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One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor - Eugene Swampman Goldsmith, instructions for making a blues recording

Author Topic: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues  (Read 724 times)

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Offline Pan

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SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« on: November 05, 2018, 06:26:27 PM »
Hi all,

Sorry of being a little late with the SOTM, but here you go;

I chose this tune first recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson. Although I really love it, I haven?t played it myself so far.  I also first thought, that it being fairly tricky to play, it wouldn?t be coverd that much. Well, I was wrong.

Here?s the original version by Lemon, from 1927.  A gret song, both musically and lyrically.



A hillbilly version by Bill Cox, also known as The Dixie Songbird "East Cairo Street Blues" was recorded sometime in between the 30?s and 40?s, I couldn?t find the exact recording date. Sounds a lot like Jimmie Rodgers, with yodeling and all.



Blind Willie McTell did a version in 1949, titled as ? Last Dime Blues?



Etta Baker first recorded One Dime Blues in 1956. Here's one of her later recordings, I believe:



Leadbelly did a version, but I couldn't find out the exact recording date:



Mance Lipscomb recorded his "One Thin Dime" in 1960



Also, check out his version titled as "Out and Down"



Blind Connie Williams recorded a superb version as "One Thin Dime" on  May 5, 1961



Oscar "Preacher" Nelson And Newton "Hoss" Nelson  were recorded doing "Broke And Ain't Got A Dime" sometime between 1964 - 1966.



Willie Trice recorded in 1971 by Pete Lowry:



Rabbit Muse doing an Ukulele version in 1977:



A version by James Lowry:



And a great one by Precious Bryant - I'm Broke and Ain't Got a Dime:



There are more versions to be found, and I hope you post your favourite ones too.

Cheers,

Pan








« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 06:32:57 PM by Pan »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 07:41:36 PM »
This is my favourite ? after Blind Lemon's ? as much for Willie Thomas's explanation as the music. He and Butch Cage just seem to be having a ball.



For Thomas, the street is not East Cairo but Decatur Street in New Orleans. And Mance Lipscomb seems to be singing the same.

DATES
The Leadbelly track may be Broke And Ain't Got A Dime from the transcription of a 1942 radio broadcast.

The Bill Cox recording seems to be from 1933.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 08:36:20 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 09:15:34 PM »
Thanks for your Song of the Month choice, Pan, and for all of the great versions of it that you found.  I'm looking forward to familiarizing myself with some of the versions that are new to me.  I'm excited about the James Lowry one--everything I've heard by him has been terrific.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 12:25:03 AM »
Thanks Pan. What a great choice. Looking forward to listening to the today. I?m already enchanted by the Precious Bryant video.


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Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 06:58:58 AM »
Hi all,
Here is a version by Skoodle Dum Doo and Sheffield, "West Kinney Street Blues", once again showing their connection to the playing of the same song by James Lowry; both of those versions were played out of A in standard tuning rather than E, as Lemon played the song.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 07:00:09 AM by Johnm »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 05:32:43 PM »
I'd forgotten about this derived song, which I used to hear over fifty years ago from someone imitating Rambling Jack Eliott. It was actually cobbled together by Woody Guthrie out of One Dime and a chorus he probably borrowed from Leadbelly. Here's Woody's New York Town:



There are version by his friends and family: Jack Eliott, Cisco Houston, and a trio consisting of Eliott, Sonny Terry and Woody's son Arlo.

Then there's this Jazz version by Chris Barber.


Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 08:48:06 PM »
Thank you for all the interesting versions Pan, I always love hearing the different spin different artists will put on a song. One that I particularly love is Skip James' version, where he uses that trademark falsetto of his so well
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

Live Acoustic Wollongong - LAW Records

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https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/james-r-cooper/id992309035

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 06:00:10 AM »
Thanks for the additional versions and information, everybody.

Here's Frankie Basile doing the song in 2008.



Cheers,

Pan

Offline blueshome

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 12:09:09 PM »
Willie Trice

Offline blueshome

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 12:10:05 PM »
Roy Dunn did a Lightnin style version for Trix. Can?t find the track on line just now.

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 07:21:12 PM »

Mance Lipscomb recorded his "One Thin Dime" in 1960

Also, check out his version titled as "Out and Down"

People who interviewed Mance quote him as saying that he was playing and singing Out and Down for ten years or so before he heard Blind Lemon's One Dime Blues. He also said that it wan't called a 'blues' in those early days. Leadbelly ? as we hear in the clip you posted ? called it a 'four-way blues', something people sang before the 'three-way blues'.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 07:22:36 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 06:53:42 AM »
Two verses in Lemon's song have nothing to do with his last dime or standing on the street ? or, indeed, with each other, or with anything else:
 
Quote from: One Dime Blues
Mama don?t treat your daughter mean
Mama don?t treat your daughter mean
Mama don?t treat your daughter mean
That?s the meanest woman a man most ever seen

You want your friend to be bad like Jesse James
You want your friend to be bad like Jesse James
You want your friend to be bad like Jesse James
Get two six-shooters, highway some passenger train

And yet they turn up (with minor variations) in almost every version of the song posted by Pan and the rest of us ? usually next to each other and in that order.

Mama don't treat your daughter mean took on a life of its own without Lemon's tune but with the triple repetition ? what Leadbelly called 'four-way blues'. Posts I've read ascribe it to Ruth Brown, though it was recorded by other big-voice women singer such as Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor Big Maybelle and Sarah Vaughan. The usual first line was now Mama, he treats your daughter mean. Here's Ruth Brown



Interestingly, Chris Barber and Ottilie Patterson successful turn it into a twelve-bar blues with just the two repeated lines



The two verses sort-of found their way into the repertoire of Horace Sprott, a songster who Frederick Ramsey rated as evidence for the prehistory of the blues. I think he was just an idiocratic holler-style singer who made use of blues verses and fragments. In this song ?which he saw as his composition ('I made that one') ? he mixes the two verses
Quote from: Horace Sprott
Oh mama, please don't treat your daughter mean
Just because she wouldn't marry low-down Jesse James


« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:07:20 AM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 08:03:05 AM »
Hi David,
The two verses in Lemon's version of "One Dime Blues" that you cite as being not thematically related to the song's title are not in any way remarkable in Lemon's repertoire in that respect.  Especially in his earlier recordings, his verses tended to be all over the place, with no theme being referred to or remarked upon throughout the course of the rendition.  I think the kind of blues that sticks to one main theme is more of a Pop Music (which the blues certainly were in that period) convention.
All best,
Johnm

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 11:08:19 AM »
Hi John

Yes I realise how the two verses came to be in that particular recording on that particular day. But that doesn't necessarily explain how they persisted though subsequent years when thematic blues were the norm. Singers didn't stop including floating verses. Indeed many of the One Dime recordings are full of verses from all over. Yet these two verses (along with the thematic verses) held a pretty fierce grip on the song.

I forget who the author was (Jeff Titon?), but I think he was right in judging Lemon to have changed his composing practice to thematic blues.

Artists were under pressure to produce original material ? the hidden motive being that somebody, not usually the artist, could copyright it. The more times they were recalled to the recording studio, the more they had to craft new songs in the manner of commercial songsmiths.

Offline Rivers

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Re: SOTM - November: One Dime Blues
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 06:59:25 AM »
Quote
One that I particularly love is Skip James' version

Skip James also transposed his own, very personalized, lyrics over the same melody and guitar arrangement again in Sickbed Blues. It's surprising, to me anyway, Skip could get the sound of Lemon's song in minor tuning. I should try it sometime.


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