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Author Topic: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go  (Read 1548 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2017, 03:55:58 PM »
Quote
One more Joe Williams version, this time with Williamson, Ransom Knowling and Judge Riley in 1945

Interesting how Joe throws in the title verse of Another Man Done Gone at 1:40. So I'd assume verses from the two songs were probably interchangeable to him. Somebody could do a thesis on the roots and branches here.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 03:58:35 PM by Rivers »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2017, 06:22:15 AM »
Hi all,
Here's a version for John Lee Hooker in 1959 (there is also a 1949 version by him up on youtube).  He sounds to be playing a nylon-string guitar here.



All best,
Johnm

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2017, 03:59:46 PM »
The relationship between Baby Please Don't Go and Another Man Done Gone is explored in Chapter Six of

The Beautiful Music All Around Us
Field Recording and the Amercian Experience
by Stephen Wade

John and Ruby Lomax recorded Vera Hall in 1940, so it's significant that she sings I'm going to walk your log. Big Joe sang I make you walk the log in his 1941 recording and later — but not in 1935. So Vera can't have learnt the song directly or indirectly from Big Joe's original record.

Baby Doo Caston also recorded in 1940, and actually begins his version with Gonna walk your log. One theme he shares with Big Joe's 1935 text is
Quote
Down in New Orleans
Down in New Orleans:
Well the girl I love she take the cold ice cream,
She down in New Orleans

Vera Ward learned her song from a husband, who learned it on the Livingston Alabama County Farm. (An inference from John Lomax's notes). Ten years later, Harold Courlander recorded the song from a prisoner on the same farm named Willie Turner, who was actually known to Vera Hall. It was released on


You can hear the start of the recording  if you go to http://www.folkways.si.edu/negro-folk-music-of-alabama-vol-1-secular-music/african-american/album/smithsonian and click on the track title Now Your Man Done Gone Willie Rurner (misprint). His text shows close parallels with Big Joe's 1935 an 1941 records.
Quote
Now your man done gone (x3)
To the county farm
Now your man done gone

Baby please don't go (x3)
Back to Baltimore
Baby please don't go

Turn your lamp down low (3)
And baby please don't go
Baby please don't go

You know I love you so (3)
And baby please don't go
Baby please don't go

I beg you all night long (3)
And the night before
Baby please don't go

Now your man done gone (3)
From the county farm
Now your man done gone

Baby please don't go (x3)
Back to Baltimore
Baby please don't go

I'm goin' to walk your log (3)
And if you throw me off
I'm goin' to walk your log
In the same field trip Courlander recorded a woman identified only as Cora. Her version echoes Big Joe's geographical reference a long way from Livingston.
Quote
Got me way down here (3)
By the Rolling Fork
Treat me like a dog
Baby Please don't go

Courlander wrote about these two versions in

Negro Folk Music USA

He took them as examples of how a song could vary formally between singers in a narrow geographical area. Stephen Wade makes a more interesting comparison between What Vera Hall on the one hand and the blues singers and convicts on the other hand made of the same song. The convicts adopted it for its county jail theme — although the Livingston prisoners were never actually chained. Both blues singers and convicts made it a song of male desire, but for the convicts it was desire mixed with anxiety that the absent lover might not be true. Vera painted a picture which touched her.
Quote
While he (Willie Turner) sings a melody that closely resembles hers, and his lyrics follow the same general pattern, he expresses a different sentiment. If Vera's performance seems more reflective, Turner's sounds more declarative. His personalised approach suggest a greater blues influence, while hers, in its stillness and abstraction, inclines towards the spirituals. These styles correspond with the singers' respective performance environments. Turner sang this piece outside with an all-male road gang. Vera, meanwhile, has taken whatever she heard from her convict play on the guitar, and fitted it stylistically into her domestic and church house repertory. Turner makes a statement of masculine loss, while Vera conveys a message akin to a civil rights anthem.

I don't have the knowledge (and software?) to compress and post a sound file of Willie Turner. Similarly, I can't (now) share with you interesting recording
I've now attached a sound file of Willie Turner, and found this YouTube file of Baby Please Don't Go by
  • Rose Mitchell (1953) re-issued on The History of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Volume 3 Ain't It A Shame 19953-1955. Rhythm & Blues Records
    notable for the Latin rhythm

PS Here it is on YouTube:

Also on YouTube, I found this by another woman with a big voice, Big Mama Thornton:
  • Richard Williams (1978) on Drop Down In Florida: Field Recordings of African American Traditional Music 1977-1980. Dust-to-Digital.
    like Big Joe's song with boogie addition from his personal repertoire
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 10:35:10 AM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2017, 12:00:40 PM »
Hi DavidCrosbie,
Thanks for your interesting and well-researched first post at Weenie Campbell, and welcome to the site!
All best,
Johnm

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2017, 07:59:18 PM »
Stephen Wade, Paul Oliver and other writers point to the similarity between the Baby Please Don't Go/Another Man Done Gone family and the Alabama Bound/Don't You Leave Me Here/Elder Green family.

Papa Charlie Jackson fitted all three themes of the latter into his Alabama Bound


Quote
Stood on the corner, feet got soaking wet
I was hollering and crying to every brown, to hell I'm at

I'm Alabama bound, I'm Alabama bound
Then if you want me to love you babe, you got to leave this town


When the rooster crowed, the hen looked around
Said if you want me to love you babe, you got to run me down

Look here pretty mama, who can your regular be
Says the reason I'm blacking out stalling babe, you been so good to me

There's a preacher in the pulpit, Bible in his hand
And the sisters was back in the amen corner, hollering that's my man

Now the boat's up the river, can't be floated down
But she's way on south now darling babe, Alabama bound

Just like a beefsteak beefsteak, ain't got no bone
Then if a man like a good brownskin woman now babe, he ain't got no home

Elder Green's in town, and he's going around
And he's telling all the sisters and the brothers he meets, he's Alabama bound


Now don't you leave me here, don't you leave me here
Just before you and your partner get ready to go, leave a dime for beer

Jelly Roll Morton recalled singing Alabama Bound in 1904 and characteristically claimed to have composed it.


Quote
I’m Alabama bound,
Alabama bound,
If you like me, sweet baby,
You gotta leave this town.


When that rooster crowed,
When the hen ran around,
If you want my love, sweet babe,
You’ve got to run me down.

She said, “Don’t you leave me here,
Don’t leave me here,
But, sweet papa, if you just must go,
Leave a dime for beer.”

I said, “Sweet mama babe,
Sweet mama babe,
If you must stay,
I’ll be gone for days and days.”

Papa Harvey Hull and Long "Cleve" Reed (The Down Home Boys) sang a similar Don't You Leave Me Here



Quote
Spoken: All right, boy, let's go back home

Alabama bound
Alabama bound
If the boat don't sink and the stack don't drown
Alabama bound


Boats up the river, runnin' side by side
Well, you got my lovin', kind sweet babe, guess you're satisfied

Don't you leave me here
Don't you leave me here
Well, I don't mind you goin', sweet lovin' babe
Leave a dollar for beer


Spoken: Hey, hey! Let's go, boys

How long, how long, has this train been gone?
How long, how long, sweet lovin' babe, has this train been gone?

Kate Adams got ways, just like a man
Well, she steals a woman, sweet lovin' babe, everywhere she land

Alabama bound
Alabama bound
If the boat don't sink and the stack don't drown
Alabama bound


Can you tell me how long, Jackson to McComb?
Well, it's fifteen miles, sweet lovin' babe, maybe, to my home

Don't you leave me here
Don't you leave me here
Well, I don't mind you goin', sweet lovin', babe, leave a dime for beer

Alabama bound
Alabama bound
If the boat don't sink and the stack don't drown
Alabama bound


Spoken: Oh, do it, boys

Alabama bound
Baby, turned around
If the boat don't sink and the stack don't drown
Alabama bound
...

[See the Forum thread Composer/ publisher credits of the song: Don't You Leave Me Here]

Henry Thomas introduced one or both of the two theme as a chorus

Quote
Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here


I was standing on the corner : a‑talking to my brown
I turned around sweet mama : I was workhouse bound

Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here

I'm Alabama bound : I'm Alabama Bound
It's all night long, sweet mama: I'm Alabama bound


Says I've got a girl : and she working hard
She had a dress she wear loving babe : says it's pink and blue
She bring me coffee : and she bring me tea
She bring me everything : except the jailhouse key

Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here


Yes I'm going away : and it won't be long
Just sure as the train leaves out of the yard : she's Alabama bound

Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here


I'm going away : and it won't be long
Just ease your train loving' babe : I'm Alabama bound

Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here


Says the boat's up the river : and she won't come down
I believe to my soul pretty mama : she's water bound
I look to the east : and I look to the west
If she heads to the South great God : she's Alabama bound

Don't leave, don't you leave : Don't you leave me here
It's all night long, sweet mama : Don't leave me here

Alabama bound : Alabama bound
It's all night long, sweet papa : Don't leave me here

YouTube doesn't have this, but I've now attached a sound file.

YouTube does have a later re-working Don't Ease Me In which is musically the same but without the Alabama Bound refrain.


Jelly Roll Morton also reworked Alabama Bound as recorded for the Library of Congress, and recorded this version as Don't You Leave Me Here — with a band, and as this beautiful solo:

Quote
Don't you leave me here
Don't you leave me here
If you just must go, sweet babe
Leave me a dime for beer


And the rooster crowed
The hen run around
She said if you want my fricassee
You gotta run me down

Never had
No one woman at a time
I always had
Six seven eight or nine

Don't you leave me here

Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded Elder Green's In Town, but it was never issued. But we do have Charley Patton's Elder Greene Blues — which doesn't actually include the other two themes.


Quote
Green is… Elder Green is gone
Gone way down the country with his long coat on
With his long coat on (2)
Gone way down the country with his long coat on


Elder Green told the Deacon, “Let’s go down in Prayer
There’s a big ‘sociation in New Orleans, come and let’s go there
Come and let’s go there (2)
There’s a big ‘sociation in New Orleans, come and let’s go there

I love to fuss and fight (2)
Lord and get sloppy drunk off a Bottle an’ Bond
And walk the streets all night
And walk the streets all night (2)
Lord and get sloppy drunk off a Bottle an’ Bond
And walk the streets all night”

Elder Green told the deacon, “Settle down in prayer
You can tak the thing I got
Almost anywhere, yeah most anywhere
You can take all summer and walk anywhere.”

Elder Green is gone. Elder Green is gone
Gone way down the country with his long coat on


If you’ve got a woman, or raise her to your hand
Keep away from my woman, Molly ‘ham is lonesome
Molly Cunningham
Molly Cunningham (2)
Keep away from my woman, Molly ‘ham is lonesome, Molly…

I love to fuss and fight (2)
Lord and get sloppy drunk off a Bottle an’ Bond
And walk the streets at night
[I'm very dubious about 'Molly Cunningham', but whatever he sings sound like what Henry Thomas sings on Don't Ease Me In — just possibly It's all night long Cunningham.]

Although some performances are more elaborate, they all seem to have at their base the same structure. In British English we call it a eight-bar blues — I believe Americans would say eight measures. This is split into four musical units, three of them split between vocal phrase and instrumental phrase. At its simplest:

Alabama bound : INSTRUMENT
Alabama bound : INSTRUMENT
If the boat don't sink and the tank don't drown
Alabama bound : INSTRUMENT

Slightly more complicated

Don't you leave me here : INSTRUMENT
Don't you leave me here : INSTRUMENT
But if you just must go, sweet babe
Leave a dollar for beer : INSTRUMENT

But this is also the structure of Baby Please Don't Go

Baby please don't go : INSTRUMENT
Baby please don't go : INSTRUMENT
Baby please don't go back to New Orleans
You know I love you so : INSTRUMENT
 
Another man done gone : INSTRUMENT
Another man done gone : INSTRUMENT
Another man done gone from the county farm
He had his shackles on : INSTRUMENT

A minor difference is that the opening lyric phrase is repeated as half of the third unit.

Vera Hall uses even more repetition. No instrument, of course, but effective pauses:

Another man done gone : PAUSE
Another man done gone : PAUSE
Another man done gone from the county farm
He had his shackles on : PAUSE

I'm gonna walk your log : PAUSE
I'm gonna walk your log : PAUSE
I'm gonna walk your log, I'm gonna walk your log
I'm gonna walk your log : PAUSE

Stephen Wade suggests another link between all these songs:
Quote
Longing for another place, desiring different circumstances, and wishing not to be left behind figures in many of these pieces.

Someone else who definitely saw a connection between two of these songs was Big Joe Williams. His version of Don't You Leave Me Here uses the tune and arrangement, and a reworking of some of the lyrics of his Baby Pease Don't Go.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 11:14:07 AM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2017, 02:46:41 PM »
Hi all,
While there may be phrasing similarities between "Baby, Please Don't Go" and "Alabama Bound"/"Don't You Leave Me Here", the melodic and harmonic dissimilarities outweigh any close connection, it would seem to me.  While "Baby, Please Don't Go" and "Another Man Done Gone" are either one-chord songs or pre-chordal, depending on how you look at it, all of the songs in the "Alabama Bound"/"Don't You Leave Me Here" group sound like they're derived from Popular music, and are strongly chordal, in the case of "Alabama Bound" operating with an 8-bar progression like so:
   |   I    |     I    |    IV    |    IV    |

   |   V   |    V     |     I    |     I      |

In the case of Henry Thomas' "Don't Ease Me In" and "Don't Leave Me Here", the harmonic content is simplified, just bouncing from I to V and back again:

   |   I    |    I    |    V    |    V    |

   |    V   |    V   |    I    |     I    |

For these reasons and for the lack of melodic similarity, with "Baby, Please Don't Go" and "Another Man Done Gone" working from a minor pentatonic scale, melodically, and "Alabama Bound" and "Don't You Leave  Me Here" both being squarely major, the connection between these two song families seems very tenuous to me.  I just don't hear it.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 02:53:58 PM by Johnm »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2018, 06:12:55 PM »
Allen Lowe's 36-disc blockbuster Really the Blues? includes this version by Billy Wright under the title Turn Your Lamp Down Low:



His note is terse enough to quote in full
Quote
Gospel singer  does the blues, so what else is new? A lot, in 1951. Slow, slow version of Baby Please Don't Go,and you can feel the pain. Predicts the coming hysteria of Little Richard.

Offline Rivers

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2018, 01:27:11 PM »
Here's a great version by Cat Iron, I'm Goin' To Walk Your Log. Don't know how we missed this one the first time around




Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 2017 June - Baby Please Don't Go
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2018, 04:46:50 PM »
Hi all,
I found this version by Blind James Campbell and the Nashville Street Band that I don't believe has been posted here previously:



All best,
Johnm