Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Cow Cow Davenport The Accompanist 1924 - 1929

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Cow Cow (Charles) Davenport
Hound Head Henry
Jim Towel
Southern Blues Singers
Lovin` Sam Theard
Memphis Joe
Dora Carr


Dora Carr
01 - You might pizen me Listen
02 - Good woman`s blues Listen
03 - He don`t mean me no harm Listen
04 - Black girl gets there just the same Listen
05 - Fifth Street blues Listen
06 - You got another thought coming to you Listen

Hound Head Henry
07 - Hound Head blues Listen
08 - Freight train special Listen
09 - Steamboat blues Listen
10 - Cryin` blues Listen
11 - Laughin` blues Listen
12 - Low down hound blues Listen
13 - My silver dollar mama Listen
14 - Rooster crowin` blues Listen

Jim Towel
15 - I`ve been hoodooed Listen
16 - Buckwheat cake Listen

Memphis Joe
17 - Plenty gals blues Listen

Southern Blues Singers
18 - Lighthouse blues Listen
19 - Runnin` wild Listen
20 - It`s tight like that Listen

Lovin` Sam Theard
21 - The lover and the beggar Listen
22 - You rascal you Listen

Like many African American pianists of his generation, Cow Cow Davenport made ends meet during the 1920s by providing accompaniment for blues and jazz vocalists in established or temporary recording studios. In order to illustrate this aspect of his career and bring more rare material out of the woodwork, 22 sides cut during the years 1924-1929 were reissued by Document in 1994.

The first six titles are sung by Dora Carr in duet with Davenport, drawing upon the repertoire they shared while touring the Southern vaudeville circuit a few years earlier with a small troupe bearing Davenport’s name. Tracks 7-14, which were recorded in 1928, feature the robust theatrical singing of Hound Head Henry who laughs, cries, and imitates birds, trains and boat whistles. Jim Towel, who sings I’ve Been Hoodooed and Buckwheat Cakes, touches upon a form of folksy musical entertainment dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Memphis Joe, who was responsible for the Plenty Gals Blues, had a warm burr to his voice similar to that of Cow Cow’s. Comparable to the many African American vocal groups whose recordings have been reissued in multiple volumes by Document, the Southern Blues Singers handled both sacred and secular songs. They sound especially jazzy on Runnin’ Wild and It’s Tight Like That, which lead directly and logically into a pair of topical tunes sung by hokum specialist Lovin’ Sam Theard, including that singer’s most famous creation, You Rascal You. This entertaining collection of blues, folk, and jazz from the ’20s can stand on its own or work as an essential counterweight to Cow Cow Davenport’s primary recordings which have been reissued by Document. – arwulf arwu

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