The Blues community celebrates Johnny Winter's 70th birthday this week [Weston Daily news piece link], so we will feature two of his many great powerhouse guitar songs in our commemorative segment.
We don't usually stray into the Soul/RandB side of Blues on Blues Moon Radio, but sadly, the RandB world lost Floyd Taylor this week. [News Story link / Malaco Records Bio link].
Floyd was the son of the late, great Soul/Blues singer, Johnnie Taylor (not to be mixed up with Johnny Taylor). We'll pay tribute to both father and son, who now are rejoined and play together in heaven's Soul band.
Learned there is a song, Yellow Dog Blues, that was recorded by an artist we featured on last week's show, James P. Johnson, along with Katharine Handy Lewis. I was intrigued by that, and found that
W.C. Handy's daughter, who sang on many of Handy's early recordings, was on this song. I'm looking into finding a copy of it on CD, and we'll play it when I have a copy... but meanwhile, I thought you all might find her obit of interest. [Katharine Handy Lewis obituary].
We will also commemorate Scott Alan Dixon, who loved to sing and dance and traveled the world w/ the Young Americans before settling in Charleston, S.C. for the last days of his life. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
|Drink Small; Music Maker Foundation photo|
Our South Carolina connection this week is Geeshie Wiley, who recorded two sides for Paramount in 1930, featuring another female guitarist, Elvie Thomas; Elvie then recorded two cuts featuring Geeshie. A year later, Geeshie recorded her final two cuts.
No photos exist, nor is there a known birthplace or date, and Wiley played in the Delta region in the 1920s, but her name is a derivative of Geechee (which is a derivative of Gullah) which existed only on the barrier Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. It has often been claimed she has roots in The Palmetto State. Regardless, Blues Moon Radio has located a copy of "Skinny Leg Blues," which was the "B" side of her oft-covered "Last Kind Words Blues," so we will premiere that rarity on our show this week.
From Wikipedia - Discography:
- Paramount Records #12951 - March 1930 Geeshie Wiley: "Last Kind Words" / "Skinny Leg Blues"
- Paramount Records #12977 - March 1930 Elvie Thomas & Geeshie Wiley: "Motherless Child Blues" / "Over to My House"
- Paramount Records #13074 - March 1931 Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas: "Pick Poor Robin Clean" / "Eagles On a Half"
He also gave Richard Penniman his start toward a recording contract - you might know him better as Little Richard.
For an alternate perspective, interesting stories and fabulous photos of artists including Billy Wright, Little Richard, S.C.'s own Esquerita, Bobby Marchan and others from the tent show tradition who crossed over into other types of entertainment (adult subject matter) follow this link.
Tonight's playlist (backwards chronological from bottom to top):
Our last song is "all I know about cows":
Jimmie Rodgers / Milk Cow Blues