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And if anybody asks you who's singin' so straight, just tell 'em it's a quartet called the Golden Gate - Golden Gate Quartet, Every Time That I Feel The Spirit

Author Topic: Bukka white/Charley Patton  (Read 905 times)

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Offline tinpanallygurl

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Bukka white/Charley Patton
« on: September 24, 2014, 09:35:56 PM »
I have been trying to soak up as much info online about Bukka as possible.  I have seen conflicting reports about his relationship to Charley Patton, everything from Charley teaching him to Bukka only being influenced by him.  Anyone who can clear this up?

Offline oddenda

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Re: Bukka white/Charley Patton
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 11:21:11 PM »
tpag -

          Booker was known to embroider stuff, or even make things up ("sky songs"). The possibilities stretch from Patton having no impact to the two being best buddies. The problem of someone giving what they think the person speaking with them wants to hear at a point in time. It's never been easy!

pbl

Offline Kokomo O

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Re: Bukka white/Charley Patton
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2014, 06:45:51 PM »
Why don't you try to get in touch with BB King and ask him if he has a view on this question? He and Booker were cousins.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Bukka white/Charley Patton
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2014, 10:41:41 PM »
K -

         Yes, they were "cousins", but B. was basically a kid then. King lived in the country (until trying Memphis the first time and bunking with Booker) and White was a cosmopolite in comparison and living in Memphis. I doubt he shared too much of that sort of history with a kid! Maybe worth a try - if you do, yell him I said "hi", still from Sydney.

pbl

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Bukka white/Charley Patton
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 05:12:06 AM »
B. B. and Bukka were not incredibly close, nor was B. B.'s style a direct relation to Bukka's. While it's a common story that Bukka gave him his first guitar and assisted in his early ventures in commercial music (both stories have a relatively high likelihood of being true based on a variety of sources), it doesn't appear as if the two were close. As for Bukka and Patton, there is a track on the 1963 album which is supposedly a remembrance of Charley Patton, but I remember someone (someone who worked with Bukka in the 1960s) telling me he made up the story to impress people like him as Bukka believed this would put himself in a legendary status. Though that was just what one person said, while there is the possibility that Patton and Bukka were associated, I find it strange that Son House never said anything of it to my knowledge, and while Son wasn't so called friends with Patton, they were most certainly in contact and in and around the same circles. Also regarding Son House (and my documentary project), I have been trying and trying to get a hold of B. B. King for months and it is proving incredibly difficult, and I wouldn't imagine it be easier with his recent bout of ill health, but if you are successful, would it be too much trouble to ask for a PM on how you were able to (I offer the same in return if I succeed). Best of luck with your information search :) - trust me I know how it feels, my desire to learn more is what got me into my documentary project on Son House.
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Offline oddenda

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Re: Bukka white/Charley Patton
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 02:04:08 AM »
You have been correctly hipped to the "reality" of Bukka's story about Patton. On the other hand, when I first met B.B. at The Apollo in 1961, he told me (unprompted) that his guitar style, the tremolo "working" of individual notes [he said that he was lousy at chording] was a direct result Louis Jordan's alto, Django Rheinhardt, and of his attempts to mimic Bukka's slide playing and not being able to do so. That was the closest he could get and it has given birth to a whole way of playing blues, especially electric! 

Peter B.

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