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So much is happenin' in this old wicked world Lord. Everytime you pick up the paper, listen to the news, so much is happenin' in this wicked world - Robert Pete Williams, So Much Is Happenin' In This Wicked World

Author Topic: Mable Hillery  (Read 7486 times)

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Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 12:49:16 PM »
I missed this first time around also. thanks BH!! what a great interview.


Offline lee

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 01:15:46 AM »
"It's So Hard to be a Nigger"
Searching for people who have sung this song led me to this site.  The only results I seem to come up with are Mable Hillery, and in a medley by P J Proby.  I found this song on one of my parents albums when I was twelve, (a LONG time ago), but I can never remember the singers, although it was sung by a man/men. I pictured an album which after some googling turned out to be The Chambers Brothers - Groovin' Time, but that song is not on the track list. So I'm thinking I discovered that song and the Chambers Brothers album at the same time, & that's why I've linked them together.  (I am awaiting delivery of that album, because I loved it, also wondering if the song or some of the lyrics may be on there, under another name.) If anyone can help, or point me in the right direction of where to search if this is not the right place, I would greatly appreciate it, I can't get that song out of my head & it's driving me crazy that I can't remember who it was!
Thank you,
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 01:21:38 AM by lee »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 10:39:56 AM »
I'm wondering if you are thinking of Blind Willie McTell in interview with Lomax who asks if McTell knows of any complaining songs and  McTell suggests the first line of this to Lomax. I think McTell then sings something totally different.

Sorry not at home to check and may be well off the mark with what's required.

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 12:23:35 PM »
As I recall, it's Lomax who suggests the first line to McTell, who is obviously uncomfortable with the whole line of questioning, and says that he doesn't know any complaining songs. Lomax asks McTell why he appears nervous, and McTell answers that he's not been feeling well lately. I consider McTell's avoidance of a racial minefield to be an excellent example of how African-Americans had to be always alert when in the company of whites.


Offline oddenda

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 04:38:11 PM »
Probably something that John A. Lomax collected earlier in his career in TX. McTell was a professional musician and certainly would have been wary of such a request from a stranger from the South (JAL was a Texan).


Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mable Hillery
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 05:36:44 PM »
Howard W. Odum collected the song and included it in his Folk Song and Folk Poetry article in 1911. Can't think of a recording off the top of my head but surely it would have to be a field recording? 


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