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When your pal buys your gal a Coca-Cola, you can bet your life he's playing her Victrola. - Do It Right, Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie

Author Topic: Teddy Darby's Lyrics  (Read 24637 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2006, 03:17:52 PM »
Hi all,
Teddy Darby recorded "What Am I To Do" at his first recording session, on September 7, 1929 in Richmond, Indiana.  He is joined on the track by Roosevelt Sykes on piano, Baby Jay on cornet, and Ike Rodgers on trombone.  Like the Ishmon Bracey tracks with Charley Taylor and Kid Ernest Michall, the presence of horns in the ensemble here seems to push the vocal into a secondary role.  Roosevelt Sykes, if it is indeed him playing the piano here, is in an uncharacteristically subdued mood.  You can hear Teddy Darby's expert picking out of E, standard tuning, without having to strain for it.  Both of the horn players sound excellent and make me wish that more tunes had been recorded with this kind of line-up.  Ike Rodgers is so self-effacing a trombonist that I was two thirds of the way through the first instrumental pass before I realized that what I had assumed was humming was the trombone.  There are not a lot of sung lyrics to this one, but here goes.  The last sung verse enters at the fifth bar of the form.  I'm missing part of Teddy Darby's spoken passage in the middle of the song.  Here is "What Am I To Do":



   Babe, tell me what have I done?
   Baby, baby, tell me what have I done?
   Every time you see me comin, tell me, why should you run?

   SPOKEN:  Ho!  Play that cornet, Jim!
   Mr. Ike can sure play it good!
   Play 'em 'til I get back to St. Louis and get some of my wife mama's liquor
   I'm gon' blow 'em

   SUNG:  Tell me, woman, what have I done wrong?
   And my best friend has told me to go along

   SPOKEN:  Lord, they sure sound good to me!

Edited 6/10/20 to pick up lyric addition from Johnm

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 11:43:36 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2006, 09:49:34 AM »
Hi all,
Teddy Darby recorded "Lose Your Mind" at his first session, backed by Roosevelt Sykes on piano.  It is the only song from that session on which Teddy Darby did not accompany himself on guitar; he is just singing here.  The song has much of the sound and feel of the Classic Blues recorded by the great women Blues singers of the early 1920s.  It's interesting to see that as early as 1929 there was already a vast storehouse of Blues cliches to rely on for lyrics.  I'm stuck on the middle of the tag line for the first verse, so any help would be appreciated.  The last verse is a poser.  Here is "Lose Your Mind":



   Aah, mister jailor, put me to the electric chair
   Aah, mister jailor, put me to the relectric chair
   I'm just like Ruth Snyder, I'm tired of existing here

   Aah, my good girl done quit me, the talk's all over town
   Aah, good girl done quit me, the talk's all over town
   I'm too good of a poor boy to let that kind of talk go around

   Now, let me tell you what the mean old train will do
   Aah, let me tell you, baby, what the mean old train will do
   It will take your sweet woman and blow the smoke at you

   I'm going to take my love, bury it in the deep blue sea
   I'll take my lovin', bury it in the deep blue sea
   I'm gon' let it stay there for my babe don't care for me

   And it's take me back, baby, try me one more time
   Aah, take me back, baby, try poor me one more time
   If you take me back, baby, I will treat you nice and kind

   If you have a good woman, don't treat her nice and kind
   If you have a good woman, don't treat her nice and kind
   And when she happen to quit you, it will make you lose your mind.

Edited 3/1/13 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 11:01:48 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2006, 11:16:47 AM »
Hi all,
Teddy Darby recorded "I'm Gonna Wreck Your Vee Eight-Part 2" in the 1935 session with Peetie Wheatstraw backing him on piano that also yielded Part 1 of the same song, along with "Meat And Bread Blues" and "Pokino Blues".  Teddy's guitar was a bit under-recorded on this song; indeed, it would have to have been miked very closely to have been able to compete dynamically with Peetie's powerfully pounded piano part.  Teddy sounds to be playing pretty much in a Scrapper Blackwell mode, with lots of string-snapping and bends.
The song is a vocal showpiece, and as on "Pokino Blues", Teddy Darby is just howling, really moving some air.  In fact, he's singing in a way that I normally associate with pianists, getting that kind of bright horn tone to his voice like Roosevelt Sykes or Joe Duskin. 
As for the lyrics, it's hard to imagine what would cause him to unleash such extreme destructive mayhem on an automobile, but it is good to find out that the rumble seat was spared his violent impulses.  Any help with the tagline on the second verse would be appreciated.  Here is "I'm Gonna Wreck Your V-8, Part 2"

   SPOKEN:  Look-a-here, Peetie, look over there and give me them pliers, boy, I'm gonna mess up somethin' now!

   I'm gonna get in your ignition, I'm goin' to cut your wire (2)
   I'm goin' to block your fuse and wreck your switchbox so your spark plugs, they can't get no fire

   I'm goin' to puncture your tires, break your wheels and axle, I'm goin' break your readi-drive
   I'm goin' to puncture your tires, break your wheels and axle, I'm goin' break your, uh, readi-drive
   And when I get through with your car, it will be just like [a] first-hand steel junkyard

   I'm gon' knock a hole in your gasoline tank
   Gon' knock a hole in your gasoline tank
   I'm gon' disconnect your gas line, wreck your starter, I'm goin' to throw away your crank

   SPOKEN:  Now give me that old brickbat there, Mr. Wheatstraw

   Now, 'fore I tell you what it is all about
   'Fore I tell you what it is all about
   I'm going to bust your windshield, I'm gon' put your, uh, taillight out

   But babe, do you know I ain't goin' to hurt that rumble seat? (2)
   For it's so soft and rides so easy and it fills up so nice and neat

Edited 3/13 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 11:03:54 AM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2006, 12:06:08 PM »
Hi, John,

That sure does sound like "first-hand" in the second verse.  But you've left out a syllable between "first-hand" (if that's what it is) and "junkyard".  I think the whole phrase is "...it will be just like first-hand steel junkyard".  Sometimes I think some of these lyrics should be transcribed like this "...it will be just like [a] first-hand steel junkyard", to indicate that the "a" is understood there, even though Teddy Darby doesn't pronounce it.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2006, 10:27:36 AM »
Thanks for that word, "steel", David.  It is the one that I was missing.  I will make the change.  Teddy tended to put in a lot of "uhs" in the course of his lyrics, too.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2011, 11:29:24 PM »
Hi all,
In an earlier post in this thread, http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=1086.msg16115#msg16115, which had the lyrics to Teddy Darby's "Pokino Blues", there was a question about him saying you can "slip" your card, or "sleep" your card.  I recently looked up the rules to Coon Can on Google, and found in a glossary there that to "sleep your card" is to purposely overlook a play.  So it does seem that the lyric would be "sleep" rather than "slip".
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2013, 11:20:06 AM »
I was listening to Teddy Darby's "Lose Your Mind" and came here for some help on the lyrics in the last line of the first verse, only to find that we never settled on the lyrics for that line.  After listening for a bit, I could swear the verse is:

   Aah, mister jailor, put me to the electric chair
   Aah, mister jailor, put me to the relectric chair
   I'm just like [Miss Drew Snider/Snyder], I'm tired of existing here

If I'm hearing this right, Miss Drew Snider must have been a movie or stage actress or character (or some other kind of entertainer) who would have been fairly widely known in 1929 for saying something like "I'm tired of living" or "I'm tired of existing".  But I can't find any information on such a person or character.  Is the name familiar to anyone out there?     

Offline banjochris

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Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2013, 12:56:56 PM »
Almost certainly it's Miss Ruth Snyder, who was famously photographed being electrocuted at Sing Sing by a reporter who smuggled in a camera strapped to his ankle.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Snyder

Offline dj

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2013, 04:00:12 PM »
That's it.  Thanks for clearing up the mystery, Chris.

I love these topical references in old songs.

Offline Slack

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2013, 04:12:34 PM »
And what an interesting story - she tried to kill him 7 times (he became accident prone)... and what, he never caught on?  Wow.  And then had a 167 proposals of marriage while in prison.  I tell ya, they don't make women like that anymore!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2013, 08:21:30 AM »
That's great that you guys figured that out.  I re-listened to the song recently, and hadn't a clue.  Great detective work!
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2013, 11:52:26 AM »
That was one where my newspaper background came in handy -- that photo of Ruth Snyder is pretty famous in that era of journalism. I'm glad dj listened to the lyrics of that one - I never had paid that close attention.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2020, 11:07:20 AM »
Hi all,
This is another one of those old lyric threads that didn't have any links to the original performances.  I was able to find all but one, the very last one in the thread, "I'm Gonna Wreck Your V-8, Part 2".  There are some tremendous performances here, great singing and playing and really good lyrics, like a lot of St. Louis musicians.  Plus my two favorite songs about gambling, I think--"Pitty Pat Blues" and "Poking Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline eric

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2020, 04:19:18 PM »
Wow.  Thanks for reviving this thread.  I don't quite get the music theory behind it, but man, Pokino Blues is the bomb.
--
Eric

Offline Johnm

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Re: Teddy Darby's Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2020, 04:40:36 PM »
Ha, I couldn't agree with you more, Eric!  The way Teddy Darby is moving air on "Pokino Blues" and "Pitty Pat Blues" really sends me--talk about breathing from the gut!
All best,
Johnm

 


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