I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone for their kind words regarding the Jelly Roll Morton posts. Unfortunately, I do not have the PDF file that accompanies the set. If anyone buys the actual product or receives the expensive thing for a birthday gift, feel free to scan the PDF file. There are some things that one feels inclined to purchase despite having downloaded the audio in its entirety, and this is one of them.
I want to give a special thanks to Olde Edo for the exhaustive track listings that he provided us. I'm just curious if any of the songs were improperly labeled, Olde.
I'd like to take this time to urge you all to take a look at Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. It's a fantastic book that takes a much-needed second look at what the word Blues actually means. The entire book revolves around how African Americans' taste in Blues and what they perceived to be Blues during the golden age of recording is totally different from how whites subsequently defined the music. The majority of black Blues fans and musicians seemed to view Blues not as a primal cry expressing great sorrow, but as a modern popular music that was deeply associated with escaping conditions in the South and the promise of moving to cities like Chicago and St. Louis and driving nice cars. Wald also says- get this- that there's no more of a reason to think that Ma Rainey and the Classic Blues singers' music came from guys like Garfield Akers, Son House, Texas Alexander, etc., than there is to think that the countrified Blues players borrowed heavily from the Blues queens because their performances and subsequent records were received so well. Mr. Wald also states that what we hear on the records of the masters from the '20s and '30s is an incomplete picture of their repertoire. He says that record companies demanded 12-bar Blues songs from black musicians who were equally adept at playing waltzes, Pop songs, Hillbilly, Polish folk songs, etc. Wald even makes a claim that it's quite possible that the 12-bar Blues developed in New Orleans, a gigantic port city which exerted a great influence upon every place from Florida to St. Louis. Perhaps Mr. Morton would be happy to hear me say this. On another note, we have a book called Devil at the Confluence which asserts that Blues developed in St. Louis and not in Mississippi, and we have information from Youtube phenom Little Brother Blues that Curley Weaver's daughter said her grandfather was playing "No No Blues" in the 1880s! This would lead us to Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come From, a book I'm strongly looking forward to reading.
So, what are your thoughts on this?
Cotton Crop Blues
23 hours ago