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Lyr Req: Yellow Dog Blues (W. C. Handy)

4-jewels@excite.com 03 Apr 99 - 01:26 AM
Joe Offer 03 Apr 99 - 03:27 AM
Frank in the swamps 03 Apr 99 - 04:46 AM
jofield@yahoo.com 03 Apr 99 - 01:20 PM
Roger in Baltimore 03 Apr 99 - 01:31 PM
Dr John 03 Apr 99 - 03:48 PM
Night Owl 03 Apr 99 - 11:56 PM
Bill Thomas (inactive) 04 Apr 99 - 01:42 AM
Art Thieme 04 Apr 99 - 10:44 PM
Night Owl 04 Apr 99 - 10:51 PM
Night Owl 04 Apr 99 - 10:52 PM
Frank in the swamps 09 Apr 99 - 07:34 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Apr 99 - 07:43 PM
jofield 10 Apr 99 - 06:55 AM
John in Brisbane 18 Oct 04 - 12:49 AM
masato sakurai 18 Oct 04 - 01:32 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 May 05 - 06:20 PM
Jim Dixon 07 May 05 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 05 Nov 14 - 06:58 PM
Richie 06 Nov 14 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 06 Nov 14 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: 4-jewels@excite.com
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 01:26 AM

Hi! I am working at the prestigious Guthrie theatre in Minneapolis, MN, and we are currently working on a play which requires the use of a song called the "Yellow Dog Blues." All I know is that it was written sometime around 1914. Does anyone know anything about it, or how I can find a recorded copy? Any information would be of great help! Thank you! Jill H.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 03:27 AM

Hi, Jill - I took a look under the song title Yellow Dog at CDNow (click here), and found lots of listings, including 3 on CD's by Louis Armstrong. Sounds like it must be an old standard, but I can't recall ever having heard it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 04:46 AM

It was written by W.C.Handy in 1914.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: jofield@yahoo.com
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 01:20 PM

CHORUS:

She said your easy rider Had to get away soon. So he hopped a rattler, A "side-door pullman car". He's gone to where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog.

I had that great "Louis Armstrong Sings WC Handy" album on vinyl, and I still remember this chorus. Handy was known as Father of the Blues on the basis of the St. Louis Blues, but only the chorus is actually a true blues. The same is true of Beale Street Blues, and the rest of his hits -- Basin Street Blues, etc., are really Tin Pan Alley tunes influenced by the blues.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 01:31 PM

The Yellow Dog is the Yazoo Delta railway. It's logo was a yellow Y D and hence the name.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Dr John
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 03:48 PM

How do we get from there to the "yellow dog contract" (a worthless contract between mine owner and miner; ie worthless to the latter) refered to in Hedy West's "Davidson Wilder Blues"?


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Night Owl
Date: 03 Apr 99 - 11:56 PM

Still had my favorite songbooks out from another thread and found in "Country Blues Songbook" -(c)1973 Oak Publications......"A one-liner W.C Handy once recalled hearing a bottleneck guitarist perform near the turn of the century at a Tutwiler, Mississippi railroad depot is the earliest blues stanza that can be related to a blues performance as such. The much fabled lyric,'Goin' where the Southern cross the Dog', commemorates the then recent construction of the Y&MV ("Dog") railroad in the Mississippi Delta. At the time Handy heard it sung, any traveler leaving the first stop out of Tutwiler, the town of Moorhead forty miles southwards, was also a way station along the Southern line running between Greenville, Mississippi and Birmingham. With the subsequent completion of the Y&MV, the Southern crossed the Dog in four different Delta towns. The notion nevertheless persisted among Delta blues singers that Moorhead formed the junction of the Southern and the "Dog" Folk ingenuity must have risen to new heights once the Delta branch of the Southern gave way to another railroad in the late 1920's, thus robbing the song chestnut of its last semblance of realism. At least one Delta bluesman who continued using it was unfazed by this rude develoment; according to his etymology, "Goin' where the Southern cross the "Dog" evoked the Southern branch of the "Dog". "We didn't hardly ever say nothin' about the south "Dog", he told Gayle Wardlow, "we called it the 'southern'. The 'southern' cross the "Dog" in Moorhead." Wonder if the politics involved with the takeover by another railroad in the "late twenties" resulted in the term "Yellow Dog Contract"??????


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Bill Thomas (inactive)
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 01:42 AM

Quite a while back I found the words and music to the "Yellow Dog Blues" in a book in the Alton, Illinois library that was just a compendium of all the W.C. Handy songs. I bet the library in Minneapolis or St. Paul would have the book. I looked it up after hearing an incredible clarinet solo done on an instrumental version of the song on a dixieland jazz album from the late 50's. I loved the way they did the first two bars of the chorus. Later, I heard the Bessie Smith recording and she did the same thing -- a slow run from G to B. I love to play it on my recorder. My 7 year old daughter loves it, perhaps because I used to play it all the time when her mom was pregnant with her.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:44 PM

Scrapper Blackwell put out a fine SOLO LP for Prestige back in the 60's. On it was "I'm Goin' Where The Monon Crosses The Yellow Dog".

Of course Scrapper was best known for being the partner of Leroy Carr in the 1930's--did many 78s for Columbia. Carr on piano & vocals---Blackwell on guitar. Josh White played on some cuts also.
"Monon" was the Monongahela Railroad

Art


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Night Owl
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:51 PM

Was the Monongahela Railroad the "new" company in the Twenties? Any idea who owned it?


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Night Owl
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:52 PM

Was the Monongahela Railroad the "new" company in the Twenties? Any idea who owned it?


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Subject: Lyr Add: YELLOW DOG BLUES (W. C. Handy)
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 07:34 PM

(Verse) E'er since Miss Susan Johnson lost her Jockey, Lee,
There has been much excitement, more to be.
You can hear her moaning night and morn,
"Wonder where my Easy Rider's gone?"
Cablegrams come of sympathy.
Telegrams go of inquiry.
Letters come from down in 'Bam,
And every where that Uncle Sam
Has even a rural delivery.
All day the phone rings, but it's not for me.
At last, good tidings fill our hearts with glee.
This message comes from Tennessee.

(Chorus) Dear Sue: Your Easy Rider struck this burg today,
On a southbound rattler side-door Pullman car.
Seen him here an' he was on the hog.
Easy Rider's got a stay away,
So he had to vamp it, but the hike ain't far.
He's gone where the Southern cross' the Yellow Dog.

(Verse) I know the Yellow Dog District like a book.
Indeed, I know the route that Rider took,
Ev'ry cross-tie, bayou, burg and bog,
Way down where the Southern cross' the Dog.
Money don't 'zactly grow on trees.
On cotton stalks, it grows with ease.
No racehorse, race track, no grandstand,
Is like Old Beck an' Buckshot land,
Down where the Southern cross' the Dog.
Every kitchen there is a cabaret,
Down there the boll-weevil works while the farmers play
This Yellow Dog Blues, the livelong day.

(Chorus) Dear Sue: Your Easy Rider...

I hope that came out all right, now I have to take up the cudgel and make sure jofield and I see eye to eye...

W. C. Handy lifted the blues out of oblivion when it was just a current style amongst unknown and generally uneducated Black Americans. How strictly defined that style was is, to my knowledge, pretty much unknown, but it wasn't just the standard twelve-bar format that has become the norm today. I personally feel that the contemporary definition of blues is both narrow and "dumbed down," melodic & metric invention is nowadays severely constrained. Classic blues from Bessie Smith, 'Sippie Wallace, Ma Rainey and W. C. Handy were core material for early Jazz, and I think the two bleed into one another. I'm not comfortable handing out titles, but if anyone should be known as "Father of the Blues" then W. C. gets my vote, and a blow from my cudgel to all the nay-sayers!

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 07:43 PM

Art, hoo boy did I like Scrapper Blackwell's playing. Thanks for reminding me.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: jofield
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 06:55 AM

Well, now, since you brought it up...

I think all you have to have is a pair of ears to hear that composers like Handy were steeped in Tin Pan Alley and minstrelsy. A lot (maybe most) of Bessie Smith's material was written by her white producers. Nothing wrong with any of that -- there is a straight line from these musical forms to old time, Jimmie Rodgers, bluegrass, C&W, etc., without which I would have to had fill about a million hours with other activities.

But what I call the blues developed without the help of commercial songwriting and its European influences. If you listen to Lightnin' Hopkins ("Big Brazos, Here I Come", for instance), or any of a number of the singers of the 20's and 30's, you can feel the direct evolution from field hollers going back to slavery. And from these roots runs a straight line to myriad blues singers as well as to Ellington and Basie and Charlie Parker, who took the form way beyond its 12-bar origins.

I prefer to see the 'real' blues not as dumbed down, but as NOT dressed up in commercial Tin Pan Alley clothing.

There you have it. Keep them cards and letters comin'.

James.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:49 AM

I don't know this Tin Pan Alley 'blues' song but there's a MIDI of it HERE.

I wouldn't have a clue how to fit the lyrics above to the tune, so I won't attempt anything further in terms of notation.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Yellow Dog Blues??
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 01:32 AM

These are at American Memory.

The Yellow Dog Blues / W.C. Handy (New York: Pace & Handy Music Co., c1919) [sheet music]

The Yellow Dog Rag (He's gone where the Southern crosses the Yellow Dog) / W.C. Handy (Memphis, Tennessee: Pace & Handy Music Co., 1914) [sheet music]


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WONDER WHERE MY EASY RIDER'S GONE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 05 - 06:20 PM

Masato has correctly cited the two variants written by W. C. Handy.
On the back of the sheet music (1914), "E. Z. Rider" (Handy or his partner) placed this notice about "The Yellow Dog Rag."
Pace and Handy Music Co.
390 Beale Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee
"Please send for the 15 cents enclosed "The Yellow Dog Rag" which I learn is an answer to "I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone," Mr. Shelton Brook's song hit.
"I hear your music on all phonographs, electric and player-pianos, minstrel and circus hands and no vaudeville bill seems complete without one of Handy's Blues.
"Send it to "where the Southern Crosses the Dog."
Yours truly,
E. Z. Rider."
The "Rag" and "Blues" sheet music have the same lyrics as those posted by Frank, but add (spoken):
After 'hog' in 3rd line: "The smoke was broke, no joke, not a jitney on him."
Next to last line in second verse; 'darkies' in place of 'farmers.'

Lyr. Add: I WONDER WHERE MY EASY RIDER'S GONE
Words and Music Shelton Brooks, 1913

Miss Susie Johnson is as crazy as can be
About that easy riding kid they call Jockey Lee
Now don't you think it's funny only bets her money
in the race friend jockey's goin' to be-
There was a race down at the track the other day,
And Susie got an inside tip right away
She bet a "hundred to one" that her little "Hon"
Would bring home all the "mon"
When she found out "Jockey" was not there,
Miss Susie cried out in despair-

Chorus:
I wonder where my easy rider's gone today,
He never told me he was goin' away-
If he was here he'd win the race
If not first he'd get a "place"-
Cash in our winnings, on a "joy-ride" we's go, right away-
I'm losing my money that's why I am blue.
To win a race, Lee knows just what to do-
I'd put all my junk in pawn,
To bet on any horse that jockey's on.
Oh! I wonder where my easy rider's gone.

Miss Susie said "Now here's a chance to make some dough
I dreamed about a horse's name, now that's right, I know,
And Les can win more races at more different places
Wins them just as easy as can be.-
Now ev'ry body 'round the track likes Jockey Lee,
I'm crazy 'bout him 'cause he's so good to me,
He is a racer for fair, but rides "on the square,"
I tell you that the boys "there"-
That he's not here makes me feel so blue,
He's all I had, I'm telling you-

Chorus

"Originally introduced in Vaudeville by Sophie Tucker." Will H. Rossiter, Chicago.

American Memory. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/b/b05/b0591-1-72dpi.jpeg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yellow Dog Blues
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 May 05 - 09:17 AM

The Red Hot Jazz Archive has several complete sound files of YELLOW DOG BLUES. (I have omitted the instrumental-only versions.)

Lizzie Miles, recorded in 1923. (On that page, it also indicates she recorded something called YELLOW DOG GAL BLUES in 1930, but there is no sound file.)

Bessie Smith accompanied by Henderson's Hot Six in 1925 (2 versions).

The Rhythmakers, with vocal by Billy Banks, from 1932 (2 versions; only the chorus is sung).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yellow Dog Blues
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 05 Nov 14 - 06:58 PM

"A one-liner W.C Handy once recalled hearing a bottleneck guitarist perform near the turn of the century at a Tutwiler, Mississippi railroad depot is the earliest blues stanza that can be related to a blues performance as such." That is incorrect. Handy's autobiography said he first heard the 12-bar "blues" "Got No More Home Than A Dog" when he lived in Evansville (in about 1895), which was roughly 9 years before he heard the musician in Tutwiler (in about 1904). Both songs had AAA lyrics, neither mentioned having the quote "blues," and the Evansville song _more_ clearly had sad lyrics than the Tutwiler song did. Handy made a recording of "Got More Home Than A Dog" on vocal and guitar in 1938.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yellow Dog Blues
From: Richie
Date: 06 Nov 14 - 02:41 PM

Handy also referred to "Careless Love" as the earliest blues, which predated 1895.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yellow Dog Blues
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 06 Nov 14 - 03:33 PM

Handy claimed in a 1950s article in the _Music Journal_ that "Joe Turner" was "[p]robably the daddy of all the primitive blues," and also claimed in it that "Careless Love" "undoubtedly started as a real Blues of three lines." (I have way more doubt about that than he did.) When did Handy refer to "Careless Love" as the earliest blues? In any case, "Got No More Home Than A Dog" and the Tutwiler song both had chord progressions as routinely heard in blues, whereas chord progressions that are on V as the first half of the progression ends, such as in "Careless Love" and "This Morning This Evening So Soon," were not closely associated with blues at all.


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