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Yeah I'm down so low baby, ooh Lord girl, I declare I'm lookin' up at down - Big Bill Broonzy, Lookin' Up At Down

Author Topic: Bessie Tucker Lyrics  (Read 1776 times)

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Offline eric

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2018, 05:49:35 PM »
The accompaniment by K.D. Johnson on Fort Worth and Denver Blues is just terrific, beautiful.  A dummy line, I believe, is a temporary rail line to a logging camp.  Thanks for posting these, John.
--
Eric

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 06:40:33 PM »
Thanks for the information on the term "dummy" in this context, Eric.  I'm glad you're enjoying these songs.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2018, 09:25:36 AM »
Hi all,
For "Old Black Mary", Bessie Tucker sounds to be accompanied by K. D. Johnson on piano and Jesse Thomas on guitar.  Despite the guitar sounding to be flat-picked (or played with a thumb pick), the following items point towards Jess Thomas as the accompanist rather than Carl Davis:
   * Despite the guitar being played out of G, the guitarist here is working out of DGDGBE tuning, as Jesse Thomas did on "My Heart's A Rolling Stone", rather than G position in standard tuning, as Carl Davis utilized so often in his accompaniments for Texas Alexander and Bessie Tucker.
   * The vocabulary of moves in the treble for "Old Black Mary" is different than that utilized by Carl Davis in his accompaniments.  At one point in the solo, Jess Thomas slides a diminished seventh chord up three frets, a move that, at least based on recorded evidence, was not part of Carl Davis' skill set.
Bessie Tucker sounds great, as usual, and like herself, as usual.  Here is "Old Black Mary":



INTRO SOLO

If you don't feed him no better, old black Mary, I'm gon' take him myself
If you don't feed him no better, old black Mary, I'm gon' take him myself
Ahhhh-ha, gonna take him myself

Tell me, black Mary, oh, what makes you, black Mary, what makes you come so soon?
Tell me, black Mary, oh, what made you, what made you come so soon?
Your man have left this mornin', but he'll be back at noon

GUITAR SOLO

Well, he may come crippled, ahhhh-ha, and I may be lame
And he may come crippled, ahhh-ha, and I may be lame
It was mama's, papa's situation, I'm gon' take him, just the same

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2018, 03:38:34 PM »
Hi all,
Bessie Tucker sounds to have been backed by K.D. Johnson on piano and either Jesse Thomas or Carl Davis (probably Davis) for "Bogy Man Blues".  The spelling is as listed on the record, normally I think "bogy" would be spelled "bogey" in this context.  The guitarist works in a little Lemon Jefferson quote in his solo.  We should do a poll sometime on how many blues songs use the adjective "buggish".  Here is "Bogy Man Blues":



INTRO

If your man get buggish, and he want to go
If your man get buggish, and he want to go
Stop your squabblin', let the fool man go

Every time I need you, mmm-hmmm, that's the time you're gone
Every time I need you, mm-mm-hmmm, that's the time you gone
You said that you loved me, but you treats me wrong

GUITAR SOLO

I ain't never loved nobody, and I never will
'T'ain't never loved nobody, hope I never will
The last man I was a-likin', almost got me killed

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 09:33:30 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2018, 05:25:07 PM »
Hi all,
For "T. B. Moan", Bessie Tucker sounds to have been backed once again by K. D. Johnson on piano and Carl Davis, working out of his favorite (and perhaps Bessie's favorite, too) G position in standard tuning.  Here is the song:



INTRO

You've got your pistol, ahhh-ha,you've got it drawed on me
You've got your pistol, ahhh-ha, you got it drawed one me
I'm a real sick woman, sick as I can be

GUITAR SOLO

I may get better, ahhh-ha, but I can't get well
I may get better, ahhh-ha, but I can't get well
I've got the tuberculosia [sic], and I can't get well

Tell me, rider, ahhh-ha, what make you so mean?
Tell me, rider, ahhh-ha, what make you so mean?
I asked you f' water, you gave me gasoline

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 06:37:11 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2018, 02:49:02 PM »
Hi all,
For "Katy Blues, Take 1", Bessie Tucker sounds as though she was joined once again by K. D. Johnson on piano, an un-named tuba player and a guitarist, playing out of D position in standard tuning.  With a singer who had phrasing as variable as Bessie Tucker's tended to be, the tuba player is particularly exposed, because he's just oom-pahing between the I and V note of each chord, and if he guesses wrong as to when Bessie is going to hit the change, he really ends up sounding unalert.  This in fact happens a few times in the course of the song.  In the first verse, Bessie is early to the IV chord and then long on it.  One sympathizes with her accompanists--they were not operating in an era when fixes were a possibility in the recording studio.  You could construe the results as deriving from the song being under-rehearsed, but I don't think it's at all certain how much more rehearsal would have helped.  It really sounds fine, though, and Bessie sounds great, as usual. 
After much more listening I resolved the lyric problem in the last verse.  The TP was the Texas Pacific Railroad, and the Midland was the Texas Midland Railroad.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Katy blowed this morning, just about five miles from town
Mmm-mmm, just about five miles from town
Well, it blowed so lonesome, almost blew the station down

Some say the Katy, some say the Santa Fe
Mmm-mmm, some say the Santa Fe
But that mainline Katy, fast enough for me

SOLO

Katy's at the station, Santa Fe is in the yard
Mmm-mmm, Santa Fe is in the yard
I would catch that TP, if this Midland got me barred

SOLO

All best,
Johnm




« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 07:38:49 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2018, 10:07:14 AM »
Hi all,
"Whistling Woman Blues" starts with an ominous-sounding introduction beginning in minor by pianist K. D. Johnson, with the guitarist, who sounds like Carl Davis once again flat-picking out of G position in standard tuning, arriving in the twelfth bar, simultaneous with the V chord.  Bessie Tucker's pronunciation of "penitentiary" is unusual, but consistent in her repertoire.  Here is the song:



I followed my daddy, oh my baby, to the buryin' ground
I followed my daddy, oh my baby, to the buryin' ground
The police told me, "Nigger, turn around."

Penritentia, penritentia [sic], ahh-ha, ain't a trifling thing
Penritentia, penritentia, ahh-ha, ain't a trifling thing
I've been mistreated, it ain't a trifling thing

SOLO

I'm a whistling woman, ahh-ha, I'm like a crowing hen
I'm a whistling woman, ahh-ha, I'm like a crowing hen
The folks all told me, it comes to no good end

All best,
Johnm



Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2018, 09:27:30 AM »
Hi all,
For "Black Name Moan", Bessie Tucker was accompanied solely by K. D. Johnson on piano, but he was so attuned to her way of phrasing that it is always a treat to hear them working as a duo.  This is another prison song, like "Key To The Bushes".  Here is "Black Name Moan":



INTRO

I can hear my black name a-ringin', up and down the line
I can hear my black name a-ringin', up and down the line
Ahhhh-ha, it's a red hot line

In the mornin', in the mornin', ahh-ha, won't be long
In the mornin', in the mornin', ahh-ha, won't be long
Old Captain gonna call me and I will be gone

Captain, Captain, ahhhh, Captain, are you, must be blind?
Captain, Captain, ahhh-ha, you must be blind
You told me to hurry, I'm almost blind

PIANO SOLO (Spoken: Now ain't that puny?)

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bessie Tucker Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2018, 05:14:04 PM »
Hi all,
For "My Man Has Quit Me", Bessie Tucker sounds to have been accompanied by K. D. Johnson on piano again.  K. D. Johnson's first two piano solos open with a melodic phrase that anticipates Buddy Johnson's "If I Had You" by a decade or two.  The pair are working familiar territory, but worked so well together that hearing them is always a treat, for me, at least.  Here is "My Man Has Quit Me":



PIANO SOLO

My home ain't here, just stopped into your town
Lord, my home ain't here, just stopped into your town
Because my man have quit me, gals, he have thrown me down

You gonna leave me smilin', someday you'll come back, cryin'
You gonna leave me smilin', someday you'll come back, cryin'
You gonna stay away so long, 'til I wear you off of my mind

PIANO SOLO

The sun goin' down, know what you promised me
Lord, the sun goin' down, know what you promised me
A ticket on the Katy, pass on the Santa Fe

PIANO SOLO

All best,
Johnm 

 


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