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You got some dirty people in all walks of life. Look at the politicians and people like that. Look at the things they have to cover up and sweep under the rug, and why in the hell should a musician be any better? - Johnny Shines, in Sounds Good To Me by Barry Lee Pearson

Author Topic: How did that get recorded?  (Read 8767 times)

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Offline frankie

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How did that get recorded?
« on: September 02, 2004, 05:35:10 AM »
Perhaps the strangest recordings from Alabama (though recorded in Chicago) are the ones by Moses Mason.

Strange indeed, although not entirely without appeal.

Online Johnm

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2004, 09:59:32 AM »
Hi all,
Re Moses Mason, I think it is almost unbelievable that "Molly Man" is a commercial recording, i.e., somebody thought they could make a buck selling a recording by a tamale vendor doing his sales rap with incidental musical accompaniment!  It is the kind of recording I would expect some heavy duty ethnomusicologist to make, not a company in the business of trying to sell records.  I'm very thankful that the companies often had no clue what would sell.  We ended up with some great music as a result.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:50:17 PM by Johnm »

Offline Montgomery

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2004, 11:10:43 PM »
Great observation, I feel the same way about that recording.  Who can think of some other songs that defy the logic of commercial appeal , I think this can make an interesting discussion.  Although I'm going out of town now, so I may miss it.  If indeed a discussion begins.  Which it may not. 

Offline Montgomery

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2004, 09:07:22 AM »
...and one never did.  But another song that got recorded against all logic (and I'm thankful for it) is Beans Hambone and El Morrow's "Beans."  I love this recording!  I can't imagine how these guys made money though.

 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:51:26 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2004, 09:21:53 AM »
Hi Montgomery - Haven't heard of this one (nor the excellently named Beans Hambone). I'm assuming this has no relation to Bo Carter's "Beans"...

Online Johnm

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2004, 09:23:38 AM »
Hi Aaron,
I would nominate Wiley Barner's "My Gal Mistreats Me" for this category. I just listened to it to see if it was as strange as I remember it. It is actually stranger, but also more engaging.



High on the list for this category would also be the recording by the Old-Time singer Kelly Harrell of "Wild Bill Jones", which he sings in F while being accompanied by Henry Whitter on guitar and harmonica in B flat. It's especially weird because Henry Whitter does an intro in B flat stating part of the melody, and Kelly comes in solidly singing it in F, and neither ever gives way. You would have thought one or the other of them would have said, "Gee, what the hell just happened?" Like most stuff of this sort, though, if you listen to it three or four times, it starts to sound regular.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:55:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline Montgomery

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2004, 09:36:33 AM »
John - haven't heard those.  Do you know where they're available? 
I've attached an mp3 of Beans.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2004, 09:51:23 AM »
:D Beans :D Beans :D Beans,?spoon stickin' in yer beans...
Now that's a song that will get ya smilin'.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2005, 06:03:39 PM by Johnm »
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline frankie

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2004, 10:49:52 AM »
The guy really seems to be enthusiastic about his legumes.

Here's Kelly Harrell singing Wild Bill Jones:

http://www.donegone.net/sounds/wild_bill_jones.mp3

What were they thinking?

Online Johnm

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2004, 01:40:41 PM »
Hi all,
I think the Wiley Barner is on DOCD 5165 Alabama Secular and Religious Music 1927-1934, which should be on the Juke when it is up and running again.  Thanks for posting the Kelly Harrell, Frank.  Boy, it's one for the books, isn't it?  Thanks also for posting that version of "Beans", Montgomery.  Like Uncle Bud, I had never heard it before.  Where is it from?  That V note of the scale the ukulele keeps hitting is brutal.  It's a good "story song", though.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2004, 02:39:47 PM »
From what I recall, that's not so much a uke as a cigar-box guitar ; the reverse is a version of "Going to tip out tonight" which is pretty interesting as well.

My "how the heck..." record would be the Mobile Strugglers 1949 recording Memphis blues / Fattening frogs for snakes.   I know how that one got made, but I'm still amazed.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:56:43 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2004, 05:50:56 PM »
I like them Beans. Fun tune! Don't have that Sinners and Saints disc. I know the Lonnie Coleman stuff and the Pink Anderson stuff but how's the other material on it?


Offline Mike Billo

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2004, 06:31:38 PM »
?With some of the very old stuff, we'll obviously never know how it got recorded and what the rationale was at the time for documenting such a performance.
However, there are much more recent examples that boggle the mind just as much as "Wild Bill Jones" or "Beans".
My personal "How the heck..." recording is the Arhoolie CD "Blind James Campbell Nashville and his Nashville Street Band".
Guaranteed to cause shock, horror and uncontrollable laughter.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:58:17 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2006, 06:18:34 PM »
Hi all,
I think I would have to add "Chittlin' Supper", recorded by Peg Leg Howell and Jim Hill to this list.  I was thinking of trying to transcribe it for the Peg Leg Howell lyric thread, but it is just too nutty.  Jim Hill is supposed to be playing a mandolin--if he is, it sounds as though it must be not only tuned in octave courses but cross-tuned as well, so that the pairs are not in unisons, but are in harmony to each other.  It really sounds more like a tiple.  The song appears to follow no discernible form, and the repartee between Hill and Howell is not exactly sparkling.  This is one of those cuts like "Molly Man" where I would love to be able to hear from the engineer or A & R man why they thought the record might sell.  It is a mystery.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:59:25 PM by Johnm »

Offline phhawk

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Re: How did that get recorded?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2006, 10:34:13 PM »
Johnm, My take on Chittlin Supper is that it's like an early narrative of a rent
party and I've always found it amazingly visual, "to the house-in the rear" and an excellent example of Country Blues humor. Particularly amusing is Peg Leg commenting to Jim Hill about him messing him up with his woman. Hill replies "I've been knowing her a long time...I know'd her since she moved to Georgia." To which Peg Leg replies in boastful resigination, "I knowed her first though."

And there's also a lesson in philosophy from Peg Leg, "Liza. Bring me some more of them dad blame chittlins. What for do I care for if they're expensive? I'd just as soon spend a dime as a dollar!

I probably don't have these quotes exact, but you probably get the point.

Actually, it may not be how did these records get recorded, but how did they get released. "Beans" has to be the all time champ. Testifying Meeting" with Rev. P. W. Williams also has to come in for consideration and another one is "Sing And Shout" and "Happy As The Day Is Long" by Rev. Steamboat Bill. True, religion sells, but...

Phil

 


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