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Nobody else will play whupped 78's - Slack re. the juke

Author Topic: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell  (Read 1982 times)

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Offline dunplaying

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2013, 06:36:07 AM »
Onewent,
There could be a good story behind this recording.
I first heard it a few nights back and when I listened again I thought that Willie McTell was taking the Mickey out of c/w singers.
Checking for other recordings of the song I can find only one c/w rendition that  fits the bill and that is by a certain Riley Puckett.It may be,of course, that the Puckett song is a different number.
It seems that Riley Puckett recorded a song entitled "The Darky's Wail" which is said to be about Blind Willie and that both gentlemen attended the same school for the blind but not at the same time.



Online banjochris

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2013, 02:06:36 PM »
Well played Sir.
It is a terrific number for uke as well.
Any sign of the original sheet music yet?

I'll try to do it this week -- have to re-hook up my scanner!

Offline alyoung

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2013, 03:45:58 AM »
>>It seems that Riley Puckett recorded a song entitled "The Darky's Wail" which is said to be about Blind Willie and >>that both gentlemen attended the same school for the blind but not at the same time...

Riley Puckett's "The Darkey's Wail" (April 2; 1927) starts with a spoken introduction in which Puckett says he is going to play a piece he heard "an old southern darkie play, coming down Decatur Street one day, 'cos his good girl done throwed him down". He then plays -- quite well -- an instrumental slide guitar version of "John Henry". The piece can't be "about" Blind Willie McTell, as it has no lyrics; I suppose a romanticist might suggest Blind Willie was the "old southern darkie".

"Call Me Back Pal O' Mine" (its full title) seems to have been quite popular in pre-war country music -- it was recorded by Lester McFarland and Robert A Gardner (Mac and Bob) in 1927, Hugh Cross and Riley Puckett in 1928 and Jimmie Davis in 1937. Gene Autry also made a version in 1931 but it wasn't issued.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2013, 04:08:51 AM »
Terrific! You've really got Willie's guitar sound. I've heard the original tune and if memory serves its pretty much as McTell plays it, only slower and more sentimental.
Congratulations on making the guitar playable too. :)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline onewent

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2013, 04:40:50 PM »
Greetings all .. interesting points here, I've not heard any of the early c&w versions of this song, but in earlier web research found the Harrison recording of 1922, which has lyrics and melody that one could argue were McTell's source, since he was around in those days, too.

I also came across this source info copied below, from the Canadian Archives.  Turns out Lieutenant Gitz Ingraham Rice, a Canadian officer who served in the First World War, is credited with composing Pal 'o Mine.  Here's an excerpt from that web page:

It was in this way that, in addition to singing and playing the piano for the concert parties, Rice turned his hand to songwriting. Rice became known for hit songs such as "Dear Old Pal of Mine", in which a soldier laments his absence from his girlfriend. The first line states, "All my life is empty, since I went away"; and the refrain affirms the soldier's loneliness: "Oh, how I want you, dear old pal". Rice's song was popularized by the singer John McCormack, who adopted it as his signature tune? It is a typical popular song of the First World War era and was recorded variously as a ballad, a waltz and a foxtrot, as well as being released in sheet-music form. Rice was on active duty in Ypres, Belgium, when he composed the theme of this song.

The site also shows an image of the original sheet music.

Go to loc.gov and search "Call me back, Pal o mine" and you'll find several versions, including Charles Harrison's, which sound to me to be the foundation for what came later from BWM.

It continues to fascinate me how a song progresses through the ages.

BTW, thanks for keeping this thread alive.

@banjochris:  can you take a photo w/ a smart phone and post the sheet music cover?

@recent commentators on my take of the song:  thanks!

Tom

Offline onewent

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2013, 04:54:31 PM »
Here's the John McCormack version sheet music, credit to Library and Archives Canada:

« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 04:55:39 PM by onewent »

Offline dunplaying

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2013, 02:36:30 AM »
I thought it was penned by Harold Dixon.I must have the wrong number,sorry.

Online banjochris

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2013, 10:06:31 AM »


@banjochris:  can you take a photo w/ a smart phone and post the sheet music cover?


That I can -- will do, tonight. Completely different cover, BTW, than the one posted above.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2013, 01:39:14 PM »
Well It's certainly not the John McCormack (James Joyce's favorite singer) version that I heard and thought was similar. Now I'm wracking my brains trying to figure out where the hell I DID hear it, or even IF I ever heard any other version but McTell's! It reminds me a bit of Elvis' "Old Shep" and the song "He's me Pal" sung with spooky , eerie, unearthliness by Meryl Streep in the move "Ironweed", but of course its neither....hmmm a mystery!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline ArthurBlake

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2014, 10:33:48 AM »
Well there you go, i just thought this was a Willie McTell song all along, must admit this is the first version of this tune I have heard other than Willie's. Really good performance of a great song mate. I doubt if I will ever find a 12 string I like that is made like those old ones He and Leadbelly used. The 12 strings I come across are very poorly made but yours sounds fantastic.
I met a woman she was a pigmeat some
Big fat mouth, I followed her home
She pulled a gun and broke my jaw
Didnt leave me hard on, I didnt get sore

Offline onewent

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2014, 07:57:30 AM »
@ArthurBlake .. actually that 12-string I played on Pal 'o Mine was a cheapo Harmony/Stella 12-string from the 60s.  You can find them on ebay in various states of repair for $100 or so, and from vintage vendors for $400-800, set up and ready to play.  Made in USA, all solid wood (birch) and have a nice 'ring' to them, unlike the Blind Willie/Lead Belly Stellas which were made in Jersey City by Oscar Schmidt, have much more of a 'growl' to the tone, and cost a bucket of money, if you can find one!   Tom

Offline dunplaying

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Re: Pal Of Mine Blind Willie McTell
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2014, 03:24:07 PM »
To me it sounds like a patchwork of two English Music Hall numbers. That may be why it sounds familiar
EDIT "My Old Man Said Follow The Van " is one  of them.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 03:40:12 PM by dunplaying »

 


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