you find any mention at all in a newspaper, even if just an obituary, please post about it.  I'd love to know.

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 664
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2021, 12:22:48 PM »
Since Barbecue Bob was a cook in restaurant  and the most popular blues man in Atlanta until his death in 1931, I would guess he both had some colleagues and music fans that mourned him as well as his nearest family. He sold about 15000 records of his first recording "Barbecue blues".

Barbecue Bob also played with many other musicians in Atlanta like his brother Charlie Hicks, Buddy Moss and Eddie Klapp. And he played with the Georgia Cotton Pickers which included Curley Weaver from 1930 so he was quite well-known in his community.


Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2823
  • Howdy!
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2021, 03:14:48 PM »
Quote
he was quite well-known in his community

Yes, but his "community" was a subset of the Black community in Atlanta, and in Georgia as a whole, which was a subset of the population of the city and the state.  If you read the Black press of the time, they covered Black pop, jazz, and classical , and vaudeville music of the time MUCH more than they covered blues - see Abbot and Seroff's books.

I think he was certainly mourned and missed by those who knew him, but not by a majority of Georgians, be they White or Black.

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 664
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 05:12:12 AM »
Another quote from an article on the web:

As Barbecue Bob he became the most heavily recorded Atlanta bluesman of the 1920’s with his records selling steadily for Columbia until his untimely death in 1931. He recorded over fifty issued sides between 1927 and 1930, hitting big at his second session with “Mississippi Heavy Water blues.” The song was so well known it was even mentioned by the preacher at his funeral. After the song’s success, Hicks was recorded every time Columbia came through Atlanta with a mobile unit, resulting in two sessions every year plus a few others on the side. Tony Russell describes what made Hicks’ style so unique and appealing: “The big sound of the 12-string guitar made its full impact only on electrical recordings and if Barbecue Bob was not the first player to profit from that innovation he was certainly the first to do so on a national… The thunder of his bass notes and strummed lower strings was pierced by darts of lightning as he touched the high strings, often with slide. Accurate recording also brought out the warmth and friendliness of his singing, which suggests a man of sunny self-confidence…”

According to Robert M.W. Dixon John Godrich in their book Recording The Blues, 10, 850 copies of “Barbecue Blues” b/w “Cloudy Sky Blues” were pressed. ” Intial sales were so good that Hicks was called to New York in the middle of June to record 8 more numbers, and when Columbia returned to Atlanta in November they not only recorded a further 8 selections by Barbecue Bob, but also 6 by his brother Charley Lincoln, who sang the same sort of songs in very much the same style.” The Chicago Defender ad uses the barbecue theme in the text and illustration which, like many of these ads, is not exactly politically correct.




Offline cjblues04

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
  • Howdy!
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2021, 07:54:14 AM »
Another quote from an article on the web:

As Barbecue Bob he became the most heavily recorded Atlanta bluesman of the 1920’s with his records selling steadily for Columbia until his untimely death in 1931. He recorded over fifty issued sides between 1927 and 1930, hitting big at his second session with “Mississippi Heavy Water blues.” The song was so well known it was even mentioned by the preacher at his funeral. After the song’s success, Hicks was recorded every time Columbia came through Atlanta with a mobile unit, resulting in two sessions every year plus a few others on the side. Tony Russell describes what made Hicks’ style so unique and appealing: “The big sound of the 12-string guitar made its full impact only on electrical recordings and if Barbecue Bob was not the first player to profit from that innovation he was certainly the first to do so on a national… The thunder of his bass notes and strummed lower strings was pierced by darts of lightning as he touched the high strings, often with slide. Accurate recording also brought out the warmth and friendliness of his singing, which suggests a man of sunny self-confidence…”

According to Robert M.W. Dixon John Godrich in their book Recording The Blues, 10, 850 copies of “Barbecue Blues” b/w “Cloudy Sky Blues” were pressed. ” Intial sales were so good that Hicks was called to New York in the middle of June to record 8 more numbers, and when Columbia returned to Atlanta in November they not only recorded a further 8 selections by Barbecue Bob, but also 6 by his brother Charley Lincoln, who sang the same sort of songs in very much the same style.” The Chicago Defender ad uses the barbecue theme in the text and illustration which, like many of these ads, is not exactly politically correct.





It's funny how Barbecue Bob died so long ago, that this was still politically correct. In two months, he will have been gone for 90 years. Time sure flies.

Offline TonyGilroy

  • Member
  • Posts: 95
Re: Barbecue Bob's early death in 1931?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2021, 11:54:09 PM »
It wasn't politically correct because that concept didn't exist then.

It was racism pure and simple and something that was considered entirely right and proper by many white people and legally enforced in much of America not just the south.

In some ways at least we have made some progress in the last 50 or so years.

Tags: Barbecue Bob 
 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal