By Robert Springer
Even if the cultured allure of blues tune has constantly been its significant asset, the lyrical content material of the songs, occasionally ignored, is at the least both to be credited for its endurance. 8 reviews, caused by years of study, make up this quantity. In all, the point of interest rests at the historic dimensions of the lyrics with the goal of environment the list instantly or making a list the place none existed. jointly, this assortment offers African American renowned song as a self-contained cultural area and as a sort of oral background which remains to be an enduring resource of enlightenment shining mild on numerous darkish comers of respectable heritage.
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Additional resources for Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come from: Lyrics and History
One thousand persons are estimated to have been made homeless in Northeast Nashville, many of them Negroes, where the Cumberland River, which winds through the center of the city, ran rampant with the holiday spirit and inundated wide areas in low-lying residential sections. . 73 The Bijou Theater, where Bessie Smith played, was located at 423 4th Avenue North, right on the edge of the flooded section. Next door, at 422 4th Avenue North, was the establishment of William H. 74 This was undoubtedly the place that Maud Smith remembered where the troupe was initially brought for lodging.
Blue Belle and Sippie Wallace were the winners with blues they recorded in early May. Their records and Lonnie Johnson’s were advertised by OKeh. The losing songs that remained unissued were Raymond Boyd’s “Hard Water Blues,” recorded on May 1, and Bertha “Chippie” Hill’s “Mississippi Waters Blues,” recorded on May 14. Lonnie Johnson evidently liked the flood theme, as he followed up with flood blues on December 12, 1927, March 13, 1928, and June 11, 1929, all of them advertised by OKeh in the black press.
Gates, “Noah and the Flood” (OKeh 8458), fortuitously recorded on February 22, 1927, and released about the time that the southern levees broke. ” Deacon Leon Davis’s recording of “Didn’t It Rain” (OKeh 8426), made on November 1, 1926, probably also continued to sell during the flood months. Other spiritual and sermon recordings with themes relevant to the flood could probably be identified. In the blues sweepstakes, the Columbia Record Company was in the lead from the start. Their most popular blues artist, and probably the most popular on any label, Bessie Smith, had already recorded “Back-Water Blues” and “Muddy Water,” and Columbia had these two records on the market by the time the levees broke in the South in April.
Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come from: Lyrics and History by Robert Springer