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Author Topic: Johnny Temple Lyrics  (Read 3286 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2019, 05:46:02 PM »
scansion was a new word and concept for me, thanks.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2019, 02:41:20 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "Streamline Blues" sticks pretty closely to the title topic, with a slick backing ensemble featuring piano, guitar, clarinet and lightly played drums.  This song seems a case in point of how often in blues lyrics, it is not what you are saying, but how you say it.  Johnny Temple's sensational vocal elevates the proceedings.
Listening to a lot of Johnny Temple's songs from this period makes clear both why he is relatively neglected in the present-day blues community and was popular when he was making the records.  His recordings are probably not guitar-centric enough to convince most present-day fans of Country Blues to seek them out, but for audiences of his day, Johnny Temple was churning out records which consistently had superlative singing and really well-done small ensemble arrangements that were danceable.  For the original blues record-buying public, strong singing was much more of a selling point than were instrumental fireworks.  Here is "Streamline Blues":



INTRO

I have a streamlined shape, and my baby has streamlined eyes
I have a streamlined shape, and my baby has streamlined eyes
If she ain't a streamlined baby, hoo-well-well, boys, I hope to die

'Cause I know you don't know me, but listen to me sing
'Cause I know you don't know me, but listen to me sing
You can tell by that, baby, hoo-well-well, I'm a streamlined man

I'm a streamlined man, made on a streamlined frame
I'm a streamlined man, made on a streamlined frame
Well now, if I ain't, baby, hoo-well-well, you haven't seen the streamlined train

I got a streamlined woman, made up like a streamlined iron
I have a streamlined woman, made up like a streamlined iron
The only thing I hate, hoo-well-well, mens always on her line

I'm a streamlined man, but it don't mean a thing
I'm a streamlined man, but it don't mean a thing
Well, if you think it do, baby, hoo-well-well, deals you another hand

Edited 1/25 to pick up correction from lindy

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 10:22:40 AM by Johnm »

Offline lindy

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2019, 09:49:14 AM »
Hi John:

Minor adjustment at the end of the third line (first verse): I hope to *die* instead of I hope to *do.*

Regarding your comment about "not being guitar-centric enough to convince country blues fans to seek them out," you wrote something in an earlier post on this thread that I think is telling:

"'My Pony' on the discontinued 'The Essential' series on Document.  He recorded the song with a small jazz ensemble with piano, bass, clarinet, trumpet and drums."

The phrase "with a small *jazz* ensemble" jumps out. Most of the songs posted on this thread have a "jazz feel" to them. The sound of the clarinet has something to do with it, as well as the very clean piano playing .. nothing even remotely approaching a gut-bucket feel here.

L

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2019, 10:32:23 AM »
Thanks for the catch, Lindy.  I hate my spellcheck, grrr!

I absolutely agree with your point about the Johnny Temple cuts having a Jazz feel, and hearing how he worked with his accompanying ensemble reminds me that a musical combination I almost always really enjoy is a "country" singer with a sophisticated musician or group of musicians providing accompaniment--think Texas Alexander accompanied by Lonnie Johnson, or Bessie Tucker accompanied by K. D. Johnson on piano.  In a way it takes a sophisticated player, or at least an exceptional listener, to accompany singers like Texas Alexander and Bessie Tucker well, because their phrasing changes as a rendition goes along.  Johnny Temple was far more consistent in that regard, and I have the feeling that many or most of his tracks were first takes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2019, 02:20:40 PM »
Hi all,
The sentiments expressed in Johnny Temple's "Let's Get Together" are exceedingly rare in blues lyrics.  As usual, Johnny Temple is expertly accompanied, by piano, guitar and clarinet.  Listening to Johnny Temple (and Sleepy John Estes), it becomes apparent that being able to do a personalized version of Peetie Wheatstraw's vocal mannerism, "hoo-well-well" was an important weapon in the arsenal of blues singers of a particular period.  Here is "Let's Get Together":



INTRO

Boys, let's get together, and let one woman do
Boys, let's get together, and let one woman do
If you show her that you love her, hoo-well-well, she will love you too

You have to show her that you love her, by doing everything you can
Have to show her that you love her, by doing everything you can
And she will show you that she love you, by sticking with you through thick and thin

In the place of us is actin' right, we will go out and stay half of the night
In the place of us actin' right, we go out and stay half of the night
And if she says anything, hoo-well-well, you really do fuss and fight

How do you expect for a woman to love you, and you won't treat her right?
How you expect for a woman to love you, and you won't treat her right?
Walk the streets all day, hoo-well-well, come home at first midnight

Boys, listen to me, take me to be your friend
Boys, listen to me, take me to be your friend
If you don't love your woman, hoo-well-well, I swear some other man can

All best,
Johnm


Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2019, 02:52:06 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "Down In Mississippi" is an altogether different song and pre-dates the J. B. Lenoir song of the same title.  Johnny is once again backed by piano, clarinet and guitar.  I particularly like the tagline to his last verse.  Here is "Down In Mississippi":



INTRO

When I go down in Mississippi, cold tears run down my cheek
When I go down in Miss'sippi, cold tears run down my cheek
But a-many of my friends, that I have a chance to meet

When I was down in Mississippi, my friends sure did treat me fine
When I was down in Mississippi, my friends sure did treat me fine
If they wasn't buyin' me corn whiskey, they was buyin' me beer and wine

GUITAR SOLO

My friends down in Mississippi, always wants to carry me 'round
My friends down in Mississippi, they always wanted to carry me 'round
But when they get full of their corn whiskey, I swear, they will start actin' a clown

If you take a drink of corn whiskey, don't let the police smell it on your breath
Man, you take a drink of corn whiskey, don't let the police smell it on your breath
Because if you do, down there, you is subject to arrest

All best,
Johnm 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2019, 03:59:36 PM »
Hi all,
"If I Could Holler" finds Johnny Temple backed by piano and some very smooth chording guitar.  Here it is:



INTRO

If I could holler, like the Bob Lee, Jr. blow, hoo-mmm
Well, if I could holler, like the Bob Lee, Jr. blow
Well, I would call my baby, hoo-well, man, on the killin' floor

Well, if I had a headlight, like on some passenger train
If I had a headlight, like on some passenger train
Well, I would shine my light, hoo-well-well, in Colorado Springs

My best buddy say he heard, that Bob Lee, Jr. blow
Well, my buddy say he heard, that Bob Lee, Jr. blow
He says she blows just like, hoo-Lord, she ain't gonna blow ho more

Well, the Bob Lee passed me today, my baby all in the side
The Bob Lee passed me again, my baby all in the side
Well, the conductor said, "I'm sorry, buddy, but your woman, she got to ride."

I was standin' at the station, when the Bob Lee left the shed
I was standin' at the station, when the Bob Lee left the shed
My buddy says, "I'm sorry for you, buddy, but I know you wish that you was dead."

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 04:40:26 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2019, 04:38:43 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple recorded "Sundown Blues" in 1941.  The attached video shows Horace Malcolm as his pianist and Johnny accompanying himself on guitar, which I'm quite dubious of; based on his guitar playing on his earliest recordings, it seems unlikely he could play the smooth 'straight fours" chordal back-up you hear on this song.  And as far as that goes, the main thing happening here is his singing--wow!  Here is "Sundown Blues":



INTRO

Between sun-up and sundown, a-many of us have to part
Between sun-up and sundown, a-many of us have to part
But I want you to remember, baby, you sure did break my heart

Before the sun went down, baby, you know what you promised me
Before the sun went down, you know what you promised me
Said, you promised me that you loved me, hoo-ooo, Lord, and let me be

Lord, some of these mornin', and the sun begin to shine
Lord, some of these mornings, and the sun will begin to shine
Well, you think about me, baby, hoo-mmm, you always have me on your mind

PIANO SOLO

When the sun was shinin' bright, you always treated me right
When the sun was shinin' bright, always treated me right
Lord, when the sun went down, hoo-uhh, you wouldn't let me spend the night

All best,
Johnm 
 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2019, 02:15:57 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple recorded "Evil Devil Blues" as one of his very first tracks recorded.  He was joined by Charlie McCoy on second guitar for the record, which is a cover of Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman".  I've always found the duet sound on this record somewhat mystifying, which is surprising, I suppose, because it is so repetitious and practically static, chordally.  I also find some of Johnny Temple's lyrics tough to hear and be sure of, most especially, the end of the first line of the first verse, in the bent brackets.  Any correction or corroboration of them would be appreciated.  Here is "Evil Devil Blues":



INTRO

I'd rather be dead and, in my horrible tomb, horrible tomb
To hear my woman, some man done taken my room, taken my room

I'd rather be the devil, to be that woman's man, that woman's man

The woman I love, the, woman I love, the, woman I love, she, don't pay me no mind, me no mind
Gon' pack my things, goin', further down the line, down the line

Laid down last night, I, laid down last night, I laid down last night and I, tried to take my rest
My mind got to ramblin', like the wild geese from the West, from the West

The devil's evil, changed my baby's mind, baby's mind

You be my woman, be my woman, you, be my woman, I'll tell you what I will do, I will do
I'll cut your kindlin', I will build your fire, build your fire
I'll tote your water, from the boggy bayou, boggy bayou

The woman I love, I, stoled her from my best friend, my best friend
Oh, he got lucky, stoled her back again, back again

Edited 3/10 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 10:27:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2019, 10:13:30 PM »
John, I'm wondering if the missing bit in "Evil Devil" might be "horrible tomb." I don't hear a "P" there at all. It would be a bit of an odd pronunciation of horrible but not impossible, I think. The rest looks right on to me.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2019, 10:23:43 PM »
You may be right, Chris.  The first time he says the word before "tomb", it has always sounded like "harbors" to me.  I will re-listen, considering that possibility.  Thanks for the idea.
EDITED TO ADD:  I just re-listened, Chris, and you definitely have it right with "horrible".  Thanks!  I've wondered about that lyric for around forty years.  I will make the change.
All best,
John
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 10:26:05 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2019, 01:55:28 PM »
Glad I could help -- I wasn't sure myself on that one!
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 11:04:40 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "The Sun Goes Down In Blood" was recorded for Decca at a session in New York City on March 6, 1939 and featured (probably) accompanists Sammy Price on piano, Teddy Bunn on guitar and an unknown bass player.  Despite his accompanists being so expert, they were accorded no solo space, and that's fine--they get their licks in.  Johnny Temple had a mannerism of letting his voice trail downward in pitch in his second singing of the A line in an AAB lyric, and it always sounds great to me, even if and especially if I know it's coming.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Well, the sun goin' down, moon begin to rise in blood
Well, the sun goin' down, the moon begin to rise in blood
Well now, life ain't worth livin', if you ain't with the one you love

Well, the preacher's 'round the corner, preacher save our boy's soul, we slippin' 'round the corner, tryin' to find some jellyroll
Well, the the sun's goin' down, the moon begin to rise in blood
Well, life ain't worth livin', if you ain't with the one you love

Well, me and my baby, here of late, we don't get along so well
Me and my baby, here of late, we don't get along so well
When I walk around the corner, she's always givin' me hell

Well, I tried to explain to you, baby, everything that were right
Well, I tried to explain to you, baby, everything that was right
But when I knowed anything, you were goin' out and spendin' the night

If you go and get a good boyfriend, you better stick to him while you can
If you go and get a good boyfriend, you better stick to him while you can
Well now, if you don't, some other woman will lick him in

All best,
Johnm


 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2019, 10:42:16 AM »
Hi all,
For "Every Dog Must Have His Day", Johnny Temple sounds as though he was backed by the Harlem Hamfats, with Joe McCoy supplying the guitar intro, out of G position in standard tuning.  Here is the song:



GUITAR INTRO

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

Yes, you put me out, baby, and the snow was fallin' down, ooo Lord,
Well, you put me out, and the snow was fallin' down
Because I was all out and down, hoo-baby, you didn't want me around

GUITAR SOLO

Uh, when I was down, none of these women come around
Uh, when I was down, none of these women come around
But since I've got my money, hoo-baby, they always hangin' 'round

Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn, ooo Lord,
Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn
But you gon' need me some day, baby, ooo-well-well, I have my good clothes on

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day, hoo-well,
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

Edited 7/10 to pick up correction from harry

All best,
Johnm



 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 03:58:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2019, 08:56:44 PM »
Hi all,
For "Big Leg Woman", Johnny Temple had the Uptown sort of back-up ensemble that we have come to expect on his records.  Here it is:



INTRO

Big leg woman, now, keep your dresses down, you got something make a bulldog, hug a hound, now,
Big leg women, keep your dresses down, because
You got something, make a, a bulldog hug a hound

Yes, she roll her belly like she, roll her dough, she let you down so easy 'til you, want some more
She roll her belly, like she roll her dough
She let you down so easy, 'til you want some more

Big leg woman, now, put on your gown, let me see what you got make a bulldog, hug a hound
Big leg woman, now, put on your gown
Let me, see what you got make a bulldog hug a hound

If you get a big leg woman, now, in this old town, these steel mill mens now will, run her down
Get a woman, even now in this old town
These steel mill mens here, now will run her down

These big leg women sure got, something good, you don't believe it ask anybody in the neighborhood, these
Big leg women, sure got something good
If you don't believe it ask, anybody in the neighborhood

All best,
Johnm