Blind Boy Fuller – Complete Recorded Works 1935 – 1940 Vol 6 (1940)
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Blind Boy Fuller
Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order 23 July 1935 – 19 June 1940
Vol. 6: (5th March to 19th June 1940)
Featuring the recordings of:
Blind Boy Fuller, vocal / guitar; Sonny Terry, harmonica on 1, 4, 5; Oh Red, washboard on 1, 3, 4, Sonny Terry And Oh Red (Blind Boy Fullers Boys): Sonny Terry, harmonica / vocal; Blind Boy Fuller, guitar / speech; Oh Red, washboard. Blind Boy Fuller (as by Brother George And His Sanctified Singers on 9, 10), vocal / guitar; Sonny Terry, harmonica on 8, 10/ vocal on 9; Oh Red, washboard on 8, 9, 10 / vocal on 9. Blind Boy Fuller (as by Brother George And His Sanctified Singers on 19, 20, 21, 22), vocal / guitar; Sonny Terry, harmonica on 12, 13, 14, 17, 22/ vocal on 19, 20, 21; Oh Red, washboard on 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22/ vocal on 19, 20, 21, 22.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Carolina Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Harmonica, Gospel, National Guitar
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. At the beginning of 1940 Blind Boy Fuller was experiencing the medical problems that would eventually lead to his death early the following year. If his health was indeed failing, the sessions that took place in March 1940 gave no evidence of it. Step It Up And Go and Shake It, Baby were as spirited as any of the dance pieces Fuller ever recorded, J. B. Long contributed the powerful Three Ball Blues, and Little Woman Youre So Sweet was one of the most original songs associated with the guitarist. In addition, the religious pieces that were being released as by Brother George And His Sanctified Singers now included Fuller for the first time. A version of Gary Davis Twelve Gates To The City was recorded and, although it lacked the intensity of Davis performance, it still had a nice commercial swing to it that was helped along by Sonny Terrys harmonica and Oh Reds (Bull City Red) washboard. By the time of the June session, though, Fuller was sounding somewhat tired on the blues numbers. The four sanctified titles were in marked contrast with this. The particular standouts were No Stranger Now and Jesus Is A Holy Man which appear to bear more than a passing resemblance to the Chicago Sanctified Singers 1935 ARC release of I Aint No Stranger Now/Tell Me What Kind of Man Jesus Is. Both of the Fuller tracks are high energy, storefront gospel performances with guitar, washboard, and group vocals, and there is a palpable emotional atmosphere that compares favourably with the originals (no mean feat in itself). Perhaps Blind Boy Fuller was becoming concerned with his health and turning toward religion for relief. This hypothesis is supported by Richard Trice, who recalled that, before he died, Fuller swore that if he recovered he would forsake blues singing. He was in and out of the hospital for the last six months of his life during which time his bladder infection worsened until he died on February 13, 1941. A major chapter in the history of the blues had come to an end.
Ken Romanowski Copyright 1992 Document Records