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Favorite Traditional Blues Song

Richie 17 Jun 07 - 10:44 AM
Nick 17 Jun 07 - 10:59 AM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 11:06 AM
Ernest 17 Jun 07 - 11:10 AM
mrmoe 17 Jun 07 - 12:20 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Jun 07 - 12:36 PM
The Sandman 17 Jun 07 - 01:58 PM
Richie 17 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM
Richie 17 Jun 07 - 04:18 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Jun 07 - 04:21 PM
Waddon Pete 17 Jun 07 - 04:22 PM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 05:05 PM
Richie 17 Jun 07 - 05:25 PM
Peace 17 Jun 07 - 05:42 PM
Peace 17 Jun 07 - 05:48 PM
dj bass 17 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM
erosconpollo 17 Jun 07 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Arkie 17 Jun 07 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Riverman 18 Jun 07 - 04:04 AM
redsnapper 18 Jun 07 - 05:07 AM
Richie 18 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM
Richie 18 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM
SouthernCelt 18 Jun 07 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 18 Jun 07 - 11:27 AM
Wesley S 18 Jun 07 - 11:33 AM
Richie 18 Jun 07 - 02:45 PM
Janice in NJ 18 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 07 - 08:26 PM
Gulliver 18 Jun 07 - 08:42 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 07 - 08:59 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 07 - 12:50 AM
pitheris 19 Jun 07 - 10:32 AM
Dan Schatz 19 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM
SouthernCelt 19 Jun 07 - 01:26 PM
Gulliver 19 Jun 07 - 07:56 PM
Roger the Skiffler 20 Jun 07 - 06:15 AM
Paco Rabanne 20 Jun 07 - 06:28 AM
Mr Red 20 Jun 07 - 07:58 AM
HouseCat 20 Jun 07 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Richie 20 Jun 07 - 01:43 PM
Gulliver 20 Jun 07 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 20 Jun 07 - 07:42 PM
Cap't Bob 20 Jun 07 - 08:06 PM
Bill D 20 Jun 07 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Richie 21 Jun 07 - 09:28 AM
Bill D 21 Jun 07 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Crowhugger 21 Jun 07 - 06:10 PM
Lin in Kansas 22 Jun 07 - 04:14 AM
fat B****rd 22 Jun 07 - 11:59 AM
PoppaGator 22 Jun 07 - 04:20 PM
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Subject: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 10:44 AM

Hi,

I was wondering what your favorite traditional/public domain blues and jazz songs were? (They don't need to be 12 bar blues)

How do you find out if a blues song is traditional?

Are How Long Blues or Trouble in Mind traditonal?

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 10:59 AM

Google is a good place to start.

It suggests that How Long was written by Leroy Carr and Trouble in Mind by Richard Jones


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 11:06 AM

You named two of my favorites. I am very partial, as well, to Bessie's recordings of "Black Mountain", "Empty Bed Blues" and "Ain't Done My Running Around" (Not sure of the right name of the last). "Come On In My Kitchen" is of course among the tops. There are so many.

As to your question as to what is traditional, I guess it's an ambiguous adjective which does not offer straight answers.


A


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Ernest
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 11:10 AM

I like "St. James Imfirmary Blues", "Spike Driver Blues" (MJH) or "Staggerlee" as examples...
Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: mrmoe
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 12:20 PM

....come on in my kitchen.....it's gonna be rainin outdoors.....


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 12:36 PM

Can I be REALLY obvious and vote for "Dust My Broom"?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 01:58 PM

ME and my CHAUFFEUR,Memphis Minnie, dead heating with Gottheblues cant be satisfied,Missippi John Hurt.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM

How Long Blues was recorded by Daisy Martin in 1921; Ida Cox/Papa Charlie Jackson in 1925 as "How Long, Papa, How Long?"

Three versions were recorded in 1928: Tampa Red's Hokum Jazz Band's, Gladys Bentley's and Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell's.

So did Carr really write it?

How about T for Texas? Did Jimme Rodgers really write that?
Or did Jimmie Rodgers write in the Jailhouse Now or Muleskinner Blues (Two other non-standard blues type songs)?

How about "Baby Please Don't Go." Who wrote that? Is the author the first guy to record the song? I know many blues were written but many more were stolen and claimed (just as folk songs were).

So how do you find out?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 04:18 PM

"Dust My Broom," for example, probably originated with Kokomo Arnold's "Sagefield Woman Blues" where he sings "I beleive, I belive I'll dust my broom." So is this a Robert Johnson original?

"Come into my Kitchen" probably is a Johnson original according to Johnny Shines, his sometimes playing partner.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 04:21 PM

Can a blue man sing the whites - The Bonzo Dog Dooda Band?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 04:22 PM

Here's another vote for St. James' Infirmary...but I'm a sucker for any song that starts...."woke up dis mornin'" because it is a great thing to wake up each morning!!:0)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:05 PM

I am also very fond of "White Boy, Lost in the Blues" and Townes' "Ain't Leaving Your Love" both obviously of more recent date.


A


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:25 PM

I call St. James Infirmary (a traditional minor Blues Song) Gambler's Blues, it was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers as Those Gambler's Blues.

Other names are Old Time Gambler's Song; St. James Infirmary; Dyin' Crap Shooter's Blues; Old Joe's Barroom. It's distantly related to, interestingly enough, St. James Hospital (which Sharp collected in 1918).

Any other traditional minor blues?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Peace
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:42 PM

"The Boys Are Back in Town" by The Busboys. I don't know how to categorize it, but it works.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Peace
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:48 PM

BTW, it isn't trad; it is a mixture of blues and rock.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: dj bass
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM

Nobody knows you when you're down and out. I think first recorded by Bessie Smith about 1923. I can't remember who wrote it.

dj


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: erosconpollo
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 07:47 PM

900 Miles -- recorded by Rev Gary Davis but traditional, I assume.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 08:42 PM

Jimmie Rodgers may have written version of In the Jailhouse Now but it had been recorded by Blind Blake and possibly the Memphis Jug Band and Pink Anderson before Rodger's version appeared.

I vote for I'm Selling My Porkchops, But I'm Giving My Gravy Away. If that is not traditional, I'll have to think of something else.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,Riverman
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 04:04 AM

On the morbid side I really like See That My Grave is Kept Clean. But I'm a sucker for Patton/Jefferson. I too always find it difficult to know whether these things are trad or not.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: redsnapper
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:07 AM

Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues Skip James

RS


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM

Was the Rev. Gary Davis song based on 900 miles the same song as Dylan's "I Was Young When I Left Home"?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM

Does anyone know where I can find the 1904 original music to Motherless Children recorded by blind Willie Johnson in 1927?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:26 AM

I've always been partial to "Black Mountain Blues" which I've always seen credited as traditional on albums, e.g., Tom Rush's first (self-titled) album. Of course, he ends that album with one called "Panama Limited" that has a lot of slide guitar work (imitating train whistles, etc.) that's a joy to listen to but wouldn't be playable for me or most folks.

SC


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:27 AM

The late jazz trombonist, Jack Teagarden, performed a number called "Casanova's Lament."

"I was born at midnight,
By mornin', I could talk.
They named me Casanova,
Had eyes just like a hawk.
First time I saw a woman,
I jumped my crib and tried to walk."


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Wesley S
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:33 AM

Another vote for "Come On In My Kitchen". But I also need to mention "My Creole Belle" and "Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me" by Mississippi John Hurt.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 02:45 PM

I wonder if My Creole Belle is Public Domain since it was based on J.B. Lampe's "My Creole Belles" published in 1900 (as is Back Up and Push and Rubber Dolly).

Anyone venture a guess?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM

My Creole Belles, a two-step march by George Sidney (lyrics) and J. Bodewalt Lampe (music), is clearly in the public domain. The new material added by Mississippi John Hurt (including new musical arrangement and major revisions in the text) is under copyright held by Wynwood Music, Inc. If you would prefer George Sidney's original words, they begin:

All coons are prancin',
Singin' and dancin',
Goin' wild with glee,
I'm as happy as can be...

I believe I will stick with with John Hurt's version.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 08:26 PM

The Wynwood Music copyright is a typical copyright of PD material.

Here are Lampe's 1900 lyrics:

My Creole belle, I love her well,
Around my heart she cast a spell
When stars do shine
I call her mine
My dusky baby, my Creole Belle.

Here are Hurt's:

My Creole Belle, I love her well
My darling baby, my Creole Belle
When the stars shine, I'll call her mine
My darling baby, my Creole Belle.

Since the lyrics, melody and chords are the same, Hurt does not have a copyright on the song. He has only an arrangement but no lyrics.

If you want to look at Lampe's original at American Memory the lyrics are on the last page in small print.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Gulliver
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 08:42 PM

Who did the best version of St. James Infirmary?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 08:59 PM

I like Jimmie Rodgers' for a country version and Cab Calloway's for a jazz version.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 12:50 AM

Cisco Houston also did a beaut version on an early Folkways LP I had of his.

A favourite blues song of mine is 'James Alley Blues' as sung by James 'Rabbit' Brown, but I don't know whether it is trad or one of his compositions.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: pitheris
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:32 AM

It is hard for me to pick a favorite. Here's a few:
Wanderin. Played by Bukka White
Trouble in mind by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.


you ube clip of "Key to the Highway" by Sonny and Brownie.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM

Cairo Blues by Henry Spaulding. I found a link to a clip of it here.

Dan Schatz


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 01:26 PM

Regarding: "Who did the best version of St. James Infirmary?"
check out Jed Marum's version on "Lonestar Stout".

SC


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Gulliver
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 07:56 PM

Thanks, I'll check those out (St. James Infirmary). I heard a nice version by John Vandiver, also a great instrumental version by some Nashville session musicians (can't remember their name right now) with horns, etc.

Don


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 06:15 AM

I'd probably go for Trouble in Mind (as the first one I learned) but Fred McDowell's version of Baby Please Don't Go is a close second.


RtS


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 06:28 AM

'Goin'down slow' by Free.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 07:58 AM

Ma Rainey - Black Eyed Blues - not sure it is trad but hey - great song.

And Greg Stevens come to the rescue in this thread


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: HouseCat
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 01:38 PM

Alberta Hunter's version of "Sad 'N Lonely Blues". Oh my.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 01:43 PM

Thanks for the replies. I really want to keep to traditional/pD songs if possible and there have been some good songs mentioned.

Songs like "Downhearted Blues" 1921 by Bessie Smith; the country favorite "Lovesick Blues" popularized by Hank Williams and written in 1922 are PD.

Salty Dog Blues; Gambler's Blues/St. James Infirmary; Wanderin'; How long Blues; and Motherless Children are old blues type song that before 1923 and no author has been proven.

Any other fav blues/jazz songs that fit the traditonal/PD requirement?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Gulliver
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 04:31 PM

One favourite of mine is Viola Lee Blues. Originally recorded, I believe, by Cannon's Jug Stompers in 1928. I like the version recorded by Ry Cooder.

One I like to sing is Hesitation Blues. Two versions with this name were made popular around 1916, from which sprang many variants, in major and minor keys. I like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band cover. Also Frankie and Johnny.

Others: San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller), My Baby Rocks Me, Electric Chair Blues.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 07:42 PM

One of my favorites, even though it was a composed piece, was done many years ago by Louis Armstrong - "Black and Blue." While they may stop short of calling him an "Uncle Tom, a number of current black musicians with something of a revisionist bent have commented that Armstrong didn't do enough to further the cause of minorities. They often cite his clowning and grinning on stage when making their case. They didn't live his life -in his time. If you listen to him perform this song, there should be no doubt about the meaning or the feeling.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:06 PM

FIFTY-FIFTY BLUES
MEMPHIS BLUES
HESITATION BLUES
Plus many of the other mentioned above...

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 09:33 PM

You could choose from this list and not be too disappointed. Yes...complete songs.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 09:28 AM

Bill,

Nice site, with some good recordings.

Does anyone know if One Dime Blues is traditional? Blind Lemon Jefferson did it in 1927.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 05:55 PM

That seems like it is so close to 'trad' that it is irrelevant. The only place I ever heard it was by Etta Baker, and she might have gotten it from the Blind Lemon version.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: GUEST,Crowhugger
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 06:10 PM

Constipation Blues is hilarious, one of my faves if I don't hear it too often...I think it was Muddy Waters performing the version I've seen; dunno who wrote it.

CH


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 04:14 AM

Not traditional, but God Bless the Child by Lady Day is my all-time favorite.

Lin


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: fat B****rd
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 11:59 AM

"Constipation Blues" Screamin' Jay Hawkins I believe did a version.
As to personal favourites - fat too numerous to mention, but nice thread.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Traditional Blues Song
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 04:20 PM

Interesting ~ almost all these "traditional" blues songs are NOT anonymous, but rather attributable to one or another recording artist. Much different from, say, old English ballads, a field wherein known authorship automatically excludes a piece from consideration as "traditional."

Of course, so many of the lines and phrases in these songs are "traditional" or "public-domain," they're just strung together in different orders by different singers who build a song around an original line or two by "padding" with stock phraseology.

One of my favorite blues numbers is the sly and sexy "Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl." Of the many very fine versions, I'll vote for Mississippi Fred MacDowell's.

Honorable mention to my fellow whiteboy babyboomer Van the Man Morrison, who sometime around age 45-50 altered the traditional lyric "...tell your mama and your papa / I'm a little schoolboy too" to the more plausible ".. I used to be a schoolboy..."

Of course, it was always part of the song's appear to know that the line in question was being delivered by a well-seasoned aging roue, and that a gray-haired old geezer like Fred or Muddy or whoever was trying to get away with a really outrageous lie. Nevertheless, Van gave me a good chuckle with his rewrite, as recorded on the live "Night in San Francisco" CD a while back.


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