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He was feelin' pretty good. It was raining' and he came in and set down, and he took him a big drink out of his boot (where he stored his whiskey) and picked that guitar up, and boy, I just wished you could of heard him... - Blind Arthur Blake, remembered by Bill Williams

Author Topic: Country Blues Correspondence Club  (Read 2286 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Country Blues Correspondence Club
« on: May 20, 2006, 12:54:11 AM »
I had need to refer to something in the first issue of Blues World (March 1965) and the editorial suggests to me yesteryear's equivalent of Weenie.:) The magazine lasted a decade.

"This magazine is intended to serve as the journal of the Country Blues
Correspondence Club and as this is a new venture perhaps a brief outline of
its aims is necessary in the first issue.

The C.B.C.C. aims to put country blues enthusiasts in touch with each other
for the purposes of exchanging information, views, tapes, etc.

Assuming sufficient response we intend to publish a list of names and
addresses, together with each member's interests and projects (if any).

'Blues World' will serve to air views, circulate information and include
articles by members.

With this in mind we encourage anyone reading this magazine to, write to us
and give any views on the articles included or any relevant information. A
letters page will be included in the next issue for this purpose.

There is no membership fee for joining the C.B.C.C. but we hope all those
interested will subscribe to the Magazine.

At this point it might be worthwhile pointing out that we do not intend to
observe any hard and fast definitions as to the nature of 'Country' blues as
opposed to any other kind.

It can be taken that we mean 'Country Blues' in its widest sense.

Certainly 'Blues World' will include features on all kinds of genuine blues.

Finally, we would like to thank all the people who have encouraged us with
this venture. Bob Groom"

Offline a2tom

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2006, 04:16:18 AM »
At this point it might be worthwhile pointing out that we do not intend to
observe any hard and fast definitions as to the nature of 'Country' blues as
opposed to any other kind.

I had no idea people had an obvious angst about what defines "country blues" for so long, since, well, a titch before I was even born!  (yes, I know he said he wasn't applying any definitions, but he clearly was anticipating that others would try to...)

tom

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2006, 05:26:07 AM »
I had no idea people had an obvious angst about what defines "country blues" for so long, since, well, a titch before I was even born!  (yes, I know he said he wasn't applying any definitions, but he clearly was anticipating that others would try to...)
Oh Lord yes, even before then, mainly within the jazz fraternity.  Jazz Journal or Jazz Monthly gave long reviews to Sam Charters's 1959 book bearing that name and one (possibly both) took the opportunity of posing the question as to just what "country blues" was based upon chapter subjects such as Muddy Waters or Memphis Jug Bands, can't recall which. I think the same happened with the selection chosen for the accompanying RBF LP.

Offline Slack

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2006, 08:28:32 AM »
Quote
editorial suggests to me yesteryear's equivalent of Weenie.Smiley The magazine lasted a decade.

Very interesting Bunker -- the internet sure makes this a lot easier!   ;)

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 11:43:32 AM »
Has anybody hereabouts given any thought to when/where the term "country blues" was first used?  It crops up in Leroy Carr's 1934 "Corn Licker Blues ("let the good old country blues roll on" is the usage I think) and in the late 40s throughout the 50s was used by jazz critics to identify artists like Broonzy as, say, opposed to Muddy Waters. 

The "search forum" facility has failed to identify  previous discussions but I may not have chosen sensible criteria. Should this topic be an old warhorse that folk are fed up with, then that's fine by me. Let sleeping dogs lie!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 12:21:07 PM »
It wasn't a discussion of when the term was first used, but there was a worthwhile discussion of "country" vs "city" blues here.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 11:42:09 PM »
It wasn't a discussion of when the term was first used, but there was a worthwhile discussion of "country" vs "city" blues here.
Thanks for finding that, there are some refreshingly cogent and well considered discussions.

Offline MTJ3

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 12:34:17 AM »
Has anybody hereabouts given any thought to when/where the term "country blues" was first used?  It crops up in Leroy Carr's 1934 "Corn Licker Blues ("let the good old country blues roll on" is the usage I think) and in the late 40s throughout the 50s was used by jazz critics to identify artists like Broonzy as, say, opposed to Muddy Waters.

BH, I have always thought that Leroy's diction was generally quite, if not extraordinarily, good.  (Funny coincidence that I had been listening to Buddy Boy Hawkins, some of whose lyrics are truly indecipherable for me, just before I read your post.)  This line of Leroy's is one of the exceptions that, I guess, proves that rule.  My transcription of the line in question was: "I ain't gonna bother nobody, just let the good [country beer][times, baby,] roll on."  (Brackets indicate my alternate readings.)  Upon reading your post, I listened to that line again several times at full speed, half speed and quarter speed; it's fascinating to think that it is "country blues," but I just can't hear it.  For me, this deciphering is largely art or a matter of taste and imagination once I get to this point of uncertainty and I can't make clear phonetic judgments, but that's what I hear. Sort of.  I guess.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 08:33:36 AM »
Has anybody hereabouts given any thought to when/where the term "country blues" was first used?  It crops up in Leroy Carr's 1934 "Corn Licker Blues ("let the good old country blues roll on" is the usage I think) and in the late 40s throughout the 50s was used by jazz critics to identify artists like Broonzy as, say, opposed to Muddy Waters.

Hi Bunker Hill:

I have thought about it because in a specific context it is evidence of the first recorded (written or spoken) conscious recognition of a difference--perhaps only of degree--between perceived types within the category or classification of what was considered blues.

Of course, what really happened and why (beyond what was recorded or written down) is another question, but yes, I have given it some thought.

I wish I had a specific answer that was supported by fact, but at this point I don't. I'll just keep listening to those old records and let you know if I come up with anything tangable. In the meantime, I can only provide abstract generalizations, that are probably the result of reading too much and listening to little.  ;)

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Country Blues Correspondence Club
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 09:52:40 AM »
My transcription of the line in question was: "I ain't gonna bother nobody, just let the good [country beer][times, baby,] roll on."  (Brackets indicate my alternate readings.)  Upon reading your post, I listened to that line again several times at full speed, half speed and quarter speed; it's fascinating to think that it is "country blues," but I just can't hear it.  For me, this deciphering is largely art or a matter of taste and imagination once I get to this point of uncertainty and I can't make clear phonetic judgments, but that's what I hear. Sort of.  I guess.
I should perhaps confess to repeating received wisdom, and from faulty memory at that. I purchased the CBS LP in 1963 and that line totally defeated me until someone reviewing the 1971 reissue (see Stefan's under construction Scrapper page) asked if the line "let the good country blues times baby, roll on" was the first usage of the term. On re-listening back then I probably heard what I wanted to hear. I've just played the only version I have and am back where I was 43 years ago - not sure what the hell he sings! Duh.

Anybody have the Macleod Document transcription volumes to see what he came up with? I can't even listen to my set of Carr CDs which were lent to a friend who died in 1997 and I didn't have the heart to ask his widow for their return. Wouldn't be surprised if the 1971 understanding of that line isn't repeated there.

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