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One Fourth of July, they were having a festival in downtown Memphis, with five or six stages and Charlie (Feathers) was playing on the rockabilly stage. I'm sitting there watching him and I turn around and there's this guy sitting behind me, all dressed up, smoking a cigar. Do you know who it was? It was Roosevelt Sykes, the Honeydripper! Just sittin' there, diggin' Charlie! - Kim Wood

Author Topic: songs that could last forever  (Read 3067 times)

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Offline Stuart

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 08:55:52 AM »
Don't we all! It appears that one has been re-issued on CD:
This is not the album Johnm is talking about. There were two Tampa Red LPs on Prestige/Bluesville: "Don't Jive Me" an "Don't Tampa With the Blues". "How Long" is on "Don't Jive Me". Your link is for "Don't Tampa With the Blues".

Where's my proofreader when I need one??!!--by "that one" I meant "that one of the LPs from the 1960s..." Sorry for the ambiguity--I should have caught it, since I specifically looked for "How Long" in the track listing.

Fantasy (now Concord) was pretty good about re-issuing from the Prestige/Bluesville catalog, but obviously Tampa Red didn't get full coverage, but let's keep our fingers crossed.


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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2007, 10:53:42 AM »
Tommy Johnson's "Maggie Campbell Blues".

It's purty long for a pre-war country blues record, and I get lost in it every time I hear it.

Offline tenderfoot84

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2007, 02:03:45 AM »
i had a read of david evans big road blues recently. it includes an interview with rube lacey in the 60s where he said that he ALWAYS played Ham hound crave the same way, and fortunately it fit the record time. i thought this was interesting because

1/ it seems like a song you could groove on til eternity, throwing breaks in wherever you like.

2/ it seems pretty damn lucky it fit the record.

3/ he mentions that he changed mississippi jailhouse groan up all the time. made it longer, shorter!! and changed the verses whenever he felt like it.

a note on point 3. he actually says, when asked whether he felt 'constrained by the 3minute time duration' - i'm paraphrasing here - that he was actually very glad of it. he often played to earn his crust when he didn't fancy playing and he thought to himself when he was told to do three minutes: i can do that that. it's not too long. i don't need to worry about running out of verses.

this seems like a candid interview with one of the best of the best, who was apparently sharp as a tack in the sixties. he also states that he learned at least one of the two from another player (unrecorded - i forget the name).

it's interesting that i, and probably others, often thought of / think of old blues songs as meaning a lot more than they may have. i guess a lot of the time we hear performances a lot of the time rather than songs and how we differentiate between the two is purely subjective. the sheer power of a tune like mississippi jailhouse groan just grabs you by the balls and you think, i wish i could have heard him do that live in the 10s or 20s, just grooving on it for 10-15 minutes.

rube lacey implied in the 60s that he did.

then you flip over and think the same about ham hound crave.

rube lacey stated in the 60s that he did not.


and that's why we love this music.
David C

Offline Rivers

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2007, 07:50:18 AM »
Interesting, it's been a while since I went through Big Road Blues, personally I find it heavy going. I guess Rube didn't correct the title of Ham Hound Crave to Ham & Gravy or any of the other theories? I'm glad, I've always thought Ham Hound Crave is a) more interesting and b) correct!

Online Johnm

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2007, 02:14:33 PM »
Hi all,
I think I would add Robert Petway's version of "Catfish" to this list.  The fact that it ends with a fade sort of adds to its mystique in this regard.
All best,

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2019, 08:59:53 AM »
I stumbled upon this old thread while searching. Here's my short list of songs that immediately popped into my head. At one point or another, I've played each of these songs on repeat for extended periods of time. I'm sure there have been others.

King Solomon Hill - My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon
Clarence Ashley - Coo Coo Bird
Otto Virgial - Little Girl in Rome
Mance Lipscomb - Freddie
Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - Sherburne

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: songs that could last forever
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2019, 01:56:27 PM »
A couple spring to mind:

Speckled Red's Dirty Dozens - imagine he had loads more verses to this that didn't make the recording
Charley Jordan's Keep it Clean -  as he recorded a couple of versions, to me, suggests he would have gone on a long time with this tune.