Church Bell Blues
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Audio CD, September 17, 2012
My Boogie Woogie Country Girl (3:11)
Good Old Rebel (3:35)
She Left Me the Mule to Ride (3:05)
You Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Around (2:25)
I’ve Got Plans (3:28)
Night Herding Song (2:44)
Church Bell Blues (3:21)
Glory Land (4:08)
Total running time, 33 minutes
“My Boogie Woogie Country Girl” comes from the work of Big Joe Turner, an American blue shouter from Kansas City—one of the originators of rock and roll.
There are many variations of the song “Spoonful.” This version derives from the singing and playing of American blues pioneer Charley Patton (1887 – 1934), an American Delta blues musician, sometimes called “Father of the Delta Blues.”
“Good Old Rebel” is a song from the American South. According to Herbert Quick, who printed the song in Colliers magazine in April 1914, its author was Major James Randolph, a Virginian and a membr of General J.E.B. Stuart’s staff.
James Bland is credited with authorship of “You Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Around,” also known as the “Hound Dawg Song.” A graduate of Harvard, born of free black parents in New York, Bland represents the link between the popular songs of the 1860s and the commercialized songs of the 1890s. He also wrote “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.”
There are many versions of the song “Cocaine.” The drug was criminalized in 1914, but before that, enjoyed broad use. This version of the song is from Luke Jordan (1892 – 1952), an American blues guitarist and vocalist from Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I’ve Got Plans” was written by Tommy Thompson of the Red Clay Ramblers, along with Lenny Rogoff. I had a chance to meet Tommy at the Mill Restaurant in Iowa City while I was in college. A great singer, songwriter, and clawhammer banjo player, Tommy began suffering from dementia in the mid-1990s, and he died in 2003. He was subsequently inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
“Night Herding Song” is a classic cowboy song whose text and melody were set down in type by the American folklore team of Austin and Alta Fife.
“Church Bell Blues” is another early blues number by Luke Jordan (see above).
“Glory Land” is a banjo-based early country gospel song I learned from the recordings of Dock Boggs (1898 – 1971), an influential old-time singer, songwriter, and banjo player.
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