Archive for the ‘Early Blues’ Category

HLCapture

Author: Ross Russell

Source: Down Beat, August 6, 1970, Vol. 37, No. 15

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“Huddie Ledbetter, king of 12-string guitar, was one of the archetypical blues men who sang and played through the southwest during the period between the two wars. A contemporary of Blind Lemon  Jefferson and of the generation before T-Bone Walker and Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leadbelly was the most versatile of all singers in the Afro-American tradition and was deep-rooted in its folkways. Besides the country blues, and the urban blues, his bag included many types of folksongs – the field holler, country dances and reels, cowboy songs, talking ‘blues, and ballads. He died in 1949 in New York City. He was one of the big figures.

Following his discovery in 1933 at a prison farm in Angola, La., by John and Alan Lomax, who were field recording men for the Library of Congress, Leadbelly was pardoned, publicized, and presented to awed listeners on a concert tour.”

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Author: Guy B. Johnson
Source: Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 22 (1927-28), pp 12-20
Reprinted and commented in: Alan Dundes, Mother Wit; from the laughing Barrel, 1990, pp-258-266

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Double meaning and the metaphoric style were among the main features of African verbal art, and they have been transported to the blues. In this article, Guy B. Johnson (1901–1991),  sociologist and social anthropologist and a distinguished student of black culture in the rural South, deals with one of the subjects of metaphoric verbal art: sex (both the act and the designation of the sexual organs).

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

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Author: J.C. Hillman
Source: Jazz Journal June 1968 p. 9-10

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Ida Cox is dead. Many readers will no doubt be surprised to learn that she was still with us until so recently but it was so. But now alas it is too late to benefit from the fact, but it is an appropriate time to consider her greatness at a singer. I much regret knowing very little of her life and hope that some lovers of her music who were closer at hand may have spoken to her of her memories. The facts I know are few, common knowledge and possibly inaccurate. She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1900 (or by some reports much earlier), became a popular recording artist in Chicago during the twenties and spent most of her professional career touring the southern and mid-western states. Her husband and often accompanist was Jesse Crump and on at least one tour she was accompanied by Billie and DeDe Pierce.”

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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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