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record on Columbia records alongside the much better known Bessie Smith, small is known about Martha Copeland exterior of her recording career. She began with OKeh in 1923 and also appeared in the vaudeville evaluation Shuffle Along. Vera heard Abigail Washburn execute a variation of this song and fell in love with it; this is in truth one the the earliest numbers in the next Street Steppers repertoire. The is also one of two Martha Copeland songs that we do—you can discover I Ain’t your Hen, Mr. Fly Rooster on ours debut album, Memphis Stomp.
This is just one of those perfect songs through a distinguished blues & jazz provenance—originally videotaped by the Harlem Hamfats together “Weed Smoker’s Dream” in 1936, Hamfats band member “Kansas” Joe McCoy later re-wrote the song with brand-new lyrics as “Why Don’t You do Right?” that was recorded in 1941 through Lil environment-friendly with huge Bill Broonzy on guitar. The following year, 1942, witnessed Peggy Lee and also Benny Goodman record it as a million document seller. Our initial washboard player, Emily Breckenridge, found it v the Jessica rabbit (Amy Irving) variation in Who Framed i get it Rabbit, and thus it gone into the side Street Steppers repertoire. From the blues to jazz to modern American popular music culture, ladies and gentlemen!
Barrelhouse Annie taped this and other bawdy blues in a single session in 1937. There has been speculation the Annie to be in fact Paramount home pianist Aletha Dickerson, but Dickerson herself denied this, stating, “I carry out not recall anyone called Barrelhouse Annie.” therefore it’s a mystery, however what a perfect saucy track to lend the location track and cover image for this record!
This 1931 tune by Gerald Marks and also Seymour Simons has become a jazz standard, being among the many recorded songs of the era. Originally recorded by Ruth Etting (“America’s Sweetheart that Song”) in December 1931, notable versions have been done by bing Crosby, billie Holiday, luigi Armstrong, Benny Goodman, count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, open minded Sinatra, Dinah Washington, and also the list simply goes on and on. Ruth Etting, it might be noted, was married to the notorious gangster martin “Moe the Gimp” Snyder, and also if you ever want a good story, read up top top the background of the relationship—not to spoil the ending, but let’s simply say there to be a kidnapping and a big shooting scene adhered to by number of sensational trials. Much less sensational is the story of just how this song gone into our repertoire—when chris Ruppenthal (the special guest guitarist on our Sweetest Peaches record) would come to town because that his yearly visit, he and Nathan Breckenridge (our original bass player) would always noodle around on this song. I had actually not however learned numerous jazz chords or progressions, so ns go chris to show me exactly how to pat it and also suddenly we were a jazz band!
Nobody really remembers whereby we an initial found this track or once the Steppers began playing it, but one point is certain—this 1929 chant by Albert E. Brumley is just one of the many widely known gospel song in existence. I do remember the Kossoy sister 1956 version being a stand out track in the Coen Brothers film O Brother where Art Thou? where we found it, the is a crowd favourite at Steppers shows and also it is always the huge sing-along number, and also hopefully redeems us rather from all the sinful product we sing about. Lord aid us to obtain right!
i owe a big debt the gratitude (and maybe some money, currently that ns think around it…) to blues mandolinist rich DelGrosso. He has been both a personal inspiration and a overview through the original blues mandolin collection of the 1920s and ‘30s. His book Mandolin Blues: indigenous Memphis to Maxwell Street has now provided transcriptions for 2 of my own recordings—“Dallas Rag” ~ above Memphis Stomp, and this item here, which i am phone call “Jug band Blues”. Rich originally transcribed this together a representative sampling of blues playing in the format of Vol Stevens, who played mandolin for the Memphis Jug Band.
I uncovered a neat little piece of sheet music for Vera top top a pilgrimage I took to Michigan a pair years ago—it was dubbed “There’s A little Bit Of bad In Every an excellent Little Girl”, and also of food that’s Vera in a nutshell. The present Helen Kane number, “I want To it is in Bad”, is more in the same vein, and also bookends nicely with the rendition that Kane’s “I Wanna Be love By You” that we placed on the Sweetest Peaches record. This track is from the music Follow Thru, which likewise yielded one more gem in “Button Up your Overcoat”—you have the right to look for the one top top the next Steppers record.
that doesn’t love Hawaiian music?!? This 1925 track by Gus Kahn and Richard A. Whiting came to be a renowned standard, and also was originally recorded through Vaughn de Leath, who was likewise known together “the an initial lady the radio”. This track attributes the return of ours extra-special guest guitarist chris Ruppenthal, who over the previous year has gone totally wacko for Hawaiian music and also now dram Hawaiian stole guitar. Oh, and also by the way, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy walk a fabulous rendition the this track in the second season that the Muppet Show, i beg your pardon you have the right to easily discover on YouTube.
This fine Dixieland jazz traditional was brought to the band’s fist by Mandy, who remembered the from the movie Corrina Corrina. I’m happy she did, due to the fact that I had actually been wanting to include another traditional new Orleans jazz tune to the set. It offers me the chance to do among those snappy Dixieland banjo banjo breaks, i beg your pardon is constantly a big hit at live shows, and also I carry out so love obtaining to perform pieces on the tenor banjo—this helps to justification my proceeding to acquisition tenor banjos, i beg your pardon is other of a problem, to be frank. If any of you out there are looking to unload any type of Bacon & Day silver- Bell tenor or plectrum banjos from the 1920s or ‘30s, I’m the guy to call…
I an alert that I have been using words “standard” a lot of in this liner notes, and it’s true the the band’s repertoire has actually progressed an ext into the jazz realm over the past few records. The hokum and also jug band product is tho there, however we carry out love all that jazz, ladies & gents! One reason for this is the we space playing because that a lot more swing dances this days—and one point swing dancers love is a slow, steamy, sultry number come slip right into after an arduous collection of fox trots and also Charlestons. Enter our lone Gershwin piece, indigenous the American opera Porgy & Bess—Summertime. Vera sings this number like she to be born come the part, i m sorry is rather fitting together it is one ode to her favourite season.
speaking of Hokum, here’s a great ol’ mischievous number for you—though it’s really around getting clean, not dirty, if you take it at confront value! Oscar’s Chicago Swingers to be led through “Lovin’ Sam” Thread, and also Sam played v some cats in his time—his very an initial sessions to be accompanied by Tampa Red and also Cow Cow Davenport, two of the giants that the field. In an exciting footnote come history, the grateful Dead adjusted this tune as their tune The Rub. Sam thread was originally from brand-new Orleans, though he ended his job in Los Angeles, California, where had actually roles in a couple of Hollywood TV productions in the 1970s.
The Asylum Street Spankers to be pretty much the score to which we aspired once we an initial started the next Street Steppers 6 years ago—well, possibly a cross in between them and also the Jake leg Stompers. At any kind of rate, over there was as soon as a track that the Spankers did the Vera was sure they had naughtied the text up a bit, yet when she heard the Lucille Bogan original she realized the if anything, the Spankers had actually toned it down! not so much the situation with this version of If You desire Me to Love you as compared to the Georgia Tom & Tampa Red original, but this song has actually been a large late-night group pleaser for us, and we’ve had countless requests to record it, so here it is. I’d choose to include that among the ideal moments the my musical career developed at a folk Alliance conference in Memphis a couple of years back, when man Forsythe involved our showcase and also told me that even though the Spankers were winding down and getting turn off the road, the baton had been passed and also he felt prefer the music to be in an excellent hands v us.
The first (and so much only) festival headlining clues we’ve been able come land to be the 2014 Banjo Rally worldwide in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This is a four-string banjo event, folks, and Dixieland bands predominate. Come beef increase our Dixieland repertoire for the festival, we added this number, though ns play the on jazz guitar quite than banjo. 5 Foot two was written in 1914, which blissfully areas this track in the general public domain.
This track is through Lottie Kimbrough, “the Kansas City Butterball”, among the handful of videotaped female country blues artists in the 1920s. You simply gotta love the male/female yodeling duet in the chorus—they simply don’t do music prefer this anymore. We found the song via the Carolina cacao Drops, who perform a pretty nice version themselves.
Bo Carter tape-recorded some that the funniest twin entendre blues and hokum numbers in the 1920s and also ‘30s. His real name was Armenter Chatmon, and he to be a member the the music Chatmon family from the Jackson, Mississippi region—notably, v his brothers Lonnie and also Sam and their friend Walter Vincent, they developed the Mississippi Sheiks, one of the most extremely regarded black color string bands that the era. We uncovered this track via a Roy Bookbinder and Fats Kaplan record, Git-Fiddle Shuffle top top Blue Goose 2018.
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Rufus thomas was an above performer who fairly literally did that all—his career straddled all the major musical develops that emanated indigenous Memphis between the 1930s and the 1970s. The toured v the rabbit Foot Minstrels in the 1930s, that was an early DJ at the very first black radio station (WDIA) in the 1950s, and he hold the difference for charting the very an initial hits because that both sunlight Records and Stax. Thomas videotaped “Walking The Dog” for Stax in 1963, despite our version owes a big debt that gratitude come the setup played through Ramblin’ Steve Gardner and also the Jericho road Show/Jake foot Stompers boys. Hats turn off to Rufus cutting board for giving us the most contemporary song in our repertoire.