Why do I sing The Dirty Blues?

Why do this show? Why does a woman of a “certain age” need to get gussied up and sing songs from a long time ago? I mean…what do you think you are right?


Well here’s why. Since turning a bit older I have felt invisible, unknown, under-respected and finished. After all biology and our culture here in the USA tells us that a woman my age must give up on sexuality and attractiveness. These songs scream against that idea. That a women is what she is told she is. That her power is given and not just inherent. That she must pass some test, be the proper weight, height and be feminine and submissive. Ladies and Gents., I have no interest in being any of those things nor am I doing this for attention like a woman hoping to grasp at the last straws of her beauty.

These songs speak to me because I feel invisible and dishonored. Just like many women did when they were first written and many do now with a misogynist president, sexual abusers still in power and the threat of rape like a wind constantly blowing over too exposed skin. It is nice to stand up and tell a lover how to love me, to kiss me, to hold back when I say so and do it how I like because I like it like that and if they don’t I’ll walk away and find a new one! How cool it is to claim my experience as a woman, a lover and a creatrix.

No, it is not the same reason these songs were done back then, although I do think Sophie Tucker did this choose scream out that cry too later in her career. That of the older, more experienced woman stating her power on the stage! The others who sang these like Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Lil Johnson and more did so in an era when it was important for women, especially African American women and all brave women (Mae West comes to mind) began to speak out and up.

The 1910’s where the earliest songs in our act are from …also the 1920’s when we (women) got the vote, cut our hair, smoked and shouted out the fact that we have a right to good sex, nice men, love, respect and honor and the decades that followed where this same message rang out even if not always totally successful!

My real Granny was a flapper and proud of it. My Grandmother was an emancipated wild woman at a time when that was impossible. I named this act for her and her bloomers which were always hot and always sexy!

A lot of people ask me why I sing these dirty songs. They aren’t dirty to me…they are a howling form of empowerment. They unleash the dominant lioness in this old girl and the same in the women in my audience! The men seem to love them too because they are strong, funny and fierce.

Plus, truly everyone leaves a little turned on and that’s why I call it Burlesque for your ears…and your mind.

List below of the songs we do. We change it up a little each time!

  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find
  • A Guy What takes his Time
  • Ain’t Got Nobody to Grind My Coffee
  • Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage
  • Back Door Man
  • Bed Spring Poker
  • Black Eye Blues
  • Blue Skies
  • Bumble Bee
  • Come To Mama
  • Crazy ‘Bout My Lollypop
  • Daddy, You’ve Got Ev’rything
  • Do Your Duty
  • Don’t Come Too Soon
  • Don’t You Feel My Leg
  • Down in the Alley
  • Empty Bed Blues
  • Get It Fixed
  • Handy Man
  • He May Be Your Dog but He’s Wearing My Collar
  • Honey Dipper Blues
  • Honey Don’t You Tear My Clothes.
  • I Need A Little Sugar in My Bowl
  • I Wonder Where My Easy Rider’s Gone
  • I’m Selling My Pork Chops (But I’m Giving My Gravy Away)
  • I’m Wild about That Thing
  • I’ve got a Crush on the Fuller Brush Man
  • I’ve Got Ford Engine Movements in My Hips
  • If You See My Rooster
  • It Ain’t the Meat, It’s The Motion
  • It Ain’t the Meat its the Motion
  • It’s Tight Like That
  • Keep Your Hands Off It
  • King Size Papa
  • Kissing In the Dark
  • Kitchen Man
  • Let’s Get Drunk and Truck
  • Me and My Chauffer Blues
  • Mighty Tight woman
  • Insurance Man
  • My Daddy Rocks Me
  • My Girl’s Pussy
  • My Handy Man
  • My Kitchen Man
  • My Man Stands Out
  • Oh, Daddy
  • One Hour Mama
  • Organ Grinder Blues
  • Press My Button Ring My Bell
  • Sam the Hot Dog Man
  • Second Hand man
  • Send Me a Man
  • Stavin’  Chain
  • Take Your Hand off It
  • Telephone Man
  • The Spinach Song
  • Wet IT
  • Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On
  • You Gotta See Mama
  • You Stole My Cherry

TRIXIE SMITH!

From http://www.redhotjazz.com/trixiesmith.html

More at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trixie_Smith

trixie smith

Trixie Smith was born in Atlanta, Georgia and is reported to have studied at Selma University in Alabama. Sometime around 1915 she moved north to New York to work in show business. At first she worked in minstrel shows and on the TOBA vaudeville circuit. It was in vaudeville where she became a featured vocalist. In 1922 Smith made her first recordings for the Black Swan label and later that year she won a blues singing contest in New York sponsored by the White dance team of Vernon and Irene Castle, beating out Lucille Hegamin and some other lesser known singers with her song “Trixie’s Blues“. Smith is best remembered today for the excellent Jazz bands that accompanied her on her records. The records were often released under the name of Trixie Smith and her Down Home Syncopators, which was usually either Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra or the White group The Original Memphis Five. Trixie recorded a fine session for Decca in 1938 that featured Sidney Bechet and an additional song in 1939, but her recording career had for all practical purposes ended by 1926 when she recorded with Jimmy Bythe and his Ragamuffins. As her career as a Blues singer waned, Smith returned to her theatrical roots and worked in musical revues, Broadway shows and appeared the four films. She died in 1943.

Title Director Year
The Black King Bud Pollard 1932
Drums O’ Voodoo Arthur Hoerl 1934
Swing! Oscar Micheaux 1938
God’s Step Children Oscar Micheaux 1938

 

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
Ada Jane’s Blues
(Jay Guy Suddoth)
9-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12232-B
Black Bottom Hop
(Paul Carter)
12-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12336
Choo Choo Blues (1)
(Jay Guy Suddoth)
12-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12245
Choo Choo Blues (2)
(Jay Guy Suddoth)
12-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12245
Silvertone 3565
Desperate Blues
(Alex Rogers / James P. Johnson)
1-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
2039-A
Don’t Shake It No More
(Thomas A. Dorsey)
6-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12211-B
Everybody’s Doing The Charleston Now
With Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra

(Benton)
12-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12330-A
Everybody Loves My Baby (But My Baby Don’t Love Nobody But Me)
(Jack Palmer / Spencer Williams)
1-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12249
Freight Train Blues
(Thomas A. Dorsey / Everett Murphy )
5-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12211-A
Freight Train Blues
(Williams)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7489 A
Give Me That Slow Drag
(Tom Delaney)
9-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
14127-A
Paramount
12164-A
He May Be Your Man
(But He Comes To See Me Sometimes)

(Lemuel Fowler)
4-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
14114-A
He May Be Your Man
(But He Comes To See Me Sometimes)

(Perry Bradford / Lemuel Fowler)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7528
He Likes It Slow
(W. Benton Overstreet)
12-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12336
How Come You Do Me like You Do?
(Austin / Bergere)
1-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12249
I Don’t Know And I Don’t Care Blues (1)
(George Brooks)
5-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12208
I Don’t Know And I Don’t Care Blues (2)
(George Brooks)
5-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12208
I’m Gonna Get You
(Porter Grainger / Bob Ricketts)
1-1923 New York, New York Black Swan14138-B
I’m Through With You
(As I Can Be)

(Billy Higgins)
10-1922 New York, New York
14132-B
Black Swan
14132-B
Jack, I’m Mellow
(Gerry / House)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7528
Log Cabin Blues
(Tom Delaney)
3-1923 New York, New York Black Swan
14142-A
Long Lost, Weary Blues 3-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
2044-B
Love Me Like You Used To Do
With Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra

(Paul Carter)
12-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12330-B
Mining Camp Blues (1)
(Trixie Smith)
2-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12256-A
Mining Camp Blues (2)
(Trixie Smith)
2-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12256-A
My Man Rocks Me
(With One Steady Roll)

(J. Berni Barbour)
9-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
14127-B
Paramount
12164-B
My Unusual Man
(Porter Grainger)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7489 B
My Daddy Rocks Me (1)
(J. Berni Barbour)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
My Daddy Rocks Me – No. 2
(J. Berni Barbour)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7617 A
No Good Man 6-14-1939 New York, New York Decca
7617 B
Pensacola Blues
(Spencer Williams)
4-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
14114-B
Praying Blues
(Jay Guy Suddoth)
9-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12232-A
Railroad Blues (1)
(Trixie Smith)
3-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12262-A
Railroad Blues (2)
(Trixie Smith)
3-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12262-A
Ride Jockey Ride
(Arthur Schell Jr.)
12-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12245
Sorrowful Blues
(Trixie Smith / Johns)
5-1924 New York, New York Paramount
12208
Take It Daddy It’s All Yours
(Perry Bradford)
10-1922 New York, New York Paramount
12165-A
Black Swan
14132-A
The World’s Gone Jazz Crazy And So Am I (1)
(William Henry Huff / Jimmy Blythe)
3-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12262-B
The World’s Gone Jazz Crazy And So Am I (2)
(William Henry Huff / Jimmy Blythe)
3-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12262-B
Tired Of Waiting Blues
(Porter Grainger / Bob Ricketts)
3-1923 New York, New York Black Swan
14149-A
Triflin’ Blues
(Porter Grainger / Bob Ricketts)
3-1923 New York, New York Black Swan
14149-B
Trixie’s Blues
(Trixie Smith)
1-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
2039-B
Trixie’s Blues
(Trixie Smith)
5-26-1938 New York, New York Decca
7469
2 A.M. Blues
(J.C. Johnson / Roland Irving)
1-1923 New York, New York Black Swan14138-A
Voodoo Blues
(Hegamin)
3-1923 New York, New York Black Swan
14142-B
You Missed A Good Women
When You Picked All Over Me

(Williams)
3-1922 New York, New York Black Swan
2044-A
You’ve Got To Beat Me To Keep Me
(Porter Grainger)
2-1925 New York, New York Paramount
12256-B

Artist Instrument
Henry “Red” Allen Cornet
Louis Armstrong Cornet
Sidney Bechet Clarinet
Barney Bigard Clarinet
Edgar Campbell Clarinet
Sidney Catlett Drums
Buster Bailey Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Teddy Bunn Guitar
Edgar Campbell Clarinet
Elmer Chambers Banjo
Charlie Dixon Banjo
Ralph Esudero Tuba
Richard Fullbright Bass
Frank Signorelli Piano
Charlie Green Trombone
Flethcher Henderson Piano
James P. Johnson Piano
Jimmy Lytell Clarinet
Miff Mole Trombone
Phil Napoleon Clarinet
Ted Nixon Trombone
Sam Price Piano
Don Redman Clarinet
Jack Roth Drums
Howard Scott Cornet
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Joe Smith Trumpet
Russell Smith Trumpet
O’Neil Spencer Drums
Walter Watkins Tenor Saxophone

 

BESSIE SMITH EMPRESS of the Blues [and some dirty tunes too…]

For me Bessie Smith was always in my ear and a teacher.  I had been hearing her voice all my life and then I discovered some of the songs in this act and found hers that fit.  I was overjoyed to be able to use some of the music she sang and in some cases, wrote on the stage using my voice.  She has always been a leading inspiration in my life and I am so glad she is still inspiring me.  There is much on line about her as well as a great book and a well-made film starting Queen Latifah.  All information below and a short bio here from ALL MUSIC.

bessie 4

Artist Biography by Scott Yanow –  All Music

The first major blues and jazz singer on record and one of the most powerful of all time, Bessie Smith rightly earned the title of “The Empress of the Blues.” Even on her first records in 1923, her passionate voice overcame the primitive recording quality of the day and still communicates easily to today’s listeners (which is not true of any other singer from that early period). At a time when the blues were in and most vocalists (particularly vaudevillians) were being dubbed “blues singers,” Bessie Smith simply had no competition.

Back in 1912, Bessie Smith sang in the same show as Ma Rainey, who took her under her wing and coached her. Although Rainey would achieve a measure of fame throughout her career, she was soon surpassed by her protégée. In 1920, Smith had her own show in Atlantic City and, in 1923, she moved to New York. She was soon signed by Columbia and her first recording (Alberta Hunter‘s “Downhearted Blues”) made her famous. Bessie Smith worked and recorded steadily throughout the decade, using many top musicians as sidemen on sessions including Louis ArmstrongJoe Smith (her favorite cornetist), James P. Johnson, and Charlie Green. Her summer tent show Harlem Frolics was a big success during 1925-1927, and Mississippi Days in 1928 kept the momentum going.

However, by 1929 the blues were out of fashion and Bessie Smith‘s career was declining despite being at the peak of her powers (and still only 35). She appeared in St. Louis Blues that year (a low-budget movie short that contains the only footage of her), but her hit recording of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” predicted her leaner Depression years. Although she was dropped by Columbia in 1931 and made her final recordings on a four-song session in 1933, Bessie Smith kept on working. She played the Apollo in 1935 and substituted for Billie Holiday in the show Stars Over Broadway. The chances are very good that she would have made a comeback, starting with a Carnegie Hall appearance at John Hammond‘s upcoming From Spirituals to Swing concert, but she was killed in a car crash in Mississippi. Columbia has reissued all of her recordings, first in five two-LP sets and more recently on five two-CD box sets that also contain her five alternate takes, the soundtrack of St. Louis Blues, and an interview with her niece Ruby Smith. “The Empress of the Blues,” based on her recordings, will never have to abdicate her throne.

Do Your Duty: Bessie Smith

 

Do Your Duty: Rev. Mary

 

LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Smith

Includes a short video of her life: https://www.biography.com/people/bessie-smith-9486520

http://www.notablebiographies.com/Sc-St/Smith-Bessie.html

With Discography: http://www.redhotjazz.com/bessie.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/arts/television/queen-latifah-stars-in-bessie-on-hbo.html

On Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Bessie-Revised-expanded-Chris-Albertson-ebook/dp/B001P5G990/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503039640&sr=1-2&keywords=bessie+smith

Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mama’s

Looking forward to singing the song above and will be excited to see what that brings the act.

Just watched this documentary and am very happy I did.  Very good and it shows so much about her ad a person!  Its available to watch on YOUTUBE or on Amazon.

There is so much on line about Sophie Tucker on line and in books!  A few links below too.

SOPHIE’S BIOGRAPHY

Born Sonya Kalish to a Jewish family en route to a new life in America from Tsarist Russia in 1887, Sophie Tucker would become one of the greatest and most beloved entertainers of the 20th century.

The singer, comedian, TV, film and radio personality grew from humble roots in Hartford, Connecticut where her family appropriated the last name Abuza and opened a restaurant. In addition to helping maintain the family business, Sophie began singing for tips at an early age and discovered her powerful voice and innate knack for entertaining.

At 16, Sophie married local heartthrob Louis Tuck (from whom she would derive her famous last name) and soon after gave birth to her son, Bert. The rocky marriage and jump into motherhood exposed Sophie to a bleak future ahead if she chose to stay close to home and abandon her theatrical dreams. With heartbreaking determination, Sophie left her child to be raised by her younger sister, Anna and left Hartford for New York City. With just $90 in her pocket, Sophie was determined to make a name for herself and find success that would allow her to give back to her beloved family.

The harsh reality of roughing it in New York didn’t faze the ingénue and, after pounding the pavement and pinching pennies, Sophie eventually found work performing vaudeville and burlesque tunes in local establishments. However, being pegged “too fat and ugly” to perform as herself, Sophie was restricted to performing in blackface as a “coon shouter.” While she made a name for herself with this act, a happy accident which left her without her makeup kit one day in 1909 forced Sophie to go on stage naturally – that is, as natural as a full-figured girl in a sequined ball gown and golden curls can be. The crowd adored the real Sophie, and though the disguise was gone for good, she would continue to draw on ragtime, blues, and jazz influences, which were primarily African American genres at the time.

After a brief but acclaimed stint in the legendarily extravagant Ziegfeld Follies, Sophie gained traction that would send her on the road until her death from lung cancer in 1966. Amassing an extraordinary fan base, Tucker enjoyed the success of many popular recordings, most notably including My Yiddish Momme and Some of These Days, the latter of which became the title of her 1945 autobiography. Sophie appeared in several films during her lengthy career, including one of the first “talkies,” Honky Tonk, in 1929, and alongside Judy Garland in 1937’s Broadway Melody of 1938.

Deemed “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” Tucker was adored for her candor, bold sense of humor, powerful voice, and unwavering energy as a performer and as a woman. Sophie never fit the typical Hollywood beauty mold, but presented herself and her body in an empowering way that shut down any preconceptions or superficial standards.

Sophie continues to be celebrated as a groundbreaking entertainer and transcendent example of the American dream.

MORE LINKS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Tucker

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0876008/bio

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35505532#

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Great Documentary About Some of the Ladies Who Created DIRTY BLUES

Thought I’d share. Great documentary about some strong and talented ladies. I sing some of their songs and can still feel the power and fun in every lyric. When I sing this music its like they are singing through me it makes sense. They were strong and powerful women their power lingers in the art they created. bentley-and-bandleader-willie-bryant-1936 SophLadies_AlbertaHunter

Enjoy.

https://vimeo.com/channels/framelinevoices/81826291
T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness exposes the triply oppressed (black, female, queer) pioneers of blues through interviews with cultural historians, vintage photos, footage, and recordings, all narrated by Jewelle Gomez. With lavish costumes and sexually suggestive lyrics, bisexual and lesbian singers such as Ma Rainey (got arrested for indecency at an all-girl party—while married to a man) and Gladys Bentley (a “bulldagger” in full tuxedo) were regularly shunned by the church and society for their rough and tumble ways. Like Frameline Voices? Donate here: http://bit.ly/FramelineDonate
Robert Philipson 2011 29 min. USA

A bit more information:

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/singing-the-lesbian-blues-in-1920s-harlem/ethel-waters_birmingham-bertha_1929_0-lg_f401

09_Bessie_Smith

 

LIL JOHNSON

 

LIL JOHNSON

LilJohnson

 

One day I found and anthology of Dirty Blues and I was hooked! Many of the songs I do in this act are by Lil Johnson.  Not sure who she was or if this picture is her but it’s all that’s out there.  Information in the articles below are from several sources and you can follow links to the others she worked with as well.  Please go to the discography portion and take a listen to the music she recorded.  Many others have covered them.  I aim to do her justice when I do! I am pretty sure she was a great performer and comedienne as well as a powerful singer.  I am also pretty sure her stage name was an inside joke too!– Rev. Mary

 

 

Click below to hear me live with a great amount of amazing blues and swing musicians on the “porch” at Agusta Blues and Swing Week.

 

Lil Johnson made use of one thing that always sells in music, every time: sex.

She eventually toned down her lyrics somewhat, since record company censorship was beginning to plague her as well as shifting public taste. Nonetheless, she recorded quite a few sides between the late ’20s, when she first appeared in the recording studios, and 1937, when she performed on her last known songs. Like many pianists and singers from this period, her recordings fell into a state of copyright limbo in which just about anyone capable of sequencing a series of tracks was able to release her songs on anthologies relating to the blues and boogie-woogie piano. There was a particular interest in Johnson‘s case among producers of collections such as Copulatin’ Blues, a title that apparently seems appealing enough to be used for several different collections by unrelated labels. Song titles such as “You’ll Never Miss Your Jelly Till Your Jelly Roller Is Gone” reveal how appropriate her material is to such collections, although she never really made up her mind which direction she wanted to go into with the food-equals-sex metaphors; at one point switching from jelly rolls to peanuts — “Get ‘Em From the Peanut Man,” the listener is advised — and eventually settling on something that is actually healthy, cabbage. “Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage?” Johnson asks on this side, one of several of her records in which the solid feel of the rhythm and the peskiness of the blues improvisations make up for relatively uninspired lyrics.

Her origins and early life are not known. She first recorded in Chicago in 1929, accompanied by the pianists Montana Taylor and Charles Avery on five songs, including “Rock That Thing”. She did not return to the recording studio until 1935, when her more risqué songs included “Get ‘Em from the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)”, “Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage?”,[1][2] and “Press My Button (Ring My Bell)” (“Come on baby, let’s have some fun / Just put your hot dog in my bun”).[3] She also recorded a version of “Keep A-Knockin’“, which later became a hit for Little Richard.

From her second session onwards, she formed a partnership with the ragtime-influenced pianist Black Bob, who provided ebullient support for her increasingly suggestive lyrics. In 1936 and 1937, she recorded over 40 songs, mostly for Vocalion Records, some featuring Big Bill Broonzy on guitar and Lee Collins on trumpet. Her other songs included “Was I?”, “My Stove’s in Good Condition”, “Take Your Hand Off It” and “Buck Naked Blues“.

She sang in a vigorous and sometimes abrasive manner. All her songs have been anthologized on later blues collections. There is no record of what became of Johnson after her recording career ended in 1937.

 

AllMusic Review                             by Scott Yanow

All the recordings by the good-time blues singer Lil Johnson have been reissued on three Document CDs. Virtually nothing is known about Johnson outside of the recordings that she made. Vol. 1 starts off with five numbers from 1929, in which she is backed by either Montana Taylor or Charles Avery on piano (with Tampa Red sitting in on “House Rent Scuffle”). Otherwise all of this music is from 1935-36, with Johnson usually accompanied by pianist Black Bob and various bassists, plus, on two numbers, guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. Her best-known number, “Get ‘Em From the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts),” is here (in three different versions), along with such other rollicking tunes as “Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage,” “If You Can Dish It (I Can Take It),” “Press My Button (Ring My Bell (Yanow, n.d.)l of the recordings by the good-time blues singer Lil Johnson have been reissued on three Document CDs. Virtually nothing is known about Johnson outside of the recordings that she made. Vol. 1 starts off with five numbers from 1929, in which she is backed by either Montana Taylor or Charles Avery on piano (with Tampa Red sitting in on “House Rent Scuffle”). Otherwise all of this music is from 1935-36, with Johnson usually accompanied by pianist Black Bob and various bassists, plus, on two numbers, guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. Her best-known number, “Get ‘Em From the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts),” is here (in three different versions), along with such other rollicking tunes as “Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage,” “If You Can Dish It (I Can Take It),” “Press My Button (Ring My Bell),” and “Sam the Hot Dog Man.” Fun music.

 

Bibliography

Chadbourne, E. (n.d.). Lil Johnson | Biography | AllMusic. Retrieved 8 7, 2017, from AllMusic: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lil-johnson-mn0000226091/biography

Lil Johnson. (n.d.). Retrieved 8 7, 2017, from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lil_Johnson_(blues_singer)

Yanow, S. (n.d.). Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1 (1929–1936) – Lil Johnson. Retrieved 8 7, 2017, from AllMusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/complete-works-in-chronological-order-vol-1-1929-1936-mw0000076670

Recordings

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lil-johnson-mn0000226091/discography

Lil Johnson Vols 1–3Document Records[5]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^“Lil Johnson Discography”. Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  2. Jump up^Chadbourne, Eugene. “Lil Johnson | Biography & History”AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  3. Jump up^“Press My Button (Ring My Bell) – Lil Johnson lyrics”. LyricsOfSong.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  4. Jump up^“Harry’s Blues Lyrics Online, Lil Johnson Lyrics, page 2”. Blueslyrics.tripod.com. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  5. Jump up to:ab c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 125–126. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  6. Jump up^“Lil Johnson – “Hottest Gal In Town” (1936–1937)”. Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  7. Jump up^Yanow, Scott. “Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1 (1929–1936) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits”AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  8. Jump up^Yanow, Scott. “Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 3 (1937) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits”AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  9. Jump up^Yanow, Scott (1995-02-15). “Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 2 (1936–1937) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits”AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07.

Song list…..so far!

  • A Guy What Takes His Time
  • Backdoor Man
  • Do Your Duty
  • Don’t Come Too Soon
  • Don’t You Feel My Leg
  • Down in the Alley
  • Empty Bed Blues
  • Get it Fixed
  • It Ain’t the Meat
  • King Sized Papa
  • Kitchen Man
  • Me and My Chauffeur
  • Mighty Tight Woman
  • Milk Man Blues
  • Mr. Insurance Man
  • My Daddy Rocks Me
  • My Girls Pussy
  • My Handy Man
  • My Man Stands Out
  • Organ Grinder Blues
  • Pete The Butcher
  • Press My Button Ring My Bell
  • Sam the Hot Dog Man
  • Stavin’ Chain
  • Sugar in My Bowl
  • Take Your Hand Off It
  • Telephone Man
  • Wet It
  • Wild About That Thing
  • Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues
  • You Stole My Cherry

SOME OF THE ORIGINAL SINGERS OF THE DIRTY BLUES

 

SOME OF THE ORIGINAL SINGERS OF THE DIRTY BLUES

Sippie Wallace (born Beulah Belle Thomas, November 1, 1898 – November 1, 1986) was an American singer-songwriter. Her early career in tent shows gained her the billing “The Texas Nightingale”. Between 1923 and 1927, she recorded over 40 songs for Okeh Records, many written by her or her brothers, George and Hersal Thomas. Her accompanists included Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, and Clarence Williams. Among the top female blues vocalists of her era, Wallace ranked with Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, and Bessie Smith. In the 1930s, she left show business to become a church organist, singer, and choir director in Detroit and performed secular music only sporadically until the 1960s, when she resumed her career. Wallace was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982 and was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Julia Lee (October 31, 1902 – December 8, 1958) was an American blues and dirty blues musician. Her inclusion in the latter category is mainly due to a few numbers she performed, eg “King Size Papa” and “Snatch and Grab It”. However, it would be misleading to characterize her music as always being in this vein. Born in Boonville, Missouri, Lee was raised in Kansas City, and began her musical career around 1920, singing and playing piano in her brother George Lee’s band, which for a time also included Charlie Parker. She first recorded on the Merritt record label in 1927 with Jesse Stone as pianist and arranger, and launched a solo career in 1935. In 1944 she secured a recording contract with Capitol Records, and a string of R&B hits. As these titles suggest, she became best known for her trademark double entendre songs, or, as she once said, “the songs my mother taught me not to sing”. The records were credited to ‘Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends’, her session musicians including Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, Red Norvo, Nappy Lamare, and Red Nichols.

Lil Johnson (fl. 1920s-1930s, dates and places of birth and death unknown) was an African American singer who recorded dirty blues and hokum songs in the 1920s and 1930s.Her origins and early life are not known. She first recorded in Chicago in 1929, accompanied by the pianists Montana Taylor and Charles Avery on five songs, including “Rock That Thing”. She did not return to the recording studio until 1935, when her more risqué songs included “Get ‘Em from the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)”, “Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage?”,and “Press My Button (Ring My Bell)” (“Come on baby, let’s have some fun / Just put your hot dog in my bun”). She also recorded a version of “Keep A-Knockin’”, which later became a hit for Little Richard. From her second session onwards, she formed a partnership with the ragtime-influenced pianist “Black Bob” Hudson, who provided ebullient support for her increasingly suggestive lyrics. In 1936 and 1937, she recorded over 40 songs, mostly for Vocalion Records, some featuring Big Bill Broonzy on guitar and Lee Collins on trumpet. Her other songs included “Was I?”, “My Stove’s in Good Condition”, “Take Your Hand Off It” and “Buck Naked Blues”. She sang in a vigorous and sometimes abrasive manner. All her songs have been anthologized on later blues collections. There is no record of what became of Johnson after her recording career ended in 1937.

Mary Jane “Mae” West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. Known for her lighthearted bawdy double entendres, and breezy sexual independence, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as on radio and television. For her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema. One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making comedy out of prudish conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays, and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, and to record rock and roll albums. Asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West replied: “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.” While true, she also suffered greatly because of it, even going to prison for her right to freedom of speech.

Trixie Smith (1895 – September 21, 1943) was an African-American blues singer, recording artist, vaudeville entertainer, and actress. She made four dozen recordings. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Smith came from a middle-class background. She attended Selma University, in Alabama, before moving to New York City at the age of twenty around 1915.Soon after, she began working in a number of different cafés and theaters in Harlem and Philadelphia. She began her career as a vaudeville and minstrel entertainer who performed as a comedian, dancer, actress, and singer in traveling shows. Between 1916 and the early 1920’s, she worked in minstrel shows and toured as a featured singer. She also worked on the Theater Owners Bookers Association vaudeville circuit before making her first recordings for Black Swan Records in 1922,among which was “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” (1922),written by J. Berni Barbour, of historical interest as the first secular recording to use the phrase rock and roll. Her record inspired various lyrical elaborations, such as “Rock That Thing” by Lil Johnson and “Rock Me Mama” by Ikey Robinson. Also in 1922, billed as the “southern nightingale,” Smith won first place and a silver cup in a blues singing contest in which she sang her own composition, “Trixie’s Blues”, competing against Alice Leslie Carter, Daisy Martin and Lucille Hegamin, at the Inter-Manhattan Casino in New York, sponsored by the dancer Irene Castle.[8] She is best remembered for “Railroad Blues” (1925), which features one of her most inspired vocal performances on record, and “The World Is Jazz Crazy and So Am I” (1925). Louis Armstrong played the cornet on both songs. Smith was a polished performer, and her records include several outstanding examples of the blues, on which she is accompanied by artists such as James P. Johnson, and Freddie Keppard. She recorded with Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra for Paramount Records in 1924 and 1925. As her career as a blues singer waned, she sustained herself mostly by performing in cabaret revues and starring in musical revues such as New York Revue (1928) and Next Door Neighbors (1928) at the Lincoln Theater in Harlem. She also appeared in Mae West’s shortlived 1931 Broadway show, The Constant Sinner. Two years later, Smith was elevated to the stage of the Theatre Guild for its production of Louisiana. She appeared in four movies: God’s Step Children (1938), Swing! (1938), Drums o’ Voodoo (1934), and The Black King (1932). Two of these films were directed by Oscar Micheaux.[12] She appeared at the concert From Spirituals to Swing, produced by John H. Hammond, in 1938. She recorded seven titles in 1938 and 1939. Most of her later recordings were with Sidney Bechet for Decca Records in 1938. In 1939 she cut “No Good Man” with a band including Red Allen and Barney Bigard.Known in later life as Trixie Muse, she died in New York in 1943, after a brief illness, at the age of 48. Bessie Smith The 1900 census indicates that Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 1892, a date provided by her mother. The 1910 census gave her age as 16. A birth date of April 15, 1894, appears on subsequent documents and was observed as her birthday by the Smith family. The 1870 and 1880 censuses report three older half-siblings, but later interviews with Smith’s family and contemporaries did not mention them among her siblings. She was the daughter of Laura (born Owens) and William Smith, a laborer and part-time Baptist preacher (he was listed in the 1870 census as a “minister of the gospel”, in Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama). He died while his daughter was too young to remember him. By the time Bessie was nine, her mother and a brother had also died. Her older sister Viola took charge of caring for her siblings. To earn money for their impoverished household, Smith and her brother Andrew began busking on the streets of Chattanooga; she sang and danced, and he accompanied her on the guitar. Their favorite location was in front of the White Elephant Saloon at Thirteenth and Elm streets, in the heart of the city’s African-American community. In 1904, her oldest brother, Clarence, left home, joining a small traveling troupe owned by Moses Stokes. “If Bessie had been old enough, she would have gone with him,” said Clarence’s widow, Maud. “That’s why he left without telling her, but Clarence told me she was ready, even then. Of course, she was only a child.” In 1912, Clarence returned to Chattanooga with the Stokes troupe and arranged an audition for his sister with the managers of the troupe, Lonnie and Cora Fisher. She was hired as a dancer rather than a singer, because the company already included the well-known singer Ma Rainey. Smith eventually moved on to performing in various chorus lines, making the “81” Theater in Atlanta her home base. She also performed in shows on the blackowned (Theater Owners Booking Association) (T.O.B.A.) circuit and became its biggest star after she signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. Smith’s recordiing ing career began in 1923. She was then living in Philadelphia, where she met Jack Gee, a security guard, whom she married on June 7, 1923, just as her first record was being released. During the marriage—a stormy one, with infidelity by both partners—Smith became the highest-paid black entertainer of the day, heading her own shows, which sometimes featured as many as 40 troupers, and touring in her own custom-built railroad car. Gee was impressed by the money but never adjusted to show business life or to Smith’s bisexuality. In 1929, when she learned of his affair with another singer, Gertrude Saunders, Smith ended the relationship, although neither of them sought a divorce. Smith later entered a common-law marriage with an old friend, Richard Morgan, who was Lionel Hampton’s uncle. She stayed with him until her death. Meri Wilson Edgmon (June 15, 1949 – December 28, 2002), known professionally as Meri Wilson, was a model and singer-songwriter, best known for singing double entendre novelty songs. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, at a United States military base, but raised in Marietta, Georgia. Her father played trumpet, her mother taught piano, and her siblings could all sing and play an instrument. At the age of two Meri began singing, learned piano, cello, and eventually the guitar and flute. She went on to earn a BS in music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and later earned a Masters degree in music education at Georgia State University. In the early 1970s, she moved to Dallas, Texas, where she sang and played guitar. Initially a guitar soloist, she later fronted a trio in such popular clubs as Daddy’s Money, Arthur’s, and Papillion. After a car accident in 1975, she was forced to wear a body cast for months. After her recovery, she began performing at a club in Underground Atlanta and made ends meet by working as a model and singing for commercial jingles]

Ethel Waterss (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920s singing blues. Her best-known recordings include “Dinah,” “Stormy Weather,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Supper Time,” “Am I Blue?” and “Cabin in the Sky,” as well as her version of the spiritual “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” Waters was the second African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award. She was also the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award, in 1962. Waters was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, on October 31, 1896, as a result of the rape of her teenaged mother, Louise Anderson (believed to have been 13 years old at the time, although some sources indicate she may have been slightly older), by John Waters, a pianist and family acquaintance from a mixedrace middle-class background. He played no role in raising Ethel. Soon after she was born, her mother married railroad worker Norman Howard. Ethel used the surname Howard as a child, before reverting to her father’s name of Waters.She was raised in poverty and never lived in the same place for more than 15 months. She said of her difficult childhood, “I never was a child. I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.” Waters married at the age of 13, but her husband was abusive, and she soon left the marriage and became a maid in a Philadelphia hotel, working for $4.75 per week. On her 17th birthday, she attended a costume party at a nightclub on Juniper Street. She was persuaded to sing two songs and impressed the audience so much that she was offered professional work at the Lincoln Theatre in Baltimore. She later recalled that she earned the rich sum of ten dollars a week, but her managers cheated her out of the tips her admirers threw on the stage. After her start in Baltimore, Waters toured on the black vaudeville circuit. As she described it later, “I used to work from nine until unconscious.” Despite her early success, she fell on hard times and joined a carnival, traveling in freight cars along the carnival circuit and eventually reaching Chicago. Waters enjoyed her time with the carnival and recalled, “the roustabouts and the concessionaires were the kind of people I’d grown up with, rough, tough, full of larceny towards strangers, but sentimental and loyal to their friends and co-workers.” She did not last long with them, though, and soon headed south to Atlanta, where she worked in the same club with Bessie Smith. Smith demanded that Waters not compete in singing blues opposite her. Waters conceded and sang ballads and popular songs. Around 1919, Waters moved to Harlem and there became a celebrity performer in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Maria Muldaur was born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D’Amato in Greenwich Village, New York City, where she attended Hunter College High School. Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D’Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. She then joined Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional violinist. During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary film No Direction Home. She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin outfit broke up, the two of them produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972, but retained her married name. Her first solo album,

Maria Muldaur, released in 1973, contained her hit single “Midnight at the Oasis”, which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It also peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Chart.[4]Later that year, she released her second album, Waitress in a Donut Shop. This included a re-recording of “I’m a Woman”, the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, “Sweetheart”, by Ken Burgan. Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with the Grateful Dead. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974, with John Kahn, bassist of the Jerry Garcia Band, eventually earned her a seat in that group as a backing vocalist in the late 1970s. Around the same time Muldaur met and eventually collaborated with bluegrass icon Peter Rowan. The two became close, and she was chosen to be the godmother of his daughterAmanda Rowan. She appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica, with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams ontrombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.[citation needed] Muldaur continued to perform, tour, and record after her success in the mid-1970s, including a turn at the Teatro ZinZanni in 2001. Her 2005 release Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul was nominated for both a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award) and a Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues category. In 2013, she was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female) category.

Ida Cox1886- 1967 Ida Cox sang in church choirs as a child in Georgia. She ran away from home in 1910 when she was a teenager and performed in minstrel and tent shows as a comedienne and singer. Sometime during this period she married a performer minstrel named Alder Cox. Ida worked her way into vaudeville and eventually became a headliner. She toured the country throughout the Teens and 1920s sometimes singing with Jazz greats like Jelly Roll Morton and with King Oliver at the Plantation Cafe in Chicago. In 1923 she began her recording contract with the Paramount label, who billed her as the Uncrowned Queen of the Blues. She recorded extensively throughout the 1920s often using pseudonyms such as Kate Lewis, Velma Bradley, Julia Powers and Jane Smith. Cox wrote many of her own songs, and had several of her own touring companies such as Raisin’ Cain and Darktown Scandals which criss-crossed the country during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Unlike many of the Classic Blues singers of the 1920s Cox continued to perform and occasionally record during the Depression. She was married to Blues pianist Jesse Crump during the 1920s and 1930s. They recorded together often for Paramount. In 1934 Cox and Bessie Smith appeared together in the musical revue Fan Waves at the Apollo Theatre. She spent most of the rest of the decade on the road until 1939 when she performed regularly at the Cafe Society night club in New York City. She also appeared in John Hammond’s Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1939. Which briefly revitalized her recording career. She released records under the name of Ida Cox and her Allstar Band and Ida Cox and her Allstar Orchestra during this time period. In the mid 1940’s she had a stroke and passed out during a performance in New York. She left show business and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where she lived with her daughter. Sometime in the 1950s she began performing again sporadically. In 1961, Cox recorded for the last time on the Riverside label. The album was called “Blues for Rampart Street”. She was accompanied by the Coleman Hawkins Quintet on this record. She died