Woke up this mornin', had those MySpace blues...
October 18, 2007 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Each of the following MySpace Music pages features bios and/or photos and/or videos and/or miscellaneous related materials and/or up to four songs by each of the following Delta Blues (and related) artists: Ishmon Bracey, Mance Lipscomb, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Blind Boy Fuller, Skip James, Bukka White, Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Babe Turner, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Howling Wolf, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Tommy Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Big Joe Williams, Mississippi John Hurt, Ramblin' Willard Thomas, John Lee Hooker and Oscar Buddy Woods. And here's some general Blues pages, featuring various artists: Delta Blues, Pre-War Blues and Blind Blues. You see, Delta Blues lovers, I comb MySpace so you don't have to!

There'll certainly be some new names to be found among this FPP to all but the most tireless and thorough Delta Blues specialist. If I might make some personal recommendations on names that are perhaps unfamiliar: Ishmon Bracey (the first link) is a big favorite of mine, and thanks to MySpace I only recently discovered the wonderful Oscar Buddy Woods (the last link of the individual musician's pages): check 'em out!
posted by flapjax at midnite (22 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
The John Lee Hooker page from the FPP has a lengthy bio but no music. This JL Hooker page has a couple of songs: Boom Boom Boom and Hobo Blues, both signature tunes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:15 AM on October 18, 2007

Better one for Blind Willie McTell
posted by doppleradar at 6:23 AM on October 18, 2007

Thanks, doppleradar!

Someone just started a Furry Lewis page the other day. There's one song up on it, and one friend, which is of course Tom, the default MySpace friend. Anyway, I just sent ol' Furry a friend request, so's he won't be too lonely n'all...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:25 AM on October 18, 2007

I thought this was a y2karl post until I scrolled down ;). Seriously though, this is awesome. Thanks.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:39 AM on October 18, 2007

I thought this was a y2karl post until I scrolled down

Heh heh. I'll take that as a compliment! He is only 3 doors down, though, with that slamming Tommy Johnson post!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 AM on October 18, 2007

I comb MySpace

It really is a hairball mess.
posted by stbalbach at 7:10 AM on October 18, 2007

Wow, nice collection, I'd never have thought to look in MySpace. Awesome. Hmmm, I think it's a Howling Wolf kinda day - that page has a terrific compilation of songs bv the old tail dragger.

I would add the Robert Nighthawk page, plus - we need a few more blues babes added to your list: Bessie Smith, for a start. Good detective work with a happy result, flapjax at midnite - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:22 AM on October 18, 2007

Goddamn this is for love of holyhell the best myspace related post ever - and I surmise the only justifiable one. I willingly comply in subjugation to the deftness.
posted by Jeremy at 8:09 AM on October 18, 2007

While I certainly appreciate the fine blues music on display here, does anyone else find this whole trend of creating myspace pages 'on behalf of' dead and/or famous people a little weird?
posted by infidelpants at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2007

Creating a MySpace page for someone else weird? No, why do you ask?

*creates a MySpace page for infidelpants*
posted by madamjujujive at 9:57 AM on October 18, 2007

Not to sound insensitive, but why were so many of the great old bluesmen blind?
posted by elmwood at 12:34 PM on October 18, 2007

Because street musician was one of the few occupations available to an illiterate blind man in the early decades of the 20th Century.
posted by y2karl at 12:44 PM on October 18, 2007

I saw your link to Tommy Johnson's MySpace page on y2Karl's thread, and I looked at the site thinking, 'When I get the time (!) I'll follow up some of the friends-of-tommy like Willie McTell.' And then Flapjax does it for me. Thank you.

If I had a MySpace page, Flapjax and Karl would be first choice for friends-of-minpin.
posted by MinPin at 1:03 PM on October 18, 2007

Another woman for madamjujujive/this list is Elizabeth Cotten.

Also, as a slight derail, if you're a fan of delta blues guitarists/John Fahey, check out Sir Richard Bishop's page. He's not blind or dead!
posted by sleepy pete at 1:07 PM on October 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

Blind Blake is fantastic - for one of the best examples of his technique, listen to how he plays in "Diddie Wa Diddie". Give him a try if you like this kind of music. There's lots of him in the iTunes store.
posted by Termite at 1:10 PM on October 18, 2007

Thanks, sleepypete - I love Elizabeth Cotton.

I also found Memphis Minnie (superb! go listen now!) and Ruth Brown - but where are Ma Rainey, Victoria Spivey, Alberta Hunter, Sippie Wallace and grand dame Big Mama Thornton?

Regardless, this is a great treasure trove in the most unlikely of places - thanks again mr. flapjax.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:10 PM on October 18, 2007

Reverend Gary Davis is one of my favorites.
posted by nola at 2:22 PM on October 18, 2007

Ooohh, nice finds, madamjujujive. I'm not sure what's up with the lack of a female presence on myspace. Is it because of a lack of female presence in some of those who study the blues of the period? That's not an accusation, just a question.
posted by sleepy pete at 2:53 PM on October 18, 2007

Well, sleepy pete, as far as the lack of female blues musicians in this particular FPP, it's because I was essentially focussing on acoustic Delta Blues, which is almost always a solo form (singer with guitar) and there are virtually no women in the field. Jessie Mae Hemphill is one of the rare exceptions, and of course she doesn't entirely fit the bill herself. Most of the blues ladies, though, have been singers (check mjj's list above) who fronted bands as opposed to strumming the ol' I-IV-V, and often those bands straddled the fine line between blues and early jazz. I considered them outside the scope of this FPP, and therefore didn't include them.

I didn't include Elizabeth Cotten for the reason that she's in a bit of a category by herself, and I WAS GONNA DO AN FPP ON HER ALONE, SOON! So, THANKS A LOT, MAN! Seriously, though, thanks for linking to her. She's great. You know she was a maid for the Seeger (as in Pete) family? Read about her here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2007

Whoops, sorry, dude. Ms. Cotten has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time and I think an FPP of her would be great (actually, there's a really great clip on youtube of her playing, which you probably already know about--if it's still there).

And, yeah, I wasn't accusing you specifically of anything, I was just wondering out loud in typing form. It does seem like there is a tendency towards those, well, males who study the blues form to focus a lot on the other males. I know there aren't a lot of delta blues ladies that have been canonized, so, like I said, typing out loud.

And seriously, check out Sir Richard Bishop. He was a member of the much crazier Sun City Girls, if that rings any bells. We saw him last year and he was amazing.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:54 PM on October 18, 2007

True enough, many of the early blues women were singers - although many blues women started out playing piano or organ, but were in more demand as singers. Probably Memphis Minnie might be the only woman (that I can think of) to fit the bill you outlined, flapjax - she was brought up in the Delta, played superb guitar on the street as well as in bands, and mixed it up with Charlie Patton in her early performing years. A true blues pioneer in every sense of the word.

Sleepypete, I would guess that being an itinerant solo blues performer was a rough lifestyle, one that probably was not that available or to or acceptable for women from the turn of the century to mid-century - probably explaining why so many ended up in bands.

I wasn't finding fault with your post, flapjax, and I see the criteria you set out; but I never think of the early blues without thinking of some of my favorite blues women ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:12 PM on October 18, 2007

Yeah, sleepy and mjj, thanks for the reassurances and clarifications, but I hadn't taken any offense! No sweat! I did, though, just want to clarify why there weren't more women in this particular post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:09 AM on October 19, 2007

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