Rev. Edward W. Clayborn – Complete Recorded Works 1926-1929 (1926-1928)
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Rev. Edward W. Clayborn (The Guitar Evangelist)
Complete Recorded Works 1926 1928
Featuring the recordings:
Rev. Edward W. Clayborn (The Guitar Evangelist), vocal, guitar.
Genres: Gospel, Guitar Evangelist, Bottleneck-slide Guitar, Alabama Gospel,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. The Rev. Edward W. Clayborn played an open tuned guitar, a simple and insistent alternating bass line, a melody confidently stated on the treble strings with a bottleneck and homespun, homiletic, lyrics which were the ingredients that combined to produce the success of Vocalion 1082, Your Enemy Cannot Harm You (But Watch Your Best Friend). The record was the culmination of efforts by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company of Chicago (whose prior success was in the business of manufacturing billiards and bowling equipment) to launch their Vocalion Race numerical. Vocalion was competing with the already established Okeh, Columbia, and Paramount Race Catalogues which had achieved sales success with a variety of vaudville singers, vocal quartets, jazz ensembles, down home blues performers, and singing preachers with their congregations. Your Enemy Cannot Harm You and The Gospel Train is Coming helped put Vocalion on the map as a serious contender in the Race market and guaranteed Rev. Edward W. Clayborn‘s future recording dates. By the end of January 1927 he was back in the studio to record five titles which remain unissued; by April that same year he was in Chicago and produced six more titles, including remakes of There’ll Be Glory and the lyrically outstanding Let That Lie Low. It may be expected that listeners seek clues to Clayborn’s personality in his lyrics, as there is little else to base a profile upon. Paul Oliver supplies the tenuous thread that Clayborn shared a session in Chicago with Hound Head Henry and Charles “Cow Cow” Davenport – information consistent with the notion that Clayborn was from the Alabama vicinity, where Davenport had strong ties. Clayborn has been categorised by some as a metaphorical one-trick pony, and this is not entirely unjustified. However, Clayborn’s records were never intended to be listened to en masse, and the simple beauty and unadorned faith of tricks like In Time Of Trouble Jesus Will Never Say Goodbye conceal a depth of religious conviction.Rev. Edward W. Clayborn‘s complete 1929 recordings plus one alternate take are on DOCD-5154 (remainder by Blind Joe Taggart and Gussie Nesbit) Ken Romanowski Copyright: 1993 Document Records