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Author Topic: Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Shovel

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Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band
« on: June 21, 2011, 10:34:41 AM »
I seem to recall I read online or somewhere that Will Shade said it was the first song he learned.

Anybody know or suspect anything else about the history/ origins/ or just general thoughts on this song? 





Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 10:54:45 AM »
Sam Charters writing in Sweet As The Shower Of Rain (Oak 1977) was told by Shade that:

He [Shade] followed a singer named Tee-Wee Blackman around on the streets when he played. The first song he learned from him was Newport News Blues a blues about the troops leaving Newport News, Virginia for France in the First World War. (page 16)

I'm fairly certain that Charters actually citedthis  much earlier in one of his RBF LP booklets.

Offline Richard

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Re: Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 01:39:04 PM »

What's the name of that pianist who was supposed to waiting to be hung and let out of prison to record ???

He sang  a line "get the Newport News 'for dinner time"  damn it, I've got a 78 of it as well, I can see this is going to annoy me all night!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline dj

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Re: Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 02:34:29 PM »
Quote
What's the name of that pianist who was supposed to waiting to be hung and let out of prison to record

Jesse James.  The record was Southern Casey Jones.  "Left Cincinnati 'bout half past nine, got to Newport News before dinner time" is the line you're thinking of.

(By the way, the story of James' being taken to the recording studio by prison guards is certainly apocryphal.  See Stephen Tracey's Going To Cincinnati for details of James' life.)

Offline Shovel

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Re: Newport News Blues by Memphis Jug Band
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 04:40:00 PM »
Sam Charters writing in Sweet As The Shower Of Rain (Oak 1977) was told by Shade that:

He [Shade] followed a singer named Tee-Wee Blackman around on the streets when he played. The first song he learned from him was Newport News Blues a blues about the troops leaving Newport News, Virginia for France in the First World War. (page 16)

I'm fairly certain that Charters actually citedthis  much earlier in one of his RBF LP booklets.

That sounds about right.  It certainly has a kind of islandy feel to it.  I don't know too too much Memphis Jug Band stuff, but this seems to be a unique song with regards to other stuff I've heard from them and even just other stuff in the period.  Just the texture of the vocals is so raspy and islandy.  And I guess to me there's something coumbstive happening between the accentual kind of delivery and the way he's so far in front of the beat.  in fact, the whole song from that clunky jilted rift onward kind of plays with time a bit.  there's some weird magic to that song.

 


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