collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Heeyy, careful man there's a beverage here - The Dude

Author Topic: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon  (Read 5192 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CF

  • Member
  • Posts: 876
Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« on: February 01, 2008, 01:34:51 PM »
I've recently been listening to a whole lot of Sheiks & am becoming a real big admirer of their stuff. I have a couple questions for those of you who may know:
I love Lonnie's fiddle playing but did he ever record as a lead singer in any of the MS Sheiks' recordings?
Also, how many/or which Sheiks tunes did Sam sing lead?
Wishing I owned a copy of B&GR!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 03:31:32 PM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 09:40:53 AM »
Most of the Sheiks' material was sung by Walter Vinson (Vincson). Bo Carter sang a certain amount, though less than is indicated on the Document personnel notes and in B&GR. See this thread for more on the Walter/Bo mix-up. http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=3081.0

Bo sings a fair amount on Document Vol. 1. He doesn't appear much as a lead vocalist again until vol 4 I think (Sweet Maggie, Sales Tax).

Document Vol 3 personnel notes, and I assume B&GR, say that vcl on She's Crazy About Her Lovin' and Tell Me to Do Right is either Walter Vinson or Lonnie Chatmon. Respectfully, they're nuts. It's clearly Walter.

Who's singing on "I'll Be Gone, Long Gone", the track with piano on vol. 3? Sounds like Bo, singing weirdly low.

And who's singing "Please, Baby"? Hard to tell. The voice is unusual, sounds something like Walter in more of a crooner mode, but I dunno.

Sam Chatmon doesn't sing until the Chatmon Brothers (Lonnie and Sam) tunes on vol 4. Sam sings all of those - Radio Blues is hard to hear and sounds lower to me than Sam does usually, but I think it's him.

So all that to say, I don't know that Lonnie sang at all. Plus he was busy with the fiddle. :)

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2009
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 12:19:10 PM »
If I had to make a guess, "I'll Be Gone, Long Gone" is a good candidate for a vocal by Lonnie (and possibly piano as well?). The vocal sounds something like Bo, but not quite, which wouldn't be unusual among siblings. The vocalist especially doesn't sound like Bo when he says "Step on it." Also, the vocal is a bit perfunctory to my ears -- Bo or Walter would have done a better job.

Andrew, I think Walter in "crooner mode" is definitely right for "Please Baby." I sped up "Radio Blues" a bit and it definitely sounds like Sam.
Chris

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10523
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 02:43:05 PM »
Hi all,
If there is piano on the cut a possible candidate might be Harry Chatmon, who was, according to Sam, the most musical of the brothers (or at least the most versatile).  Harry did some other cuts with piano.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

  • Member
  • Posts: 2441
    • DoneGone.net
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 05:10:29 PM »
Harry recorded a few songs with Walter in 1935 and 1936 - it sounds like whoever's playing piano on I'll Be Gone, Long Gone has a more plodding style than the player accompanying Walter later on.

The whole performance on I'll Be Gone, Long Gone sounds tentative compared to other Sheiks recordings - it's a tame cover of Sitting On Top Of The World, musically.  The singer sounds a little bit like Bo, but the guitar playing certainly doesn't and I agree with Chris - the speaking voice doesn't sound like Bo at all.

Maybe it's Lonnie taking a crack at singing and playing guitar with Walter or Bo trying their hand at piano...

It's definitely Walter on Please Baby.

I also disagree with Chris Smith - sounds to me like Walter Vincson is the singer during the January 1935 session for It's Backfiring Now, Lean To One Woman, I Can't Go Wrong, Dead Wagon Blues, and She's Going To Her Lonesome Grave.


Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 06:35:53 PM »
And which is it? Vinson or Vincson? I know Document went with Vincson for the Walter Vincson disc. I've always gone with Vinson. And so far, it's what we've gone with in the website tags.

I agree that the spoken "step on it" in "I'll Be Gone, Long Gone" doesn't sound at all like Bo.

Offline frankie

  • Member
  • Posts: 2441
    • DoneGone.net
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 07:02:23 PM »
And which is it? Vinson or Vincson?

Maybe Vincent?  A census listing would be helpful.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 09:58:43 AM »
And which is it? Vinson or Vincson?

Maybe Vincent?  A census listing would be helpful.
FWIW his "rediscovery" recordings made for Chris Albertson in 1961 have him as Walter Jacobs Vinson as do those a decade later for Rounder. The "Jacobs" was his mother's maiden name and his father was Walter Vinson too. I'll unearth the 1975 Living Blues obituary and see what's said.

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2008, 10:11:21 AM »
Quote
A census listing would be helpful.

Unfortunately, a census listing almost certainly wouldn't be helpful.  In the first part of the 20th century, the enumerator would go around with a sheet and write down the names of everyone counted.  It seems like often the enumerators weren't especially literate and they didn't ask about spelling, so you find a lot of garbled or obviously misspelled names in those old censuses.  Looking for my family in the 1920 census, I couldn't recognize them from the last name, and only realized who they were by the name of the people across the street!
 

Offline Bricktown Bob

  • Member
  • Posts: 119
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 10:41:01 AM »
FWIW his "rediscovery" recordings made for Chris Albertson in 1961 have him as Walter Jacobs Vinson as do those a decade later for Rounder. The "Jacobs" was his mother's maiden name and his father was Walter Vinson too.

You know, I was mighty confused when I first saw "Sitting On Top of the World"  credited to Walter Jacobs; to me at the time that meant Little Walter, who was born the year the Sheiks recorded it.  Hmm ... could they be related, do you think?

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 12:00:54 PM »
Unfortunately, a census listing almost certainly wouldn't be helpful.  In the first part of the 20th century, the enumerator would go around with a sheet and write down the names of everyone counted.  It seems like often the enumerators weren't especially literate and they didn't ask about spelling, so you find a lot of garbled or obviously misspelled names in those old censuses.  Looking for my family in the 1920 census, I couldn't recognize them from the last name, and only realized who they were by the name of the people across the street!
And sadly much the same can be said of the Social Security Data Index. The main drawback with the SSDI is that it obtains its information from death certificates. The information for death certificates was provided by the survivors, either family members, if any, or sometimes an unrelated friend or even just a neighbour. I had first hand experience of this. In 1996 I attempted to verify the military service records of Otis Spann based upon what he either told UK interviewers in 1958 and 1964 or what his death certificate states.  All his periods and type of military service were at variance but, foolishly, thought that the death certificate entry of "Korea" was probably correct. When I followed this up with the Personnel Records Centre of the U.S Military National Archives they had no record of anybody of that name serving in any of the armed forces. When I drew attention to the fact that his death certificate stated he served in Korea I was told that anyone could complete them, nobody asked for provenance or documentation and family members sometimes thought that listing a major conflict such as Korea might result in a veteran's pension for next of kin.

Having taken this discussion w-a-y off track, I'll let normal service resume.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 12:02:33 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline jharris

  • Member
  • Posts: 124
    • Big Road Blues
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 03:11:45 PM »
I'm putting together a show on the Mississippi Sheiks and recordings by the various Chatmon's so I though I'd revive this thread. In the latest Living Blues (unfortunately I left this at work) there is a letter regarding Sam Chatmon from someone who interviewed him and asked him about the personnel on the old records. There was mention of a half-brother named Ferdinand who recorded as Alec Johnson. Has anyone heard this story before? Also, and this may have been mentioned in the forum, what is the supposed connection between Charlie Patton and the Chatmon's and what is the source for this information. Any help would be appreciated.

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2009
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 04:02:06 PM »
I believe Ferdinand is mentioned as a Chatmon sibling in the Calt/Wardlow Charlie Patton bio, but never heard that he recorded as Alec Johnson. It is possible, though, since Johnson was backed up by, IIRC, Bo, Charlie McCoy and Walter on record. The source for the Patton/Chatmon connection is Sam Chatmon, as far as I know. It's discussed at length in the bio -- I don't think there's any question that Patton knew the family well; Sam claimed that his father, Henderson, had had an affair with Annie Patton and so was also Charlie's father. The Patton family members interviewed said no, and the book advances the theory that one of Patton's brothers, "Son" I believe, was more likely an illegitimate Chatmon than Charlie was. Calt/Wardlow seem to think that Sam Chatmon was just trying to boost himself with the Patton story.
Chris

Offline jharris

  • Member
  • Posts: 124
    • Big Road Blues
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2010, 06:28:55 PM »
Thanks much for this. In the same Living Blues letter its mentioned that Sam Chatmon had a brother named Edgar who he said recorded under the name Leroy Carter. A Leroy Carter did cut two sides in 1935 (six sides went unissued) and its always been assumed that this was a pseudonym for Walter Vinson. To my ears "Can't Anybody Tell Me Blues" sounds like Vinson while "Black Widow Spider" sounds like a different singer.

Offline frankie

  • Member
  • Posts: 2441
    • DoneGone.net
Re: Lonnie & Sam Chatmon
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 06:37:49 PM »
To my ears "Can't Anybody Tell Me Blues" sounds like Vinson while "Black Widow Spider" sounds like a different singer.

Both singers sound like Vinson to me - he's pushing more air and singing closer to the top of his range on Black Widow Spider.  This has the effect of making the voice sound a little more strident, but it sounds like the same singer, essentially.

 


anything