Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


12-bar blues on record before 1921

GUEST,Joseph Scott 07 May 16 - 07:42 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 16 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 07 May 16 - 10:50 PM
Will Fly 08 May 16 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 08 May 16 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 08 May 16 - 06:03 PM
Richie 08 May 16 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 08 May 16 - 09:11 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 May 16 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 10 May 16 - 02:58 AM
12-stringer 10 May 16 - 01:53 PM
Richie 10 May 16 - 05:35 PM
Richie 10 May 16 - 05:47 PM
mayomick 12 May 16 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 02:12 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 02:39 AM
mayomick 13 May 16 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 13 May 16 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 14 May 16 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 21 Sep 16 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Try again... 22 Sep 16 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 23 Sep 16 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Bloke who tried again 23 Sep 16 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 25 Sep 16 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,Same bloke 25 Sep 16 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 25 Sep 16 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,That bloke again 26 Sep 16 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 26 Sep 16 - 06:48 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 07 May 16 - 07:42 PM

Incomplete list of some notable ones (all are partly 12-bar, some are entirely 12-bar):

"Memphis Blues" Victor Military Band 7/14
"Memphis Blues" Morton Harvey 10/14
"Hesitation Blues" Prince's Band 11/15
"Homesickness Blues" Nora Bayes 5/16
"Sunset Medley" Gus Haenschen 5/16
"Bull Frog Blues" Six Brown Brothers c. 5/16
"Nigger Blues" George O'Connor 7/16
"All Blues Medley" Saxo Sextette 1/17
"Dallas Blues" Marie Cahill 1/17
"Palakiko Blues" Helen Louise and Frank Ferera 1/17
"Livery Stable Blues" Original Dixieland Jass Band 2/17
"Joe Turner Blues" Wilbur Sweatman c. 3/17
"Beale Street Blues" Earl Fuller 8/17
"Hooking Cow Blues" Handy's Orchestra Of Memphis 9/17
"St. Louis Blues" Ciro's Club Coon Orchestra c. 9/17
"Bluin' The Blues" Wilbur Sweatman 12/18
"Alcoholic Blues" Billy Murray 1/19
"Kansas City Blues" Wilbur Sweatman 3/19
"Hesitation Blues" Al Bernard c. 5/19
"Alcoholic Blues" Vernon Dalhart c. 5/19
"Alcoholic Blues" All Star Trio 9/19
"Yellow Dog Blues" Joseph C. Smith 9/19
"Yelping Hound Blues" Louisiana Five 9/19
"Railroad Blues" Yerkes Southern Five 3/20
"St. Louis Blues" Marie Cahill 4/20
"Lonesome Alimony Blues" Bert Williams 5/20
"Why Cry Blues" Jimmy Durante 5/20
"Crazy Blues" Mamie Smith 8/20


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 16 - 08:00 PM

This is great, Joseph. Keep it coming.
I wonder if we can come up with links to some of these.
Here's W.C. Handy's "The Memphis Blues" (1914), by the Victor Military Band: -Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 07 May 16 - 10:50 PM

These two are notable for using, despite the pro minstrel singing style, idiomatic blues lyrics that were around in folk blues tradition:

"Nigger Blues" George O'Connor 7/16
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrgEZN1hj6w

"Dallas Blues" Marie Cahill 1/17
http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/4660/


This is interesting because it's blues guitar:

"Palakiko Blues" Helen Louise and Frank Ferera 1/17
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfMbIBajMyU

Helen Louise died in 1919. Some more early recordings of blues guitar:

"Chain Gang Blues" Sam Moore 7/21
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aja76WQsU8c

"Teasing The Frets" Nick Lucas 7/22
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMQ_Cu4S7ik


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 May 16 - 04:52 AM

The George O'Connor, Sam Moore and Nick Lucas YT links show "Video not available". (I'm in the UK - is this a factor).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 08 May 16 - 05:55 PM

Here are the lyrics of "(The) Negro Blues" as Le Roy White copyrighted it in 1912; George O'Connor recorded that song via sheet music, singing only some of the stanzas.

"I've got the blues but I'm too mean to, I said mean to, I mean cry.
I've got the blues but I'm to mean to cry.
I feel so bad I could lay myself down and die.

The Blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling, I said feeling, I mean bad,
The blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad.
That's a feeling that I've often had.

When a man gets blue he takes a train and, I said a train and, I mean rides.
When a man gets blue he takes a train and rides.
But when a woman gets blue she hangs her head and cries.

When I leave I'm going to leave on the Cannon, I said cannon, I mean ball.
When I leave I'm going to leave on the cannon ball,
Carries fourteen coaches there ain't no blinds at all.

There's a big freight train backed up in the, I said in the, I mean yards,
There's a big freight train backed up in the yards,
I'm going to see my Baby if I have to ride the rods.

Yonder comes the train coming down the, I said down the, I mean track.
Yonder comes the train coming down the track.
It's going to take me away but it ain't going to bring me back.

Honey don't you weep and, I said weep and, I mean moan,
Honey, Honey, don't you weep and moan.
I'm going to build you a house cut out of marble stone.

I cried last night also the night be, I said the night be, I mean before,
I cried last night also the night before.
I raised my hand I took and oath I wouldn't cry no more.

Honey, Honey when I die don't you wear no, I said wear no, I mean black.
Honey, Honey when I die don't you wear no black,
Cause my ghost, it's going to come sneaking back.

I'm going to lay my head down on some railroad, I said railroad, I mean line.
I'm going to lay head down on some railroad line.
Let the Santa Fe, satisfy my mind.

My home ain't here it's a light house on the, I said on the, I mean sea.
My home ain't here it's a lighthouse on the sea.
I'm going back to my used to be.

Wish I had wings like Noah's, I said Noah's, I mean dove.
Wish I had wings like Noah's dove.
Then I'd fly home to the little girl I love.

Wish I'd died when I was, I said young, I mean a kid,
Wish I'd died when I was quite young.
Then I wouldn't have this hard old race to run.

I'll meet you honey when your heart's going to ache like I said ache like, I mean mine.
I'll meet you honey when your heart's going to ache like mine.
I'll meet you honey when you can't change a dime.

People, People, my head ain't made of, I said made of, I mean bone.
People, People, my head ain't made of bone.
'Cause I've sang what I have, I'm not a Graphophone."

White copyrighted the song again and published it in 1913, at which time he dropped some of the above stanzas introduced one new stanza:

"You can call the blues, you can call the blues, any old thing you please,
You can can call the blues any old thing you please.
But the blues ain't nothing but the doggone heart disease."

You can probably find the Sam Moore "Chain Gang Blues" somewhere else with enough googling. He was born in Florida in 1887.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 08 May 16 - 06:03 PM

Here is Gus Haenschen of St. Louis (born 1889) playing blues piano in May 1916:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW0RDzLpdnM

(The "Country Club Medley" title on youtube is wrong, it's really his "Sunset Medley.")

Haenschen helped support his family in his teenage years after his father left by playing piano in e.g. silent-movie houses, and he went around befriending people such as Scott Joplin (who included some blues in his "Magnetic Rag" in 1914 himself).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: Richie
Date: 08 May 16 - 07:34 PM

Nice Thread Joseph!!!

Here's a link "First Blues Records 1914-1916": http://www.redhotjazz.com/firstbluesrecords.html

It's important to note that just because a songs has "blues" in the title doesn't mean it's a 12-bar blues or in a standard form.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 08 May 16 - 09:11 PM

An excellent book on the subject is Peter C. Muir's Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920 (University of Illinois Press, 2010). A truly eye-opening treatment which altered my understanding of the music, it has the additional virtue, not shared by all books on blues, of grinding no axes, just telling the story in a reasonable, balanced, and engaging manner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 May 16 - 09:21 AM

Dragging some text into the search box can find some UK streamable YouTube versions :


"Nigger Blues" Al Bernard's 1919 (ref JS on another YT page)
Edison Blue Ambrol #3766 "Nigger Blues"

"Hesitation Blues" Al Bernard
Al Bernard sings "Hesitation Blues" on Edison Blue Amberol 3738 1919 cylinder

"St Louis Blues" no artist or date
Edison Blue Amberol #3930 "St Louis Blues"

"Chain Gang Blues" Sam Moore 1921
Sam Moore - Chain Gang Blues (1921)

"Teasing The Frets" Nick Lucas 1922
"Teasing The Frets" Nick Lucas(1922)




~~~~
"Crazy Blues" Mamie Smith - (1920)
Mamie Smith - Crazy Blues (1920)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 10 May 16 - 02:58 AM

"It's important to note that just because a song has 'blues' in the title doesn't mean it's a 12-bar blues or in a standard form." Yes, IIRC there's no 12-bar -- or idiomatic 16-bar a la Lemon Jefferson's "One Dime Blues," either* -- in these tunes listed as that redhotjazz page:

Blame It On The Blues
Chinese Blues
Ghost of The Terrible Blues
Honolulu Blues
I've Got The Blues For Home Sweet Home
Money Blues
Paradise Blues

You might think that coming up with a tune title like "Chinese Blues" was a white innovation, but the black singer Baby Brown was already singing her own "Chinese Blues" for black listeners in 1913, and the black singer Estelle Harris was singing her "The Blues In The Indian Style" for black listeners in 1911.

Tennessee Blues by Warner and Holt, listed on the redhotjazz page, does include 12-bar.

*An early recording of 16-bar blues is the Victor Military Band doing Euday Bowman's "Kansas City Blues" in 1916.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: 12-stringer
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:53 PM

What about "All Night Long"? Obviously it's been Tin Pan Alleyed, but its publication history goes back to at least 1891 ("Ain't Dat a Shame, Bill Bailey" by Queen and Wilson, "as sung with great success by Tascot, the White Coon"). Uncle Dave cut this as "Ain't It a Shame to Keep Your Honey Out in the Rain," 1926, with the usual Macon liberties, and John McGhee did a gtr/hca recording for Gennett in 1928 ("Bill Bailey, Ain't That a Shame," credited on Champion as "John Hutchens").

Sheldon Brooks lifted the melody for his 1911 hit, "All Night Long." For a pop recording by Ada Jones and Billy Murray, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE0h65gORhI

The melody is undoubtedly of folk origin and has been used repeatedly, at least in hillbilly music. All the 1920s-1940s recordings of "All Night Long" that I'm familiar with are parodies, though Frank Hutchison and Roy Acuff start theirs off with a verse from Sheldon Brooks; Acuff's goes on to not quite Bang Boys territory -- had he gotten there, he could have greeted the Turner Bros in 1947. The tune also carries "Boll Weevil Blues," "Battleship of Maine," A P Carter's "My Clinch Mountain Home," and Oscar Ford's "Married Life Blues," among others. It was always my own blues-ish go-to for improvised topical and smutty songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: Richie
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:35 PM

Hi,

I love "All Night Long" used to sing it with "Louisville" in it when I
lived there.

I thought "One Dime Blues" was an eight-bar blues like "Crow Jane Blues" which dates back to the early 1900s but it probably wasn't recorded the mid-20s if I recollect. I guess if you do eight bars twice it's sixteen :)

Some sixteen bar songs like "Careless Love" resemble blues songs and Handy called it one of the first blues.

I should have checked the link better,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: Richie
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:47 PM

Hi

Here's a link to Peter C. Muir's Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America:
https://books.google.com/books?id=4W_xi-oWbXUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Peter+C.+Muir%27s+Long+Lost+Blues:+Popular+Blues+in+Ameri

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: mayomick
Date: 12 May 16 - 09:31 PM

Any ideas on how this funny sort of "stuttering" in early blues developed? It seems to have been popular.
https://books.google.ie/books?id=zvTq5DNtn9MC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=if+river+whiskey+was+mallard+duck&source=bl&ots=wZKcXmTOvU&sig
E.g.
"I've got the blues but I'm too mean to, I said mean to, I mean cry."
Or

"if the river was whiskey and I was a mallard , I said a mallard , I mean duck "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 01:51 AM

"Ain't Dat A Shame" by Queen and Wilson was published in 1901, is related to "Frankie," and like it has third-person lyrics. In about 1895-1904, 12-bar tunes commonly had IV-IV-IV-I in the middle of the progression (but ever had IV-IV-I-I), as opposed to the 12-bar songs complaining about having the "blues," which can't be traced back to before about 1907, and commonly had IV-IV-I-I in the middle of the progression (but ever had IV-IV-IV-I).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 02:07 AM

Compare Macon's "Ain't It a Shame to Keep Your Honey Out in the Rain" to Hurt and Le Tellier here:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=156885


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 02:12 AM

"Folk-Song Of Nebraska.." by Louise Pound, 1915, notes a song about a "Bill Bailey" that includes the lyrics "Ain't that shame, a measly shame,/To keep your honey out in the rain!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 02:20 AM

All I think we know about the stuttering approach is that someone thought of it in roughly 1911.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 02:22 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bQioA9hzZw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 02:39 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRVIiNqGtuQ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: mayomick
Date: 13 May 16 - 06:01 AM

Thanks again Joseph. I must say I like the stuttering approach, but don't quite know why. Like it makes the singing sound improvised while everybody knows that it's not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 13 May 16 - 11:01 PM

"Careless Love" was an old song that reportedly goes back to the British songs "The Sprig Of Thyme" and "Died For Love." Songs like "Careless Love," where it's on the V chord as the first half of the progression ends -- that was an extremely common approach in white and black songs of the 1800s, and it's an extremely uncommon approach in blues songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 14 May 16 - 02:44 PM

Given that all these early blues songs are first-person songs about being blue, Brooks' "I always feel so blue" in his 12-bar section of "All Night Long" probably counts him in I'd think, in June 1912, before Handy copyrighted any blues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 21 Sep 16 - 11:51 PM

Another early blues recording worth hearing: "Kangaroo Hop," Vess Ossman, 2/1916.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Try again...
Date: 22 Sep 16 - 05:02 AM

The construct of what we call 12 bar blues predates the concept of blues, and the format of AABA /12 was very popular in music hall, not to mention traditional ballads, as pointed out by many, including Vaughan Williams.

Accordingly, I used to enjoy singing St James Infirmary Blues to the tune of Harry Champion's When Father Papered the Parlour. The other way round gets a giggle occasionally too.

I suppose it was the prominent sound that a "blues" scale gives to the tempering of a guitar pitch that kicked it all off, but the format over twelve bars is one of music in general, not one genre, albeit a genre that grabbed it and made it its own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 23 Sep 16 - 01:24 AM

"St. James Infirmary" as we routinely hear it isn't 12-bar. I don't understand what "the format of AABA /12" means.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Bloke who tried again
Date: 23 Sep 16 - 04:16 AM

We?????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 02:07 AM

All of us. Do you have a 12-bar version of "St. James Infirmary" in mind? What does "the format of AABA /12" mean?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Same bloke
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 02:31 PM

Fits nicely, thanks. When Father papered the parlour isn't AABA/12 either, but stanza latitude helps.

AABA/12 is a term associated with music. I doubt you'd have got O Level Music without knowing..

All of us what? or indeed whom? (He says, going all BBC Radio 4)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 11:05 PM

In "AABA song form," "B" refers to the bridge being different musically from earlier. In "AAB lyrics," "B" refers to the third line of the stanza being different lyrically from earlier. For those of us who don't have any O Levels, what does "AABA/12" mean?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,That bloke again
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 04:15 AM

Sorry mate, your "as we routinely hear it" is the type of comment that inhibits improvisation and latitude.

Just leave it at that eh? the /12 denotes the stanza length. The ABC isn't lyrics based either but musical.

I failed O level music by the way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 12-bar blues on record before 1921
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 06:48 PM

"the /12 denotes the stanza length"

Three-line stanzas with AAB lyrics were in several of the Child ballads as published by Child, and in e.g. the slave song "Rain Fall And Wet Becca Lawton," and part of "Old Paint" as Jess Morris (born about 1878) said he learned it from Charley Willis (born about 1847), a black cowboy, before about 1900. The use of AAB lyrics was not particularly common in the U.S. in the 1800s, but common enough that when e.g. someone early-born did "Pretty Polly" as AAB (the ones that are much like Dylan's "Hollis Brown"), realistically it's not clear whether that would involve exposure to blues music or not.

Dr. Peter Muir points out that "I Just Naturally Love That Yellow Man" by Larry Deas and John Wilson is from before 1900 and has the ordinary 12-bar chord progression we associate with the blues, but is not a blues. Willie The Lion Smith remembered Wilson as a "dope addict who played piano when he felt like it."

Chord progressions very similar to 12-bar blues were published by Praetorius and Vallet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 September 1:13 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.