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Author Topic: Henry Whitter Lyrics  (Read 148 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Henry Whitter Lyrics
« on: May 13, 2020, 12:55:49 PM »
Hi all,
Henry Whitter is probably most remembered now as the accompanist for the wonderful fiddler and singer, G. B. Grayson, but he also recorded a fair number of solo sides.  Here is his version of "Lonesome Road Blues" ("Going Down The Road Feeling Bad"), from 1924, in which he accompanied himself on guitar out of C position in standard tuning and harmonica on a rack.  Like Henry Thomas, he liked to keep his first string open when playing an F chord.  Is there an earlier recording of this song?



HARMONICA INTRO SOLO

Oh, I'm goin' down this road, a-feelin' bad
So I'm goin' down this road, feelin' bad
Oh, I'm goin' down this road, a-feelin' bad
And I ain't a-gonna be treated this a-way

Oh, I'm goin' where the chilly winds never blow
Oh, I'm goin' where the chilly winds never blow
Oh, I'm goin' where the chilly winds never blow
And I ain't a-gonna be treated this a-way

Oh, way down in jail, on my knees
Oh, way down in jail, on my knees
Oh, way down in jail, on my knees
And I ain't a-gonna be treated this a-way

Oh, they feed me on cornbread and beans
Oh, they feed me on cornbread and beans
Oh, they feed me on cornbread and beans
And I ain't a-gonna be treated this a-way

Yes, I'm goin' where the climate suits my clothes
So I'm goin' where the climate suits my clothes
Oh, I'm goin' where the climate suits my clothes
And I ain't a-gonna be treated this a-way

Yes, I'm goin' if I never come back
Oh, I'm goin' if I never come back
Oh, I'm goin' if I never come back
And I ain't gonna be treated this a-way

HARMONICA SOLO X 4

All best,
Johnm









Offline RobBob

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Re: Henry Whitter Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 08:36:17 AM »
I'm not sure if he was the first Wikipedia seems to think so:

Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad, also known as the Lonesome Road Blues, is an American traditional song, "a white blues of universal appeal and uncertain origin" (Ralph Rinzler, quoted on Erbsen 2003, p. 118). It was recorded by many artists through the years; the first known is Henry Whitter in 1924 as "Lonesome Road Blues". Others who recorded it include Cliff Carlisle (also as "Down In The Jail On My Knees"), Woody Guthrie (also as "Blowin' Down This Road" or "I Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way"), Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Roy Hall, Elizabeth Cotten and the Grateful Dead,Canned Heat.

Of course this is a version some may not have heard:


Offline Johnm

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Re: Henry Whitter Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 03:45:28 PM »
Hi all,
Henry Whitter recorded "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy" at a session in New York City on either November 19th or 20th, 1924, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning and once again playing harmonica on a rack.  Like George Reneau, he recorded a lot of songs that were either already standards and had not been recorded before, or became standards after he recorded them.  This song certainly became a standard in Old-Time and Bluegrass music--it's one everybody knows.  It's very closely related to John Hurt's "Payday", Henry Thomas"' "Shanty Blues", the Mississippi Sheiks' "Bootlegger's Blues" and Lonzie Thomas' "Rabbit On A Log".  Whitter's song shares a lot of the same lyrics and turns of phrase, but has a different melody than those four songs, all of which share the same melody.  Henry Whitter gets an interesting sort of unresolved sound by avoiding the V chord--he never hits one in the course of his rendition.  Here is "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy":



Oh, I'm goin' down to town, goin' to by me a sack of flour,
Gwine to cook it every year, I keep my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time

Oh, it's honey, if you say so, I'll never work no more
I'll lay 'round your shanty all the time, time, time
I'll lay 'round your shanty all the time

HARMONICA SOLO X 2

I'm pullin' for my shack, with the blood hounds on my track
I'm pullin' for my shanty home, home, home
I'm pullin' for my shanty home

If they beat me to the door, I'll put 'em under the floor
Done my skillets good and greasy all the time, time, time
Done my skillet good and greasy all the time

HARMONICA SOLO

Oh, I'm walkin' down the street, and I stole a ham of meat
Done my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Done my skillet good and greasy all the time

HARMONICA SOLO

I'm pullin' for that hill, for to buy me a jug of brandy
Gwine to give it all to Mandy, keep her good and drunk and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my good and drunk and greasy all the time

HARMONICA SOLO X 3

All best,
Johnm 





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