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The minstrel and annex bands were features at the show grounds. Here were a group of colored minstrels, players, band people, under the direction of Edward Rucker... The band plays pretty airs of all kinds, suiting the music nicely to the work in hand. When the snakes were exhibited it played a charming waltz; somehow it fitted the exhibit; others were of similar propriety - The Indianapolis Freeman, July 4th, 1914, quoted in Ragged But Right by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff

Author Topic: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues  (Read 16846 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2013, 07:05:00 PM »
Contributed my 25$!

Offline Pan

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 01:42:01 AM »
I made a small donation as well.

I tried to transcribe the chord changes to "Crazy Blues". Here's what I came up with:

Intro:
|| E (E6) | E (E6) | E | E ||

A
|| E | E | E | E |

| B7 | B7 | E / (Edim F#m7)| E |

| A | Am | E | E |

| B7 | B7 | E / (Edim7 F#m7)| E (E/B C#dim7 B7/D#) ||

B
|| E | B7 | E | E7 |

| A7 | A7 | E | E |

| B7 | B7 | E | E ||

Chorus
|| E | E7 | A7 | E |

| E | E7 | F#7 | B7 |

| E | Edim7 | F#m7 | E |

| C#m7 | C#m7 | C#m7 / F#7 B7 | E ||

C
||: E B7/F# E/G# A | E/B A/C# E/B E/G# | E B7/F# E/G# A | E7 |

| A7 | A7 | E | E |

| B7 | B7 | E | E :|| (repeat)

Chorus

Ending:
|| E / / Edim7 | E ||

I'm not sure if I got all the horn harmonies right, or if they really should be repeated with rhythm instruments. It's also questionable, when a chord is a major 6th chord, or it's relative minor (E6 vs. C#m7 or A6 vs. F#m7). You could just leave out the chords in parenthesis. Corrections are, of course, welcome.



Cheers

Pan


Offline mick655

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2013, 04:00:47 PM »
As a postscript: while assessing the gravesite for Mamie Smith's headstone, I came across the gravestone of Tommy Ladnier (1900-1939), a New Orleans trumpeter once considered rival to Louis Armstrong -- less than 200 feet from where Mamie lies. Found his short bio and headstone photo on Findagrave.com. Sorry I cant post URL as I am using a tablet and cannot copy and paste. If interested, search by name.  Best, Michael

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2013, 06:47:06 PM »
Pan, you've clearly worked on it, do you have a feel for how many distinct verse forms there are in the song?

Last time I became analytical about it, see my first post, I counted three for sure and maybe a fourth that I wasn't able to figure out at the time. I'll study your transcription over the weekend.

I'm hard pressed to think of another song that contains so much variation between verses, in fact I can't think of one. I have to conclude Mamie and the Jazz Hounds must have rehearsed it pretty hard to have been able to come up with that wild performance at the recording session. It truly is a brilliant piece of work IMHO, and the world is extremely lucky it survived.

Offline Pan

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2013, 03:32:48 AM »
Hi Rivers

I too, counted 3 different verses (which I labeled A, B, and C) + a Chorus.

As Bunker Hill said in his post earlier on this thread, Perry Bradford has told that the musicians didn't have any sheet music, and the arrangements were just improvised "head arrangements". Apparently it took the band about a dozen takes, before a successful take could be recorded. No wonder, given the complexity of the song structure.  8)

May I also recommend Jas Obrecht's great article on Mamie Smith (and Crazy Blues)?

http://jasobrecht.com/mamie-smith-the-first-lady-of-the-blues/

Cheers

Pan

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 06:45:30 PM »
Wow, a dozen run throughs before rolling wax. It does explain the whole crazed vibe of Crazy Blues, and why it appeals to me as a musical person.

We are very lucky they were all still bopping hard at the point the engineer turned-on the wax cutting machine.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 07:00:04 PM by Rivers »

Offline Pan

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2013, 04:22:20 PM »
FWIW, I came across Mary Stafford's version from 1921, a year after Mamie's original version.

1921...Mary Stafford-Crazy Blues

Cheers

Pan

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2014, 08:40:53 PM »
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 08:42:27 PM by Rivers »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2014, 10:48:52 PM »
He's fallen short of what was required, i.e, $5000. If he still checks in here he might be able to tell us his next move.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2014, 04:59:31 PM »
Just received an update on the Mamie Smith headstone project. Despite the fundraising campaign not quite hitting the target last year a dedication ceremony is projected to occur very soon:

Quote
5 hours ago

Just got news that the headstone for Mamie Smith is being delivered to Wegenaar Monuments tomorrow. It will be delivered to the cemetery within the next two weeks. The foundation will be laid shortly. So it will be in time for the headstone unveiling and dedication ceremony on Sept. 13 at the Frederick Douglass Memorial Park, Staten Island. Details of the 2PM ceremony and unveiling to follow. Best, Michael Cala, Project Manager

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-headstone-for-mamie-smith-blues-singer#activity

 


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