Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, August



Jackey Coyle’s Wordy-Gurdy on Helen Jennings’ Roots of Rhythm

PBS 106.7 FM, 9.15–45 a.m
Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Replaying an old Cab Calloway album the other day, I was knocked out again by the hepcat lyrics and thought of hunting down some other great songwriting for this show.

Then journo and music buff Andra Jackson facebooked a link to Cab's Hepster Dictionary of Jive, published around 1939. It made great reading and seeing as it's the anniversary of Cotton Club stablemate Count Basie this Friday, a show was born.

Where else to look for some lyrics than down south in Tennessee? So we began slow and pensive, continued with some gospel and ended with the suave sophisticate himself.

From The Oxford American Southern Music CD #15 featuring Tennessee:
Sid Selvidge, ‘That’s how I got to Memphis’ (Tom T Hall), originally from I should be blue (2010)
Sid was a member of Mud Boy & the Neutrons, an influential Memphis rock band in the 1970s through 1990s. The group featured Sid on acoustic guitar and vocals, with Jim Dickinson on keyboards, vocals and guitar, and released three albums.

Two sons of Dickinson (Luther and Cody), formed the North Mississippi Allstars and Selvidge's son Steve founded a group called Big Ass Truck.
Dickinson died in 2009 and Selvidge in 2013.
Gus Cannon, ‘Can you blame the coloured man’ (Gus Cannon), originally a 78 on Paramount (1927)

On 16 October 1901, soon after moving into the White House, Theodore Roosevelt invited his advisor, the African American ex-slave Booker T Washington to dine with him and his family. This provoked such an outpouring of condemnation from the South that no other African American was invited to dinner for almost thirty years.

Deborah Davis published a book on this dinner in 2012: Guest of Honor 

William Lee Ellis, 'Where would I go’ (William Lee Ellis),  originally on Conqueroo (2003)

William Lee Ellis was named after his godfather, bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe and his father, Tony Ellis, was one of Monroe's Blue Grass Boys.

The Fisk University Jubilee Singers, ‘Ain’t no grave can hold my body down’ (trad), The Estate of Johnny Cash (2003)

This was recorded live at Johnny Cash's funeral.

Something within’ (Lucie Campbell), Buddy & Julie Miller and the McCrary Sisters, original recording for OA, 2013

Lucie Campbell was known as the mother of gospel music, having composed more than 100 songs. This is her first, written in 1919.

From Cab Calloway | Minnie the Moocher, The International Music Company:

Cab Calloway,  ‘Two blocks down – turn to the left’ (T Powell, D Rogers)
‘Everybody eats when they come to my house’ (J Burns)

From Cab's Hepster Dictionary of Jive:
Cat (n): musician in swing band. 
Chick (n): girl. 
Chime (n): hour. Example, "I got in at six chimes." 
Clambake (n): ad lib session, every man for himself, a jam session not in the groove. 
Chirp (n): female singer. 
Cogs (n): sun glasses. 
Collar (v): to get, to obtain, to comprehend. Example, "I gotta collar me some food"; "Do you collar this jive?" 
Come again (v): try it over, do better than you are doing, I don't understand you. 
Comes on like gangbusters (or like test pilot) (v): plays, sings, or dances in a terrific manner, par excellence in any department. Sometimes abbr. to "That singer really comes on!" 
Cop (v): to get, to obtain (see collar; knock). 
Corny (adj): old-fashioned, stale. 
Creeps out like the shadow (v): "comes on," but in smooth, suave, sophisticated manner. 
Crumb crushers (n): teeth. 
Listen live here.

Ruffy gig: Paul Williamson's Hammond Combo this Saturday!
Dinner from 6pm, playtime 8pm at Ruffy Store.
Ruffy is 15 minutes north of Euroa.
Bookings 03-5790 4387