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If I had one biscuit, and you hadn't eaten nothin' in a month, I'd break it in two and eat both pieces - Yank Rachell to Howard Armstrong in Louie Bluie

Author Topic: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics  (Read 2132 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:38:37 PM »
Hi all,
Little Buddy Doyle recorded "Hard Scufflin' Blues" at his first session, in Memphis on July 1, 1939, backing himself out of Spanish, and accompanied by a harmonica player who has been identified as probably being a very young Walter Horton.  The duo's collective sense of time is very strong, and Buddy's playing is reminiscent of a combination of qualities to be heard in the playing of Jack Kelly, Big Joe Williams and Robert Johnson.  The harmonica playing on the cut, whether or not it is Walter Horton, is sensational, with a sizzling bright tone and very well-conceived and executed ideas.  Buddy sings well, but I'm having a hard time catching some of his lyrics for sure, so I'd really appreciate help with any of the bent-bracketed portions of the transcription.  Here is "Hard Scufflin' Blues":



   Scufflin' have got so hard, seem like I can't even make a dime
   Scufflin' have got so hard, seem like I can't even make a dime
   I musta had the wrong woman, seem like gangsters on me all there now

   I never wants another woman that she don't do nothin' but hang around for be in a gang
   I never wants another woman, that she don't do nothin' but hang around for be in a gang
   She will all drive you to your weakness, she will keep you with a turned-down hand

   Life have got miserable, seem like no more happiness to be made
   Life have got miserable, seem like no more happiness to be made
   But life is really too short to be worried about some old no-good babe

   SOLO

   Good Book, don't it tell us, where there's a will there's a way
   Lord, the Good Book kindly tell us, where there's a will there's a way
   But it seem like to me the way it's jivin', now to me, more and more every day

Edited 4/5 to pick up corrections from banjochris and Johnm

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:00:03 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 09:29:08 PM »
Some stumpers in there for sure, John. Here are some suggestions; as you can see I'm more sure of some than others:


1.1 and 1.2 SCUFFLIN' HAVE got so hard
1.3 I think you're right; I also think he misspeaks there

2.3 ALL DRIVE YOU??

3.1 and 3.2 Life HAVE GOT miserable

4.3 JIVIN' NOW?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 10:18:23 PM »
Thanks so much for the help, Chris--those catches are great.  I found some things I had missed in 1.3 and 2.1 and 2.2 in my first try at the song, too.  I have made the changes and I think it's there now.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 08:07:28 AM »
Hi all,
Little Buddy Doyle and his harmonica-playing partner also recorded "Grief Will Kill You" at Doyle's first session, and like "Hard Scufflin' Blues", it was accompanied by Doyle in Spanish tuning.  This song was later covered by Memphis Willie B., but he really only used the first verse, either inventing his other verses or getting them from other sources (or from Doyle in person, singing verses that he didn't record).  The duo accelerates markedly over the course of the rendition and it is really exciting.  Little Buddy Doyle shows himself to have been in Louis Hayes' class in terms of being able to squeeze an impressive number of words into a blues line.  Here is "Grief Will Kill You":



   Lord, grief will kill you, it will get you down to skin and bones
   Lord, grief will kill you, it will get you down to skin and bones
   And I said, no broad will be advertisin', Lord, after you are dead and gone

   I once grieved so hard, until I'd wake up weepin' in my sleep
   I once grieved so hard, until I'd wake up weepin' in my sleep
   But after you continue this life, boys, you'll be missin' down in some graveyard deep

   SOLO

   Women hollerin' 'bout nowadays they don't love nobody, don't worry about the man behind they left
   Women hollerin' nowadays they don't love nobody, and don't worry about the man behind they left
   Boys, you better watch them women, because they be strippin' it up between themself

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:02:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 09:50:09 PM »
Hi all,
Little Buddy Doyle recorded "Renewed Love Blues" at his second (of only two) recording sessions, on July 14, one day less than two weeks after his first session.  For his second session, he was joined by, in addition to the harmonica player from his first session, a second guitarist who is conjectured to have been either Jack Kelly or Willie Tango, aka Willie Shaw, the son of Allen Shaw.  Of the two guitarists, Willie Tango seems as though he might be the more likely playing partner, for the playing of the guitarist who is not Little Buddy does not sound all that much like Jack Kelly's playing from his own records.

Whoever the second guitarist was, the way he played with Little Buddy and the harmonica player was spectacular.  Indeed, the duet sound of these two guitarists compares favorably with just about any country blues guitar duet playing I've heard.  Little Buddy is playing in Spanish tuning again, but the mystery second guitarist is playing out of E position in standard tuning, capoed up to match Little Buddy's pitch.  The ensemble's collective time grooves very intensely, and a lot of excitement is generated by their approach, which is just to pile on top of each other, play as loud, hard, and strong as they can, and let the devil take the hindmost.  It's interesting, when in recent years there has been much talk of jamming etiquette, people taking turns being featured, listening to what the other musicians are playing, etc., to hear such galvanically exciting  music in which everyone just seems to be blasting, not worrying about leaving space and playing right on top of each other.  I know it won't always be the case, but in this instance the results more than justify the group's carefree approach--Wow!

I can't figure out why Little Buddy's songs tend to have so few verses, because he favored quick tempos and shouted his words out with gusto.  Probably it is that the amount of solo space accorded the very excellent harmonica player ended up leaving space for fewer verses.  Here is "Renewed Love Blues":

 

   Now baby, let's stop our foolishness, and try to renew love over again
   Now baby, let's stop our foolishness, and try to renew love over again
   Because I can't stay in this world happy, in this condition my poor heart's in

   Now, baby, Im gonna make you this promise, I'll make home happy for you in every way
   Baby, I'm gonna make you this promise, I'll make home happy for you in every way
   But I want you to take care of my money, baby, and please don't give my belongings 'way

   SOLO

   Now, baby, you know I love you, now why we can't get along?
   Now, baby, you know I love you, now why we can't get along?
   Maybe some day you will consider, baby, Lord, and acknowledge that you have done wrong

   SOLO

All best,
Johnm     
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:01:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 05:20:47 AM »
and a lot of excitement is generated by their approach, which is just to pile on top of each other, play as loud, hard, and strong as they can, and let the devil take the hindmost.
that's one for the quote drive!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 07:53:05 AM »
Hi all,
"Bad In Mind Blues" was recorded at the same session as was "Renewed Love Blues", and the trio's instrumentation was employed in the same fashion.  The song is tremendously driving again.  One reason there are few verses in Little Buddy Doyle's songs is that the takes were short, often just over two-and-a-half minutes long.  It's too bad, because Buddy was an excellent lyricist.  In verse two, he pronounces "slip" like "sleep".  I'm not certain of the places where the lyrics are in bent brackets and would appreciate corroboration or correction.  Here is "Bad In Mind Blues":



   Boys, I ain't doin' no good, this slow death is killin' me
   Boys, I ain't doin' no good, this slow death is killin' me
   And instead of me goin' down swingin', I'm just as blue as I can be

   My mind in such a condition until I hardly know the days in the week
   Lord, my mind in such a condition until I hardly know the days in the week
   Baby, you give me plenty trouble, but someday you bound to slip

   SOLO

   When I'm sleepin' deep down in my grave, don't let no high-priced flowers worry you
   When I'm sleepin' deep down in my grave, don't let no high-priced flowers worry you
   You can just step out in the area of the yard, and old jimpson weed or dogsbane, it will do

   Now boys, you can be too sweet to your woman, and see won't she do you a dirty act
   Now boys, you can be too sweet to your woman, and see won't she do you a dirty act
   She'll forever keep you workin', workin' with your coffin on your back

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:07:20 PM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 08:41:23 AM »
Quote
One reason there are few verses in Little Buddy Doyle's songs is that the takes were short, often just over two-and-a-half minutes long.

Getting a little bit off topic:

Both of Doyle's appearances in the studio were in July of 1939.  One of the things I've noticed, being able to sort my iTunes tracks by time, is that record company field trips in the summer tended to record shorter takes than their field trips in the winter, I guess because the wax got softer faster.

Also, I'm not sure who the recording supervisor was on that ARC trip to Memphis.  Since it was an ARC trip, it might have been Don Law.  When I was looking at recording times during the "were Robert Johnson records sped up?" discussion, I realized that Don Law usually cut shorter takes than normal, and on that trip to Dallas in June of 1937 he limited Black Boy Shine and Robert Johnson's takes to about 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

   


Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 02:18:55 PM »
Thanks for that information, dj.  It's interesting that the lengths of recorded renditions could show a pattern based on who the A & R guy running the session was, and it makes a lot of sense.  Certainly the capacity was there to record much longer takes than Little Buddy Doyle was being given.  It seems sort of like a vote of non-confidence in the music to make the takes so short.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 05:28:58 PM »
I think takes got shorter as the '30s went on because that's what jukebox operators wanted. Shorter takes = more nickels to keep the music going. Some of the country blues recorded in the '40s has the same issue - Lightnin' etc.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 07:01:10 PM »
Maybe a concern for quality? One rotation on the outer edge contains the same audio information as the inner groove but spread over a much wider distance. Perceived quality progressively diminishes as the needle tracks inward due to the tighter tolerances. If you think about it it makes perfect sense, and is why 78 recordings sound better in the first two thirds, IMO. I will see if I can find a reference to this. Anyway, just a thought.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 10:38:22 PM »
Hi all,
For "Lost Baby Blues", the second guitarist, Willie Tango/Jack Kelly switched up and played out of G position in standard tuning.  Like the other songs from that July 14, 1939 session, it has an intense driving groove, really, I've seldom heard its equal in that regard.  The two solos are so exciting, they just about blow the lid off of the proceedings.  Little Buddy's singing in no way takes a back seat to the instrumental excitement either; it's every bit as exciting as the fireworks going off around it.  I'm having a tough time hearing a couple of places in the lyrics with any degree of certainty and would appreciate corroboration or correction of the bent bracketed passages.  Here is "Lost Baby Blues":



   I can't find my baby, I search around 'most everywhere
   I can't find my baby, I search around most everywhere
   I b'lieve I'll take a trip down to Shreveport Lou'siana, Lord, I b'lieve my baby's there

   I try to be happy, but I can't get her off my mind
   Lord, I try to be happy, but I just can't get her off my mind
   Every time I wake up in the mornin', I can hear my baby whine

   SOLO

   Lord, I'm leavin' in the mornin', to take a chances as I may ride
   Lord, I'm leavin' in the mornin', to take a chance as I may ride
   Lord, I'm prayin' to the Good Lord, but I can't hear a V-8 Ford

   SOLO

   Way late last night, I could hear my baby call
   Way late last night, I could hear my baby call
   But I got up and I saw, but I couldn't see no face at all

Edited 4/8 to pick up corrections from dj

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:06:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 07:11:43 AM »
I hear that third verse as:

   Lord, I'm leavin' in the mornin', TO TAKE A CHANCE AS I may ride
   Lord, I'm leavin' in the mornin', TO TAKE A CHANCE AS I may ride
   Lord, I'm prayin' to the Good Lord, but I can't hear A V-8 FORD

I also hear the last line of the song as:

 But I got up and I SAW, BUT I couldn't see no face at all


Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 07:50:30 AM »
Thanks very much for the help, dj.  I think you're right in both instances--"chance as" as opposed to "chances" is brilliant and makes sense of the line.  I will make the changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Little Buddy Doyle Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 09:55:32 AM »
    Hi all,
    "Three-Sixty-Nine Blues" was recorded at Little Buddy Doyle's second session and had the same personnel.  It's another tremendously driving number in which solos are accorded the same amount of space, or a little bit more, than the vocals.  The context of the lyrics does not make obvious the meaning of "three-sixty-nine".  I found myself wondering if the band was being pressured to make the cut quickly, because Little Buddy makes a couple of early vocal entries, coming back in after solos.  As usual, I'm having trouble hearing a couple of places, and help with the bent bracketed portions would be very much appreciated.  Here is "Three Sixty-Nine Blues":



Baby, I'm tired of you layin' out all night long, comin' in bringin' your three, six an' nine
Baby, I'm tired of you layin' out all night long, comin' in bringin' me your three, six an' nine
Out messin' all of my money in pokino, loaded down with beer, whiskey and wine

SOLO

Now baby, you promised me you was gon' make a change, I'm quite sure you remember what you said
Baby, you promised me that you was gon' make a change, I'm quite sure you remember what you said
Now it's no need to tryin' to keep me around here, baby, you's puttin' yourself tight into my shed

SOLO

You make it in every mornin', every mornin' just 'bout sunrise
Say, how can you make it in every mornin', baby, every mornin' just about sunrise
You come in with a lot o' your three, six an' nine, and a whole list long of jive

SOLO

Edited 4/10 to pick up corrections from dj

All best,
Johnm[/list]
« Last Edit: June 05, 2022, 12:06:43 PM by Johnm »

 


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