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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => SOTM - Song Of The Month => Topic started by: Old Man Ned on May 01, 2017, 07:05:59 AM

Title: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Old Man Ned on May 01, 2017, 07:05:59 AM
First recorded around May 1925 by Papa Charlie Jackson 'Shake That Thing' was an even bigger hit than his previous release 'Salty Dog' (Songsters & Saints; Paul Oliver).  By the end of the year, Ethel Waters, and the following year Viola McCoy and  Viola Bartlette had recorded versions.   

Ethel Waters claimed to have been performing the song on stage since 1921 (Songsters & Saints; Paul Oliver) so I'm assuming this was a popular vaudeville song that got carried through by blues and jazz musicians.

The following information on recording ie dates etc are taken from Dixon & Godrich.

Here's Papa Charlie Jacksons recording of "Shake That Thing" from 1925

http://youtu.be/gTQ4xcIV04E

and Ethel Waters with piano acc. by Pearl Wright followed by Eva Taylor's version accompanied by husband, Clarence William's Blue Five

http://youtu.be/YXr4ZpkhTgE

http://youtu.be/oFxPex4Jv1o

Viola McCoy recorded songs from March 1923 -through '24 almost every month and then less regularly through to 1929.  Here's a quote from Author Derrick Stewart-Baxter who wrote of McCoy: "She belongs to the great vaudeville tradition, but in all she does there is a strong jazz strain ... Possessing a lovely contralto voice and fine diction, she was able to project herself through even the worst recording ... It would be true to say that in the three years she was recording most prolifically she hardly ever made a bad record". This just about sums it up for me.  Here's her recording of "Shake That Thing"

http://youtu.be/Ywx8ceC0ilI

and Viola Bartlette's version from 1926 with possibly Jimmy Blythe on piano

http://youtu.be/xHdAPuW1TnY

Looking at guitar versions of "Shake That Thing", Mississppi John Hurt's version is the first to spring to mind

http://youtu.be/z-DcmRhT-Fk

but I hadn't realised there were versions by Kokomo Arnold, Lightnin' Hopkins and  Ralph Willis.  The latter is at around 13:36 of the East Coast Blues cd below.

http://youtu.be/7shYRI8OJ3g

http://youtu.be/j2s4qfhX3Rw

http://youtu.be/Q_JX3bBgsQ0

Piano versions I found from Willie Mabon and Art Hodes

http://youtu.be/L2aLCwEvBJ8

http://youtu.be/P5Wk8_TV_fY

and band versions from

Abe Lymans California Orchestra (1926). Kid Ory Creole Jazz Band and the Preservation Hall Band

http://youtu.be/1Q8NWHFPiSk

http://youtu.be/2gJcz8HI2SQ

http://youtu.be/EE4Ut20amUc

Hope you enjoy this selection.  I thought there would have been more versions by blues singers with guitar so please add any more you find.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Prof Scratchy on May 01, 2017, 09:28:57 AM
Great choice, Old Man Ned. Not forgetting the fragment that starts off Paramount's very scratchy 'Hometown Skiffle'!


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Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Lignite on May 01, 2017, 10:19:17 AM
Sheet music cover. Papa Charlie gets authorship credit.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Lignite on May 01, 2017, 08:23:56 PM
A more recent interpretation by Big Boy Henry. Home recording about 1989?  http://picosong.com/iWq4
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Rivers on May 02, 2017, 07:02:10 PM
I have a lot of Mississippi John Hurt albums but somehow missed his version of Shake That Thing. Does anyone know of an album that cut is on? It's really good.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Stuart on May 02, 2017, 09:02:25 PM
Hi Rivers: Good question. I checked Stefan Wirz' Mississippi John Hurt page and it first appears in 1982 on a live LP. The note indicates the recordings are from the April 15, 1966 Oberlin concert. After listening to the YouTube clip, my guess is that this version was recorded at the Oberlin concert, but didn't make it onto the original Vanguard "Best of" release. I don't have Philip Ratcliffe's book at hand, so I can't check it for additional info.

Without having access to the "Shake That Thing" tracks on all of the other releases and being able to compare them, along with any additional info that may be available, it's just a guess on my part. I'll be interested about what our more knowledgeable members have to say.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Rivers on May 02, 2017, 09:17:16 PM
Yep, I thought Oberlin too. Excellent warm sound, and the big auditorium applause at the end.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: alyoung on May 03, 2017, 02:31:20 AM
It was issued in 1982 on an English LP, Quicksilver QS-5007, which, with Quicksilver QC-5042, issued Oberlin material not on the Vanguard issue. I don't know of any CD issue. Anyone?
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Old Man Ned on May 03, 2017, 07:54:34 AM
I have a version of  'Shake That Thing' on the CD, Mississippi John Hurt, Lonesome Blues on the Blitz label.  I've a vague memory of picking this up at HMV at discount price some years ago, so not sure it's still available.
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Stuart on May 03, 2017, 08:16:08 AM
I did a quick check of eBay and there are a few CDs that have "Shake That Thing" included.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mississippi-John-Hurt-Blues-Cafe-Presents-Mississippi-John-H-UK-IMPORT-CD-NEW-/112373043799

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mississippi-John-Hur-Aint-Nobodys-Business-New-CD-/132052135065

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Revisited-by-Mississippi-John-Hurt-NEW-SEALED-CD-Sep-2001-Fuel-2000-/301092073537

I can't speak to the specifics, but at $9 or less, they are all within reach.

Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: Johnm on May 03, 2017, 09:24:27 AM
Thanks, Old Man Ned, for your Song of the Month choice and for tracking down all the different versions of "Shake That Thing".  I'm always happy to be reminded of Ralph Willis, he seems so under-rated to me.  The Kokomo Arnold version is unlike anything else I've heard from him.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: SOTM 01MAY2017 Shake That Thing
Post by: harry on May 24, 2017, 05:53:29 AM
Strut instead of shake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6qO6hzyMY4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6qO6hzyMY4)
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