April 2020 Updates: Complete Blues Discographies

These are the April updates for my Complete Blues Bio-Discographies list. A more complete version (as of now) is here.

Please note that this is the order in which I updated the list, not the order of living dates, recording dates or order in which the names appear on the list.

Henry Thomas
Washington Phillips
Gus Cannon / Cannon’s Jug Stompers
Jimmy Reed
Jim Jackson
Sam Collins
Skip James
Otis Rush
Frank Stokes
Ishman Bracey
Big Bill Broonzy
Blind Willie Johnson
Blind Willie McTell
Texas Alexander
Barbecue Bob
The Beale Street Sheiks
Memphis Jug Band
William Harris
St. Louis Bessie
Walter «Buddy Boy» Hawkins
Alice Moore
Mississippi John Hurt

Lead Belly: His complete Victor/Bluebird recordings

How to acquire all recordings Lead Belly made for the Victor Records label (absorbed by RCA Records in 1929) and its subsidiary label Bluebird Records? Lead Belly recorded for Victor RCA/Bluebird on two dates: June 15th and June 17th of 1940 (a saturday and a monday, as it happens), a total of 27 known tracks.

The Lead Belly collection Take This Hammer – The Secret History of Rock & Roll (Bluebird 82876 50957 2 or RCA 50957), the fifth volume of Bluebird series When the Sun Goes Down sometimes has the claim to sport „The Complete RCA Victor Recordings“.

This is one track short of the truth: While it does have the unissued first take „Grey Goose“ (Victor 051327-1), it misses the alternate take of „Grey Goose (Take 2)“ (Victor 051327-2). These are often mistaken for one another, as the vocal performances of Lead Belly and the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet were very precise – but apart from slightly different speeds (which could be due to pitch differences), some of the Quartet vocalists do notably different things in the background on the two tracks.

This track, „Grey Goose (Take 2)“ can almost exclusively be found on Document Records „Too Late, Too Late“: More Newly Discovered Titles And Alternate Takes, Volume 6 (1924-1946) (DOCD-5461).

There are two more Document Records that contain Victor/Bluebird recordings: Complete Recorded Works 1939-1947 In Chronological Order: Volume 1 (1 April 1939 To 15 June 1940) (DOCD-5226) and Complete Recorded Works 1939-1947 In Chronological Order: Volume 2 (17 June 1940 To Summer 1943) (DOCD-5227).

These are excellent compilations that contain many other Lead Belly tracks that you can almost exclusively get on them – so you need them. But they do not contain two tracks from the Victor sessions that are available on Take This Hammer: versions of „Yellow Gal“ and „Julianne Johnson“.

This creates one of the more unfortunate overlap situations for Lead Belly: If you get all three Document Records compilations (which you should), you’ll need to get Bluebird’s Take This Hammer for just two tracks.

This is a problem that nowadays can be solved through downloads, I guess, but then you miss out of the liner notes. Here is the tabella for Lead Belly’s Victor/Bluebird sessions:

Lead Belly’s Victor/Bluebird Recordings
No. / SourceTitleDocumentothersRemarks
New York June 15, 1940  Huddie Ledbetter   vocal/guitar with speech-1
051295-1, Victor 27268Pick A Bale Of CottonDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051296- , Victor unissuedYellow GalRCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye; RCA 50957 notes it as „051296-1“
051297-, Victor unissuedWhoa Back, BuckDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051298-1, VictorMidnight SpecialDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051299-1, Victor 27268Alabama BoundDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051500-1, VictorRock Island LineDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051501-, Bluebird B8791Good Morning BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051502-, Bluebird B8791Leaving BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051503-1, VictorT.B. BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051504-, Bluebird B8709Red Cross Store BluesDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051505-, Bluebird B8550Sail On, Little Girl, Sail OnDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051506-, Bluebird B8709RobertaDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051507-, Bluebird B8559AlbertaDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051508-1, VictorI’m on My Last Go RoundDOCD-5226RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
New York June 17, 1940  Huddie Ledbetter   vocal/guitar with speech-1
051322-1, Victor Easy RiderDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051323-1, Bluebird B8750New York CityDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051324-, Bluebird B8570Worried BluesDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051325-, Bluebird B8570Don’t You Love Your Daddy No More?DOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye. Fancourt notes that Wolfe/Lornell also incorrectly note this track for August 4, 1949.
051326-1, Bluebird B8750You Can’t Lose-A Me ChollyDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye. Fancourt notes that Wolfe/Lornell also incorrectly note this track for August 4, 1949.
051327-1, Victor unissuedGrey GooseDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051327-2, Victor 27267Grey Goose (Take 2)DOCD-5461in: Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051328-1, Victor unissuedDidn’t Ol‘ John Cross The Water?DOCD-5411RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051329-1, Victor 27267Stew BallDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051330-, Victor unissuedTake This HammerDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051331-, Victor unissuedCan’t You Line ‚EmDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye
051332-Julianne JohnsonRCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye; RCA 50957 notes it as „051332-1“
051333-1, Victor 27266Ham An‘ EggsDOCD-5227RCA 50957in: Wolfe/Lornell; Dixon/Godrich/Rye

March 2020 Updates: Complete Blues Discographies

These are the March updates for my Complete Blues Bio-Discographies list. A more complete version (as of now) is here.

Please note that this is the order in which I updated the list, not the order of living dates, recording dates or order in which the names appear on the list.

Martha Copeland
Maggie Jones
Bessie Smith
Clara Smith
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Junior Parker
Edna Hicks
J.B. Lenoir
Big Maceo Merriweather
Furry Lewis
Mississippi Fred McDowell
Sylvester Weaver
Margaret Johnson
Hazel Meyers
Memphis Minnie
Laura Smith
Robert Nighthawk
Sippie Wallace
Papa Charlie Jackson
Butterbeans and Susie
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Lonnie Johnson
Peg Leg Howell
Robert Lockwood Jr.
Blind Blake
Bo Weavil Jackson

Complete Blues Bio-Discographies Update

I’ll change how I post update to my Complete Blues Discographies because the single mentions of the updated artists do clutter up the timeline. I’ll post a monthly or bi-weekly update with just all the names. I also deleted the entries so far.

The links below all lead to the same general page, they are just jump-links to the specific artist.

These are the update for February 2020:

Mamie Smith, lived 1883–1946, recorded 1920–1942

Lucille Hegamin, lived 1894–1970, recorded 1920–1932, 1961–62.

Clarence Williams, lived 1893 or 1898–1965, recorded 1921–1947

Mary Stafford, lived ca. 1895–ca. 1938, recorded 1921–1926

Alberta Hunter, lived 1895–1984, recorded 1921–1946, 1961, 1977–1983.

Edith Wilson, lived 1896–1980, recorded 1921–1976(?)

Johnny Dunn, lived 1897–1937, recorded 1921–1928

Daisy Martin, unknown birth date – ca. 1925, recorded 1921–1923

Sara Martin, lived 1884–1955, recorded 1922–1929

Eva Taylor, lived 1895–1977, recorded 1922–1941, 196X–1976

Lena Wilson, lived ca. 1898–1939, recorded 1922–1924, 1930

Trixie Smith, lived 1895–1943, recorded 1922–1925, 1938–1939

Ma Rainey, lived 1886–1939, recorded 1923–1928

Virginia Liston, lived ca. 1890–1932, recorded 1923–1926

Charley Patton, unknown birth date – 1934, recorded 1929–1934

Peetie Wheatstraw, lived 1902–1941, recorded 1930–1941

Earl Hooker, lived 1929–1970, recorded 1952–1970

Magic Sam, lived 1937–1969, recorded 1957–1969

Mance Lipscomb, lived 1895–1976, recorded 1960–1973

Complete Blues Bio-Discographies Update: Lucille Hegamin

The Complete Blues Discographies were updated with Lucille Hegamin as a second entry.

Lucille Hegamin

Lived 1894–1970, recorded 1920–1932, 1961–62.

Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order: Vol. 1 (1920-1922) (Document DOCD-5419)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol.2 (1922-1923) (Document DOCD-5420)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1923-1932) (Document DOCD-5421)
Lucille Hegamin Volume 4: Alternative Takes & Remaining Titles (1920-1926) (Document DOCD-1011)

For her rare 1960s appearances, check the respective albums, one under ALBERTA HUNTER and one under VICTORIA SPIVEY

Lucille Hegamin’s complete recordings

Complete Blues Bio-Discographies: Mamie Smith

Started to transfer my „Complete Blues Discographies“-project from RateYourMusic to this site. We start with Mamie Smith. I’ll update the site slowly and will post updated entries on the blog.

Mamie Smith

Lived 1883–1946, recorded 1920–1942.

„The earliest surviving commercial recordings of black roots music were made by Okeh Records supervisor Fred Hagar (sometimes spelled Hager) and Ralph Peer, his assistant at the time, who recorded Mamie Smith in 1920. Smith was neither a blues specialist nor a southerner. She was a stage singer from Ohio, and the impetus to record her came from black songwriter Perry Bradford, who believed a female vocalist could sell records – and Bradford tunes – to both northern blacks and southern whites.“

(Epperson, Bruce: More Important Than the Music. A History of Jazz Discography. Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press 2013, 91)

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: 1920-1921 (Document DOCD-5357)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2: 1921-1922 (Document DOCD-5358)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3: 1922-1923 (Document DOCD-5359)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4: 1923-1942 (Document DOCD-5360)

Mamie Smith’s complete recordings