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Listen NowTitleFile NumberSubjectsRecording DateAlt TitleGenresInstrumentsCitiesCountiesStateSettingEditor NoteTechnical NoteOnline Resources
Opening announcement6604A87-11-1942

The minister announces the visitors and makes other brief remarks on the musical program that will take place.

I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry6604B17-11-1942,

Identified on AFS card as “Dr. Watts hymn.”

Prayer6604B2, 7-11-1942

Congregation picks up singing over the minister’s prayer.

Announcement6604B37-11-1942
I'll Fly Away6604B47-11-1942, ,
Use Me, My Lord, Use Me6604B57-11-1942,
Meet Me In Jerusalem6608B27-19-1942,

Followed by discussion of song.

When I Lay My Burden Down6608B37-19-1942,

Followed by discussion of song and text.

Sweet Lamb of God6609A17-19-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of song.

Preacher Let Your Heart Catch On Fire6609A27-19-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of song and having the Holy Ghost in his heart.

In New Jerusalem6609A37-19-1942, ,
In New Jerusalem6609A47-19-1942, ,
Traveling On6609A57-19-1942, ,
The Buzzard Eats the Rabbit6609B17-19-1942,
The Hawk and the Buzzard6609B27-19-1942,
Sitting On Top of the World6609B37-19-1942, ,

Preceded with questions from Lewis Jones about the secular songs in his repertoire (those he performs while busking), and followed by commentary on Blind Sid Hemphill, from whom he learned the song, and how to find him. Lomax and Jones would visit him several days later.

Minglewood Blues6609B47-19-1942, , ,

Erroneously identified on AFS card as “Manuwat Blues.”

Interview about childrens' games6610A1, 7-20-1942

Interview with Edwards about ring games he played as a child.

Marred by noise in the right channel at 2:17.

Spread My Raincoat Down6610A27-20-1942,

Edwards tells Lomax this is the first song he learned.

Interview about Spread My Raincoat Down and the meaning and origins of the blues6610B1, 7-20-1942

Discussion of the preceding “plantation song,” which Edwards learned as a boy in Shaw, Miss.; what the blues “are all about”; and the first time he had the blues.

You Got To Roll (I)6610B27-20-1942,

Identified by Lomax as a “chain gang song.”

You Got To Roll (II)6610B37-20-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of song’s origins and some of the lyrics, including Lomax asking Edwards why he changed the lyrics for the recording from “white folks” to “baby.” Also about his musician father and his repertoire.

Stagolee6610B47-20-1942, , ,

A song (and in a style) learned from his father.

Stagolee6610B47-20-1942, , ,

A song (and in a style) learned from his father.

Just A Spoonful6610B57-20-1942, , ,

A song (and in a style) learned from his father.

I Love My Jelly Roll6611A17-20-1942,

A song learned from a Ringling Bros. show: “a shine thing, a negro thing.”

Interview about Edwards' interest in music, his music-making father, and sinful music6611A27-20-1942

Discusses his father joining the church and quitting music; a chord demonstration; and the blues as the Devil’s music.

Hellatakin' Blues6611A37-20-1942Hesitation Blues,

Edwards sings this as “Hellatakin’,” and it’s cataloged as such on AFS card.

Interview about church-going, learning to play, and playing for dances6611A47-20-1942
Interview about traveling, playing dances,6611B7-20-1942

Talk on his travels as an itinerant musician, the dances he played, the musicians he played with (particularly in Memphis), various intoxicants, writing and recording blues. Discusses Bluebird Records and its talent scouts specifically, songwriting and songwriting/sales royalties vs. flat fees. Conversation continues about his preference for the North, and for integration. “Where you can be treated like a man,” Lomax said. More on country dances, dances, how much whiskey he’s drunk.

Worried Life Blues6612A17-20-1942,

Followed by discussion of composing vs. improvising verses.

Water Coast Blues6612A27-20-1942,

Preceded by several false starts and much blank disc.

The Army Blues6612B17-20-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of the song, which he had written “about three weeks ago,” and the war.

Tear It Down6612B27-20-1942Tear It Down (Bed Slats and All),

The item identified as “Ragtime Selection” in the AFS catalog (6612B3) is presumably this one.

Toasts, folk tale, and interview (part 1)6614A7-22-1942

Title given is that on AFS card. Lomax and Edwards trade toasts from 10:30.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Disc skips heavily for first six minutes.

toasts, folk tale, and interview (part 2)6614B7-22-1942

Title given is that on AFS card. Largely an interview about catching trains, hobo musicians, and itinerancy. Lomax and Edwards discuss blues lyrics about rambling, being lonesome, and the “crossroads.” Ends with a Titanic toast.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Stories of a conjure man and blue-gummed people / Toast6615A17-22-1942, ,

Discussion of a conjuror (“conjur man”) named Uncle Tom; recitation of a dirty toast learned from a man from St. Louis; and talk on blue-gummed people.

Do You Want A Little Bit of This?6615A27-22-1942,

Followed by discussion of the song and adolescent sexuality.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Test (Unidentified blues)6615B17-22-1942, , , ,

Identified as “test” on AFS card. Aural evidence suggests this could be Edwards’ performance that appears in Lomax’s Clarksdale film footage.

Marred by intense speed fluctuations.

Wind Howlin' Blues6615B27-22-1942, ,

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Roamin' and Ramblin Blues6615B37-22-1942, , , ,

Preceded by Lomax announcement of “a man who’s been all over the country, he’s a very experienced musician, same age as I am — 27 years old….”

At the Cross6616A1, , , , , 7-23-1942,

Individuals listed are those clergy/congregants notated by Lomax.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Scripture lesson6616A27-23-1942

Rev. Brown is announced as being from Brookhaven, Miss.

When I Can Read My Title Clear (part 1)6616A3, , , , , 7-23-1942

Identified on AFS card as “When I Can Read My Promise Clear.” Individuals listed are those clergy/congregants notated by Lomax.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Prayer6616A47-23-1942

Rev. Davis is announced as being from McComb, Miss., on 6612A2.

Sermon6616B17-23-1942

Severe speed fluctuation for first minute.

I'll Fly Away6616B2, , , , , 7-23-1942,

Individuals listed are those clergy/congregants notated by Lomax.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Prayer after the sermon (part 1)6616B37-23-1942

Identified on AFS card as “Commencement of Prayer” (originally 6616B2); title given is drawn from first band on next disc as they’re of a piece. Whiting was identified as being from Greenwood, Miss.

Prayer after the sermon (part 2)6617A17-23-1942

Identified on AFS card as “Commencement of Prayer” (originally 6616B2); title given is drawn from first band on next disc as they’re of a piece. Whiting was identified as being from Greenwood, Miss.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church.

Take My Hand, Precious Lord, Lead Me On6617A2, , , , , 7-23-1942,

Individuals listed are those clergy/congregants notated by Lomax.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Severe speed fluctuation.

Announcement of recording6617A37-23-1942

Announcement of recordings being made the following day at Nelson Funeral Home, next door to the church.

Severe speed fluctuation.

Sermon on "Kingdom Unity" (part 1)6617A47-23-1942,

The subject of Rev. Richardson’s talk is “Kingdom Unity.”

Severe speed fluctuation.

Sermon on "Kingdom Unity" (part 2)6617B7-23-1942,

The subject of Rev. Richardson’s talk is “Kingdom Unity.”

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Sermon on "Kingdom Unity" (part 3)6618A27-23-1942,

The subject of Rev. Richardson’s talk is “Kingdom Unity.”

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Prayer6618A27-23-1942

Peaks (?) is announced at the top of the band.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Just A Little Talk With Jesus6618A3, , , , , 7-23-1942, ,

Individuals listed are those clergy/congregants notated by Lomax.

Sermon on foot-washing (part 2)6618B17-23-1942,

Identified on AFS card as “Fragment Of Talk.” Speaker is identified in announcement after his talk as Dr. Jones.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Announcements6618B27-23-1942
Go Preach My Gospel, Saith the Lord6618B3, 7-23-1942,

The songleader is announced at the beginning of the band as what sounds like “Rev. Gray.”

Missionary prayer6619A1, 7-23-1942,

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Missionary sermon (part 1)6619A27-23-1942,

Rev. Terrell was from Greenwood, Miss.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Missionary sermon (part 2)6619B17-23-1942,

Rev. Terrell was from Greenwood, Miss.

Missionary sermon (part 3)6619B27-23-1942,

Rev. Terrell was from Greenwood, Miss.

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Missionary sermon (part 4)6620A7-23-1942,

Rev. Terrell was from Greenwood, Miss.

Missionary sermon (conclusion)6620B17-23-1942,

Rev. Terrell was from Greenwood, Miss.

Closing prayer6620B27-23-1942, http://[Last portion Y!]/
Closing prayer (fragment)6621A17-23-1942,

A fragment of the closing prayer on 6620B2.

Identified as “tests” on AFS card.

Ambience6621A27-23-1942

Identified as “tests” on AFS card.

Announcement/Prayer (fragment)6621A3, 7-23-1942,

Announcements of forthcoming speakers and the report from the secretary and treasurer. “Cooney” might be Cuney.

Identified as “tests” on AFS card.

[Blank]6621A4

Blank disc with some machine hum.

Just A Closer Walk With Thee6621A57-23-1942,

Rev. Martin gives his address, and Lomax announces that the song was sung from page two of the National Baptist Song Special, printed by the Goodwill Singers, Nashville.

Crying Holy Unto the Lord (Woe Unto Your Soul)6621A67-23-1942,
Hold the Wind (#1)6621B17-23-1942,
Hold the Wind (#2)6621B27-23-1942,

Followed by discussion of his learning the song, its religious connotations, and its origins.

Interview about sacred songwriting and old-time reels and songs6622A1, 7-23-1942

Discussion of songwriting and inspirations. Interspersed with sung example of “Precious Lord, Stand By Me.” Haffer discusses singing reels for candy-knockings, corn-shucking, and dances. Stagolee and Frankie and Johnny are mentioned.

Interview about old-time reels and levee camps6622A2, 7-23-1942

Continued from previous band – Liza Jane, Bill Bailey, Shortenin’ Bread, and a levee-camp holler are mentioned. “Back in the ’90s.” Discussion on levee camps, bad men, and sinfulness follows.

SC to -0.84 / 95.2%

Interview about sinful instruments; levee camp incidents; work songs; old-time dances and reels; banjos, guitars, and tent shows.6622B, 7-23-1942

Recollection of the piano being seen as a sinful instrument; congregants saying the church was being turned into a barrelhouse. Lomax asks about incidents on the levee camp, prompts Haffer with question about cocaine – he recites Take A Whiff On Me, and discusses the distribution of bad-man songs among the general population. Continues with discussion road-gang and timber songs. Haffer sings fragment of John Henry. Recollections of old-time square dances with fiddle and French harp (harmonica) and “calling figures.” Lomax prompts his memory with ballads like Barbara Allen and the Gallows Pole; Haffer says he recalls Casey Jones, but hums a fragment of Casey Bill instead. Haffer recites Birmingham Jail/Bird In A Cage, which he says was his favorite song. Discussion moves to banjos, tent shows, “floating palaces,” and changing musical tastes and repertoires. Talks about Joe Turner and the popularity of the song about him, played on guitar, dating it around 1900. With Lomax’s suggestion, he says Make Me A Pallet On the Floor and Alabama Bound were contemporaneous, and that the guitar eclipsed the banjo in popularity. “They thought they was progressing.”

These Days Got Everybody Troubled6623A7-23-1942

A song concerning the Second World War and national defense. Preceded and followed by discussion of his topical songwriting.

Interview about geopolitics and race relations6623B1, 7-23-1942
The Natchez Theater Fire Disaster6623B27-23-1942

Followed by discussion of the song, its publication, and dissemination, and Haffer’s intentions as a songwriter. “To warn the people – the uncoverted.” Brief talk on damnation and other disaster songs. Sings brief fragment of topical piece, “Storm of ’42” (see 6624A1).

What A Storm (Storm of '42)6624A17-23-1942

Introduces song with details of the storm, which stuck on March 16, 1942. Identified on AFS card as “Song of the Great Disaster.” Haffer says, on AFS 6626A3, that he’d written the song for the state Baptist convention.

I'll Be Glad to See the Son When He Comes (conclusion)6624A27-23-1942

Introduced with remarks on the second coming.

I'll Be Glad to See the Son When He Comes (conclusion)6624A37-23-1942

Not identified as separate band on AFS card.

Where Shall I Be When the First Trumpet Sounds6624B1, 7-23-1942

Followed by discussion of the song. Rev. Martin was from Christian Springs, MIss.; Ms. Johns was from Alligator, Miss.

Motherless Children6624B2, 7-23-1942

A fragment sung at Lomax’s request. Does not appear in AFS catalog.

I'm Going Home On the Morning Train6624B3, 7-23-1942Get Right Church
A Charge to Keep I Have6624B4, , 7-23-1942, ,
Discussion of funeral customs6625A17-23-1942

Continued on 6625B2.

Disc begins too fast, slows down to appropriate pitch by band’s end, when Lomax says he needs to get his “machine going a little better.”

Sermon on Job6625A27-23-1942,

SC to -0.72 / 95.9%

Shine On Me6625B1, 7-23-1942, ,

Identified as “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone” on AFS card. Two performances interspersed by discussion of varieties of Watts metered hymns – common, short, fast.

Discussion of funeral customs (continued)6625B27-23-1942

Continued from 6625A1.

Internal speed fluctuation.

Interview about songwriting and song-peddling6626A1, 7-23-1942

Discussion of race relations, peddling songs and newspapers, and his topical songwriting – in particular his ballad about the Titanic, which sold several thousand copies.

The Titanic6626A27-23-1942
Strange Things Happening In the Land6626A37-23-1942

Followed by discussion of songwriting.

[Blank]6626B1

Blank disc with some machine hum.

Tent-show monologue6626B27-23-1942

Orr recites a monologue from a tent show in which he performed. Identified as “opening routine in show” on AFS card. The section on the preacher and the bear was issued under that name on “The Land Where the Blues Began,” Rounder CD 1861, 2002.

The Ugliest Animal, the Baboon6626B37-23-1942, ,
Big Mosquitos6626B47-23-1942, ,
The Man Who Walked On the Water Like Christ6626B57-23-1942, ,
The White Doctor and His Servant6626B67-23-1942, ,
John (Jack) Guesses What's Under the Pot6627A27-23-1942, ,

Preceded by explanation of previous story. Buck Asa identifies the protagonist as both John and Jack.

John and the Lord6627A37-23-1942,
The Preacher and His Hogs (part 1)6627A47-23-1942,
The Preacher and His Hogs (part 2)6627B17-23-1942,
Discussion of the Swift Peter (the dog killer)6627B27-23-1942

Buck Asa briefly discusses the dog-killing “Swift Peter” with Lomax and Lewis Jones, the latter of whom asks if he’s familiar with the “axe man,” but the machine is stopped.

The Preacher Who Could Always Be Trapped By Pussy6627B37-23-1942, ,
The Woman Who Couldn't Count6627B47-23-1942, ,
The Lady and Her Three Daughters6627B57-23-1942, ,
Bring Me My Duck6627B67-23-1942, ,

Disc cuts out before the story ends.

White Man, Jew, and a Negro Go to Heaven6628A27-23-1942, ,
The Ox and the Mule6628A37-23-1942, ,
The Jew and the Irishman at the Cemetery6628A47-23-1942, ,

Lewis Jones wonders aloud how the joke “made it down here.”

[Blank]6628A5
I Be Bound to Write to You (#1)6629A3, 7-24-1942,
I Be Bound to Write to You (#2)6629A4, 7-24-1942,
You Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone6629A57-24-1942,
Cornfield holler (#1)6629A67-24-1942
G on pitch pipe6629A77-24-1942
[Blank]6629B17-24-1942
[Blank]6629B27-24-1942
Machine ambience6629B37-24-1942

Hum and other tape-machine ambience.

Three Suitors Who Were Fast Men6630A17-25-1942, ,
The Foolish Boy and the Preachers6630A27-25-1942, , ,
Greensnake6630A37-25-1942, ,
Interview about storytelling, his biography, Bud Doggett, and tough guys6630A4, 7-25-1942,

Discussion of learning the preceding story from a Walter Hutton, storytelling style, his own biography, the late plantation manager Bud Doggett, tough guys (including a Jack Devil).

[Blank]6631A17-25-1942,

The LC Recording Lab identifies four separate bands before the music begins on this disc side. They are here condensed into one for the purposes of this catalog.

Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit (#1)6631A27-25-1942, ,
Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit (#2)6631A37-25-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of animal stories.

Three Sons Look for Their Fortune6631A47-25-1942, ,
The Woman Who Never Had No Man6631A57-25-1942, ,
Get Up In the Morning Soon (fragment)6631A67-25-1942Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy, ,
Get Up In the Morning Soon6631A77-25-1942, ,
Casey Jones6631A87-25-1942, ,
Levee camp song (#1)6631B17-25-1942,
Toast on Mr. Chatmon and Bud Doggett6631B27-25-1942, ,

Identified as “Toast on Bud Doggett,” but the toast – which Starks attributes to Howard Spann – has more to do with a Mr. Chatmon’s breaking up moonshining operations.

The Preacher and the Deacon's Wife6631B37-25-1942, ,
Levee camp song (#2)6631B47-25-1942,
Levee camp song (#3)6631B57-25-1942,
The Devil Counts Souls In the Graveyard6631B67-25-1942, ,
[Blank]6632A17-25-1942,
Man Runs Away from the Gunshot6632A27-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

The Lawyer, the Bookkeeper, and the Tramp Go to Mary6632A37-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

The Chicken Stealin' Man6632A47-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

[Blank]6632A57-25-1942,
[Blank]6632A67-25-1942,
The Queen of Africa (#1)6632A77-25-1942, , ,

Possibly so entitled to obscure the bawdy content – there is no mention of Africa in the story.

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

Shine and the Titanic (#1)6632A87-25-1942, ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

[Blank]6632A97-25-1942,

The LC Recording Lab identifies three separate bands concluding this disc side. They are here condensed into one for the purposes of this catalog.

The Queen of Africa (#2)6632B17-25-1942, , ,

Possibly so entitled to obscure the bawdy content – there is no mention of Africa in the story.

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

Shine and the Titanic (#2)6632B27-25-1942, ,

Following the recitation, King gives his age as 28 and says he lives nearby.

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

[Blank]6632B37-25-1942,
Toast about preachers6632B47-25-1942, ,

Identified on AFS card as “Preacher and the Lady.”

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

The Railroad Men Go to Town6632B57-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

The Animals Have A Convention6632B67-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

The Lady Washing at the Spring6632B77-25-1942, , ,

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

Stewball6632B87-25-1942Skewball,

Lomax volunteers verses that Starks doesn’t know. Followed by discussion of his father singing and fiddling the song; Lomax fishes for “Barbara Allen” and “Frankie and Albert.”

SC to -0.75 / 95.9%

Frankie and Albert (#1)6633A17-25-1942,

Starks says he learned this on a sawmill job in 1910.

SC to -0.76 / 95.6%

Frankie and Albert (#2)6633A27-25-1942,
[Blank]6633A37-26-1942

Badly cut grooves.

Where I Shall Wear the Golden Crown6633A4, 7-26-1942, , ,
Opening prayer6633A5, 7-26-1942,

The congregation moans and shouts responses while Rev. McGhee offers the prayer.

Do Remember Me6633B1, 7-26-1942, ,
Preaching / Bible reading (Hebrews 13:12)6633B2, 7-26-1942
I'll Live On / Testimony6633B3, 7-26-1942, ,

Interspersed with an unidentified woman’s testimony.

Testimonies6633B4, 7-26-1942
I'm Pressing On6633B5, 7-26-1942, , ,
Testimony6633B6, 7-26-1942
Every Hour I'm With You / Testimonies6633B7, , 7-26-1942, ,
Jesus Is My Friend6633B8, 7-26-1942, ,
With Angels Climbing the Golden Stairs6633B9, 7-26-1942, , ,
I Got A New World In My View6634A1, , 7-26-1942, ,

Identified on card as “I Got A Heaven In My View.”

Severe speed fluctuation.

 

Testimony6634A27-26-1942

Severe speed fluctuation.

I Got A Heaven In My View6634A3, 7-26-1942, ,

Severe speed fluctuation.

If You Put Your Trust In Jesus, Everything Will Be All Right6634A4, 7-26-1942, , ,

Severe speed fluctuation.

 

Testimony6634A5, 7-26-1942

Severe speed fluctuation.

Sermon6634A6, 7-26-1942

Speaker is unindentified past his being a visiting pastor.

Severe speed fluctuation.

[Blank]6634B17-26-1942
[Blank]6634B27-26-1942
Sacramental sermon6634B3, 7-26-1942

Combined of six separate fragmentary bands.

At the Cross6634B4, 7-26-1942, ,
Yea, Lord (part 1)6634B5, 7-26-1942, ,
Yea, Lord (part 2)6635A1, 7-26-1942, ,
Sacramental text6635A2, 7-26-1942

Identified as such on AFS card. Used here to differentiate it from 6634A6, “Sacramental sermon.”

The Blood Has Made Me Whole6635A3, 7-26-1942, , ,

Identified as “The Blood Have Made Me Whole” on AFS card.

[Blank]6635B17-26-1942
Prayer6635B2, 7-26-1942
Yea, Lord6635B3, 7-26-1942, , Y/
Praise Him6635B4, 7-26-1942, , Y/
I'm Running for My Life6635B5, 7-26-1942, ,

Fragment at top of track is likely a transfer false start.

Sermon on foot-washing (part 1)6635B6, 7-26-1942
Sermon on foot-washing (part 2)6636A1, 7-26-1942

Remarks by an unidentified elder follow Rev. McGhee’s sermon.

He Never Said A Mumbling Word6636A2, 7-26-1942, , , ,

Followed by ambience and machine hum.

Y/
Sweeter As the Years Go By6636A3, 7-26-1942, , , ,

Identified as “Peter, As the Years Go By” on AFS card.

Machine hum toward band end.

Heaven's Going to Be My Home6636B1, 7-26-1942, , , ,

Marred by speed fluctuation and machine noise.

Just Like Heaven to Me6636B2, 7-26-1942, , ,

Preceded by a minute of blank disc.

Y/
Running Up the Shiny Way6636B3, 7-26-1942, , , ,
I'm A Soldier In the Army of the Lord6637A1, 7-26-1942, , , ,
Worship service: lighting the offering6637A2, 7-26-1942

Identified as “Lighting the offering” in AFS catalog. Ambience includes sounds of worshipper “getting happy” and a guitar strumming.

I Claim Jesus First of All6637A3, 7-26-1942, , , ,

Identified as “Every Little Talk With Jesus Makes It Right” in AFS catalog.

Y/
Just A Little Talk With Jesus6637A4, 7-26-1942, , , , http://Y (fades out)/
Jesus Is My Everything (part 1)6637B1, 7-26-1942, , , ,
Jesus Is My Everything (part 2)6637B2, 7-26-1942, , , ,
Just A Closer Walk With Thee6637B3, 7-25-1942, ,
Until I Found the Lord6637B4, 7-25-1942, ,
The Usher6637B57-25-1942

A recitation of a paean to church ushers. (It sounds like “Dunbar” is credited with the poem in the introduction, but it is not a P.L. Dunbar composition.)

Sending Up My Timber6637B6, 7-25-1942, ,

Partial performance.

You Just Sing for Jesus6638A1, 7-25-1942

[Skip at 1:20]

My Lawd So High You Can't Go Over Him6638A2, , 7-25-1942You Must Come in at the Door

Title given is that on AFS card.

[Beginning marred by skips/]

Walk Around (fragment)6638A3, , 7-25-1942
Please Don't Drive Me Away6638A4, , , 7-25-1942
[Blank]6638B17-26-1942
Christ My Lord Is Coming Soon6638B2, , 7-25-1942http://YES AMAZING/
Jesus Knows6638B3, 7-25-1942, ,
Precious Lord6639A1, 7-25-1942,
I'm Toiling, Lord (#1)6639A2, , 7-25-1942

Identified on AFS card as “Through the Years We Keep On Toiling.” Another take recorded presumably after audience program on 6640A3.

Holy Baby6639A3, , 7-25-1942,

Introduction by (presumably) the quartet’s leader Baker T. Garner, noting the song as a request and calling it the “hardest song that ever was, nearly.”

Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down6639B1, 7-25-1942
When I've Done the Best I Can, I Want My Crown6639B2, 7-25-1942
There's A King of Kings Somewhere6640A1, 7-25-1942, ,
A Charge to Keep I Have6640A2, , 7-25-1942,
I'm Toiling, Lord (#2)6640A3, , 7-25-1942
My Mind Done Changed (#1)6640B17-28-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of where he learned song and its meaning.

Two minutes of blank disc precede performance.

Katy, I Got To Go (To Judgment)6640B27-28-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of song, sung at old-time Baptist prayer meetings.

Rock, Daniel (#1)6640B37-28-1942,

Followed by discussion of shouting.

Rock, Daniel (#2)6641A17-28-1942, ,

Preceded by empty disc and brief announcement of Robertson’s age (75). This performance is not listed in the AFS catalog, which identifies the following song as 6641A1.

Run, Sinner, Run6641A27-28-1942, ,
There'll Be Preaching Tonight (On the Old Campground)6641A37-28-1942, ,
Outshine the Sun6641A47-28-1942Beulah Land, ,
On the Other Side of Jordan6641A57-28-1942, ,

Sound is severely intermittent.

The Chariot Jubilee6641A67-28-1942,
The Band In Gideon6641A77-28-1942,

Followed by discussion of song’s origins and setting, and shouts.

Hallelujah!6641A87-28-1942,

Title is that given by Robertson following song. Refrain: “When the war shall be ended / I’m a soldier of the cross.”

Keep Inching Along6641A9, 7-28-1942,
Tell Me How Long Has the Train Been Gone6641B17-28-1942

Followed by discussion of song and its composition (by Robertson).

Discussion of coon songs6641B27-28-1942

A separate band on the disc, although not identified as one in AFS cards. Brief discussion of his coon-song repertoire and Lomax’s explanation that the discs aren’t being created for broadcast but for study.

Make Cindy Behave Herself6641B37-28-1942

Identified as “Cindy” on AFS card (and likely by Robertson). [See Lomax’s 1959 recording of Sid Hemphill’s “Make Lula Behave Herself” for an ancillary.]

Discussion of square dance tunes and calls6641B47-28-1942
That's What's the Matter With the Church Today6642A17-28-1942,
Clear the Line Before You Call6642A27-28-1942,
My Mind Done Changed (#2)6642A37-28-1942,
Discussion of getting religion; sinful habits; playing music, gambling, and fights at dances.6642A47-28-1942

Robertson recounts his sinful behavior before “finding holiness,” and playing music with his band at the house at the Hill plantation. Discussion of differences between white and black dances; gambling, fights, and music at both. Trouble (“shooting spree”) he got into in St. Louis.

Hard Time in Blue Eagle Jail6642B17-28-1942

Robertson said this was “made up on the railroad.”

John Henry6642B27-28-1942

Lomax asks for other railroad songs; Robertson recites a fragment of John Henry and hums the melody.

Interview about roustabouting, roustabout songs, and steamboating reminiscences6645B1, 7-28-1942

Includes snippets of several roustabouts’ songs and reminiscences of working on the river, a race between the Katy Adams and Jim Lee, and Friars Point in the steamboat era. “One of the finest towns for a colored person to make his living… if you can make your living here and you don’t bother nobody, and stay in your place, nobody gonna bother you.”

Worried Life Blues6645B2, 7-28-1942,
Unloading steel from cars6647B18-8-1942

Followed by Lomax interview about “chunk[ing] iron” in advance of laying track.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Interview fragment/ambience6647B28-8-1942

Fragment of the preceding interview amidst ambience (including the pouring of a drink and two burps).

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Sinking rails and joining iron6647B3, 8-8-1942

Followed by discussion of track-laying.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Spiking down6648A18-8-1942,

Reenactment of spiking railroad ties with fragments of work song and reminiscences about various characters on the crew. Bacon keeps time by striking a tie.

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Shuffling/catching ties (#1)6648A2, 8-8-1942, , ,

Reenactment of lining/joining track with assorted work song verses. Bacon keeps time by striking a tie.

Shuffling/catching ties (#2)6648B, 8-8-1942, ,

Reenactment of lining/joining track with assorted work song verses (e.g., “I Got A Bulldog”; “Stewball”). Followed by discussion of the work song “Jumpin’ Julie/Judy.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Interview about the benefits of whiskey; maintaining at work; negotiating differences in foremen; Bacon's work history6649A, , 8-8-1942

Interviewed by Lewis Jones and Alan Lomax, with some comments by Elias Boykin. After discussing whiskey, bosses, Mexicans on a crew in Kansas, he explains his work history, first on a levee camp (at Wolf River Bottom, Tenn.) and later on the railroad. After getting laid off, he followed musician friends Joe and Buddy Davis into Memphis where he became “a little sheik on gamblin'” before he started following the harvest until 1929. “…a pint of whiskey, and go on home and drink it, and he stay by the fire, that’ll help him. When they fixed it so a man [who] went out in the exposure couldn’t get a whiskey that’s the worst thing they could do. That’s the life of a man, out, you see. When he come in and open the pores of his skin, see. He been out chill all day long, some time he wet, sometime he be in a place he can’t make a fire. Well, out in the exposure, and all that exposure and stuff goin’ in his skin—if he drink him a little whiskey—I don’t mean go and do like some folks, get on the streets and get sloppy drunk and things like that—which, why, you can’t take care of your job if you do that. But just drink a little whiskey, you know, along. That better for him, you see. He’ll live and last and be whole lots more super than a man who don’t never drink no whiskey. You catch a man who don’t never drink no whiskey and be out in the exposure, well, why, he’s always be hurting, or aching, or he can’t halfway pick up or somethin’ all the time. But if he drink him a little whiskey along, it help him. That gives him pep. Nerve.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Interview about Georgia Skin and gambling / Jack O' Diamonds6649B, , 8-8-1942, ,

Discussion of gambling and hustling cards interspersed with singing of “Jack O’ Diamonds” and assorted floating verses. Band begins with idle guitar picking. Band ends with a woman’s voice: “I wouldn’t let those boys sit on the bed.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

Lining/calling track6650A, 8-8-1942, ,

Reenactment of track-lining with assorted lining-song fragments (some vulgar). Bacon keeps time by striking a tie. Identified as “Lining or calling track” on AFS card, although Bacon and Boykin state at the disc’s end that this is called “calling track… nothin’ but call.”

Identified by Lomax as the Delta Tourist Camp (suggested by Chris Smith to be the Delta Tourist Courts • 1600 N. State St. in Clarksdale)

http://BEAUTIFUL SONGS/
Break the News to Mother (fragment)6650B18-9-1942, , ,
Coon, Coon, Coon (I Wish My Color Would Fade)6650B28-9-1942, , ,

Followed by discussion about learning the song (c. 1914), and its popularity.

Preceded by stretch of blank disc and test segment.

Interview about whites' attitudes towards blacks6650B3, , 8-9-1942

“They’d rather have ignorant niggers; don’t know nothing.” Identified on AFS card as “Attitudes of white people toward Negroes.”

Break the News to Mother6650B48-9-1942, , ,

Followed by discussion about the song, which he learned from a songbook c. 1914. Places it, correctly, in the Spanish-American War.

The State of Arkansas6651A18-9-1942The State of Arkansaw,

Followed by discussion of where he learned it. Identified merely as “Arkansas” on AFS card.

Y/
Interview about his musician father6651A2, 8-9-1942

Discussion of his geneaology – his father’s father was white; his mother was “full-blooded Indian. All the Negro that’s in me is on my mother’s side.” His father was a musician who “could play most any kind of music.”

Talk/ambience6651A38-9-1942
The Late War6651A48-9-1942, ,

Followed by discussion of the song, which he learned in 1918, and the race of song’s composer.

Ollie Jackson (#1)6651B18-9-1942,

Followed by discussion of the song. Learned from a Charley Washington of Kansas City.

Travelin' Man6651B28-9-1942, ,

Followed by a discussion of the song, which he learned at a medicine show.

Fox Hunter's Song6651B38-9-1942

Followed by a discussion of the song, which he learned from his father “about forty years ago.”

Y/
Our Goodman6652A18-9-1942Three Nights Drunk; Three Nights Experience

Preceded by several blank bands and his introduction of the song.

Take A Whiff On Me6652A28-9-1942

Preceded by discussion of cocaine, its effects, and its erstwhile popularlity. “Folks would use it and they get drunk and they couldn’t smell no whiskey!”

Duncan and Brady6652B18-9-1942
Stackerlee6652B28-9-1942Stagolee

Followed by discussion of learning the song and “Duncan and Brady,” which he recalls hearing in 1897 from an Oscar Bramley who sang it while plowing. Starks calls him a “levee-camp man” who learned them in St. Louis.

Interview about riverboats and roustabouts6652B3, 8-9-1942

Recollections of experiences on the river, including sailing from Memphis on the Kate Adams, and the treatment and techniques of roustabouts.

Interview about compulsory labor; freedom of movement; bad men; obeying white folks6653A, 8-9-1942

Discussion of compelling local African Americans (including children) to pick cotton and instances of resistance. Lomax asks about the baddest men in the area; Starks recalls various fights, whoopings, and Bud Doggett. “Mississippi was the best place on earth for a good nigger and the worst place for a bad nigger.” Says his grandmother, a “slavery-time woman,” always taught him to obedient to white folks.

Down On the Farm6653B18-9-1942,

Preceded by fragmentary discussion about whether Starks remembers any blues or “slow drags.”

Y/
Show Me the Way to Go Home6653B28-9-1942,
I'm A Rowdy Soul6653B38-9-1942Whoa Back Buck,

Discussion follows about it being a “po’ white song.”

My Old Mistress Promised Me / Interview about dances and courting6653B48-9-1942,

“Mistress” on AFS card as “Mistis.” Learned from his father. Discussion follows about set dances and courting girls.

Toast (Doodly Doo)6653B58-9-1942,

A vulgar toast Starks recalls learning in jail. Discussion follows about toasts.

I'll Keep My Skillet Greasy If I Can / Old Dog Blue / Sally Goodin6654A18-9-1942Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy,

Followed by discussion of various songs, including “Old Dog Blue” and “Sally Goodin” of which he sings fragments.

The Dummy Line6654A28-9-1942,

Identified on AFS card simply as “The Dummy.” Lomax prompts him with extra verses.

Didn't He Ramble6654A38-9-1942The Derby Ram; The Darby Ram,
Interview about Sheriff Greek Rice outlawing music6654A4, 8-9-1942

Identified on AFS card as “Mr. Greek Rice Outlaws Music.” Discussion of Sheriff Rice closing down the juke joints and barrelhouses.

Story of the rabbit and the buzzard6654B18-9-1942,

Identified on AFS card as “Buzzard Gets Rabbit In A Hollow Log.”

Interview about ghosts6654B2, 8-9-1942,
Ollie Jackson (#2)6654B38-9-1942,
If I Be Lifted Up6658A7-24-1942, , ,

Recorded at the Mississippi Missionary Baptist Convention at the First African Baptist Church

Where Could I Go But to the Lord6659A, 7-24-1942, , ,

Identified on AFS card as “Where Shall I Go.”

Every Time I Feel the Spirit6659B17-24-1942, , ,
There's No Hiding Place Down Here6659B27-24-1942, , ,
Piano solo6660A17-24-1942,
Wait A Little While6660A2, , , , Y/
Unidentified hymn6660B17-24-1942, , ,
Hallelujah, Amen6660B27-24-1942, , ,
Does Anybody Know My Lord6660B37-24-1942, , ,

 

I Know I've Been Converted6661A1, 7-24-1942, , ,
The Man of Galilee (continued)6661A2, 7-24-1942, , ,

Identified on AFS card by (roughly) first line, “I’m On A Shiny Pathway.”

The Man of Galilee (continued)6661B1, 7-24-1942, , ,

Identified on AFS card by (roughly) first line, “I’m On A Shiny Pathway.”

Jesus Will Be With Me In My Dying Hour6661B27-24-1942, , ,
Fo' Day Blues/Interview6662A1, 7-28-1942, , ,

Interview about Clarksdale, dance halls, local piano players, and this tune takes place while Jones plays. (Despite Alan’s introduction of the date being “the 26th or 27th,” it was the 28th.)

Unidentified ragtime tune (#1)6662A27-28-1942,
Walking Billy/Interview6662B1, 7-28-1942, , ,

Interview about the “Walking Billy” and other dances and tunes; ragtime pianists; and the clientele of the joints where Jones would play takes place while he plays the tune.

Unidentified ragtime tune (#2)6662B2, 7-28-1942, , ,

Followed by interview about ragtime, blues, and assorted dances at the venues he played.

Interview about Clarksdale's red-light district, his jazz band and their tunes6663A1, 7-28-1942, ,

Discussion of closing of Clarksdale’s red-light district and scattering of musicians; his band and its personnel, and their tunes.

Interview about his jazz band and their tunes (continued)6663A2, 7-28-1942, ,

Discussion of his band, its personnel, their tunes, and renowed local musicians.

Interview about early blues6663A3, 7-28-1942,

Discussion of early blues, including Joe Turner Blues (which he recalls as the first blues he heard), Midnight Blues, and Corrina.

Corrina, Corrina/Careless Love/Interview6663B1, 7-28-1942, ,

Interspersed with discussion of early blues.

Love Me6663B27-30-1942,