The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162706 Message #3876427
Posted By: GUEST,Elijah Wald
10-Sep-17 - 09:43 PM
Thread Name: Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James
Subject: RE: Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James
Two quick additions on the Bahamian Blind Blake:
1. I have never seen any evidence that he named himself for the US Blind Blake -- it's quite possible, but since his given name was Blake and he was blind, it's equally possible that it was just a coincidence.
2. He was not a blues singer, but he played a lot of material that came out of the same minstrel/ragtime tradition as a lot of stuff we now tend to call blues, hokum, jug band, etc., including some unique pieces like "Jones, Oh Jones" and "The Foolish Frog" that I have good evidence were being sung by African Americans before the blues era but never got recorded on the mainland. Notably, Bessie Smith used a series of lines from "Jones, Oh Jones" (or whatever it was originally called) in her "Hateful Blues."