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Origins: Sporting Life blues

matt milton 18 Feb 09 - 12:07 PM
cptsnapper 18 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM
JedMarum 18 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM
JedMarum 18 Feb 09 - 12:42 PM
matt milton 18 Feb 09 - 12:58 PM
dwditty 18 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM
DonMeixner 18 Feb 09 - 04:20 PM
Jim Dixon 12 May 09 - 06:26 PM
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Subject: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: matt milton
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:07 PM

I'm just listening to "Sporting Life" by Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group, off the compilation UK Skiffle Boom. It's a great version. I love the fact he inserts his own name into the song, "she used to fall on her knees and pray/ And these are the words she'd say/ Kolyer, oh Kolyer, please change your ways".


I'm aware of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's version and I think they are probably the musicians who popularized it. Am I right? I've also heard a great version by Champion Jack Dupree and one on emusic by Tom Paley.

But:

a. who wrote the song? Or is it one of those 'trad' blues?
b. who else has recorded good versions?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: cptsnapper
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM

I've always enjoyed Mary Asquith's version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM

Wily Nelson has a rewrite version too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:42 PM

I've been singing the older version for years. I learned it in guitar lessons when I was 12 years old from a Jerry Silverman book called The Art of the Folk Blues.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: matt milton
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:58 PM

So when you say "the older version", what does that mean? Did that book credit a writer for the song? Can anyone verify who actually wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: dwditty
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM

Sportin' Life was written by Brownie McGhee - when he was 15 years old! - which attests to the kind of childhood he had. The late Dave Van Ronk - who does the best version I know - tells a great story about the song. He covers the song on several albums - a google search will turn it up I am sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: DonMeixner
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:20 PM

The Silverman Book I have was published in the early 60's and has it listed as 2nd or 3rd publication. As I remember anyway.

My favorite version is the one done by The Lovin' Spoonful on their first or second LP. It really shows John Sebastian's skill on the harmonica.

For some reason I had it credited to Bill Broonzy or Gary Davis but I am not surprised to hear it is a Brownie McGee song.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sporting Life blues
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 May 09 - 06:26 PM

There is an earlier "origins" thread about this song:

Origins: Earliest Version: Sporting Life Blues?

Also, the lyrics are in the DT: SPORTING LIFE BLUES


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