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A musicianer, he's not got as many men friends as he has women, and sometimes the only men friends he has is other musicianers, or a man who ain't got no woman - David Honeyboy Edwards, from his bio

Author Topic: famous hokum boys music  (Read 4377 times)

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Offline dave stott

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famous hokum boys music
« on: January 25, 2008, 04:48:27 PM »
I love Big Bill Broonzy's music and have taken a liking to some of his work as part of the Famous Hokum Boys.

There seems to be a large quantity of compilations out there..  I'm not interested in owning every cut or take..

Would some one recommend the best CD of the Famous Hokum Boys to start with?

Thanks

Dave




Offline Minnesota Dave

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 05:45:20 PM »
Good question, Dave.  :)

Offline Rivers

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 05:59:10 PM »
Agreed. I count 28 recordings in B&GR. The ones I've heard have always stood out. Gap in the market for a 'Complete...' release.

Offline banjochris

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 06:03:56 PM »
There are two volumes of them on Document and you've got it all -- I don't think there's a compilation of just them, although they do appear on Big Bill and Georgia Tom albums both. I bought one volume at Amoeba Music in L.A. for $9.99.
Chris

Offline uncle bud

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 08:01:06 PM »
Just to clarify, I believe the two volumes are on Wolf, which is sort of Document, but looking for the Famous Hokum Boys on Document's website yields results only for the Too Late, Too Late series. I have Wolf volume 1, sound is relatively poor, other records have selected tracks in better shape, but when you're a fan, you're a fan, so go for what you want. I don't know what the status of Wolf releases is, but it may mean looking for them used or through Amazon marketplace. Note that they should not be confused with The Hokum Boys, who are a whole nuther kettle of fish as I recall.

Cooljack

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 01:56:03 AM »
Im quite a big fan of the Hokum boys and there is a Document CD with what I think is there self titled work on (DOCD-5236), I also have both of georgia toms document ms which has alot of music featuring the hokum boys, I don't know about Big Bills work with them though, neither do I have any of their work with Tampa Red or Bob Robinson though apparently they played with Blind Blake too though I  guess I haven't noticed them in any of his music yet. Also I don't know for certain, but im guessing there is probably quite a big difference between the 1929 Hokum Boys Recordings and the mid to late 30's ones?



This is a very good CD if your considering purchasing it, or anything with the hokum boys.


Offline dave stott

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 07:51:33 AM »
my internet search found the following:

DOCUMENT RECORDS

Complete Hokum Boys Vol 1
Complete Hokum Boys Vol 2

WOLF RECORDS

Famous Hokum Boys Vol 1
Famous Hokum Boys Vol 2

and then there are these stragglers

Hokum Boys & Bob Robinson 1935-1937 (Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2)
(no sign of a Vol 1 in existence)

Ain't going that way - Hokum Boys and Banjo Joe 1927 -1929

You Can't get enough of that Stuff- IMPORT

Plus an untold number of compilation CD's with Hokum Boys tunes on them

needless to say, it can dirve a person crazy....

Dave

Offline uncle bud

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 09:15:11 AM »
This from the Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings:

"'The Hokum Boys' was a brand name, used by any record company which considered that it fitted the product. As well as the material considered here [The Hokum Boys DOCD-5236; The Hokum Boys and Bob Robinson DOCD-5237], there were Hokum Boys records by Georgia Tom and Tampa Red, one side by Blind Blake, and titles with Big Bill Broonzy as the featured artist. These are considered under the respective artist entries; the Famous Hokum Boys also have their own entry."

FYI, in the Guide, DOCD-5236 lists no Broonzy activity - personnel include Bob Robinson (cl, bj, v); Alex Hill, Jimmy Blythe (p, v); Alex Robinson, Dan Roberts, Banjo Ikey Robinson, unknown (g); unknown (v). DOCD-5237 does.

All this sounds like a job for Chris Smith's Broonzy discography, Hit the Right Lick. Is it still available?

« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 09:17:32 AM by andrew »

Offline dj

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 11:33:29 AM »
Eight of Broonzy's tracks with the Hokum Boys/Famous Hokum Boys are on disk 1 of JSP's "All The Classic Sides 1927 - 1937" collection.  It's my understanding that all his work with the Famous Hokum Boys is on the various Document Broonzy volumes.  If you only want to dip your toe into the Famous Hokum Boys' recordings, but are a big Broonzy fan, the JSP set might be one way to go.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 11:39:38 AM »
BTW, I had a listen to DOCD-5236 - The Hokum Boys Complete Recorded Works June to December 1929. Can't remember where I got this but sure hope I didn't pay full price for for it. These guys commit the cardinal sin for a hokum band. They're boring as hell. Aside from some lyrics about getting drunk, monkey glands, and selling that stuff, this is hokum run through a Lawrence Welk-inator or something. They sound like they're reading charts, really bad charts written by a studio hack.

Broonzy BTW is nowhere on the record. The discographical note says, "earlier titles under the name of The Hokum Boys are actually by Tampa Red and Georgia Tom; they are available on DOCD-5073, 5074, and BDCD-6021. The 1930 session with Big Bill Broonzy is on DOCD-5050. I Was Afraid of That Part II is actually a Blind Blake recording and can be found on DOCD-5026. See also Wolf WBCD-011 and 012 for the Famous Hokum Boys, and DOCD-5237 for the complete 1935-37 recordings by the Hokum Boys, a completely different group."

Maybe I need to listen to it more but can't bear the thought of that right now. Life is too short. Save your money unless you need this for historical purposes.

Edited to add: Hmm, just noticed cooljack gave a favorable opinion of the record earlier. FWIW, Chris Smith, who writes the notes for the disc, agrees with cooljack. I'm standing by my evaluation until further evaluation is possible - I'll need some wine first.  :P
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 11:47:54 AM by andrew »

Offline Stuart

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 12:21:15 PM »
There are cuts by the Hokum Boys, Famous Hokum Boys, Georgia Tom, and Big Bill available at The Roots Music Listening Room over at

http://juneberry78s.com/

You'll have to get a password from Norm to enter. Perhaps you can cobble together something that gives you a sense of what the CDs are like.

Offline dj

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 01:45:30 PM »
Andrew, I've just listened to DOCD 5236 myself.  Admittedly, I was enjoying some of the Tuthilltown Distillery's Hudson Baby Burbon at the time (the first whiskey distilled in New York State since prohibition, and made with 100% NY State grain!), but hopefully not enough to cloud my judgment. ;D  I'm with cooljack and Chris Smith on this one.  Check out either version of "Gambler's Blues" or the scat vocals on "Let Me Have it" or, if you can hear it past the surface noise, the guitar on the first version of "Caught Him Doing It".  It's enjoyable stuff.  Almost all the string players are first rate, as is the piano on the cuts where Jimmy Blythe plays. 

   

Offline Rivers

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 03:36:18 PM »
Cool, controversy boils over on weenie campbell. This could turn out to be a massive flame war. But I sincerely doubt it.  :)

That's the second contra today, the other was re the value of the liner notes in the Murder Ballads thread.

I'll post all Hokum Boys tracks and personnel tonight after I've cooked my famous Thai green chicken curry, if I can find a green chicken that is.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 03:39:04 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 03:59:26 PM »
OK dj, you, cooljack and Chris Smith have convinced me I need to revisit the Hokum Boys disc. I'm not promising to like it.  :P I'll admit I was making a soup as I listened (also involving curry, strangely enough, though not as successful - perhaps the Hokum Boys soured it?), but I had it loud.

Thanks to Dave's Broonzy fixation though, I've been happily revisiting my own Broonzy discs, and also just read through the very worthwhile Broonzy section of the Penguin Guide, penned by Smith as well. Amusing quotes to come.

Offline Stuart

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Re: famous hokum boys music
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 05:04:21 PM »
That's the second contra today, the other was re the value of the liner notes in the Murder Ballads thread.

I probably should have written, "limited, as opposed to extensive." Sorry for the confusion. The notes for each song are on the order of a couple of sentences--a paragraph at most--followed by a verse or two. Their brevity does not diminish their value or quality. I suspect that I was subconsciously comparing them to the AAFM or Revenant Patton packages, two sets that should not serve as invariable standards by which everything else is measured.

There are many great photos in the set and I give it a "two thumbs up." Sure, there could have been more info, but that's just my opinion, an opinion that probably in the final analysis doesn't pass the "So what?" test.

 


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