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Well I had started that about the age of twelve... see my mother had a guitar, my father made her a present of a guitar, and he taught her a few chords, but I first started on a little outfit I made with a cigar box... I made a guitar with a cigar box, had peg keys, bored holes in the head, and I had uh... the strings graduated from fishing twine down on to thread - Johnny St. Cyr, guitarist for the Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers in an interview with Alan Lomax on how he learned to play guitar

Author Topic: Big Maceo Lyrics  (Read 2310 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2016, 03:39:53 PM »
Hi all,
"It's All Up To You", from 1941, has Big Maceo paired with Tampa Red, and it must be one of their earliest collaborations on record.  They already had things worked out perfectly, and Big Maceo's vocal speaks to the grown-ups in the audience--it just deals with real stuff.  Here is the track:



INTRO

I'm so disgusted, and broken-hearted, too
I'm so disgusted, and broken-hearted, too
Though I'm disappointed in your love, baby, that's all right for you

There's no need of you lyin', babe, you know I've been good to you
There's no need of you lyin', babe, you know I've been good to you
But I'm leavin' you now, babe, go do what you want to do

You know I had a good woman, and she was so kind and true
Yes, Lord, she was so kind and true
I even let her down, all on the account of you (Spoken: Yes, pick 'em for me, boy!)

SOLO (Spoken: Yes, get off of my back, blues!  I'm gonna see my little woman now.)

But she's willing to forgive me, so I leave it all up to you
Yea-a-a-ah, to forgive, and I leave it all up to you
She told me when I was leavin', that your love wasn' really true

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 05:55:47 AM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2017, 10:41:59 PM »
Hi all,
Big Maceo and Tampa Red recorded a rocking novelty number, "Can't You Read?", in 1941.  Maceo has so much fun with the vocal, messing around with his voice.  When you can groove like this, you don't have to do much more, instrumentally.  Here is the song:



PIANO INTRO

'Way back in the nineteen hundred and ten,
The monkey and the baboon, they came walkin' in
The monkey told the baboon, "Let's shoot a game of pool." 
The monkey could shoot, but the baboon wasn't no fool
Next thing came along was a little mule, he say,
"You know, I'm so mad, I even can't wear no shoe."
Next thing came along, there was Mr. Cat,
"We ain't gon' have no such a stuff goin' on here like that."
Next thing came, was a little mouse,
"Let's all get drunk and break up the doggone house!"
REFRAIN: Can't you read?  Now, can't you read?
If you keep on readin', I'm bound to put you out

Well, the monkey and the elephant, they went out for a little drive. 
The elephant hit the monkey right square in his eye.
The monkey looked up with a tear and a sigh,
Said, "Look-a-here, big boy, you oughta get someone your size.
One of these days, I'm gonna climb me a tree. 
Remember, big boy, you got to march right under me.
When you march under me, you better march careful and fast. 
I'll get me a limb and break it 'cross your . . . ."
REFRAIN: Now can't you read?  Now, can't you read?
If you keep on readin', I'm bound to put you out

If anybody just happen to ast you where the wedding gonna be
Tell 'em, right down there on Hasting Street
Go down there just about the end of the week
You can get 'most anything that you care to eat
If you don't like s'rimp, just name your dish
The will even serve you some of that old 'filte fish
REFRAIN: Now can't you read?  Now, can't you read?
If you keep on readin', mama, I'm bound to put you out

GUITAR/PIANO SOLO (Spoken before solo:  Yeah, play it Mr. Maceo!)

Well, fifteen cents, you know, that's their regular price
If you got two bits, they will even serve you twice
REFRAIN: Can't you read?  Now, can't you read?
If you keep on readin', I'm bound to put you out

Edited 12/19/18 to pick up correction from Johnm

All best,
Johnm


« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 11:42:13 AM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2018, 09:56:01 AM »
Hi all,
Big Maceo was joined by Tampa Red and a drummer for "Winter Time Blues", from 1945.  Red is playing in standard tuning here, on an electric guitar, and starts out the first verse with a Robert Johnsonesque move, taking a I7 chord in the treble down one-half step to get a I dim7 chord.  Big Maceo always sang so great, and what a terrific set of lyrics this is.  Here is "Winter Time Blues":



INTRO

Hello, baby, how you feel today?  I want to talk with you, baby, before I go away
Have you got time, baby, to have a little talk with me?
Winter time is coming, and I'm worried as a man can be

My overcoat's in pawn, baby, and I haven't got a dime.  Winter time is coming, and it's worryin' my mind
Ain't it a shame, baby, the way you treatin' me?
I'm blue and disgusted, worried as a man can be

Winter time is coming, getting colder every day.  Well, I done got tired of being treated this-a-way
So tell me, baby, tell me, what have you got to say?
You better say it now, baby, and then I will be on my way

GUITAR/PIANO SOLO (Spoken: Play your racket, boy, lay a racket.  Yes, I know!)

So long, baby, if that's what you got to say, but someday you'll need me, and I'll be far away
Then you'll be worried, worried as a gal can be
Then you'll want to tell the whole world, just what you did to me

All best,
Johnm



Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2018, 11:00:28 AM »
Hi all,
A number of tracks from Big Maceo's last recording session, made in Detroit in 1950, are included on the JSP set, "Detroit Blues".  Big Maceo was joined on the session by John Brim on electric guitar, Alonso Tucker on drums, and on some tracks, Grace Brim on harmonica.  Big Maceo's vocals sound a little wan here--he does not sound well, and evidently had had a series of strokes prior to the session, but his singing is still wonderfully musical, and soulful.  He's not coming from a place of physical power, as on his early recordings, but rather what appears to be a conscious feeling of diminishment that is very affecting.  Here are the lyrics to his "Worried Life Blues No.2" from that session, and here is the track:



INTRO

Just tell me, baby, just tell me, baby, what can I do to change your mind?
Hey, hey, baby, can I change your mind?
I got the freight train blues, and the tracks is out of line

You said you love me, and I believed in you.  You're tryin' to quit me, what more can I do?
Hey, hey, baby, what more can I do?
Some old day you're gonna want me, and I won't care a thing about you

You got a man in the East, a man in the West, I'm just sittin' here wondering who you love the best
Hey, hey, baby, what can I do to change your mind?
I got the blues for you, baby, you keep me worried all the time

GUITAR SOLO (Spoken: Hit 'em, boys, pick 'em real fast!  Ee-yow! Umm-hmm.)

I been lovin' you, baby, I been lovin' you, baby.  Just tell me, what more can I do?
Hey, hey, what more can I do?
Good bye, good bye, baby, I am leaving you

All best,
Johnm

 

Offline alyoung

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2018, 02:56:04 AM »
Also on the Worried Life Blues #2 session was James Watkins, who -- according to the Blues Discography 1943-70 (and other sources) -- played the right-hand piano part, as Maceo's strokes had affected his ability to play the piano.

Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2018, 06:35:52 AM »
Hi Al,
The presence of Watkins was questioned on the disc that I have because it was considered that the treble playing of the piano sounded sufficiently shaky that Big Maceo may have been playing it after all.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 09:43:02 AM by Johnm »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2018, 10:38:42 AM »
On the label of the original 78 rpm record on Fortune, both Maceo and James Watkins are listed on piano. There are alternate takes from this session on which Watkins is not listed (and on which one does not hear the treble keys being played). Watkins also played on a few of John Lee Hooker's very earliest combo recordings from the same time.
Jeff

Online Johnm

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Re: Big Maceo Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2019, 11:58:39 AM »
Hi all,
Another song from the same session as "Worried Life Blues, No. 2" is "Big City Blues", with Big Maceo, John Brim on guitar, and possibly James Watkins playing the piano part's right hand.  Maceo sings wonderfully as usual, despite sounding unwell.  Here is "Big City Blues" (along with an inexplicable picture of John Hurt):



INTRO

When I was in your city, nothing never worrying me
When I was in your city, nothing never worrying me
Because I had plenty money, and everything a poor man need

When you got money, you can have every woman in town
When you got money, you can have every woman in town
If you don't have no money, no woman don't want you around

SOLO (Spoken:  Hey!)

Since I left your city, now you have throwed me down
Since I left your city, now you have throwed me down
Look like you would write me, or send me a telegram

All best,
Johnm