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ADD: If You See Kay (Memphis Slim)

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murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 27 Dec 97 - 02:11 AM
Earl 27 Dec 97 - 06:26 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 28 Dec 97 - 04:17 AM
Earl 28 Dec 97 - 02:13 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 29 Dec 97 - 08:44 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 29 May 98 - 07:48 PM
Roger Himler 29 May 98 - 08:43 PM
Art Thieme 30 May 98 - 12:20 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 30 May 98 - 06:10 AM
Earl 30 May 98 - 10:15 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 30 May 98 - 08:24 PM
Barbara 30 May 98 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,kev 04 Dec 15 - 07:12 PM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 15 - 10:39 PM
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Subject: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 27 Dec 97 - 02:11 AM

I am trying to find the lyrics and performer of a song. It is sung with voice and piano in a style very much like Big Bill Broonzy's (and the performer could very well be him.)

The singer tells the story of a girl he knew named Kay who wandered off somewhere and he is looking for her. He develops this theme, constantly begging the listener to tell kay he is looking for her if the listener happens to run into her.

The last line of the song is

So remember everybody, If you see Kay...

Thanks

Murray


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: Earl
Date: 27 Dec 97 - 06:26 PM

The singer was Memphis Slim. It is avalible on a CD called "Bawdy Blues" on Prestige/Bluesville Records. Most of the song is a spoken monolog and I'll try to transcirbe it tomorrow. The chorus is sung, a 12-bar blues:

If You See Kay

If you see kay, tell her to come back home
If you see kay, tell her to come back home
I ain't had no lovin since that gal been gone

and it ends:

So remember to contact Memphis Slim
If you see kay.


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 28 Dec 97 - 04:17 AM

Thanks Earl,

I am glad to hear of the Memphis Slim version. If you transcribe it, put it on the database. There is nothing under [If you see Kay] at the moment.

I will put the CD on my wish list.

It isn't the one I had in mind, because the one I remember doesn't hit you with "If you see Kay" until the very end of the song, making a better joke, albeit a less bawdy song.

"My" version is also all talking rather than singing with a blues piano accompaniment.

Murray


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Subject: ADD: If You See Kay (Memphis Slim)
From: Earl
Date: 28 Dec 97 - 02:13 PM

Here's the Memphis Slim version. The CD lists it as public domain, I would guess the concept is as old as the hills. I've performed this song and I would say the problem with saving the punchline for the end is that people don't always catch on right away. Putting it earlier gives people time to ask "What did he say?" before hearing it again. Anyway here it is:

IF YOU SEE KAY
(Memphis Slim)

(spoken)
This story 's true. Folks, once there was a girl in my life and her name was Kay. You spell it K A Y. Kay was a very beautiful girl, a wonderful person, and she was built up like a Coca-Cola bottle. And I know Kay loved me but being a traveling man I got missed from my Kay somehow. So when I goes back to Kay's hometown I was unable to find her. So since I described her, I want to ask each and everyone underneath the sound of my voice, if you see a girl like this, please tell her Memphis Slim is trying to contact her.

(sung)
If you see Kay, tell her I say hurry home
If you see Kay, please tell her I say hurry home
Tell Kay I ain't had no lovin since my little girl been gone

(spoken)
But you know something, a man cant go around forever looking for a particular girl. Maybe something happened to the girl. She could be dead. Or something terrible happened to her, maybe she got married.

(sung)
So long, I guess I'll be on my way
So long, people I guess I'll be on my way
But be sure to contact Memphis Slim, people, If you see Kay


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 29 Dec 97 - 08:44 PM

Thanks Earl,

The text of this version is pretty close to what I remember. If anything it is better.

The version I heard was played on the radio in the early 60s. The final line came as a surprise and the last chord of the piano was still ringing in my ear when I "caught on".

It is not because I am slow, but you just didn't expect to hear that on the radio! I think that at the time the piece was recorded, audiences wouldn't have expected to hear it either.

I could see it would be different in a live performance in the 90s with a good audience who is "with" you and is less naive than audiences 30 or 40 years ago.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 29 May 98 - 07:48 PM

Earl, I finally got the Memphis Slim Disk. It is the same version that I was thinking of. What I forgot was that the verses are so long.

Thanks for telling me about it.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: Roger Himler
Date: 29 May 98 - 08:43 PM

You may not be slow, Murray, but I certainly am. It took multiple readings of this thread to realize the last words of the song were very similar to four letters in a four letter word. And I had always thought I was quite the man of the world.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 May 98 - 12:20 AM

Big Bill DID play the piano once in a while, but recordings of that were rare.

This just doesn't sound like a song he would've done. Memphis Slim liked novelty audience pleasers like this.


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 30 May 98 - 06:10 AM

Yeah, Roger, but hearing it is different from reading it. It might show you are a good reader and don't say things to yourself while you read.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: Earl
Date: 30 May 98 - 10:15 AM

The first time I ever heard the song it was performed by a piano player named Sweet Pie. He played downstairs at a strip clup in Salisbury, MA wearing nothing but a loin cloth. Between songs he would individually insult everyone in the audience. That's entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 30 May 98 - 08:24 PM

There used to be a guy like that in a Phila cafe in the early 60s. I forget his name, but he dressed up like a cave man (and insulted the audience during numbers!) He didn't do anything as good as "Kay", though.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: Barbara
Date: 30 May 98 - 09:48 PM

I get it! I get it! It's like that song from the 60s...Miss Morse I want you... and the chorus goes:
Dit dit dah dit, dit dit dah, dah dit dah dit, dah dit dah.
Right?
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Kay
From: GUEST,kev
Date: 04 Dec 15 - 07:12 PM

The Strokes have a version if you see Kay more than a tip of the house 2 the original Blues version


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Subject: RE: ADD: If You See Kay (Memphis Slim)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 15 - 10:39 PM

Hmmmm....interesting. I didn't get the double entendre until I heard this recording by Memphis Slim: There are those who say that Joe Offer is not too quick at recognizing double entendres. They're probably right. Part of my boyish innocence, I suppose.


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