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Blind Blake from the Bahamas

DigiTrad:
LOVE ALONE


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Diddie Wah Diddie (Blind Blake) (16)
Chord Req: Early Morning Blues (Blind Blake) (13)
Lyr/Chords Req: Jones Oh Jones (Blind Blake) (11)
Blind Blake Calypso singer??? (59)
Lyr Req: Jones, Oh Jones (Blind Blake) (18)
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Seth 13 Oct 00 - 04:30 AM
Cavia_P 13 Oct 00 - 09:01 AM
Seth 15 Oct 00 - 11:51 PM
dwditty 16 Oct 00 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Oct 00 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Oct 00 - 10:07 AM
GUEST 12 May 08 - 07:14 PM
Art Thieme 12 May 08 - 10:55 PM
Nerd 12 May 08 - 11:07 PM
Nerd 12 May 08 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,Greycap 13 May 08 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 26 Jun 08 - 02:41 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Jun 08 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 27 Jun 08 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Kiki 27 Jun 08 - 01:05 AM
Stringsinger 27 Jun 08 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,David A. Greene 14 Dec 08 - 01:43 AM
Murray MacLeod 14 Dec 08 - 04:13 AM
greg stephens 14 Dec 08 - 06:26 AM
RoyH (Burl) 14 Dec 08 - 08:02 AM
Azizi 14 Dec 08 - 12:37 PM
Felipa 08 Jan 09 - 01:15 PM
Fanatic Dave 08 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM
PinkAliPink 09 Jan 09 - 10:16 AM
Nerd 09 Jan 09 - 11:36 AM
Fanatic Dave 10 Jan 09 - 01:19 PM
Azizi 10 Jan 09 - 02:26 PM
Fanatic Dave 10 Jan 09 - 09:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 11 Jan 09 - 08:05 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 09 - 08:28 PM
Fanatic Dave 12 Jan 09 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,seth in Olympia 12 Jan 09 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,GuitarMan 20 Jan 09 - 10:53 PM
Amos 20 Jan 09 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Phil 24 Nov 15 - 09:47 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 18 - 07:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Who sings this song?
From: Seth
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 04:30 AM

My parents had some calypso Blind Blake 78's that they got in the Bahamas in 1952. I carried these around with me through all the stations of my life until they disappeared from my house in 1998. There were some songs that I have heard other people do: "Run, Come See Jerusalem", and some great stuff that I've never heard anywhere else, like " Jones, oh Jones", "My name is Morgan(But it ain't J.P.)" " Watermelon Hangin' on the Vine" and probably ten other ones. I'm looking for lyrics to these and others by the the Blind Blake from Nassau, not the U.S. Thanks from under the "a" in China


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Who sings this song?
From: Cavia_P
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 09:01 AM


From: Seth
Date: 13-Oct-00 - 04:30 AM
My parents had some calypso Blind Blake 78's that they got in the Bahamas in 1952.
There were some songs that I have heard other people do: "Run, Come See Jerusalem", and some great stuff that I've never heard anywhere else, like " Jones, oh Jones", "My name is Morgan(But it ain't J.P.)" " Watermelon Hangin' on the Vine" and probably ten other ones. I'm looking for lyrics to these and others by the the Blind Blake from Nassau, not the U.S.
Thanks from under the "a" in China

Gordon Bok has recorded "Jones (oh Jones)" on In the Kind Land. It includes lyrics ©Blake Alphonso Higgs.
The intro states "Doug Day of Swan's Island, Maine, tells me that Jones is included on a 78 that his parents brought back from their honeymoon in Nassau, Bahamas, where they listened to Blind Blake every night..."

The chorus goes:
Jones, oh jones, oh you know you can't last long
Jones, oh Jones you better bring my woman back home


The song includes some wonderful gruesome lines on what he's gonna do when he catches up with Jones!

Cavia_P


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Subject: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Seth
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 11:51 PM

When my parents came home from the Bahamas in 1952, they brought a set of 78's by Blind Blake from Nassau. Some of the songs I've heard since (Run, Come See) but others I've never heard anywhere else. I'm looking for a source to his stuff, or lyrics to songs "Jones, Oh Jones", My Name is Morgan( BUt it ain't J.P.), HAs anyone heard of him or his music? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: dwditty
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 07:10 AM

I don't find the song you are looking for, but here is a BLIND BLAKE

dw
(which stands for ditty wah ditty)


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 09:30 AM

DW, that's the wrong Blind Blake! I asked about Delia's Gone some time ago as it was listed as by BLind Blake and I hadn't got it on any of my BB (bluse singer)'s recordings(too busy to track down the thread, sorry) and learned about the "other" Blind Blake, the West Indian folkster, who was NOT the blues singer/ragtime guitarist. I think Rick put me right (he usually does!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 10:07 AM

Yep, just found the old thread (when I was posting as Roger the zimmer):The West Indian Calypsonian is "Blind" Blake Alphonso Higgs (Dick Greenhaus and Art Thieme put me right then) not Arthur"Blind Blake" Phelps, the American blues singer. Art mentioned some of his recordings, Kingston Trio and others did "Delia's Gone" which is where my query sprang from. Do a forum search on "Delia's Gone" to pick up the previous discussion.
RtS (Just because I'm pedantic doesn't mean I'm always right)


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 08 - 07:14 PM

Seth,
I have the original 78RPM record set of Blind Blake and the Royal Victoria Hotel "Calypsos. I discovered your post here as I was trying to detemine the value of the recordings. The songs are "My Pigeon Gone Wild" , "Run Come See Jerusalem" "Pretty Boy" "Jones Oh Jones", "Never Inerfere with Man and Wife" "Watermelon Spolin' on The Vine" , "Yes, Yes, Yes". "Lord Got Tomatoes" "Love Alone" "J P Morgan".

I inherited this record from a friend but have never heard them. They are in very good condition.

If you have any idea as to the value of this or where I can find out, please let me know.

Thanks,
Roy


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 May 08 - 10:55 PM

Hey, howdy! Yep, us old Mudcatters are still around! -- I believe he wrote many of these songs -- many of which we think of as trad. "THE FOOLISH FROG" that Pete Seeger did as a cante fable was by Blake Alphonso Higgs. Also "THE SLOOP JOHN B." ---- "RUM AND COCONUT WATER" etc. I used to have quite early ten inch 33 & a third LP albums by this man. Even a 12-inch LP. A very stylish singer who held forth at one of the big hotels there.

I seem to recall him doing that song about the guy who a gal left alone to mind somebody else's baby!

Ah, hee, oh, hee, rock-a-by-baby,
Rockin' the cradle and left all alone,
Ah hee, oh hee rockin' and singin'
Fo that little baby that's none of my own.

Art


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Nerd
Date: 12 May 08 - 11:07 PM

I don't know about the other two songs Art mentions, but while Blind Blake (Blake Alphonso Higgs) recorded Sloop John B., he did not write it.

It was published in books as early as 1922, when Higgs was seven years old.

You can read an article about him, and buy a CD, here


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Nerd
Date: 12 May 08 - 11:17 PM

Another great Higgs site
here


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 13 May 08 - 02:48 AM

He was busking outside Nassau airport back in '76 when Harvey Andrews and I went through to Belize. Sounded good then,
Roger Knowles


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 02:41 PM

Art,

About the other two songs you mention, "The Foolish Frog" stems from "May Irwin's Frog Song," a Tin Pan Alley "coon song" dating from the 1890s. It may well have been in tradition before that, but I have no evidence of it before then.

It's also possible "Rum and Coconut Water" was written by Lord Burgess (Erwin Burgie), who performed it, I think, before Blake -- but I'm not certain because their recording dates (exact dates uncertain) appear to have been very close in time.

Burgie, by the way, wrote a number of hits for Harry Belafonte, who seems to have employed him as a songwriter during at least part of his career.

In general Blake did not write many of his songs, though he is credited with a few of the best ones, like "Run Come See." His great forte was his skill as a performer, and he was a great one.

All the best,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 08:54 PM

The only available recordings by Blake, as far as I know, are the seven or eight tracks on an ARC Cd. I'd post tracklist and details, but all my stock is in a trailer getting set for Old Songs.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 12:19 AM

I have one of the 10" LPs Art Thieme mentioned above. Run Joe, Mary Ann, Curley Cay, Delia Gone, Bahama Mama, Eight Babies, Boat Pull Out, Brown Skin Girl, Goombay Drum, and Noise in the Market. Fun stuff. ART Records, ALP-6, Copyright 1952.
Carter


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Kiki
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:05 AM

Steve Weber recorded a version of "My Name Is Morgan But It Ain't JP" for an album called "Goin' Nowhere Fast" with Peter Stampfel in the 70's. Other great cuts were "When Iceworms Nest Again" and, especially,
"You've Got The Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-yo"


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 06:47 PM

Blind Blake is known for his rendition of "Run Come See Jerusalem" which Pete Seeger
and Erik Darling sang.

He also maintained that he was the rightful composer of the song "Baubles, Bangles and
Beads" recorded by Frank Sinatra (which Blake says was stolen from him without credit or payment).

He has in the past held forth at the Bahamian Airport as a tourist attraction.

He is well-known in the Islands. I think he also did a funny song called "Yas yas yas"
which mentions Dillinger.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,David A. Greene
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:43 AM

A great fan of the music of Nassau's Blind Blake since my childhood, I am nearing the completion of a project which I had hoped to tackle for many decades. After years of scouring sites like EBay for copies of the vinyl records I wore out in my younger days, I managed to acquire some copies of four albums (two with some duplicate tracks). The audio quality of these might be described as "fair". There are some clicks and scratches, damaged grooves and some distortion, all relatively minor.
               For some time now, an extraordinarily gifted recording engineer friend has been filtering, processing and re-mastering the material with some cutting-edge computer technology. He is not quick and he is a congenital procrastinator, but he is a very dear old friend and, if he survives the ordeal, he will finish the job. The big news is that I have heard samples of the tracks he has worked on and the sound quality, purity, tonality, etc... is simply fantastic.
               Over the years, I have heard many a commercial CD offering digitally remastered versions of recordings that were far more recent and "mainstream" than these early fifties efforts by an obscure Miami record company. Few of them have achieved the level of enhancement that I've been hearing with this project. What a thrill to at last hear this stuff sounding better than I can ever remember.
               I did not undertake this project with an eye to making money from it. I do not know anything at all about the current state of the copyright, publishing rights, or any such legalities pertaining to this material. I haven't the time, or the means to start producing a great quantity of copies. I would like to know if anyone out there might have reliable information about these matters. If I could be sure that I would not be engaging in legally risky behavior, I would be pleased to make available a few copies to some other Blind Blake enthusiasts for no more than what it would cost to produce and ship the completed CD edition. I will return to this site periodically to determine if anyone is interested.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:13 AM

you've come to the right place to ask about copyright, David.

more copyright experts on here than you can shake a stick at.

good luck with your project and I for one will be right in line waiting to buy my CD.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:26 AM

Would be extremely interested in any decent Blind Blake reissues.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 08:02 AM

So would I


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:37 PM

I hope you do make these digitally remastered versions of Blind Blake from the Bahamas' recordings available for commercial sale-once the legal rights issues are researched and cleared. I'd certainly be interested in purchasing such a CD.

And I very much hope if you do make these CDs available commercially part of the proceeds go to Blind Blake from the Bahama's estate. Also, even if you don't sell these CDs, is there any way that you could get a copy to a surviving relative of Blind Blake? Also, have you made any plans to share this remastered CD with the Smithsonian and with a folk/music association in the Bahamas where it would be preserved and shared with a large number of people now and in the future?


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Felipa
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:15 PM

yes, I'm interested. I had an lp but it got ruined stored in my sister's basement!


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Fanatic Dave
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM

For decades, a singer/songwriter/entertainer, I am completely lacking in marketing, promotion, and business skills. I have, at no time, entertained any notion of acquiring the remastered Blind Blake albums for any commercial purpose. Frankly, I would love to see a capable person or firm mastermind a venture that could handle the copying and sales of the Blake material for the benefit of his estate. As it has been my sad personal experience to know far too many monumentally talented artists who have never been properly rewarded for their work, it strikes me as tragic that a talent as wonderful as Blake Higgs died without ever gaining the recognition or remuneration that he certainly earned.
                Based on the number of responses that are already posted to my original message, I am fearful that I might not be able to handle the demand that may be out there for the CD we are working on here. As I said previously, I am not sure how soon the finished product will be in my hands; however, I will investigate the best way for interested parties to contact me and make an effort to accomodate their requests. Meantime, if anyone has solid information regarding a way to handle this material in some commercial capacity, I would be grateful for any advice on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: PinkAliPink
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:16 AM

I originally discovered Blind Blake on The internet Archive website, which has some free MP3 downloads taken from non copyrighted 78's. I'm not sure how to post links but the web address is http://www.archive.org/index.php


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Nerd
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:36 AM

Pink, I just went there and that's the other Blind Blake, the American blues guitarist and singer. He was probably from Georgia, possibly the Sea Islands. But not from the Bahamas. He's a totally different guy from the one on this thread!


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Fanatic Dave
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 01:19 PM

In connection with a digitally "cleaned" and enhanced edition of Blake's three voumes of "Bahamian Songs", I am informed that is okay to post an email address here. I am one lone individual who is fortunate to have a close friend with the skills and technology to be capable of achieving really exceptional results here. If it appears that there are no legal restrictions involved, I would be able to send out a few copies to some fellow Blake enthusiasts for just the cost of materials and postage, possibly a small fee to pass along to my engineer friend for all of his efforts.
             Please email me at: David.greene5@comcast.net with any communications in regard to this matter. (Don't omit the "dot" following the name, David.)


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:26 PM

Fanatic Dave, do you have any response/s to the questions I asked in the second paragraph of my 14 Dec 08 - 12:37 PM post to this thread?


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Fanatic Dave
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:23 PM

In reply to Azizi:
                               All attempts that I have made in the past to launch any commercial enterprises (especially in the case of my own records, movies and videos) have suggested that I haven't a clue as to how these things are effectively handled. I don't know how to go about researching and clearing legal rights. I will say that I would be delighted anything possible I to benefit Blake's relatives or the estate. There are two threads concerning Blind Blake on this site. Due to my inexperience here, you will find postings from me on both of them. If you wouldn't mind checking these out and getting back to me with any ideas or advice you might have, I would be grateful. Beside hoping to recoup the cost of materials and postage if I were to send copies, the only other monetary consideration that would concern me is perhaps some compensation for my engineer friend who is doing all the work. He is the most meticulous of perfectionists (I barely have the patience to sit and watch the process), but however long he takes, the results will be entirely worth the wait. He hears things that I don't even notice and will clean, correct and enhance endlessly. He also loathes embellishments, like added reverb and such, that alter the quality of the original stuff. He shares with me a discomfort with recordings that have lost the tonal feel of the original releases.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 08:05 PM

Give the man a break, Azizi, he is doing this as a labor of love and if he were to break even on the deal I would be surprised and happy.

If you are so concerned, why don't you volunteer your services to help him out tracking down Blind Blake's relatives and dealing with the Smithsonian?

David has already admitted that he is a musician first and foremost and a business person second. Let's encourage him in getting the music out first instead of hassling him with legalities and such, which can get sorted out later.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 08:28 PM

Murray MacLeod, in no way was I trying to browbeat Fanatic Dave.

In my opinion, it's appropriate to make suggestions in a public forum without volunteering to do that which is suggested.

I wish Dave well.

And that's all I'm going to say on this matter.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Fanatic Dave
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:10 AM

Hey, I'm not feeling seriously browbeaten, guys. To clarify matters, I was the most dedicated of musicians, never any kind of businessman at all. Someone on this site was recommending that we try to make some sort of limited commercial venture out of this thing.   As I have indicated, I am open to suggestions but not harboring notions that I would have the know-how to handle this effectively. The project was first begun soley for personal enjoyment.
          By the way, a fellow you can find on the net named Elijah Wald believes that the original Blake studio tapes may still be in good condition and that some outfit may soon be transferring them to CD. As with some others on this site, I'd love to think that Blake's relatives and his estate might benefit from that enterprise.


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,seth in Olympia
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:16 AM

Eight years on with this thread,eh? Well I started it back eight years when I was living in China. I stored the B.B. 78's when I went to China and somehow they disappeared. I'm looking for a source for the song "Jones oh Jones " from that set? Anyone got a clue? Thanks
seth


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,GuitarMan
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 10:53 PM

I was intrigued by the reference to "My Name is Morgan, but it ain't J.P", because that was a song taught to me by my grandfather about 40 years ago on the guitar. Fun little song, and I still have his version on tape which was recorded a few years before he died back in 1959. I still play it when the family gets together every couple of years, and everybody knows the words, and we always have a good laugh. Great memories..... :-)


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:24 PM

I seem to recall him doing that song about the guy who a gal left alone to mind somebody else's baby!

Ah, hee, oh, hee, rock-a-by-baby,
Rockin' the cradle and left all alone,
Ah hee, oh hee rockin' and singin'
Fo that little baby that's none of my own.

Art
Wonderful to find this showing up in a Carib tempo and vein. It has a much older antecedent, as you probably know, in an old Irish ballad called "Rocking the Cradle of a Child Not My Own", I think.

"Ayeeee, ayooooh, my laddy lie easy
Sure my misfortunes are none of your own
But its weary I am, with weepin' and mournin'
And rocking the cradle, and its none of my own."

This theme also migrated from ca. 18th century Ireland to 19th century Western US, where it became a well known cowboy's theme:

"Yipee kai, yi, yo, get around, you little dogies
It's your misfortune, ain't none of my own.
Well, whoopee ti yo, get around, you little dogies
For you know that Wyoming will be your new home."


A


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 24 Nov 15 - 09:47 PM

Never seen a Higgs 78rpm record. Everything I have was issued as 10" LP or 2x7"EP albums. A couple were also reissued as 12"LP. There were some 45rpm flexi-disc post cards as well but no 78's that I can recall (for the Bahamian anywho.)

Posted a first pass at a discography in the other thread here:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=32602&messages=57


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Subject: RE: Blind Blake from the Bahamas
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 18 - 07:54 AM

About the song "Rum and Coconut Water", I think two versions of this By Blake Alphonso Higgins exist. The ART record version of this is the obvious reference, but in the mid-60's, a teacher of mine had this song on a record with a different, and to me, a much better single-string banjo solo on it, and I am interested in acquiring a copy of this. If someone can confirm the existence of this second version and provide a reference to the album it is on, I would be very grateful.

dhsparkman@hotmail.com


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