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I tell you, all them scounds could play good; I don't know which one was best. I liked that Lonnie - he was the big fat one - I liked his violin playin', but that other one, what played violin and piano, too, and everything, I believe it was Bert. They both played so good, it'd be hard to tell how to judge which one played the best - Houston Stackhouse remembers the Chatmon brothers, The Voice of the Blues

Author Topic: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930  (Read 3361 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« on: December 21, 2004, 01:01:06 PM »
Howdy:

At one of the open stages where I play (badly), I run this little "thing" about doing CB songs that are 75 years old (some of you know this already), like "2005 is the 75th anniversary of 1930". In 2003 (the 75th anniversary of 1928) I had lots of good stuff, this year less so. In 2005 I will pass into the Depression and my "source" really dries up. Right now I can only think of one, "Travellin' Mama Blues" by Joe Calicott.

If any of you can think of any good ones from 1930, would you be so kind as to post them here, any suggestions would be much appreciated.

BTW, I really recommend this approach. The audience can relate to the time thing and it does provide something for them to look forward to month-to-month.

And it stills (at least temporarily) their tomato-throwing hand.

Duckin'
Alex
« Last Edit: December 21, 2004, 01:02:22 PM by pyrochlore »

Offline dj

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2004, 03:57:39 AM »
I'm at work, so can't check in detail now, but off the top of my head, great country blues from 1930 would include the Charlie Patton/Willie Brown/Son House/Louise Johnson session for Paramount, so M & O, Future Blues, My Black Mamma, Dry Spell, Moon Going Down, etc; Barbecue Bob's last sessions including the Georgia Cotton Pickers stuff; and Memphis Minnie's Vocalion recording of Bumble Bee - her second recorded version, but the first one released and the one that popularized the song.   

Offline waxwing

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2004, 09:03:36 AM »
Hey Alex,
Well, just scanning the CDs immediately to hand, I get the following:

Scrapper Blackwell's Springtime Blues (and two others with small combo)

Mississippi Shieks (every thing on Document Vol. 1 - DOCD 5083 -and that only goes to June)

Blind Willie McTell's Talkin' To Myself
??Razor Ball

Robert Wilkins' Nashville Stonewall Blues
? Police Sergeant Blues
? Get Away Blues
? I'll Go With Her Blues

Cannon's Jug Stompers' Wolf River Blues
? Bring It With You When You Come
? Money never Runs Out
 Prison Wall Blues

Memphis Jug Band's Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues
? Papa's Got Your Water On
? Cocaine Habit Blues
? You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
? Meningitis Blues
? He's in the Jailhouse Now
? Ambulance Man
? Going Back To Memphis
? Got A Letter From My Darlin'?
?
I'm thinkin' a lot of this may not be "your style", but maybe you'll get inspired to hook up with a fiddler or a harp player to cover some of the jug/string band stuff. 1930 was the height of Jug Band Era. I'm thinkin' Blake must have done some recordings in '30 but you've been workin' thru that so you probably know. I think the Grafton session with Patton et al. was in '29. Didn't we discuss that when you were lookin' for material last year?
I'll see if I can come up with some more in a day or two. See what others bring up before I go digging thru my humble and slightly packed up collection.

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 05:20:08 AM by Johnm »
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Offline GhostRider

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2004, 01:56:26 PM »
Hi all:

dj: I think that M&O and Futures Blues were recorded in 1929, as was a lot of Patton stuff.

I hope your right about Bumble Bee. I like that one.

I have found three tunes by Little Hat Jones, Bye Bye Blues, Kentucky Blues and Cherry Bell blues.

Thanks BJ.

Alex

Offline dj

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2004, 04:13:22 AM »
Dixon, Goodrich, and Rye give the date of the Patton/House/Brown/Johnson session as "c. 28 May 1930".  I think the confusion over the date of this session centers on exactly when it was in 1930, not whether it was in 1930 or not.  Son House remembered it as being late July or early August of 1930, but the master numbers and a note "in the Columbia files!" (Dixon/Goodrich/Rye, their exclamation point) put the session in late May.

Some other 1930 recordings:  Willie Walker's Dupree Blues and South Carolina Rag, and Blind Willie Johnson's last session, including Soul Of A Man, John The Revelator, and You're Going To Need Somebody On Your Bond.       

lebordo

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2004, 03:53:59 PM »
If any of you can think of any good ones from 1930, would you be so kind as to post them here, any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Hi, Alex.

After spending a couple of hours extracting data from a MS Access database I have, I've come up with a list of 1000+ blues and gospel from 1930 (see attachment).? The data is sorted by artist and date (artist is first name then last name, so Big Bill Broonzy sorts before Lucille Bogan, which sorts before Texas Alexander).

As far as I can tell, 1930 has a very representative list of artists.? Obviously Blind Lemon isn't there, since he died in 1929.? Neither are some of the artists who didn't start recording until after 1930.? But the list does include artists such as Arthur Pettis, Barbecue Bob, Barefoot Bill, Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy (as as Bill Johnson and Sammy Sampson), Birmingham Jug Band, Blind Blake, Blind Joe Reynolds, Blind Joe Taggart, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie Reynolds, Blind Willie McTell (as Blind Sammie), Bo Carter, (Little) Brother Montgomery, Cow Cow Davenport, Cannon's Jug Stompers, Charlie McCoy, Charley Jordan, Charlie Jackson, Charley Patton, Charley Taylor, Clara Smith, Famous Hokum Boys, Frank Brasswell, Frankie Half-Pint Jaxon, Funny Paper Smith, Geechie Wiley, George Hannah, Georgia Tom, Henry Brown, Hokum Boys, Irene Scruggs, Ishman Bracey, Issie Ringold, James Cole, Jaybird Coleman, Jaydee Short, Jed Davenport, Jim Jackson, Joe Calicott, John Byrd, Kansas Joe McCoy, King David's Jug Band, Lee (Leothus) Green, Leroy Carr, Little Hat Jones, Lizzie Miles, Lonnie Johnson, Lucille Bogan (under her own name and as Bessie Jackson), Macon Ed & Tampa Joe, Mary Johnson, Mattie Delaney, Memphis Jug Band, Memphis Minnie, Mississippi Bracy, Mississippi Mud Steppers, Mississippi Sheiks, Mozelle Alderson (under her own name, and as Jane Lucas and Kansas City Kitty), Noah Lucas, Peetie Wheatstraw, Phillips Louisville Jug Band, Rob Robinson and Meade Lux Lewis, Robert Peebles, Robert Wilkins, Romeo Nelson, Sam Tarpley, Sam Theard, Willie "Scarecrow" Owens, Sleepy John Estes, Son House, Speckled Red, Sweet Papa Tadpole, Tampa Red, Texas Alexander, Tommy Bradley, Tommy Johnson, Tommy Settlers, Troy Ferguson, Victoria Spivey, Walter Cole, Walter Davis, Walter Jacobs, Walter Taylor, Walter Vincent (Vinson/Vincson), Washboard Walter, Washington White (under his own name and as Bukka White), Willie Brown, Willie Harris, Roosevelt Sykes (as Willie Kelly), Willie Walker, and Leola B. / Kid Wesley Wison (as Wilson and Blake, and Socks Wilson).

Hopefully, this will give you more than enough to stimulate your interest and provide material for your "75th Anniversary of 1930" sets.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 05:21:29 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2004, 09:31:20 AM »
Alex, please post a picture of the look on your face...    :D

Report back when you've learned these.  ;)

Interesting sounding database you've got there, Paul.

Offline Slack

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2004, 09:47:26 AM »
Alex is going to have a busy 2005... Ha!

Heck of a database Paul!   ;D

Offline GhostRider

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2004, 02:14:57 PM »
Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!


Ask and ye shall recieve. I'm staggered.


Well, I guess no more lonely nights for a while. Thanks eversomuch Paul

Jeez, 1000+ songs!

Alex

lebordo

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2004, 04:43:47 PM »
Glad I could be of assistance, Alex.

I've got way too much time on my hands [ always dangerous :-) ].   And I've been an "listmaker" as long as I can remember.  So it was an enjoyable exercise for me, and hopefully can provide benefit for you.

There are probably still a few extraneous entries that aren't blues/gospel.  Trying to eliminate those took most of the time, since my database has much more than blues and gospel.  I probably eleminated a few entries I shouldn't have, too.  But hopefully the list is 90+ percent complete.  I started with Tyrone Settlemier's web-based discographies -- at least the pre-war and early war years -- and added info on Gennett from Univ of Southern California.  I've have been making additions/corrections for the last year or so, mostly from ebay label scans/photos and/or records in my own collection.   I should also point out that there are undoubtedly duplicates, since my database has a record for each lable a title was issued on -- at least when I'm aware of multiple releases.  So you might find a Gennett and Champion record for one title, or Banner, Conqueror, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect and Romeo records for another title.

Also, there are quite a few gospel titles, including many sermons, which may not be of much help.  Still, there should be considerable that you can use.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2005, 11:38:33 AM »
Hi all:

By judicious editing (removing religious tunes, slide tunes, classic female singers etc) I've got the list down to a manageable ( :-X) 500 tunes. Lots of Broonzy and Tampa Red hokum tunes so I could be getting my face slapped once or twice.

I've appended the revised table, with the ones I know (parts of) highlighted in yellow. Any weenie suggestions?

Alex

[attachment deleted by admin]

Online Johnm

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2005, 02:24:21 PM »
Hi Alex,
What a great list of tunes to choose from!  You might try Bo Carter's "I'm An Old Bumble Bee"--it is in his DGDGBE tuning, and has some great runs.  Gus Cannon's "Prison Wall Blues" has an exceptionally pretty ragtimey melody and progression (that was copped for the Lovin' Spoonful hit, "A Younger Girl"), and Tommy Johnson's version of "Sliding Delta" is really beautiful, and never played. 
All best,
Johnm

lebordo

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Re: The Greatest Country Blues Hits of 1930
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2005, 08:45:49 PM »
Hi, Alex.

You can probably reduce the list further -- there are at least five more religious tracks I noticed - 3 by Blind Joe Taggart, 1 by Blind Willie Johnson, and Washington White's The Promise True And Grand.? Also, there are still lots of my original dups from multiple labels -- particularly in artists like Lonnie Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Memphis Jug Band, Mississippi Sheiks.

Unless you have a group to back you up, I might further reduce the list by removing Cannon Jug Stompers, Carolina Peanut Boys, Memphis Jug Band and Mississippi Sheiks (and possibly the Famous Hokum Boys and Hokum Boys).? Although I've heard folks attempt to pick out just the guitar parts, and do these solo, they usually don't sound as good, and typically need a new? arraingement.? Similarly, I guess you could also probably eliminate Leroy Carr and Walter Davis unless you've got a blues pianist handy.

It's hard to recommend individual songs with out knowing your objectives.? If your just trying to songs great songs, without worring about artist, styles, etc., then I'd consider some of the following:

  • Any of the Bayless Rose tunes (likely most of your audience will have never heard this artist)
  • Blind Blake's Diddie Wa Diddie No. 2
  • Bo Carter's I'm An Old Bumble Bee (though that might get you two slaps :-( or :-) depending on your likes/dislikes)
  • Any of the Lonnie Johnson titles (definitely not Delta blues, but great guitar work)
  • Any of the Jane Lucas duets (if you've got a female who you can do duets with) -- particularly Terrible Operation Blues
  • Either of the Joe Reynolds songs
  • Any of the Tommy Johnson songs, particularly Black Mare Blues, Lonesome Home Blues and Slidin' Delta.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 05:22:58 AM by Johnm »

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