Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Blind Willie McTell & Curley Weaver 1949 - 1950

Blind Willie McTell, vocal, twelve-string guitar.
Curley Weaver, vocal, guitar.
Solo Performances and Duets.
Genres: Country Blues, Religious, Country Blues Guitar, Bottleneck-Slide Guitar, Atlanta, Georgia blues.
Informative booklet notes by David Evans.
Detailed discography.
 
This disc presents the Curley Weaver session(s) for Sittin' in With of late 1949 or early 1950 and the McTell-Weaver session for Regal in 1950. Their voices are a bit worn from over two decades of daily performing and travel under not always the best of conditions, but their talents are otherwise undiminished. Like Billie Holiday's singing in her final years, the effect is still quite moving.



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Clifford Gibson 1929 - 1931

Clifford Gibson, vocal, guitar

With contributions by Roosevelt Sykes, piano. R.T. Hanen (probably J.D. Short), vocal. Jimmie Rodgers, vocal, guitar.

Genres: St. Louis Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar; Old-Timey.
Informative booklet notes by Mike Rowe.
Detailed discography.

Cllifford Gibson's oeuvre had been committed to wax by 1929, his first year of recording, with eight sides for QRS around June and another twelve sides for Victor in November and December of that year. Called back in 1931 to his hometown of Louisville mainly as an accompanist to Roosevelt Sykes and R. T. Hanen (probably J. D. Short) and, surprisingly, on one take as an accompanist to the white hillbilly Singer Jimmie Rodgers and that was it - almost. Continued...




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J.T. 'Funny Paper' Smith (The Howling Wolf) - Complete Issued Titles (1930-1931)

J.T. "Funny Paper" Smith (The Holing Wolf) vocal, guitar.
 
With contributions by: Magnolia Harris, vocal duet; accompanied Howling Smith (J.T. Smith), guitar.
Dessa Foster, Howling Smith, vocal duet; accompanied Howling Smith (J.T. Smith), guitar.
 
Genres: Texas Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.
 
There are quite a few blues singers/guitarists from Texas who made records in the late 1920s and in the 1930s. What is it that makes "Funny Paper" Smith rank among the outstanding blues artists of his time? In my opinion, it is not so much his singing, nor his guitar playing. His guitar was often out of tune, and most of the time he accompanied his singing with simple chords. The one thing, however, that was his trademark and in which he was superior to most other blues singers, were his lyrics. We must consider him one of the great "blues poets" (men like Lightnin' Hopkins or Sonny Boy Williamson II [Rice Miller] also come to mind). Most of Smith's songs consist of absolutely original lyrics that had never been recorded by any other blues singer. Smith was so full of ideas that he had to pack his verse in the two sides of a record. He just couldn't confine himself to the three-minute-limitation of a 78 record. Continued...



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Charlie McCoy Complete Recorded Titles 1928-1932.

Charley McCoy (also as "Papa" Charlie McCoy), vocal, guitar, mandolin.
With contributions by: Walter Vincson, vocal, guitar; Bo Chatmon (Carter); And others.

Genre: Mississippi Country Blues.
Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.
 
The first recordings of Charlie McCoy show him as an accompanist with his mandolin. They were cut at the beginning of the famous session that produced the Johnson/ Bracey recordings, as a "warming up" so to speak. (The fourth title can be found on Bracey's CD - Document DOCD-5049.) The subsequent recording career of Charlie McCoy can be divided in two groups, the first one lasting till the end of 1930. In this period he played with members of the Mississippi Sheiks (Walter Vincson and Bo Chatman mostly) and he appeared under different names like Mississippi Mud Steppers or Mississippi Blacksnakes. Most of these recordings were made in Memphis, only one last session took place in his home town of Jackson, Mississippi. Continued...

 

 




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Charlie & Joe McCoy Vol 2 1936 - 1944

Charlie McCoy, vocal, mandolin; Joe McCoy, vocal, guitar.

Includes: Robert Lee McCoy, harmonica; Ransom Knowling, double bass; Harmon Ray (Peetie Wheatstraw's Buddie), vocal; Little Brother Montgomery, piano; and others.
Genres: Blues, Mississippi Blues, Swing / Blues.

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.

Hallelujah Joe Aint Preachin No More and one might add: he's swinging now - this could be the motto of this CD. Following the trend of the time both Charlie and Joe McCoy played from the early 1930 onwards in the swing-oriented vein of the Bluebird beat Gone were the days of the Jackson blues style with its subtleties in the guitar playing or the delicate singing. The new style, however, had its advantages, too. Continued...




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Georgia Tom Vol 2 1930 - 1934

Document BDCD-6022 Georgia Tom (Thomas A Dorsey) Volume 2; 5th February, 1930 to 22nd March 1934.
 
 
Georgia Tom Dorsey: vocal, piano, speech.
With appearances by: Scrapper Blackwell, guitar; Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, bottleneck-slide guitar; and others.
Genre; Blues piano and vocal. Gospel with vocal group and piano. Plus Thomas A. Dorsey speaking.
Informative booklet notes by Howard Rye.
Detailed discography.
 
In February 1930, Georgia Tom turned in another set of melancholy blues and hokum. Second Hand Love returns to the theme of Pig Meat Blues in disparaging older women, though in fairness Levee Bound Blues implies that forty-year old men are practically past it too. Second-Hand Woman Bluesis by contrast a straightforward warning against adultery. For the American Record Company two months later, Tom was given Big Bill Broonzy as accompanist. Broonzy appears on several 1930 recordings, his delicate filigree work particularly notable on Don’t Leave Me Blues and Been Mistreated Blues. The hyperbole of Six-Shooter Blues has a surreal quality: “If your woman mistreats you, shoot her, and grab a train and ride”. Continued...



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Lonnie Johnson Vol 1 1937 - 1940




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Lonnie Johnson Vol 2 1940 - 1942




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Lonnie Johnson Vol 3 1944 - 1947




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Charley Lincoln & Willie Baker 1927 - 1930




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Memphis Harp & Jug Blowers 1927 - 1939

It just might be that Memphis invented the harmonica blues or at least that they grew up in the city and environs considering the number of major harp players living there. Will Shade, Jed Davenport of neighbouring Tennessee, Noah Lewis from Ripley, Hammie Nixon from Brownsville and later John Lee (Sonny Boy Wiliamson No. 1) Williamson from Jackson, Tennessee. As an indication of the Memphis areas pre-eminence in affairs of the harp we could look at the record company's field trips. For example with over 30 trips each to Atalnta and Texas (compared to just 12 to Memphis) only a hand full of harmonica players were discovered. Atlanta could only muster Palmer McAbee (who may have been white). De Ford Bailey (from Nashville). Birmingham's Jaybird Coleman and a Buddy Moss accompaniment While Texas produced one William McCoy and an unknown accompanist to Hattie Hyde! But more important than mere superiority of numbers is the difference in style; while the other harmonica players were fox-chasing and playing trains (see DOCD-5100) the Memphis men were playing hard blues.




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Scrapper Blackwell Vol 1 1928 - 1932

BDCD-6029 Scrapper Blackwell Vol 1 1928 – 1932

Francis “Scrapper” Blackwell, vocal, guitar.

With contributions by;

Leroy Carr, piano.
Bertha “Chippie” Hill, vocal
Teddy Moss, vocal.
Jimmy Blythe, piano.
Black Bottom McPhail, vocal.

Genres; “Country Blues”, Blues Guitar, Blues Guitar/Piano.

Informative booklet notes by Howard Rye.
Detailed discography.

Scrapper Blackwell’s career and reputation lie under a shadow. Its name is Leroy Carr. As the co-authors of the best-loved piano and guitar duets in blues history, their names are indissolubly linked in most accounts. Blackwell will inevitably be remembered first for his uncanny rapport with the pianist, yet his solo career began at the same time as the duets and he continued to make solo recordings throughout the duo’s life. Continued...




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