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Guess me and my tapeworm must go further down the road, 'Cause we eat so much, won't nobody give us no board - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love  (Read 530 times)

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Online eric

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SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« on: April 07, 2017, 02:02:48 PM »
This tune was apparently copyrighted by W.C. Handy in 1926.  The earliest recorded version I could find was Bessie Smith in March, 1925.  She recorded it again with Louis a couple of months later.  A lot of folks recorded it:  In Dixon, Godrich and Rye alone, there 24 versions, Tony Russell?s Country Music Records 1921-1942 has 14, and those are just the ones with Careless Love in the title.  So I need help from y?all locating recordings of this melody with different titles.

There are versions in many other styles: a Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan duet,  Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis, Janis Joplin, one in Finnish, Slim Whitman, T. Texas Tyler, Trad Jazz, angsty Neo-Celtic, Ska.  So in the end I chose my favorite versions, mostly pre-war blues some jazz and old-time, but a few other gems as well.  Here you go:

Bessie and Louis:



Celestin's Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra:



The underrated Blind Boy Fuller:



Funny Papa Smith:



Skip James:



Snuffy Jenkins was a great pioneer 3-finger banjo player and one of Earl Srugg?s early idols.  Snuffy and Pappy Sherrill put out a terrific LP on Rounder:



Sam Chatmon:



Darby and Tarlton:



Leadbelly, with discussion:



Leadbelly mentions Blind Lemon playing it, but I couldn't find a version by him. Maybe he meant See That My Grave is Kept Clean, which has a similar melody:



Mance Lipscomb, who possessed an apparently endless supply of cool guitar ideas:



Little Hat Jones? Bye Bye Blues uses a similar melody:



Can't forget Lonnie Johnson:



Moving in to the postwar era, let?s start with Snooks Eaglin:



Here?s the Ravens with a pretty smooth version:



This is pretty cool: Nat King Cole and Earth Kitt:



And finally, a beautiful piano rendition by Junior Mance:



There you go.  Post your favorite versions, or one of your own...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 08:49:21 AM by Johnm »
--
Eric

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 05:25:48 PM »
Hi Eric,
Thanks so much for doing such a good job on the initial post of this Song of the Month, "Careless Love".  I'm always happy to see and hear versions of the song that I'd not heard before. 


Here is Jerry Reed's spectacular version:



Here is Byrd Moore & His Hotshots, featuring Clarence Greene on fiddle, Tom Ashley and Byrd Moore on guitars and all three singing, I think.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 08:17:52 AM by Johnm »

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 06:47:35 PM »
Not exactly cb, but here's W.C. Handy singing "Loveless Love", which was first recorded with his daughter singing in 1922. This one is from 1939. It has a verse which is usually discarded nowadays, but you'll soon here the familiar melody.



and here's the 1922 version



Cheers

Pan

Offline Lignite

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 07:08:38 AM »
From 1921, the great Noble Sissle and his Sizzling Syncopaters performing Loveless Love;
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 07:09:54 AM by Lignite »

Offline Lignite

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 07:22:46 AM »
I found a copy of Loveless Love by Noble Sissle in my own 78 record collection which is a vast improvement sound-wise from the previously posted Youtube recording; http://picosong.com/i3y3
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 07:33:55 AM by Lignite »

Offline JRO

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 07:51:04 AM »
Thank's Eric for this SOTM. Yes, there are few finnish verisions but non of them is blues one.

I really like Big Walter Hortons version: . I

and Bill Monroe's early live version with Blue Grass Boys is interesting:

Online eric

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 09:09:13 AM »
Boy, Jerry Reed sure was a crackerjack player, wasn't he?  Here's a rocking version by Homesick James:

--
Eric

Offline Lignite

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 10:00:42 AM »
A 1930s hillbilly "hobo" version of Careless Love by James Roberts and Asa Martin; http://picosong.com/i3gz

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 08:03:42 AM »
This tune was apparently copyrighted by W.C. Handy in 1926. 
I believe Handy copyrighted Loveless Love in 1921, so in 1926 he would be saying 'It's still  my tune.'

Two great versions:

1: Despite the awful sound ? which does get better ? Alberta Hunter backed by Fletcher Henderson and a small band.



2: Billie Holiday, who either replaces the lyrics or rescues them from banality.


Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 07:46:53 PM »
Turning back to Careless Love proper...

I attach a low-fi file with a 1978 version taken from
Drop Down in Florida

It illustrates how the song could survive in the folk tradition. As the notes observe:
Quote
The selections included by Richard Williams were taped during two family gatherings, which are, typically, casual and spontaneous: one member of the family begins a song, and is joined by others who know it: each song leads directly into another piece, often led by a  different family member. ... Next to Richard Williams, his daughter Ella Mae, is the major tradition-bearer in the family: she often serves as a catalyst, both for her father's memory and in getting other family members to participate.

This recording is by Ella Mae and Richard ?
seen here in a photo from the 1950s with mother Lillie.

The notes make an interesting comments on the song:
Quote
Blues arranger and populariser W.C Handy claims that his 1925 modernised arrangement of "Loveless Love" had its origin in a Kentucky ballad about the death in 1895 of Governor John Young Brown's son, Arch, caused by a scandalous love affair. He says that the tune was the old and familiar "Careless Loe" melody common to African Americans throughout the South.

The process of transformation though oral circulation alters the form and structure of songs like "Careless Love," while keeping the emotional core intact. The descriptive detail and emphasis on chronological action of a ballad become more and more compressed and allusive, as songs subtly shift through time from ballad to lyric emphasis. Wilgus say that this "loose, emotional narrative style, emphasising situation and delineating characters sharply, economically, often obliquely is characteristic of American Negro balladry; it misrelated to the lyrics, banjo songs, and blues of the South."

The notes are written by a bunch of folklorists, who look on the narrative ballad form as the norm. Realising that none of the version posted here were story-tellers, I looked in my records and on YouTube. The best example I could find is this by Pete Seeger:

« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 08:18:49 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline alyoung

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2017, 05:07:02 AM »
One of my favorite versions.... Homesick James, vcl, gtr; Snooky Pryor, hca; Bob Hall, pno; Bob Brunning, bass; John Hunt, dms. Recorded in London, March 3; 1973.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 05:14:37 AM by alyoung »

Offline Vermonter

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 01:36:35 PM »
One of the first songs I learned as a wee child. Happy Traum recorded a fine version a couple of years ago.

Online eric

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 08:15:27 AM »
So long, Fats.
--
Eric

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM April 2017: Careless Love
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 09:29:39 AM »
Hi all,
I just discovered or thought of a couple of versions of "Careless Love" that have not been included here up to this point.  First, from Blind Connie Williams:



And from Josh White:



Both played in Vestapol, otherwise pretty darn different.

All best,
Johnm


Tags: SOTM