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Man, this is the weirdest. Talk about an evolutionary cul-de-sac lick - Ari Eisinger, teaching Blind Blake's Walking Across the Country

Author Topic: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out  (Read 15007 times)

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Offline Pan

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Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« on: January 16, 2006, 07:03:29 AM »
Hi all.

I noticed Alex's' thread on this song on the lyrics department. I've never realized that the original version was in the key of C. This of course, is very tempting for the acoustic CB guitarist. I also didn't know that the trumpet player was Louis Armstrong, so thank you for telling this Alex. You should all also note that Alex provided us with an mp3 in his thread.

I love this song and have been playing it for years so I thought I might share the chord changes, just in case some of you don't know them already.

Intro:

[| F F#dim | C/G A7 | D7 G7 | C (break) |]

Chorus:
[|: C E7 | A7 | F A7 | Dm |
                                  endings 1,2,3, and 6:
| F F#dim | C/G A7 | D7 | D7 G7 :|]

endings 4, 5 and 7 to finish:
| G7 C | D7 G7 | C (G7) :|]

Some players change from D7 to Dm7 on the ending 1, but I don't hear it on this version.

Many musicians play an descending scalar bassline from the beginning to the Dm chord as follows:
 
[|: C  E7/B | A7 A7/G | F A7/E | Dm... 

but in this key with a guitar in standard tuning you'll end up jumping an octave to the Dm, unless of course you start an octave higher to begin with. Experiment.

In the longer ending I'm hearing a Bb note being played on the last beat of the 1st bar on C chord just before moving to D7.  Is it C7 or Bb7 I'm not sure. You can live without it, as it usually is not been played on later versions.

By the way if you are not familiar with it already, check on Scrapper Blackwells absolutely fantastic version on this song. It's on the Juke.

I heard this song for the first time in the Finnish radio some 20+ years ago. I manged to put it on cassette which somebody has since lent and never returned. The radio-announcer claimed that the song was called "Nobody Loves You", and didn't gave any name for the artist. I wonder if any of you ladies or gentlemen happen to know of a piano duo or -trio version of this song (I'm sure there was a double-bass, but can't be sure about the drums) with a male voice singing. If you do, I'd be extremely pleased to know, because I've been looking for it ever since.

Come to think of it, if you know of ANY good versions of this song, why don't you share it? I like to listen to as many versions as possible, of my favorite songs. A postwar jazzy version with Jimmy Witherspoon on vocals and Ben Webster on tenor sax is very nice in my opinion.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 05:00:56 PM by Pan »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2006, 09:58:35 AM »
Pan:

Thanks for this.

One question: how do you finger the F#dim?

BTW, here's the link to the original thread in the Lyrics section, where the .mp3 can be found.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=83&topic=669.0

Alex
« Last Edit: January 16, 2006, 10:09:59 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 11:17:34 AM »
Hi Alex

Thanks for the link, it was beyond my technical abilities.

As for the F#dim you could try: 2-x-1-2-1-x, or F#-Eb-A-C, fingered: 2nd for F#, barr?ed 1st fing4er, 3rd for A,and the barr?ed 1st finger again for the high C.

If you wish, you could of course also add the high F# on 2nd fret on the 1st string with your little finger.

Pan

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 11:57:50 AM »
Hi again

Something just came into my mind.

If you prefer to voice the F chord with your thumb on the bass, you might want to do the same with F#dim7, doubling the low F# an octave higher: 2-x-4-2-1-x, fingered :Thumb, 4th, 2nd and 1st finger.

In my previous suggestion you also have the possibility to add the D note on the 2nd string, if you want some inner movement within the chord (this comes from the fact that F#dim7 is also D7b9/F# and of course you can add the root).

Pan

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2006, 12:21:10 PM »
I heard this song for the first time in the Finnish radio some 20+ years ago. I manged to put it on cassette which somebody has since lent and never returned. The radio-announcer claimed that the song was called "Nobody Loves You", and didn't gave any name for the artist. I wonder if any of you ladies or gentlemen happen to know of a piano duo or -trio version of this song (I'm sure there was a double-bass, but can't be sure about the drums) with a male voice singing. If you do, I'd be extremely pleased to know, because I've been looking for it ever since.
Yeah, the great, and today much underrated, Cecil Gant. Nobody Loves You (When You?re   Down and Out), recorded for Dot in about 1947 I think. He's playing the piano and accompanied by unidentified drummer.

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2006, 12:44:11 PM »
Hi Bunker Hill.

That must be it! I checked on Amazon, and indeed Gant has covered this song as "Nobody Loves You". Unfortunately they didn't have any sound samples to check up on, but I'm going to buy the record nevertheless.
You have solved a mystery of over 20 years and I'm extremely grateful to you!!!

Yours

Pan

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2006, 12:54:51 PM »
That must be it! I checked on Amazon, and indeed Gant has covered this song as "Nobody Loves You". Unfortunately they didn't have any sound samples to check up on, but I'm going to buy the record nevertheless.
You have solved a mystery of over 20 years and I'm extremely grateful to you!!!
I'm sure it's the one. I've got it on a Flyright-type compilation from about that time and I can hear your description of it playing in my head. ;D
Worth checking out Stefan's Flyright discography page:
http://www.wirz.de/music/flyrifrm.htm

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2006, 01:04:05 PM »
Just in case someone else is interested, the song can be found on "Complete Vol. 5 1947 - 1949 [Spanish Import]"
Cecil Gant; Audio CD; ?7.19, on Amazon U.K.

Thanks again

Pan

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2006, 01:32:33 AM »
Hi again

I can now officially confirm that Mr. Bunker Hill was right (not that I really doubted it), and that the Mystery Pianist is in fact Cecil Gant.

If you love this song, please check out his superb version.

You might want to read what All Music Guide to The Blues's Bill Dahl has to say about Gant's "Rock Little Baby" album on Flyright label:

"Rock Little Baby / 1976 / Flyright ****

British record collectors were hip to 1940s boogie and blues pianist Cecil Gant long before American aficionados were (not that there's much recognition of him even now). Flyright assembled this vinyl slab of Gant goodies in loving tribute, with titles like "Screwy Boogie", "Owl Stew", and the stinging "Rock Little Baby" among the upbeat highlights. Gant's "I'm a Good Man, But a Poor Man" has been adapted  by many blues artists since the pianist waxed this one. -Bill Dahl"

Private Gant had a few hits after WWII, apparently he was so busy becoming a R&B star that he didn't even have time to change his clothes; he was known as "the G.I. Sing-Sation". Hes greatest hit was a crooning ballad called "I Wonder". He died at the premature age of 38 in 1952.

My hat off to Mr. Bunker Hill

Pan
« Last Edit: February 02, 2006, 03:44:56 AM by Pan »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2006, 11:09:55 AM »
My hat off to Mr. Bunker Hill
No, thank you for reminding me of both the song and Cecil Gant.

This is way off topic but is the Finnish blues magazine Blues News still published? In 1970-1 I used to correspond with Juhani Ritvanen who I think was the editor. But back then I wasn't Bunker Hill. :o

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2006, 11:39:50 AM »
Hi

Yes, Blues News is still around. If you want to exercise your Finnish check here: http://www.bluesnews.fi/.
Juhani Ritvanen seems to be there also (check on the left on bottom of the page).

Pan

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2006, 07:44:30 AM »
Hi

I thought it would be nice to add Cecil Gant's version of "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out" here. So here's the mp3.

Note the descending bassline.

In the middle of the song Gant slows down the harmonic rhythm by playing only one chord to the bar:
 
| IV | V7 | I | VI7 |,
 
which adds a nice touch in my opinion. He plays in the key of Eb.



Cheers Pan
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 03:59:56 PM by Pan »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2006, 06:50:44 AM »
Nice, I'd not heard that before. Cecil's voice really cuts through. I also have been chipping away at NKYWYDAO over many years, very similar to Pan's read on it complete with the transit through F#dim. What a shame (IMO) it got so overexposed recently with the result it gets brutally murdered every Saturday night on Yamaha boxes all around the world.

Another real interesting piano tune from that era for which I've been lackadaisically making a guitar arrangement is Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues but I think it warrents another thread.

Offline MTJ3

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2006, 01:39:52 PM »
To take this off topic just a bit, the song was reportedly written by Jimmy Cox and published in 1923.  In terms of the pre-War blues pedigree of the song, I note the following recordings: (1) Bobby Leecan, as Blind Bobby Baker (rec. c. June 1927); (2) Pine Top Smith (rec. December 12, 1928); (3) Bessie Smith (rec. May 15, 1929), and (4) Tommie Bradley (rec. July 17, 1931, under the title "When You're Down and Out"). 

I have not hard Leecan's version.  Pine Top's version is a talking blues (!) (in which regard I note that Louis Jordan had a spoken intro in his version).  If you're not familiar with Bessie's doleful version, check it out on www.redhotjazz.com. Bradley's version is robust and appealing.  From his post-rediscovery recordings, it appears to have been a late favorite of Scrapper Blackwell's.  It is unclear where he learned the song.  Although he had some affiliation with Bradley (having, without credit, backed Bradley on "Packing Trunk Blues"), Scrapper was quite knowledgeable about classic or vaudeville blues, and hearing Bessie's version would probably have been unavoidable in the late 1920s and early 1930s. 

I have not consulted Rust, but I have not been able to locate any other recorded pre-War blues or jazz versions of the song.  I would be grateful if anyone could point me to any such versions.

To make this post relevant to this topic, I note that Eric Schoenberg's transcription of this song was published in Sing Out! in probably 1971.  It is an interesting and somewhat athletic transcription with, of course, lots of moving bass.  He substitutes B7 for F#dim (which both share f#, d# and a), and plays the F in the C shape at the 8th fret and the B7 in the E shape at the 7th fret. He supposedly based the transcription on (or at least was inspired by) Bessie's recorded version. I don't know if he ever recorded it, but it's worth "seeing."

Offline Pan

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Re: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2006, 03:26:23 PM »
Hi Rivers and MTJ3

Thank you both for taking interest in this wonderful song.

I'm especially intrigued  to learn about the other existent pre-war recordings of this song, I've always thought that the Bessie Smith recording was the "original", so to say.

I've never been able to gather much information about the alleged composer Jimmy Cox either, so if anyone could share some information about him too, I'd very much appreciate. Was he maybe a husband to Ida Cox?

Yours

Pan

 


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