The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14316   Message #122264
Posted By: Stewie
09-Oct-99 - 01:21 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Champagne Charlie (from Edward Woodward)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Champagne Charlie - Edward Woodward
I have a version on a 1978 Warners LP of the same name by the irrepressible Leon Redbone - it's a lovely album with, as someone once said, 'all the ambience of old 78s' - which nicely encapsulates the quality of Redbone's music (and Robert Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders as well, I reckon). Lovely! It also has one of the best covers of Jimmie Rodgers' 'TB Blues'. It has been reissued on CD.

Interestingly, a version of 'Champagne Charlie' was recorded by Blind Blake at his very last session for Paramount in June 1932. Dixon & Godrich express doubts as to whether it was Blake on that side - the other side was 'Depression's gone from me blues'. They write: 'Two different singers could be involved on this session. The first title is a vaudeville-type performance most unlike Blake's voice and material, while the second is more like a normal Blind Blake recording'. However, Don Kent, vintage record collector and blues expert, seems to have no such doubts in his notes to 'Before the Blues Vol 3' Yazoo CD 2017 ( a magnificent trilogy of CDs) on which it appears. Kent writes: 'The melody is derived from the fiddle tune 'Going Down to Town' with verses that usually appear in country songs. This is a variant that sounds as if it were created for a minstrel or vaudeville show around the turn of the century. Although Blake unleashes his typically impeccable picking skills, both the introduction and the instrumental break are reminiscent of banjo playing, which is how the song would have been initially played'.

I hope that is of use to you, Stewie.