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One Fourth of July, they were having a festival in downtown Memphis, with five or six stages and Charlie (Feathers) was playing on the rockabilly stage. I'm sitting there watching him and I turn around and there's this guy sitting behind me, all dressed up, smoking a cigar. Do you know who it was? It was Roosevelt Sykes, the Honeydripper! Just sittin' there, diggin' Charlie! - Kim Wood

Author Topic: Strong Seconding Guitarists  (Read 4747 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2008, 03:52:59 PM »
Hi all,
Another seconding guitarist who excelled in that role, despite very limited exposure (like Joe Callicott behind Garfield Akers, as Lindy cited), is Sam Brooks, the back-up guitarist for Willie Walker.  There were only three titles for Willie and Sam, I believe, two takes of "South Carolina Rag" and "Betty and Dupree", but in that very limited amount of time on record they create the impression of a smoothly operating unit, that sounded as though they could easily have done far more material than they had an opportunity to do.
All best,
Johnm

Offline oddenda

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2008, 06:14:46 PM »
Johnm -

          Good thinking... didn't mention them as thought it too obscure! They recorded four songs, only two released, in 1930 the one single's initial sales were 750 copies, if my memory serves me right. The two unreleased songs have not survived. Josh White described blind Willie Walker as the "Art Tatum of blues guitar". Baby Tate said, "He played in all the keys with all his fingers"! Tate also said that Brooks always had a tobacco chaw in his cheek, noticeable when he chimes in with background singing to Walker! Gary Davis admired Walker's playing, something he seldom did - Gary knew him from his Greenville, SC days before heading to NC and the reverence. Willie Walker was not a chops burner, but the stunning technique was there when he wanted it - simply amazing.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 11:56:46 PM »
Hi all,
I think Memphis Willie Borum was a very strong seconding guitarist.  His back-up behind Allen Shaw on "Moanin' The Blues" and with Shaw behind Hattie Hart on "The Coldest Stuff In Town" was just what the doctor ordered--very strong.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 07:23:18 AM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 07:13:02 AM »
Whichever of the Two Charlies played the "second" guitar was first rate.  Chords and bass runs always beautifully complimented the vocals and the lead guitar.  Those guys must have practiced!

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2008, 08:01:58 AM »
I agree that Willie Walker was fantastic. If there are two artists who I wish would've recorded more, they are Willie Walker and Richard "Rabbit" Brown. Anyway, on to the topic! I'll go with Dan Sane and Kansas Joe McCoy, seconding the the man with the voice from God, Frank Stokes, and the multi-talented Memphis Minnie, respectively.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2009, 10:11:27 PM »
Hi all,
While listening to Julius Daniels I couldn't help noticing a very strong seconding guitarist indeed--Bubba Lee Torrence.  His accompaniments for Julius Daniels' lead playing are in a class with Curley Weaver's and Buddy Moss' work in that role.  For at least one of the numbers on which Torrence played, he was tuned quite low, a registration technique used on occasion by Curley Weaver and Dan Sane.  It certainly can give two guitars an orchestrated sound.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline Gerry Clarke

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2009, 11:15:01 AM »
What a great topic!  Yes, Dan Mahony's great Columbia monograph on the 14000 series gives 750 as the pressing quantity for the Willie Walker record and I guess that includes both takes.  I'm lucky to have a copy of the record (take 2) which I got from Frank Mare for $14 many years ago.

My vote for outstanding seconding goes to Charlie McCoy for his duet work with Tommy Johnson.

Gerry
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 01:56:39 PM by Gerry Clarke »

Offline Lyndvs

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2009, 03:35:33 PM »
I like the work Floyd Council did with Blind Boy Fuller.His solo sides aren`t bad either!.
lyndvs.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2009, 08:11:47 PM »
On a more recent note (relatively speaking), how about Marvin Foddrell's seconding to brother Turner, who was an absolute MONSTER on the guitar.

Peter B.

Offline hortig78rpm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2009, 11:04:54 PM »
dont forget the harney brothers. hawkshaw and marlon as I remember. they only did some sides in the 2o`s but listening to these and the 7o`s recordings of hawkshaw for adelphi indicate, that they must rank among the finest blues guitarists ever.

regards
mike

Offline Johnm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2016, 07:01:24 AM »
Hi all,
I'd add Dan Smith to this list for his work backing up Yank Rachell.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Surbhar

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2016, 10:38:15 AM »
LV Thomas and Geeshie Wiley worked well in tandem. I also like the Sylvester Weaver and Walter Beasley duets from 1927.
Denise

Offline frailer24

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2016, 12:12:04 AM »
Not quite CB-related, but Roy Harvey with Charlie Poole, and Sara Carter was also a good second guitarist.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2016, 06:56:24 AM »
Hi all,
Roy Harvey is mentioned earlier in the thread, by banjochris, for his work with Leonard Copeland, as is Walter Beasley.  The thread focuses not on duos or strong back-up guitarists, per se, but people who excelled at backing a lead guitarist.  Sara Carter certainly qualifies in that regard.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline wreid75

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Re: Strong Seconding Guitarists
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2016, 11:58:16 AM »
I noticed at theme here, quite a few Willie's >:D