"Every Day I Have the Blues" is a blues song written by Pinetop Sparks (birthname Aaron Gant) and his brother Milton (birthname Marion Gant). The song was first performed in the taverns of St. Louis by the Sparks brothers and was recorded July 28, 1935 in Chicago, Ill. by Pinetop with Henry Townsend on guitar. It is a twelve-bar blues that features Pinetop's piano and falsetto vocal. The lyrics to the song begin "Every day, every day I have the blues..."
After a reworking of the song by Memphis Slim, it became a blues standard with renditions recorded by numerous artists. Four different versions of "Every Day I Have the Blues" have reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B chart and two have received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award (one by the Count Basie Orchestra with Joe Williams and one by B.B. King).
Memphis Slim claimed writing credit (and often got it on subsequent releases), but in fact the tune was written by the Sparks brothers.
(o) Pine Top (1935) (as "Every Day I Have The Blues")
Pine Top Sparks, vocal and piano; Henry Townsend, guitar
Recorded on July 28, 1935 in Chicago, Ill
Released on Bluebird B-6125
Aaron "Pinetop" Sparks died only 3 months after this recording at age 27 of either poisoning or exhaustion.
Listen here to his ORIGINAL version:
In 1947, Peter Chatman, better known as Memphis Slim recorded the song as "Nobody Loves Me". Although he used the Sparks brothers' opening verse, he rewrote the remainder of the lyrics and sang the melody in a normal pitch:
- Nobody loves me, nobody seems to care (2×)
- Speaking of bad luck people, you know I've had my share...
(c) Memphis Slim and The House Rockers (1949) (as "Nobody Loves Me")
Recorded October 10, 1947
Released in 1949 on Miracle M-145 and in 1951 on Federal 12007.
When Lowell Fulson with Lloyd Glenn adapted Memphis Slim's arrangement, but used Sparks' earlier title, it became a hit and spent twenty-three weeks in the R&B chart, where it reached number three in 1950. Fulson's "slow grooving" version, with sax and guitar solos, influenced B.B. King's later rendition of the song
(c) Lowell Fulson (1950) (as "Everyday I Have The Blues")
Recorded July 18, 1949 in Los Angeles
With Earl Brown on alto, Lloyd Glenn on piano, Billy Hadnott on bass, and Bob Harvey on drums.
Jazz singer Joe Williams had hits with two different recordings of the song. The first version, recorded with the King Kolax Orchestra in 1952, reached number eight in the R&B chart (Checker 762).
In 1955 in New York, he recorded a second and perhaps the most famous version of the song with the Count Basie Orchestra, titled "Every Day" (Clef 89149). It featured a big band arrangement and spent twenty weeks in the R&B chart, where it reached number two.
(c) Joe Williams and King Kolax and his Orchestra (1952) (as "Every Day I Have The Blues")
Recorded c. July 1952 Universal Recording, Chicago,
Joe Williams (voc); acc. by King Kolax (ldr; tp); Bennie Green (tb); Dick Davis (ts); Prentice McCarey (p); Ike Perkins (eg); "Cowboy" Martin (b); Kansas Fields (d);
Released on Checker 762.
This version hit the #8 spot on the USA R&B Hitlist.
This celebrated 1952 version by Joe Williams with King Kolax could have been inspired by either Memphis Slim's or Lowell Fulson.
(c) BB "Blues Boy" King (1954) (as "Every Day I Have The Blues")
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, March 2, 1954
Probably Maxwell Davis, Bumps Myers (tenor sax); Charles Crosby (congas); Millard Lee (piano); Floyd Newman (sax); Kenny Sands (trumpet); remainder unknown.
Released on RPM 421.
This version hit the #8 spot on the USA R&B Hitlist
(c) Count Basie and his Orchestra (1955) (as "Every Day")
Vocal by Joe Williams.
Recorded in NYC on May 17, 1955.
Released on Clef 89149.
This version hit the #2 spot on the USA R&B Hitlist.
Listen here to parts 1 en 2:
(c) Patti Page with Jack Rael and His Orchestra (1955) (as "Every Day")
Recorded on June 22, 1955 Mercury Sound Studio, New York City
Released on Mercury 70657
(c) Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (1958) (as "Everyday")
Next up is a YT where L,H &R are joined by the man who made the song famous: Joe Williams.
Joe Williams, Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross with Count Basie (piano), Freddie Green (guitar), Ed Jones (bass), and Sonny Payne (drums)
from the syndicated television series, "Playboy's Penthouse," taped at WBKB-TV, Chicago, IL in October 1959
(c) Lou Rawls (1963)
(c) Elmore James (1965)
Elmore waxed it February 21, 1963 for Bobby Robinson's Enjoy Records in New York City on what was to be his last recording session.
Released end 1965 on Enjoy 2027
(c) Howard Tate (1967) (as "Everyday I Have The Blues")
(c) Chuck Berry (1967) (as "Medley: Rockin' At The Fillmore / Everyday I Have The Blues")
With the Steve Miller Band.
Live At The Fillmore Auditorium - San Francisco
Listen here (at 4 min and 36 sec in the next Spotify file):
Fleetwood Mac recorded a version in 1969 for Fleetwood Mac in Chicago/Blues Jam in Chicago, Vols. 1–2. they closely copied the version by Elmore James
(c) Fleetwood Mac (1969)
Recorded at Chess Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago on January 4, 1969.
Fleetwood Mac, backed by veteran Chicago sax player J.T. Brown, Honeyboy Edwards (guitar) and Willie Dixon on bass.
(c) James Brown (1969)
Recorded on November 10, 1969 at United Recording Corp, Hollywood CA.
A short version was released on the album "Soul On Top" (King LP-1100) (1970)
The complete version was finally released in 1990.
(c) Marshall Tucker band (1974) (as "Everyday (I Have The Blues)"
(c) Eric Clapton (1994)
"PBS In the Spotlight" - Nothing But the Blues
Recorded at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA on November 8-9, 1994
Directed By Martin Scorsese.
Here's the full concert:
(c) Tony Bennett (with Stevie Wonder) (2001)
(c) Randy Crawford and Joe Sample (2008)