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Yeah, [Willie Brown] could make up verses pretty good. Yeah, 'cause he'd start on one thing he'd let near about every word be pertaining to what he pronounced what he was going to play about. That's the difference in him and Charley [Patton]... Charley, he could start singing of the shoe there and wind up singing about that banana - Son House, interview with Stefan Grossman

Author Topic: Shade/Burse video, including narration  (Read 842 times)

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Offline arlotone

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Shade/Burse video, including narration
« on: January 30, 2013, 08:29:02 PM »
Hi folks,

Hopefully you're all familiar with this wonderful video of Will Shade and Charlie Burse performing together on a television special in 1958:



I'm trying to pick it apart and have a few gaps. I know the Jim Jackson lyrics that they're working from, but I'm trying to figure out exactly what they're saying here. I also can't tell who they're talking about in the intro narration, and who is apparently the subject of the television show. It sounds like Yancey, and I know there was a booking agent by that name in their time, but I didn't think he had a high enough profile to merit a TV show. So, here goes:


Announcer: As Yancey has said, the jazz addict is not likely to find on Beale Street today very much of what the music historian calls the style of the 20's. But there is a kind of music which still continues the feeling of the past. It's as old as Pee Wee's, and as authentic. And you can still hear it played by an occasional wandering minstrel or two, in the guise of a jug band ... with or without a jug. For example, take the work of Charlie Burse1 and Will Shade, two practicing musicians of Beale Street 1958. How about an example, Charlie?

Burse: Oh, yes sir, we've been here a long time, we'd like to give you a little synopsis of what you used to hear when Yancey was here. Would you like to hear one of 'em?

Announcer: Fine.

I went up Main, I turned down Beale
I?s trying to find the little chick that they call Lucille

I?m gonna move to Kansas City (sure as you?re born)
I?m gonna move to Kansas City (where I belong)
I?m gonna move, baby, honey where they don?t allow you (lordy lordy lordy lord, oh boy)

T for Texas, T for Tennesee, ha!
Boll weevil?s got the cotton and the gal?s got me

Looka here: It takes a bubber rall to roll, takes a bubber rall to ???2
Takes a teasin? brown to save my soul

If she didn?t like my peaches, why did she shake my tree, ha ha
I wasn?t after that chick, says she was after me

Looka here: Some like high yellow, some like teasin? brown
It takes a teasin? woman to ??? get me down

I didn?t come here by myself
I had somebody to tell me someone else

It takes a rubber ball to bounce it takes a rubber ball to roll
It takes a teasin? brown to satisfy my soul

Yeah, T for Texas T for Tennesee, ha ha
The boll weevil?s got the cotton and the women?s got me

If you don?t like my peaches, why did you shake my tree, ha ha
I wasn?t after that chick, says she was after me

1) For the record, the announcer says "burse" here, but in a Paul Oliver recorded interview with Will Shade, Shade pronounces it "bursey." I'd grant Shade the authority on that.
2) Obviously based on Jim Jackson's lyric "it takes a rocking chair to rock and takes a rubber ball to roll." It sounds like Burse flubbed the first part and then just had fun with the rest of the line.


Some of the other gaps could just be nonsensical errors as well, but I'll appreciate any that you can help me fill in!

Cheers,
-Arlo
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:43:33 AM by arlotone »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 09:37:33 PM »
Hi Arlo,
I think I heard a couple of things in there.
I think in the first verse Charlie sings, "I's tryin' to find the little chick that they call Lucille."
In the first peaches verse, in the second line, I think Charlie says
   "I wasn't after that chick, says, she was after me."
He also says "chick" rather than "woman" in the other peaches verse.

All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 04:02:56 AM »
A few suggestions:

As YANCEY HAS said, the jazz addict is not likely to find on Beale Street today...

Looka here: It takes a BUBBER RALL to ROLL, takes a bubba bah da ROCK  (I know this is kind of nitpicky, but I think it's how Charlie flubs the line)

It takes a teasin? woman to JUST TO get me down

I had somebody to TELL ME someone else

Offline arlotone

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 08:49:07 AM »
Thanks folks. Little chick -- of course! The way he jams it together in the first verse, I didn't recognize it. I left a couple gaps remaining where I'm still seeking more ideas. The last word of the flubbed line sounds almost like "brown" or "ground" ... maybe it's just nonsense, but I think we've got the rest of the nonsense transcribed correctly so we might as well go all the way.

Since dj is also hearing Yancey, then I'll ask: who's the Yancey that would be the subject of a television special in 1958?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 08:54:30 AM »
Might it have been pianist Jimmy Yancey?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 10:24:25 AM »
I am not sure the announcer says Yancey, to be honest. He says Yan/Jan something. Jimmy Yancey would have been dead for several years.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 12:39:50 PM »
perhaps ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger


he seemed to be intrerested in Jazz - see the last paragraph of the section on "the campaign against marijuana"

Offline arlotone

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 05:03:39 PM »
Interesting article about Anslinger, and it does sound kind of like that. But he doesn't seem like the kind of fellow that a bunch of blues musicians would pay tribute to.

I should clarify that this footage comes from a 1958 television special called Blues Street that aired in Memphis. I don't know who else performed on it, but based on this brief clip it seems to have had a mainstream audience, so I figured its subject would have been someone like W.C. Handy who a mainstream audience would be familiar with ... or perhaps a more local figure who was at least well-known in Memphis.

I know someone who used to work at the local station that produced the show, so if no obvious candidates are standing out, I'll ask him and see if he can dig around a bit.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 06:05:37 PM »
agreed, Arlotone, he doesn't much. But it wasn't the musicians - it was the announcer who drops the quote, and who knows whose carrot he might be following. I came across anslinger by googling the actual quote "jazz addicts etc" and posted because a name that sound feasible where the 'yancey' word appears cropped up. there's definitely an 'uh' or 'er' sound at the end of that word ...

2?

Online Rivers

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 06:11:56 PM »
I was reminded of the Anslinger quote that comes around on the oracle from time to time so I dug it out:

There are 100,000 marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others -  Harry Anslinger, testifying to Congress 1937

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 06:39:33 PM »
is there an easy way to do that? - i spent a good half hour one night hitting refresh to find the woody guthrie "if we catch you singing 'em you'll be mighty good friends of ourn" quote

Online Rivers

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 08:31:14 PM »
PM sent.

Offline ArthurBlake

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2014, 05:34:28 AM »
Wow, I never thought I would actually see Will Shade on film, always loved his jug band stuff, this is rare. I know I am a bit off topic but I really enjoyed that gem.
I met a woman she was a pigmeat some
Big fat mouth, I followed her home
She pulled a gun and broke my jaw
Didnt leave me hard on, I didnt get sore

Offline arlotone

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Re: Shade/Burse video, including narration
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 11:53:55 AM »
I think I have an answer to the Yancey question. I found an interview with Will Shade where he was asked about the musicians playing in Memphis when he was young, and the first names he mentioned were W.C. Handy and Howard Yancey. Assuming that's the same Howard Yancey that later acted as a booking agent for local bands, it makes sense that he would have had enough experience in the music scene over a long enough period of time to be considered a local expert.

 


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