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This guy wanted to marry me. He said "It's me or the horn." I said, "Well, it ain't you, babe" - Martye Awkerman, trumpet, quoted in Swing Shift, "All-Girl" Bands of the 1940s by Sherrie Tucker

Author Topic: We should have heard more from them  (Read 11772 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2004, 07:07:15 PM »
Some good deals at the Roots and Rhythm page.
Carl Martin is also on the Testament "Mandolin Blues" CD. Didn't see it in the R&R bargain catalog but it is on the Hightone website.

A number of the people mentioned are of course on the Prestige discs from Fantasy. I picked up a couple used discs awhile back from the Bluesville Years series. Volume 9 and 10 - "Down the Country Way" and "Country Roads, Country Days" have folks like Doug Quattlebaum, JT Adams and Shirley Griffith, Pete Franklin, Robert Curtis Smith, KC Douglas, Smoky Babe and other lesser knowns, as well as a little material some better knowns like Tampa Red, Jesse Fuller, Scrapper Blackwell. Good compilations to sample this stuff.

I guess Buddy Moss would be another one of those guys who fit into this thread. Didn't do so great after rediscovery as I recall, though I have the Biograph record that's got some good playing on it.

edited to add: more on Buddy Moss here in the Weenie Archives.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2004, 07:44:46 PM by uncle bud »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2004, 07:37:49 PM »
Would Gus Cannon qualify as another?

Offline Rivers

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2004, 10:00:02 PM »
Ahhh... Downhome in El Cerrito totally rocks. Dab' Bro' took me there before dinner at Rosie's. I took two Arhoolie Robert Pete Williams CDs up to the checkout and asked the dude "Which one is the best intro to RPW's playing?"

He proceeded to give me a top-down appraisal of one versus the other, and we agreed that, based on my fingerpicking technique, hat size and the fact that I have Mars in Aries, Volume I would probably do it for me.  8)

Offline Rivers

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2004, 02:12:13 AM »
Memphis Minnie, d. 1973. I recall Del saying she'd been to visit her in the old folks home. I don't know when she stopped performing due to ill health, vague references to the Fifties on the 'net.

What a shame Willie McTell couldn't have hung on a just a bit longer, the Last Recording session is wonderful.

Dang this thread is ironic but it's good to tip yer hat to these folks. Gotta go, having intimations of mortality.

Offline Peter McCracken

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2004, 03:23:16 AM »
I highly recommend the Chicago String Band album.

Peter

Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2004, 07:16:48 PM »
Would Gus Cannon qualify as another?

Indeed!

Offline waxwing

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2004, 08:29:34 PM »
I think Gus was pretty old. I'm not sure when, '60s I think, but when he was interviewed, by whom I can't remember, maybe Wardlow, he was in his 80s. Were any rediscovery recordings of him made?
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Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2004, 08:51:10 PM »
Yes - reissued by Fantasy Jazz.

Offline Johnm

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2004, 10:36:25 PM »
Hi all,
The Gus Cannon from the 60s was originally released on the Memphis soul label, Stax, and is reputed to be one of the hardest albums to find on vinyl--sold something like 76 copies.  I thought of another great one--Smokey Babe.  Harry Oster recorded him for his own Folk Lyric label and then for Prestige.  A wild and very exciting player in Spanish who did the best retread of Robert Johnson's Spanish sound a la"Terraplane" or "Stones In My Passway" that I've ever heard.  He was a comparatively young guy, too.  I never heard of him playing anywhere out of his home area.
Buddy Moss is a good one too, Andrew.  I should have thought of him--I saw him one time.
All best,
John   

Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2004, 04:26:49 AM »
Looks like Smokey Babe is available on Arhoolie, as are the rediscovery recordings by Black Ace.  Totally forgot about him...

Offline Rivers

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2004, 11:30:56 AM »
I have the Arhoolie Black Ace. Considered indispensible if you are hardened electric lap steel nut. I must listen to it again.

Offline Johnm

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2004, 06:07:44 PM »
Hi all,
Just returned to this thread after a while away and had some more thoughts on this topic.  Two guys who I think still fall into this category are Henry Townsend and and Honeyboy Edwards.  Fortunately there have been a number of releases in the past two years or so, but when you read in the interview that Lindy posted a while ago of Henry's compositional method (making up lyrics on the spot) it would have been very hard to over-expose him. 
I took the link to the Adelphi site that Andrew posted and while looking at the other artists listed there realized that we didn't include any pianists in this category.  Did any of you ever see Little Brother Montgomery?  I didn't, but I think he was sensational, "Vicksburg Blues" is pretty hard to beat.  One great I did see was Roosevelt Sykes--what a voice!  It was like a horn, bright and loud, and he was a rocking pianist.

The main thing that occurred to me is that there is a reasonably good chance that many of the artists who we have listed in this thread had additional material recorded in the 60s, 70s or later that has never been released.  I know for a fact that Nick Perls, the founder of Yazoo and Blue Goose Records made recordings that have never been released of Hacksaw Harney, Pete Franklin, Sam Chatmon, and almost certainly other country blues musicians who survived into that era.  Nick passed away in 1987, and I believe his estate for things related to his music went to Shanachie Records, via Richard Nevins.  I may try and see what happened to those unreleased recordings (or for that matter the records which were made, but which are currently unavailable on CD).  As I mentioned earlier, Paul Oliver said he had an album's worth of stuff by Robert Curtis Smith, and Gale Dean Wardlow alludes to an album of Hayes McMullen that never came out.  Similarly, it seems there is a good chance that Dr. Harry Oster had material by Smokey Babe, Robert Pete Williams, and Snooks Eaglin playing acoustic that was never released.  Chris Strachwitz may well have some Li'l Son Jackson or John Jackson.  Maybe it's time to try to convince some of the people holding this unreleased music to clear the vaults.  I will start thinking about a way to actually do something practical and on a small scale to see if it is possible to get even one CD released through this kind of effort.  Certainly, the easiest thing to do would be to license and re-release a pre-existing album on CD, which the current owners have no intention of re-releasing.  All ideas are welcome to that end.
All best,
John   

Offline lindy

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2004, 06:45:24 AM »
Maybe it's time to try to convince some of the people holding this unreleased music to clear the vaults.  I will start thinking about a way to actually do something practical and on a small scale to see if it is possible to get even one CD released through this kind of effort.  Certainly, the easiest thing to do would be to license and re-release a pre-existing album on CD, which the current owners have no intention of re-releasing.  All ideas are welcome to that end.

I've had this idea for about 5 years now, always comes to mind whenever I'm driving down an interstate and see a sign for a local "adopt-a-highway" organization.  We who have excess cash to build up our stocks of fine guitars might be willing to aim some of that money toward underwriting the expenses of producing individual CDs of the unreleased material you mentioned.  The first step here would be to figure out exactly what the costs are; I've heard various figures that I won't put down in writing in the name of accuracy.  If you could ask your contacts *exactly* how much it would take to remaster old tape recordings and to re-release a CD--I'm sure we're talking about thousands of dollars here--someone might be willing to put up the money for one project.  Some seed $$ would be required for someone to canvass the various CD companies and rights holders to figure out what's really out there.

Case in point: I mentioned Shirley Griffith in a post last week; I wonder how much $$ it would actually take for Prestige to put out 1,000 copies each of his two vinyl LPs?  My guess is that Prestige would be willing, and might even give some in-kind support, if someone was willing to do the underwriting.

Lindy

Blind Willie Pace

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2004, 06:54:36 AM »
Can anyone shed some light on the CD "The Blues Of Smoky Babe, The Hottest Brand Goin'"  I couldn't find any other releases under his name on Amazon.
either as Smokey or Smoky.    Usually Amazon has the Arhoolie stuff but alas no Smokey Babe.  They do have the Stax Gus Cannon CD.(31 minutes)

Offline lindy

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2004, 07:40:18 AM »
Can anyone shed some light on the CD "The Blues Of Smoky Babe, The Hottest Brand Goin'"  I couldn't find any other releases under his name on Amazon.
either as Smokey or Smoky.    Usually Amazon has the Arhoolie stuff but alas no Smokey Babe.  They do have the Stax Gus Cannon CD.(31 minutes)

Blind Willie--

Go to www.fantasyjazz.com -- there's a link in Weenie's links/record company section -- and do a search for Smokey Babe or for the Bluesville label.  "Hottest Brand Going" is the only CD of 100% Smokey.  Some cuts show up on a couple of compilations.  If memory serves me right, Arhoolie has a CD called "Louisiana Blues" that has one side of Smokey Babe and one side of someone else -- I know that other people on this list have talked about that CD.  And that's all I'm aware of.  Buy the Bluesville CD, it's great!

Lindy

 


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