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Geeshie Wiley!!!!

Peter T. 14 Feb 01 - 09:05 AM
Peter T. 14 Feb 01 - 09:18 AM
Art Thieme 14 Feb 01 - 01:12 PM
Peter T. 14 Feb 01 - 01:45 PM
Peter T. 14 Feb 01 - 01:45 PM
SINSULL 14 Feb 01 - 03:48 PM
Stewie 14 Feb 01 - 10:05 PM
Stewie 14 Feb 01 - 10:14 PM
Art Thieme 14 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM
Stewie 14 Feb 01 - 10:34 PM
Stewie 14 Feb 01 - 10:42 PM
Peter T. 15 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM
Art Thieme 16 Feb 01 - 10:17 PM
Art Thieme 19 Feb 01 - 01:45 AM
Rick Fielding 20 Feb 01 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 21 Feb 01 - 03:33 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 21 Feb 01 - 04:43 AM
Rick Fielding 21 Feb 01 - 11:52 AM
Stewie 21 Feb 01 - 09:07 PM
Stefan Wirz 02 Apr 03 - 12:58 PM
Art Thieme 05 Apr 03 - 12:21 PM
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Subject: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 09:05 AM

Just discovered, thanks to an article on great blues songs, Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words (1930) and her duets with Elvie Thomas (Motherless Child Blues) on a great Yazoo album, Mississippi Masters (2007). Whew. Never heard of her before, but she was obviously an amazing talent. Anyone else run across her? I count 4 songs of hers (Last Kind Words, Pick Poor Robin Clean, Skinny Legs Blues, and Motherless Child Blues) -- anyone know of any more?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 09:18 AM

Also Bullfrog Blues. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 01:12 PM

For many years I did a much de-racistized version of Geeshie Wiley's "Pick Poor Robin Clean". I combined it with Jesse Fuller's "Take It Slow And Easy If You Want To Get Along With Me".(same tune) Other than "Pick Poor Robin", I've not heard any of her other work. It's nice to know it's out there and available. (That means maybe there's hope for my old LPs.) **GRIN**

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 01:45 PM

Fascinating , Art. "Last Kind Words" is really like nothing else I have heard -- minor key stuff -- must be from somewhere else, about her lover going off to the German war.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 01:45 PM

Fascinating , Art. "Last Kind Words" is really like nothing else I have heard -- minor key stuff -- must be from somewhere else, about her lover going off to the German war.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 03:48 PM

Art - yours turn up on Ebay regularly. I have been substantially outbid more than once.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:05 PM

Peter, Goodrich & Dixon make no mention of 'Bullfrog Blues' either by Wiley or in duet with Elvie Thomas, but list 'Over to my house' (Pm 12977) Thomas and Wiley - must have been the backing side to 'Motherless Child Blues' (same number). G&D have only 4 listings for Geeshie Wiley - 'Last Kind Words', 'Skinny Leg', 'Pick Poor Robin' and 'Eagles on a half'. However, my edition of G&D is 1982 - 'Bullfrog' might be the then untraced matrix mentioned. I have 'Eagles' on a Yazoo CD: 'I Can't Be Satisfied: Early American Women Blues Singers Vol 1' Yazoo 2026.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:14 PM

That should read 'Godrich & Dixon' ['Blues and Gospel Records 1902-1943]- too many Os! The Yazoo CD I cited also has Wiley's 'Pick Poor Robin'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM

I posted "Pick Poor Robin" with the extra Fuller lyrics etc. maybe 2 years ago in another thread. (memory?)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:34 PM

Peter, I just had a look in one of Paul Oliver's books and you may be interested in this quote about 'Pick Poor Robin Clean':

Though Wiley and Thomas are recalled in both Mississippi and Texas, their origins are uncertain; 'Geechie' means an inhabitant of the Georgia Sea Islands. The song ['Robin'] was earlier recorded by the Virginia songster Luke Jordan, and was popular as far west as Kansas City where it was heard by the black writer Ralph Ellison: 'Poor Robin was picked again and again and his pluckers were ever unnamed and mysterious. Yet the tune was inevitably productive of laughter - even when ourselves were its object. For each of us recognised that somehow his fate was our own. Our defeats and failures - even our final defeat by death - were loaded on his back and given ironic significance and thus made more bearable'[Ralph Ellison 'Shadow and Act' Secker and Warburg 1967, p231]. Though its origins are unknown, its wide diffusion and 'nigger' and 'coon' references suggest that this was yet another song dating from early in the century when the 'jaybird laughed' at the subjugation of blacks. [Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records' Cambridge Uni Press 1984, p126].

I have previously posted the lyrics to 'Robin' somewhere in the forum.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:42 PM

Hi Art, our posts must have crossed. The version I posted was either Luke Jordan's or Dave Ray's (of Koerner, Ray and Glover) slightly changed Jordan version.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM

My God, Thanks Stewie -- I have that other album and never noticed her song! What an idiot. I should say that Elvie Thomas has the worst enunciation of any blues singer I have ever heard -- I can't figure out what on earth she is saying half the time -- Any of your sources have lyrics to Motherless Child Blues? But (as ever) you are a godsend.
Geeshie is so good. It is really amazing.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:17 PM

Stewie,

Great stuff. Thanks. These mysteries do have a way o' gettin' solved when de Mudcatters put their heads together.

Below: see this song that I've heard was the original of "Robin".

I'm gonna pick my guitar clean,
Pick my banjo clean,
Pick on the highway,
Pick on the street,
I would've picked my nose but I had Robin to eat,
Gonna pick my banjo clean,
Pick my guitar clean,
And I'll be satisfied havin' a family...

A CHALLENGE: more verses anyone ??

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 01:45 AM

refresh ??????


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 08:12 PM

Poop! Didn't see this before.

Geeshie gets a tiny bit of fame for being "background music" in the film "Crumb". The eccentric and brilliant cartoonist (ok, prize sicko, then) loves obscure old blues and jazz, and recorded a number of albums with his band "The Cheap Suit Serenaders". Don't know much about Geeshie other than I heard her sing one song and liked it.

Anyone heard of Nellie Lutcher?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 03:33 AM

Nellie Lutcher, Rick? Of course. "C'mon a-my house". Wouldn't you guess I have at least one of her records in my, ahem, modest collection!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 04:43 AM

Today's deliberate error (!):"Hurry on down to my house" of course! (This from the man who confused Black White and Brown with Bourgeois Blues on the housing songs thread, I think I better book myself backin to the NYCFTTS!)
RtS (Just because I'm certain doesn't mean I'm right)


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 11:52 AM

Hi Rog. My Mum had a wonderful old 78 of nellie singing "He's a Real Gone Guy". What a great piano player. In my stupid youth I wondered why someone of such great talent was almost completely unknown. That was long before I got an understanding of "public taste".

Ever heard Arizona Draines?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 09:07 PM

Hi Rick and Roger,

I must admit to never having heard of Nellie Lutcher, but the closest I come to jazz is western swing. In that latter genre, however, I recently acquired a deliciously cheeky rendition of 'Fetch It On Down to My House'. It is by Hartman's Heartbreakers fronted by a vocalist who went under the pseudonym of Betty Lou. The blurb on the CD jacket has her down to a T: '[she] sounds like some teenage country siren straight from the barn with the straw still sticking out of her (obviously blonde) hair; an image of wide-blue-eyed, finger-in-the-mouth, fun-loving, lustful innocence calculated to appeal to all males between the ages of nine and ninety'. Spot on. Evidently she was some moonlighting well-known pop singer.

As for Arizona Dranes, now there's a lady with a bit of punch - nothing frivolous about her. I have her complete collected works of 16 sides - 'Arizona Dranes 1926-28' Herwin LP 210. My favourite is 'I Shall Wear a Crown' - a stomping tour-de-force with her sounding like a born-again Katie Webster. Lovely.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 12:58 PM

Geeshie Wiley discography online


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Subject: RE: Geeshie Wiley!!!!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 12:21 PM

Nellie Lutcher !! I have a few of her songs on tapes I made of an old friend's 78 rpm records. One was about a town in Louisiana, "Lake Charles". Aso, one about finding "another mule in my used to be stall". Can't recall the name of that one. /And there were others too. She was more of a cabaret singer with piano than a blues Singer-----sort of like Blossom Dearie. I think Blossom Dearie still plays in New York. Flawn Williams and Vicki Moss went to hear her last year. The closest thing in the folk world would/might be Josh White in his folkie nightclub "One Meat Ball" and "Miss Otis Regrets" singing years as opposed to his earlier blues and gospel years as Pinetop sonething-or-other.

Art Thieme


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