collapse

* Member Info

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

* Like Us on Facebook

I am Peetie Wheatstraw, the high sheriff of hell - Peetie Wheetstraw Stomp

Author Topic: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet  (Read 3973 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 11:25:53 AM »
Thanks BH as always - you've put your finger on the closest we'll ever know. You -like me- probably remember the LP sleeve that first revealed the Phelps theory, going on to say that 'blake' was a colloquialism meaning 'travelling musician', or somesuch. Now if only I could put my hands on that LP....!
What a memory you have. Little wonder they call you the Prof. Hans R. Rookmaaker in the booklet which constitutes the gatefold sleeve of Blind Blake In Chicago (see Stefan W's Blake page) waxes lyrical thus:

A blake is a man of tough, unrelenting character, and such he must have been, not only because he was called it, but because otherwise he would have been unable to survive the hard life of a sightless blues singer

Offline jpeters609

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 12:09:49 PM »
Not to lean too heavily on wikipedia, but here's a portion of the wiki entry for "blake":

From a surname derived from Old English "black" or "pale." Interestingly, it can mean both and was originally a nickname for someone with hair or skin that was either very dark (Old English "blaec") or very light (Old English "blac").

Perhaps a little more credence to "Blake" being a nickname. Or perhaps not.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 12:19:49 PM by jpeters609 »
Jeff

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2083
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2010, 03:12:13 PM »
And to change the subject slightly, I wonder if any researchers ever looked for traces of Blake in later years in Detroit. I know you shouldn't read too much into lyrics of songs, etc., but he has the song "Detroit Bound" about getting a job at "Mr. Ford's place" and he seems familiar with the city on "Hastings St."
Chris

Offline oddenda

  • Member
  • Posts: 597
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2010, 06:20:44 PM »
"Phelps" comes from Willie McTell's interview in Melody Maker around 1959... someone spoke with him over the telephone(?) and wrote it up. If my failing memory serves me well. Arnie Caplin told me about the copyrights being to "Arthur Blake" decades ago. Remeber that McTell was known as "Blind Doogie" in Statesboro!

Peter B.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2010, 07:04:40 PM »
Hi all,
It is amazing how little traction there is when it comes to discussing Blind Blake's biographical details--there's barely anything even to push against!  It's really peculiar when you consider that he was a popular recording artist who made dozens of sides, but it's an indication of the paucity of hard facts when the majority of surmises about his life and where he lived derive from song lyrics and interviews with people who mention him in passing and may or may not have ever actually met up with him.  In a biographical sense, he's just barely more grounded in history than an absolute cipher like Gene Campbell.  Apart from his recordings and the photograph of him, I can think of no other evidence that he ever lived.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2010, 09:22:05 AM »
When Sam Charters interviewed and recorded Gus Cannon in 1956 Cannon told him that Paramount auditioned him, but brought in Blind Blake and told Blake to work something out with Cannon that they could record. The two of them apparently went to Blake's apartment to rehearse. which took three or four days. What did Cannon recall of this event? Not much. He told Charters "We drank so much whisky! I'm telling you we drank more whisky than a shop. And that boy [Blake] would take me out with him at night and get me so turned around I'd be lost if I left his side. He could see more with his blind eyes than I with my two good ones". (From The Country Blues p. 83-4)

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2083
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2010, 05:24:52 PM »
I seem to remember somewhere reading Blake's address (or one of his addresses) in Chicago, with a hazier recollection that it was in connection with playing parties with Little Brother Montgomery. I wonder if Blake is listed in any Chicago city directories from then. And did Little Brother have any memories of him?
Chris

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2010, 11:36:43 PM »
I seem to remember somewhere reading Blake's address (or one of his addresses) in Chicago, with a hazier recollection that it was in connection with playing parties with Little Brother Montgomery.
Could it be this?

"Old Los Angelus building on 35th and Wabash. Blind Blake was there only he was a guitarist" (Karl Gert Zur Heide "Deep South Piano: The Story Of Little Brother Montgomery" (Studio Vista Blues Paperbacks 1970, p.45).

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2083
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2010, 12:38:31 PM »
It must have been, BH, although it was some other book quoting from there, because I haven't read that book (I would really like to, though). In Sam Charters' "Sweet as the Showers of Rain" (which I have as part of "The Blues Makers") he includes this, right after repeating the already-mentioned quote from Gus Cannon:

"What little that's known of Blake comes from these years from Chicago, though a relative in Patterson, Georgia, says that he came from Tampa and played in the southern Georgia-north Florida area. In Chicago he lived at 4005 S. Parkway, where his landlady, Mrs. Renett Pounds, tried to look after him as best she could, despite his heavy drinking. In 1929 the Chicago Defender reported that he'd gotten in touch with a friend, George Williams, who was managing one of the touring road shows called the "Happy-Go-Lucky" show, and he toured with them until late 1930 or 1931, when he may have gone back to Jacksonville."

Not sure what the sources were for this, and the last bit sounds like pure speculation on Charters' part.
Chris

Offline snakehips

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
  • Hi there !
Re: Intriguing Blind Blake Wiki Snippet
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2010, 01:41:46 PM »
Hi there !

Prof Scratchy wrote : "Now if only I could put my hands on that LP....!"

You gave me a Blind Blake LP (double LP ?) years ago - I wonder if that could be the one you have been looking for ?
I'll look it out !

 O0

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal