Country Blues > SOTM - Song Of The Month

SOTM - May 24, 2015 - Pal of Mine - Blind Willie McTell

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onewent:
Thanks, all, for your positive comments.  Hope I met the expectations for the SOTM idea.

@harriet:  good point about McTell's reference to the 1918 time period, not sure if he was referencing the '18 record or just the war time in general?  And, like you, I have no preference in versions, I like each for its particular charm.

@uncle bud:  Yeah, I'm wondering what was around, musically, between the '18 McCormack recording and Harrison's song.  You're correct about the phrase 'pal of mine', I think it was in the lexicon of the day (I remember hearing it (pal) a lot in the Little Rascals tv show iirc)
Also, the youtube link you mentioned works for me, anyone else having an issue with the '59 recording? (btw, youtube is 10 years old this month)

@frankie:  nutball ideas are good  ;)

...Tom

Johnm:
What a nice job you did, Tom, on an interesting topic.  Youtube seems occasionally to generate its own videos, usually with the name of the featured performer as the channel, perhaps based on the number of hits that the other videos by the performer are getting.  In any event, I've posted a couple of such videos in the "What Is This Musician Doing?" thread, and Canadians and on one occasion, a Weenie from Argentina, as well as some European Weenies have said they couldn't view such videos.  I think there might be international copyright issues that such videos don't satisfy in accordance with standards outside the U.S.

I really like your own rendition of the song, and especially your singing.  You get that Willie McTell "mystery  chord", too, that F#6.  Well done!

Boy, John McCormack could generate some tone, couldn't he?
All best,
Johnm

harriet:
@ onewent: this is what I heard him say beginning of the ' 56 clip and interpreted in my first post.  Its an extra bonus for me that he speaks in the clip as I find him to be an articulate, often  eloquent and poetic speaker.

"Now I'm going to play another little number here...back in World War I... everybody..seemed to.. make it.. lovely...I like to do that... in 1917 -16 17-but uh I liked this little number, so I 'm going to play this little number."

onewent:
@johnm thanks for the kind words  ... and re McCormack and his tenor tone, that was a really common way for males to sing in those days, based on what I've heard on old 78s.  Wonder if folks re-create that 'crooning' style as a hobby like we re-create the old blues sounds?

@harriet yes, that't what I heard too, my thoughts are that he didn't really say something like "a song I heard in 1918" or something like that, so I'm not sure if I'd use the '18 recording as a true source for BWM, but the McCormack one for sure.  I like the way he used WWI and lovely in the same sentence  :o  ...and yes, I could listen to him speak all day long for the reasons you cite.  He speaks on some other recordings, too, and especially memorable is when he won't take Lomax's bait regarding the n-word and white people disrespecting him.

I wonder if his/that accent still exists in the greater Atlanta area?

Tom

Johnm:
Hi all,
I thought it might be fun to do a different sort of arrangement for "Pal of Mine", so here it is.
All best,
Johnm

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