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Baby, when I die, put daddy's picture in a frame.... So when daddy's gone you can see him just the same - Papa Harvey Hull & Long Cleve Reed, France Blues

Author Topic: songs that could last forever  (Read 4352 times)

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Offline Stuart

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 08:55:52 AM »
Don't we all! It appears that one has been re-issued on CD:
This is not the album Johnm is talking about. There were two Tampa Red LPs on Prestige/Bluesville: "Don't Jive Me" an "Don't Tampa With the Blues". "How Long" is on "Don't Jive Me". Your link is for "Don't Tampa With the Blues".

Where's my proofreader when I need one??!!--by "that one" I meant "that one of the LPs from the 1960s..." Sorry for the ambiguity--I should have caught it, since I specifically looked for "How Long" in the track listing.

Fantasy (now Concord) was pretty good about re-issuing from the Prestige/Bluesville catalog, but obviously Tampa Red didn't get full coverage, but let's keep our fingers crossed.


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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2007, 10:53:42 AM »
Tommy Johnson's "Maggie Campbell Blues".

It's purty long for a pre-war country blues record, and I get lost in it every time I hear it.

Offline tenderfoot84

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2007, 02:03:45 AM »
i had a read of david evans big road blues recently. it includes an interview with rube lacey in the 60s where he said that he ALWAYS played Ham hound crave the same way, and fortunately it fit the record time. i thought this was interesting because

1/ it seems like a song you could groove on til eternity, throwing breaks in wherever you like.

2/ it seems pretty damn lucky it fit the record.

3/ he mentions that he changed mississippi jailhouse groan up all the time. made it longer, shorter!! and changed the verses whenever he felt like it.

a note on point 3. he actually says, when asked whether he felt 'constrained by the 3minute time duration' - i'm paraphrasing here - that he was actually very glad of it. he often played to earn his crust when he didn't fancy playing and he thought to himself when he was told to do three minutes: i can do that that. it's not too long. i don't need to worry about running out of verses.

this seems like a candid interview with one of the best of the best, who was apparently sharp as a tack in the sixties. he also states that he learned at least one of the two from another player (unrecorded - i forget the name).

it's interesting that i, and probably others, often thought of / think of old blues songs as meaning a lot more than they may have. i guess a lot of the time we hear performances a lot of the time rather than songs and how we differentiate between the two is purely subjective. the sheer power of a tune like mississippi jailhouse groan just grabs you by the balls and you think, i wish i could have heard him do that live in the 10s or 20s, just grooving on it for 10-15 minutes.

rube lacey implied in the 60s that he did.

then you flip over and think the same about ham hound crave.

rube lacey stated in the 60s that he did not.


and that's why we love this music.
David C

Offline Rivers

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2007, 07:50:18 AM »
Interesting, it's been a while since I went through Big Road Blues, personally I find it heavy going. I guess Rube didn't correct the title of Ham Hound Crave to Ham & Gravy or any of the other theories? I'm glad, I've always thought Ham Hound Crave is a) more interesting and b) correct!

Online Johnm

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2007, 02:14:33 PM »
Hi all,
I think I would add Robert Petway's version of "Catfish" to this list.  The fact that it ends with a fade sort of adds to its mystique in this regard.
All best,

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2019, 08:59:53 AM »
I stumbled upon this old thread while searching. Here's my short list of songs that immediately popped into my head. At one point or another, I've played each of these songs on repeat for extended periods of time. I'm sure there have been others.

King Solomon Hill - My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon
Clarence Ashley - Coo Coo Bird
Otto Virgial - Little Girl in Rome
Mance Lipscomb - Freddie
Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - Sherburne

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2019, 01:56:27 PM »
A couple spring to mind:

Speckled Red's Dirty Dozens - imagine he had loads more verses to this that didn't make the recording
Charley Jordan's Keep it Clean -  as he recorded a couple of versions, to me, suggests he would have gone on a long time with this tune.

Offline catyron

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2019, 09:41:38 PM »
Okay, i am going to reveal something quirky and personal about myself.

I came late to the CD field (i was heavily into computers and technology, but i preferred vinyl). On New Year's Day 1998 my daughter Althaea gave me my first CD. She knew what i liked, so she made a great selection. I had several computers capable of playing CDs, so i popped the first one into my giant Mac G4 Tower and let it rip. It was one of the Document "Too Late Too Late" collections of songs that had not made it into their previous "Complete Recordings of .." sets. On this disk was "Downtown Blues" by Frank Stokes. In it he sang, "This is 1928 and it must be a brand New Year." I knew that his birthday was January 1st, and i immediately realized that here i was playing his 1928 birthday song in 1998 , exactly 70 years later-- a song i had never heard before.

I did a quick mental assessment and realized that, given my love for Frank Stokes songs, and the fact that i had been listening to them for 30 years at that point, this one song should be replayed. So i put it on replay, and then .... i just left it on replay. I just let it repeat, endlessly. It was playing on the big computer in my office. I could listen to it all day, walk away, cook dinner, go out and garden, go to sleep, wake up -- and whenever i entered my office it was still playing, kinda like a Tibetan prayer wheel. When folks asked why i was only playing one song, i told them that i was allowing it to "catch up to the other Frank Stokes songs."  During this entire time, the only other songs i "heard" were those in my mind (i have eidetic musical recall) when i was away from my office.

After seven months of it playing continuously, and me listening to it for about eight hours a day, i met my current husband, on the Fourth of July weekend in 1998. He came to visit me. Of course he asked me why the song was set on eternal replay. I explained and he just smiled.

During the course of that weekend we fell in love and within a month he had quit his job and moved in with me. He never said one mumbling word about the fact that "Downtown Blues" by Frank Stokes was playing continuously ... but one day he asked, "Do you like any other songs? If i were to ask you to play another song you like, what would it be?"

I stopped Frank Stokes and opened up the second CD my daughter had given me, one of the Frog CDs of The Memphis Jug Band. I put on "Stealin' Stealin'" and by the second iteration he was singing the harmony parts. I had no idea that he was so musically inclined. Since he could sing harmony, i put on "K.C. Moan" by the Memphis Jug Band, and he liked that too.

So i set up a three-song rotation of those three tunes, and that ran for about a month, and then he said, "Now show me another song," so i played him the plain version and then the echoey version of "Viola Lee Blues," by Cannon's Jug Stompers, and he agreed that the echoey version was haunting. So i played him "Coffee Blues" by Mississippi John Hurt and he liked it. and then i played him "Sunflower River Blues" by John Fahey, and he liked that too. And that's when i decided to play my entire collection of vinyl and 78 records for him, which took several weeks. Within a month after that he drove us to El Cerrito and dropped a bundle on Document CDs for me at Down Home Music. That was true love. We were married on January 1st, 2000 and have been inseparable all these years.

So that is the story of my strange trip into the alternate universe where there was one song that did last =(almost)= forever, until my Prince Charming came and woke me up with a kiss and married me.


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