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It's kind of like sex - try it once, realise you can do it, and then you want to do it again the next day - Jed Pauker, on the joys of public performance

Author Topic: Favorite singers  (Read 29034 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Favorite singers
« on: January 02, 2005, 11:35:35 PM »
Hi all,
I know we can get a little guitar-centric around here some times, and I thought it might be fun to list some of our favorite singers in the style.  So as not to be hoggish I will limit myself to five for now.  These are just those who occur to me at this moment.
1. Blind Lemon Jefferson
2. Sleepy John Estes
3. Lil' Son Jackson
4. Leroy Carr
5. Blind Boy Fuller
All best,
Johnm

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 09:49:01 AM »
Hi John:

OK I'll wade in with my favorites CB singers

1. Funny Papa Smith
2. Leroy Carr
3. Big Bill Broonzy
4. Son House
5. Buddy Boy Hawkins (terrible quality recordings)/Oscar Woods

Funny Papa Smith had a great deep voice with great expression. He never sang that loudly but could really caress the microphone.

Son House had the best hard blues voice the world will ever see.

BB Hawkins had an "impish" voice, almost turned everything into a joke.

If you get you one woman, better get you 5 or 6,
Alex

Offline waxwing

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 03:56:41 PM »
Two I would add are King Solomon Hill and Clifford Gibson. Both have very distinctive, and very different, qualities.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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thehook

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2005, 04:05:23 PM »
1. blind willie johnson ( Little is known about blind willie except he came from somewhere in texas was blind since a young age when an angry parent, coincedentially at another parent threw lye in the young child's eyes and he recorded about 2 cd's worth of sides for paramount in the late 20's. His slide guitar is amazing in the quivering vibrato. He is noramally in the gruff shouting style which he does real good. First of these shouters I ever heard. Praise god I'm satisfied is a wonderfull song. But also has an amazing velvet like tenor voice which he occasionally slipped into. Very versitile.)
2. son house( one of the most intnese blues preformers ever, torn between his love for blues and secular songs. If you ever get a chance to see him on film do it right then and there! By far one of the best shouters of all time.)
3. mississippi john hurt( one of the most beautiful voices on record. When he sings it's pretty comared to shotuers or growlers like a few others on my list. Mr. Boggs once said if he had it all over to do again he would play guitar and learn to sing like him.)
4. john lee hooker (one of the best crooners in blues ever in my opinion, would get into a grove and one minute be talking in an almost hypnotic manor, then to a growl that only he could pull off, then to singing and finally right back to his hypnotic talking)
5. dock boggs (although he played banjo he certianlly was from the country and dig sing many a blue tune. Everything he sang he made his own and in the early days he had such a range and did so much with his voice no one can touch what he did nowdays I don't think. Except for that one guy here Chris on the back porch he does a good job. Totally isolated, personal music and voice)

These are not in order cause I can't decide. If I had more room I'd add people like
doc watson, sonny terry, rev gary davis, dan picket, charley patton, leadbelly, elmore james, fred mcdowell, henry thomas (catfish blues and quills man),skip james, tampa red, roosevelt sykes, sam chatmon, Mr. Grayson from ?Grayson and Whitier (fiddler and vocalist) howlin wolf and Mr. Hopkins.

don't mean to bogart the thread with all the names but I believe in credit where credit is due and couldn't leave out any of my favorites! Good luck, look forward from hearing about yours

Offline waxwing

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2005, 04:40:03 PM »
Welcome to WCB, th. Good picks. Thought of another I would add: Tommy Johnson.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 06:08:51 PM »
Hi all,
Kind of hard to argue with Lightnin' Hopkins, too.? He was prodigally gifted vocally, kind of a hilariously good voice.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 09:01:12 AM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2005, 06:15:23 PM »
I'll chip in Robert Wilkins - very subtle singer IMO - and that nasal quality grows on you.  ;)

Offline dj

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2005, 04:52:12 AM »
One of my favorite pre-war blues singers was the pianist Big Maceo Merriweather.  He had a beautiful smoky voice, a bit rougher than Leroy Carr, and on his slower numbers he could sound downright wistful.  Check out the sound clips of County Jail Blues and Kidman Blues at the Arhoolie website for two good examples of his singing. 

Offline Janmarie

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2005, 08:37:53 AM »
Hey what about the women singers?
Bessie Smith knocks my socks off!
Jan

Offline phhawk

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2005, 09:54:28 PM »
All of the above and Memphis Minnie. But I love Tommy Johnson. Also, I think Jhonny Temple is under rated as a blues singer.

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2005, 09:59:06 PM »
Charley Patton, Frank Stokes, Robert Wilkins, Jack Kelly, Blind Willie McTell (and Johnson).  I'm sure I can find a dozen other brilliant ones.

Offline cmr

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2005, 10:14:44 PM »
Currently I am listening to Charley Jordan singing "Keep it clean".  What a wonderful voice. 
Charlie

Offline Johnm

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2005, 01:00:13 AM »
Hi all,
Some other great singers occur to me:
   1) Roosevelt Sykes--a voice like a horn
   2) Washboard Sam--He was really popular in the late 30s and you hear zip about him nowadays
   3) Charlie Lincoln--Barbecue Bob's brother
   4) Elvie Thomas--That "Motherless Child" she did with Geeshie Wiley will just break your heart.
   5) Leadbelly--Boy, was he present when he sang.
All best,
Johnm

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2005, 08:03:30 AM »
Robert Petway? ;D
Mississippi Fred McDowell (the way he interacts with the slide)
Barbecue Bob Hicks
Skip James
Reverend Gary Davis (the only "blues" my wife will listen to)

Those are five I like alot but I havent found any I don't like.
G
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 02:32:42 PM by Johnm »
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline a2tom

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2005, 08:50:16 AM »
but I havent found any I don't like.

That reflects my reaction to this question, part of my growing appreciation of how central the voice is.? When I play for people who get trapped in my house with me, most of them don't understand and couldn't care less what I'm doing with the guitar as long as the beat is there.? But they all react to the singing, too often that polite face that says "you don't sing well enough to sell this to me".? Funkiest guitar in the world won't overcome that.? That's why I think the great recordings are mostly great singers, in the sense of expression, phrasing, etc, not necessarily diction and vocal tone.

Blind Lemon was the guy that I remember listening to early on in my exposure to the country blues thinking that I was going to be hearing a guitar player, and being blown away by the power of his singing.? I couldn't get past the singing for a long time.? Rev. Davis is for me unequaled in his expressiveness.?

Hoping I won't get smacked too badly for breaking genres, one of my favorite singers of all time was Billie Holiday.? At times in her career she had less than an octave vocal range (so I've been told), but she could sell a song like no one else.

tom
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 02:33:43 PM by Johnm »