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...in a car wreck in a little town called Mound Bayou Miss. I was visiting my mother. I drove 700 miles from Chicago. I was okay but on the return I fell asleep at the wheel. I was playing again the next day though. I never gave up. It cut my arm clean off and left it in the highway. Then I walked 2.5 miles to a girlfriend and picked up my arm and brought it on to Clarksdale. When the ambulance men come with stretchers, I was in bed smoking, so I drove back in front with the guys. I was in hospital for three days only. For a while I still had pain at night. As you know, fever rises at night and that's how it was - Big John Wrencher on losing his arm

Author Topic: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs  (Read 693 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« on: August 25, 2016, 08:30:25 AM »
Hi all,
Despite the supposed dichotomy between Blues, "Devil's Music", and religious numbers, many or most blues musicians who recorded more than a couple of titles recorded religious numbers as well as blues.  Charlie Patton recorded about as many religious songs as he did secular ones, and such musicians as Josh White, Skip James, John Hurt and Lemon Jefferson also recorded religious songs as well as blues.
I was interested in identifying Blues musicians, primarily from the acoustic or Country Blues era, who never recorded any religious numbers.  For that distinction to have any significance, it would seem the player would have had to have recorded more than a couple of titles.  If we arbitrarily include only musicians who recorded more than four titles, who are some of the musicians who would fall into the category of Blues musicians who never recorded a religious song?  Just to get the ball rolling, I'll suggest a couple of people who I think fall into that category:
   * Henry Townsend
   * Luke Jordan
Can you think of other Country Blues players who recorded more than four titles who never recorded a religious number?
All best,
Johnm

Offline harry

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 08:45:58 AM »
Robert Johnson?

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 09:15:41 AM »
Charlie Jordan

Offline banjochris

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 09:56:54 AM »
Can we count Blind Blake despite his backup on "Beulah Land"?

Don't think Texas Alexander or Lonnie Johnson did.

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 11:19:40 AM »
Tommy McClennan and Robert Petway.
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 04:14:02 PM »
Hi all,
For whatever reason, St. Louis players often seem not to have recorded religious songs.  I don't think Clifford Gibson or Teddy Darby recorded any either.  Papa Charlie Jackson didn't record any either.
All best,
Johnm

Offline waxwing

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 06:22:21 PM »
Two players with prodigious catalogues, Scrapper Blackwell and, unless you count You Got to Reap What You Sow (hardly), recently discussed as an antecedent to Sittin' on Top of the World, Leroy Carr.

Wax
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2016, 07:06:20 AM »
J.T. Funny Papa Smith, though you could argue whether or not he was a 'blues singer' as such.
Sonny Boy Williamson #1 doesn't appear to have any religious songs, at least in my collection.
Likewise Howlin' Wolf I suppose, but since his recorded output was primarily electrified he's probably out of scope.
Tampa Red? I can't find any religious songs in his vast catalog.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 07:07:43 AM by Rivers »

Offline harriet

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2016, 09:56:40 AM »
I could be wrong...

Black Ace
Kokomo Arnold
Ishman Bracey

« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 09:58:41 AM by harriet »

Offline alyoung

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 04:31:01 AM »
Black Ace made a very nice version of "Farther Along" in the 1960 Paul Oliver sessions. It was issued on the vinyl albums of these recordings (Heritage HLP-1006/Arhoolie F-1003), but was dropped from the Arhoolie digital issue, CD-378. It does appear on Arhoolie CD 111, "Fifteen Down Home Gospel Classics" ... which rather buries it, as CD 111 is a sampler and everything else on it comes from other Arhoolie CDs. Do you want it bad enough to buy it with 14 other titles that are available on other CDs?

PS: Ace's mentor, Oscar "Buddy" Woods, made no religious recordings, certainly not under his own name.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 04:04:21 PM by alyoung »

Offline harriet

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2016, 04:54:05 PM »
Thanks AL
Do you want it bad enough to buy it with 14 other titles that are available on other CDs?
Yep - I just did, thanks.

Offline alyoung

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2016, 05:57:59 AM »
Glad to be of assistance, Harriet. I think I'd have made the same decision except that I have the vinyl (one of the perks of being old enough to have been there when it was a new issue).

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Blues Singers Who Recorded No Religious Songs
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2016, 03:50:10 PM »
Tommy Johnson is a contender

 


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