For a long time I felt like Margie Hendricks’s vocal was too over the top and spinning out of control. Somewhere along the way, this became my favorite version of the song. Recorded live in Atlanta in 1959.
Here’s the French version of “Raise Your Window.” It’s from the same December 1934 recording session as “Blues Negres” heard last week. “Ouvrez Grand Ma Fenetre” features a growling vocal similar to the English version and an especially fine accordion intro by Joe Falcon. Many thanks to Ana at The Singing Bones for reminding me about this great record.
I Am In The Heavenly Way – Washington White – 1930
Album cover: In the Spirit No. 1 (OJL-12, 1966), front and back. One of the oldest LPs I still own, bought new c.1966, art student-defaced with red and yellow marker pens. The track is still available on Masters of the Delta Blues (Yazoo 2002, 1991).
It’s no secret that the music from one record label, Arhoolie, has informed my taste and musical sensibilities over the past 45+ years as much as or more than the 50s and 60s rock’n’roll I grew up on. That fact is reflected in many of the posts on this here blog. Had it not been for the work of Arhoolie founder and boss Chris Strachwitz I might never have heard and fallen in love with the music of Mance Lipscomb, Clifton Chenier, Fred McDowell, Flaco Jiménez, Sonny Boy Williamson, Nathan Abshire, Big Mama Thornton, Lightning Hopkins, Mainer’s Mountaineers, The Black Ace, Lowell Fulson, not to mention the tunes reissued on all the various artists comps on side labels like Blues Classics and Old Timey; the list just goes on and on and on.
So . . . there’s a feature length video documentary being made about Chris Strachwitz and his contribution to our understanding and enjoyment of this great American vernacular music and the makers need some help raising funds to finish the project. If you’re interested in being a part of this worthy undertaking, click here to read, see, and hear more.
Meanwhile, here’s Mance Lipscomb with “Willie Poor Boy” from 1964.
Samantha Bumgarner (1878–1960) was a renowned banjo and fiddle player from Dillsboro, North Carolina, and in 1924 became the first woman to record country music commercially. She’s featured here on 5-string banjo.
Georgia Blues – Samantha Bumgarner – 1924
Photo: Ben Shahn. Aunt Samantha Baumgarner [i.e. Bumgarner], fiddler, banjoist, guitarist, North Carolina, Asheville. 1937. Library of Congress.