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Author Topic: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings  (Read 11635 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2011, 11:57:59 AM »
Quote
In its day this article received much critical acclaim.

As should the revised version today.  The article is a Leadbelly fan's/discographer's dream.  If you're trying to figure out how to get Leadbelly's complete LoC recordings, this article will tell you how to do it.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2011, 03:06:27 PM »
Here's a link to an 1991 Blues and Rhythm article by John Cowley on Leadbelly's Library of Congress recordings. It is a direct link to a PDF:

http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/3092/1/Cowley_-_Leadbelly_-_1991.pdf

Offline Blind Arthur

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2011, 03:43:54 AM »
Thank you very much for the link, uncle bud :)
You canīt trust your baby when the ice man comes hanging around :D

Offline misterjones

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2011, 07:15:43 PM »
If you're trying to figure out how to get Leadbelly's complete LoC recordings, this article will tell you how to do it.

Or - if you're like me and you're not too interested in his 1940-42 work and prefer no song duplication - go with Rounder 1044, 1045, 1097 and 1098 and create further compilations from the relevant Document CDs of the best versions of songs not appearing on the Rounder CDs (about 40 additional songs from 1934 to 1938).  Makes for a solid (though not complete) collection.  My guess is Rounder would have basically done that had they decided (or been allowed) to issue additional CDs.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 07:00:20 AM by misterjones »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2011, 08:11:00 PM »
Not sure how I missed two posts that already referred to the Cowley article. Oh well.  :P

Offline LD50

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2011, 10:21:15 AM »
I'm more of a fan of the stuff he recorded for ARC around 1935, when they were trying to market him as a commercial 'blues singer'. Tho I realize this is a minority view.

Offline misterjones

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2011, 11:08:27 AM »
I've been thinking I should revisit the ARC recordings.  I have done this many times, but I always have concluded I did not like them.  Leadbelly seems to shout too much.  Perhaps the mike is just too close.

The recordings I recall listening to are the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Leadbelly/dp/B0000024W1/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_14

http://www.amazon.com/King-12-String-Guitar-Leadbelly/dp/B0000027DD/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1313172361&sr=1-1

I believe both of these are 1935 ARC recordings.  Is there a better version?

Offline LD50

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2011, 11:56:52 AM »
I've been thinking I should revisit the ARC recordings.  I have done this many times, but I always have concluded I did not like them.  Leadbelly seems to shout too much.  Perhaps the mike is just too close.

The recordings I recall listening to are the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Leadbelly/dp/B0000024W1/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_14

http://www.amazon.com/King-12-String-Guitar-Leadbelly/dp/B0000027DD/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1313172361&sr=1-1

I believe both of these are 1935 ARC recordings.  Is there a better version?

That first album is the one I have. I don't know what the sound on the Sony is like -- they sometimes screw up their albums with too much noise reduction.

I had the impression that Leadbelly always shouted, regardless of who was recording him. Am I mistaken?


Offline misterjones

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2011, 02:09:48 PM »
Yes, but I find the shouting less noticeable (and, for my tastes, less irritating) on the LOC tracks.  Maybe the Lomaxes' less sophisticated equipment required keeping the noise extremes to a minimum and they told Leadbelly to soften up his vocal delivery a bit.  Perhaps they just miked the recordings more distantly than ARC.  Just guessing.  (I've read the reason they didn't want Louis Armstrong's early recordings to include drums was the fear that the beats would make the recording needle jump out of the track.  So they used those stupid cymbals instead.  I never understood this reasoning, since Jelly Roll Morton used drums on his early recordings and they seemed to work out OK.)

Offline CF

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2011, 06:50:16 PM »
I'm a big fan of the ARC recordings. Leadbelly's playing is top notch. You get most of the sessions with those CDs you guys listed above. The later 'King of the 12 String' has the superior sound IIRC.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline misterjones

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2011, 10:21:49 AM »
It appears you definitely need "King of the 12 String Guitar".  The above-referenced discography indicates that all but three of its tracks are not available elsewhere.  There is significant overlap between Columbia's "Leadbelly" CD (Co CK 30035) and Document's "remaining" LOC/ARC recordings, volume one (DOCD 5591).  I suppose the choice between the latter two would come down to sound quality.

I see many ARC recordings are listed as unissued and there is no indication of any release (78, LP or CD).  Do these even exist?

Offline LD50

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2011, 10:35:05 AM »
I see many ARC recordings are listed as unissued and there is no indication of any release (78, LP or CD).  Do these even exist?

Excellent question. Judging from D&G, most of the Leadbelly ARC tracks that have been issued on LP & CD were never issued on 78, but maybe half the tracks he recorded for them STILL haven't seen the light of day anywhere. It'd be nice if someone could do a proper Leadbelly ARC discography, since I'm not sure D&G is fully up to date for this.

Offline dj

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2011, 01:29:56 PM »
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I never understood this reasoning, since Jelly Roll Morton used drums on his early recordings and they seemed to work out OK.)

Armstrong recorded for Okeh, Morton for Victor.  In the teens and 20s, the Victor engineers and recording facilities were generally considered the best in the business.  Plus, a lot would depend on the individual drummer. 


Offline banjochris

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2011, 10:23:38 AM »
I'm not sure that needle jumping thing was a problem by the time electrical recording came around (and I know we're getting off topic) but maybe someone with more knowledge can jump in. Pretty sure all of the Red Hot Peppers were electrical recordings, but I don't know about the Hot Fives/Sevens.

Offline dj

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Re: Leadbelly's Library of Congress Recordings
« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2011, 10:40:33 AM »
All the Hot Five recordings through November 1926 were acoustic.  The remaining Hot Fives/Hot Sevens were recorded electrically.  It's my understanding (which means I could be wrong) that though the advent of electric recording was a great leap forward, it took a few years before recording engineers really figured out how to handle instruments like drums and string bass.