Saturday, December 28, 2019

I’ve made up my mind

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 39

Ray Charles • I Can’t Stop Loving You • 1962

Label: 45cat

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019

I’m going where there’s no depression

In the Spirit redux

In 1936 the Carter Family recorded 16 transcription discs for a company in NYC after their regular session the day before for Decca. “No Depression” was recorded at both sessions and we’ve chosen the transcription for today’s final “In the Spirit” post.

(Watch this space in the coming year for a companion series featuring postwar gospel music.)

The Carter Family • No Depression In Heaven • 1936

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

If tin whistles are made of tin . . .

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 37

Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group
(originally issued in 1959)

Label: 45cat

Saturday, December 07, 2019

It’s a mighty rocky road

In the Spirit redux

As Harry Smith summed up many of the songs in his groundbreaking Anthology of American Folk Music with little headlines, often humorous, here’s his take on the Alabama Sacred Harp Singers’ “Rocky Road”: “Father, Mother, Almost Done Traveling Mighty Rocky Road; Go Where Jesus Is.”

Alabama Sacred Harp Singers • Rocky Road • 1928

Get it: American Epic

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

The very last words poor Georgie cried. . . .

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 36

“Muleskinner Blues” (see DPRB 29) a Jimmie Rodgers song? Who dat? The “Honeycomb” guy? “Engine 143” from the Carters? Never heard of them either. So, when a friend gave me the first two Joan Baez LPs he had tired of, it was an introduction to a whole new world of American song that would take this listener a couple of decades to discover where it all started . . . with a Boom: Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family.

 Joan Baez • Engine 143 • 1962

Get it: Joan Baez Vol. 2

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I---I’m so hurt

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 35

Timi Yuro • Hurt • 1961

Saturday, November 23, 2019

I saw the light, mourners

In the Spirit redux

Rev. Gary Davis’ only pre-war solo performances were recorded over three sessions in July 1935; two blues and thirteen gospel numbers (one originally unissued). The song featured here today is the only one he didn’t sing on; Bull City Red takes the vocals with Davis on guitar. It was issued as by “Blind Gary” with no credit to Bull City Red on the original.

Blind Gary • I Saw The Light • 1935
Bull City Red, vocal

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Come over here!

In the Spirit redux

Here’s a “sanctified jug band” record led by Elder Richard Bryant who had a couple of CoGiC churches in southern Mississippi. A joyous, exuberant performance and fun to listen to!

Elder Richard Bryant’s Sanctified Singers • Come Over Here • 1928

LP cover: Discogs

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Walk! Don’t Run

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues Nos. 32 & 33

The first wave of surf music breaking all the way from Tacoma, Washington to Raton, New Mexico.

The Ventures • Walk - Don’t Run • 1960

The Fireballs • Bulldog • 1959

Get ’em: Teen Beat

Saturday, November 09, 2019

When the first trumpet sounds,
I’ll be getting up, walking around

In the Spirit redux

In the summer of 1942, on one of his field trips for the Library of Congress, Alan Lomax recorded members of the Silent Grove Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi. This song, with Bozie Sturdivant singing lead was issued as a 78 by the LOC and later appeared on an LP also issued by the Library of Congress. These records could be ordered direct from the LOC and in this way much of the wonderful music collected by Lomax and others began to be heard by young blues and folk music fans in the fifties and sixties. “Ain’t No Grave” is one of the timeless classics from those informal on-location recording sessions.

Bozie Sturdivant • Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down • 1942

Get it: A Treasury Of Library Of Congress Field Recordings

78 label: Austin Granger/flickr

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Take five!

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 31

“Pre-code” surf music . . . before the Ventures. . . .

Dave Brubeck Quartet • Take Five • 1959
(reissued 1961)

Saturday, November 02, 2019

The Bible that my mother gave to me

In the Spirit redux

First heard by us on an old Newport Folk Festival LP performed by the Phipps Family from Kentucky who had a lot of Carter Family songs in their repertoire. The Carters recorded “Little Log Cabin by the Sea” at their first recording session in 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee (the “Big Boom” sessions), one of six they recorded over two days. When music from the Bristol Sessions began to be collected together on reissues in the 80s, this was a choice pick.

The Carter Family • Little Log Cabin By The Sea • 1927

Get it: Bristol Sessions

LP cover: Discogs

Saturday, October 26, 2019

He’s a mighty good leader, all the way

In the Spirit redux

Skip James only recorded two “gospel” numbers during his 1931 session for Paramount, “Be Ready When He Comes” and “Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader.” We think “Leader” is one of his best, right up there with “Special Rider Blues” and “I’m So Glad.” Have a listen. . . .

Skip James • Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader • 1931

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bring the buck-buck-bucket down

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 29

DPRB returns and the dial is set to 1960. . . .

The Fendermen • Mule Skinner Blues • 1960

Label: 45cat

Saturday, October 12, 2019

He’s the just right saviour for me

In the Spirit redux

Rev. F. W. McGee • He Is A Saviour For Me • 1927

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

As regards Madame Lazonga, Cuban Pete,
and the Rhumba Cubano style

First time I heard this song, or part of it anyway, was on a Sun Records reissue LP on Charly about 30 years ago. In 1957 Warren Smith blended verses from three Hank Snow records, “I’m Moving On,” “The Rhumba Boogie,” and “The Golden Rocket” into one song that was eventually titled “The Golden Rocket” when it was first issued in the late 1970s. Here’s Hank’s original (a #1 followup to “Moving” and “Rocket,” also #1 hits for him in 1950) featuring him flawlessly cramming more syllables than you can count into a line along with a couple of his signature acoustic guitar runs.

Hank Snow (The Singing Ranger) & His Rainbow Ranch Boys
The Rhumba Boogie • 1951

Get it: The Goldrush Is Over

Illustration: detail from Li’l Abner by Al Capp, July 24, 1943

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Don’t you hear church bells a-toning

In the Spirit redux

Kid Prince Moore • Church Bells • 1936

LP cover: Discogs

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

In the Spirit redux

Bascom Lamar Lunsford • Dry Bones • 1928
“The Minstrel of the Appalachians”

LP cover: Discogs

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ehh . . . ha ha!

Here is a joyous drunken accordion-driven take on “Jolie Blonde,” the Cajun “national anthem.”

Nathan Abshire • Jolie, Petite Juliette • 1950

Get it: French Blues

Photo of Nathan Abshire courtesy of Lyle Ferbrache and Louisiana Music

Saturday, September 14, 2019

You can go to the college, you can go to the school

In the Spirit redux

Washington Phillips • Denomination Blues – Parts 1 & 2 • 1927

Saturday, September 07, 2019

I am in the heavenly way

In the Spirit redux

Bukka White, in sanctified guise, at his first recording session.

Washington White • I Am In The Heavenly Way • 1930

Monday, September 02, 2019

Happy Labor Day

And now for something completely different. . . .

The Judds • Working In the Coal Mine • 1985

Get it: Rockin’ With The Rhythm

LP cover: Discogs

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bye bye love, bye bye happiness

You spend decades hearing a record and it cuts grooves in the old grey matter, then along comes an alternate take and it can really mess with your neurons. . . . Here’s take one.

The Everly Brothers • Bye, Bye Love (Take 1) • 1957

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Blessed are the poor in spirit, children of the heavenly king

In the Spirit redux

While I was bandying about trying to come up with something—anything—to say about Luther Magby I came across these brief notes by John Fahey in Revenant’s 1997 collection American Primitive Vol. I: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926–36):

“Luther Magby emphatically distances the harmonium from its ‘churchy’ reputation with his rollicking, percussive employment of it here. This Georgian cut only two sides in 1927, probably due to poor sales. Perhaps consumers found his strange enunciation . . . offputting. Their loss; these performances are triumphant.”

’Nuff said.

Luther Magby • Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit • 1927

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Oh who will come and go with me?

In the Spirit redux

Two tracks that really stood out among all the Delta heavy hitters and sanctified groups on In the Spirit No. 1 were this one by Alfred G. Karnes and last week’s selection by Washington Phillips.

Alfred G. Karnes was a minister and gospel singer from Kentucky who traveled down to Bristol, Tennessee to record for Ralph Peer and RCA Victor after reading a newspaper article describing the Bristol sessions then in progress, and thus became a participant in the legendary “Big Bang of Country Music.”

Alfred G. Karnes • I Am Bound For The Promised Land • 1927

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Saturday, August 03, 2019

I used to have a real good mother and a father

In the Spirit redux

“There is a balm in Gilead. . . .” And so this is, a record made 90 years ago, a wistful remembrance of family gone on before, a lovely standout among its rough and ready track mates on an old reissue LP from the 1960s. Washington Phillips and his dulceola. . . .

Washington Phillips • I Had A Good Father And Mother • 1929

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bachelor’s life

“Happy go lucky” vocal by D. L. Menard (also known as the “Cajun Hank Williams”), a couple wild steel solos from Archange Touchet, and leader Elias Badeaux showing he’s no slouch on the squeezebox equals one great sixties Cajun single.

Badeaux & Louisiana Aces • Bachelor’s Life • 1963

LP cover: Discogs

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Let your light from the lighthouse shine on me

In the Spirit redux

Starting back along about 1966 or so, a series of early gospel/sanctified music was released on a couple of specialist labels, Origin Jazz Library and Blues Classics. The OJLs mostly concentrated on “sanctified” recordings made by early blues singers like Charley Patton, Skip James, and Bukka White, while the BC LPs were made up of a mix of recordings by both blues singers and strictly gospel singers. All five LPs were great, with wonderful, stirring performances and showed that a blues singer like Charley Patton could hold his own with a singer like Blind Willie Johnson. In the early seventies Columbia put out two volumes of The Gospel Sound that presented various gospel performances ranging from the 1920s up into the sixties. We’ll start there, with Blind Willie Johnson’s terrific growling, thumping “Let Your Light Shine on Me.” In the weeks to come, we’ll have a listen to some of the tunes from OJL’s In the Spirit and Blues Classics’ Negro Religious Music along with some other fine sides from the same pre-war period.

Blind Willie Johnson • Let Your Light Shine On Me • 1929

LP cover: Discogs

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I’m the cat that wrote “I’m A Man”

Ellas McDaniels is his real name . . . this one has everything you could want, slammin’ rhythm, lots of great Peggy Jones guitar and Bo name-checking all his hits (a la Jimmy Reed’s “Honey Don’t Let Me Go” or Lil’ Son Jackson’s “Everybody’s Blues”). Well, it’s got everything I could want . . . you might need to get there on your own. . . .

Bo Diddley • Bo Diddley Is Loose • 1961

LP cover: Discogs

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Happy Woody Day

Here’s a little Woody myth-making in honor of his birthday, sung by Bobby Bare.

Bobby Bare • Woody • 2012

Friday, July 12, 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown

DPRB Bubbling Under #5

Bobby Darin • Mack the Knife • 1959

Picture sleeve: Discogs

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


DPRB Bubbling Under #4

When the DJs on KCBQ used to play this I thought they were saying Prez Prado . . . maybe they were!

Perez Prado & His Orchestra • Patricia • 1958

 Get it: Teen Beat Volume 2

Label: Discogs

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Hadn’t a been for Grayson, I’d a been in Tennessee

DPRB Bubbling Under #3

The Kingston Trio • Tom Dooley • 1958

Get it: The Kingston Trio / from the Hungry i

Sunday, July 07, 2019

All my days I will sing in praise

DPRB Bubbling Under #1

This week we’re gonna do a little gathering in of several 50s tunes that didn’t make the main list before we step into a new decade.* First up is Harry Belafonte’s yearning “Island in the Sun” from his calypso period. . . .

Harry Belafonte • Island in the Sun • 1957

Record label: Discogs

*(after a short DPRB hiatus)

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 28

So begins Marty Robbins’ epic cowboy outlaw tale, in 1959 a barrier breaker from start to finish: The single was too long for radio (four and a half minutes), it was about an interracial intercultural love affair between an Anglo cowboy and a Mexican girl named Faleena who maybe was a prostitute. And in those four minutes an entire movie plays out from the cowboy meeting the girl in Rosa’s Cantina to their final and tragic goodbye. An epic to be sure and one of Marty’s greatest in a long career of great ones, sixty years old this year and not aged a day. . . .

Marty Robbins • El Paso • 1959

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Say man, back again

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 28

Bo Diddley • Say Man, Back Again • 1959

Find it: Road Runner: The Chess Masters 1959–1960

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Tell me what I say

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 26

Well now. . . ! This is the record that doubled Ray Charles’ audience or whatever it means that white people finally discovered his music. “What’d I Say” was issued initially as a two-part single in 1959 and the disc jockeys would play Part I which began to fade just as the Raelettes began to protest the fade and then they’d either flip it over to Part II where the racy part begins . . . or they wouldn’t. The record was a big crossover hit so a few months later Atlantic released the unsplit version as the lead track on Ray’s What’d I Say album. In 1964 (several years after Ray had departed Atlantic for ABC) a longer less-edited version of “What’d I Say” in stereo was included on The Great Hits of Ray Charles Recorded on 8-Track Stereo. And we’re kind of cheating on our timeline here because the longer, stereo version is the one we’re showcasing today. . . .

Ray Charles • What’d I Say • 1959

 Get it: Pure Genius - The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959)

LP cover detail: Discogs

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Sea of love

Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues No. 24

Phil Phillips with The Twilights • Sea of Love • 1959

Get it: Blowing the Fuse: 1959

Label photo: Discogs