Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Riley Puckett: Red Sails in the Sunset, 1939-41


George Riley Puckett (born May 7 1894 Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - died July 13, 1946) was a country music pioneer mostly known for being a member of Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers.

[edit] Biography
An accident during infancy left him blind. He had his formal education at the Georgia School for the Blind in Macon, Georgia.
He sang and played guitar and banjo. He was first heard on the radio as a part of Clayton McMichen's Hometown Band.
His vocalizing was a regular feature at the Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' Conventions. Newspaper reporters covering these events referred to him as the "Bald Mountain Caruso" in admiration of his renditions of such songs as "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" and "Sleep, Baby, Sleep." For several years Puckett played and sang with the Home Town Boys, a string-band ensemble composed of Atlanta-area musicians. They made their debut on Atlanta's six-month-old radio station, WSB, on September 18, 1922. Until going off the air in 1926, they remained one of the station's most popular acts.
In 1924 Puckett accompanied fiddler Gid Tanner to New York, where, on March 7 and 8, they recorded twelve songs and tunes for the Columbia Phonograph Company. They were the first country-music artists to record for that firm. These recording sessions yielded vocal selections by Puckett and fiddle tunes by Tanner. One of Puckett's songs, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep," established him as probably the first country-music artist to yodel on records. Yodeling was employed as an embellishment by numerous country music vocalists well into the 1940s.
From 1929 Nov.4 Clayton McMichen, Riley Puckett, Lowe Stokes, Fate Norris, Bert Layne, Uncle Fuzz (prob. Frank Walker, Tom Dorsey (aka Dan Hornsby) recorded in Atlanta "A Night in a Blind Tiger" pt. 2. on Columbia Records and contined recording together on Blue Bird Records March 1934 San Antonio Texas.
Puckett was a charter member of the influential string band Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers and continued to record with the group through their last session in 1934. Puckett recorded as a solo artist into the early 1940s, creating a discography of more than 200 records on such labels as Columbia, Decca, and Bluebird. His repertoire included novelty songs, religious songs, traditional folk songs, cowboy songs, and ballads from the field of popular music.
Riley Puckett was one of the nationally known pioneer country music artists who gained experience and exposure at the Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' Conventions,Courtesy of Juanita McMichen Lynch,held in Atlanta between 1913 and 1935.
Puckett's most famous songs were 'Ragged but Right' and 'Darky's Wail'.
His dynamic single-string guitar playing, featuring dramatic bass runs, earned for him an enviable reputation as an instrumentalist. Many aspiring guitarists who followed him have studied and copied his style. Although he was an accomplished musician on several instruments, his singing was most responsible for establishing him as an important figure in the history of country music.
In addition to making records, he appeared in stage shows and worked on radio stations in Atlanta and other Georgia cities, as well as selected eastern and midwestern cities. Riley Puckett was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1986. He died of blood poisoning on July 13, 1946, in East Point, Georgia.


My two favorites of the moment are "Tie Me To Your Apron Strings (August 23, 1939)" & "Margie (February 5, 1940)"

"Tie Me To Your Apron Springs"
Tie me to your apron strings again
I know there's room for me upon your knee
Bring back all those happy hours when
you kissed my tears away from dayto day
I thought that I was right but I was wrong
Please take me back tonight where I belong
Sing acradle song to me and then won't you tie me to
your apron string again (Tie me to your apronstrings...
My little Margie,
I'm always thinking of you, Margie!
I'll tell the whole wide world I love you;
Don't forget your promise to me,
You know, I bought the home, ring and everything,
So, my little Margie, Margie, oh, you've been my inspiration,
Darling, you're the only one!
After all is said and done,
There is really only one,
Margie, Margie, it's you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Pogues: Hell's Ditch, 1990

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hell's Ditch is the fifth full-length album by The Pogues, Released in 1990, the album continued the group's slow departure from Irish music, giving more emphasis to rock and straight folk rock, and forsaking their earlier staples of traditional compositions almost entirely.
Several of the songs on the album have Asian themes, in sound or in content, notably "Summer in Siam", "The House of Gods", and "Sayonara", although only the latter has strong elements of a noticeably far-eastern tune. The song "Lorca's Novena" draws on MacGowan's affinity for Spain (particularly Almería, which he discovered years earlier when filming Straight to Hell), and one of its famous poets, Federico García Lorca. The song tells of the poet's murder by Francisco Franco's Nationalist supporters in the Spanish Civil War, and how his body, never having been recovered, was said to have walked away. "The Wake of the Medusa" is a first person narrative inspired by Théodore Géricault's painting The Raft of the Medusa, which appeared on the cover of the band's second album, Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. The title track "Hell's Ditch" is based largely on the life and writings of French author and playwright Jean Genet, in particular The Miracle of the Rose and Our Lady of the Flowers[1], and is typically MacGowan in its vulgar description of squalid life in prison.
The album was produced by The Clash's Joe Strummer, who later served as a temporary replacement for MacGowan when the band went on tour.

I've been enjoying this album since the mid 90's but am particularly enjoying "Lorca's Novena" this time around. A poem from Federico García Lorca. & the lyrics:

Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint

Never let me lose the marvel of your statue-like eyes, or the accent the solitary rose of your breath places on my cheek at night.
I am afraid of being, on this shore, a branchless trunk, and what I most regret is having no flower, pulp, or clay for the worm of my despair.
If you are my hidden treasure, if you are my cross, my dampened pain, if I am a dog, and you alone my master,
never let me lose what I have gained, and adorn the branches of your river with leaves of my estranged Autumn.
Lorca's Novena
Ignacio lay dying in the sand
A single red rose clutched in a dying hand
The women wept to see their hero die
And the big black birds gathered in the sky

Mother of all our joys, mother of all our sorrows
Intercede with him tonight
For all of our tomorrows

The years went by and then the killers came
And took the men and marched them up the hill of pain
And Lorca the faggot poet they left till last
Blew his brains out with a pistol up his arse

Mother of all our joys, mother of all our sorrows
Intercede with him tonight
For all of our tomorrows

The killers came to mutilate the dead
But ran away in terror to search the town instead
But Lorca's corpse, as he had prophesied, just walked away
And the only sound was the women in the chapel praying

Mother of all our joys, mother of all our sorrows
Intercede with him tonight
For all of our tomorrows