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Is it cool in here, or is it just me? - Big Dave MacLean, in concert with loud shirt and stylish contrasting multihued beret

Author Topic: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny  (Read 1128 times)

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Offline blueshome

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2017, 07:44:16 AM »
My favourite if only for the accompaniment:

Offline blueshome

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2017, 07:52:07 AM »
Another one - Bill flat picking

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2017, 07:34:11 PM »
Hi all,
Emry Arthur recorded a two part version of the song, called "Frankie Baker-Part 1" and "Frankie Baker-Part 2", the lyrics of which can be found at http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=9977.msg102229#msg102229
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2017, 03:26:06 PM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2017, 03:28:27 PM »


My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2017, 03:31:15 PM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2017, 03:36:24 PM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2017, 03:42:26 PM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2017, 03:48:30 PM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline TenBrook

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2017, 10:55:03 AM »
OMuck,
Thanks for all the additional versions. I've now been reminded that I stumbled on none other than Joe Bussard's version a few months ago (via the Dust to Digital Fonotone Records boxset) and have been meaning to upload it to youtube and share it in this thread. So, that's just what I've gone and done. I don't have access to the liner notes for the set (just the tunes) so I'm not sure what year this was recorded, likely the '60s I'd imagine unless anyone has any other intel.

And John, thanks for the heads up on the Emry Arthur version. I don't know how I missed that when I was putting this thread together. I may just work on getting both parts uploaded to youtube in the next couple days.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 11:24:43 AM by TenBrook »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2017, 10:30:07 AM »
I can recommend the CD
Frankie And Johnny 15 Different Accounts Of The Infamous Murder Ballad

Versions by Lena Horne, Errol Garner, Louis Armstrong, Big Bill, Champion Jack Dupree, Jewell Long, Fate Marable, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berrigan, Tommy Jarrell, Jimmie Rogers, Ethel Waters, King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Isham Jones.

Quote from: TenBrook
I?d be curious to hear others favorite Leadbelly versions, it seems he recorded it a handful of times.
I can't currently play the early versions on Document LPs, but I do have three favourites transferred to iTunes:

Reissued on the first JSP box set

  • 1935 bottleneck version
  • 1939 studio version in two parts with extensive spoken narrative

Reissued on the second JSP box set  and on this Saga CD
  • 1935 remastered version without speech

It seems that he reworked the song in 1935,  dropping the bottleneck and tweaking the melody. The 1939 recording uses the same guitar arrangement and tune.

Each has its merits. The bottleneck version is particularly exciting, but the others are perhaps more musical. The version with narrative is very engaging, but the earlier non-bottleneck perhaps better highlights the guitar runs.

I have a particular fondness for the 1939 version because it's on one of the very first LPs I bought as a schoolboy.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 09:46:23 AM by DavidCrosbie »

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2017, 01:07:55 PM »
Hi all,
Just today I re-discovered a version of "Frankie and Johnny" that I had forgotten about, on the Roscoe Holcomb Folkways album, "Close To Home".  Roscoe flat-picked the song out of G position in standard tuning, and his playing on it shows a very strong Bluegrass influence--he evidently considered it a guitar showpiece because he devotes much of his rendition to guitar solos.  Here is his performance of "Frankie and Johnny":



INTRO SOLO

Frankie and Johnny was sweethearts, Lord, how they did love
Now they swore to be true to each other, just as true as the stars above
He was her man, Lord, Lord, but he done her wrong

SOLO

Frankie went down to the barroom, just for a bucket of beer
Now she asked that barroom tender, "Has my lovin' Johnny been here?
He is my man, Lord, Lord, but he done me wrong."

Says, "You oughtn't to ask me no questions, then I'll tell you no lie.
Now your lover left here about a half an hour ago with a girl called Nellie Bly,
He was your man, Lord, Lord, he's a-done you wrong."

SOLO

Frankie went down the transom, with a little white apron on
And under that little white apron, she carried a .44 smokeless gun
She's lookin' for her man, Lord, Lord, he's a-done her wrong

Frankie looked over the transom and she saw to her surprise
He's there on the couch, sat Johnny, makin' love to Nellie Bly
"He is my man, Lord, Lord, but he done me wrong."

Frankie drew back the kimono, and she pulled her little .44
It's "rook-a-toot-toot", three time she shot, right through the hardwood door
She shot her man, Lord, Lord, he's a-done her wrong

SOLO

It's, "Bring around a thousand policemen, bring them around today
You can lock me down in a dungeon cell and I'll throw that key away,
'Cause I shot my man, Lord, Lord, he's a-done me wrong."

Frankie said to the warden, "What are they going to do?
And the warden, he said to Frankie, "There's electric chair for you,
Because you killed your man, Lord, Lord, that had done you wrong."

SOLO

"Now this story, it has no tomorrow, and this story has no end
And this story, hit just goes to show that there hain't no good in men
'Cause I killed my man, Lord, Lord, he's a-done me wrong."

SOLO

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 02:17:43 PM by Johnm »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - March 2017 - Frankie and Johnny
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2019, 07:44:44 AM »
Rivers has discovered this very interesting discussion by John Cowley of Leadbelly's repertoire.

https://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/3092/

Discussing Leadbelly's ballads he writes

Quote from: John Cowley
Several of these topical songs share elements in common in their phraseology and imagery, this is true also of Frankie And Albert (Laws I 3) ? known also as Frankie And Johnny. The original event described in this narrative relates to a shooting in St. Louis on 15 October 1899. Under the former title there were two late 1920s commercial recordings by Mississippi songsters: Frankie by Mississippi John Hurt (OKeh 8560), in 1928; and Frankie And Albert by Charlie Patton (Paramount 13110), in 1929. A two-part Texas version entitled Frankie And Johnny, by Nick Nichols, was recorded in Dallas in 1929 (Columbia 2071-D). Like the facts behind Ella Speed, Leadbelly claimed to know something of the events described in this topical murder song, which he performed with two distinct accompaniments. These were his conventional strumming on the guitar, or with a knife or slider, a playing technique popular in the Shreveport area with black stylists such as the previously mentioned Oscar Woods.

During the first phase of recording his oeuvre for the Lomaxes, Huddie seems to have developed a technique of introducing spoken interjections and explanations into his performances. This can best be observed by comparing his earliest (1933-1934) performances of both Ella Speed and Frankie and Albert (in which the spoken passages do not occur) and his 1935 recordings of these ballads. Leadbelly used this technique in several categories of his songs.