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What is Blues then? It's a worried mind. It boils down to worry. Sometimes you worry so, it cause you to jump off the 'Frisco bridge up here, worry you so it cause you to stick a gun in you... that's all, it's worry. Some folks say, 'well, he went out of his head'. Well, if it's worry cause you to go out of your head, that's what it is. But that's the Blues - Reverend Rubin Lacy

Author Topic: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys  (Read 7693 times)

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Offline frankie

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Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« on: February 18, 2005, 01:34:00 PM »
The following is John Miller's list of Papa Charlie Jackson songs and keys that used to be hosted on my website and was originally posted to the weenie Yahoo group quite a few years ago, now. In the long run, this is probably a better home for this.  The complete posting violated the 15000 character limit, so I broke it up into three separate posts:

Quote from: Johnm
The songs are presented in the order they're found on the three Document CDs.  The following tables include: track, title, recording date, position played, and concert pitch of the recording.  If he is sharp of the concert key, I will indicate "s" after the key name, if flat, I will indicate "f" after the key name.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 06:39:29 PM by frankie »

Offline frankie

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Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys: Volume 1
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 06:40:58 PM »
Track
Title
Month
Year
Position
Pitch
1.
Papa's Lawdy Lawdy Blues
August
1924
E standard
Concert E
2.
Airy Man Blues
August
1924
D standard
Concert D
3.
Salt Lake City Blues (Take 2)
September
1924
A standard
Concert A
4.
Salty Dog Blues (Take 2)
September
1924
G standard
Concert G
5.
The Cat's got the Measles
January
1925
C standard
Concert C
6.
I Got What It Takes, But It Breaks My Heart To Give It Away
January
1925
G standard
Concert F#
7.
Shave 'em Dry (Take 2)
February
1925
E standard
Concert E
8.
Coffee Pot Blues
February
1925
E standard
Concert E
9.
Mister Man, Part I (Take 2) (w/Ida Cox)
April
1925
G standard
Concert F#
10.
Mister Man, Part II (w/Ida Cox)
April
1925
G standard
Concert F#
11.
Shake That Thing (Take 2)
May
1925
D standard
Concert D
12.
The Faking Blues (Take 2)
May
1925
E standard
Concert E
13.
I'm Alabama Bound (unidentified 2nd banjo)
May
1925
G standard
Concert A flat
14.
Drop that Sack (unidentified 2nd banjo)
May
1925
A standard
Concert A flat
15.
Hot Papa Blues (Take 2)
August
1925
A standard
Concert A
16.
Take Me Back Blues
August
1925
D standard
Concert D
17.
Mama don't Allow It
August
1925
G standard
Concert F# s
18.
Mama, Don't You Think I Know (Take 2)
August
1925
C standard
Concert C
19.
How Long, Daddy, How Long (w/Ida Cox)
September
1925
C standard
Concert Bflat, (Ida Cox, Bflat s)
20.
Maxwell Street Blues
September
1925
E standard
Concert E
21.
All I Want Is A Spoonful
September
1925
C standard
concert C s
22.
I'm Going Where The Chilly Winds Don't Blow (Take 2)
December
1925
G standard
Concert G
23.
Texas Blues (Take 1), (high-strung guitar)
December
1925
E standard
Concert D
24.
Texas Blues (Take 2), as above
December
1925
E standard
Concert D
25.
I'm Tired Of Fooling Around with You
January
1926
A standard
Concert A f
26.
Jackson's Blues (guitar)
January
1926
A standard
Concert G
27.
Let's Get Along
February
1926
D standard
Concert D
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 06:43:42 PM by frankie »

Offline frankie

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Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys: Volume 2
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 06:45:47 PM »
Track
Title
Month
Year
Position
Pitch
1.
Mumsy Mumsy Blues
February
1926
E standard
Concert E
2.
Butter and Egg Man blues
February
1926
G standard
Concert G
3.
The Judge Cliff Davis Blues
April/May
1926
G standard
Concert F#
4.
Up the Way Bound (Take 1) (guitar)
April/May
1926
D standard
Concert D
5.
Up the Way Bound (Take 2) as above
April/May
1926
D standard
Concert B
6.
Four Eleven Fourty-four
April/May
1926
B flat standard
Concert A
7.
Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine
May/June
1926
C standard
Concert B flat s
8.
Bad Luck Woman Blues
May/June
1926
C standard
Concert B flat
9.
Salty Dog (Take 2)
September
1926


10.
Gay Cattin'
September
1926
D standard
Concert C# f
11.
Fat Mouth blues
November
1926
G standard
Concert G
12.
She Belongs to Me Blues
May
1927
F standard
Concert F
13.
Coal Man Blues (unidentified 2nd banjo)
May
1927
G standard
Concert G
14.
Skoodle Um Skoo
July
1927
B flat standard
Concert B f
15.
Sheik of Displaines Street
July
1927
G standard
Concert A flat
16.
Look Out Papa, Don't Tear Your Pants
October
1927
A minor/C standard
Concert A minor/C
17.
Baby, Don't You Be So Mean
October
1927
E standard
Concert E
18.
Bright Eyes
November
1927
C standard
Concert B s
19.
Blue Monday Morning Blues
November
1927
C standard
Concert B s
20.
Long Gone, Lost John
January
1928
C standard
Concert C# f
21.
I'm Looking for A Woman Who Knows How To Treat Me Right
January
1928
C standard
Concert C# f
22.
Ash Tray Blues
May
1928
E flat Standard
Concert E flat f
23.
No Need of Knockin' On The Blind
May
1928
G standard
Concert A flat f
24.
I Like to Love My Baby
May
1928
G standard
Concert G s
25.
Baby, Papa Needs His Lovin'
May
1928
E standard
Concert Halfway between E and F
26.
Lexington, Kentucky Blues
September
1928
D standard
Concert E flat f

Offline frankie

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Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys: Volume 3
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 06:49:17 PM »
Track
Title
Month
Year
Position
Pitch
1.
Good Doing Papa Blues
September
1928
E standard
Concert F
2.
Ma and Pa Poorhouse Blues (w/Ma Rainey)
October
1928
F standard
concert F f
3.
Big Feeling Blues (w/Ma Rainey)
October
1928
F standard
Concert F f
4.
Jungle Man Blues
December
1928
A standard
Concert A f
5.
Corn Liquor Blues
December
1928
F standard
Concert E s
6.
Don't Break Down On Me
January
1929
D standard
Concert D
7.
Baby, Please Loan Me Your Heart
January
1929
B flat standard
Concert B flat
8.
Dentist Chair Blues, Part I (guitar, w/Hattie McDaniels & pianist)
March
1929
E standard
Concert E flat s
9.
Dentist Chair blues, Part II
March
1929
E standard
Concert E flat s
10.
Hot Papa Blues, no.2 (guitar)
March
1929
A standard
Concert A flat s
11.
We Can't Buy It No More (guitar)
March
1929
D standard
Concert C# s
12.
Tailor Made Lover
July
1929
A standard
Concert F# f
13.
Take Me Back Blues, no. 2 (guitar)
July
1929
D standard
Concert B f
14.
Taint What You Do, But How You Do It
September
1929
E standard
Concert E flat
15.
Forgotten Blues
September
1929
A standard
Concert A flat
16.
Papa Do Do Blues
September
1929
C standard
Concert C#
17.
I'll Be Gone, Babe
September
1929
G standard
Concert A flat
18.
Papa Charlie and Blind Blake Talk About It, Part I
September
1929
C standard
Concert C
19.
Papa Charlie and Blind Blake Talk About It, Part II
September
1929
C standard
Concert C
20.
You Got that Wrong (guitar)
May
1930
G standard
Concert G
21.
Self Experience (guitar)
May
1930
G standard
Concert G f
22.
Skoodle Um Skoo
November
1934
B flat standard
Concert A s
23.
If I Got What You Want
November
1934
C standard
Concert B f
24.
What's That thing She's Shaking
November
1934
G standard
Concert G
25.
You Put It In, I'll Take It Out
November
1934
C standard
Concert C

Quote from: Johnm
Notes:

Jackson's Blues (Volume 1, 26):  In many ways sounds more like G standard than A standard, and it is pitched at G.  the only problem is he hits a low root of the V chord in the intro and the solo, which makes G standard impossible.  I suppose he could be in the DGDGBE tuning, but I don't think he used it.  The strings sound slack like A tuned low.  This is a really tough identification.

Up the Way Bound (Take 2)  (Volume 2, 5):  Record is defective.

Salty Dog (Take 2) (Volume 2, 9):  Vocal only.

Hot Papa Blues, no.2 (Volume 3, 10):  Another really tough identification, in some ways it sounds like G standard, but the IV chord sounds like a D chord, not a C chord to me.  It lacks the low third you have in C on the fourth string.  I can think of no other player in this genre who makes differentiating between his playing in G and A standard so difficult.  Normally it's a piece of cake telling the difference.

Take Me Back Blues, no. 2 (Volume 3, 13):  Pitch is not incorrect, he is tuned this low by design, sounds like Rabbit Brown, even the same right hand flamencoey stuff.  Fascinating!

Papa Charlie has some interesting chordal idiosyncracies.  When he plays a I-VI-II-V progression in C, he will often play a D minor chord rather than a G7 chord where the V chord would normally fall in the progression.  He does the same thing in D tunes, where he will go to an E or E7 out of the D shape, and then, rather than resolving to the A7, he'll go to an E minor before resolving to D.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 08:36:06 PM by Johnm »

Offline Flatd7

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 10:50:44 AM »
Professor Miller or other Weeenies

I've become obsessed with Charlie Jackson and Alabama Bound in particular. I can pick up the progression fairly easily but how does he achieve this sound? The notes on this page suggest standard tuning, Key of G. What inversions are he playing? It sounds like he's up the neck about midway, but it doesn't sound right. Any clues to this tune would be great.

I don't suppose there's and printed material on Papa Charlie's repertoire, is there?

Online Johnm

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 01:45:21 PM »
Hi Jon,
I am not home now, but when I get there I will give it a listen and post what I find.  Being obsessed with Papa Charlie Jackson is an indication of good taste from my point of view.  I am not aware of any published transcriptions of his playing.
all best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2006, 08:14:12 AM »
I haven't played along or listened repeatedly yet, but I'm wondering if the second banjo on I'm Alabama Bound is throwing you off. There is one there, playing higher register notes/chords, that is barely audible at times. It's actually hard to tell what kind of banjo it is to my ear. Could be a banjo-mando even. The Document discographical info simply says "unknown 2nd banjo." Does anyone know if B&GR has different information? It's a bit more audible on the subsequent tune, Drop That Sack.

I could speculate irresponsibly about Papa Charlie playing xxx553 and/or xx0775 positions for IV and V chords in G (those C barre partials where you can then reach for the upper register 7ths on the 6th and 8th frets respectively), but have not checked with this song. Really pure unsubstantiated guessing so far!

I agree with JohnM. A Papa Charlie obsession is a clear sign of good character. He is one of the truely neglected greats. I'm not aware of any published material and would be flabbergasted to find it. Perhaps in some of those older Grossman books but I doubt it.

Offline frankie

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2006, 09:43:39 AM »
Sounds to me like the recording has a really loud tenor banjo on it, obscuring a lot of what PCJ is doing.  If the tb was tuned to CGDA (std tuning for tb), to play along with PCJ in the key of G, the player would probably play a G like this:

A - 2nd fret
D - 5th fret
G - 4th fret
C - 2nd fret

or some permutation of that.  Mandolin players will recognize this as a D chord, since the tb is similarly tuned in fifths, but to C instead og G.  The note on the 1st (A) string is a B, and would make it sound like a guitar was playing figures in the middle of the neck.


rbuniv

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2006, 10:09:06 AM »
Hello;

Just listened to "Alabama Bound" and "Drop That Sack". Sounds to me like a 5 string banjo played in a classical style somewhat like that of early Rag Time pickers Fred Van Epps or Vess l. Ossman. If you listen to Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, Gus Cannon or any number of other early banjo players (who play finger style), you will hear the influence of these early players and some of the same kind of syncopation as played by the second banjo in these two numbers. If you don't have a banjo, you can tune your guitar to open G, play an F shape G chord at the second fret and bar for C and D chords at the fifth and seventh frets respectively, you can also play the F shape up the neck for the C and D also a banjo D chord in the same manner. Also sounds as though the instruments are tuned a half step high from pitch, try a capo on the first fret.

RB

Online Johnm

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2006, 10:55:59 AM »
Hi Jon,
I just listened to "Alabamy Bound", and Papa Charlie is playing banjo-guitar in standard tuning, G position, (relative to capo placement/tuning) with the second instrument a tenor banjo played as in Frankie's scenario, I believe.  I believe both instruments are being flat-picked.  Papa Charlie's intro is like so, with the extra vertical marks showing how many beats he holds each chord in the bars where there are more than one chord played.

   |    G    |    G7    |    C    |    Edim7    |
                  ||  ||     ||  ||    |   |    ||   
   |    G    |  A7/D7  | G/D7  | G/D7/ G    |

Behind his singing, he does this:

   |    G    |    G    |    C    |    C    |
     ||   ||   ||   ||
   |  D/C   |  D/C   |    G    |    G    |

The solo is so:

   |    G    |    G7    |    C    |    Edim7    |

   |    G    |     G     |    D    |    D          |

   |    G     |    G7    |    C    |    Edim7    |

   |    G    |  A7/D7  |  G/D7  | G/D7/G    |

The out solo follows the same progression as the sung verses.  The E diminished 7 is the same as a G diminished 7, voiced on the top four strings:  X-X-2-3-2-3.  I just call it an E diminished 7 since diminished 7 chords are usually named by their lowest voice in pitch.  I hope this helps. 
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 08:55:32 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2006, 01:28:29 PM »
I agree with JohnM. A Papa Charlie obsession is a clear sign of good character. He is one of the truely neglected greats. I'm not aware of any published material and would be flabbergasted to find it. Perhaps in some of those older Grossman books but I doubt it.
Over the decades various stabs have been made at writing "generically" about PCG but I guess the most overtly "musicological" have been the sleevenotes to the Yazoo and Biograph LPs of the mid-70s. The Jackson entry in Robert Ford's forthcoming revised blues bibliography has 25 entries (mostly encyclopedias) however one is "Papa Charlie Jackson on Wax" written by Max Jones and Rex Harris and published in the Melody Maker, 20 July 1946. Yes 1946...not a typo

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2006, 02:00:53 PM »
I agree with JohnM. A Papa Charlie obsession is a clear sign of good character. He is one of the truely neglected greats. I'm not aware of any published material and would be flabbergasted to find it. Perhaps in some of those older Grossman books but I doubt it.
Over the decades various stabs have been made at writing "generically" about PCG but I guess the most overtly "musicological" have been the sleevenotes to the Yazoo and Biograph LPs of the mid-70s. The Jackson entry in Robert Ford's forthcoming revised blues bibliography has 25 entries (mostly encyclopedias) however one is "Papa Charlie Jackson on Wax" written by Max Jones and Rex Harris and published in the Melody Maker, 20 July 1946. Yes 1946...not a typo

Yes, I was speaking specifically of published music transcriptions of some kind, which is what I thought Jon was alluding to. Good to know someone's written about him though! There are numerous references in Oliver's Songsters and Saints as well.

For those interested in Papa Charlie, there's a little information plus some tunes to listen to at the redhotjazz site: http://www.redhotjazz.com/jackson.html.


rbuniv

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2006, 03:15:36 PM »
Hi John;

After reading your last post I had to listen again and again to Alabama Bound to see just what it was that I thought I was hearing. What I don't hear at all are the bottom two notes of a guitar Which PCJ is usually quite generous with.Could it be that he was playing either a plectrum or a 5 string banjo on this recording and was backed by a tenor banjo or am I missing something? Been listening to Papa Charlie Jackson for some 30 years and worked out allot of his songs,  (not much recently),"even bought a six string banjo"; guess its time to time to dust him off again.

RB

Online Johnm

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2006, 03:31:40 PM »
Hi rb,
As far as I know, Papa Charlie only ever recorded on banjo-guitar and six-string guitar.  I agree "Alabamy Bound" is hard to hear, but all the treble movement is pretty clear.  "Drop That Sack", which was recorded at the same session, has very active bass work which could only have been played on a banjo-guitar of the various instruments that have been suggested.  I reckon Papa Charlie was flat-picking a banjo-guitar with a heavy concentration on the treble.  Five-string banjo and plectrum banjos are really different animals than banjo-guitar.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Flatd7

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Re: Papa Charlie Jackson - songs and keys
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2006, 03:49:52 PM »
WOW! John, thanks so much.

I'm running to a gig tonight, but I will get to this in the AM. (Maybe in the early AM if I can't sleep after my gig)

The part that gets me is the kind of decending part on the second half of the vocal. You have it marked as D/C l D/C. I'll check it out soon!

 


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