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A skilled trade would mean more to me than a guitar. Some of these guys think they're pretty cute because they can play a guitar, but singing blues and playing a guitar is like molding in a factory except that it's less dependable - Guitar Pete Franklin, from liner notes of "The Blues of Guitar Pete Franklin" Bluesville 1068, Indianapolis 1961

Author Topic: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues  (Read 3432 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« on: February 12, 2008, 12:31:22 PM »
The melody for Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues, one of the recently uncovered Blind Willie McTell duets with Mary Willis, comes from another song, and it's driving me nuts not being able to place it. I know it will be obvious...

Offline Pan

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 01:34:34 PM »
The melody for Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues, one of the recently uncovered Blind Willie McTell duets with Mary Willis, comes from another song, and it's driving me nuts not being able to place it. I know it will be obvious...

Listening to the mp3 here:  http://sundayblues.org/archives/34 , makes at leat yours truly think of the Blind Blake "Georgia Bound" - Robert Johnson "From Four 'til Late" "family" of songs.  ;)

Pan

Offline frankie

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 01:55:53 PM »
I agree with Pan - sounds like the melody to "Georgia Bound."  I'm not sure I agree with writer from sundayblues about Willis' voice...  I always thought she sounded kinda shrill, but she does sound pretty good on this side.  The playing & condition of the record are amazing.

The lyric seems to quote from Lemon's "Wartime Blues" - can't recall hearing the "What you gonna do when they send your man to war?" verse in another song.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 02:22:05 PM by frankie »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2008, 11:45:33 AM »
Listening to the mp3 here:  http://sundayblues.org/archives/34 , makes at leat yours truly think of the Blind Blake "Georgia Bound" - Robert Johnson "From Four 'til Late" "family" of songs.  ;)
"Family of songs" is a very apt description which, from memory, also includes Bessie Brown's Hoodoo Blues, Patton's Tom Rushen, Skip's 4 O'Clock Blues and others. I feel certain I've seen a list of them somewhere.

Offline Pan

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2008, 12:41:48 PM »
Listening to the mp3 here:  http://sundayblues.org/archives/34 , makes at leat yours truly think of the Blind Blake "Georgia Bound" - Robert Johnson "From Four 'til Late" "family" of songs.  ;)
"Family of songs" is a very apt description which, from memory, also includes Bessie Brown's Hoodoo Blues, Patton's Tom Rushen, Skip's 4 O'Clock Blues and others. I feel certain I've seen a list of them somewhere.

Ah!

I was just going to ask, because I realized that I had come up with a somewhat smallish "family" :P

Thank you, Bunker Hill!

Pan

(Apologies to Andrew for stealing his thread :-X)

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2008, 01:14:21 PM »
I can hear in my head Big Bill's 1932 Shelby County Blues as using the same tune and recall reading somewhere somebody putting forward the suggestion that it may have been what inspired RJ's Four 'til Late", but I'm damned if I can find where I've misfiled the 1980s Matchbox LP I have it on. 

Offline CF

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2008, 02:30:15 PM »
'Shelby County' is a mixture of 'Four til Late' -sounding melody but with elements of his 'Bull Cow Blues' too . . .
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 08:19:17 AM »
Listening to the mp3 here:  http://sundayblues.org/archives/34 , makes at leat yours truly think of the Blind Blake "Georgia Bound" - Robert Johnson "From Four 'til Late" "family" of songs.  ;)
"Family of songs" is a very apt description which, from memory, also includes Bessie Brown's Hoodoo Blues, Patton's Tom Rushen, Skip's 4 O'Clock Blues and others. I feel certain I've seen a list of them somewhere.

Ah!

I was just going to ask, because I realized that I had come up with a somewhat smallish "family" :P

Thank you, Bunker Hill!

Pan

(Apologies to Andrew for stealing his thread :-X)

Not at all, Pan. I only posted a question. You guys are the ones coming up with the interesting bits. Thanks for reminding me of the tune.

Another memory loss moment. Somewhere, in a blues book of some sort, there is a table that traces the likely source material for all of Robert Johnson's songs. Thought it was in Escaping the Delta - Elijah Wald, but checked that to no avail. Maybe it was GD Wardlow's book...

Offline dj

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 09:06:10 AM »
I've been trying to think of the same book/article without success.  But in trying to find the book, I've come up with an interesting discussion of "From Four Until Late" by Elija Wald in the course of doing an interview back when Escaping The Delta was released.  The relevant part of the interview:

Quote
A lot of the interesting stuff of doing a book like this is just becoming conscious of how little we know. And you constantly find little reminders of the fact that the people you're studying were living in a world a lot of which you don't have. So, for example, the song "From Four Until Late," which I associated in the book with Blind Blake, who was a very popular blues guitarist of that time, and that's the association pretty much all blues scholars have made. After the book came out, somebody suddenly pulled up this recording of a song called "Four O'Clock Blues," recorded by a Memphis trumpet player named Johnny Dunn in 1922, so fourteen years before Robert Johnson recorded "From Four Till Late," fifteen years. And it's clearly the same song. It has no lyric, but clearly around Memphis they were doing this song that Robert Johnson recorded as "From Four Till Late," and we just didn't happen to hear it. We aren't in Memphis. But if you listen to Johnny Dunn's version from 1922, it's clearly the same song.

I don't know if it will ever be possible to trace the melody's origins farther back than that.

The entire interview is here

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 09:10:27 AM »

Another memory loss moment. Somewhere, in a blues book of some sort, there is a table that traces the likely source material for all of Robert Johnson's songs. Thought it was in Escaping the Delta - Elijah Wald, but checked that to no avail. Maybe it was GD Wardlow's book...

Unkie Andy:

The list your thinking of is in "Chasing That Devil Music"

Alex

Offline dj

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 09:14:01 AM »
If anyone's around a copy of Pete Guralnick's Searching For Robert Johnson, is there a discussion of the sources for Johnson's recordings there?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 09:16:03 AM »
Hi all,
I have heard before of "Tom Rushen Blues" or "High Sheriff Blues" being categorized as having the same melody as "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late", and have to admit I don't hear it as being the same.  In "Tom Rushen" you have the instrumental response at the end of the first two vocal lines that is so strong it really seems to be part of the melody;  the other songs don't have anything equivalent.  Also, the tag line melody in "Tom Rushen" is completely different from the tag line in the other songs, in which, for "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late", at least, it is exactly the same.  Patton's songs may be similar or related, but I think it's stretching it to say they have the same melody as "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late".
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2008, 09:38:06 AM »

Another memory loss moment. Somewhere, in a blues book of some sort, there is a table that traces the likely source material for all of Robert Johnson's songs. Thought it was in Escaping the Delta - Elijah Wald, but checked that to no avail. Maybe it was GD Wardlow's book...

Unkie Andy:

The list your thinking of is in "Chasing That Devil Music"

Alex

Thanks Alex, it was Wardlow indeed. pp. 204-06 in case anyone needs to look. It only cites "Georgia Bound" as a melodic precedent.

I agree, Johnm, while there are similarities, "Tom Rushen" plays as a different song to me. I think it's more clearly related to Ma Rainey's "Booze and Blues", which has lyrical similarities as well.

Maybe Ma heard Johnny Dunn's record.

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 12:49:54 PM »
Hi all,
I have heard before of "Tom Rushen Blues" or "High Sheriff Blues" being categorized as having the same melody as "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late", and have to admit I don't hear it as being the same.  In "Tom Rushen" you have the instrumental response at the end of the first two vocal lines that is so strong it really seems to be part of the melody;  the other songs don't have anything equivalent.  Also, the tag line melody in "Tom Rushen" is completely different from the tag line in the other songs, in which, for "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late", at least, it is exactly the same.  Patton's songs may be similar or related, but I think it's stretching it to say they have the same melody as "Georgia Bound" and "From Four Until Late".
All best,
Johnm

While I agree with you, the first time I heard the McTell song in question (especially when Willis was singing) I immediately thought of "Tom Rushen."  I do think the way she sings the melody makes the song more reminiscent of "Tom Rushen" than Georgia Bound or4 Til Late are.  "Tom Rushen" is related to Ma Rainey's "Booze and Blues," which also has the vocal moans between each line. 

Offline Pan

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Re: Talkin' to You Wimmen About the Blues
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 02:24:23 PM »
Ma Rainey's Booze and Blues from 1924 can be heard at Red Hot Jazz: http://www.redhotjazz.com/georgiajazzband.html

Pan

 


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