Played in class 20/i:
Church House Moan
It's Alright samples for comparison: Big Boy Crudup/Elvis Presley (1946/1956)
Prove It On Me (Ma Rainey) --see Ma Rainey page from lambda.net ...and Prove it on me lyrics
Plus: Louis Armstrong West End Blues (1928: see more, on the intro ...and hear it again here. And see more early jazz examples, comparing King Oliver's 1929 West End Blues to Louis' version [King Oliver wrote the tune... and was the leader of Louis' first big-time band]), and Mamie Smith Crazy Blues (1920)
More on Thomas A. Dorsey: Wikipedia, and other samples ...Say Amen, Somebody  is now available in DVD
Margie Evans doing "Mistreated Woman"
the Son House/Bukka White DVD is available ...more on Son House
Charlie Patton by R. Crumb
Son House's "Death Letter Blues"
The Devil's Music --wonderful collection of lyrics, lovingly presented
The Blue Highway
We know the Delta blues via scratchy 78 RPM records from the 1920s and 1930s, and via the 'rediscovery' of some old blues men in the 1960s [Son House and Bukka White are the two we've seen already], and via collectors' recordings of younger inheritors of the Delta tradition, and via the work of people who took Delta blues to other locations --sepecially Chicago-- and electrified it [Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, others...]. And via the mostly-white inheritors in and around the rock guitar world [Eric Clapton perhaps the most prominent, Jimmy Page, others...]. There's a lot of scholarship on Delta blues, a considerable bibliography of album liner notes and books and articles, alive with controversies and variant readings of literal and metaphorical texts, and contending interpretations of the ragged scraps of history. Was "the Blues" invented on or near the Dockery plantation? Did W.C. Handy hear "the weirdest music I had ever heard" from Henry Sloan? Did Carlie Patton learn from Henry Sloan? Did Robert Johnson (or Tommy Johnson... or somebody else) learn to play by going to a Crossroads at Midnight, meeting a tall stranger to whom he traded his immortal soul for the ability to play like nobody else... And how did Robert Johnson die, and which of several graves is he buried in... and so on. Legends and mysteries are at least as common as objective facts.
But we do have the evidence of those recordings, hundreds of sides of rural black blues music, lovingly collected and remastered for reissue into the collections of mostly-white mostly-urban mostly-northern enthusiasts.
Robert Johnson is the enigma at the center of some of the most persistent stories. He recorded 41 takes in two sessions, in November 1936 and June 1937, and was dead by August 1938 (at age 27). He was not a commercial success during his short lifetime (only "Terraplane Blues" had big sales). In the mid-1960s Columbia remastered the 78s and issued two records ["King of the Delta blues" and ""] with 16 titles on each, and these were very influential among young white guitarists. In 1990 Sony/Columbia issued a 2-CD set of all 41 takes, and more than 500,000 copies were sold.
The Evolution of the Blues from basinstreet.com
Original Dixieland Jass Band was the first to record "jazz", in 1917... and 'blues' made up a lot of their repertoire. Says the Amazon.com review:
One of the painful ironies of American musical history is that the first jazz band ever to record was the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, a quintet of white New Orleans musicians who had moved north to Chicago in 1916 and began recording in New York a year later. More painful still, their first recordings to be released, "Livery Stable Blues" and "Original Dixieland One-Step," would launch a national jazz craze and a host of imitators, with the fad passing before any of the great African American New Orleans musicians--Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong--first entered recording studios. However, while the ODJB lacked the art and inventiveness of Morton or Oliver, it had enough spontaneous energy and high spirits to explode on an unsuspecting public conditioned to staid popular music and relatively formal ragtime.Livery Stable Blues sheet music illustration, and musical analysis ..and a .mid file (under 'Old-Time Blues and Ragtime' --along with lots of others)
While none of the musicians seems to have arrived at the improvised solo, the tracks are filled with characteristic New Orleans ensemble variations, with clarinetist Larry Shields coiling around Nick LaRocca's punching cornet lead work, and trombonist Eddie Edwards providing tailgate effects. While the quality of early recording would lose some of pianist Henry Ragas's work, drummer Tony Sbarbaro contributes what percussion effect acoustic recording could support.
musical examples from digitalhistory.uh.edu (see Blues and Jazz categories)
Directory of Mississippi Musicians and Music by Jim Brewer
Steady Rollin’ Man: A Revolutionary Critique of Robert Johnson (turntable speed... listen to this, two versions of the same phrase, the last of "Me and the Devil")
The Robert Johnson Notebooks from UVa --lyrics and much more
Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta (ML420.J735 W35 2004) is essential...
Robert Johnson & the devil's pact: Did celebrated 1930s bluesman Robert Johnson sell his soul to the Devil for fame and guitar expertise?
Robert Johnson's Legacy
Robert Johnson, His Life, His Music, His Legacy by Alan White (the picture is a rendering of a portrait of Charlie Patton...)
Robert Johnson and the Crossroads Curse
Eric Clapton's "Me and Mr. Johnson" (2004) --see the reviews...
Jimi Hendrix video clips "Killing Floor" is 'just' 12-bar blues
The Legacy of Leiber and Stoller by Jeff Kaliss
Big Mama Thornton ...and the FemmeNoir take
For Ball and Chain: (lyrics)
The complete Monterey Pop Festival [videorecording] / A Leacock Pennebaker release ; The Foundation presents ; by D.A. Pennebaker. IMPRINT [S.l.] : Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation ; HVE, c2002,1968. CONTENTS Disc 1. Monterey Pop -- Disc 2. Jimi plays Monterey -- Disc 3. The outtake performances. CALL NO. ML38.M67 M7 2002.
from a John Fahey page:
All the time we've been talking, Fahey's faithful beatbox has been softly playing the music he's been piecing together for a kaleidoscopic new composition, with the working title "The Skip James Project".
"I think this Skip James project is the most interesting thing I've ever done," he states categorically. "The idea was to record the saddest, most morbid and angry music in the world, using a guitar. There's noise in some pieces and it's going to be long. Music to encourage people to commit suicide."
The working title is a reference to Fahey's infamous encounter with this "strangest, most complex and bizarre of all blues artists" when he visited Skip James in Tunica County Hospital, Mississippi in 1964. Whatever his feelings about James's music, Fahey denies the project is a tribute to the bluesman bearing his name.
"No. Fuck him, he wasn't worth it," Fahey growls vehemently. "He was condescending and a real jerk. Henry Vestine, Bill Barth and I visited him in hospital and the first time we met him he said, 'So you guys have heard some of my records, the ones that were made in 1931?' We told him we had and he said, 'Gee, it sure took you a long time to get here, you can't be very bright. Well, it was nice of you fellows to risk your lives, spend all those years and all that money looking for me. I can understand why you did that, because I really am a genius. Well, goodnight now.'
"Before we met I was in awe of him," he says. "It was a shattering experience. I was very young and naive. The main reason I tried to find him was to learn his guitar tuning." However, Fahey is not a man to let personal animosity interfere with his artistic judgment. Takoma later released an album of Skip James compositions, triggering his revival, which lasted until his death from cancer in 1969. Fahey triggering his revival, which lasted until his death from cancer in 1969.
Fahey was more warmly received by another of his heroes, Booker (aka Bukka)White, who he rediscovered in 1963 with Takoma partner ED Denson. Keen to contact White, though not knowing how, Fahey took a gamble and wrote a postcard to the composer of "Aberdeen Mississippi Blues", addressing it to Bukka White — Old Blues Singer, c/o General Delivery, Aberdeen, Mississippi. Miraculously the card was forwarded to White in Memphis, his home since the 1930s. Once they made contact, Fahey and Denson coaxed White out of retirement to record Mississippi Blues Vol 1 for Takoma.
"He was an angel," beams Fahey. "He was helpful and friendly, a very gregarious person. He was also very intelligent and imaginative, which would show up in the lyrics to his songs. He liked to play story games, where everything in the world might show up. I wish I had taped them, they were really surreal and better than anything on the Takoma record I put out. He couldn't really play that well any more."
Takoma recorded another lost' bluesman, Robert Pete Williams, who would have a deep influence on Don Van Vliet's Captain Beefheart persona, and who Fahey describes as "the strangest person I ever met. He was like some alien from another world who was part alligator or something."
One version of lyrics for John the Revelator, which may have been created by Blind Willie Johnson, and is memorably sung by Son House ..and covered by, among others, John Cougar Mellencamp, Beck...