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So they get part of the tune. Then they flag it and get frustrated. Damn, be happy! You got part of the tune. That doesn't stop you... it's not being complacent, it's being realistic. You can't just go through every CD you have and every tune that you like say 'Why can't I play that?' Or 'Why can't I play it as well as that?' - Jerry Ricks, Port Townsend 97

Author Topic: Winston Holmes and Charlie Turner Lyrics  (Read 2177 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Winston Holmes and Charlie Turner Lyrics
« on: August 21, 2006, 02:53:59 PM »
Hi all,
I heard of this recording many years ago from Nick Perls, but heard it for the first time recently on the Document CD "Kansas City Blues", DOCD-5152.  It falls into the seldom-encountered "fussy blues" category, another example of which is Alec Johnson's "Sundown Blues".
Winston Holmes was evidently an entrepreneur and had a vaudevillian's delivery, as well as the ability to do bird calls, yodel, etc.  He is an annoying presence (to me) on a couple of Lottie Beamon's records, and managed her for a while.  Charlie Turner was a really nice twelve-string player, and his slide guitar part on "Rounder's Lament" employs pretty much the same melody as Frank Hutchison's "Cannonball Blues".  Winston Homes's intro on "Rounder's Lament" has to be heard to be believed.  Taken in sum, this is really an odd track and here it is:



   SPOKEN:  What a fool I have been to have left such a wonderful woman!  Ah, it tears my very soul to think of it!  Why, her love was like a mother's love.  She loved me, she fed me, she clothed me, she took care of me when I was sick.  Why, she even give me money.  And to think I was crazy enough to leave her!  The old saying has proven true, and now I am reaping the whirlwind!  What a low, contemptible rounder I have been!

   Left me, with a bowed-down head, oh baby,
   Cryin', "Daddy, please don't go
   Your Mama loves you, 'deed I do."

   "Can't you feel your mama deep down in your heart?
   That invisible power saying, "Do not part"
   I love you, baby, from the start."

   The songbird calling to his mate
   You'll hear me whistling, mama, you just wait
   'Cause I'll be passing by your gate  SPOKEN:  YEE HOO!

   See that songbird flying in the air
   Mr. Pilot, take me back down there
   My Dixie mama, because she knows I care

   BIRD CALLS

   SPOKEN:    Whee Hoo!  Play your spots, Mr. Turner!  Oh, play it all night long!  One more drink of gin, that's all.

All best,
Johnm

   
   
       
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 05:57:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Winston Holmes' and Charlie Turner's "Skinner"
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 03:43:39 PM »
Hi all,
I rediscovered this tune recently on the "Kansas City Blues Document CD, DOCD-5152.  I've been listening to Lottie Beaman a lot, and all of the Winston Holmes and Charlie Turner cuts are included on the CD as well.  This is by far my favorite of that duo's collaborative cuts.  It appears to be at least a distance cousin to Peg Leg Howell and his Gang's recording of "Turkey Buzzard Blues".  Like "Turkey Buzzard", it uses the melody of "Turkey In The Straw" or "Old Zip Coon", though Charlie Turner never plays the B part of that tune.  Turner supplies the accompaniment on twelve-string guitar played out of G position in standard tuning and some very adroit harmonica played off of a rack, really very nice.  I love the chorus on this one, especially in its early versions, where it is more complete.  The refrain flows without interruption out of the tail end of the fourth verse.  Both the performance and the song itself sound like they could have come right out of a minstrel or vaudeville show, and I have to admit, it all sounds great to me, and a lot of fun.  As usual, I'm not certain about the words in bent brackets.  Here is "Skinner":



   A lady was a-walkin' down Edison Street
   She had a little trouble with her bad feet
   She stoops down just to lace her shoe
   And the wind whistled up Frederick Avenue

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women, children is goin' to ruin
   Skinner, skinner, you know the rules
   Get up in the mornin' and curry your mule
   Curry your mule and curry your horse
   Oh, you'll have no trouble with the stable boss
   Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women, children is goin' to ruin

   SOLO

   I'm a-went down to see my gal, Bess
   She hollered downstairs, "Dear, I'm undressed."
   "Get up and slip on something, dear."
   She slipped on a banana peel and broke her ear

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women 'nd children is goin' to ruin
   Skinner, skinner, you know the rules
   Get up in the mornin' and curry your mule
   Curry your mule and curry your horse
   Have no trouble on Saturday night
   Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women, children is goin' to ruin

   Well, I went down to see my gal, Bess
   She hollered downstairs, "Honey, I'm undressed."
   She started to me, she was runnin' pretty fast
   She slipped on a banana peel and hurt her arm

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women and children is goin' to ruin

   Told my woman, night 'fore last
   Caught her on the levee gonna whup her

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women, children is goin' to ruin

   SOLO

   Mary had a little lamb
   She kep' him on the shelf
   And every time he wagged his tail
   He spanked his little self

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women and children is goin' to ruin

   SOLO

   Mary had a little lamb
   His fleas was black as jet
   I went home with Mary last night
   And I ain't done scratchin' yet

   REFRAIN:  Oh, ho, ho, bamalam doin'
   Women, children is goin' to ruin

   SOLO

Edited, 4/29, to pick up clarification from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
   
   
     
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 04:09:23 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Winston Holmes' and Charlie Turner's "Skinner"
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 10:45:11 PM »
I can't quite make out the street name -- "bad feet" is definitely right, though. And as a point of pointlessness, Frederick Ave. is one of the main streets of St. Joseph, Mo., about 30 miles from Kansas City. Ain't Google Maps grand?
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Winston Holmes' and Charlie Turner's "Skinner"
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 11:02:02 PM »
Thanks for the help, Chris.  I really like this song, and I don't think Winston Holmes ever sounded less obnoxious or weird than on "Skinner".  It's a winner.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Winston Holmes and Charlie Turner Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 06:00:06 PM »
Hi all,
At the time I posted the two songs in this thread, I don't believe there were videos of them up on youtube.  I just found them today, and added them to the posts above, so if you want to hear "Rounder's Lament" or "Skinner", you can check them out now.
All best,
Johnm

 


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