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You know, I want to write a book about my life... I don't want to tell you too much until I've got a chance to have it printed. Apart from my music, my main interests are fishing and making bicycle rides - Tampa Red's excuse to Jacques Demetre and Marcel Chauvard for not wanting to talk to them in any great detail, October 1959

Author Topic: Tampa Red  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Tampa Red
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:53:40 AM »
Jim O'Neal has posted to his website the superb notes to the 1975 double Tampa Red RCA LP which he has updated. Jim's also compiled a double CD which Ace has just made released.

http://bluesoterica.com/the-tampa-red-page

(Probably wasting folks time with this as it's probably all over social media by now and already "old hat news brought to you by the man from the dark ages".   ::)

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 07:45:10 AM »
Thanks for this. Time not wasted!

Offline dj

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 09:43:46 AM »
Thanks for the link, Alan.  It's good to see that O'Neal is working on a Tampa Red book.  I hope it gets finished and finds a publisher.

It should be pointed out that at the top of the linked page there's a link to Jim O'Neal's article on Casey Bill Weldon that was published in Living Blues a few years ago, along with some extra information that has come to light since the article was published.

Offline harry

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 10:41:13 AM »
I love Tampa Red. I played "Delta Woman Blues" on the weenie back porch awhile back. I love his singing, love his guitar playing, love his piano playing but I my opinion a lot of his records records are just ruined by his kazoo playing. I always wished one could go back in time and say "don't do that". Read in the article that Dorsey in fact did try to discourage Tampa from using the instrument.

In the Michael Bloomfield biography "If you love these blues" Mike tells the story when he and Big Joe went to visit Tampa.
And we'd go. Tampa by the time I met him was just a frail wizened little man whose hands shook uncontrollably. He had an expensive Gibson in a case beneath his bed but all he could do was show it to us, his hands wouldn't let him play.

Here's a photo of Tampa in his later years. I don't know the exact date but the record (Oldie Blues ‎? OL 2816, The Netherlands) he's holding up was released in 1977.





« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 11:00:41 AM by harry »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 11:46:52 PM »
If there wasn't a demand the records would have "bombed" and consigned to oblivion by Bluebird.

Just because we don't approve of those eleven 1932/36 sessions who are we to deem them ruined?

With that I'll step off the soap-box.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 01:32:16 AM »
Thank you, BH. OUR aesthetic has nothing to do with that of the Black record-buying public in the 30s. Need go no further than the sainted RJ to see !hat!

pbl

Offline Stuart

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 08:45:07 AM »
Harry:

Several years ago there was a passionate discussion at the PWBG regarding Tampa's use of the "Jazz Horn." Our den mother finally had to tell us to cease and desist as a discussion of this topic was  inappropriate for some of the greatest minds in Blues scholarship. I'm sure Alan and Peter fondly recall this episode.

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 08:50:24 AM »
I must admit that when I first started listening to songs that included the kazoo, I was a bit put off by it... (This was back when I listened to 78s as a kid and rock and roll was all the rage.  Hey, it was the 60s, what can I say).

Later in life, when I started really listening to the music, instead of just hearing it, I learned to enjoy it.  I don't know if it was age catching up with me, or just the evolution of my musical ear.  Well, that and listening to a lot of jug band stuff over the years.

I really missed out on a lot, not paying attention to what my father tried to teach me, but I suppose that I am not the only person in that boat.
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 03:03:52 PM »
Sorry, but I have an aversion to Tampa Red's kazoo playing. There, I've said it!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 03:33:05 PM »
Hi all,
It appears that two different things are being talked about--whether Tampa Red's records with kazoo were successful or ruined and whether people like it or have to like it.  Evidently they were successful in a commercial sense, or Bluebird wouldn't have recorded so many of them.  Not that that has anything to do with whether a particular person wants to listen to them!  As for what black audiences wanted to listen to at the time the music was recorded, that's neither here nor there in determining a person's gut reaction to a particular sound, performance or song.  That was then and this is now, and I would never base my musical opinion on what any mass of people liked anyway.  People are entitled to their likes and dislikes without any further explanation or justification required.  As long as matters of taste are expressed as personal preferences and not as matters of aesthetic "fact", it's perfectly fine to dislike anything that rubs you the wrong way, or like things that almost nobody you know likes.  Personal musical taste doesn't require justification--it's one of our small freedoms.
All best,
Johnm
     
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 03:37:01 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 03:56:27 PM »
The kazoo on Red's recordings used to grate on me also. Now I've had time to get older I figure it just 'is what it is', as the saying goes.  :P

Offline Stuart

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 04:48:23 PM »
Sorry, but I have an aversion to Tampa Red's kazoo playing. There, I've said it!

Keep listening. It's still too early to make any final pronouncements. Where there's life, there's hope!  :P

Offline harry

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 06:49:04 AM »
What was Tampa Red's race/ethnic heritage?

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 07:54:29 AM »
In the "for what it's worth" department, Wikipedia has this note:  "In 1928, Tampa Red became the first black musician to play a National steel-bodied resonator guitar, the loudest and showiest guitar available before amplification, acquiring one in the first year they were available." 

SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2015, 05:30:45 AM »
The attached is in the latest Blues & Rhythm. By John Broven. Superb in every respect.

Offline dj

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2015, 04:26:16 PM »
Thank you, thank you, thank you.  For some reason, I was going to pass this CD by.  even though I don't have very much of Tampa's post-war recordings.  Now I'm not.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2015, 08:11:31 PM »
Just a "Me too" post from me. I found the record co's page on it: http://acerecords.co.uk/dynamite-the-unsung-king-of-the-blues

Gratuitous guitar player observation of the cover shot, using the blow-up hot keys on my mac, I see Red is wearing a plastic (bakelite? cellulose?) thumbpick and a single steel pick, on his index finger, and an intriguingly short glass slide on pinky. I realize this may not be news, or at all interesting for that matter, to anyone but me.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 08:22:48 PM by Rivers »

Offline CF

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2015, 04:02:43 PM »
Gah! Alan that article cinched it for me! Sounds like an excellent release & i've always loved Tampa's music, all eras.
Now to find it available in NA where the exchange rate & shipping don't kill me. I've got to buy Tefteller's latest calendar next month as well  :)
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Kokomo O

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 09:14:27 PM »
Just a "Me too" post from me. I found the record co's page on it: http://acerecords.co.uk/dynamite-the-unsung-king-of-the-blues

Gratuitous guitar player observation of the cover shot, using the blow-up hot keys on my mac, I see Red is wearing a plastic (bakelite? cellulose?) thumbpick and a single steel pick, on his index finger, and an intriguingly short glass slide on pinky. I realize this may not be news, or at all interesting for that matter, to anyone but me.

No, it's interesting to me as well. In addition to the fact that the slide is glass and short, it looks like it's a broken bottle, but not the top of a wine bottle. From the looks of it, it's more likely a medicine bottle that's been cut off and sanded and polished. I'm not sure I've seen that done before.

Could be that one of the reasons Red had such astonishing speed was he was using a very light slide--not that I'm making excuses for my own sluggish playing.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2015, 03:12:08 AM »
Several years ago there was a passionate discussion at the PWBG regarding Tampa's use of the "Jazz Horn." Our den mother finally had to tell us to cease and desist as a discussion of this topic was  inappropriate for some of the greatest minds in Blues scholarship. I'm sure Alan and Peter fondly recall this episode.
How can one forget that episode, it took up the best part of April 2008! It should all be there in the PWB Yahoo online archive

Offline harry

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2017, 12:56:16 PM »
Any info on this photo of Tampa Red I would surely appreciate. Date of photo, age of Tampa.  For sale as a print anywhere?

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Tampa Red
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2017, 02:30:21 AM »
You might think of contacting Stefan Wirz via his site. He has lots of info on the source of photographs.


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