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Man, don't ever take a drink from an open bottle. You don't know what might be in it - Sonny Boy Williamson II, (reportedly) to Robert Johnson Aug 13 1938

Author Topic: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics  (Read 703 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« on: February 09, 2022, 03:44:46 PM »
Hi all,
I had heard about Doctor Clayton years ago and seen publicity shots of him wearing clownish glasses, but I had never heard his music, so I thought I'd listen to some on youtube, if it had been posted. It has, and here is his "Root Doctor Blues", recorded August 7, 1946 in Chicago  with Peter J. (Doctor) Clayton singing, Blind John Davis accompanying him on piano in G, Willie Lacey on guitar and Ransom Knowling on bass. Doctor Clayton had some hits in the '40s, and was backed by Blind John Davis on most of his sides. He was originally from Georgia, but ended up in Chicago. Not surprisingly, I found upon hearing him that he was a strong singer, with a bright voice. I think his neglect by present-day audiences may stem from his not being an instrumentalist, and also commercial blues from his period not being particularly highly thought of by record collectors or blues aficionados, for that matter. That having been said, his singing affirms something I've long thought--there has never been a popular blues recording artist who was popular in spite of his or her singing. If they were popular, it was because of their singing. Here is "Root Doctor Blues":



INTRO

I'm a first-class root doctor, I don't buy no other doctor in this land
I'm a first-class root doctor, I don't buy no other doctor in this land
My remedy is guaranteed to cure you, pills and pains ain't in my plan

You claim your regular doctor makes you feel like a real young girl
You claim your regular doctor makes you feel like a real young girl
Doctor Clayton's root treatments make you feel like a angel, flyin' 'round in another world

I've got a stream-lined way of operatin', I don't leave a scar nowhere
I got a stream-lined way of operatin', darling, I don't leave a scar nowhere
I put my remedy right on the spot, and I swear, the healin' power's there (Spoken: Come in and play, sir!)

GUITAR SOLO (Spoken: Come here, come here. Well, glory! Blow your wig! Let your hair rise! Well, all right)

After you receive my special root treatment, woman, don't start no signifyin'
After you receive my root treatment, female, please don't start no signifyin'
Don't cry 'cause some woman beat you to my office, Lord, I love to work overtime

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 06:21:32 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2022, 06:20:53 PM »
Hi all,
Doctor Clayton recorded "Gotta Find My Baby" in Chicago on November 11, 1941, accompanied by Blind John Davis on piano in Db, and Alfred Elkins on imitation bass. Davis was certainly a wonderful accompanist. I like Doctor Clayton's writing, both lyrically and melodically. This song was later recorded by the Indianapolis singer and guitarist Pete Franklin, for his Prestige Bluesville album in the early '60s, and he used the song to open his program, doing a superlatively strong version of it. Here is Doctor Clayton's original recording of "Gotta Find My Baby":



INTRO SOLO

I done searched this town, from door to door, and the love I crave, I can't find no more
REFRAIN: I got to find my baby, I declare I wouldn't lie
I ain't had no real good lovin', since that gal said goodbye

I hate to see the sun, hurry to the West, 'cause I know my whole night will be a solid mess
REFRAIN: I got to find my baby, I declare I wouldn't lie
I ain't had no real good lovin', since that gal said goodbye

When my head starts achin', I grab my hat and go, 'cause cocaine and reefer, can't reach my case no more
REFRAIN: I got to find my baby, I declare I wouldn't lie
I ain't had no real good lovin', since that gal said goodbye (Spoken: Come on, chile)

SOLO (Spoken: Well, all right! That's what I'm talking' about. Yes, yes. Well, all right!)

I don't care if it's the last thing I ever do in my life, I'm gonna find my big black brownskin and make her my wife
REFRAIN: I got to find my baby, I declare I wouldn't lie
I ain't had no real good lovin', since that gal said goodbye

CODA

All best,
Johnm



 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2022, 08:17:19 AM by Johnm »

Offline Lignite

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2022, 06:22:11 AM »
Nice to hear the original version of this song by Doctor Clayton, John. Little Walter recorded an updated version of this tune in 1954 with a full band featuring Otis Spann on piano and Robert Junior Lockwood on guitar. He kept two of Doctor Clayton's original verses.



Offline Johnm

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2022, 09:27:12 AM »
Thanks, Lightnin', for posting the Little Walter cover of "Gotta Find My Baby". Boy, the ensemble rhythm on that track is so strong, just smoking. It's pretty great the way that musicians notice and remember good songs and bring them back in their own versions, sometimes many years later. 

Offline Thomas8

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2022, 12:34:33 PM »
His singing is absolutely mad on this one.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2022, 03:12:01 PM »
Might as well put the lyrics for "'41 Blues" up. Pretty straight forward.

Peter J. "Doctor" Clayton recorded "'41 Blues" on July 1, 1941 in Chicago, accompanied by Blind John Davis on piano, Robert Lockwood on guitar and an unknown standard bass player.

'41 Blues

Piano key of F (per Blues Vintage)

War is raginí in Europe on the water, land and in the air
War is raginí in Europe on the water, land and in the air
Ooh, if Uncle Sam, he donít be careful, weíll all soon be right back over there

And radios and newspapers, they all force me to believe (spoken: Well alright)
The radios and newspapers, they all make me believe
Yeah, Hitler and Mussolini, they must have the snatching disease

Ainít goní be no peace in Europe, till we cut off Hitlerís head
Ooh, it aint goní be no peace in Europe, till we chop off Hitlerís head
Ooh, Mussolini have heart failure when he hear Stalin is dead

I hope Hitler catch consumption, I mean the gallopiní kind
Yes, I hope Hitler catch consumption, I mean the gallopiní kind
And Stalin catch the leprosy, Mussolini lose his mind

This whole war would soon be over if Uncle Sam would use my plan (spoken: Knock me out, man)
This whole war would soon be over if Uncle Sam would use my plan
Ooh, let me sneak in Hitlerís bedroom, with my razor in my hand (spoken: Yes, my)


Wax

Edited to add recording info, and also piano key supplied by Blues Vintage.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 04:27:50 PM by waxwing »
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

ďJust because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.Ē
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline Johnm

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2022, 04:48:01 PM »
Thanks for transcribing that, wax, and Thomas, thanks for posting it.     
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 08:05:59 AM by Johnm »

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2022, 04:03:41 AM »
Pretty sure the piano key is F.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2022, 10:43:16 AM »
Hi all,
Doctor Clayton recorded "Moonshine Women Blues" (title should probably have been "Moonshine Woman Blues") at a session in Chicago on March 27, 1942. Notes on the session are puzzling, for in addition to Blind John Davis on piano in F, they show Alfred Elkins playing "imitation" (washtub) bass, and Ransom Knowling playing brass bass. Unless "brass bass" is a synonym for tuba, someone is missing the boat here. The song opens with a tuba solo, and no bass of whatever sort is audible. As was the norm with Doctor Clayton, the lyrics are original and well-crafted, and he sings the song in high style. Here is "Moonshine Women Blues":



TUBA SOLO

Well, the woman I love, ain't much more than skin and bones
Well, the woman I love, ain't much more than skin and bones
She's losin' weight every day, but she won't leave moonshine alone

Her legs is so little, they look just like a cigarette
Her legs is so little, they look just like a cigarette
She's on her way to her grave, but moonshine is still her pet

She won't work nowhere, 'cause the government gives her Relief
She won't work nowhere, 'cause the government gives her Relief
She sells all her stamps for moonshine, when every dress she got is solid beat

She won't pay me no mind, no matter how hard I plead
She won't pay me no mind, no matter how hard I plead
When both of her shoes got big holes in 'em, and her stockings ain't got no feet

She drinks the worst moonshine in town, a half a pint for fifteen cents
She drinks the worst moonshine in town, a half a pint for fifteen cents
She spends so much for moonshine, I can hardly pay my rent

CODA

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 11:35:05 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Root Doctor Blues and Doctor Clayton Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2022, 03:17:02 PM »
Hi all,
Doctor Clayton recorded "Confessin' The Blues" at a session in Chicago on August 19, 1941, for which he was accompanied by Blind John Davis on piano in F, Robert Jr. Lockwood on guitar, and an unknown bass player. The song was originally composed by the Kansas City pianist and singer Jay McShann, writing with Walter Brown.  Doctor Clayton's over-the-top delivery and antics run the risk of making one forget what an incredibly well-crafted set of lyrics this is. It really is no wonder that so many people have recorded it--it's as though it speaks for the entire genre. Here is "Confessin' The Blues":



INTRO

Baby, here I stand before you, with my little heart in my hand, I want you t' read it, mama, hoping that you'll understand
Hey-ey, baby, mama, please don't dog me around
Now-ow, I'd rather love you, darling, than anyone else I know in town

Baby, you so nice and lovin', you got such pleasant ways, if you take me into your home, babe, I'll be there all my days
That's the truth, mama,  ooh, you know I wouldn't lie
If I don't love you, mama, I'll swear I'd love to die (Spoken: Look-a-here, man)

Hey-ey-ey, baby, don't you want a man like me? (Spoken: Knock me out, man. What you gonna do?)
Hey-ey, baby, ohh, don't you want a man like me? (Spoken: Now that's the jive)
Hey, you just think about your future, and forget about your used-to-be

When my days are long and dreary, and the sun refuse to shine, babe, I wouldn't be blue and lonely, if I knew that you were mine
Eeee, baby, will you make everything all right?
Can I have you right now, mama, or will it be tomorrow night?

This is my confession, mama, and I'm thrilled by all your charms, but it seems that I'm in Heaven when you hold me in your arms
Aaaa, baby, ooo, you can have me for yourself
Nooo, you were meant for me, mama, I don't want nobody else

All best,
Johnm





« Last Edit: February 21, 2022, 04:12:55 PM by Johnm »

 


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