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Well I got a woman mean as she can be. Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me - Roy Orbison, Mean Woman Blues, written by Claude Demetrius

Author Topic: Blind Lemon Jefferson  (Read 2313 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Blind Lemon Jefferson
« on: October 29, 2005, 12:41:58 AM »
Blues & Rhythm magazine have made available?on their website as a PDF Paul Swinton's BLJ feature from issue 121 August 1997. This includes a photo of Jefferson not previously seen which was digitally enhanced. One or two wits of the time likened it to Lurch from the Addams Family (or was it the Munsters?). :)

http://www.bluesandrhythm.co.uk/classics.html

Whilst at the site it might prove beneficial to check out their back issues. Chris Smith's two-parter (96 & 97) on the true story of Betty & Dupree is definitely worth the investment of a pound each!? And there's always issue 171 with the Little Hat Jones interview from 1962....

EDIT: never do things in a hurry or early in the morning, the LHJ is in issue 135.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2005, 01:08:26 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2005, 07:30:03 PM »
The Jefferson article by Paul Swinton has been recommended in these parts before, but it is worth tooting that horn again. For any Jefferson fans, it is must reading. The photo is certainly strange looking, and a little Lurch-like. There has been some debate as to whether it is in fact Jefferson, has there not? I think it looks enough like him to be legit, although would like to see a version without digital enhancement, which has no doubt lightened his face.

The content of the article provides a number of tantalizing scenarios: Leadbelly and Lemon playing "Fare Thee Well, Titanic" on the streets, Lemon playing "Dallas Rag" while Leadbelly danced. Also tantalizing, to say the least, titles Lemon recorded for OKeh found in the Paramount registrations in the library of Congress, some familiar, others not:

?Easy Rider?, ?Elder Green?s In Town?, ?English Stop Time?, ?I Labor So Far From Home?, ?Match Box Blues? , ?Laboring Man Blues?.

In addition to the following Paramount LoC registrations:

?Light House Blues?, ?Too Black Bad?, ?It?s Tight Like That?, ?Pineapple Blues?.

Perhaps some intrepid record hunter will turn up something.  Hey, if they're finding lost Son House 78s, a guy's gotta dream.

The article also features a number of Paramount ads for Lemon records. Good biographical information as well. Do we know what else was found in that box of photos, record company flyers and 78s (white country according to the article) in which the Lemon photo was unearthed?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2005, 08:46:04 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2005, 10:30:27 AM »
Also tantalizing, to say the least, titles Lemon recorded for OKeh found in the Paramount registrations in the library of Congress, some familiar, others not:
?Easy Rider?, ?Elder Green?s In Town?, ?English Stop Time?, ?I Labor So Far From Home?, ?Match Box Blues? , ?Laboring Man Blues?.
A couple of years back, in an issue of Journal Of Texas Music History, David Evans, wrote about the "New Songs of Blind Lemon Jefferson" in which he transcribed and discussed these in some depth. I've been hunting high and low for my copy but I can only assume was loaned to somebody and can't recall to whom. Does this ring any bells here, I know I didn't dream it.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2005, 11:05:55 AM »
The Swinton article mentions Sam Charters quoting lyrics from Elder Green's In Town and a transcription of music for English Stop-Time. Swinton says he contacted Charters who told him the information came from lead sheets filed for copyright purposes, and not from test pressings or anything as exciting as that.

That's not what you're thinking of, is it? Doesn't sound like it from the detail.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2005, 11:26:58 AM »
That's not what you're thinking of, is it? Doesn't sound like it from the detail.
Hey I didn't dream that issue. I've located a lengthy review of the feature in Blues & Rhythm. The feature is actually a joint effort by Luigi Monge and David Evans "New Songs of Blind Lemon Jefferson",? Journal Of Texas Music History vol 3 no 2 (Fall 2003) pages 8-28. Reviewer Neil Slaven isn't too impressed with Monge's "specious theorising" concerning visual references in BLJ's blues. But that's another matter...
Just for interest, "Labor So Far From Home" is a version of? 'Our Gudman/Seven Nights Drunk/etc etc. (Child ballad 274). Now who in tarnation did I loan that issue to??

[I forgot to mention that what prompted the article was the discovery of ten typed and hand written copyright deposits of the Chicago Music Publishing Co. at the Library of Congress].
« Last Edit: October 31, 2005, 11:35:46 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2005, 05:21:29 PM »
Here's the Journal of Texas Music History online. Too bad, the Lemon issue is the only one not offered as a pdf file. Edited to add: Lemon issue is now online as a pdf.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 07:50:59 PM by uncle bud »

 


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