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Where you been? - Carl Martin's response to Jack Hansen's observation that he had never seen a mandolin with the pairs strung in octave courses as they were on Carl's

Author Topic: John Byrd  (Read 1119 times)

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Online Johnm

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John Byrd
« on: April 10, 2014, 06:50:18 AM »
Hi all,
I have long been an admirer of the singing and playing of John Byrd, and not having DG&R, I don't know exactly how many titles he recorded.  I think he just had the two solo titles, "Billy Goat Blues" and "Old Timbrook Blues", some cuts (4?) on which he accompanied Mae Glover, and some cuts (how many?) on which he backed Washboard Walter and sang with him.  If anyone can flesh out John Byrd's recording career a bit without going to too much trouble, I'd very much appreciate it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline eric

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 08:31:24 AM »
There are 4 unissued Gennett sides:

Rough Ridin' Mama
Poor Boy Long Ways From Home
Fox Chase
Hang Down Your Head and Cry

There are apparently 2 issued sermons as Rev. George Jones and Congregation (with Sister Jones poss. Mae Glover):

That White Mule of Sin
The Heavenly Airplane

I don't know if any of these have been reissued.
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Eric

Offline eric

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 08:36:13 AM »
He also accompanied Walter Taylor on:

Thirty Eight and Plus
Deal Rag
Corrine Corrine

These show up on various labels as by The Pickaninny Jug Band, Taylor and Anderson, and the Carolina Washboard Trio.  Paramount apparently listed him at some point under the pseudonym Black Byrd
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 09:36:00 AM by Eric Hubbard »
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Eric

Online Johnm

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 08:38:15 AM »
Thanks very much for this information, Eric.  It occurred to me I could look in the Document catalog to get an idea of how many titles Byrd had (though it wouldn't show the unissued titles) and it looks like there were a fair number of titles with Washboard Walter.  I really couldn't tell from the catalog how many of Mae Glover's titles had John Byrd on them.  Apart from the two that are in the Mae Glover lyrics thread, I know there is also, at least, "Gas Man Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Online Johnm

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 08:39:16 AM »
Thanks also for the Walter Taylor titles, Eric.  I hadn't known about them at all.
All best,
Johnm

Offline mr mando

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 08:46:36 AM »
Hi Johnm,

John Byrd released 2 titles as Rev. George Jones and Congregation (That White Mule of Sin & The Heavenly Airplane) and 5 titles with Washboard Walter (Narrow Face Blues, Wasn't It Sad About Lemon, Insurance Man Blues, Overall Cheater Blues & Disconnected Mama). You mentioned John Byrd's two solo titles already, and there were 4 released titles with Mae Glover, and one unissued track which we'll probably never hear. Apperently he was in Louisville but thought to have moved there from Mississippi and estimated to have been born in the 1890s.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 08:53:42 AM by mr mando »

Offline mr mando

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »
Oops, almost all the info was posted while I was typing! I don't seem remember that John Byrd was on Thirty Eight & Plus, Deal Rag and Corrine Corrine. Is that info directly from  DG&R?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 08:58:27 AM by mr mando »

Offline eric

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 09:35:09 AM »
Mr. Mando,

Yes, that info is from DGR.  Also, I mistakenly assumed that Walter Taylor and Washboard Walter are the same person.  Maybe not, according to DGR.  In addition to the sides already mentioned, John Byrd is also listed as the probable accompanist for Washboard Walter  on:

Narrow Face Blues
Wasn't It Sad About Lemon
Disconnected Mama

For the sake of completeness, DGR lists Byrd as Glover's accompanist on:

Shake it Daddy
Pigmeat Mama
I Ain't Givin' Nobody None (a quadruple negative?)
Gas Man Blues
and the unissued Hard Ridin' Papa

corrected 4-14-14 eh
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 03:17:41 PM by Eric Hubbard »
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Eric

Offline dj

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 05:25:17 PM »
Quote
There are apparently 2 issued sermons as Rev. George Jones and Congregation (with Sister Jones poss. Mae Glover):

That White Mule of Sin
The Heavenly Airplane

I don't know if any of these have been reissued.

Both titles are on Document CD 5641, "Rare Country Blues Volume 2"

Online Johnm

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 01:29:03 PM »
Hi all,
One other thought occurred to me re Washboard Walter.  Has anyone ever heard him play a washboard on any of the tracks he did with John Byrd?  I haven't, and it seems a little weird to have a performance monicker identifying oneself with an instrument that one does not play.
All best,
Johnm

Offline bnemerov

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 01:33:04 PM »
maybe he did Byrd's laundry.

best,
bruce (who's goofy from painting and cleaning house in prep to sell)

Offline eric

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2014, 03:13:35 PM »
I have a correction to my previous post on this subject.  Dusting off DGR and and interpreting the somewhat arcane accompaniment details, it appears that Washboard Walter did not play washboard an all his titles, only on the following:

Narrow Face Blues (probably) with John Byrd (probably) PM 12954 and
Disconnected Mama with John Byrd (probably) PM 12991

and without John Byrd on

Wuffin' Blues
Overall Cheater Blues

John Byrd also (probably) accompanied Washboard Walter as Rev. Emmet Dickson (sans washboard) on

Wasn't It Sad About Lemon PM 12945

Finally, John Byrd is not listed as accompanist on I don't Care What You Do, as I incorrectly state in my previous post.

The devil is in the (devilishly detailed DGR) details.

I should note that (probably) is a DGR qualifier meaning there is no written documentation of the accompanist but is an educated guess based on who was known to be present at the session and listening to the recording.




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Eric

Offline Pan

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 04:50:00 PM »
Hi all.
According BG&R, Walter Taylor also recorded 6 tunes for Gennet on Saturday, 15 February 1930 (the day after day recorded Thirty Eight and Plus, Deal Rag, and Corrine Corrine, which Eric mentioned earlier).

The personnel was: Walter Taylor, vocals washboard & kazoo; John Byrd, guitar; C.J. Anderson, banjo.

The tunes were:

It Ain't No Good
Yo Yo Blues
Broadcasting Blues
You Rascal, You
St. James Infirmary
Diamond Ring Blues

Here are some of them on YouTube:





This one was from the day before:



Cheers

Pan


« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 04:52:11 PM by Pan »

Online Johnm

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2014, 06:58:59 PM »
Thanks, Bruce and Eric and Pan for the information and links.  I feel reassured after finally having heard Washboard Walter play the washboard.
All best,
Johnm

Online Johnm

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Re: John Byrd
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 01:28:42 PM »
Hi all,
I am really thankful for the discographical information and links to performances.  It turns out there is much more John Byrd yet to hear, and I'm really glad of that.
All best,
Johnm

 


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