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Now it's important that you understand that there were three things I never wanted to own when I was a kid: a dog, a cane, and a guitar. In my brain, they each meant blindness and helplessness. Seems like every blind blues singer I'd heard about was playing the guitar - Ray Charles, from Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story

Author Topic: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938  (Read 3194 times)

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Offline Pan

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Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« on: September 26, 2007, 02:53:59 AM »
I know Titanic and other disasters have been discussed here. I just came across this new compilation, which looks interesting:
http://www.peopletakewarning.com/index2.html


Cheers

Pan

Offline Cambio

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 05:47:01 AM »
I recently received a copy of this set and it is outstanding!  The songs that are on there are all great, their placement against one another, the liner notes, etc.  Everything about it is top notch.  It's going to be on the stereo in the shop for a long time. 

Offline Pan

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 06:32:55 AM »
Here's the songlist (stolen from Amazon):

Disc: 1

1. Titanic Blues Hi Henry Brown & Charlie Jordan
2. Wreck Of the Old 97 Skillet Lickers
3. Bill Wilson Birmingham Jug Band
4. The Crash Of the Akron Bob Miller
5. The Fate of Talmadge Osborne Ernest Stoneman
6. El Mole Rachmim (F?r Titanik) Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt
7. The Wreck Of the Virginian Alfred Reed
8. Fate of Will Rogers & Wiley Post Bill Cox
9. Down With The Old Canoe Dixon Brothers
10. Wreck Of Number 52 Cliff Carlisle
11. Kassie Jones Part 1 Furry Lewis
12. Kassie Jones Part 2 Furry Lewis
13. The Brave Engineer Carver Boys
14. The Sinking Of The Titanic Richard "Rabbit" Brown
15. Fate Of Chris Lively And Wife Blind Alfred Reed
16. Wreck On The Mountain Road Red Fox Chasers
17. The Unfortunate Brakeman Kentucky Ramblers
18. Altoona Freight Wreck Riley Puckett
19. The Fatal Wreck Of The Bus Mainer's Mountaineers
20. Last Scene Of the Titanic Frank Hutchison
21. Casey Jones Skillet Lickers
22. The Wreck Of The Westbound Airliner Fred Pendleton
23. The Titanic Ernest Stoneman
24. When That Great Ship Went Down William & Versey Smith

Disc: 2

1. The Story of the Mighty Mississippi Ernest Stoneman
2. Mississippi Heavy Water Blues Robert Hicks
3. Dixie Boll Weevil Fiddlin' John Carson
4. Mississippi Boweavil Charlie Patton
5. Ohio Prison Fire Bob Miller
6. Memphis Flu Elder Curry
7. Explosion in the Fairmount Mine Blind Alfred Reed
8. Storm That Struck Miami Fiddlin' John Carson
9. When the Levee Breaks Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie
10. Alabama Flood Andrew Jenkins
11. Burning of the Cleveland School J. H. Howell's Carolina Hillbillies
12. High Water Everywhere, Part 1 Charlie Patton
13. High Water Everywhere, Part 2 Charlie Patton
14. Ryecove Cyclone Martin & Roberts
15. McBeth Mine Explosion Cap, Andy & Flip
16. Dry Well Blues Charlie Patton
17. Baltimore Fire Charlie Poole
18. Tennessee Tornado Uncle Dave Macon
19. Dry Spell Blues, Part 2 Son House
20. The Santa Barbara Earthquake Green Bailey
21. The Death of Floyd Collins Vernon Dalhart
22. The Porto Rico Storm Carson Robison Trio
23. Boll Weavil W. A. Lindsey & Alvin Condor
24. The Flood of 1927 Elders McIntorsh & Edwards

Disc: 3

1. Peddler And His Wife Hayes Shepherd
2. The Little Grave in Georgia Earl Johnson
3. Kenney Wagner's Surrender Ernest Stoneman
4. Henry Clay Beattie Kelly Harrell
5. The Murder Of the Lawson Family Carolina Buddies
6. Naomi Wise Clarence Ashley
7. Railroad Bill Will Bennett
8. Frankie Dykes Magic City Trio
9. Trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 1 Bill Cox
10. Trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 2 Bill Cox
11. Lanse Des Belaires Dennis McGee & Ernest Fruge
12. Darling Cora B.F. Shelton
13. Billy Lyons and Stack O' Lee Furry Lewis
14. Tom Dooley Grayson and Whitter
15. The Story of Freda Bolt Floyd County Ramblers
16. Pretty Polly John Hammond
17. Fingerprints Upon the Windowpane Bob Miller
18. The Bluefield Murder Roy Harvey & The North Carolina Ramblers
19. Frankie Silvers Ashley & Foster
20. Fate of Rhoda Sweeten Wilmer Watts
21. Dupree Blues Willie Walker
22. Poor Ellen Smith Dykes Magic City Trio

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 08:35:25 AM »
You gotta love that cover. (!)

If "Burning of the Cleveland School" is the song I'm thinking of, it's quite a ghastly number.

Todd, how detailed are the notes? Do they discuss each song? Looks like a great set.

Edited to add: Following the link Pan provided above, it seems you can listen to this set play on their webpage. I just listened to "The Murder of the Lawson Family" by the Carolina Buddies. Yikes!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 08:55:39 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2007, 09:02:32 AM »
Looking at those song titles, the whole thing sounds ... well ... disastrous!
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Cambio

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2007, 09:59:59 AM »
The notes are very detailed, giving information about the artists and the histories of the disasters or murders that the songs cover.  The notes are of similar quality to some of the Old Hat releases.  Christopher King, who is a co-producer along with Hank Saposnick, is also involved with Old Hat and Revenant. 
There are three discs which are broken up into Man vs. Machine, Man vs. Nature, and Man vs. Man.  Quite a bit of the material is familiar, but there is a lot of music which is outside the Country Blues/Hillbilly realm, like a Hebrew version of the Titanic.  The juxtaposition of tunes is also very interesting.  There are back to back versions of "Wasn't It Sad When That Great Ship Went Down", one by Ernest Stoneman, the other by William and Versey Smith.  I particularly like having the white and black versions of songs right next to each other like that.
There is a photo of Railroad Bill laid out on the cooling board that I thought was particularly cool.  As well as a letter which Ernest Stoneman wrote to a fan who was enquiring about the history of John Henry.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 10:52:57 AM »
Here's the songlist (stolen from Amazon):
21. Dupree Blues Willie Walker
Here's a photo of Frank Dupree as reproduced in

Smith, Chris. "A Hangin? Crime: A Balladic Blues and the True Story Behind It. Pt 1." Blues & Rhythm no. 96 (Feb 1995): p4-7; "Pt 2." Blues & Rhythm no. 97 (Mar 1995): p4-8.

There's also a newspaper photo of Betty Andrews and detective Olin Sturdivant Dupree's captor.

(Hope this reproduces ok, may have to click image to enlarge it)

Online Johnm

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 10:59:00 AM »
Hi all,
This really is a wonderful looking set.  For any fans of Old-Time fiddling out there, you are in for a real treat with the Dykes Magic City Trio cuts.  J. R. Dykes was about as good a fiddler as there has been and his rhythmic link with back-up guitarist Hub Mahaffey (who also backed Dock Boggs) has never been surpassed.  Add to those two the wonderfully named but inaudible Myrtle Vermillion and you really do have a magic-sounding trio.  What a treat!
All best,
Johnm 

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 12:16:32 PM »
Ah, I just read about that one. Naturally, my favorite Patton song, "High Water Everywhere", is on there

Looks like a good 'un!


Cooljack

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2007, 09:34:32 AM »
I'd probably buy this more for the Notes than the music as I think I have most of the music featured, its a good selection from the looks of it.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 09:39:03 AM »
This set has been nominated for a Grammy in the Historical category. As a result there was a surprisingly good piece on it on NPR the other day: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18382486
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 09:42:15 AM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 12:36:30 PM »
Thanks for the tip, Rivers. I picked this one up a while back. It is a nice package. The notes are good, but are limited. They don't have the breadth and depth that some of us info hounds crave. Nevertheless, it gets my recommendation.

Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 02:23:32 AM »
I noticed that Tompkins Square has now released People Take Warning in a budget version, $25 for 3 CDs directly from them, with less elaborate packaging, but the same music and notes. I think this is a good decision, I wish that other boutique labels would do the same with some of their releases. I'd like to get a copy of Dust-to-Digital's Goodbye Babylon, but don't want to pay for that wooden box. Some of us just want the music and the notes, and have no need of 78 rpm reproduction sleeves, or Charlie Patton facsimile spats.

The new Hank Williams box from Bear Family includes a jig saw and the box apparently is shaped like an old fashioned radio.

Personally I just want stuff that fits on my shelves.

Offline DanceGypsy

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2010, 02:03:02 PM »
Personally I just want stuff that fits on my shelves.

Me too.  I have the People Take Warning set, the cigar box Charlie Poole Set, the LP album-sized Harry Smith Anthology set and the tall Robert Johnson and Friends of Old-Time Music boxed sets, and have no idea where to put them.  They are currently scattered around my music room on table tops and window sills, doing double duty as decorative items.  But I would much prefer to file them in their appropriate place alongside my other CDs.  I realize, however, given that this is one of my major problems in life at present, that I really don't have anything to complain about.  Ditto the problem that I acquired a very nice old mandola off Craigslist this past weekend for only $30 but have no more room on the wall to hang yet another instrument.

I love the People Take Warning set, by the way.  It came as a gift from my wife on Valentine's day a couple years back (not sure what she was trying to say...) and I like the topical arrangement of the songs as well as the nicely illustrated booklet.  The notes on each track are cursory - brief but often interesting.  I'm like Todd Cambio in that this is one that had accompanied me in the shop for many hours of bridge making, fingerboard slotting, neck shaping, etc.

Offline jaycee

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Re: Murder Ballads and disaster songs 1913-1938
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2010, 09:18:19 AM »
as i understand it you only get the jigsaw with the hank williams box set if you are a european customer, world wide the set comes without the jigsaw.
jaycee

 


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