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Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end - Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Author Topic: Johnny Temple Lyrics  (Read 3330 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Johnny Temple Lyrics
« on: June 19, 2015, 08:45:16 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple was a Mississippi musician who first recorded in the 1930s.  He doesn't attract a lot of attention nowadays, probably because most of his recordings featured small combos rather than solo guitar accompaniments, but he was a terrific singer, and was popular enough to have recorded a lot of titles in his day.  Several years ago I picked up a 2-CD set, "The Essential Johnny Temple" from Document, in a series that has since been discontinued.  There is a lot of really strong material and some surprises, e.g. Johnny Temple being one of the relatively few musicians to cover Skip James' songs, with "The Evil Devil Blues", an eccentric cover of "Devil Got My Woman" and "Cherry Ball"
"Good Suzie" is probably my favorite cut on the set, mostly because Johnny Temple sings it so wonderfully well.  I'm attaching an .mp3 of the song to this post because I very much doubt that the song is up on YouTube.  I originally thought Johnny Temple was singing "good-haired Suzie" in the first verse, but I think, after more listening that it is "good Aunt Suzie".  In this context, "aunt" would refer, not to a family member, but to any older woman.  I'd appreciate correction or corroboration of that from any of you who listen to the track. 
Johnny Temple had a way of going to a head tone and cracking his voice at the end of his phrases that really sends me.  I don't know if anyone else will have that response to it.  His accompanying small combo includes piano and clarinet, played really expertly.

Good Aunt Suzie, now, she got rusty knees, good Aunt Sally, she won't rob and steal, nnnnh
Good Aunt Suzie, uhhhh, she got rusty knees
Ahhhh, good Aunt Sally, she won't rob and steal

I don't likes no woman that's, mm, got rusty knees, she can't do nothin' but cook black-eyed peas, nnnh
Don't like no woman, ahhh, she got rusty knees
Ahhh, she can't do nothin' but cook those black-eyed peas

If you get a woman now she got, rusty knees, she bake her biscuits just as brown as she please, nnnh
You get a woman, ahh, she got rusty knees
Ahhh, she bakes her biscuit just as brown as she please

When she bake her biscuit now she, bakes them brown, suit most any man's appetite in town, nnnhh
She bakes her biscuit, nnnh, now she bakes them brown
Ahh, it suit most any man's appetite in town

Suzie cook me somethin' they call the Dudlow Joe, ev'y time I taste it, well, I want some more, nnnh
She cook me somethin', uhh, she calls the Dudlow Joe
Ev'y time I taste it, I swear and I want some more

All best,
Johnm



 

Offline Lignite

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 01:25:45 PM »
Wow, John that's a really good track. At first I thought the song must have really influenced Bukka White's version of Shake 'Em On Down but now realize that Shake 'Em On Down was recorded in 1937 and Good Suzie was recorded in 1939. Shake 'Em On Down was supposed to have been a sizable hit record so I guess Johnny got his melody for Good Suzie from Bukka in this case.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 01:51:31 PM »
Here are several links:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=1094.msg8149#msg8149

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=8123.msg65411#msg65411

http://www.wirz.de/music/templfrm.htm

Thanks for the mp3, John. Like Lightnin', the first thing that struck me was its strong resemblance to "Shake Em' On Down."

I can't really disagree with your transcription. I think "Aunt" is correct, but it's hardly clear.

Document used "Johnnie" for their "Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order" series (which appear to be available), but "Johnny" for their "The Essential" series. I picked up more than a few of Document's "Essential" series "Twofer's" when they were available, but unfortunately this one wasn't among them.

I used both spellings of his first name when doing a search to see what's out there.

Allmusic has sample of all the songs on "The Essential"

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-essential-mw0000020689

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnnie-geechie-temple-mn0000239790/discography

And I think "Dudlow Joe" merits some discussion.

Thanks again, John

Offline dj

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 02:18:04 PM »
I thought Dudlow or Dudlow Joe was an old term for boogie woogie.

Does rusty knees have any significance other than as a silly phrase that will accept a lot of rhymes?

Gosh I love Johnny Temple's voice. 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2015, 04:38:18 PM »
I thought Dudlow or Dudlow Joe was an old term for boogie woogie.

From what I can gather from the ol' Interweb, it has its origins with a pianist named Joe Dudlow, who was one of the first to play in the style known as boogie woogie. I couldn't locate anything beyond that on the web. There is a 1929 song by Lee Green titled "Dud Low Joe."



Maybe Joe Dudlow's name and its variants just became a kind of generic term for boogie woogie, somewhat like "Xerox" is used interchangeably for "photocopy." 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 07:31:09 PM »
Hi all,
I think it is much more likely that in this instance "Dudlow Joe" is related to a Sloppy Joe than anything having to do with piano playing.  He's talking about something he eats, not something he listens to.  Just a thought.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 07:39:05 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 08:27:50 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple recorded a terrific re-working of Little Brother Montgomery's "Vicksburg Blues", entitled "New Vicksburg Blues", backed by a pianist and a guitarist working out of C position in standard tuning (who may very well have been Bill Broonzy, flat-picking).  The re-issue I have does not include session information, so I can't say with certainty who his accompanists were.  In any event, he was in spectacular voice once again.  Johnny Temple was a practitioner of the "intervallic r" from time to time, so in his fourth verse it sounds as though he's singing, "I don't like this old place, baby, rand I never will.".  I'll attach an .mp3 of the track for folks who would like to hear the song.

I've got those Vicksburg Blues and I, sing 'em anywhere I go
I've got those Vicksburg Blues and I, sing 'em anywhere I go
And the reason I sing 'em, my baby don't want me no more

I've got those Vicksburg Blues and I, sing 'em anywhere I please
I've got those Vicksburg Blues and I, sing 'em anywhere I please
That's the onliest thing to give my poor heart ease

Cryin', mama, I ain't gon' be your low-down dog no more
Cryin', mama, I ain't gon' be your low-down dog no more
And I been your dog ever since I entered your door

I don't like this old place, baby, and I never will
I don't like this old place, baby, and I never will
I can sit right chere and see Vicksburg on the hill

Vicksburg on a high hill, Lou'siana just below
Vicksburg on a high hill, Lou'siana just below
If you take me back, baby, I won't be bad no more

All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2015, 09:35:42 PM »
Hi all,
I think it is much more likely that in this instance "Dudlow Joe" is related to a Sloppy Joe than anything having to do with piano playing.  He's talking about something he eats, not something he listens to.  Just a thought.
All best,
Johnm

The usage in the last lines of "Good Suzie" definitely indicates that it was a kind of food and not a piano playing style in this context (unless there's a double or hidden meaning at work here that I'm too dense to figure out). However, I couldn't find anything about about it as a kind of  food on the web. It  might have been invented for the song--or perhaps it really was some kind of dish, but there just isn't information available about it via the web.

Offline dj

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 06:26:57 AM »
Quote
"New Vicksburg Blues", backed by a pianist and a guitarist working out of C position in standard tuning (who may very well have been Bill Broonzy, flat-picking).  The re-issue I have does not include session information, so I can't say with certainty who his accompanists were.

New Vicksburg Blues was recorded in Chicago on November 12 1936.  B&GR has Joshua Altheimer on piano and either Temple himself or Charile McCoy on guitar. 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 08:47:42 AM »
Thank you for that session information, dj.  If the choices for guitar are Johnny Temple and Charlie McCoy, I think I'll go with Charlie McCoy, since we know from his mandolin playing that he was adept with a flatpick, and I think Johnny Temple's singing would have been much easier for him to do so effectively if he wasn't playing at the same time.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 05:29:31 PM »
Hi all,
On "Lead Pencil Blues", Johnny Temple recorded one of the earliest shuffles in blues, with what must have been a very modern sound at the time the song was recorded.  I believe Johnny played the shuffle walking bass part out of E position in standard tuning and Charlie McCoy provided fills out of G position in standard tuning.  The song has a lot of drive, and Johnny sure was a great singer.  Here is the song:



INTRO (Spoken: Lord have mercy.  I want to write a letter so bad I don't know what to do.)

I laid down last night, couldn't eat a bite, the woman I love, don't treat me right
REFRAIN: Lead in my pencil, babe, it's done gone bad
And it's the worst old feeling, baby, that I ever had

I woke up this morning, my baby says she mighty mad, 'cause the lead in my pencil, it's done gone bad
REFRAIN: Lead in my pencil, babe, it's done gone bad
And that's the worst old feeling that I ever had

My baby told me this mornin', she's feelin' mighty blue, lead in my pencil, just wouldn't do
And she said, "Been ready all night.  Lead in your pencil, daddy, just won't write."
REFRAIN: Lead in my pencil, babe, it just won't write
And that's the worst old feeling, baby, that I ever had

SOLO

Uh, my baby said she going to quit me, I tell you for this reason why, lead in my pencil, gone bye-bye
Laid down last night, couldn't help but cry, wanted to write so bad, I's about to die
REFRAIN: Lead in my pencil, babe, it's done gone bad
And it's the worst old feeling, baby, that I ever had

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 06:35:13 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2015, 09:23:10 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple was backed once again by a pianist and a guitarist for his recording of "Louise Louise Blues", with the guitarist flat-picking out of G position in standard tuning.  The song would end up being a big hit, and over the years has been covered by a host of blues musicians, with probably the most singular cover having been done by Robert Pete Williams.  A certain trend is emerging in Johnny Temple's cuts--they almost never have instrumental solos in the middle of the renditions.  There's no way of knowing if this was Johnny's preference or a production decision.  Johnny Temple was in fine voice, as ever, for his recording, and his singing is almost certainly what made the song catch on to such an extent in the first place.  When he comes back in singing "Louise" after the lyric break at the front end of each verse after the first verse, it's really stellar singing, wow!  Here is his recording:



INTRO

Louise is the sweetest gal I know
Louise is the sweetest gal I know
She made walk from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico

Now, look-a-here, Louise, what you tryin' to do?
You tryin' to give some man my lovin', and me too, now,
You know, Louise, baby, that will never do
Now, you know you can't love me and love some other man, too

Louise, I believe somebody, baby, is fishin' in my pond
They catchin' all my perches, grindin' up their bones
Louise, baby, whyn't you hurry home?
I ain't had no lovin', oh, since Louise been gone

Louise, you know you got ways like a rattlesnake in his coil
Ev'y time you go to lovin', I swear it's out of this world
Louise, baby, whyn't you hurry home?
I ain't had no lovin' since my Louise been gone

Now Louise, the big boat is up the river, on a bank of sand
If she don't strike deep water, I swear she'll never land
Louise is the sweetest gal I know
She made me walk from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico

All best,
Johnm

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2015, 10:56:41 AM »
John,
Your current "what is this musician doing?" puzzler, Andrew Dunham's "Hattie Mae," is also a rendition (albeit a very individualized one) of Johnny Temple's "Louise, Louise." I wonder if one led you to the other?
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2015, 11:10:22 AM »
Hi Jeff,
No, I don't think so.  In fact, I don't think it would have occurred to me that "Hattie Mae" is a cover of "Louise Louise Blues", apart from the name change.  That's pretty neat.  Andrew Dunham's sound is so strong and unusual it tends to sweep everything else out of my mind when I hear him.  I think once I started transcribing Johnny Temple lyrics I just figured you have to do "Louise Louise".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Lignite

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2015, 11:17:52 AM »
Here is a scan of the original release of Louise Louise released on Decca in 1936 on their race series. It was released as the B side of New Vicksburg Blues and Johnnie is credited with authorship. Between being a hit record and the many covers I hope he made some good royalty money on that one.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 11:19:55 AM by Lignite »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 11:24:59 AM »
I don't think it would have occurred to me that "Hattie Mae" is a cover of "Louise Louise Blues", apart from the name change.  That's pretty neat.  Andrew Dunham's sound is so strong and unusual it tends to sweep everything else out of my mind when I hear him.

Hi John,
And to make things even a bit more strange, Andrew Dunham also has a version of "Rocky Mountain" (your other current puzzler, that one by Jim Brewer)! Dunham's was not originally released, but you can hear it below. It has the Dunham sound all over it. To be fair, it may not be quite the same song as Brewer's, but the coincidence is fun...


Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 11:31:39 AM »
Thanks for that, Lightnin'.  Have you ever sung "Louise"?  I think that could be a real good vocal number for you.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2015, 11:33:57 AM »
Hi Jeff,
Yes, I know the Dunham "Rocky Mountain" and considered posting two versions of "Rocky Mountain", but felt like "Hattie Mae" got at something in terms of hearing and identifying playing position that I wanted folks to give a listen.  I do love the Dunham version of "Rocky Mountain" though.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2015, 03:15:55 PM »
I think once I started transcribing Johnny Temple lyrics I just figured you have to do "Louise Louise".

Temple's singing on this is incredibly good - what a tone! This song would make a pretty interesting SOTM topic, given the variety of covers and spin-offs in both professional and field recordings...  just saying...

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2015, 12:44:38 PM »
Hi all,
For "Roomin' House Blues", Johnny Temple was backed by a pianist, a discreet drummer and a very suave clarinetist.  The focus here is all on Johnny's vocal, and it merits all of one's attention.  His control over the way he cracked his voice was really spectacular.  The song has an interesting paranoid fantasy going--Johnny's imagination is working in ways that are not helping him feel better.  Here is the track:



INTRO

I was worried last night, didn't know what I was worried about
I was worried last night, didn't know what I was worried about
I looked up at a roomin' house, whoo-oo, saw my baby walkin' out

I said, "Look-a-here, baby, what you doin' in this rooming house?"
I said, "Look-a-here, baby, what you doin' in this roomin' house?"
She said, "Baby, my friend lives there, whoo-oo, you don't know what it's all about."

"Well, I see if you open the door, I saw two men walkin' in
I seed if you open the door, I saw two men walkin' in
And see if you have the nerve to tell me, whoo-oo, that was Lula's friend."

When she opened that roomin' house, "I told you, I want you to keep out.
When she opened that roomin' house, "I told you, I wanted you to keep out.
Because it's place like that, baby, whoo-oo, Lord, I know what it's all about."

"I have been watchin' you here of late, runnin' over to this roomin' house."
"I have been watchin' you here of late, runnin' over to this roomin' house.
When you walk in, I seed your girlfriend peepin' out."

All best,
Johnm
   
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 12:46:44 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2015, 05:25:34 PM »
Hi all,
For "Hoodoo Women", Johnny Temple was accompanied by the Harlem Hamfats on piano, bass, drums, guitar and clarinet, and their uptown approach really suited both the song and Johnny's singing.  Not to sound like a hanging record, but boy, could he sing!  Here is their performance:



INTRO

Well, I went out on the mountain, looked over in Jerusalem
Well, I went out on the mountain, looked over in Jerusalem
Well, I seed them hoodoo women, whoo-Lord, makin' up their low-down plans

Well, I'm goin' to Newport, just to see Aunt Caroline Dye
Well, I'm goin' to Newport, just to see Aunt Caroline Dye
She's a fortune-teller, whoo-Lord, she sure don't tell no lie

And she told my fortune, as I walked through her door
And she told my fortune, as I walked through her door
Said, "I'm sorry for you, buddy, whoo-Lord, your woman don't want you no more."

Well, I turned around, said, "I believe I'll go downtown."
Well, I turned around, said, "I believe I'll go downtown,
To Chicago River, whoo-Lord, and jump overboard and drown."

The hoodoo said, 'Son, please don't act no clown."
The hoodoo said, 'Son, please don't act no clown.
Because it's a many more women, whoo-Lord, lyin' 'round in this no-good town."

A hoodoo is all right, in their low-down plans
The hoodoo is all right, in their low-down plans
But they will take your woman, whoo-Lord, and put her with another man

All best,
Johnm


« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 09:53:22 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2015, 10:40:26 AM »
Hi all,
For "Chain Gang Blues", Johnny Temple was backed by a larger ensemble than usual, with piano, drums, tenor saxophone, cornet, and possibly bass.  The sax player sounds to have been a devotee of the playing of Lester Young, and his smooth approach works especially well against Johnny's very raw singing and shouting.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Lord, these women is the cause of me wearin' a block and chain
Yes, these women is the cause of me wearin' a block and chain
They put bad ideas in my head, I declare, and they know that crime don't pay

When I get out of this chain gang, I don't want no more woman in my home
Oh, when I get out of this chain gang, I don't want no more woman in my home
I been thinkin' about the way I was treated, I declare, and back to the chain gang I'm goin'

SAX SOLO

Oh, she knew I was in this chain gang, I didn't have one lousy dime
Yes, she knew I was in this chain gang, and I didn't have one lousy dime
Well, she had four hundred dollar, I declare, and she wouldn't even, not come and pay my fine

Lord, you say you want some money, baby, you say you wanted you a diamond ring
Yes, you say you wanted some money, you say you wanted you a diamond ring
Well, but when I got caught, baby, you declared I was a no-good man

Edited 6/3 to pick up corrections from dj and Johnm

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 03:27:41 PM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2015, 06:30:50 AM »
Verse 1.3 of Chain Gang Blues should be "... and they know THAT crime don't pay"

Chain Gang Blues is a really interesting song, in that it sounds like Johnny Temple got it from someone else and didn't understand all the words.  The phrase "block and chain" in the first verse would make more sense as "lock and chain", and "money" in verse 2 is really oddly pronounced and doesn't really make sense in terms of the song.  In fact, in the context of the verse, it would make more sense, and fit the accenting of the two syllables better, if Temple sang "to be" instead of "money". 

Does anyone know if there's an earlier version of Chain Gang Blues?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2015, 06:43:17 AM »
Thanks for the catch on 1.3, dj.  I will fix that.  I agree that "money" is strange in verse two, and I re-listened, and it now sounds like:
    When I get out of this chain gang, I don't want no Mormon in my home
which fits the sound, but is even odder.  I think what he is actually singing is
   When I get out of this chain gang, I don't want no more woman in my home
with "more" and "woman" smeared together.  I will make those changes.  Thanks for your careful listening.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 08:53:03 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2015, 11:28:49 AM »
Hi all,
For "What Is That She Got", Johnny Temple was accompanied by a very adroit pianist, and a guitarist strumming "straight fours", closed chord positions, four-to-the-bar, a la Freddie Green with the Count Basie Orchestra.  It's been said before of other singers, but I would be happy to hear Johnny Temple sing the phone book.  Here is his performance:



INTRO

I went to my baby like a lion, came away like a doggone lamb
I went to my baby like a lion, came away like a doggone lamb
Lord, I wondered at what is that she got, Lord, that make me be so calm

I looked at my woman like a lion, ready to tear her down
I looked at my woman like a lion, Lord, ready to tear her down
She says, "Come here, baby, I declare let's lay back down."

Better come here, somebody, help me to find my way back home
Lord, come here, somebody, help me to find my way back home
I was cruel to my woman, but I declare I know that I was wrong

SOLO

My baby left me this morning, I walked the street like a tiger in the woods
My baby left me this morning, I walked the street like a tiger in the woods
If my baby come back to me, I declare now I'll always be good

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 03:26:23 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2018, 03:37:14 PM »
Hi all,
I found Johnny Temple's very catchy "Jinx Lee Blues" posted on youtube today.  He is joined by the very expert Horace Malcom on piano and a guitarist on it, and for the guitarist I would suspect Teddy Bunn.  Temple was certainly a wonderful singer.  Here is the song:



INTRO

I've got a little woman and her name is Jinky Lee
Well, I've got a little woman and her name is Jinky Lee
The reason why I like her, she keeps the jinx off of me

She's the jinkin'est thing that ever walked down the street
She's the jinkin'est little thing that ever walked down the street
Reason why I like her, she can ease my misery

PIANO SOLO

Jinky Lee, Jinky Lee, can't you hear me callin' you?
Jinky Lee, Jinky Lee, can't you hear me callin' you?
You don't have to leave me to do what you want to do

Jinky Lee, Jinky Lee, baby, whyn't you hurry home?
Jinky Lee, Jinky Lee, baby, why don't you hurry home?
That jinx been on me ever since Jinky Lee been gone

PIANO SOLO

Well, the jinx this morning, they knocked upon my door
Well, the jinx this morning, they knocked upon my door
"If Jinky Lee ain't there, buddy, you got to go."

PIANO SOLO

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 04:07:56 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2019, 01:04:56 PM »
Hi all,
I found Johnny Temple's "My Pony" on the discontinued "The Essential" series on Document.  He recorded the song with a small jazz ensemble with piano, bass, clarinet, trumpet and drums.  The group takes turns playing fills behind Johnny's singing, but as was most often the case on his records, no space was left for instrumental solos.  I sound like a broken record saying the same thing over and over, but boy, did he sing well!  Here is "My Pony" with apologies to non-U.S. Weenies who may not be able to play the video:



INTRO

I'm gon' saddle up my pony, hitch up my bay mare
I'm gon' saddle up my pony and hitch up my bay mare
Tell, me and my baby's gon' take a roll down the road somewhere

When you hear my pony comin', please give me the lane
When you hear my pony comin', please give me the lane
If I ain't drunk off of whiskey, I declare I'm drinkin' my champagne

I got a horse there in Texas, pony already trained
I got a horse there in Texas, pony already trained
I got a gal in Chicago with hair just like his mane

She's the prettiest thing that ever went down the line
She's the prettiest thing that ever went down the line
Well, my pony is crippled, but I rides her just the same

If you see my pony, please start her home
If you see my pony, please start her home
Well, I ain't had no ridin', since my pony been gone

All best,
Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2019, 09:39:06 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple was one of very few blues musicians who recorded covers of Skip James songs.  Johnny did a really nice job with "Cherry Ball", for which he was joined by a pianist, clarinetist and an expert guitarist.  It would be interesting to know whether the different verses that Johnny sang on this recording were his own inventions or if they were verses that Skip sang in performance but didn't include on his Paramount recording.  I don't think there is any way of finding out at this point.  Here is Johnny Temple's "Cherry Ball":



INTRO

I love my Cherry Ball better than I love myself
I love my Cherry Ball better than I love myself
When my Cherry Ball quit me, I didn't want nobody else

When my Cherry Ball quit me, she quit me really nice, quiet way
When my Cherry Ball quit me, she quit me really nice, quiet way
I wouldn't mind it so bad, but she taken my whole payday

My Cherry Ball, she left me, standin' in the back door, cryin'
My Cherry Ball, she left me, standin' in the back door, cryin'
Sayin', "You've got a home, daddy, ooo-baby, long as I got mine."

My Cherry Ball, she's sweet, sweet as she can be
My Cherry Ball, she's sweet, sweet as she can be
Ain't but one thing I hope: my Cherry Ball come back to me

I take care of my Cherry Ball, if I don't take care of myself
I take care of my Cherry Ball, if I don't take care of myself
And the reason why I do it, I don't want to have nobody else

All best,
Johnm




« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 04:40:38 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 04:42:25 PM »
Hi all,
Another interesting track from "The Essential Johnny Temple" is "Better Not Let My Good Gal Catch You Here", which turns out to be a sort of evolutionary transitional stage between Ishmon Bracey's "Saturday Blues" and Frankie Lee Sims' "Lucy Mae".  I had previously thought that "Lucy Mae" was based on "Saturday Blues", but it now seems more likely it was based on the Johnny Temple song.  He has a really expert pianist and guitarist backing him, and I don't know who either one of them was because this Document series had nothing in the way of session information.  The song has a really tricky scansion, and I've inserted commas to indicate where Johnny Temple did little pauses in his delivery of the lines.  It reads oddly, but sung that way, it grooves like crazy.  Here is "Better Not Let My Good Gal Catch You Here", with apologies to non-U.S. Weenies who may not be able to view the video.



INTRO

My regular woman, she bring me the daily news, my, Monday woman, she buys my socks and shoes
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

She may cut you, she may, shoot you, too, she may break your back in two
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

My Thursday brown, she holds my pocket change, my, Wednesday brown, she wants to do the same
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

She got a razor, she got a Gatling gun, she cut you if you stand, she shoot you, if you run
REFRAIN: You better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what my gal may do

When my Friday brown knock up, on my door, my Thursday brown, well, she, have to go
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

I got, three, four puppies, I got one, shaggy hound, takes, all them dogs to run my, women down
REFRAIN: You, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Well, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 04:58:47 PM by Johnm »

Offline alyoung

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2019, 02:28:59 PM »
"prob Sam Price, pno, prob Teddy Bunn, gtr, unkn sb" -- from Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943 (but also on my copy of DOCD-5239; the session info is on the inside of the front sleeve -- the format is a bit convoluted, but it's there).

Offline Rivers

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2019, 05:46:02 PM »
scansion was a new word and concept for me, thanks.

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2019, 02:41:20 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "Streamline Blues" sticks pretty closely to the title topic, with a slick backing ensemble featuring piano, guitar, clarinet and lightly played drums.  This song seems a case in point of how often in blues lyrics, it is not what you are saying, but how you say it.  Johnny Temple's sensational vocal elevates the proceedings.
Listening to a lot of Johnny Temple's songs from this period makes clear both why he is relatively neglected in the present-day blues community and was popular when he was making the records.  His recordings are probably not guitar-centric enough to convince most present-day fans of Country Blues to seek them out, but for audiences of his day, Johnny Temple was churning out records which consistently had superlative singing and really well-done small ensemble arrangements that were danceable.  For the original blues record-buying public, strong singing was much more of a selling point than were instrumental fireworks.  Here is "Streamline Blues":



INTRO

I have a streamlined shape, and my baby has streamlined eyes
I have a streamlined shape, and my baby has streamlined eyes
If she ain't a streamlined baby, hoo-well-well, boys, I hope to die

'Cause I know you don't know me, but listen to me sing
'Cause I know you don't know me, but listen to me sing
You can tell by that, baby, hoo-well-well, I'm a streamlined man

I'm a streamlined man, made on a streamlined frame
I'm a streamlined man, made on a streamlined frame
Well now, if I ain't, baby, hoo-well-well, you haven't seen the streamlined train

I got a streamlined woman, made up like a streamlined iron
I have a streamlined woman, made up like a streamlined iron
The only thing I hate, hoo-well-well, mens always on her line

I'm a streamlined man, but it don't mean a thing
I'm a streamlined man, but it don't mean a thing
Well, if you think it do, baby, hoo-well-well, deals you another hand

Edited 1/25 to pick up correction from lindy

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 10:22:40 AM by Johnm »

Offline lindy

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2019, 09:49:14 AM »
Hi John:

Minor adjustment at the end of the third line (first verse): I hope to *die* instead of I hope to *do.*

Regarding your comment about "not being guitar-centric enough to convince country blues fans to seek them out," you wrote something in an earlier post on this thread that I think is telling:

"'My Pony' on the discontinued 'The Essential' series on Document.  He recorded the song with a small jazz ensemble with piano, bass, clarinet, trumpet and drums."

The phrase "with a small *jazz* ensemble" jumps out. Most of the songs posted on this thread have a "jazz feel" to them. The sound of the clarinet has something to do with it, as well as the very clean piano playing .. nothing even remotely approaching a gut-bucket feel here.

L

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2019, 10:32:23 AM »
Thanks for the catch, Lindy.  I hate my spellcheck, grrr!

I absolutely agree with your point about the Johnny Temple cuts having a Jazz feel, and hearing how he worked with his accompanying ensemble reminds me that a musical combination I almost always really enjoy is a "country" singer with a sophisticated musician or group of musicians providing accompaniment--think Texas Alexander accompanied by Lonnie Johnson, or Bessie Tucker accompanied by K. D. Johnson on piano.  In a way it takes a sophisticated player, or at least an exceptional listener, to accompany singers like Texas Alexander and Bessie Tucker well, because their phrasing changes as a rendition goes along.  Johnny Temple was far more consistent in that regard, and I have the feeling that many or most of his tracks were first takes.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2019, 02:20:40 PM »
Hi all,
The sentiments expressed in Johnny Temple's "Let's Get Together" are exceedingly rare in blues lyrics.  As usual, Johnny Temple is expertly accompanied, by piano, guitar and clarinet.  Listening to Johnny Temple (and Sleepy John Estes), it becomes apparent that being able to do a personalized version of Peetie Wheatstraw's vocal mannerism, "hoo-well-well" was an important weapon in the arsenal of blues singers of a particular period.  Here is "Let's Get Together":



INTRO

Boys, let's get together, and let one woman do
Boys, let's get together, and let one woman do
If you show her that you love her, hoo-well-well, she will love you too

You have to show her that you love her, by doing everything you can
Have to show her that you love her, by doing everything you can
And she will show you that she love you, by sticking with you through thick and thin

In the place of us is actin' right, we will go out and stay half of the night
In the place of us actin' right, we go out and stay half of the night
And if she says anything, hoo-well-well, you really do fuss and fight

How do you expect for a woman to love you, and you won't treat her right?
How you expect for a woman to love you, and you won't treat her right?
Walk the streets all day, hoo-well-well, come home at first midnight

Boys, listen to me, take me to be your friend
Boys, listen to me, take me to be your friend
If you don't love your woman, hoo-well-well, I swear some other man can

All best,
Johnm


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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2019, 02:52:06 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "Down In Mississippi" is an altogether different song and pre-dates the J. B. Lenoir song of the same title.  Johnny is once again backed by piano, clarinet and guitar.  I particularly like the tagline to his last verse.  Here is "Down In Mississippi":



INTRO

When I go down in Mississippi, cold tears run down my cheek
When I go down in Miss'sippi, cold tears run down my cheek
But a-many of my friends, that I have a chance to meet

When I was down in Mississippi, my friends sure did treat me fine
When I was down in Mississippi, my friends sure did treat me fine
If they wasn't buyin' me corn whiskey, they was buyin' me beer and wine

GUITAR SOLO

My friends down in Mississippi, always wants to carry me 'round
My friends down in Mississippi, they always wanted to carry me 'round
But when they get full of their corn whiskey, I swear, they will start actin' a clown

If you take a drink of corn whiskey, don't let the police smell it on your breath
Man, you take a drink of corn whiskey, don't let the police smell it on your breath
Because if you do, down there, you is subject to arrest

All best,
Johnm 

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2019, 03:59:36 PM »
Hi all,
"If I Could Holler" finds Johnny Temple backed by piano and some very smooth chording guitar.  Here it is:



INTRO

If I could holler, like the Bob Lee, Jr. blow, hoo-mmm
Well, if I could holler, like the Bob Lee, Jr. blow
Well, I would call my baby, hoo-well, man, on the killin' floor

Well, if I had a headlight, like on some passenger train
If I had a headlight, like on some passenger train
Well, I would shine my light, hoo-well-well, in Colorado Springs

My best buddy say he heard, that Bob Lee, Jr. blow
Well, my buddy say he heard, that Bob Lee, Jr. blow
He says she blows just like, hoo-Lord, she ain't gonna blow ho more

Well, the Bob Lee passed me today, my baby all in the side
The Bob Lee passed me again, my baby all in the side
Well, the conductor said, "I'm sorry, buddy, but your woman, she got to ride."

I was standin' at the station, when the Bob Lee left the shed
I was standin' at the station, when the Bob Lee left the shed
My buddy says, "I'm sorry for you, buddy, but I know you wish that you was dead."

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 04:40:26 PM by Johnm »

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2019, 04:38:43 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple recorded "Sundown Blues" in 1941.  The attached video shows Horace Malcolm as his pianist and Johnny accompanying himself on guitar, which I'm quite dubious of; based on his guitar playing on his earliest recordings, it seems unlikely he could play the smooth 'straight fours" chordal back-up you hear on this song.  And as far as that goes, the main thing happening here is his singing--wow!  Here is "Sundown Blues":



INTRO

Between sun-up and sundown, a-many of us have to part
Between sun-up and sundown, a-many of us have to part
But I want you to remember, baby, you sure did break my heart

Before the sun went down, baby, you know what you promised me
Before the sun went down, you know what you promised me
Said, you promised me that you loved me, hoo-ooo, Lord, and let me be

Lord, some of these mornin', and the sun begin to shine
Lord, some of these mornings, and the sun will begin to shine
Well, you think about me, baby, hoo-mmm, you always have me on your mind

PIANO SOLO

When the sun was shinin' bright, you always treated me right
When the sun was shinin' bright, always treated me right
Lord, when the sun went down, hoo-uhh, you wouldn't let me spend the night

All best,
Johnm 
 

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2019, 02:15:57 PM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple recorded "Evil Devil Blues" as one of his very first tracks recorded.  He was joined by Charlie McCoy on second guitar for the record, which is a cover of Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman".  I've always found the duet sound on this record somewhat mystifying, which is surprising, I suppose, because it is so repetitious and practically static, chordally.  I also find some of Johnny Temple's lyrics tough to hear and be sure of, most especially, the end of the first line of the first verse, in the bent brackets.  Any correction or corroboration of them would be appreciated.  Here is "Evil Devil Blues":



INTRO

I'd rather be dead and, in my horrible tomb, horrible tomb
To hear my woman, some man done taken my room, taken my room

I'd rather be the devil, to be that woman's man, that woman's man

The woman I love, the, woman I love, the, woman I love, she, don't pay me no mind, me no mind
Gon' pack my things, goin', further down the line, down the line

Laid down last night, I, laid down last night, I laid down last night and I, tried to take my rest
My mind got to ramblin', like the wild geese from the West, from the West

The devil's evil, changed my baby's mind, baby's mind

You be my woman, be my woman, you, be my woman, I'll tell you what I will do, I will do
I'll cut your kindlin', I will build your fire, build your fire
I'll tote your water, from the boggy bayou, boggy bayou

The woman I love, I, stoled her from my best friend, my best friend
Oh, he got lucky, stoled her back again, back again

Edited 3/10 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 10:27:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2019, 10:13:30 PM »
John, I'm wondering if the missing bit in "Evil Devil" might be "horrible tomb." I don't hear a "P" there at all. It would be a bit of an odd pronunciation of horrible but not impossible, I think. The rest looks right on to me.
Chris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2019, 10:23:43 PM »
You may be right, Chris.  The first time he says the word before "tomb", it has always sounded like "harbors" to me.  I will re-listen, considering that possibility.  Thanks for the idea.
EDITED TO ADD:  I just re-listened, Chris, and you definitely have it right with "horrible".  Thanks!  I've wondered about that lyric for around forty years.  I will make the change.
All best,
John
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 10:26:05 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2019, 01:55:28 PM »
Glad I could help -- I wasn't sure myself on that one!
Chris

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 11:04:40 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple's "The Sun Goes Down In Blood" was recorded for Decca at a session in New York City on March 6, 1939 and featured (probably) accompanists Sammy Price on piano, Teddy Bunn on guitar and an unknown bass player.  Despite his accompanists being so expert, they were accorded no solo space, and that's fine--they get their licks in.  Johnny Temple had a mannerism of letting his voice trail downward in pitch in his second singing of the A line in an AAB lyric, and it always sounds great to me, even if and especially if I know it's coming.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Well, the sun goin' down, moon begin to rise in blood
Well, the sun goin' down, the moon begin to rise in blood
Well now, life ain't worth livin', if you ain't with the one you love

Well, the preacher's 'round the corner, preacher save our boy's soul, we slippin' 'round the corner, tryin' to find some jellyroll
Well, the the sun's goin' down, the moon begin to rise in blood
Well, life ain't worth livin', if you ain't with the one you love

Well, me and my baby, here of late, we don't get along so well
Me and my baby, here of late, we don't get along so well
When I walk around the corner, she's always givin' me hell

Well, I tried to explain to you, baby, everything that were right
Well, I tried to explain to you, baby, everything that was right
But when I knowed anything, you were goin' out and spendin' the night

If you go and get a good boyfriend, you better stick to him while you can
If you go and get a good boyfriend, you better stick to him while you can
Well now, if you don't, some other woman will lick him in

All best,
Johnm


 

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2019, 10:42:16 AM »
Hi all,
For "Every Dog Must Have His Day", Johnny Temple sounds as though he was backed by the Harlem Hamfats, with Joe McCoy supplying the guitar intro, out of G position in standard tuning.  Here is the song:



GUITAR INTRO

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

Yes, you put me out, baby, and the snow was fallin' down, ooo Lord,
Well, you put me out, and the snow was fallin' down
Because I was all out and down, hoo-baby, you didn't want me around

GUITAR SOLO

Uh, when I was down, none of these women come around
Uh, when I was down, none of these women come around
But since I've got my money, hoo-baby, they always hangin' 'round

Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn, ooo Lord,
Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn
But you gon' need me some day, baby, ooo-well-well, I have my good clothes on

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day, hoo-well,
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

Edited 7/10 to pick up correction from harry

All best,
Johnm



 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 03:58:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2019, 08:56:44 PM »
Hi all,
For "Big Leg Woman", Johnny Temple had the Uptown sort of back-up ensemble that we have come to expect on his records.  Here it is:



INTRO

Big leg woman, now, keep your dresses down, you got something make a bulldog, hug a hound, now,
Big leg women, keep your dresses down, because
You got something, make a, a bulldog hug a hound

Yes, she roll her belly like she, roll her dough, she let you down so easy 'til you, want some more
She roll her belly, like she roll her dough
She let you down so easy, 'til you want some more

Big leg woman, now, put on your gown, let me see what you got make a bulldog, hug a hound
Big leg woman, now, put on your gown
Let me, see what you got make a bulldog hug a hound

If you get a big leg woman, now, in this old town, these steel mill mens now will, run her down
Get a woman, even now in this old town
These steel mill mens here, now will run her down

These big leg women sure got, something good, you don't believe it ask anybody in the neighborhood, these
Big leg women, sure got something good
If you don't believe it ask, anybody in the neighborhood

All best,
Johnm


Offline harry

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2019, 03:53:40 PM »
Every Dog Must Have His Day

3.1 After uh when I was down, none of these women come around

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Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2019, 03:59:04 PM »
Got it, Harry, thanks.

 


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