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"Would you like to play with me?" - Henry Townsend's reply to soundman Warren Argo's query as to whether anyone would be playing with Henry at his concert set at the first Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop

Author Topic: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store  (Read 2888 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2015, 04:15:24 AM »
Great version, harry. Really wish I could play piano! Old Man Ned - thanks for completing the Speckled Red line for me. I think you're hearing it right. I agree on your favorites, but I would add the Sonny Boy Williamson one too. Wax - when you're retired too, you'll have time to read Guido van Rijn's book! Highly recommended.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2015, 06:56:14 AM »
Epic post, perfesser. Nicely done. I too am looking forward to exploring all these versions and their content, but will say Lonzie Thomas continues to be among my favourite players ever.

I thought you were playing some piano?

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2015, 07:05:10 AM »
Yes UB, but not properly like Harry!

Offline banjochris

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2015, 11:21:51 AM »
Leaving such conjecture behind, there was another Welfare Blues recording in 1938, this time by Speckled Red. Mr Perryman was clearly unacquainted with Hill?s grocery store. For him, it sounds like he?d rather ?go to the hills?, though I have difficulty making out the rest of the line as he sings it. See if you can make out what he?s singing:

He sings that last line, with some variations throughout, as: "I'd rather go to the hills and plow, don't like no welfare store."

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2015, 06:39:53 PM »
Thanks for the song history, Professor Scratchy - I was only familiar with the Fred Mcdowell song and doh! I thought he wrote it. Enjoyed being introduced to the Leadbelly,  Sonny Boy Williamson and Thomas Shaw?s Richard Nixon?s Welfare Blues.


Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2015, 06:31:58 AM »
Thanks so much for the topic and post, Prof.  I've made it through the different versions now.  Stand-outs for me were Leadbelly's time, Walter Davis's harmonization and over-all sound, and for attitude, groove and point of view, Lonzie Thomas.  Winner for me was Lonzie.  A couple of thoughts occur:
   * I can certainly understand someone turning up his nose at canned tripe.  Could there be a more unappealing offering?!
   * The songs focusing on "not wanting to go", with the implication of wounded pride and resentment at needing help are more sympathetic and understandable to me from an emotional point of view than those like the Josh White song, which seem to say, "Isn't it great that this vital service is being provided?"

Listening to these songs enabled me to get the one missing point I had been unable to hear in the Lonzie Thomas version, which ended up being "one little can of tripe", so thanks additionally for providing the deeper context that made it possible to hear that.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2015, 07:32:22 AM »
They do very nice canned tripe in  Spain!

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2015, 07:43:28 AM »
Wasn't familiar with the Red Cross as an ongoing welfare type operation, doesn't sound like a pleasant experience, but wanted to give tip of the hat mention to their emergency services at least in the 90's.

They actually came with the fire department in NYC and relocated fire displaced tenants to a hotel for free, myself included,and food for a week, had clothing replacement plan. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 07:44:32 AM by harriet »

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2015, 07:55:08 AM »
The Red Cross has been back in the news a lot lately, and not for good reasons:

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-red-cross-raised-half-a-billion-dollars-for-haiti-and-built-6-homes

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2015, 08:06:34 AM »
Hi all,
Re good canned tripe in Spain:  live and learn!  One other thing I thought was that Leadbelly's version was the only one that assigned the Red Cross Store a function having to do with military conscription.  Do you think he was just mistaken about that, or that, as an older musician he had experienced a use of the stores that was later phased out?  Saying "I don't want to go" has a lot more weight in the context of conscription than in the context of getting flour and canned tripe.
All best,
Johnm

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2015, 08:26:07 AM »
Perhaps, John (and this is just a scientific wild azz guess):  Draft registration started 5 June 1917.  Is it possible that the Red Cross stores were used as registrars?  Although, that brings in to play the whole Red Cross store being in use 11 - 12 years before the depression started...

Poetic license on Leadbelly's part?
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2015, 08:54:51 AM »
The red cross has a history of partnership with the military:
http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history/red-cross-american-history/military-partnership

If I heard right Leadbelly says in the introduction that this was a true story song and that the red cross store was where one signed up for the military.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 09:05:17 AM by harriet »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2015, 09:29:40 AM »
You're right, that is what Leadbelly says in the song intro, but there is nothing in the linked history that you gave, Harriet, that indicates that the Red Cross was ever involved in any way with military conscription.  Perhaps it was something that was done locally, for reasons of sharing space or for some other reason, just in the locale that Leadbelly resided in--there's no indication that the practice was nationwide or part of public policy.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 10:59:01 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2015, 09:39:45 AM »
This is an interesting article:
http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2202

I seem to remember some talk in the Calt/Wardlow Patton book about people being conscripted for levee work during the 1927 flood; this article talks about the Red Cross' participation in that. Perhaps that's where some of the resentment originated.
Chris

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2015, 10:40:05 AM »
Maybe the redcross at that Leadbelly's time had stores to recruit volunteers for their own forces in the "partnership" which I gather was aiding enlisted men?

Here's some ww1 redcross recruitment posters in this link - it never says they recruit for the military so I misconstrued the meaning of the leadbelly's description and I am no clearer about that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=red+cross+world+war+1+sign+up&espv=2&biw=1263&bih=848&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=J5eJVYa-Ksis-AHh3oHgDg&ved=0CEkQsAQ#imgrc=_

 


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