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Not much difference between the blues and church songs but the words. The blues is a natural feeling and a true feeling. The blues is the truth, you hear them singing that 'you done broke my heart' and this and that - that's the naked truth - Pop Staples, Chicago Tribune article

Author Topic: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail" and "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama"  (Read 688 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Hi all,
Johnny Beck recorded "Locked In Jail" in 1949 in Houston (information courtesy of Bunker Hill).  He only recorded two titles, and nothing is known about him, including where he was from, apart from the fact that he was blind.  He played "Locked In Jail" out of cross-note tuning, very freely phrasing in what was essentially a one-chord song.  You can find his performance at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2101.msg69125#msg69125 .  I'm not at all certain that I have the bent bracketed portions of the third verse right, so I'd appreciate corroboration/correction.

You can always tell when a woman don't want you around
You can always tell when a woman don't want you around
She will lock you in jail, six feets in the ground

Oh, locked in jail and I cannot help myself
Locked in jail, and I cannot help myself
When I get out, find me someone else

Mmm, have my dinner ready, mama, don't let the coffee be cold
Have my dinner ready, mama, don't let the coffee be cold
And don't forget, mama, save the jellyroll

Mmm, Lawdy Lawdy, Lawdy Lawdy Lawd
Mmm, Lawdy Lawdy, Lawdy Lawdy Lawd
Mmm, Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

Edited, 6/2 to pick up corrections from Rivers

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 12:50:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail"
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 09:37:27 AM »
Quote
Mmm, have my dinner ready, mama, at the [postal] depot

I think it might be:

Mmm, have my dinner ready, mama, don't let the coffee be cold

I think the jellyroll line is right.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail"
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 10:16:43 AM »
Thanks very much for the help, Rivers, you nailed it!  I will make the change.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail" and "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama"
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 01:11:06 PM »
Hi all,
I believe Johnny Beck was a Texas player, and I've always wondered what he might have recorded apart from "Locked In Jail".  I found "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama" today.  It appears to be a one-chord number in Vestapol, musically similar to "Step It Up And Go" and even sharing some of the same verses.  I'd very much appreciate help with the bent bracketed passages.  Here is Johnny Beck's performance of "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama":



INTRO SOLO

Well, I got a little girl, she's little and low, used to love me but she don't no more
REFRAIN: You got to lay down, mama, you got to lay down, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Well, I got a little girl, she can't keep still, used to go to [   ?   ] but she [  ?  ] will
REFRAIN: Lay down, mama, please, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Well, the front door shut, the back door too, the blinds put down, what you all gonna do?
REFRAIN: Lay down, mama, please, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
REFRAIN: Lay down, mama, please, lay down, mama
Please lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Well, if you've got a nickel, I've got a dime, we can get together and buy some wine
REFRAIN: Lay down, mama, you got to lay down, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
REFRAIN: Lay down, mama, please, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Well, if you've got a nickel, I've got a dime, we can get together and buy a fifth of wine
REFRAIN: Mama, when's you lay down, mama
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

SOLO
REFRAIN: You got to lay down, mama, you got to lay down, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Well, I got a little gal, lives upstairs, used to go to church, but she wasn't nowhere
REFRAIN: But to lay down, mama, please, baby
You got to lay down, mama, if you want to get along with me

Edited 6/15 to pick up correction from David Kaatz

All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 05:09:36 PM by Johnm »

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail" and "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama"
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 04:34:35 PM »
That's quite a stumper, John. I think the last questionable line Beck might be singing the word "church".

Dave

Offline Johnm

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Re: Johnny Beck--"Locked In Jail" and "You Gotta Lay Down, Mama"
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 05:08:00 PM »
Thanks for the help, Dave, I think you got it.  I will make that change.  Thanks!

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