Bob Wills

Jerry Zolten jjz1@psu.edu
Sun Jun 14 14:38:18 EDT 1998


Like a few other white performers back in the twenties and thirties, (I'm
thinking mostly of Hoagy Carmichael doing "Georgia On My Mind"), Bob Wills
was so influenced by black singing that he took on affected pronunciation
in his own recordings. I thought I had the essential Wills recordings till
I stumbled on a stack of blues covers from the mid to late 30s that I
hadn't heard on any re-lease albums. These were raw and spirited
performances of many tunes previously recorded by black artists. Titles
included "Empty Bed Blues,"
"Four of Five Times," "Basin St. Blues," "St. Louis Blues," "Mean Mama
Baby," "I Can't Be Satisfied," and one of my favorites, "Ooozlin" Daddy
Blues." Others were bluesy treatments of tunes like "Keep A' Knockin, (But
You Can't Come In)", "Sittin' On Top of the World," and "Drunkard Blues."
Great stuff!!



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