dinsdag 23 september 2014

44 Blues (1929) / Vicksburg Blues (1930) / Forty Four (1954)


"Forty-Four" or "44 Blues" is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana.

"Forty Four" was published in Thomas W. Talley's 1922 collection Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise & Otherwise. As such, this could be a precursor to the "Forty Four" Blues songs,

https://archive.org/stream/negrofolkrhymes00tallgoog#page/n88/mode/2up

"The Forty-Fours," as its earlier form was sometimes referred to, was a piano-driven "barrelhouse honky-tonk blues" that was performed as an instrumental.
Little Brother Montgomery, who is usually credited with the development of the song, taught it to another blues pianist along the way by the name of Lee Green; Green, in turn, taught it to Roosevelt Sykes.
As Sykes explained: "He [Lee Green] was the first guy I ever heard play the "44" Blues. Several people had been playing it through the country of course — Little Brother Montgomery and several others, but nobody had ever recorded it and there was no words to it, no words or lyrics at all. So Lee Green, he took a lot of time out to teach me how to play it." By the time he recorded it in 1929, Roosevelt Sykes supplied the lyrics and called the song "44 Blues":
It was not until after Sykes recorded "44 Blues" that Green and Montgomery recorded their versions of "The Forty-Fours." While instrumentally both were similar to Sykes' version, the subject matter and lyrics were different. Lee Green recorded his version, titled "Number Forty-Four Blues" , two months after Sykes.
About one year later, Little Brother Montgomery recorded his version titled "Vicksburg Blues".
Of the three, Roosevelt Sykes' version was the most popular and "was to be far more influential than Green's version." "[Sykes' lyrics] played on the differing interpretations of the phrase 'forty-fours' — the train number 44, the .44 caliber revolver and the 'little cabin' on which was the number 44, presumably a prison cell." "Undoubtedly, these overlays of meaning generally appealed to other singers, accounting for the frequent use of Sykes' lyrics."

Well I walked all night long, with my .44 in my hand (2x)
Now I was looking for my woman, found her with another man

Well I wore my .44 so long, Lord it made my shoulder sore (2x)
After I do what I want to, ain't gonna wear my .44 no more

Now I heard my baby say, she heard that 44 whistle blow (2x)
Lord it sounds like, ain't gonna blow that whistle no more

Now I got a little cabin, and it's number 44 (2x)
Lord I wake up every morning, the wolf be scratching on my door

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty-Four_(song)

http://www.originals.be/en/originals.php?id=6615


(o) Roosevelt Sykes (1929)  (as "44 Blues")
Roosevelt Sykes, voc, p
Recorded June 14, 1929 at 11 Union Square, New York City
Released on Okeh 8702

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Listen here:





(c) Lee Green (1929)  (as "Number Forty-Four Blues")
Recorded August 16, 1929 in Chicago.
Released on Vocalion 1401

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Ah, my baby cryin and I didn’t hear the 44 whistle when she blows
Ah, my baby cryin and I hear the 44 whistle when she blows
And then I feel mistreated and your sweet mama bound to go.

Ah, baby, when you get lonely and think you want to go
Yes, baby when you get lonely and think that you want to go
You know that you ain’t no better, mama, than the black woman that I had before

Some of these mornins mama, baby and it won’t be long
Ah some of these mornins, baby and it won’t be long
You gonna look for your daddy, baby, and I’m goin to be gone.

I got blues will last me nine months from today.
Baby, I got blues will last me nine months from today.
I’m gonna get my sweet woman to drive my blues away.

[Piano Instrumental]

Ah, little baby when you get lonely and want to go.
Ah baby, baby, when you get lonely and you want to go
You ain’t no better, baby, than the black woman that I had before
Listen here:





(c) James Wiggins (1929)  (as "Forty-Four Blues")
James Wiggins, voc; Blind Leroy Garnett, p
Recorded October 12, 1929 in Richmond, IN;
Released on Paramount 12860-A and on Broadway 5061 (as by James Harris)

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James Wiggins closely follows Roosevelt Sykes "44 Blues"

Listen here:





(c) Little Brother Montgomery (1930)  (as "Vicksburg Blues")
Recorded September 1930 in Grafton, WI.
Little Brother Montgomery: vocals and  piano
Released on Paramount 13006-A

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I've got the Vicksburg Blues and I'm singin it everywhere I go.
I've got the Vicksburg Blues and I'm singin it everywhere I go.
Now the reason I'm singin', my babe says she don't want me no more

I've got the Vicksburg Blues and I'm singin it everywhere I please.
I've got the Vicksburg Blues and I'm singin it everywhere I please.
Now the reason I'm singin', it is to give my poor soul ease

[Piano solo]

Now I ain’t gonna be your Lord, I'm down no more

Now I don’t like this old place, mama, and Lord and I never will
Now I don’t like this old place, mama, and Lord and I never will
I can sit right here in jail and look at Vicksburg on the hill.

Listen here:





Due to the song's popularity, many versions of "Forty-Four" appeared over the following years, including some that bore little resemblance to the original except for the title. Sykes, Green, and Montgomery recorded it themselves ten times between 1929 and 1936.

Roosevelt Sykes re-recorded the song in 1930 with his alias Willie Kelly.

(c) Willie Kelly (1930)  (as "Kelly's 44 Blues")
Roosevelt Sykes, voc, p.
Recorded June 12, 1930 in Cincinnati, OH;
Released on Victor V-38608-A

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Lord I say good morning Mr pawnshop man : as I walked in his door
Lord I say good morning Mr pawnshop man : as I walked in his door
I says I feel bad this morning : and I really wants my forty‑four

Lord I was at a party last night : I was out there till about half past two
Lord I was at a party last night : I was out there till about half past two
I'm going back out there tonight : I'm out to have some shooting to do

Lord the policeman walked around me : they walked around me both night and day
Lord the policeman walked around me : they walked around me both night and day
When they know I got my forty‑four : they won't have a word to say

Then I made up in my mind : and I really don't care how I go
Then I made up in my mind : and I simply don't care how I go
Before I'll be mistreated : I'm going to shoot my forty‑four

Listen here:




And on December 11, 1933 Roosevelt Sykes recorded "New 44 Blues" (released on Bluebird B 5323)

On November 4, 1930 Lee Green recorded a version called "Train Number 44", accompanied by Roosevelt Sykes (released on Vocalion 1566)

Listen here: Lee Green – Train Number 44

And on August 24, 1934 Green recorded a version called "44 Blues" (released on Decca 7016)

Little Brother Montgomery recorded "Vicksburg Blues No. 2" on August 10, 1935 (released on Bluebird B 6072) http://www.wirz.de/music/montgome/grafik/b6072a4.jpg
And "Vicksburg Blues Part 3" on October 16, 1936 (released on Bluebird B 6697) http://www.wirz.de/music/montgome/grafik/b6697b4.jpg



(c) Mae Glover (1931) (as "Forty-Four Blues")
Sometimes Mae Glover is credited for writing "Forty-Four Blues", but her version was only recorded on February 24, 1931

http://www.document-records.com/fulldetails.asp?ProdID=DOCD-5185

Mae Muff (Glover):Vocals James Parker:Trumpet Charles O'Neil:Piano
Recorded in Richmond, IN. Tuesday, February 24, 1931
Originally issued on Champion 16351
And on Superior 2783 (as by Alberta Washburn)
Also released on Varsity 6053 (as by Mae Muff) (as "Big Gun Blues")

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Listen here:





(c) Johnnie Temple (1936)  (as "New Vicksburg Blues")
Johnnie Temple, voc; Joshua Altheimer, p; Johnnie Temple or Charlie, McCoy, g
Recorded November 12, 1936 in Chicago, IL;

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http://www.discogs.com/Johnnie-Temple-New-Vicksburg-Blues-Louise-Louise/release/4048986

Listen here:

Johnnie Temple – New Vicksburg Blues



 (c) Big Maceo (1945)  (as "Maceo's 32-20")
The "Forty-Four" theme was also used by Big Maceo in 1945 in his "Maceo's 32-20".
Big Maceo, voc, p; Tampa Red, g, # sp; Tyrell Dixon, dr
Recorded July 5, 1945 in Chicago, Ill.;

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Listen here:

http://grooveshark.com/s/Maceo+s+32+20/2gsSYg?src=5



(c) Big Boy Crudup (1947)  (as "Crudup's Vicksburg Blues")
Arthur Crudup, voc, g; Ransom Knowling, b; Judge Riley, dr
Recorded April 9, 1947 in Chicago, IL

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Listen here:





(c) The Howlin' Wolf (1954)  (as "Forty Four")
Recorded in October, 1954. Chicago.
Howlin' Wolf, v, h; Otis Spann, p; Jody Williams, Hubert Sumlin, g; Willie Dixon, b; Earl Phillips, d.
Released on Chess 1584

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In 1954, when Howlin' Wolf recorded his version, "Forty Four" took on a new outlook.
Backing Wolf, who sang and played hamonica, were Hubert Sumlin and Jody Williams (electric guitars), Otis Spann (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Earl Phillips (drums).
Together they transformed "Forty Four" into a Chicago blues, with prominent guitar lines and an insistent "martial shuffle on the snare drum plus a bass drum that slammed down like an industrial punch-press". Wolf retained Sykes' handgun reference and added "Well I'm so mad this morning, I don't know where in the world to go."

I wore my forty-four so long, I've made my shoulder sore
I wore my forty-four so long and I made my shoulder sore
Well, I'm wonderin' everybody, where'd my baby go

Well, I'm so mad this mornin', I don't know where in the world to go
Well, I'm so mad this mornin', I don't know where in the world to go
Well, now I'm lookin' for me some money, pawned gun to have some gold

With Howlin' Wolf's gruff and overpowering vocal style, the overall effect was menacing.

Listen here:





(c) Rising Sons (1965)  (as ".44 Blues")
With Gary Marker, Ry Cooder & Taj Mahal;
Only released in '92. (crediting Willie Dixon)

http://www.discogs.com/Rising-Sons-2-Featuring-Taj-Mahal-and-Ry-Cooder-Rising-Sons-Featuring-Taj-Mahal-And-Ry-Cooder/release/2603100

Listen here:





(c) Captain Beefheart (1967)  (as "Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do")
The Rising Sons arrangement (HERE ABOVE) influenced Capt. Beefheart's "Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do" (Ry Cooder arrangement) for sure, with both Gary Marker & Ry Cooder involved.

http://www.discogs.com/Captain-Beefheart-And-His-Magic-Band-Safe-As-Milk-/release/1965335

Listen here:






(o) Otis Spann (1965)  (as "Vicksburg Blues")

http://www.discogs.com/Otis-Spann-Otis-Spanns-Chicago-Blues/release/3914691

Listen here:

Otis Spann – Vicksburg Blues



(c) Johnny Winter (1968) (as "Forty-Four")
In 1968 "Forty-Four" was brought into the blues-rock age by Johnny Winter on his The Progressive Blues Experiment album.
Winter's version was played at a faster tempo and had a more spare sound (trio of guitar, bass, and drums) dominated by Winter's guitar.

Listen here:





(c) Little Feat (1971)  (as "Forty-Four Blues / How Many More Years")
Little Feat recorded "Forty-Four Blues" (coupled with another Howlin' Wolf song listed as "How Many More Years," but actually "No Place To Go") on their 1971 debut album Little Feat. Little Feat's version, with piano and harmonica, was closer to Howlin' Wolf's, but it also featured the addition of slide guitar by Ry Cooder.





(c) Hound Dog Taylor (1971)  (as "44 Blues")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hound_Dog_Taylor_and_the_HouseRockers

Listen here:

http://grooveshark.com/s/44+Blues/1OsPge?src=5



(c) Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (2012)  (as "44 Blues")
During their 2012 tour, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters performed "44 Blues", inspired by the Howlin' Wolf version.

Listen here:






In 1930 Roosevelt Sykes (as Willie Kelly) also recorded a song called "32-20 Blues", which is sort of a follow-up of his "44 Blues".

SEE NEXT LINK ON MY SITE: http://jopiepopie.blogspot.nl/2014/09/some-scream-high-yellow-1926-32-20.html

The bluesscheme of the tune itself is also similar to other bluessongs like Walter Rhodes "Crowing Rooster", Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers' "Minglewood Blues" and Hambone Willie Newbern's "Roll And Tumble Blues". 

SEE NEXT LINK ON MY SITE: http://jopiepopie.blogspot.nl/2014/09/crowing-rooster-1927-minglewood-blues.html