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I tell you, all them scounds could play good; I don't know which one was best. I liked that Lonnie - he was the big fat one - I liked his violin playin', but that other one, what played violin and piano, too, and everything, I believe it was Bert. They both played so good, it'd be hard to tell how to judge which one played the best - Houston Stackhouse remembers the Chatmon brothers, The Voice of the Blues

Author Topic: Skin Games  (Read 993 times)

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Skin Games
« on: November 12, 2007, 10:22:26 PM »
I was listening to a Georgia Tom & Tampa red record a few minuites ago where there is a monologe of a skin game which is just basically talking until an argument breaks out with what im pretty sure is denver blues playing in the background, I also noticed Barbecue Bob did somthing similar with Downtown Gamblin' Part 1 & 2. I was wondering why they recorded these? they seem a little (even pointless) I find them quite interesting to listen to from a modern perspective though I can't quite understand why anyone would buy a record of two guys gambling.  Im guessing they were intended as B-sides/filler material or just to add to the music already on the record (as in the Georgia Tom record) or to build up to the song (as it seems to in the last 40 seconds or so in the Barbecue Bob record) can anyone elaborate on this?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 10:26:25 PM by Cooljack »

Offline dj

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Re: Skin Games
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 04:06:02 AM »
Lots of people back in the 20s and early 30s recorded comic skits, either as a break within a song or followed by a song.  I think it goes back to the vaudeville/music hall tradition.  People were used to seeing songs pause to have a bit of funny business on stage, or to having a comic skit end with a song, so it seemed natural to record things like that. 

There's a similar type of recording from the period:  sermons with singing.  There's be about 30 seconds of congregational singing, then a minister would preach a 2 minute sermon, then the congregation would sing another 30 seconds to close.  The genre sounds very strange today, but 80 years ago people like Reverend J. M. Gates and Reverend F. W. McGee sold literally millions of these records.       


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