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Author Topic: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider  (Read 1618 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:53:12 AM »
SOTM February 2017 

CC Rider/ Easy Rider/ See See Rider

The SOTM for February has numerous titles. It was first recorded as ?See See Rider? by Ma Rainey in New York on 16 October 1924. She was accompanied by her Georgia Jazz Band featuring Louis Armstrong on cornet, Charlie Green on trombone, and Buster Bailey on clarinet. The intro lasts almost a minute, so be patient!




The origin of the song title formed the basis of conjecture in this WC thread started in 2006. How time flies! I wonder if any of the original participants ever got the answer?

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2806.0

In 1934, Big Bill Broonzy recorded an up tempo version, entitled ?C.C. Rider?, with piano and violin accompaniment. According to Goodrich and Dixon the pianist on this Chicago session is unknown, and they conjecture that Big Bill was the violinist on the track. Certainly the vocals and the violin are kept separate. I wasn?t aware that Big Bill played the violin, and I don?t think their are other recorded instances of his violin playing. Anyone else know otherwise?



Three months after the Big Bill version was recorded, in January 1935, Leadbelly recorded the first of his versions of ?See See Rider? in New York City. This is the first version of this song I heard in about 1964, and it remains a favourite. Leadbelly seems to have played the melody out of full blown chords under his slide, and his accompaniment features a driving bass.



Leadbelly was adept at song recycling. In June 1940, again in New York City, he recorded this version of ?Easy Rider?.



Staying in New York, our next version, and one which proved to be a popular hit of the day, is by none other than Muriel Nicholls. Muriel Who? Clearly, that?s what her agent thought, and changed her name to Wee Bea Booze. Here she is with possibly Sam Price on piano, her own (inaudible to me) tenor guitar, and unknown and unsung heroes on double bass and drums. This track is from 1942.



In  1949, Josh White was featured in a Randolph Scott western entitled ?The Walking Hills?. He?d been acting a fair amount on Broadway and managed to grab a decent amount of screen time in the movie, the full version of which is available on You Tube. Here?s the extract with his version of CC Rider.



As we progress into the 1950s, we find Big Bill again, now recording replete with surname (as opposed to on all his pre-war  waxings). Studs Terkel interviewed and recorded Big Bill in November 1956, when this version of See See Rider was performed. Incidentally, the discographies also list this title as ?C.C. Rider?.




In 1957, C.C. Rider was once again a popular hit, sung by Chuck Willis.




Moving to New Orleans in the late 1950s, we encounter another of my all time favourite versions of the song, recorded by Harry Oster in either February of March 1958, here?s Snooks Eaglin with his version of See See Rider. The vocals are rich, with a slight touch of echo and the occasional falsetto. The cheap Harmony archtop guitar provides the ideal accompaniment.



Then, one year later, it?s off to Texas to catch a fine performance of See See Rider by Lightnin? Hopkins. The open vocal salvo is worth the entrance fee!



As we move into the nineteen-sixties, we encounter the Mississippi John Hurt in live performance at the height of the ?folk blues revival?. Here is his take on C.C. Rider.



Another live performance from the mid to late sixties was captured on Pete Seeger?s Rainbow Quest TV programme. It?s Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee with their version of ?Easy Rider?. Sonny's lyrics reveal indebtedness to Leadbelly, with the tag line 'Hey, hey, hey, hey'.



And yet another live performance, from Lonnie Johnson recorded in Europe during one of the Folk Blues festivals that toured during the sixties.



Another live performance now, this time from 1972, by Mance Lipscomb. The performance starts at 6:36.

https://youtu.be/L4HpwvJjalM?t=6m36s

A piano version up next, recorded by Blind John Davis.



Moving into the 1980s, here?s another track from the American Folk Blues Festival recordings. It?s Lonnie Pitchford.



By now I find myself needing an antidote to the jazzier versions of the song, so I?m thankful to Pan, who originally posted this version by LC Ulmer in the ?Interesting Country Blues related video clips? thread a while back.



Finally, it?s worth noting that CC Rider/Easy Rider/See See Rider has, over the years, been a major   ?cross-over? hit for many white artists who?ve covered it, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead, to name just a few.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 08:41:30 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 09:10:56 AM »
Found in my collection, here's John Jackson's recording of it from 1999:



... Robert Lockwood, 12 string, year 2000:



... and Blind Connie Williams:

« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 09:14:43 AM by Rivers »

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 09:14:20 AM »
Thanks so much, Prof, for your Song of the Month selection, and for putting together such a thorough opening post.  It would be pretty tough to sing the song as well as Ma Rainey did, let alone better.  I always thought Snooks Eaglin did beautiful soulful singing on his rendition.  I've got some listening to look forward too, getting caught up on several of the versions which are new to me.  I hope folks will post their own versions, too.  I'd like to hear you do one on your 12-string.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 09:36:09 AM »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 07:23:04 AM »
I love Babe Stovall's various recordings of this one:



and a very relaxed (and slightly dirty) version by Jelly Roll Morton from his LoC recordings:




Offline harry

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 10:32:31 AM »
Thanks Prof. Scratchy. I remember a great version by Joe Beard but it's not on YouTube.

Edited to add; It's on YouTube but unavailable for europeans. 

« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 10:37:08 AM by harry »

Offline Rivers

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 10:55:41 AM »
There are Easy Rider songs out there that have a completely different melody, i.e. a circle of fifths ragtime progression and not 12 bars. Are they in the scope of this thread? I'm thinking Sam & Kirk McGee, Scott Dunbar etc

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 02:52:15 PM »
There are indeed other Easy Rider songs (Blind Lemon, for example), but they are different songs altogether, so I didn't include them.  Some great additional posts here! Keep them coming!


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Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 04:02:02 PM »
Hi all,
I thought I'd post  a version of "C C Rider" that I just came up with.   I hope other folks will post their own versions, too.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 01:24:39 AM »
Great version John. Has more chords in it than I know! Here's a 12 string attempt. Gets going towards the end, after a bit of a lame start.
https://soundcloud.com/aj0347/cc-rider

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 06:11:14 AM »
Thanks for the good words, Prof, and that is a beautiful version you did.  I knew you had one in you!  Thanks for posting it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 05:56:06 PM »
Enjoying these thanks for the topic, I had not really listened to the song very much so its an introduction to it for me and also a reacquaintance with Babe Stoval, whose version is my favorite. Also enjoyed the ones from John and Miller and Professor Scratchy, thought provoking both.

Best,
Harriet

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 08:11:53 AM »
Great Johnm & Professor, you inspired me to give it a shot,,always loved this tune...




http://picosong.com/GBJF
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 08:30:03 AM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2017, 08:43:27 AM »
Great time, Phil!  That is a rocking version.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »
Grand version, Mr O'Muck! Thanks for posting. Who else has got one?


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Offline Thomas8

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2017, 01:05:57 PM »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 02:40:29 PM »
Nice to hear that piano! Keep em coming!


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Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2017, 05:28:23 PM »
Thank you professor for a nice topic. Been listening a good while.

Congrats on the fine versions from fellow forumites as well!

Here's another piano version by Otis Spann:



and a live version by Paul Geremia:



Cheers

Pan

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2017, 12:46:53 AM »
Will there be a Pan version?


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Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2017, 06:47:43 AM »
Well here's my attempt at it -
https://soundcloud.com/lilhat/see-see-rider

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2017, 07:40:42 AM »
Thanks for that Harriet, and it's great to hear you put together your own version of C C Rider, and get it up and running so quickly.  Neat to hear the piano version, too, Thomas, and it's cool that you took on Ma Rainey's verse as well as the better-known chorus.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2017, 12:59:55 PM »
Yes, thanks for all these fine versions! There must be more out there?

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2017, 10:37:26 AM »
Big Joe Williams with Jimmy Brown and Willie Lee Harris:


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 11:08:31 AM »



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Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2018, 07:48:10 AM »
Hi all,
Here is a version by Eugene Powell that was just posted (2 views):



All best,
Johnm

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2018, 05:15:15 PM »
There are Easy Rider songs out there that have a completely different melody, i.e. a circle of fifths ragtime progression and not 12 bars. Are they in the scope of this thread? I'm thinking Sam & Kirk McGee, Scott Dunbar etc

Although those artists' recordings were titled Easy Rider, the version by Barbecue Bob was given the distinctive title Easy Rider Don't You Deny My Name.

All three versions are similar to Salty Dog. Indeed, Sam McGee's record conflates the two songs.

I won't post links unless somebody asks me. I do recommend searching YouTube, though. For Scott Dunbar, choose the field recording made by Frederic Ramsey with Scott's wife Celeste joining in the singing as their daughter Rose dances along.

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2018, 05:50:09 PM »
It was first recorded as ?See See Rider? by Ma Rainey in New York on 16 October 1924. She was accompanied by her Georgia Jazz Band featuring Louis Armstrong on cornet, Charlie Green on trombone, and Buster Bailey on clarinet.

Not to mention Fleeter Henderson ? or 'Smack' as Armstrong calls him ? on piano.

Louis recalled this in his 'autobiography' album as an intro to this version with Velma Middleton.


Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2018, 07:44:40 PM »
I wasn?t aware that Big Bill played the violin, and I don?t think their are other recorded instances of his violin playing. Anyone else know otherwise?
Bill gave several versions of his early days in Arkansas ? including the odd folk-tale dressed up as family history. But he was consistent on his musical history. His first instrument was the fiddle, and the only money he made was with another fiddler (or possibly guitarist)  playing for white folk. Interestingly, he said that the musician who inspired him and taught him to make a fiddle and  play it was known as See See Rider ? named after the song.

A white man saw Bill and a friend playing home-made fiddles, took them under his protection and bought them two instruments. Accounts differ as to whether they were two violins or a violin and a guitar. So Bill may have learned to play the guitar then. But his repertoire was manly waltzes, reels, two-steps and ragtime. He also learned from his uncle some songs 'they didn't exactly call the Blues'.

He also learned See See Rider, as he told a Dutch audience in 1956. In this version of the story, the teacher is unnamed and mysterious. But as in other versions, he taught Bill to make and play a rough fiddle.



He took up the guitar seriously when he moved to Chicago, taught, he said, by Papa Charlie Jackson.

I think you're right in thinking there are no other recordings purporting to be of Bill on fiddle. The songs and tunes he played as a teenager in Arkansas would not be of any interest to Black audiences in Chicago.. Assuming that it really was Bill, he must have worked up a Blues fiddle style ? quite possibly for just the one party piece.

At the end of his life he was playing for white audiences again, and included non-Blues 'folk' stuff such as Blue Tail Fly and Crawdad. They would have loved it if he'd payed the fiddle tunes and songs of his youth. But presumably he'd been too long too far away from the instrument to take it up again.

Even for See See Rider, he worked up a guitar accompaniment, and a great one at that.

There's a new book The Invention and Reinvention of Big Bill Broonzy by Kevin D Greene. It's laced with sociological theory and hard-going much of the time, but also full of interesting stuff. Much more readable is I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy by Bob Riesman..
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 07:45:54 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2019, 06:49:02 AM »
I've just stumbled on Mama Yancey reminiscing with Little Brother Montgomery in her old age. She'd lost much of her voice, but what was left is still very impressive. After singing Trouble In Mind, she performs See See Rider starting at about 5:21


Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM February 2017 CC Rider
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2019, 02:02:54 PM »
Hi all,
Here is a version from Jack Owens and Bud Spires:



All best,
Johnm

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