Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 100 78 RPM's Countdown

 OK, so this is the result of almost a year of rummaging through cases of 78 RPM's.

A couple warnings before you move ahead:

Most of these records are over 55 years old. Some are over 90 years old. The quality varies from 'noisy' (#87 Roy Acuff, Rate G+)  to excellent (#3 Buddy Holly, Rate VG+) to almost pristine (#36 Sonny BoyWilliamson I, Rate E or Elvis Presley's Hound Dog, Rate E-).

In the 78 RPM community a record with lots of background static noise, where you can still hear the instruments and vocals above that noise, is rated a V. That's on a scale of "P" (poor, something to hang on your wall) through "G" (barely listenable),"V" (wish I had a better copy but I'll play it), "VG" (also VG+. VG++), "E" and "M" (Mint, never played).

Also, most everything before 1935 was recorded 'acoustically''s quieter. From '35-50 the recording quality varies from very good to hot. With the advent of rock n roll someone turned the knob to 11 and those records were often recorded hot (much like CD ROMS who simulate 'quality' by simply increasing the volume). If you're inclined to save any of these mp3's I would order them by date to eliminate the shift from soft-to-loud.

Pay no real heed to the order of these songs. It's just a riff. Could have had 8 more Hank Williams and 8 more Bessie Smith songs on this list... but we want to represent. In the end I decided to throw up some "B Sides" to improve the overall sound quality.

These songs are also a testament to the fact you don't need more than 3 minutes to tell a story.

My Top 5 Recommendations of artists you may not have heard that will prove to be interesting :

#96 Jack Scott, Geraldine (Carlton 483, 1958) Rockabilly, good beat, you can dance to it. I give it a 72.

#65 Unknown Artist - Boogie Woogie Beat (Presto home recording) This came on a 'field recording' disc with no artist listed. It jumps. If you like Bette Midler, you will like this.

 #37 Lucille Hegamin, He May Be Your Man (But He Comes to See Me Sometime) (Cameo 287, January 1923) Early blues singer, bit of a hold-over from vaudeville, a flapper girl.

#28 International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Jump Children (Guild 141, 1945) More jumping jazz/blues. Sassy. Perhaps a rare alternate version.

#5 Tommy Mc Lennan, Bottle It Up and Go. Delta back-alley blues.

On with the countdown!

#100 Pine Top Smith, Jump Steady Blues (Brunswick 80009, January 1929)

Clarence "Pine Top" Smith was one of the earliest pianists to recorded a boogie-woogie piano solo. His 1928 tune "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" was the first recording to be labeled as such and and had a great deal of influence on all future pieces in that style. Pine Top toured the minstrel and vaudeville circuits throughout the 1920s performing with Mamie Smith and Butter Beans and Susie and other vaudeville acts. He was also a frequent solo performer at rent parties, taverns and whorehouses. Smith was accidently shot to death at a dance in Chicago in 1929.

#99 Carl Perkins Honey Don't (Sun 234, 1956)

#98 Hoagy Carmichael, Am I Blue (ARA 128,October 1945)

#97 Josh White, Uncle Sam Says (Keynote 514, 1941)

A little known, or lesser known, black folk protest singer...years before Bob Dylan.
 White grew up in the Jim Crow South. During the 1920s and 1930s, he became a prominent race records artist, with a prolific output of recordings in genres including Piedmont blues, country blues, gospel, and social protest songs. In 1931, White moved to New York, and within a decade his fame had spread widely; his repertoire expanded to include urban blues, jazz, traditional folk songs, and political protest songs. He soon was in demand as an actor on radio, Broadway, and film.
White also became the closest African-American friend and confidant to president Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, White's anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies resulted in the McCarthyites assuming him to be a Communist. Accordingly, from 1947 through the mid-1960s, White became caught up in the anti-Communist Red Scare, and combined with the resulting attempt to clear his name, his career was damaged.

More on White and Roosevelt:"After that first White House Command Performance ended, the Roosevelts invited White up to their private chambers, where they spent more than three hours talking about White's life story of growing up in Jim Crow South, listening to his songs written about those experiences, and drinking Café Royale (coffee and brandy). At one point during that evening, the President said to White, "You know, Josh, when I first heard your song 'Uncle Sam Says,' I thought you were referring to me as Uncle Sam....Am I right?" White responded, "Yes, Mr. President, I wrote that song to you after seeing how my brother was treated in the segregated section of Fort Dix army camp.... However that wasn't the first song I wrote to you.... In 1933, I wrote and recorded a song called 'Low Cotton,' about the plight of Negro cotton pickers down South, and in the lyrics I made an appeal directly to you to help their situation." The President, interested and impressed at the candor of his response, then asked White to sing those songs to him again. A friendship developed, five more Command Performances would follow, in addition to two appearances at the Inaugurations of 1941 and 1945; and the White family would spend many Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with the Roosevelts at their Hyde Park, New York mansion (now the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum)."

#96 Jack Scott, Geraldine (Carlton 483, 1958)

A Canadian-born, Detroit based, rockabilly artist.
Jack Scott had more U.S. singles (19), in a shorter period of time (41 months), than any other recording artist – with the exception of The Beatles. Scott wrote all of his own hits, except one: "Burning Bridges."
His legacy ranks him with the top legends of rock and roll. It has been said that "with the exception of Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley, no white rock and roller of the time ever developed a finer voice with a better range than Jack Scott, or cut a more convincing body of work in Rockabilly, Rock and Roll, Country-Soul, Gospel or Blues". This was his last hit, reaching #96 on the charts.

#95 Bertha "Chippie" Hill, Pratt City Blues (HRS 28, November 1926)

Bertha "Chippie" Hill was a dancer and vaudeville singer. At the age of thirteen she and her family moved to New York City where Hill began to pursue a life in show business. In 1919 she was working as a dancer with Ethel Waters in New York and toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels.
Hill is best remembered today for the ten recordings she  made for Okeh in 1925 and 1926 that featured Louis Armstrong on cornet. This is one of them.

#94 The Blues Man, Kansas City Boogie (Juke Box UR101, August 1944)

Juke Box Records was the brainchild of Art Rupe, who went on to form Specialty Records in the late Forties. The majors had decided to forego the specialty and ethnic music markets because of the wartime shortage of shellac. For this reason Rupe decided to go into black popular music.
He took $200 and went down to Central Avenue in the black section of Los Angeles and bought race records. He made a analysis of each record, technically, musically, etc. so as determine why some were hits and others weren't.. Out of this he established a set of rules or principles that he was to use in making records.
Next he began looking for artists. Looking in after-hours clubs he found the Sepia Tones,  a small group that fit into his budget. During his research he had noticed that an inordinate number of successful records had the word "boogie" in the title, jukebox operators were the biggest customers for these race records and also acted as wholesalers for small independent companies. Boogie #1 was the first release on his Juke Box label. It sold 70,000 copies and enabled Rupe to record Marion Abernathy "The Blues Woman," Roosevelt Sykes "The Blues Man," and Roy Milton and His Solid Senders.

#93 The Lancers, Mr Sandman (Coral, 6128, 1954)

#92 Bill Haley and His Comets, Ten Little Indians (Essex 340, Fall 1953)

#91 Teresa Brewer and Mickey Mantle, I Love You Mickey (Coral 61700, 1956)

Here's a novelty song ... for the novelty.

#90 Vernon Dalhart, Wreck of the Old '97 (HMV Victor 19427, 1924)

Vernon Dalhart might have recorded more songs than anyone except Bing Crosby. (Bing didn't make the list even though I must have 200 + records of his) Vernon likes the rail wrecks too. And the odd sinking ocean liner. This guy could sing any style, started recording on Edison discs doing classical, operas and dance-band vocals. He's best known as a country performer.

#89 Hank Williams, I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (MGM 11366, June 1952)

#88 Tampa Red, Boogie Woogie Woman (RCA Victor 20-4275, July 1951)

#87 Roy Acuff, Freight Train Blues (Okeh 04466, 1938)

Bob Dylan covered this song on his first album back when he wasn't sure if he wanted to be a blues singer or a hillbilly. He settled on Voice of A Generation.

#86 Scatman Crothers, Hound Dog (TOPS 290, 1956)

This is a pleasant surprise.

#85 Billie Holiday, My Mother's Son-In-Law (Special Editions 5009 re-release of Columbia 2856-D, November 1933)

This is Billie Holiday's first recording. The only song to come out of this session. She's backed by Benny Goodman's combo, with Gene Krupa on drums and Jack Teagarden on trombone.She is 18 years old at the time of recording. She's come a long way in her four years in New York City, which began with a stint in jail at the age of 14 on prostitution charges. This song sold 300 copies in it's initial release.

#84 Connie Francis, Who's Sorry Now (MGM 12588,1958)

#83 Chuck Berry The Downbound Train (Chess 1615, 1955)

#82 The Platters, (You've Got That) Magic Touch (Mercury 70819,1956)

#81 Bill Haley and His Comets, Dim Dim The Lights (Decca 29137,September 1954)

"I'm full of cherry soda
And potato chips
But now I wanna get a taste
Of your sweet lips" Dim Dim the Lights

#80 Frankie Avalon, Oh La La (REO 8208, December 1957)

#79 Carl Perkins, Boppin' the Blues (Quality 1570, May 1956)

"Well grandpa done got rhythm and he threw his crutches down
Well the old boy done got rhythm & blues and he threw that crutches down
Grandma he ain't trifling well the old boy?s rhythm bound
Well all them cats are bopping the blues it must be going round
All my friends are bopping the blues it must be going round
I love you baby but I must be rhythm bound
Bop cat bop..."

# 78 Duane Eddy, Rebel Rouser (REO 8252, 1958)

#77 Mickey and Sylvia, Love Is A Treasure (VIK X-0290, 1957)

#76 Cowboy Copas, Down In Nashville Tennessee (King 767, November 1947)

Lloyd "Cowboy" Copas and fellow “Grand Ole Opry” stars Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins were passengers on a doomed plane piloted by Randy Hughes, who was Cline’s manager, a talented musician and stage performer and the husband of Copas’ daughter, Kathy. Around 7 p.m. on March 5, 1963 Hughes’ plane dove into the hard, cold winter woods near Camden, Tenn., 85 miles west of Nashville. The plane’s impact was like an egg hurled to the ground. No survivors. No chance.
“When that plane went down, Copas was the biggest star onboard,” Cline’s widower, Charlie Dick, told “Opry” announcer, country music historian and WSM air personality Eddie Stubbs over the WSM airwaves.
“Usually, today, Patsy seems to get top billing,” says Dick in a Tennessean interview, “But Patsy was a big fan of Copas and Hawk, and they were stars. Everybody on that plane was important to the music business. And all of them were top dogs.”

#75 Jim Reeves, Young Hearts (RCA Victor 20-6973,1957)

"Young hearts can be foolish and make a mistake
If they're not forgiven young hearts can break
So kiss me my darling hold me tight young lips make everything right" Young Hearts

#74 Lonnie Johnson, Backwater Blues (King 4251, May 1927)

Lonnie Johnson was a pioneering Blues and Jazz guitarist and banjoist. He started playing in cafes in New Orleans and in 1917 he traveled in Europe, playing in revues and briefly with Will Marion Cook's Southern Syncopated Orchestra. When he returned home to New Orleans in 1918 he discovered that his entire family had been killed by a flu epidemic except for one brother. He and his surviving brother, James "Steady Roll" Johnson moved to St. Louis in 1920. In 1925 Johnson married Blues singer Mary Johnson and won a Blues contest sponsored by the Okeh record company. Part of the prize was a recording deal with the company. Throughout the rest of the 1920s he recorded with a variety of bands and musicians, including Eddie Lang, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In the 1930s Johnson moved to Cleveland, Ohio and worked with the Putney Dandridge Orchestra, and then in a tire factory and steel mill. In 1937 he moved back to Chicago and played with Johnny Dodds, and Jimmie Noone. Johnson continued to play for the rest of his life, but was often forced to leave the music business for periods to make a living. In 1963 he once again appeared briefly with Duke Ellington.

#73 Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers, The Glory of Love (Aladdin 3248, June 1954)

"You've got to win a little, lose a little,
yes, and always have the blues a little.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love."

#72 Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, I Want You To Be My Girl (GEE 1012, January 1957)

Frankie Lymon, a tragic figure, was an accidental pop-star. The lead singer of The Teenagers was late showing up to the recording session for Why Do Fools Fall In Love? and Frankie stepped up. The rest, as they say, is history. He was 13 when they recorded their first hit. 25 when he died of an heroin overdose.

#71 Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson, Johnson and Turner Blues (National 9011, February 1945)

Big Joe Turner's partnership with boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson proved fruitful. Together they went to New York City during 1936, where they appeared on a playbill with Benny Goodman, but as Turner recounts, "After our show with Goodman, we auditioned at several places, but New York wasn't ready for us yet, so we headed back to K.C.". Eventually they were witnessed by the talent scout, John H. Hammond during 1938, who invited them back to New York to appear in one of his "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts at Carnegie Hall, which were instrumental in introducing jazz and blues to a wider American audience.

#70 The Chordettes, Mr Sandman (Apex 76047, 1954)

#69 Memphis Minnie, Me and My Chauffeur (Okeh 06288, May 1941)

 "Won't you be my chauffeur
Won't you be my chauffeur
I wants him to drive me
I wants him to drive me downtown
Yes he drives so easy, I can't turn him down
But I don't want him
But I don't want him
To be ridin' these girls
To be ridin' these girls around
So I'm gonna steal me a pistol, shoot my chauffeur down"

More on Memphis Minnie later on.

#68 Lucille Hegamin, The Land of Cotton Blues (Cameo 407, August 1923)

Using Stephen Foster's melody from Swanee River. More on Lucille below.

#67 The Crew Cuts, Sh-Boom (Mercury 70404, 1954)

#66 Big Bill Broonzy, Mean Old World (Melotone 7-07-64, July 1937)

#65 Unknown Artist - Boogie Woogie Beat (Presto Field Recording Disk)

#64 Gabriel Brown, Not Now, I'll Tell You When (Davis 5015, September 1944)

#63 Lowell Fulsom, Stormin' and Rainin' (Aladdin 3104, 1948)

Victoria Spivey in the studio. On the left, a young Bob Dylan. On the right John Hammond and Big Joe Williams.

#62 Victoria Spivey, Black Snake Swing (Decca 7203,July 1936)

#61 Bill Haley and His Comets, The Saints of Rock (Decca 29870, 1955)

#60 B B King, Everything I Do Is Wrong (RPM 411, 1954)

B.B. King wall mural in Leland, MS. visited May 2013.

#59 Bessie Smith, Gimme A Pigfoot (UHCA 49, 1934)

 "Oh Hannah Brown from way cross town
Gets full of coin and starts breaking 'em down
And at the break of day
You can hear ol' Hannah say
'Gimme a pigfoot and a bottle of beer.
Send me again.I don't care.
I feel just like I wanna clown."

#58 The Dells, Zing Zing Zing (Vee-Jay 166, September 1955)

#57 Jack Guthrie, Oklahoma Hills (Capitol 201, 1945)

Jack Guthrie was a songwriter and performer whose rewritten version of his cousin Woody Guthrie's song "Oklahoma Hills" was a number 1 hit in 1945. Guthrie's style was influenced by Jimmie Rodgers and adapted to fit his cowboy image. Although the labels listed Jack Guthrie and His Oklahomans as the artist, in reality Guthrie had no band. The studio brought in some of its better musicians to back Guthrie. Many of them, Porky Freeman, Red Murrell, Cliffie Stone, and Billy Hughes among them, were stars in their own right.

The Yellow Brick Road at Land of Oz, Beech Mtn NC visited October 2013.

#56 Judy Garland, Over the Rainbow (Decca 2672, July 1939)

#55 Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, The A B C's of Love (GEE 1022, October 1956)

#54 Elvis Presley Dont' Be Cruel (RCA Victor 20-6604, 1956)

#53 The Diamonds, Little Darlin' (Mercury 71060,January 1957)

#52 Hank Williams, Moanin' the Blues (MGM 10832, August 1950)

#51 The Weavers, (The Wreck of) The John B (Decca 27332, December 1950)

#50 Shirley and Lee, Let the Good Times Roll (Aladdin 3325, 1956)

New Orleans visited 2003.

#49 Huey "Piano" Smith, Don't You Just Know It (REO 8229, 1958)

His piano playing incorporated the boogie styles of Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons; the jazz style of Jelly Roll Morton and the piano playing of Fats Domino. Allmusic journalist, Steve Huey, also noted "At the peak of his game, Smith epitomized New Orleans R&B at its most infectious and rollicking, as showcased on his classic signature tune, "Don't You Just Know It."

#48 Karen Chandler, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me ( Coral 60831, 1952)

Grave near Tutwiler MS visited May 2013.

#47 Sonny Boy Williamson II, All My Love In Vain (Checker 824, August 1955)

"I`d rather be tied out on the desert
Right out in the falling rain
Tied out on the desert
Right out in the falling rain
Than to lose my baby
She is the glory of a man" All My Love In Vain

Fats' home in the 9th ward, refurbished by Tipitina's visited April 2010.

#46 Fats Domino, Ain't That A Shame (Imperial 5348, March 1955)

#45 Duane Eddy, Ramrod (REO 8280, 1958)

#44 Bessie Smith, One and Two Blues (Columbia 14172-D, October 1926)

#43 Hank Williams, Love Sick Blues (MGM 10352, December 1948)

#42 Nicholas Lowe Go `Way Hound Dog (YepRock Yep-2252, 2011)

#41 The Crew Cuts, Earth Angel (Mercury 70529, 1955)

#40 The Platters, The Great Pretender (Mercury 70753, September 1955)

#39 Sanford Clark, The Fool (Dot 15481, 1956)

#38 Little Richard, Heebie Jeebies (Specialty 584, July 1956)

#37 Lucille Hegamin, He May Be Your Man (But He Comes to See Me Sometime) (Cameo 287, January 1923)

Lucille Hegamin was the second African-American Blues singer to release a record in 1920, just few months after Mamie Smith's groundbreaking success with "Crazy Blues".  She and her husband formed the Blue Flame Syncopators who supported her on all of her Arto records and toured the vaudeville circuit throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with her.  When Arto went bankrupt in 1923, Hegamin signed with Cameo and eventually became known as the Cameo Girl. She had another big hit with the risqué Blues song, "He May Be Your Man, But He Comes to See Me Sometime" which was widely covered by other Classic Blues singers and Jazz bands of the 1920s. Throughout the rest the 1920's and early 1930's, Lucille continued to sing and perform in musical revues. When the Blues craze died out in the mid-1930s she left show biz and became a registered nurse, but continued to perform and record from time to time. In the early l960s, Hegamin returned to recording and released records with Willie "The Lion" Smith and Victoria Spivey. After 1964, Lucille did little performing due to illness. She died March 1, 1970.

This song is an early acoustic recording, with some noise and low volume. But sassy lyrics so it's worth a listen.

Road marker just inside Mississippi border visited May 2013.

#36 Sonny Boy Williamson I, Hoodoo Man Blues (RCA Victor 20-2184, 1947)

#35 Ethel Merman, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend (Brunswick 05154, 1953)

You may remember Marilyn Monroe's insipid (or syrupy) version of this song from the movie but this one has a little heart.

#34 Ethel Waters, Loud Speakin' Papa (You'd Better Speak Easy to Me (Columbia 472-D, August 1925)

"Lucy Lee from Tennessee,
Went and bought a radio set;
She also had a household pet,
The loudest-speakin' papa I've heard yet;
He talked tough, acted rough,
And he strutted terribly proud,
He'd rave and shout out loud;
He always sounded like a crowd;
One night he bawled her out about her radio,
This made Miss Lucy angry and she told him so.
She said:

Loud-speakin' papa, you better speak easy to me;
Someday you'll shout and then no doubt,
I'm gonna turn your dial and tune you out,
'Cause I don't have to listen to your noise and din.
There's plenty other stations I can tune right in,
So loud-speakin' papa, you better speak easy to me!
Get what I'm saying:
You better speak easy to me!"

#33 Jimmie Rodgers, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (Apex 76207,1957)

"Well now that I'm old and I'm a'ready to go
I get to thinkin' what happened a long time ago
Had a lot of kids, a lot of trouble and pain
But then, whoops oh lordy, well I'd do it all again

Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
She had, mmm…kisses…sweeter…than…wine"

#32 Big Mama Thornton Hound Dog (Peacock 1612,1952)

When you want to know what something is about, you go to the source. Eventually overshadowed by Elvis' version. She was working in the studio with Leiber, Stoller and Johnny Otis. Otis loses credit by the time Elvis is doing this song.

#31 Champion Jack Dupree Orch, Drinkin' Little Woman (Derby 770, 1951)

#30 Hank Williams, Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (MGM 11283, June 1952)
"Thibodaux Fontaineaux the place is buzzin'
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style and go hog wild me oh my oh
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou"

This song has a special place in our family. When my father was a young man (21 years old) he was in a hospital on the East Coast having a kidney removed. In 1950 that meant a year in convalescence.It was during this time he met my mother. The hospital, to entertain the patients, had phonographs and records which could be brought to a patient's room.  Mom brought it by one day and it was over this song they first came to know each other.

#29 Big Bill Broonzy, Just A Dream (Vocalion 4706, February 1939)

Love this man's voice. Hot off his 1938 appearance at John Hammond's From Spirituals To Swing extravaganza where he filled in for the recently departed Robert Johnson. This song is a dream.

"It was a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind
It was a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind
Now, and when I woke up, baby, not a thing there could I find
I dreamed I went out with an angel, and had a good time
I dreamed I was satisfied, and nothin' to worry my mind
But that was just a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind,
Now, and when I woke up, baby, not an angel could I find
I dreamed I caught the horses, and caught the number too
I dreamed I won so much money, I didn't know what to do
But that was just a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind,
Now, and when I woke up, baby, not a penny there could I find
Dreamed I was in the White House, sittin' in the president's chair
I dreamed he's shaking my hand, and he said "Bill, I'm so glad you're here"
But that was just a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind
Now, and when I woke up, baby, not a chair there could I find
I dreamed I got married, and started me a family
I dreamed I had ten children, and they all looked just like me
But that was just a dream, Lord, what a dream I had on my mind
Now, and when I woke up, baby, not a child there looked like mine"

#28 International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Jump (Guild 141, 1945)

Alternate version of Jump Children with Tiny Davis on vocal.
I suspect "Tiny" was a nickname as the verse that's changed in here goes:

I may be big, but baby have no fear,
I may be big, but baby have no fear,
I can climb a hill without shifting gears.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the first racially-integrated "all-girl" jazz band in the country. Named by Down Beat magazine as America's #1 All-Girl Orchestra in 1944, they enjoyed an enormous following performing on the black theater circuit, including the Apollo in New York, the Paradise in Detroit and the Howard in Washington, D.C. The Sweethearts played battle-of-the-bands concerts against jazz orchestras led by Fletcher Henderson and Earl Hines.

The song above is an alternate to this version you will find on youtube.
 I believe we have Anna Mae Winburn on lead vocals here:

When you're feel'n low and you don't know what to do,
When you're feel'n low and you don't know what to do,
Just stay in the groove;
Let nothing bother you.

I may be small, but baby have no fear,
I may be small, but baby have no fear,
I can climb a hill without shifting gears.

I ain't good look'n and I don't have waist long hair,
I ain't good look'n and I don't have waist long hair,
But my momma gave something that will take me anywhere;

A rock'n chair to rock,
A rubber ball to roll,
Takes a long tall daddy ta satisfy my soul,

Baby rock me with that jelly roll,
My baby rocks me, with that jelly roll.  

(Then it gets weird)

#27 Little Richard, She's Got It (Specialty 584, September 1956)

 Found this one in some records I picked up from Maryland. Bonus.

#26 The Cadillacs, Speedo (REO 8071, 1955)

You might recognize this from a Paul Simon song.

#25 Jimmie Rodgers, Honeycomb (Roulette 4051, 1957)

#24 Louis Armstrong, Mack The Knife(Phillips B 21776, 1956)

This recording precedes Bobby Darin's by a year. Punchy version and you can just see those puffy cheeks and broad smile as Satchmo belts this one out. Pay your accolades, the line forms on the right, as they say.

#23 Robert Allan Zimmerman  VD City (Home Tapes 1961)

In an effort not to antagonize the copyright gods at SONY you will have to contact me for this song. I've owned a copy from the Beecher (Minnesota Hotel Tapes) set for decades but it has recently been copyrighted. I know a guy, who knows a girl, who knows a server in Sweden that is hosting this song. Send me an email and I'll put you in touch with her, or him

#22 Ma Rainey, See See Rider Blues (Ampersand R101, 1925)

You'll notice Louis Armstrong making his third appearance. He was on Bertha "Chippie" Hill's Pratt City Blues a little farther up the list. But on to Ma Rainey.  True pioneer. A giant. A libertine and mentor to some of the best, Bessie Smith being the most prominent.  She was The Mother of the Blues.

#21 Buddy Holly, Peggy Sue (Coral 61885, 1957)

#20 The Monotones, Book of Love (REO 8235, 1958)

True one-hit wonders from Newark, New Jersey. Song immortalized in Don McLean's American Pie.

#19 Woodrow Wilson Guthrie The Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done (WGARP-1)

This is part of a limited edition, not yet sold out, Rounder set. Being copyright safe. I know a guy, who knows a girl, who knows a server in Sweden that is hosting this song. Send me an email and I'll put you in touch with her, or him.

#18 Chuck Berry, No Money Down (Chess 1615,1955)

#17 Carl Perkins Blue Suede Shoes (Sun 234, 1956)

#16 Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, My Mama Don't Allow Me (RCA Victor, 20-2509, April 1942)

Before Elvis made a career out of taking this music to a new audience it was being done like this.

"My mama don't 'llow me
Stay out all night long
My mama don't 'llow me
Stay out all night long
I ain't nothin' but a playboy
Hoo, Lord, some woman done me wrong

Now, I had my catfish, swimmin' in the sea
I had all thee women, now fishin' after me

'Cause mama don't 'llow me
Stay out all night long
I ain't nothin' but a playboy
Hoo, Lord some woman done me wrong"

#15 Bo Diddley, Before You Accuse Me (REO 8202, 1957)

Loved this song for years ... the CCR version on Cosmo's Factory. This was a big surprise. None of that ever-present Bo Diddly riff we are used to hearing. This is done straight-up and it's good.

#14 The Everly Brothers, Bird Dog (Apex 76335, 1958)

"He even made the teacher let him sit next to my baby [he's a bird dog]"

#13 Leadbelly, Bourgeois Blues (Musicraft 227, April 1939)

Huddie was apparently done with playing nice.

"Me and my wife went all over town
And everywhere we went people turned us down
Lord, in a bourgeois town
It's a bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

Well, me and my wife we were standing upstairs
We heard the white man say'n I don't want no niggers up there
Lord, in a bourgeois town
Uhm, bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

Home of the brave, land of the free
I don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie
Lord, in a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

Well, them white folks in Washington they know how
To call a colored man a nigger just to see him bow
Lord, it's a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

I tell all the colored folks to listen to me
Don't try to find you no home in Washington, DC
'Cause it's a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around"

#12 Elvis Presley Hound Dog (RCA Victor 20-6604, 1956)

Outside Walls MS visited May 2013.

#11 Memphis Minnie, Looking the World Over (Okeh 6707, 1941)

Born June 3, 1897, in Algiers, Louisiana, Lizzie Douglas was raised on a farm before moving in 1904 to Walls in northern Mississippi. The following year Douglas was given a guitar for her birthday and quickly learned to play.
During the 1910s and early 1920s, Douglas adopted the handle of Memphis Minnie and toured the South, playing tent shows with the Ringling Brothers Circus.
During the late 1920s Minnie began playing guitar with a variety of ad hoc jug bands during Memphis's jug band craze. Minnie also began a common law marriage with Kansas Joe McCoy, a musician with whom she had begun playing and would soon record.  Within a year of her first recording date, Minnie had logged a half-dozen more sessions. Bukka White claimed that Minnie sang backup on his 1930 gospel recordings. By the time the effects of the Great Depression had shackled the recording industry, Minnie had recorded fifty sides that showcased her powerful voice and energetic guitar picking. She affected wealth as her idol Ma Rainey had done, traveling to shows in luxury cars and wearing bracelets made of silver dollars on her wrists.
During the 1930s, Minnie moved to Chicago where she set the musical style by taking up bass and drum accompaniment, anticipating the sound of the 1950s Chicago blues.
Memphis Minnie was  the greatest female country blues singer, and the popularity of her songs made her one of the blues most influential artists.

#10 Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, Big River (Quality 1662, 1958)

In Moorhead MS visited May 2013.

#9 Bessie Smith, Yellow Dog Blues (Columbia 14075-D, May 1925)

This W C Handy song marks the beginning of commercial blues.
 "Oh, you easy rider's got to stay away
She had to vamp it but the hike ain't far
He's gone where the Southern cross the Yellow Dog"

#8 Fats Domino, Blueberry Hill (Imperial 5407, July 1956)

Hank Williams family plot in Montgomery AL visited April 2010.

#7 Hank Williams, Cold Cold Heart (MGM 10904, December 1950)

#6 Chuck Berry, Roll Over Beethoven (Quality1503, 1956)

#5 Tommy McLennan, Bottle It Up and Go (Bluebird B-8373, November 1939)

A gravel-throated back-country blues growler from the Mississippi Delta, Tommy McClennan was part of the last wave of down-home blues guitarists to record for the major labels in Chicago. His rawboned 1939-1942 Bluebird recordings were no-frills excursions into the blues bottoms. He left a powerful legacy that included "Bottle It Up and Go," "Cross Cut Saw Blues," "Deep Blue Sea Blues" (aka "Catfish Blues"), and others whose lasting power has been evidenced through the repertoires and re-recordings of other artists. McClennan never recorded again and reportedly died a destitute alcoholic; McClennan died of bronchopneumonia in Chicago, Illinois on May 9, 1961.

Wall mural in Tutwiler MS visited May 2013.

#4 Sonny Boy Williamson II, Don't Start Me Talking (Checker 824, August 1955)

#3 Buddy Holly, Rave On (Coral 61985, January 1958)

#2 Robert Johnson, Kind Hearted Woman Blues (Vocalion 03416, November 1936)

#1 Robert Johnson, Terraplane Blues (Vocalion 03416, November 1936)

"Now, you know the coils ain't even buzzin'
Little generator won't get the spark
Motor's in a bad condition
You gotta have these batteries charged
But I'm cryin', please, please don't do me wrong
Who been drivin' my Terraplane
Now for you since I been gone
Mr. Highway Man, please don't block the road
Please, please don't block the road" Terraplane Blues