100th Fever, Cornell Dupree

Louis Erlanger louisx@myfairpoint.net
Wed May 11 11:44:59 EDT 2011


Here's another one...Cornell Dupree died on Robert Johnson's birthday.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Hoffman" <stevehoffman@STARPOWER.NET>
To: <BLUES-L@LISTSERV.NETHELPS.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: 100th Fever


> Very interesting observations!!
> -Steve H
>
>
> Jonny Meister wrote:
>> An interesting observation . . . Johnson recorded in a time when a
>> linear story in a song was more important than when Blind Lemon
>> Jefferson or Charlie Patton did. One author talked about "stanzaic
>> disjunction" in Patton's songs.
>>
>> So Lemon's image of a train with a "red and blue light behind" in
>> "Dry Southern Blues" (a song with no easy-to-find story line) ends up
>> in a Johnson song that tells a story, "Love In Vain." The story and
>> the setting of "Love In Vain" seem likely inspired by another
>> Jefferson song of the same period, "Booster Blues."  In that song,
>> Lemon arrives at the station just after the train with his woman has
>> left. In Johnson's song, it's actually a little more confusing. He
>> "follows" her to the station (doesn't take her there) with a suitcase
>> (so he seems ready to go...) but doesn't board the train. The story
>> and imagery are moving, but what happened is maybe a little less
>> clear than in Lemon's "Booster Blues" where it seems Lemon arrived at
>> the station in pursuit but just missed her.
>>
>> There was a general shift shift toward story consistency between 1928
>> and 1937 in country blues. "How Long" (which actually came to Leroy
>> Carr through Ida Cox's 1925 "How Long, Daddy, How Long") seems
>> consistent to me, about a lover leaving you on a train and how lonely
>> the person left behind feels.
>>
>> Seems like those trains wrecked a lot of relationships . . .  :-)
>>
>> At 10:47 PM 5/10/2011, Son  Lewis wrote:
>>> Steve,
>>>
>>> While there were many, few rose to the lyrical and thematic levels
>>> that RJ
>>> reached... yes, while being derivative... with the possible exception of
>>> Skip  James, I cannot think of another Delta songster off the top of
>>> my head
>>> whose  verses remained as tightly linked to each other so that the
>>> story in
>>> the third  verse is referring to the same "story" the singer is
>>> singing about
>>> in the first  and fifth verses....
>>>
>>> For me, it is not so much the maniacal guitar playing or the frenzied
>>> singing... it's the lyrical construction itself that sets RJ apart
>>> from so  many
>>> (if not MOST) of his contemporaries...
>>>
>>> I just finished recording LeRoy Carr's "How Long" for my next release
>>> and
>>> while it's a beautiful song with a wonderful melody and impassioned
>>> singing
>>> by  Carr, his lyrics are all over the place... like it's several
>>> different
>>> songs  sharing a melody...  I don't get that sense in most of Johnson's
>>> songs.
>>>
>>> Son  Lewis
>>> Blues Vocalist/Guitarist
>>
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