Roosevelt Sykes Vol 5 1937-1939
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The Complete Recorded Works 14 June 1929 15 December 1944
Vol. 5: 29th April 1937 to 13th April 1939
Roosevelt Sykes (The Honey Dripper), vocal / piano. Art McKay, vocal; accompanied by Odell Rand, clarinet; Roosevelt Sykes, piano; unknown, stand-up bass. Roosevelt Sykes, (The Honey Dripper), vocal / piano; unknown, imitation bass added on 7; unknown, vibes, added on 9. Roosevelt Sykes (The Honey Dripper), vocal / piano. Roosevelt Sykes (The Honey Dripper), vocal / piano; probably Sidney Catlett, drums.
Genres; Blues, Blues Piano, Arkansas Blues, Chicago Blues. Jazz,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Not long turned 30 in 1937, Roosevelt Sykes was by now well established with Decca, recording regularly and composing a string of popular and influential songs: Night Time Is The Right Time, for instance, was recorded by numerous artists over the years, from Big Bill Broonzy to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Sykes himself wrote a second version in 1938 to capitalize on the originals success. Mistake in Life (which also generated a follow up – see DOCD-5121) survived through to the 50s, when it was recorded by artists as diverse as Big Maybelle, Willie Nix and Pinebluff Pete. In the same decade, Monte Carlo Blues was remembered by Stormy Herman (Colbert) of the Dixie Blues Boys and elements from Sykes recordings crop up in sometimes surprising places, as when Little Willie Foster incorporated lines from two songs on this album into Crying The Blues. Sykes was a master of double entendre and it seems evident that Decca encouraged him to explore this talent, as can be heard on Bread Pan (Just My Size), Hard Lead Pencil and Ice Cream Freezer, which wasnt issued at the time, probably because of its implied reference to miscegenation (Some like vanilla and strawberry, but black walnut is all I crave). Ingenious and witty though his double meanings could be, there was more to Roosevelt Sykes than this; occasionally, if seldom very successfully, his admiration for Fats Wailer emerged, as on Love Lease Blues and when he wasnt being the boisterous, self confident man about town, he could come up with startling, bitter commentaries on the pains of love. Many of his songs were far from tranquil, whether they were outrageously bawdy or sadly reflective. This album presents a cross-section of both kinds, cut in a little under two years.Chris Smith Copyright 1992 & 2008 Document Records