Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Memphis Blues Volume 3 (1927 – 1930)
DOCD-5685 Memphis Blues Volume 3 (1927 – 1930) Various artists Genres: Country Blues, Memphis Blues, Jug Bands, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Harmonica. Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom. Detailed discography. Memphis, the ‘Home of the Blues’, may not be where the music started but it was there that it was nurtured to a pitch of perfection. It also fed into other musical genres from jazz to rockabilly. When early in 1927 the Victor record company decided to send a field recording unit into the South to record blues, gospel and white country music, it struck gold in Memphis with the city’s pre-eminent jug band, led by Will Shade, also known as ‘Son Brimmer’. Highly respected A & R man Ralph Peer had visited Memphis some months earlier and had auditioned and been impressed by the Memphis Jug Band. His confidence was rewarded with very good sales of their first two records. Several takes were made of each title and some alternative takes appeared on record. Continued...



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Memphis Blues Volume 4 (1929-1953)
DOCD-5686 Memphis Blues Vol 4 (1929-1935) Jenny Pope, vocal. James De Berry, vocal, guitar. Walter Horton, harmonica. With contributions by Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano; Tampa Red, bottleneck-slide guitar; Mose Vinson, piano; Raymond Jones drums and others… Genres: Memphis Country Blues, Memphis Down-home Blues. Informative booklet notes by Chris Lee. Detailed discography. Extracts abridged from this CD's booklet notes: As the album title indicates, the common factor of this collection is Memphis being the location of all the recordings. That’s really as far as the connection between many of the performances goes, for it’s a disparate anthology. Jenny Pope’s singing harks back to an earlier blues era, while at the other end of the spectrum Jimmy De Berry’s 1953 Sun recordings have much in common with Chicago blues recorded about the same time. In between come De Berry’s Memphis Playboys tracks, jazzy sides related to the jug band tradition. However, none of this detracts from the overall appeal and, in a couple of instances, the greatness of the recordings. Who is Jenny Pope? A very good question, and one that seems likely to remain unanswered. This is disappointing, for she was an effective, appealing blues singer in the classic mould who, as far as we know, made only the six sides on this CD. Continued...



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Memphis Blues Volume 4 (1929-1953)
DOCD-5686 Memphis Blues Vol 4 (1929-1935) Jenny Pope, vocal. James De Berry, vocal, guitar. Walter Horton, harmonica. With contributions by Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano; Tampa Red, bottleneck-slide guitar; Mose Vinson, piano; Raymond Jones drums and others… Genres: Memphis Country Blues, Memphis Down-home Blues. Informative booklet notes by Chris Lee. Detailed discography. Extracts abridged from this CD's booklet notes: As the album title indicates, the common factor of this collection is Memphis being the location of all the recordings. That’s really as far as the connection between many of the performances goes, for it’s a disparate anthology. Jenny Pope’s singing harks back to an earlier blues era, while at the other end of the spectrum Jimmy De Berry’s 1953 Sun recordings have much in common with Chicago blues recorded about the same time. In between come De Berry’s Memphis Playboys tracks, jazzy sides related to the jug band tradition. However, none of this detracts from the overall appeal and, in a couple of instances, the greatness of the recordings. Who is Jenny Pope? A very good question, and one that seems likely to remain unanswered. This is disappointing, for she was an effective, appealing blues singer in the classic mould who, as far as we know, made only the six sides on this CD. Continued...



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Charlie Burse And his Memphis Mudcats - Memphis Highway Stomp
DOCD-5687 Charlie Burse And His Memphis Mudcats - 1939 ‘Memphis Highway Stomp’ Charlie Burse, vocal, National resonator tenor guitar. Informative booklet notes by Chris Lee. Detailed discography. Extracts abridged from this CD’s booklet notes: Charlie Burse, probably best known for his membership of the Memphis Jug Band [1928-1930], remains a somewhat shadowy member of the blues fraternity despite a recording career that was revived in the 1950s. He had a long-term partnership with the Jug Band’s leader, Will Shade, the pair recording together until Burse’s death in 1965 – Shade died the following year. Possibly the lack of a clear picture of Burse, the man, has something to do with his character, which colleagues reported was the opposite of Shade’s. While the latter was described as being straightforward, orderly and businesslike, Burse was said to range from being a raucous hellraiser to an unapproachable curmudgeon. Indeed, he was once described as “obnoxious and abusive”, although the veracity of this derogatory assessment cannot be guaranteed because its author seems to have maintained anonymity. Continued...



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Roosevelt Sykes Live At Webster College St Louis 1974
DOCD-5688 Roosevelt Sykes Live At Webster College St Louis 1974 Roosevelt Sykes; vocal, piano. Genre; Blues. Sub-Genres; Blues piano, Boogie-Woogie piano, St. Louis blues, Chicago blues. Informative booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson. Detailed discography. Extracts abridged from this CD's booklet notes: Document are pleased to re-issue on CD the original Document album DLP 526, Roosevelt Sykes “Live” at Webster College, St Louis (1st Feb 1974) which was released as a Document vinyl LP, limited edition in 1988. Continued...



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Field Recordings Vol 17 - Son House (1941-1942)
DOCD-5690 Field Recordings Vol. 17: Son House - Library of Congress Recordings 1941-1942 Son House; vocal, guitar. Includes: Willie Brown, guitar; Fiddlin’ Joe Martin, vocal, speech, mandolin; Willie Brown, guitar; Leroy Williams, harmonica. Genres; Country Blues, Mississippi Delta Blues, Bottleneck-slide guitar. Extensive booklet notes by Bob Groom, with previously unpublished information. Detailed discography. Extracts abridged from this CD's booklet notes; When, in August and September, 1941, Alan Lomax, then ‘Assistant in Charge’ of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress in Washington, undertook a field trip to record in Coahoma County, Mississippi, he had already conducted a considerable number of such trips, initially in the company of his father, John Lomax, back in 1933/4. Travelling with him in their Ford car was his wife Elizabeth. Also taking part in the project were John Work, whose idea it was to study the black culture of a limited area in Mississippi or Tennessee in detail, and Lewis Jones, both from Fisk University. They visited the Stovall Plantation, Mississippi, to record a young man named McKinley Morganfield, who had been recommended to them as a good bluesman. Apart from his musical contribution he was instrumental in guiding Lomax to where he could find former Paramount recording artist Eddie James ‘Son’ House. In an interview Muddy told Lomax and John Work that while he admired and was influenced by the recordings of Robert Johnson, his major inspiration was Son House. Continued...



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Blind Willie Johnson Vol. 1 (1927 to 10th December 1929)
DOCD-5690 Blind Willie Johnson: Complete Recorded Titles Vol. 1 (1927 to 10th December 1929) Blind Willie Johnson, vocal, guitar. Includes: Willie B. Richardson, vocal. Genres; Gospel, Guitar Evangelist, Bottleneck-slide guitar. Texas. Informative booklet notes by Mark Makin. Detailed discography. Abridged booklet notes "The most soulful, transcendent piece in all American Music" - was Ry Cooder's description of "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground". Whether this judgement is excessive or not, it certainly cements the guitar evangelist and street singer, Blind Willie Johnson's position as one of the greatest of all American slide guitarists. In his short recording career from December 1927 to April 1930, a little under two and a half years, he would produce music that would have an immense influence on his contemporaries and later generations and cultures. The recordings were released on the Columbia label - one of the best selling 'race' labels - and he was in the company of Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Barbecue Bob and others. It is highly likely that Willie's records were well known by all his near and later contemporaries across all of the Southern States. Continued...



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Blind Willie Johnson Vol. 2 (11th December 1929 to 20th April 1930)
Blind Willie Johnson, vocal, guitar. Includes: Willie B. Richardson, vocal. Genres; Gospel, Guitar Evangelist, Bottleneck-slide guitar. Texas. Informative booklet notes by Mark Makin. Detailed discography. By the end of the 1920s, Blind Willie Johnson had probably already heavily influenced many of the performing blues and gospel singers of Black America. It is possible to see his influence in many artists at the time, such as Ramblin’ Thomas and Blind Willie McTell, who became a friend of Johnson’s. McTell’s songs such as “Ain’t It Grand To Be A Christian” and “Dying Gambler” recorded in the mid 30s show a heavy Willie Johnson influence. Continued...



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Blues From Maxwell Street (1960 & 1965)
Featuring; Daddy Stovepipe (Johnny Watson); vocal, guitar and harmonica. Blind James Brewer; vocal and guitar. King David; vocal and harmonica. Blind Arvella Gray; vocal and National steel guitar. Genres; Country Blues, Country Blues guitar, Country Blues harmonica, Field Recordings. Extensive, informative, booklet notes by Paul Oliver, Rien Wisse and Gary Atkinson. Detailed discography. Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market was once a hive of mercantile activity from the 1870s until it finally closed and fell silent in 1994. Like Beale Street in Memphis, this was also a home and a birth place for the blues. From Papa Charlie Jackson to Robert Nighthawk, Arvella Gray to John Wrencher, Maxwell Street played host to some of the best and greatest blues musicians and served as a working example where could be found one of the most iconic figures of the blues; the street musician. For many of them, such as Charley Jackson from New Orleans, Arvella Gray from Texas, Maxwell Street was a landing place for the many musicians who migrated from the South to Chicago, bringing with them their music and songs and making them part of the Chicago blues landscape. Continued...



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An Afternoon with Reverend Gary Davis
DOCD-5693 An Afternoon with Reverend Gary Davis Rev. Gary Davis: vocal, guitar, banjo, harmonica. Genres: blues, ragtime-guitar, blues harmonica, banjo Informative booklet notes by Gary Atkinson Detailed discography The Reverend Gary Davis was one of the best known and most well received artists of the concert stage during the blues and gospel revival period of the 1960s and 70s. His pre-war recordings remain as outstanding examples of the “Guitar Evangelist” genre. Not only was he a fine ragtime and blues guitarist but he was also fearsome singer with the voice of preacher and street singer. With many studio albums and countless concert appearances behind him it was in the role of a music teacher that he excelled. Among his earliest pupils was Blind Boy Fuller! Continued...



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Granville Stick McGhee Volume 1 (1947-1951)
DOCD-5694 Granville “Stick” McGhee Volume 1(1947-1951) “Stick” McGhee, vocal, guitar. With contributions by; Wilbert “Big Chief” Ellis, piano Brownie McGhee, vocal, guitar Bob Harris, vocal, stand-up bass Joe Morris, trumpet Sonny Terry, harmonica Harry Van Walls, piano Gene Brooks, drums And others… Genres; blues, rhythm & blues. Extensive, informative notes by Gillian Atkinson. Detailed discography. In the military, Granville McGhee (brother of Brownie) entertained his buddies as he played his guitar. One of the songs that McGhee was best known for was "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee". He revived the song after his demob and began performing it with Harris. It was raucous and popular and began to attract attention. Granville and Bob were asked into the studio by the legendary record producer J. Mayo “Ink” Williams to record the song (Granville or maybe Mayo added some verses) and recorded it in its cleaned up guise. The record came out on the Harlem label in 1947 credited to Stick McGhee and his Buddy and in typical Williams style the composition itself was credited to McGhee and Williams. The story of the success of the song remains as popular as the song itself. Continued...



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Granville Stick McGhee Volume 2 (1951-1960)
DOCD-5695 Granville “Stick” McGhee Volume 2 (1951-1960) Stick McGhee, vocal, guitar. With contributions by; Brownie McGhee, guitar. Harry Van Walls, piano. Maxwell Lucas, alto sax. Ed Vanderveer, trumpet. Mickey Baker, guitar. David “Bubba” Brooks, tenor sax. Charles Rwalins, alto sax, tenor sax. And others… Genres: blues, rhythm & blues. Informative booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson. Detailed discography. Meet You In The Morning bounces its way along with Brownie on vocal and guitar with Granville hollering the chorus. Another “rock and roller” that found favour but did not generate sufficient sales. In 1952 he was approached by Dave Miller’s Essex label based in Philadelphia. Essex did not have the resources of Atlantic. They had no house band and no publicity machine. Continued...



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