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If it meets with your approval, we are glad to recommend that the above named man be allowed to make music on the streets of Durham at a place designated by you - Blind Boy Fuller, letter to Chief of Police on Fuller's behalf

Recent Posts

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41
Books and Articles / Re: The Day the Music Burned - NY Times
« Last post by Stuart on June 11, 2019, 04:51:22 PM »
That's for sure.

I think it was a case of incompetence on many sides and not malicious intent on anyone's part. But that doesn't lessen the impact. Hopefully, people took it as a lesson for the future. But as the article suggests, while one problem was addressed, others came forth to take its place. --And will probably continue to do so.
42
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Joe Dean Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on June 11, 2019, 01:53:00 PM »
Hi all,
Another solo track by Joe Dean (and perhaps the only other solo track by him) is "Mexico Bound Blues".  The piece doesn't have the frantic excitement of "I'm So Glad That I'm Twenty-One Years Old Today", but it features some lovely relaxed playing and singing.   Here it is:



INTRO

Lord, I'm going to Mexico, babe, and it won't be long
Lord, I'm going to Mexico, babe, and it won't be long
Lord, I'll disappear, like a bird along about dawn

Lord, I'm going to tell all the boys and girls I know
Lord, I'm going to tell all the boys and girls I know
That when I leave, I'm bound for Mexico

When I leave, baby, please don't cry after me
Lord, when I leave, baby, please don't cry after me
For when you dry your tears, I'll be forty miles on the Santa Fe

SOLO

Lord, these blues, these blues is coming down on me
Lord, these blues, these blues is coming down on me
Lord, I'm just as blue, just as blue as any man can be

And it's early tomorrow morning, just about half past four
Lord, early tomorrow morning, just about half past four
Lord, my baby's done quit me and I'm bound for Mexico

All best,
Johnm
43
Calvin Frazier, who played with Robert Johnson and whose 1938 Library of Congress recordings (made in Detroit) are some of the closest examples of Johnson's playing style, likewise stopped playing in that fashion on his few postwar recordings from the 50s. On those later recordings, he has become a through-and-through T-Bone Walker emulator (and was advertised as such in contemporary newspaper ads). Much to our loss, as his '38 recordings, though very much in the Johnson style, were not slavish imitations. Rather, they felt original and fresh and more vital than his later commercial records, which indeed sound very much like recordings with commercial intentions.
44
Books and Articles / Re: The Day the Music Burned - NY Times
« Last post by eric on June 11, 2019, 08:50:19 AM »
Hard to overstate the loss.
45
...he rushed to claim Johnson had no influence in the day and never once mentioned Robert Lockwood, who went on to play the King Biscuit radio show and influence many players at the time just after RJ's death.

Actually, he did mention Lockwood, but as an example of departure from the idiom of the solo singer-guitarist

Quote from: Elijah Wald
As Muddy Waters remembered it, "Several boys around there could use the slide and  I'd say that they were just as good as Robert Johnson, the only thing about it is they never had a chance to get a record out." When we listen to Johnson, we are hearing the cream of a large crop, and that particular crop was not playing that way even a decade after his death. By the 1940s, those young  men were joining jump combos, as Robert Lockwood did.
47
There's nothing in the book about recordings after Johnson's death.

The only discussion I'm familiar with is in the liner notes by Neil Slaven  to the JSP box-set The Road to Robert Johnson And Beyond.

CDs C and D contain the Lomax recordings of Muddy Waters, which are only marginally relevant, and selected recordings of Robert Lockwood, Calvin Frazier, Robert Lee McCoy, Big Joe Williams, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, Little Walter, Elmore James, Homesick James, Baby Boy Warren. Finally there are eleven tracks by the obscure Blind Willie Dukes who recorded in Detroit in 1975 with the dubious claim that he'd been taught by Johnson himself. It looks as if he'd learnt the songs from records quite possibly an LP or LPs.

I checked  Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta, but his historical interests after Johnson's death are firstly how Black musicians  moved in a different direction and secondly how White musicians latched on to him.

(Written before i saw waxwing's posting.)
48
Johnm-
I quibbled with Elijah Wald up at PT one summer because in his RJ book he rushed to claim Johnson had no influence in the day and never once mentioned Robert Lockwood, who went on to play the King Biscuit radio show and influence many players at the time just after RJ's death. He cited pressure from publishers to create a controversy.

I met Robert Junior at an SF Blues Fest shortly before his death. Carefully not mentioning Johnson once, I asked him what he felt his greatest contribution was and he stated that he brought jazz chords to the blues. I thought it ironic tho that we were on the west coast where post war blues pretty much was jazz at that time. None the less, I think Lockwood was undeniably a stream of Robert Johnson influence.

Wax
49
That's an interesting idea.
50
Hi all,
One thing that I think would be really interesting, and I don't know if they get into it in the book, would be discussion of recorded renditions, obviously influenced by Robert Johnson, that were made by other musicians either prior to the first Columbia re-issue, or by musicians who almost certainly never heard and could not have been influenced by the Columbia re-issues.  I'm thinking of Johnny Shines' "Ramblin'", a couple of Calvin Frazier performances and a Smoky Babe piece or two.  Smoky Babe had some of Robert Johnson's sound in Spanish tuning DOWN, impressively, a la "Terraplane Blues".  I think these early indications of a musical influence coming from Robert Johnson are fascinating because they pre-date the hype that began after the first Columbia re-issue.  It may be that the book focuses more exclusively on Robert Johnson himself, though.
All best,
Johnm
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