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Now folks, I'm gonna give you a little of Old Dan Tucker, containing more heterogeneous constipolicy, double flavor and unknown quality than usual - Uncle Dave Macon

Author Topic: any Jim Jackson fans?  (Read 3525 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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any Jim Jackson fans?
« on: September 16, 2004, 07:25:37 PM »
Curious as to opinions of Jim Jackson. While I've certainly heard lots of versions of Kansas City, I've never actually heard his version and have heard precious little else, aside from some samples on the web which are interesting in a preblues strummy kinda way. Preblues/songster material intrigues me generally, and after our little Frank Stokes tear a while ago I've been looking for some other "songster" material. Would I enjoy the Document Jim Jackson discs if I ordered them?

Offline Montgomery

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2004, 11:45:59 PM »
He was not the most exciting songster, but if you have a particular interest in that kind of material (as I do), he's definitely  someone you should hear.  William Harris' version of "Kansas City" sticks pretty close to Jackson's version (despite being 3 sides shorter, and more exciting).   

Offline Johnm

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2004, 12:10:33 AM »
Hi all,
Jim Jackson is a guy I need to listen to more, as well.  He did a really nice version of "Old Blue" that was on the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music on Folkways.  The accompaniment was a neat sort of banjoey, thumb-lead kind of approach in G, with really good and unusual lyrics.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2004, 06:23:38 AM »
Thanks for the info Montgomery. I think I need to get some, as I am interested in the songter-ish stuff. William Harris' version of Kansas City is great, BTW.

Bogus Ben Covington doing I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop, I believe suspected to have got it from Jackson - also great (OK, in a silly way)

Old Blue - I was listening to Dave Van Ronk's Somebody Else, Not Me album the other day which has a version of Old Blue credited to Jim Jackson. I knew I had Jackson's (or someone other than van Ronk's) version somewhere and couldn't find it for the life of me. Thanks for locating it on the Harry Smith Anthology for me John.

There are others I'm sure.

So I've heard a number of people going to the Jim Jackson well, and I think it's time I heard more of the man.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2004, 04:16:48 PM »
Hey UB:

I liked JJ's "My Monday Woman Blues" enough to learn the tune (off the Broke, Black and Blue anthology). It's a Slidin' Delta varient that stays on the I chord for the last four bars.

I've found a lot of his material minstrely.

Alex

Offline uncle bud

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2004, 09:03:00 AM »
Just remembered another one - Paul Geremia doing This Morning She Was Gone, on his latest CD. Great tune.

Offline Johnm

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2004, 09:07:46 AM »
I thought of another one, too, Andrew, "Wild About My Loving", that Geoff Muldaur did a great job of singing on the first Jim Kweskin album, while playing mandolin.  He's always been ahead of the curve, Geoff Muldaur, that is.
All best,
Johnm

Offline FrontPage

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2004, 02:36:28 PM »
Yes John, Geoff is way ahead of the curve (then and now) - his singing is nothing short of amazing. BTW, I just picked up that old Kweskin album re-issued as "Greatest Hits" (chuckling about this band ever having a 'hit') on CD from Vanguard - it was "previously owned" so I got a really good deal. The tracks are quite variable, but there is some good stuff, and "Wild About My Loving" is one of the best tracks, along with a spiritied version of "Mobile Line". There is a later CD release called "Acoustic Swing and Jug" featruing pretty much the same tracks, but with 20-bit remastering.

I'm going to keep looking for "Jump for Joy" (only ever issued on LP?) because it has Charlie Poole's "Moving Day" as the first track. Maybe someone who has this album will send me an MP3??
:D
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 06:32:27 PM by Johnm »
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline a2tom

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2006, 02:56:14 PM »
Hey - been listening to Jim Jackson lately.  Wonder why he doesn't get talked about much, other than an occasional mention as the source of Kansas City Blues...?  At first blush there certainly is a sameness about a lot of what I'm listening to, but I just love the way the guy delivers a tune. 

What other timeless classics can be traced to Jim Jackson as the originator?

But now up comes "Voice of porkchop"...

tom

Offline dj

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2006, 05:41:49 PM »
Quote
Wonder why he doesn't get talked about much, other than an occasional mention as the source of Kansas City Blues...?

I think there are two reasons why Jim Jackson tends to get overlooked:

1) Like Henry Thomas, most of his repertoire was "pre-blues", and so sounds a little old-fashioned.
2) He was a competent but pretty basic guitar player, and in today's blues world it's often instrumental virtuosity that attracts an audience.

With that said, he could really sell a song, couldn't he?  And he had a great repertoire.  If you look at the titles he recorded, there's one good song after another:  Kansas City Blues, He's In The Jailhouse Now, Old Dog Blue, My Monday Blues, I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop, Wild About My Lovin', and on and on.  I don't think of him so much as an "originator" as a conduit, passing on songs that were probably around in his youth (Jackson was born in 1884).  It seems that whenever one reads about Jim Jackson, it's always mentioned that his repertoire included over 200 songs.  Since he only recorded about 30 different titles, we're only hearing a fraction of what he could do. 

I also think that one of the reasons that Jim Jackson could sound a little "samey" is that so much of his stuff got re-recorded  for different companies at different sessions or exists in two (or four!) part songs, or exists in alternate takes.  So if you listen to Jackson's complete works, you get 4 parts of Kansas City Blues, 3 of I'm Gonna Move To Louisiana, and 2 of at least 10 other titles.

Offline banjochris

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2006, 06:15:33 PM »
I'm a big fan of "Bye Bye Policeman," because it's one of those performances that seem to be several songs stuck together for no reason, and the slower version of "Old Dog Blue" (the one on the Folkways Anthology) is one of the greatest old-time songs ever. I may be sentimental, but it always gets me a little choked up -- it makes me think about all the dogs I've had.

Chris

Offline frankie

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 07:53:39 PM »
"Old Dog Blue" (the one on the Folkways Anthology) is one of the greatest old-time songs ever. I may be sentimental, but it always gets me a little choked up -- it makes me think about all the dogs I've had.

I feel exactly the same way about this song...  I may not be a huge Jim Jackson fan, but Old Dog Blue is something really special.

Offline Johnm

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 08:19:01 AM »
Hi all,
In the course of transcribing Jim Jackson lyrics, it has been brought to my attention that he had quite a lot of alternate takes of many of the songs he recorded.  For many or most of the players of his era, alternate takes are relatively rare.  I was wondering if anyone had any theories as to why Jim Jackson was accorded so many multiple takes of a given song.  Might it be because he had such a hit with "Kansas City Blues" that the record company was willing to give him a bit more time in the session in the hope of getting another such hit?  Any other theories or information out there?
All best,
Johnm

Offline bnemerov

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 09:43:26 AM »
Hi john,

I'm pretty sure that, as you've said, Jackson's proven popularity afforded him perks others didn't get.
But also, in those days, the manufacturing process didn't allow for a "mother" in a three step process (mother--stamper--commercial disc).
So, once the mold (stamper) was used thousands of times to press out finished product and became worn so the fidelity was so bad even record company executives could hear the difference [8:) a new wax master had to be metal plated to make a new mold.

I'd guess Jackson's popularity made the company proactive.

This was also common with the (even more) popular jazz bands of the day. Jazz collectors go crazy for pressings of alternate issued takes because the soloists often played quite different solos.

So one often sees matrix numbers with a --2 or --3. [e.g. a Victor number like 20456-2 engraved in the "dead" area near the label]

probably more than you (or any sensible person) wants to know.
best,
bruce

Offline Johnm

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Re: any Jim Jackson fans?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 10:21:57 AM »
Thanks for that information, Bruce.  It is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.  I know that in more recent Jazz, '40s on, with which I'm more familiar, there is a great premium placed on alternate takes for the very reason you cite--different solos.  I know one musician of that era, still living, who observed that the original records were put out for a reason--they were the best takes!  He, at least, is not interested in having the record company left-overs made available, but I can see how fans would look at it differently.
All best,
Johnm

 


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