Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works – Blues, Ballads, Rags & Gospel In The Songster Tradition (1927-1938)
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The blues as a musical form emerged around 1900. When recordings of blues music began in 1920 it was a more sophisticated form of, later termed the “Classic Blues”, a mixture of jazz and blues that was first offered to the record buying public. It would not be for another seven years that the popularity of the older form of the blues known as the “Country Blues” would reach popularity with the recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson.
Reaching further back, into the 19th century, was the older tradition of the “songster”. The term ‘songsters’ was originally taken from a ‘songster‘, which was a song book, but the term was adapted by Afro-Americans to mean a singer (often self-accompanied by guitar, vocals and harmonica). Songsters were all-rounder musicians, whose broad repertoire would take in a diverse selection of styles including blues, ballads, ragtime and religious pieces. These were often itinerant musicians who would typically perform in travelling circus’s, minstrel and medicine shows etc.
The ‘Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice’ set of three CDs features a historical showcase of this rich and diverse genre of music. The set comprises of material taken from DOCD-5003 and DOCD-5045 merged with 28 ‘new’ tracks previously unavailable on Document. The fourteen musicians featured on this set include Eli Framer, Cedar Creek Sheik, Robert Hill, Virgil Childers, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Boy Cleveland and Hambone Willie Newbern who was the first artist to record Roll and Tumble Blues (subsequently recorded by Muddy Waters and later covered by 1960s British super group The Cream).