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Lyr Req: River Blues/Ready for the River (R Crumb)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Get a Load of This (from R Crumb) (19)
Lyr Req: River Blues (from R. Crumb) (8)
New cartoon from R. Crumb (106)


Mountain Dog 14 Mar 01 - 02:09 AM
Sorcha 20 Mar 01 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,jcf@world.std.com 20 Mar 01 - 07:05 PM
Stewie 20 Mar 01 - 08:23 PM
Sorcha 20 Mar 01 - 08:31 PM
Stewie 20 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM
Mountain Dog 21 Mar 01 - 08:57 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Jun 02 - 09:35 PM
Mountain Dog 12 Jun 02 - 09:48 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jun 02 - 12:03 PM
Stefan Wirz 12 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM
Mountain Dog 12 Jun 02 - 05:27 PM
Stefan Wirz 13 Jun 02 - 02:57 AM
Stefan Wirz 13 Jun 02 - 03:57 AM
Stefan Wirz 14 Jun 02 - 10:21 AM
open mike 03 Jul 04 - 02:44 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Jul 04 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,mschultz59 10 May 08 - 02:47 PM
Joe_F 10 May 08 - 10:07 PM
Stewie 11 May 08 - 05:01 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Mar 09 - 08:32 PM
MickyMan 11 Jan 10 - 08:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 10 - 12:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 10 - 12:43 PM
MickyMan 12 Jan 10 - 08:11 PM
GUEST 04 Jan 12 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,999 04 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Jun 15 - 05:27 PM
PHJim 03 Mar 18 - 12:11 AM
PHJim 25 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM
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Subject: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:09 AM

Does anyone have complete lyrics to this tune covered (though I'm fairly sure not written) by "R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders"* on an eponymous 10" record (Blue Goose label, perhaps?) issued in the late 60s/early 70s?

The lyrics I remember from River Blues run approximately thus:

"Wrote my will, made a few notes, Gonna walk into the river till my straw hat floats; I'm goin to the river, the shivery river, So get the river ready for me."

As always, any help is appreciated.

*Allan Dodge and Bob Armstrong were the other two of the 3-piece Cheap-Suiters. Crumb played banjo, the other boys played mandolin and guitar, I believe. Crumb also did the artwork for this 10" record and at least one other he recorded at about the same time. As I recall, the label on one of the discs boasted of its "High Standard of Standardness"...

(Crumb's set of trading cards featuring his portraits and bios of blues legends has been the subject of a thread or two here at the Cafe, too.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 12:46 PM

No web luck on this one, anybody know it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: GUEST,jcf@world.std.com
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 07:05 PM

I have all three Cheap Suit Serenaders records (or anyway the first three, if there are more), and there is no song by that name on any of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 08:23 PM

I have the Blue Goose 12" LPs and the CD reissues, but not the 10" that you refer to - I did not know of the existence of that one. However, I do have an oddity which I have never been able to play. It's a 12" record with only 2 songs: 'The Cheap Suit Serenaders Party Record' Red Goose 2026. It's microgroove but supposed to play at 78 rpm. I have tried it on a turntable that had 78 rpm, but it wouldn't work. The two songs are 'My Girl's Pussy' and 'Christopher Columbus'. Alas, it sits pristine in my collection.

Sorry I can't help you.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 08:31 PM

"A 78 rpm single on the Ordinary Records" label: Possibly the first CSS record was a 78 rpm single, on the "Ordinary Records" label (no number) with the motto "A high standard of standardness." It has "River Blues" and "Wisconsin Wiggle" on it."

from: http://www.timshome.com/css/ or click


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM

The motto on 'Party Record' is 'New 78 RPM "Hi Speed" Fidelity'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:57 AM

Thanks to everyone for your help! I'll dredge the depths of memory some more and keep on trackin' (and, of course, truckin') down the missing parts...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 09:35 PM

The song is more properly known as "Ready for the River," with lyrics by Gus Kahn and music by Neil Moret (pseudonym of Charles N. Daniels), 1928.

AMG lists 13 recordings of this song.

Red Hot Jazz has a link to a complete sound file of a 1929 recording by Sam Wooding and his Orchestra.

Early recordings were also done by Annette Hanshaw, The Goofus Five and Their Orchestra, The Imperial Dance Orchestra, Scrappy Lambert, and Jimmy Noone.

Anybody want to try making a transcription from the above file?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 09:48 AM

Thanks to everyone, and especially to Sorcha and Jim Dixon!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:03 PM

And I am gratified to know that it is worthwhile to resurrect old music threads where requests haven't been completely answered. I'm glad you're still paying attention, Mountain Dog! But even if you weren't, I would still consider it worthwhile to accumulate this information for posterity.

Anyway, I LOVE R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders. I used to have a cassette of them—I think it was on the Shanachie label, probably "Singin' in the Bathtub"—and I was playing it on the cassette deck in my car when the deck broke and I could never get it to eject or play after that. The cassette was still in there when I gave away the car. C'est la vie. I guess I'll have to buy a CD of them eventually.

The song "Ready for the River" sounds familiar and I thought maybe it was on that cassette—but it's not on the track list at AMG, so I don't know what's up with that...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM

the correct name of the record is: R. Crumb and his Keep-on-Truckin' Orchestra [not ... and His Cheap Suit Serenaders] (1972) Ordinary Records (made by Krupp Comic Works, Milwaukee) (78 rpm) and it looks like this, the label looks like this


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 05:27 PM

Ausgezeichnet! Vielen Dank, Herr Wirz!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 02:57 AM

you're welcome, Mister Mountain Dog ;-)

The lyrics - as I hear them - go like this:

I'm ready for the river, the shivery river, the river that runs down to the sea

I'm gonna drown my troubles an' leave just some bubbles indicate what used to be me

I made my will, I wrote some notes, I'm gonna keep walkin' 'til my straw hat floats

I'm ready for the river, the shivery river, so get that river ready for me, I say, get that river ready for me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 03:57 AM

addendum:
if you have your RealPlayer ready you can hear a (streaming) *.ra version of River Blues here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 10:21 AM

addendum 2 'Ready for the River':
found a bio of Charles N. Daniels ('Neil Moret') here and a nice picture of a music sheet here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: open mike
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 02:44 PM

I heard Sourdough Slim and the Saddle Pals sing this one recently...
ya--hoo! it's a goon-un.


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Subject: Lyr Add: READY FOR THE RIVER (Kahn, Moret)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 11:24 PM

Transcribed from the sound file at http://www.redhotjazz.com/coonsanders.html

READY FOR THE RIVER
(Gus Kahn, Neil Moret)
As recorded by The Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra, May 19, 1928.

INTRO: Get ready, river.

VERSE: Tell the world that I'm all through with it.
No more will I moan.
Burn my home. What can I do with it?
Can't live all alone.
No use wastin' time,
For I just know that I'm—

CHORUS: Ready for the river, the shivery river,
The river that goes down to the sea.
Gonna drown my troubles, and leave just the bubbles
To indicate what used to be me.
Made my will, wrote some notes,
Gonna keep a-walkin' 'til my straw hat floats.
I'm ready for the river, the shivery river,
So get the river ready for me.

[INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE.]

TAG: I'm ready for the river,
So get the river ready for me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: GUEST,mschultz59
Date: 10 May 08 - 02:47 PM

Here is what I remember as a child but I'l love to find the entire song.

Goin' to the river, the shivery river
so get the river ready for me.
Gonna' drown my troubles and leave just a bubble
to indicate what used to be me.

Made my will, wrote some notes
gonna keep a walkin' till my straw hat floats.
Swannee River, Old Missouri, Mississippi, Wabash too.
If I had you all around me I'd jump into all of you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 May 08 - 10:07 PM

The song is also to be found on R. Crumb's Music Sampler, a CD that comes with The R. Crumb Handbook by R. Crumb and Peter Poplaski (MQ Publications, n.d. [2004?]). The notes say it is from "R. Crumb and his Keep-on-Truckin' Orchestra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1972": R. Crumb, Al Dodge, Robert Armstrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Stewie
Date: 11 May 08 - 05:01 AM

I have the Crumb music sampler. The Crumb version lyrics are exactly as Stefan Wirz gives above apart from him (Stefan) omitting a 'to' before 'indicate'. After the lyrics, there is instumental with humming and whistling.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:32 PM

Below are some additional lyrics I found in a blog.

I figure this would work as a second verse:
    'Taint no use to try to slow me down.
    Can't stay, just can't stay.
    Had a man and had him throw me down.
    He's gone far away.
    It was solitude
    That put me in this mood.
I'm not sure how to fit these words to the melody. Maybe they would work as replacements for "Made my will ... straw hat floats" in repetitions of the chorus:
    Bring on your water cold and deep.
    On your bosom let me sleep.

    Nile or Danube, Amazon,
    All your rivers, bring 'em on.
And David Deacon posted the following lines in another thread, and they haven't been reported elsewhere. He said he learned them from Lynn Hardy:
    I can't swim, neither can I float.
    I got a lot of lead pipe in my overcoat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: MickyMan
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:55 PM

I wrote a much needed 2nd verse a while back ....

I'm ready for that river, that shivery river
So get that river ready for me.
Forget my earthly wishes, I,m singin' with the fishes,
And all my friends 'be singin' songs of me.
My baby, she be cryin', my friends'll be sad
They be talkin' 'bout me like I wasn't so bad.
I'm ready for that river, that shivery river,
So get that river ready for me.
I said "Get that river ready for meeeeeeeeee"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 12:37 PM

I've just had a look on Spotify, and it's got a couple of dozen tracks by "R Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders" and they are playing on my PC right now. Great fun. But not River Blues, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 12:43 PM

And here are the notes that go with that. (I can't do a link because Spotify doesn't work that way, so it will have to be a cut and pastel.)

R. Crumb And His Cheap Suit Serenaders

Comics and 78 rpm records were the twin poles around which the Cheap Suit Serenaders coalesced. Robert Crumb was (and is) one of the most famous underground cartoonists of all time, having nearly invented the genre. Robert Armstrong was also active in the San Francisco Bay area underground comics scene, producing such comics as Mickey Rat and The Couch Potatoes. Finding that Crumb also liked music from the '20s and '30s, Armstrong pulled in old friend Al Dodge and the troika began playing for fun.

While on a combined busking/78-hunting trip across the United States, the group made the third comics connection. In Milwaukee, cartoonist/publisher Denis Kitchen offered the group a chance to make a record. They made the shrewd marketing move of cutting a 78 rpm record under the name R. Crumb and his Keep on Trucking Orchestra. Amazingly, this record must have hit its mark because they were offered the chance to make an LP for Blue Goose/Yazoo Records. In the meantime, they earned their distinctive name by hurriedly buying suits at the Salvation Army in order to meet the minimum dress code required of the band at a posh wedding.

Though the band started as a trio, it has at times consisted of as many as six or seven people. An early incarnation of the band included yet another underground cartoonist, Dan Wheetman (later of Marley's Ghost). The band added Terry Zwigoff on cello. Tom Marion joined on guitar and mandolin. Tony Marcus took his place in 1978. Guitar dazzler Bob Brozman came in on the third album (re-released as Singin' in the Bathtub). By the mid-'80s, the group was making fewer public appearances as Armstrong and Crumb had moved inland and it was harder to corral the members. Crumb now lives in France making a full muster nigh impossible.

The group makes at least a yearly appearance (usually without Crumb) at the Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, CA. They put on a humorous and engaging live show, where one can readily see the camaraderie as well as any frictions that have built up over 20-odd years. At the very least, one can see instruments one rarely sees in action such as a Stroh violin and the musical saw. Recent years have seen occasional appearances in Europe, riding the renewed interest in R. Crumb as a result of Zwigoff's award-winning film Crumb. ~ Megan Lynch, All Music Guide


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: MickyMan
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 08:11 PM

There's a great youtube video of River Blues that shows the actual old 78 spinning 'round. Check it out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8B3j6xiZE

and then here's another one that is clearer audio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndpEu6qFwFs


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 07:13 PM

Here you go! Learned this from my dad when I was little 55 or so yrs ago. I'm waitn' for that river,
       That shivery river,
      The river that runs down to the sea.

    I'm gonna drown my troubles,
       An'leave just some bubbles,
    To indicate what used to be me.

Chorus:
    Now I made my will,
       I wrote some notes,
    I'm gonna keep a-walkin',
       'Till my straw hat floats.

    I'm waitin' for the river,
       That shivery river,
    The river that runs down to the sea.

Pop & I used to sing this commonly in the north suburbs of Chicago from the mid 70's until the mid 80's when he died. One of our favorites and everyone seemed to like it & would ask for it again. JN- now the "Old Man" 65 & goin' strong


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues per R. Crumb
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM

You can hear it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7AmXJ1ULoSg


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Subject: Lyr Add: READY FOR THE RIVER (Gus Kahn/Neil Moret)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 05:27 PM

This is the most complete version I could find:

READY FOR THE RIVER
Words by Gus Kahn, music by Neil Moret. ©1928.
As recorded by Annette Hanshaw, 1928-04-01

1. Tell the world that I'm all through with it.
No more will I moan.
Burn my home; what can I do with it?
Can't live all alone.
No use wastin' time.
I just know that I'm—

CHORUS 1: Ready for the river, the shivery river,
The river that goes down to the sea.
Want to drown my trouble, and leave just a bubble
To indicate what used to be me.
Made my will, wrote some notes.
Gonna keep a-walkin till my straw hat floats.
Said, I'm ready for the river, the shivery river,
So get that river ready for me.

2. Ain't no use to try to slow me down.
Can't stay; just can't stay.
{I don't know how you throw me down.
He's gone far away.}*
It was solitude.
That put me in this mood.

CHORUS 2: I'm ready for the river, the shivery river,
The river that goes down to the sea.
Want to drown my trouble, and leave just a bubble
To indicate what used to be me.
Make no fuss; make no row,
But I've just been two-timed for the last time now.

I'm ready for the river, the shivery river,
So get that river ready for me.

Deep river, my home is over Jordan.
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into camp.**

[Instrumental interlude]

Repeat verse 1.


* These lines are somewhat indistinct, and I think there must be something wrong with the way I transcribed them, because it seems awkward to have the pronoun switch from "you" to "he."

** An interpolation from an old spiritual.

Other early recordings were made by:
Emerson Gill and His Orchestra, 1928-03-27
Harold "Scrappy" Lambert, 1928-04-01
Wisconsin Roof Orchestra, 1928-05-01
Sam Lanin's Troubadors, 1928-05-10
Broadway Broadcasters (Lanin), 1928-05-10
Sam Lanin and His Orchestra, 1928-05-10
Coon Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra, 1928-05-29
The Goofus Five and Their Orchestra, 1928-06-27
Missouri Jazz Band, 1928-07-01


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues/Ready for the River (R Crumb)
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 12:11 AM

My favourite recorded version of this song is Lyn Hardy & Jay Unger's. It's on the Catskill Mountain Goose Chase album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: River Blues/Ready for the River (R Crumb)
From: PHJim
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM

@Jim Dixon, I hear:

{Got a man, but had him throw me down
He's gone far away.}*


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