Carolina Blues – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works (1937-1947)
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The Complete Recorded Works (1937 – 1947)
Featuring the recordings of:
Floyd Dipper Boy Council (The Devils-Daddy-In-Law), vocal / guitar. Eddie Kellys Washboard Band: Eddie Kelly, vocal; accompanied by unknown, harmonica; unknown, kazoo on 7, 8, 12; unknown, guitar; unknown, washboard. Welly Trice, vocal / guitar; Richard Trice, guitar on 15. Rich (Richard) Trice, (and as Little Boy Fuller) vocal / guitar.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Carolina Blues, Country Blues Guitar, National Guitar, Blues Harmonica, Willie Walker, Blind Gary Davis,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. The geographical area in the south eastern United States known as the Piedmont stretches from Richmond, Virginia south to Atlanta, Georgia and is bordered by the Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Atlantic coastal lowlands to the east. It is a region with a rich tradition in black vernacular music that is well represented on record, particularly certain sections of the Carolinas. The territory around Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina spawned the guitar virtuosity of Willie Walker and Blind Gary Davis and this local style first achieved worldwide notice via Josh White. When Gary Davis relocated to Durham, North Carolina sometime after the First World War, the Greenville style he brought with him had an immense impact on Blind Boy Fuller and the group of musicians associated with him in that locale. Among the peripheral artists in Fullers circle were Floyd Council and the Trice brothers. Floyd Dipper Council was born in North Carolina in 1911 and learned guitar from George Letlow and Tommy Stroud around 1925-26. Letlow and Stroud were members of a local black string band known as the Chapel Hillbillies. According Letlow, interviewed in 1975, the first piece Council learned was the popular local pre-blues dance tune Swing Around My Long Tailed Blue, and as Councils abilities improved, he was added to the Hillbillies line-up. It was this association that led to his recordings, which had their genesis when local talent scout). J. B. Long expressed an interest in the string band. Council apparently persuaded Long to record him by himself and he travelled with Blind Boy Fuller to New York City for Fullers third set of sessions in February 1937. Council and Bull City Red accompanied Fuller on the two titles he recorded on February 6, and the next day, after Fuller cut two numbers alone, Council recorded his first three titles. Fuller had a remarkable talent for absorbing various styles and synthesizing them into a new sound all his own – an ability that makes it difficult to determine Floyd Councils. The six titles Council recorded have an assuredness that suggests he was more than the mere follower of a local tradition and there is some internal evidence to support this notion. Bruce Bastin has hypothesized that Councils I Dont Want No Hungry Woman with its going down in Tin Can Alley… verse may have been the inspiration for the similar imagery in Fullers Death Alley. Based on the evidence presented in Red River Blues, it appears that Willie Trice and Council were friends for several years and were well-known local musicians (as was Gary Davis), but neither had heard of Fuller before he began recording. He was rediscovered and interviewed by Pete Lowry and Bruce Bastin in 1969 and reputedly died circa June 1976 in Sanford, North Carolina. The Trice brothers were born in North Carolina (Orange County) – Willie in 1910 and his younger brother Richard in 1917. When Blind Boy Fullers records first appeared in 1935, Willie walked the six mile distance to Durham to meet the guitarist. A solid friendship began, and when Fuller contacted the Decca company with the idea of making additional records, he arranged for the Trices to accompany him. Bruce Bastin relates that they arrived in New York at two in the morning and were soon on the street performing prior to Fullers session on Monday, July 12, 1937. Richard moved to New Jersey in 1946 where he played locally with Lester Jackson, a guitarist from South Carolina. He recorded as Little Boy Fuller for Savoy that year and again in 1947 before returning to Durham and his partnership with Willie. In the mid-1950s Richard joined the church and Willie found other musicians to perform with until he retired sometime in the 1960s. Pete Lowry convinced Willie to return to performing in 1969 and he continued in earnest until his death in December 1976. Nothing is known about Eddie Kellys Washboard Band other than session details. They were recorded on location in Charlotte, North Carolina by the Victor field unit at a session dominated by the popular Heavenly Gospel Singers. Their Poole County Blues is most likely a mistitling for Polk County, which is on the border of North Carolina, not far from Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina. Their jaunty, washboard driven sound has elements of the black and white shared pre-blues tradition which were taken to nationwide popularity by western swing bands like Milton Browns Brownies and Bob Wills Texas Playboys.Ken Romanowski Copyright 1993 Document Records.