Anywhere I go, I just haves a zeal.
December 24, 2015 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Was it surprising that your music became popular again?

Well, no. Because everywhere I went, even when I was five and six years old, when I’d go to these clubs to play, the first thing they would say when I walked in the door, folks started to pattin’ and hollerin’, ''Let Sam have it! Let Sam have it!'' And I’d get that, man, and people - whoo! I’d put life all in there! And it’s the same thing right now. Anywhere I go, I just haves a zeal. I have a good zeal to play.
Sam Chatmon - Make Me A Pallet On the Floor

Sam Chatmon - Stop and Listen Blues
Sam Chatmon- Sittin' on Top of the World
Sam Chatmon: Sittin' On Top of the World (1978)
Sam Chatmon - Go Back Old Devil
Sam Chatmon - Who's Gonna Love You Tonight?
Sam Chatmon - The Last Time
Sam Chatmon - That's All Right
Sam Chatmon - Brownskin Woman
Sam Chatmon - Cold Blooded Murderer
Sam Chatmon - T.B. Blues
Sam Chatmon - Bumblebee Blues
Sam Chatmon - How Long
Sam Chatmon - Blues

Sam Chatmon Interview
When Sam Chatmon first began playing the blues, Teddy Roosevelt was president of the United States. Most of his neighbors in rural Mississippi were still listening to rags and reels that dated back to slavery days. Chatmon launched his recording career in the 1930s, playing alongside his brothers Bo Carter and Lonnie Chatmon in the era’s most celebrated string band, the Mississippi Sheiks, and performed as one-half of the Bluebird duo ''Chatman Brothers (Lonnie and Sam).'' Outliving his brothers, Sam was ''rediscovered'' in 1960 by Chris Strachwitz, who recorded him anew for Arhoolie Records.

Most sources credit January 10, 1897, as the date of Sam Chatmon’s birth. His father, fiddler Henderson Chatmon, was born in slavery and had several sets of children. ''My daddy had three wives,'' Sam claimed in the liners to the Rounder album Sam Chatmon’s Advice, ''and my mother had the least children of any of them, which was 13. Daddy said he had 60 children, but that ain’t countin’ Charley Patton and all them on the outside.''
Sam Chatmon, Mississippi Sheik: The Complete 1980 Interview

Wirz: Sam Chatmon - Discography

Sam Chatmon - Mississippi Blues Trail

Sam Chatmon - San Diego Troubadour

posted by y2karl (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This post makes me so happy.
posted by nightrecordings at 2:50 PM on December 24, 2015


And that, my friends, is an epic beard!
posted by CincyBlues at 4:33 PM on December 24, 2015

Thank you!
posted by grubby at 5:23 PM on December 24, 2015

Here's David Bromberg, who introduced me to the song...

David Bromberg Big Band, "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor" Live @the Egg Albany NY. 04/02/2011
posted by mikelieman at 6:19 PM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

What a treat, thank you. My 6 year old daughter likes Pallet sung to her at bedtime. I know it from Gillian Welch but it's so fine to hear these others. God damn that Bromberg is amazing. Merry Christmas!
posted by maniabug at 12:19 AM on December 25, 2015

Magnificent post!
posted by languagehat at 7:43 AM on December 25, 2015

Yikes! Two Sitting on Top of the Worlds ? Ah, such are the dangers of composing in Notepad and posting on the sly...
posted by y2karl at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2015

When The Secret History of American Popular Music is written, Sam and his amazing family will loom large. They sort of invented it.
posted by Chitownfats at 11:28 AM on December 25, 2015

I'd only ever heard the epic and utterly filthy Jelly Roll Morton version of "Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor, " which clocks in at maybe twenty minutes long.
posted by salix at 11:56 AM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Excellent! :)

One of my most favorite musicians, Andrew Bird, has a song called "Desperation Breeds" that has the line "Make me a pallet on your floor" and I always wondered what that meant. Nice to finally know where it came from.
posted by littlesq at 7:06 PM on December 26, 2015

Interesting to see the different ways that mefites wound up at Pallet on the Floor. I grew up hearing the Mississippi John Hurt version through my dad's records.
posted by p3t3 at 5:39 AM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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