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Delta Blues' OG's
December 31, 2008 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Pinetop Perkins survived being hit by a train. Bukka White was a professional boxer, a Negro League pitcher, and hobo. Sunnyland Slim was a hustler. Johnny Shines toured with Robert Johnson, and Honeyboy Edwards saw Johnson poison himself. Skip James was a laborer and bootlegger. Son House started out as a preacher but went to prison for killing a man. R.L. Burnside also killed someone, but said "I didn't mean to kill nobody, I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head." Big Boy Crudup's songs were stolen by Elvis Presley. Mississippi Fred McDowell did not play no rock 'n roll. To get more recording contracts, John Lee Hooker also called himself John Lee Cooker, John Lee Booker, Texas Slim, Birmingham Sam & His Magic Guitar, Delta John and Sir John Lee Hooker. Big Joe Williams was King of the 9 String Guitar. Snooky Pryor began his musical career as an Army bugler. Mississippi John Hurt learned to play guitar in secret. Paul Pena wrote Jet Airliner, knew Tuvan, and could throat sing. After a severe case of polio, Cedell Davis learned to play guitar left-handed using a kitchen knife. Earl Hooker was so good he never had a day job. Hound Dog Taylor, who was born with six fingers on each hand but cut off one of the extras with a razor blade, said his epitath should be "He couldn't play shit, but he sure made it sound good!"

Previously 1 2 3 4 5 6
posted by swift (37 comments total) 97 users marked this as a favorite

 
An embarrassment of riches. Wonderful. Thank you.
posted by goldfinches at 10:46 AM on December 31, 2008


Well. This is gonna take a while.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:48 AM on December 31, 2008


Wow. That's a lotta blues.

I was in Vortex Records yesterday in Toronto and some guy was selling a shit load of terrific blues and country. Like, *hundreds* of CDs. I picked up some of them and am loading them onto the computer right now (Furry Lewis, McDowell, Bukka White, Son House, Cedell Davis, Skip James, Big Maybelle, Ray Price, Wynonie Harris...).

Nice FPP.
posted by Manhasset at 10:48 AM on December 31, 2008


He couldn't play shit, but he sure made it sound good!

Reminds me of what's been said about Lightnin' Hopkins: "He didn't know but two notes, but he sure could play them two notes."
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:02 AM on December 31, 2008


Amazing! Thanks for this.
posted by scarello at 11:03 AM on December 31, 2008


I can't wait to see who wins the December contest. Another great post. Thank you for this!
posted by Bageena at 11:04 AM on December 31, 2008


Woo, goddamn. Thanks for this.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:05 AM on December 31, 2008


No day is complete without a bluesman throat singing. Thanks for the post!
posted by benzenedream at 11:08 AM on December 31, 2008


This is like the Mefi version of E-bay sniping... presumably we'll get a flurry of posts from people who waited until just a few minutes before the competition ends in order to give their opponents minimum information on what they've got to beat.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:09 AM on December 31, 2008


I'm starting to understand why very few people can play really decent blues anymore.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:11 AM on December 31, 2008


Someone wants to fill their Nano with Blues
posted by wheelieman at 11:12 AM on December 31, 2008


Man, is everyone waiting until the very last minute to post their Bestest Post entrees? Don't you have parties to get to?


the upside is that trolling through Metafilter with a massive hangover tomorrow will be much more enjoyable
posted by The Whelk at 11:27 AM on December 31, 2008


Swift, I hope you were sitting at your desk when you wrote this post.
posted by dersins at 11:31 AM on December 31, 2008


1) My motives are pure.
2) My desk is a bed.
posted by swift at 11:34 AM on December 31, 2008


Heck yeah.
posted by flipyourwig at 11:51 AM on December 31, 2008


Well goddamn. I'ma dig in this over the long weekend. Thanks!
posted by notsnot at 11:55 AM on December 31, 2008


That Big Joe Williams clip is fantastic.
posted by kenko at 12:03 PM on December 31, 2008


Bliss! Thanks swift for the wonderful selection of choices.

When Hound Dog Taylor "Wild About You Baby" kicked in I got this indescribable rush, so specific to that sound. It does something to my shoulders, which start wiggling, all of a sudden there's a fire in my belly and it radiates, all kinds of emotions flood my system, a strangely spicy combination of feeling fierce, rapture, a touch of pugnacious anger and heavy on the joy, on the verge of a belly laugh and sexy, a desire to flirt and dance at the same time.

Basically, I get drunk on this music.
posted by nickyskye at 12:14 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


R.L Burnside talks bout killin a man.
posted by peeedro at 12:18 PM on December 31, 2008


This made my day. Happy New Year and thanks.
posted by enrevanche at 12:25 PM on December 31, 2008


Fantastic, amazing. Thank you!
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:26 PM on December 31, 2008


What, no BluesHammer?
posted by TomSophieIvy at 12:38 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amazing post!

Here's one of my all time favorites:

Sonny Boy Williamson- Your Funeral and My Trial
posted by rollbiz at 1:21 PM on December 31, 2008


The Devil Took My Woman...
Then Sent Her Back!
posted by vurnt22 at 2:50 PM on December 31, 2008


Thank you, thank you, thank you.
posted by fcummins at 4:08 PM on December 31, 2008


Fabulous! Many thanks for this fine post! And thanks for linking to a couple of my earlier blues-related FPPs in your previously list, swift. There's one more of my old ones I'll link to here, though: since it has a whole hella lotta links, it's sort of a cousin of yours, swift.

But, hell, let's go for broke! Here's all posts tagged with blues from yours truly.

And all posts tagged with blues from y2karl

And, Happy Blues Year to everyone!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:11 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


And Bill Broonzy belongs here... HNY everyone
posted by fcummins at 4:26 PM on December 31, 2008


Well, this certainly screws my chances of winning the December contest with a two-link roundup to anything George Bush did in the last eight years.
posted by etaoin at 6:19 PM on December 31, 2008


etaoin.. I can sum up the last 8 years, in regards to Bush in four five words: He Fucked it all up
posted by edgeways at 6:37 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


and great post... The Blues are relevant nowadays.
posted by edgeways at 6:37 PM on December 31, 2008


The Blues are relevant nowadays.

They never stopped being relevant!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on December 31, 2008


They never stopped being relevant!

I wouldn't argue that on a group/individual level... but on a national level they are more relevant then normally.
posted by edgeways at 7:02 PM on December 31, 2008


er.. argue against that.. sheesh, ok I'm done now.
posted by edgeways at 7:03 PM on December 31, 2008


Fuck, now im even less motivated to go out and brave the cold. Great post.

Also, aren't the blues always relevant? Obviously its called "The Blues", but I generally put it on when Im looking for some toe-tappin awesomeness, not when Im sad. I'd probably rather listen to the blues in good times actually, than bad. Is that weird?
posted by rosswald at 7:16 PM on December 31, 2008


Trying to find a copy of this movie now:

You See Me Laughin

Apparently it has a sordid history
posted by rosswald at 7:38 PM on December 31, 2008


Weird, I just put You See Me Laughin on my Netflix instant queue.
posted by swift at 9:41 PM on December 31, 2008


I mean DVD queue. Back to the champagne...
posted by swift at 9:45 PM on December 31, 2008


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