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I sing city blues... My style of singing has nothing to do with the part of the country I come from. It comes from my soul within. The heartaches and the things that have happened to me in my life - that's what makes a good blues singer - Lonnie Johnson, from Giles Oakley's The Devil's Music, BBC

Author Topic: Blues on 78's  (Read 1156 times)

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Offline Jonas A

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Blues on 78's
« on: April 03, 2011, 09:03:51 AM »
When I was a kid my dad used to play lots of pre-war jazz to me. He'd about 600 78's, collected in his youth in the early 40's. When he passed away a few yrs ago, I took care of about 15 - 20 blues 78's. I'm not a collector but a pre-war bluesfan and pro musician. This afternoon I was checkin' these 78's. I suppose most of them are licensed british pressings (like the handful of Bessie Smith Parlophone 78's), but most lack origin (as far as I can tell). US-imports? I dunno. I suppose he traded 78's with his friends, to get the records he liked.

Some names are wellknown (like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sleepy John Estes, Victoria Spivey, Memhis Minnie to name but a few), but some are unknown/little known to me. Goggling the net, haven't helped much. They are barely names to me. Artists like Blind Mamie Forehand (Honey in the rock/Wouldn't mind dying, Anchor 381), Charley West (Rollin' Stone blues/Ethel May, Bluebird B-7033), Little Boy Fuller (Shake your stuff/Lazy bug blues, Savoy 5535) and Sylvester Weaver (True love blues/Poor boy blues, Okeh 8460; Black spider blues/Devil blues, Okeh 8534) and others.

Anyone out there who can fill me in on these artists and recordings?

Offline LB

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 09:30:55 AM »
Wow those sound awesome, even Sylvester Weaver? He was one of the earliest to record. You probably have something great. You can find things on the Weenie site easier using these meta-tags try this link to see what I mean, there's the discography for Weaver for example and some amazing threads with information, even scanned copies of his contracts and all kinds of cool stuff. You might have a few records that are great finds and mean something historically but I'll pass that to more knowledgeable people.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&action=tags;id=207

Directly to Sylvester weaver discography....
http://www.wirz.de/music/weasyfrm.htm



Offline frankie

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 10:37:26 AM »
Blind Mamie Forehand (Honey in the rock/Wouldn't mind dying, Anchor 381)

That's one hell of a record.  Mamie and A.C. Forehand were street singers from Memphis - they recorded four songs of heartbreaking beauty:

Wouldn't Mind Dying If Dying Was All
I'm So Glad Today, Today
Honey In The Rock
Mother's Prayer

Mamie sings on Wouldn't Mind Dying If Dying Was All and Honey In The Rock and the other two are sung by A.C.

If you get Yazoo's re-issue of Washington Phillips, A.C. and Mamie Forehand's recordings are included as well.  I'll try and dig up the CD later to see if any more biographical information was included.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 02:18:38 PM »
"Little Boy Fuller" was the late Richard Trice from the Durham, NC area. Younger brother of Willie Trice, and "follower" of Blind Boy Fuller, he made one session for Decca prewar, two for Savoy postwar. Later "went church", which was where he was when I met him in the 1970s.

Peter B.

Offline jostber

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 04:02:28 AM »
That's quite a collection! You can find information on all the artists here:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?page=tagsindex

To check the value of those you could contact John Tefteller at his site:

http://www.tefteller.com/

What happened to the other 78's?


[mod'd to point to the new version of the tags index]
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 12:13:27 PM by Rivers »

Offline harry

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 07:03:33 AM »
Is it possible to play 78's on a modern turntable?

Offline eric

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 07:16:13 AM »
Sure, and they sound great.  I got a turntable from these folks: http://www.kabusa.com
--
Eric

Offline LB

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 08:12:54 AM »
One thing I learned the hard way on a number of old 78s, DONT think you can just pop them onto any old wind up phonograph because you might be ruining the record. I was able to also buy a modern record player with 78rpm setting that's much more gentle than my old windup model with the old style needle.

Offline harry

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 08:54:58 AM »
One thing I learned the hard way on a number of old 78s, DONT think you can just pop them onto any old wind up phonograph because you might be ruining the record. I was able to also buy a modern record player with 78rpm setting that's much more gentle than my old windup model with the old style needle.

So if you don't have a 78 option (my record player only has 33 and 45) it's impossible?

Offline misterjones

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 10:48:24 AM »
By definition, yes.  The turntable would have to be able to turn at 78 RPM.

Many years ago, I read the best 78 players are those old-style players of the type used in public schools.  The idea was that modern needles and 78 records grooves weren't a proper fit.  (I imagine the 78 would do more damage to the needle than vice versa.)  Given what those old 78 needles look like, it struck me that playing a 78 on an old Victrola wasn't too far removed from trying to play the record with a nail.

I bought one of those older-style record players.  It has a two-sided needle.  One for LPs and 45s, and the other for 78s (it flips over).  There's probably a better way, but I don't play my 78s very much.

Offline LB

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 11:25:24 AM »
Harry, that indeed wont work but you can find record players with 78 option pretty dirt cheap. I watch the thrift and goodwill stores but ended up with a new one because I can order more needles for it easily. I tend to not play 78's I buy to keep except to copy them to mp3 format. Otherwise I think the processes used to make many CDs and box sets is better quality than I could yield anyway. I've collected 78s of hits I love to play and plan one day to frame them with photos of the original artist for keep sakes.

Offline Richard

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 11:40:15 AM »
I don't know if you had them over there but a great 78 deck is the old Garrard SP25 which which were produced by the trillion over here for LPs, 45s and 78s - don't get the one with the autochanger  ;)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline misterjones

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Re: Blues on 78's
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »
I think the processes used to make many CDs and box sets is better quality than I could yield anyway.
Undoubtedly the case with 78s, though I have Miles Davis' Prestige 78 recording of Morpheus/Blue Room and it sounds so much better than my CD version.

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