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Ability to play the banjo soon places one in a social position to pick and choose from scores of social invitations. Everywhere, the banjoist is assured of a hearty welcome - Anon., from THE BANJO, a 1927 pamphlet published by Gibson Inc

Author Topic: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics  (Read 3218 times)

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Online Johnm

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Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« on: February 14, 2012, 12:29:05 PM »
Hi all,
I've been listening a lot lately to the wonderful duets that the Mississippian Roosevelt Graves did with his brother Leroy, one of which is "I'll Be Rested (When the Roll Is Called)".  On the tune, Roosevelt plays the guitar, as he always did on his recordings, out of Spanish tuning, pitched at B flat in this case, and sings the vocal lead.  Leroy adds some terrific tambourine playing and provides the backing vocal.

Roosevelt Graves' right hand technique is an ongoing mystery.  He sounds as though he could be flat-picking, or playing with a thumbpick only, or thumbpick and fingers, or more or less conventional fingerpicking.  I think that if I had to choose only one of these options as the way Roosevelt did what he did, I would go for flat-picking, though what he plays could certainly be achieved using any one of these methods (or something else altogether).  However Roosevelt Graves did his playing, his execution, concept and rhythmic feel are wonderful and very infectious, and Leroy's time, both as a percussionist and singer, compliments his brother's beautifully.  There is so much joy in what they did together.

In the lyric transcription, the parenthetic connecting response lines are sung by Leroy.  I'll attach a YouTube version for those of you who have not heard the performance.



   I'll be resting when the roll is called (Oh yes, I)
   I'll be resting when the roll is called
   I'll be resting in the Kingdom of Heaven (Oh, my Lord)
   I'll be resting when the roll is called

   No more shouting when the roll is called
   No more shouting when the roll is called
   I'll be resting in the Kingdom of Heaven (Oh my)
   I'll be resting when the roll is called

   No more sorrows when the roll is called
   No more sorrow when the roll is called
   I'll be resting in the Kingdom of Heaven (Oh my)
   I'll be resting when the roll is called

   SOLO

   Meet my Mother when the roll is called
   Meet my Mother when the roll is called
   Meet my Mother in the Kingdom of Heaven (Oh my)
   I'll be resting when the roll is called

   I'll be resting when the roll is called
   I'll be restin' when the roll is called
   I'll be resting in the Kingdom of Heaven (Oh my)
   I'll be restin' when the roll is called

   SOLO

   Meet my elder when the roll is called
   Meet my elder when the roll is called (Oh, how I)
   Meet my elder in the Kingdom of Heaven
   Meet my elder when the roll is called

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 02:18:25 PM by Johnm »

Offline jostber

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 01:14:33 PM »
These recordings are great favorites of mine as well. Roosevelt has some great rhythm parts in all his songs. There is also a great article on the brothers by Alex Van der Tuuk in No.1 of the Frog Jazz & Blues Annual. And was Leroy's name Uaroy?






Online Johnm

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »
Hi Jostein,
My understanding is that it was misprinted once as Uaroy, and that the misprinting received more dissemination than his correct name, Leroy, did.
All best,
Johnm

Offline jostber

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 01:44:19 PM »
Thanks. Uaroy is a pretty cool sounding name though. :)


Offline Pan

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 06:34:49 PM »
That's fantastastic! Thanks, Johnm!

Cheers

Pan

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 03:38:08 AM »
My understanding is that it was misprinted once as Uaroy, and that the misprinting received more dissemination than his correct name, Leroy, did.

Apparently, this is not true ; Uaroy is the form used in the surviving (& handwritten) Paramount ledgers.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 08:21:55 AM »
I recall the name is confirmed as Leroy in Wardlow's book, "Chasin that old devil music".

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 09:09:39 AM »
I recall the name is confirmed as Leroy in Wardlow's book, "Chasin that old devil music".

In fact, Wardlow gives the name as Aaron in that book, which was, in any case, written several year before the information from the Paramount ledger was widely known.   What we really lack is a death certificate, census record or some other official document to help settle the matter.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 10:33:22 AM »
I swear I had a jpg of that Paramount ledger showing the spelling as Uaroy but danged if I can find it. I'm sure I grabbed it off the web somewhere as well, and some cursory googling turns up zilch.

Helpful, I know. Perhaps someone else grabbed it too?

Offline dj

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 10:52:20 AM »
I don't think the name in the Paramount ledger means that much, unless it was written by the artist himself.  they weren't asking to see a social security card and photo ID back then.  It's easy to imagine some white Wisconsinite asking Mr. Graves his name, re responding with a tight-lipped, half mumbled "Leroy", and the Wisconsinite totally mishearing and writing something that phonetically represented what he/she heard. 

I could swear I read some definitive evidence on Uaroy/Leroy's name, but I'll be darned if I can remember where.  I'll have to go through the bookshelf tonight.

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 11:11:28 AM »
Okay, I've been to have a look in the as-near-to-definitive-as-we're-going-to-get article on the brothers by Alex van der Tuuk in Frog Blues & Jazz Annual #1, in which he says that all three names appear to be valid.   His baptismal name appears to have been Leroy, but the name he went by was Uaroy/Uarory/Uaraoy, and then sometime around 1940, he changed the name he used to Aaron.   In one census return he's even listed as Evan.

Online Johnm

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 11:40:24 AM »
I heard his name was Vance.  Are we straining at gnats yet?
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 05:11:03 PM »
I thought that was part of our mission here.  :P

I agree with dj that Uaroy sure sounds like a name a studio staff member made up out of desperation, but if he actually went by it at some point, as Alexei notes, I'd call that an interesting country blues tidbit.

I say we start a campaign to make Uaroy a popular new baby name.

Online Johnm

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 05:23:22 PM »
I'd say it's in stiff competition with Shemp as an unlikely prospect to be chosen.

Offline jostber

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 04:27:36 AM »
He will always be remembered by me as Uaroy. :) He goes by that name at Wikipedia as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Roosevelt_Graves


Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Roosevelt Graves w/Leroy Graves--"I'll Be Rested"
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2012, 06:23:44 AM »
Who will be the first to change their Weenie name to Uaroy?  ;D
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
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Online Johnm

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Hi all,
The other song that Roosevelt and Uaroy recorded with the same instrumental and vocal format as "I'll Be Rested" was "Woke Up This Morning with my Mind on Jesus", one of the most joyful religious performances ever recorded and a wonderful companion piece to "I'll Be Rested".  Once again, Roosevelt accompanies the brothers out of Spanish tuning and sings lead, while Uaroy plays tambourine and sings the response lines.  The brothers' hair's breadth timing of their vocal parts is wonderful to hear, and the sort of counter-punching of Uaroy's vocal responses can make you laugh out loud.  His vocal part is all the more amazing when you realize that he is harmonizing with Roosevelt on all of the lead lines and fitting in the responses too, which are shown parenthetically here.  I'll include a YouTube video that accompanies their performance for those of you who have not heard it before--I envy you you're first hearing of it!





   SOLO

   I woke up this morning with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I woke up this morning with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I woke up this morning with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lordy) Hallelu-lujah

   I'm walkin' and talkin' with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I'm walkin' and talkin' with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I'm walkin' and talkin' with my mind (don't you know that I was ) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lord) Hallelu-lujah

   SOLO

   I woke up singin' with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I woke up singin' with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I woke up singin' with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lord) Hallelu-lujah

   I'm prayin' my prayers with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I'm prayin' my prayers with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I'm prayin' my prayers with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lord) Hallelu-lujah

   I woke up moanin' with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I woke up moanin' with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I woke up moanin' with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lord) Hallelu-lujah

   I woke up this morning with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   I woke up this morning with my mind (thank you, Lordy) standing on Jesus
   I woke up this morning with my mind (don't you know that I was) standing on Jesus
   Hallelu (oh, thank God), Hallelu (my Lordy) Hallelu-lujah

All best,
Johnm       
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 04:13:03 PM by Johnm »

Offline RB

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I can't now remember when and how I first heard these two recordings.  It was before I bought the Wardlaw volume 'Chasing ...' I know, because I was interested to read in their about Roosevelt Graves and his death in Gulfport Ms, maybe especially so as I'd been to Gulfport several times by that time, first in 1970, then again in 1971, and then again in 1991, I think.

The two songs are on that Revenant records that is pictured about? When was that put out? I bought it fairly early, perhaps that is where I heard these and thought so well of them.  I'd already bought in the mid to late 1960's and liked quite well the Mississippi Jook Band cuts on an RBF album, I think.  At some point I bought the Documenty cd of all of the Graves; (I think) music.

You folks must know that 'I Woke up this Morning ... ' was sung in the African-American rights movement as 'I woke up tis morning with my mind on freedom.'

What is quite apparent is how fine these two songs are, how easily likable they are, and how much more interesting they are than the other Graves recordings.  I wouldn't be surprised, though i wouldn't be too pleased, either, if they became a lot more widely known.  I passed these two on to others, for example, had a fellow playing them quite well here (he may have played them in standard tuning, I think so, I'll have to ask).


Offline Randy Meadows

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Roosevelt was in Tunica in 1930 with his brother... listed as Uary Graves.
Both are listed as musicians



But in 1941, listed as musician in Jackson Ms with a "Evan Graves"

« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 02:38:10 AM by RSKKZ- Randy Meadows »
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Offline CubWyse

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Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 12:56:33 PM »
heya. Can anyone help me out with the lyrics to "I'm  Pressing On"?  The part after the third verse in particular. i know its wrong, but ive been singing "My dog Tuesday, what he said. he got sick and he rand for bed"   thanks  !


Online Johnm

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Re: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 01:29:18 PM »
Hi Cub,
Please post what you already have and folks will add on as they feel they have solutions.  Thanks.
All best,
Johnm

Offline CubWyse

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Re: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 03:46:11 PM »
I'm Pressing On - Blind Roosevelt Graves

I'm pressing on, on, on I know
I'm pressing on, on, everywhere I go
I'm pressing on to that city,  what he built and prepared for me

I'm mourning on, on, on I know
I'm mourning on, on, everywhere I go
I'm mourning on to that city,  what he built and prepared for me

I'm pressing on, on, on I know
I'm pressing on, on, everywhere I go
I'm pressing on to that city,  what he built and prepared for me

Well might die Tuesday, might he said
healed the sick and he raised the dead
I'm pressing on to that city

I'm praying on, on, on I know
I'm praying on, on, everywhere I go
I'm praying on to that city,  what he built and prepared for me

I'm pressing on, on, on I know
I'm pressing on, on, everywhere I go
I'm pressing on to that city,  what he built and prepared for me

Well might die Tuesday, might he said
healed the sick and he raised the dead
I'm pressing on to that city, what he built and prepared for me





« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 06:52:16 PM by CubWyse »

Online Johnm

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Re: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2019, 04:36:24 PM »
Hi Cub,
In that verse, I'm hearing,
   WELL, I might die Tuesday, might, He said (mighty sad?)
   Heal the sick and He raised the dead

I"m wondering if in the refrain they sing,
   WHAT He built and prepared for me

I know that the phrase "healed the sick and raised the dead" appears in other songs.  I hope some of this helps.
All best,
Johnm

Offline CubWyse

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Re: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2019, 06:48:51 PM »
Thanks a bunch John! yea that all sounds right and I can't unhear it now. gonna edit these in. thanks again!

Online Johnm

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Re: Blind Roosevelt Graves Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2019, 10:25:44 PM »
I'm glad to help, Cub.  That's a really nice song to do.
All best,
Johnm

 


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