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Fourteen Black Pattis, the most ever found in a single place, now sat in a neat stack in front of Joe Bussard. "Some man gave 'em to my sister back in 1927," the old man was explaining. "We played 'em once, but we don't care much for blues and such, so we packed 'em away and they've been there ever since - Joe Bussard, story by Eddie Dean, washingtoncitypaper.com

Author Topic: Vocal Signature Phrases  (Read 7264 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2008, 01:17:41 PM »
Quote from: Bricktown Bob
For a while now I've been tracking, in a desultory way, this intervocalic intrusive 'r' with some sort of vague idea of doing something with it.  Examples would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Bob,

I believe Robert Wilkins also has the 'r' quirk in a couple of his tunes. Can't recall examples at the moment but am pretty sure it's there.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 01:20:11 PM by andrew »

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2008, 05:09:54 AM »
Thanks, Andrew.  Cool.  Robert Wilkins, from Hernando, MS.

Cooljack

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2008, 05:26:06 AM »
theres the "Hee Heeee" Curley Weaver and I believe Barbecue bob to a lesser extent put in the intro to some of there songs

Offline Johnm

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2008, 09:21:00 AM »
Hi Bricktown Bob,
I can't give you any kind of regional tracer, since nothing is known about Gene Campbell, but in the transcriptions I've been doing of his lyrics I've found more than a few of the inserted "r" sounds you've been tracking.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2008, 10:35:07 AM »
Thanks, John.

I want more Gene Campbell now; only one I have is "'Toby' Woman Blues" from the Richer Tradition set.  Couple questions, if I might.

You've transcribed the lines from "Mama You Don't Mean Me No Good No How" as:

   I've been as good to you ras (sic) I intend to be
   I've been as good to you as I intend to be

Does this mean he doesn't inject the 'r' the second time around?  This might mean he is a rare-occasions R-ist, not a habitual user like Broonzy.  Unless there is a definite separation between "you" and "as" in the second line -- is there?

In "Robbin' and Stealin' Blues" you have:

   I know howr (sic) you hungry hustlers feel
   I know how you hungry hustlers feel

Again we have the 'r' missing in the second iteration.  But what I find interesting here is the context.  Don't believe I've yet run across the intrusive 'r' before "you."  I see that in "Wash and Iron Woman Blues" he uses the same phrase, "how you feel," without the 'r' even the first time round.  Maybe there's something odd about the way he says "you" in "R&S B."

Oh, the mention of Lonnie Johnson in connection with Campbell reminds me that I recently ran across a single instance of Johnson using the intrusive 'r' -- which for some reason surprised me.  Possibly because Johnson is usually so polished, both urban and urbane, and is quite particular about his articulation.  Ah, thought I'd lost the context, but it's "No More Troubles Now" (1930):

    I used to cry over my woman, I was dumb as I could be
    Now (r) I got three women, brought those new thrills to me.

Thanks again.  Wish we knew something about Gene Campbell.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2008, 12:12:18 PM »
Hi Bob,
Yes, you interpreted the way I transcribed the lyrics correctly.  Gene Campbell sometimes inserts the "r" and sometimes doesn't.  I agree, it would be great to know something about him.
all best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2008, 06:36:27 PM »
Tampa Red's "Yowzah!" and Crudup's "Yeh Man!" are signature phrases, albeit quite monosyllabic.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2008, 10:25:28 AM »
"Good God!" "Great Goddamitey!" "Whatchoo talkin' bout?" "Whatchoo cryin' bout?" "YEA LORD!"
R.G.D
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline tenderfoot84

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2008, 12:43:04 AM »
hi,

to chime in on what johnm said about texas alexander's spirit melody - i've listening to him a lot recently thanks to www.sundayblues.org - and i noticed that 'the two charlies' have a go at his hummed signature melody on their song 'low moan blues'. the pair are an amazing duo and this song sticks very closely to their superlative 'bad feeling blues' which is just about my favourite song at the moment.
Cheerybye,
David C

Cooljack

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2008, 04:13:42 PM »
If anyones heard Lee Green he has a really nice vocal signiture which I've noticed that is a wavey voice as he sings, almost as though hes tapping his throat quite fast while he sings.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2011, 04:40:11 PM »
Hi all,
Having recently been a sort of total immersion mode with the music of Tommy McClennan, I've noticed the following vocal signature phrases in his singing:
   * He starts lines with "now" just about as often as Sleepy John Estes did, but his placement is much later in the vocal phrase than was Sleepy John's.  Sleepy John liked to land his "now" around the second beat of the measure preceding the downbeat of a vocal phrase.  Tommy hit his more often on the + of the fourth beat of the measure preceding the downbeat of the phrase.
   * Tommy liked to begin the opening line of each one of his verses with either "now" or "but", but in the repetition of the line, he would most often jettison whichever of the two words he used to begin the first line.
   * In his most excited singing, Tommy like to insert a quick "now-now" in the middle of a line.  He did this more often in the opening line of a verse than in the repetition of that line.
For singers, these identifying vocal signature phrases can be almost a trademark or kind of musical branding, every bit as much as a commonly used instrumental signature lick, like Lonnie Johnson had.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 06:39:04 AM by Johnm »

Offline misterjones

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2011, 10:47:18 AM »
It might be limited to his early songs, but Patton frequently ended lines with an extended (almost imperceptible) uh-oooo-uh-oooo-uh-oooo . . .  I'm not sure if this was an intentional appendage or just the way his voice sounded on extended notes.  I don't recall anyone else doing it.

I recall that Lightnin' Slim frequently said "blow your harmonica son" (presumably before a Slim Harpo solo), Kokomo Arnold frequently would say "play it Jackson" before a guitar solo, and sometimes Blind Willie McTell similarly would say "kick it six".

There's also the B.B. King / Buddy Guy vocal inflection at the beginning of a line (assuming I can accurately illustrate it here):

The first time I met the blues
You know I was walkin' down through the woods
Yeah-aahhhh-yeah, the first time I met the blues . . .

And there's the two-note T-Bone Walker guitar phase that Chuck Berry used a lot, but that might be getting too far afield here.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 10:59:03 AM by misterjones »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2012, 10:45:45 PM »
Hi all,
I realized recently that Bo Carter's biggest signature vocal phrase was spoken, not sung.  It comes when he exhorts himself while soloing:  "YEAH!"
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2012, 07:15:49 AM »
I realized recently that Bo Carter's biggest signature vocal phrase was spoken, not sung.  It comes when he exhorts himself while soloing:  "YEAH!"

And there are variants, such as, "Yah," and "Yes Gal." Bo was such an affirmative guy.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Vocal Signature Phrases
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2013, 08:46:36 AM »
Hi all,
For those looking for the thread that discusses the "r" that is sometimes inserted between words that end in vowels and those that begin with vowels, this is the one.  Go to the beginning and start reading and you'll soon come to the discussion.
All best,
Johnm

 


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