Archive for the ‘Delta’ Category

Author: David Evans
Source: Blues Revue Quarterly 8, Spring 1993, p14-17

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In this column, David Evans attempts to solve the identity of Kid Bailey.

“Around the end of 1963 I purchased a copy of one of the greatest blues albums ever issued, The Mississippi Blues, 1927-1940, Origin Jazz Library 5. The album contained two tracks each by Bukka White, Willie Brown, Kid Bailey, Robert Wilkins, Mississippi John Hurt,  William Harris, Skip James, and Son House. Hurt had just recently been rediscovered, and within a few months of this album’s release White, Wilkins, James and House would join him in the ranks of the rediscovered. These five, along with Sleepy John Estes, would form the core of the Deep South blues legends that brought the greatness of early country blues to new audiences at festivals, concerts, and coffee houses.

But what about the other three artists on OJL-5? Son House told us that Willie Brown died in the early 1950’s. This left William Harris and Kid Bailey. Both have eluded all attempts at constructing a biography and thus remaining among the more intriguing names in the country blues pantheon. This column will be an attempt to solve the identity of Kid Bailey. I’m prompted to make this attempt after receiving a copy of another superb reissue product, this time a CD, Masters  of the Delta Blues: The Friends  of Charlie Patton,  Yazoo 2002. This disc contains six of the tracks that were on OJL-5, includingthe two by Kid Bailey, but with their sound much enhanced.”

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Illustrated Kid Bailey’s discography: http://www.wirz.de/music/bailefrm.htm

Author: Michael Bloomfield
Scan of 1980 publication by RE/SEARCH PUBLICATIONS

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Michael Bloomfield’s retelling of his travels with bluesman Big Joe Williams, first  published in 1980.

“The drive to St. Louis was real nice. Wonderful, in fact. Joe  talked… about things that happened thirty years ago as though they’d  happened that morning. He reminisced about Robert Johnson and Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller; he told how Sunnyland Slim had helped  Muddy Waters get a record contract; he explained how Big Bill had  gotten rich. Being with Joe was being with a history of the Blues – you could see him as a man, and you could see him as a legend. He  couldn’t read or write a word of English, but he had America  memorized. From forty years of hiking roads and riding rails he was  wise to every highway and byway in the country, and wise to every city  and county and township that they led to. Joe was part of a rare and  vanished breed – he was a wanderer and a hobo and a blues singer, and  he was an awesome man.

 …here was a man of stature. There was a great pride in this man, a  great strength in this man. And there was poetry. He was a poet of the highways, and in the words of his songs he could sing to you his life.  And to hear him talk about Robert Johnson or Son House or Charlie  Patton, to hear life distilled from fifty years of thumbing rides and  riding rails and playing joints – to hear of levees and work gangs and tent shows; of madams and whores, pimps and rounders, gamblers, bootleggers and roustabouts; of circuit-preachers and medicine-show  men – well it was something. Because to know this man was to know the  story of black America, and maybe to know the story of black America is to know America itself.”

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Author: Paul Oliver
Source: The Jazz Review, vol. 2, nr 7, August 1959

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READ THE ARTICLE HERE

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Author: David Evans

Source: http://paramountshome.org/Spotlight.htm

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Obituary, written by Dr David Evans, for Rubin Lacey.

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Rubin Lacey, born in 1901 Mississippi, was an important influence on Son House. In his early twenties, he moved to Chicago for a while but, when failing to settle he returned to the Jackson area. He often performed with Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey, and the Mississippi Sheiks. He is only known to have recorded two songs as a soloist, recording “Mississippi Jail House Groan” and “Ham Hound Cave” in 1928 for Paramount. He was, however, a popular support artist, which make it likely that he appeared on recordings by many other artists. He gave up performing at the age of 31 years and become a Baptist minister in Mississippi. Later he moved to California, where he died in 1972.

Discography:  http://www.wirz.de/music/laceyfrm.htm

Author: David Evans

Source: http://paramountshome.org/Spotlight.htm

Dr. Evans is The 2003 Grammy Award recipient for best album notes (Screamin’ and Hollerin’ The Blues:  The Worlds of Charley Patton), Evans has been performing traditional delta blues since 1962

The article as it is reproduced here, without photos, is a reproduction of the article that has been published, in 3 parts, on the above mentioned site.

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“Charley Patton died on April 28, 1934, some three months after his final recording session. During the preceding five years he had become the most extensively recorded of the early Mississippi folk blues artists, leaving behind a legacy of fifty-two issued songs as well as accompaniments of other artists.

Patton was the first recorded black folk artist to comment directly and extensively on public events that he had witnessed or experienced and to treat events in his own life as news. He was also the first recorded black folk artist to mention white people from his own community in his songs, sometimes unfavorably. He did all of this while continuing to live his life in the Mississippi Delta, a region which featured perhaps the most rigid racial caste system in the entire nation.1 ”

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Author: Bob West

Source: B&R, 207, 4

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In 1964, Dick Waterman re-discovered Son House living in Rochester, New York. Son had recorded ten sides for Paramount Records in 1930 and then went on to record for the Library of Congress in 1941 and 1942. Following his rediscovery, Son began recording again, including the classic ‘The Legendary Father Of Folk Blues’ album for Columbia in 1965. He toured the USA playing colleges and clubs and undertaking radio interviews. On 17th March, 1968 Bob West interviewed Son at Lake Union, near Seattle, Washington. Of course much more research has been undertaken in the last forty years on Son House, his contemporaries and Paramount Records. However at the time this interview was conducted, it provided blues fans with a wealth of information about pre-war blues artists and record companies.
In 2005 the ‘missing’ copy of ‘Mississippi County Farm Blues’/ ’Clarksdale Moan’ (Paramount 13096) was discovered. The disc is due to be reissued this year, by Yazoo along with other newly discovered and long lost records.

 

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http://www.bluesandrhythm.co.uk/

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Author: Jas Obrecht

Source: http://jasobrecht.com/mississippi-john-hurt-life-music/

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“John Hurt spent nearly all of his life in the whistle-stop farming community of Avalon, Mississippi. With his gentle, soothing voice and a beautifully syncopated fingerpicking guitar style, he created one of the most compelling country blues styles ever recorded. After making a handful of 78s, he faded from public view during the Depression and then arose phoenix-like during the 1960s, his considerable skills intact. Still fresh today, his inspiring recordings provide an aural passport to a bygone era of cakewalks and rags, ballads, and storytelling blues.

Hurt was 35 years old when he journeyed alone, a beat-up guitar and business card in hand, from the Mississippi hill country to Memphis for his first session. His first recording session took place on Valentine’s Day, 1928, and the experience was not entirely pleasant. Hurt remembered going into “a great big hall with only Mr. Rockwell, one engineer, and myself. I sat on a chair and they pushed the microphone right up close to my mouth, and told me not to move after they found the right position. Oh, I was nervous, and my neck was sore for days after.” Several songs were cut that day, but only a single OKeh 78 was issued from the session, “Nobody’s Dirty Business” backed by “Frankie,” one of his songs in open tuning. Hurt was paid about $20 per song, a good fee for unproven talent. The original Columbia file cards for the matrixes described them as “old time music,” but this was later changed to “race.”

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