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Talking blues and spoken country songs?

GUEST 08 Oct 16 - 12:45 PM
cnd 08 Oct 16 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 08 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM
Janie 09 Oct 16 - 12:40 PM
kendall 09 Oct 16 - 05:32 PM
kendall 09 Oct 16 - 05:34 PM
cnd 29 May 17 - 12:28 PM
GUEST 29 May 17 - 01:31 PM
topical tom 29 May 17 - 04:32 PM
topical tom 29 May 17 - 04:36 PM
cnd 29 May 17 - 10:51 PM
cnd 29 May 17 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Roger knowles 30 May 17 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Hootennay 30 May 17 - 05:37 AM
Dave Hanson 31 May 17 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 31 May 17 - 02:58 AM
Senoufou 31 May 17 - 03:41 AM
JMB 31 May 17 - 12:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jun 17 - 06:45 AM
kendall 01 Jun 17 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 02 Jun 17 - 12:18 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 17 - 01:19 PM
JMB 02 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM
topical tom 02 Jun 17 - 04:05 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 17 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Nick Wall 28 Jul 17 - 04:54 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Aug 17 - 09:27 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Dec 17 - 08:56 AM
clueless don 07 Dec 17 - 08:22 AM
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Subject: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 16 - 12:45 PM

I listened to quite a lot of talking blues, like TALKING VIETNAM POTLUCK BLUES by Tom Paxton, TALKING WORLD WAR III BLUES by Bob Dylan. And there are also a lot of spoken country songs. Johnny Cash did a lot of them, A BOY NAMED SUE, THE LAST GUNFIGHTER BALLAD and so on. Both genres are rhyming words spoken to a simple chord progression. Now I wonder - are there any differences between talking blues and spoken country songs?


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: cnd
Date: 08 Oct 16 - 01:11 PM

Other famous talking blues/spoken country singers are Walter Brennan and Chris Bouchillon. I don't know if I'd really consider A Boy Named Sue "spoken country," but it's certainly close.

Main difference to me is that spoken country is more spoken style, while talking blues is usually a little more rhythmical. While both are similar distance between talking and singing, talking blues has more of a musical beat to the words, especially syncopation, while spoken country is usually more like if you took a song and spoke it, if that makes sense. Also, I'd assume talking blues is more likely to use blues scales while country is not, but I'm not sure on that.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 08 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM

"At the bottom of this mine
Lies a big, big man --
BIG JOHN." [BIG BAD JOHN]

That what you mean by spoken country?


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: Janie
Date: 09 Oct 16 - 12:40 PM

A lot of them could be considered spoken country blues. Others that perhaps might be classified as only country recitation songs with no blues about them might be some of Ray Steven's or C. W. McCall's comic songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT SURE AS HELL AIN'T COUNTRY (K Morse)
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 16 - 05:32 PM

It sure as hell ain't country

I was rolling along on the interstate,
In a 18-wheeler, two hours late,
Searching the dial for a country song,
Nothing on but rock and roll, that's an oxymoron.

I picked up a hiker to relieve the gloom,
Thought if she's willing I'll get a room,
No such luck, all she wanted was my radio.

She found a station that was playing that stuff,
Some call country, that was bad enough,
Then she started to sing along! had a voice that would shatter Tupperware.

We rode that way for miles and miles,
I tried to talk, but she just smiled,
Kept on singing with that awful voice,
Finally, I knew I had no choice,
Gotta get rid of her...or shut her up some how.

I stopped at a diner outside Duluth,
I found myself a darkened booth,
Tried to get friendly but she couldn't hear,
Had one of them damn Walkmen stuck in her ear.
Same old rock and roll, 'nuff to make you chew your own leg off

Finally came to my own home town,
she opened the door, 'fore she jumped down,
she wanted to know if we'd meet again,
I said "Ain't likely, I ain't into pain."
I finally walked through my own front door,
TV was on, going full bore,
The kid was watching TNN
And that same old racket hit me again.
It's like pollution, lawyers, it's everywhere.

One guy was pounding a big stack of drums,
Screaming something at the top of his lungs,
Another had a steel and a cowboy hat,
Kid says, "Whats the matter? you don't like that"?
He's singing about the land of the free,"
I said, "Boy, you could 'a' fooled me,
But I can tell you this much, it sure as hell ain't country."


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 16 - 05:34 PM

I wrote this around 2002. feed back is welcome.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: cnd
Date: 29 May 17 - 12:28 PM

Sorry Kendall, never noticed your song til now. Sounds funny--you have a name for it or a recording?


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 17 - 01:31 PM

I am reminded of a song by Johnny Cash, I think it may have been on that wonderful album, Ride This Train", the song was called the Battle. I see sir the Battle is over, and the young soldier lay down his gun,,,, and so on. I think he pretty much "spoke" the whole thing. Is anyone familiar with this ? I would love to hear it again.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: topical tom
Date: 29 May 17 - 04:32 PM

I especially like the sound of a bamjo so I enjoyed heading Tom Paley sing "The COUNTRY BLUES".However, I cannot find it anywhere.Can anyone find the lyrics or even a video?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dust to Dust (John Kirkpatrick)
From: topical tom
Date: 29 May 17 - 04:36 PM

Sorry, I actually posted to the wrong thread. It should have been the one on talking blues and country blues.


    Is it in the right place now? -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: cnd
Date: 29 May 17 - 10:51 PM

Tom Paley was a member of the New Lost City Ramblers, so here's a recording of them doing the song with him(?) singing

COUNTRY BLUES

Come on you good type people while I have money for to spend
Tomorrow may be another day and I haven't got no money or no friend.

When I have plenty of money, good people, I have friends come from all around
As soon as the pocketbook was empty, not a friend on earth to be found.

Well, the last time I seen my woman, good people, had a draft glass in her hand
She's drinking down her troubles with some low-down, sorry old man.

Well my papa taught me plenty, good people, and my momma she told me more
Said if I didn't quit my rowdy ways, there'll be trouble at my door.

Well, if I had listened to my momma, good people, well I would not have been here today
But shooting and a-gambling and a-drinking, at home I did not stay.

Give me cornbread when I'm hungry, good people, corn whiskey when I'm dry
Pretty women standing around me, sweet heaven when I die.

Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow, good people, dig a hole in the cold, cold ground
Did a hole, dig a hole in the meadow, and see this old rounder go down.

When I'm dead and buried, good people, my pale face turned to the sun
You can come around and mourn little woman and think on the way you have done.

Lyrics transcribed from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jLbqPpZeQA

Additionally, a verse included in the Doc Watson version but not in this version goes as follows:

All around this old jailhouse this evening, good people,
forty dollars won't pay my fine,
Corn whiskey has surrounded my body, poor boy,
pretty women's a-troubling my mind


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Subject: Country Blues
From: cnd
Date: 29 May 17 - 10:54 PM

Alternatively, they did include that last verse on a different recording of the song which comes here (this site also provided the lyrics, so of course I found it after I transcribed them down...

http://folkmusicworldwide.com/john-cohen-new-lost-city-ramblers.html

Come all you old-time people,
While I have money for to spend.
Tomorrow may be another day,
And haven't got no money or no friend.

When I had plenty of money, good people,
I had friends come from all around.
But as soon as my pocketbook was empty,
Not a friend on earth could be found.

Well, the last time I seen my woman, good people,
Had a wine glass in her hand.
She's drinkin' down her troubles,
With some low-down sorry old man.

And my papa told me a-plenty, good people,
And my mamma, she told me more.
Said if I didn't quit my rowdy ways,
Having trouble at my door.

Well, if I had listened to my mama, good people,
Then I would not have been here today.
But shootin' and gambling and drinking,
At home, I could not stand.

All around this old jailhouse, many good people,
Forty dollars won't pay my fine.
Corn liquor has surrounded my body, poor boy,
Pretty women are troublin' my mind.

Give me cornbread when I'm hungry, good people,
Corn whiskey when I'm dry.
Pretty women standing around me,
Sweet heaven when I die.

Go dig a hole in the meadow, good people,
Dig a hole in the cold, cold ground.
Come around, all you good people,
And see this old rounder go down.

When I am dead and buried, good people,
And my pale face is turned to the sun.
You can come around and mourn, little woman,
And think on the way you have done.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,Roger knowles
Date: 30 May 17 - 03:55 AM

Rambling Jack Elliott used to be a talking blues icon.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,Hootennay
Date: 30 May 17 - 05:37 AM

And who recalls Tooting's own Talking John Berry from the 1960's London folk clubs?


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 May 17 - 02:46 AM

Arkansas Traveller springs to mind.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 31 May 17 - 02:58 AM

So-called "talking blues" isn't about blues progressions (oddly enough) and is about the speaking being rhythmic on the beat, as opposed to less rhythmic recitations like Luke The Drifter. Chris Bouchillon is when people began talking about rhythmic speaking as "talking blues" but the same style he did was around way before that. The little tags that e.g. Woody liked to do, that was all in "You Shall" and the like before Bouchillon recorded.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 May 17 - 03:41 AM

There are some songs where the singer reverts into speech for effect. But the best of all time is Billy Connelly's 'Granny in a Wheelchair' song. I can't listen to this without laughing myself silly.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: JMB
Date: 31 May 17 - 12:08 PM

Guest: The Big Battle by Johnny Cash is a familiar song to me. Here it is found on youtube.

The Big Battle by Johnny Cash


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 06:45 AM

i suppose the first talking blues i ever heard was Lonnie Donnegan's Talking Guitar Blues, which was adapted from an American artist's, I believe.

Then I suppose it was Dylan - I Shall be Free and Talking World WAr THree. i think Dylan got it mainly through Woody.

Its clever and language based and urbane. THeres something austere and structured about the three chord discipline, which i like. Almost a disclaimer to great knowledge = 'don't know much, but i can tell you this!'


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 09:13 PM

I never recorded "Sure as hell aint country", but it won a trophy in the Maine Country music hall of fame.

I wrote another titled the RV blues that was recorded by Country music Icon, Smokey Greene. He wrote part of it.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 12:18 AM

"Talking blues and spoken country songs".....

You mean like 'rap' with a Deep, slow drawl??

GfS


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 01:19 PM

JBM, thank you so much, I have not heard this in years. Is it on the "Ride This Train Album ?"


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: JMB
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM

I know that it appears on "Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash" from 1963 and "America: A 200-Year Salute In Story and Song" from 1972. The "Ride This Train" album came out in 1960 with eight tracks. It was re-released in 2002 with four bonus tracks. The Big Battle does not appear on the original nor the latter re-issue.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: topical tom
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 04:05 PM

How about Steve Goodman's A Dying Cubs Fan/s Last Request?


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 17 - 10:12 AM

Thanks again JMB. I really appreciate you helping me out.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: GUEST,Nick Wall
Date: 28 Jul 17 - 04:54 PM

Alan Jackson - The Talkin Song Repair Blues (lyrics : Dennis Linde)

The mechanic raised up from under my hood
He shook his head and said, "This ain't good
Your timin' belt's done shrunk one size too small
Those spark plug wires are a little too long
And your main prodsponder's nearly gone
Your injector ports are stripped and that ain't all"
"Your torque converter's runnin' low on torque
And that water pump's nearly down a quart
But we caught it all in time so you're in luck"
He said, "I've got the time and I've got the parts
Just give me the word and I'm ready to start
I think we can bring her in for eight hundred bucks"

But don't be downhearted, I can fix it for you, sonny
It won't take too long, it'll just take money

Then he said, "Ain't you that songwriter guy"
And I said, "Yes I am, " he said, "So am I"
He sat down and played me a song by the grease rack
When he finished singin' he gave me a smile
And I closed my eyes and pondered awhile
He said, "What do you think
Now don't hold nothin' back"

Well, I gave him my most sorrowful look
And I said, "This song's got a broken hook
I can order you a new one from Nashville but it won't be cheap
And I know you've been using a cut rate thesaurus
'Cause your adverbs are backed up into your chorus
Now your verse is runnin' on verbs that are way too weak"

But don't be downhearted, I can fix it for you, sonny
It won't take too long, it'll just take money

And I said, "Hold on friend now I'm not through
I hate to be the one to give you the news
But your whole melodic structure's done worked itself loose
It's got so many dotted eighth notes in it
I'd keep her under fifty beats per minute
I mean, that's just me talkin', it's really up to you"

"And you've got a bad safety problem with
That dominant chord with the augmented fifth
Just see how dangerously high it raises you up
So just go on over and work on my car
I'll sit here by the fan and chances are
I can straighten this thing out for..eigh..nine hundred bucks"

But don't be downhearted, I can fix it for you, sonny
It won't take too long

You guessed it
Well, It may be a hit
I like it


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 09:27 AM

I just ran across an example of talking blues that was new to me: A POLITICIAN'S DOG, written by Billy Ed Wheeler, and originally recorded by Uncle Jud Crowfield and the New Kentucky Travelers in 1965. It's about LBJ and his beagles Him and Her. I posted the lyrics in the thread called "Songs about Dogs." You can hear the original recording on YouTube, but I actually prefer a performance by Layne Brooks.


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Subject: Lyr Add: EVERYTHING'S OKAY (Hank Williams)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Dec 17 - 08:56 AM

EVERYTHING'S OKAY
As recorded by Hank Williams (as "Luke the Drifter"), 1950.

I went to the country just the other day
To see my uncle Bill, an' sorta pass the time away.
I asked him how he'd been since last I'd passed his way,
And he rubbed his chin, and here's what he had to say:

My wife's been sick, the young 'uns too,
And I'm durn near down with the flu.
The cow's gone dry, and them hens won't lay,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The hogs took the cholera, and they've all done died.
The bees got mad, and they left the hive.
The weevils got the corn, an' the rain rotted the hay,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The porch rotted down; that's more expense.
The durned ol' mule, he tore down the fence.
The mortgage is due, and I cain't pay,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The cow broke in the field and eat up the beans.
The durn rabbits, they got the turnip greens,
An' my ma-in-law just moved in to stay,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

My land's so poor, so hard an' yeller,
You have to set on a sack o' fertilizer to raise an umbreller,
And it rains out here nearly ever' day,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The well's gone dry, and I have to tote the water
Up from the spring about a mile an' a quarter.
My helper he quit for the lack of pay,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The house it leaks; it needs a new top.
When it rains, it wets ever'thing we got.
The chimley fell down just yesterd'y,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The corn meal's gone, an' the meat's run out.
Got nothin' to kill to put in the smokehouse.
The preacher's comin' Sunday to spend the day,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

The canned stuff's spoiled, else the jars got broke,
And all we got left is one ol' billy-goat.
We gonna have a new baby about the first of May,
But we're still a-livin', so ever'thing's okay.

My crop it rotted in the ground.
I asked for another loan, but the banker turned me down,
But we're still a-livin', an' we're prayin' for a better day,
So after all, ever'thing's in purty good shape.


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Subject: RE: Talking blues and spoken country songs?
From: clueless don
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:22 AM

On the topic of talking blues, I can't resist mentioning Jaime Brockett's "Talking Green Beret New Super Yellow Hydraulic Banana Teenybopper Blues".


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