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Candyman(inactive) Origins: Earliest Version: Sporting Life Blues? (16) RE: Earliest Version: Sporting Life Blues? 09 Aug 03


I have a Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee recording of "Sportin' Life" from 1957. I saw Brownie perform it many times with Sonny in the '60s and '70s, and once solo in the '80s, and he always claimed it as his song.

Dave Van Ronk, who was scrupulous in his song scholarship, always referred to it as a Brownie McGhee song.

Dave used to tell a strory about learning the song when he was about 17 and then putting it aside because he didn't think that a 17-year-old had the life experience to sing it. Many years later, Dave said, Brownie told him he'd written the song when he was 17.

Dave would have been 17 in 1953.


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