donderdag 16 augustus 2012
O Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn (1915) / Pharaoh's Army Got Drowned (1926)
"Mary Don't You Weep" (alternately titled "O Mary Don't You Weep", "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn", or variations thereof) is a Spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War – thus it is what scholars call a "slave song", "a label that describes their origins among the enslaved," and it contains "coded messages of hope and resistance". It is one of the most important of Negro spirituals.
The song tells the Biblical story of Mary of Bethany and her distraught pleas to Jesus to raise her brother Lazarus from the dead. Other narratives relate to The Exodus and the Passage of the Red Sea, with the chorus proclaiming Pharaoh's army got drown-ded!, and to God's rainbow covenant to Noah after the Great Flood.
With liberation thus one of its themes, the song again becomes popular during the Civil Rights Movement.
Mary Don't You Weep - Wikipedia
Click here to READ ALL ABOUT "Mary Don't You Weep"
The ORIGINAL version titled "O Mary Don't You Weep (Don't You Mourn)" by the Fisk University Male Quartette was recorded October 1915 and released on the Columbia-label (Columbia A-1895)
The ORIGINAL is also contained on the next CD:
Roll Jordan roll : In chronological order 1915-1920 ; vol.2 - Fisk University Jubilee Singers - Muziekweb
(c) The Southern 4 (1921) (as "O Mary, Doan You Weep, Doan You Moan") (Negro Spiritual)
Recorded June 1921
Released on Edison 50885.
Listen here (at about 2 min and 12 sec)
(c) Virginia Female Jubilee Singers (1921) (as "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn")
Recorded September 7, 1921 in New York City
Released on Okeh 4430
(c) Alf. Taylor and his Old Timber Quartet (1924) (as "Pharoah's Army Got Drowned")
Recorded August 11, 1924.
Released on Victor 19451
Listen here (at 6 min and 25 seconds in the next YT)
(c) Norfolk Jubilee Quartette (1926) (as "Pharaoh's Army Got Drowned")
Recorded January 1926
Released on the Paramount-label (Paramount 12342)
(c) Birmingham Jubilee Singers (1927) (as "Pharaoh's Army Got Drowned")
Recorded in Atlanta, GA, November 5, 1926
Released 1927 on the Columbia-label (Columbia 14203-D)
Birmingham Jubilee Singers - See The Sign Of Judgment / Pharoh's Army Got Drowned (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM) | Discogs
(c) West Virginia Collegiate Institute Glee Club (1927) (as "Oh! Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded in New York, February 21, 1927.
Brunswick 3500 was canceled before release, it then was released on Brunswick 4027
(c) Georgia Yellow Hammers (1927) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded August 9, 1927 in Charlotte, North Carolina under the supervision of Ralph Peer.
Bud Landress was one of the Yellow Hammers.
Released on the Victor-label (Victor 20928)
(c) Utica Institute Jubilee Singers (1928) (as "O Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded April 24, 1928, New York
Released on Victor 21373 and Bluebird 1828
Utica Institute Jubilee Singers - O Mary Don't You Weep / Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray (1928, Shellac) | Discogs
(c) Biddleville Quintette (1929) (as "Pharoah's Army Got Drowned")
Recorded April 1929
Released on Paramount-label (12848) and on QRS label (QRS 7073)
Contained on the next album:
Filmed March 21, 1929 here BELOW is a rare and historical footage of some anonymous workers (named Georgia Field Hands on a Document CD) grouped around an Augusta, GA. stump take, backed by a lone banjo
(c) Leadbelly (1935) (as "Mary, Don't You Weep")
Leadbelly has covered this song on a few occasions. On January 20, 1935 he recorded "Mary Don't You Weep" (matrix 131-B-1) in Wilton, Connecticut for the Library of Congress.
In October 1948 he recorded "Mary Don't You Weep" in New York, with Martha Promise doing harmony-vocals.
Released a few years later on the Folkways-set "Leadbelly's Last Sessions Volume One".
(c) Frazier Family (1938) (as "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep")
On October 16, 1938, Alan Lomax did a field recording for the Library of Congress, in Michigan, Detroit, of The Frazier Family singing "Oh Mary Don't You Weep".
It was released on the next album:
(c) Rosetta Tharpe (1956) (as "Don't You Weep, Oh Mary, Don't You Weep")
Recorded in New York City, NY; February 23, 1956
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Don't You Weep, O Mary, Don't You Weep / I've Done Wrong (1956, Vinyl) | Discogs
78 RPM - Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Don't You Weep, O Mary, Don't You Weep / I've Done Wrong - Decca - USA - 29878
(c) Pete Seeger (1957) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
Released in 1957 on the first volume of the American Favorite Ballads- series on Folkways FA 2320. It was this version that inspired the 2006 Bruce Springsteen cover-version.
(c) Tommy Collins (1957) (as "O Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded July 12, 1957 Capitol Recording Studio, 1710 North Vine St., Hollywood, CA –
Tommy Collins (Buck Owens [gt], Lewis Talley [gt], Fuzzy Owen [bass], Pee Wee Adams [drums], Merrill E. Moore [piano], Wanda Collins [harm vcl].
Producer: Ken Nelson)
Finally released in 1992 on the Bear Family-label CD "Leonard"( BCD-15577)
During the UK Skiffle-boom period 2 Skiffle-groups recorded a version of the spiritual:
(c) Les Hobeaux (1957) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
(c) Lea Valley Skiffle Group (1957) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded September 5, 1957 Released on Esquire Records EP 163
(c) Swan Silvertones (1958) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded August 1958
At the end of the year it became one of the Swan's most succesful and influential songs.
A line in this version: "I'll be a bridge over deep water", was the inspiration for Paul Simon to write his "Bridge over Troubled Water".
Simon also borrowed the Swans' "Mary" chord progressions for his "Loves Me Like a Rock" hit with the Dixie Hummingbirds. (SEE LATER ON IN THIS POST)
In 2015 The Swan Silvertones's version of the song was inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry for the song's "cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy".
Released on Vee Jay 867
(c) Caravans - Mary Don't You Weep Pt. 1 and Pt. 2
unknown (org, p, d) Albertina Walker, Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews, Eddie Williams, and others? (vocal group)
Recorded December 30, 1958
Released in 1959 Gospel 1017 (a sub-label of Savoy)
This was another influential version (for Aretha Franklin ao)
(c) Jimmy Witherspoon (1959) (as "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep")
Released in 1959 on the album "Feelin' The Spirit" Label: HiFi Records – R 422
(c) Nat King Cole (1959) (as "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep")
Recorded on September 29, 1958 at The First Church Of Deliverance, Chicago, IL,
Nat King Cole (vo) The First Church Of Deliverance Choir (choir) Gordon Jenkins (arr, cond)
Released in 1959 on the album "Everytime I Feel The Spirit" (Capitol SW 1249)
Just as the Caravans and The Swan Silvertones, The Harmonizing Four were a black gospel group recording a version of this spiritual.
(c) The Harmonizing Four (1960) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
Released in 1960 on the album "God Will Take Care Of You" (Vee Jay LP-5009)
(c) Stonewall Jackson (1959) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded July 21, 1959 Nashville, TN -
Stonewall Jackson (Arnie Derkson [gt], Grady Martin [gt], Alvin Sutton [gt], Paul Williams [gt], Harold Bradley [banjo], Little Roy Wiggins [steel], Junior Huskey [bass], Buddy Harman [drums], Marijohn Wilkin [piano].
Producer: Don Law)
Released October 1959 on album "The Dynamic Stonewall Jackson" (Columbia CS 8186).
On November 16, 1959 "Mary Don't You Weep" was released on a 45 on the Columbia-label (4-41533). Stonewall's version reached the #12 position on the C&W Charts.
(c) Kingston Trio - Don't You Weep, Mary
Recorded August 17, 1961in Hollywood, CA –
Kingston Trio (John Stewart [vcl/gt/banjo], Nick Reynolds [vcl/gt], Bob Shane [vcl/gt] + Morris "Buck" Wheat [bass].
Producer: Voyle Gilmore)
Released September 1961 on album: "Close Up" (Capitol ST-1642)
The Kingston Trio had recorded the song earlier on October 4, 1960 in the same studio with the same personnel, but that version was not released until the Bear Family Box: Kingston Trio: The Capitol Years.
(c) Mel Tillis (1962) (as "Mary, Don't You Weep")
Recorded ca. March 1962 Nashville, TN
Mel Tillis (Producer: Don Law)
Released in 1962 on the album "Heart Over Mind" on the Columbia-label (CS-8524).
3 years before, in 1959, Stonewall Jackson had a big C&W hit with Mel Tillis and Marijohn Wilkin's arrangement of "Mary, Don't You Weep" (SEE EARLIER ON IN THIS POST)
This was recorded in the same studio and with the same producer.
(c) Mississippi John Hurt (1963) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded July 15, 1963 at the Ontario Place coffee house in Washington DC.
(c) The Halifax Three (1963) (as "Oh Mary Don’t You Weep")
The Halifax Three with Denny Doherty (before he became a Papa (in the Mamas and Papas)
Released in 1963 on the album: The Halifax Three (Epic 26038)
Produced by Bob Morgan
(c) Bobby Darin - Mary Don't You Weep
Released November 1963 on album: "Golden Folk Hits" (Capitol ST-2007). "Golden Folk Hits" was Darin's second album of folk songs, produced by Nik Venet. Playing in the sessions were Glen Campbell, James Burton, Phil Ochs and Roger McGuinn (who would record his own version in 2005 in the context of his Folk Den project.
With liberation as one of its themes, the song again become popular during the 1950s and 1960s American Civil Rights Movement.
Additionally, a song that explicitly chronicles the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, "If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus", written by Charles Neblett of The Freedom Singers, was sung to this tune and became one of the most well-known songs of that movement.
SEE: If You Missed Me on the Back of the Bus Lyrics.pdf
(c) Freedom Singers (1963) (as "If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus")
Recorded in Selma, AL, October 1963 by the Freedom Singers led by Betty Mae Fikes.
Released on the next album:
(c) James Brown - Oh Baby Don’t You Weep (Part 1 and Part 2)
adapts elements from the gospel song ‘Oh Mary Don’t You Weep.’
Recorded October 4, 1963 King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
Released January 1964 on the King-label [King 5842]
(c) Soul Stirrers - Oh Mary Don't You Weep
Recorded January 28, 1964 Studio: RCA Studios in Los Angeles Producer: Sam Cooke
Released as the B-side of "Looking BACK" on the SAR-label (SAR 150)
45cat - The Soul Stirrers - Oh Mary Don't You Weep / Looking Back - SAR - USA - SAR 150
(c) Johnny Nash (1964) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Released on Groove 58-0030
In 1964, Jamaican artist Justin Hinds had a ska hit with "Jump Out Of The Frying Pan", whose lyrics borrowed heavily from the spiritual.
(c) Justin Hinds (1964) (as "Jump Out Of The Frying Pan")
And the Godfather of Ska, Laurel Aitken, also covered this spiritual, in 1964.
(c) Laurel Aitken (1964) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
(c) Staple Singers (1965) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
Released on the album "Amen" (Epic-label 24132)
(c) Skip James (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Recorded March 22-24, 1967 - New York City
Skip James cover-version was finally released in 2003 on a Vanguard CD: " Rare and Unreleased" (Vanguard 79705-2)
Skip James - Studio Sessions: Rare And Unreleased (2003, CD) | Discogs
In 1972 Aretha Franklin recorded a version, that closely followed the Caravans' version earlier in this post.
(c) Aretha Franklin (1972) (as "Mary Don't You Weep"
Aretha Franklin (p, cel, vo) Rev. James Cleveland (p, dir) Kenneth Lupper (org) Cornell Dupree (g) Chuck Rainey (el-b) Bernard Purdie (d) Pancho Morales (cga) Rev. C.L. Birden (pastor) Rev. C.L. Franklin (comments) The Southern California Community Choir (choir) Alexander Hamilton (assistant dir)
Recorded 'Live' at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, January 13–14, 1972.
Released June 1972 on the album "Amazing Grace"
Amazing Grace | Discogs
Paul Simon was impressed by the version of the Swan Silvertones. The Swan Silvertones gospel standard "Mary Don't You Weep" became famous beyond their expectations when Blood, Sweat, and Tears member Al Kooper, a fan of the Swans, introduced their music to a young Paul Simon. An inspiration for his hit "Bridge Over Troubled Water" supposedly came from a line in "Mary" : "I'll be a bridge over deep water". Simon also borrowed the Swans' "Mary" chord progressions for his "Loves Me Like a Rock" hit with the DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS.
(c) Taj Mahal & The Pointer Sisters - Mary Don't You Weep
In 1973 Taj Mahal & The Pointer Sisters were coupled to record a few songs. "Mary Don't You Weep" was one of the songs recorded.
Unissued at that time but included on the next Taj Mahal album (released in 1998)
Taj Mahal - In Progress & In Motion 1965-1998 (1998, CD) | Discogs
(c) Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie (1974) (as "Oh, Mary Don't You Weep")
On May, 9 1974, the late singer and songwriter Phil Ochs organized a concert to benefit the Friends of Chile, after the murder on their president Salvador Allende and singer Victor Jara.
Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie's cover-version of "Oh, Mary Don't You Weep" is on the next album:
Listen to the complete concert here:
(c) Prince - Mary Don't You Weep
In 1983 during the rehearsals for the "Purple Rain" album, Prince recorded a piano rehearsal of "Mary Don't You Weep".
And here's John Fogerty at Chaplin Stage, Hollywood,CA, January 31, 1985
An a cappella version by Take 6, simply called "Mary", received wide airplay after appearing on the group's eponymous debut album in 1988.
(c) Mumtaz Mahal - Mary Don't You Weep
In 1995 Taj Mahal covered "Mary Don't You Weep" with two Indian Musicians
Taj Mahal (Vocal and Guitar) Narasimhan Ravikian (Chitra Veena) Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena)
The song is also sung briefly at the beginning of the music video for Bone Thugs N Harmony's 1996 "Tha Crossroads".
(c) Trin-I-Tee 5:7 (1998) (as "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep")
Trin-i-tee 5:7* - Trin-i-tee 5:7 (1998, CD) | Discogs
(c) Natalie Merchant - Mary Don't You Weep
Recorded live on July 15, 2000 at the KBCO Rockfest, Winterpark, Colorado
(c) Long John Baldry - Oh Mary Don't You Weep
Released in 2001 on the next album
Long John Baldry - Remembering Leadbelly (2001, CD) | Discogs
(c) Ronnie Earl (2003) (as "Mary Don't You Weep")
with Silver Leaf Gospel Singers
Released in 2003 on the next album
Ronnie Earl - I Feel Like Goin' On (2003, CD) | Discogs
(c) Roger McGuinn (2005) (as "Oh Mary Don't You Weep")
Roger McGuinn's Folk Den » Blog Archive » Oh Mary Don't You Weep
Released on the next album
Roger McGuinn - The Folk Den Project 1995-2005 (2005, CD) | Discogs
Listen here: ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden/php/music/Oh_Mary_Dont_You_Weep.mp3
(c) Aaron Neville - Mary Don't You Weep
Aaron Neville covered "Mary Don't You Weep" in 2005 on the album "Devotion"
Aaron Neville - Devotion (2000, CD) | Discogs
(c) Bruce Springsteen (2006) (as "O Mary Don't You Weep")
Released in 2006 on album "We Shall Overcome. The Seeger Sessions"
Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions (2006, 180g, Vinyl) | Discogs
And here is a video of Bruce recording the song for the Seeger Sessions.
In 1965 Gram Parsons, as a member of the Shilos, recorded "Mary Don't You Weep", which is a different song, composed by Dennis Hupp.
(c) Shilos (1965)
Gram Parsons: guitar, vocals Paul Surratt: guitar, banjo, vocals Joe Kelly: bass, vocals George Wrigley: guitar, banjo, vocals
Recorded in March of 1965 at the radio station at Bob Jones University, in the hope of securing a recording contract.
Released in 1979 on Sierra Records
Gram Parsons - The Early Years 1963-65 (1979, Vinyl) | Discogs