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Blues Experts!!! I need your help!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by ONYX, Apr 17, 2001.

  1. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I am trying to find the original recording group/individual of two blues numbers that my band covers in our set list. They have been considered " standards " within our musical circle for so long that nobody can remember who recorded them first. If anyone has ANY idea or clue, it would be extremely helpful! Here they are:

    1) Lookin' Back ( this sounds like it may have been a Yardbirds or maybe even a John Mayall tune, but this is only a wild guess.)

    2) The Blues been good to me. ( some years ago I was given an old beat up cassette tape with this tune on it. The recording quality is very poor, but it sounds like it may be from the 70's--maybe.)

    These are the only clues that I have. If you think that you might know something more, please pass it along.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    First one is Otis Rush, if it's the same "Lookin' Back. He composed it and it's on a couple of his albums. Ruth Brown's version may have been more popular. (Ever hear her do, "Momma, He Treats Your Daughter Mean"?)

    Second one was either B.B. or Albert King, I think. B.B., especially, speaks of the blues as if they were a person. Plus, the "to me" is a King-ism.

    If you guys are into blues, ever hear of Henry Townsend? As a teen in St. Louis, I used to work with his wife, Vernell, (what a story she is, waving a pistol around), and knew their kids. Had barbeque at their house, too.
  3. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Thanks! :D That's a HUGE help!
    I'm curious as to what the original versions sounded like, now I should be able to track them down.

    BTW, I have heard of Henry Townsend. I read an article about him in a music publication some time ago.
  4. Well now that you got your question answered i have some good stuff to listen to
    Try to find a disk called Muddy and the Wolf
    John Mayall disk with Clapton.
    Paul Butterfied has some great disks.

    All have songs you have probally heard.
    All have songs that are considered standards in the blues world.

    Just figured i would share some of my favorites.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    RickBass, I was thinking BB King on that song, too. I just dialed in here, so give me a few hours to dig through my CDs and see if I can't find that song.

    I also think I have a Townsend CD hidden in amongst all the rest. I'll dig it out and give ita listen, knowing someone I "know" actually has met the man.

    Ruth Brown has just the most amazing, powerful voice...better than Koko Taylor's, IMO. (But I admire Taylor, too, and wish she'd write a book of her life and times. I have a duet she did with BB King. Wonderful stuff...so emotional.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Hey Jason - Missed you for a while! Did a load of coke wash up at Boynton/Del Ray? ;) If you would, let us know. I'm pretty sure it was one of the Kings and some collaborator.
    I also think I have a Townsend CD hidden in amongst all the rest. I'll dig it out and give ita listen, knowing someone I "know" actually has met the man.

    The networks don't know what they're missing in not making a documentary about the guy, his family, and their friends. They raised their kids to be so mannered and respectful, yet they have kind of a wild world around them. You must be hardcore to have something by him. ___________________________________________

    Ruth Brown has just the most amazing, powerful voice...better than Koko Taylor's, IMO. (But I admire Taylor, too, and wish she'd write a book of her life and times. I have a duet she did with BB King. Wonderful stuff...so emotional. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I agree. Other than the KoKo's growls, her voice isn't as forceful or polished as Brown's, IMO. KoKo sounds less urban to me, but how can you not love "Wang Dang Doodle"? (Thank ya, Mr. Dixon). I have a recording of an LP set I borrowed from the city library that starts off with rare recordings of fieldhands doing the call and response thing, and the recordings show how it progressed into the later stuff, including Brown's. Raitt is always giving props to Slippie, but I think she got an earful of Ruth along the way, too.

    (Sorry for the crapped up quoting of the original post. Jeez, I wish I knew the html or whatever to break up messages and insert responses. Just inserting words used to work on some forums :confused: )
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    OK, I've dug around and come up short. I listened to Albert King's "I'll Play the Blues for You" thinking it might have those words. It didn't, but I'm always happy to hear that wonderful song and never tire of it.

    Then I checked out BB King's "Why I Play the Blues", thinking that "The blues has been good to me" might be an intro. No luck.

    Then I checked my "Definitive Blues" fake book which has lyrics and notation to 99 blues standards. No luck.

    I'm thinking Elmore James...maybe. But I need to dig in my dustiest shelves to search it out. Or Howling Wolf. This takes research, but it is great fun. However, it could even be a British "blues" group like the Animals.

    (BTW, none of that cocaine washed up my end of the Intracoastal. Maybe the loggerhead turtles got it before it came to shore. If so, I bet they partied as never before on that stuff. I live right on the Intracoastal, but all we ever see washing up is coconuts. We do see the occasional manatee. They are just supercool.)

    You know, my blues collection has NOTHING by Bonnie Raitt's friend and mentor Slippie. There are some bad gaps in my collection as I bought what suited my fancy and had no systematic approach. I should fill in holes sooner or later, but there's always something else getting priority these days. Sigh.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Onyx, I'm enjoying searching out these songs, but could you tell me more info?

    Are they sung by a man or woman? Are the bands acoustic or electric? Are there keys, horns, Hammond organ, two guitars, a harmonica, or is it more of a stripped down band with just guitar, bass and drums. BTW, are there drums?

    Knowing the structure of the bands will help me narrow my search. Also knowing if the music is more Delta blues, more Chicago, more rock/blues or what? That gives me more to go on.

  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Suggestion - If you want to verify the King credit, you could hop over to CDNOW and see if they got `em. They usually show track credits.

    I'm solid on Otis Rush.
  10. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Well, as far as " Lookin Back" is concerned, I've never heard a recording of it! I do know that the hook verse is : " I was lookin' back to see if she was lookin' back to see if I was lookin' back at her." I've heard countless cover bands play this number, and every version is slightly different.

    With " The Blues been good to me ", the recording sounds like it would have been sometime in the 70's. I'm basing this on the musical style of the song. It's definitely a male singer. The bands composition is probably drums, bass, guitar, keys, and an organ; but not a Hammond. More like a church or gospel style organ. No horns either.
    Like I mentioned earlier, the recording quality is extremely poor. The only other info that I can provide is the opening lyric: " I was raised on a backwood road, made me a guitar, from a piece of wood........". ( I'm sorry to admit that even after playing this tune hundreds of times, I've never payed attention to the lyrics----after all, I'm only the bass player! ;) ). It's a typical 12 bar blues format. After the V chord, at the end of the 12 bar phrase, there is a full stop and then the hook line " the blues been good to me.".

    That's about all I can drum up at the moment. If I think of anything more, I'll post it.
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Onyx, if you go to Amazon.com and type in "Something Inside of Me" under popular music, you will be taken the Little Jimmy King's album. You can actually hear a Real Audio sample of "Blues Been Good to Me" and see if it is the same song...though it probably isn't the original artist that you have on your tape.

    The "Looking Back to See If She Was Looking Back at Me, etc." is a country and western song...I thought. Let me didg around more and see what I discover knowing more information.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Okay, Jason, you made me look it up. The song is a "King/Turner" collaboration. Possibly Ike or Big Joe with one of the Kings?
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    RickBass, one of my posts didn't get posted. I followed your suggestion and discovered that you were right on about Otis Rush and Ruth Brown's having each recorded a "Looking Back" song and also discovered that "Blues Been Good to Me" is a King/ Turner collaboration and I guessed the Turner was Ike. Somehow that wasn't posted. I want to make sure you get credit for being right.

    Also, "Looking Back" has been recorded by such unlikely folks as Nat King Cole and others, but I suspect it isn't the same song at all. "Looking Back" in some phraseology is a common theme in music.

    Anyhoo, "Looking Back to See If She Was Looking Back at Me...etc." was originally recorded by Justin Tubb of the Grand Ole Opry years ago. It has more recently been recorded by country singers, The Browns, and an Australian country duet, STeve and Audrey?? (of all things.) Still, I don't know if that is the exact song Onyx refers to, as he is calling it blues and it is more bluegrass than blues. It definitely has that "twang" sound to it.

    Funny, though, my dad used to sing that song to me when I was a little kid. I had long thought it was a World War II big band kind of thing along the lines of "Maires ee Doats" and "Flat Foot Floogie With the Floy-Floy." Maybe even an old Spike Jones comedy song.

  14. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    J-O, would that be Albert or B.B. King that you refer to ?
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Jason - Thanks. I really don't care about any credit for me, but for the credit the due to the original composers and musicians. Blues is sort of a tragic irony in that the people who originally made the music usually don't make squat off of it or get any props.

    As for that Turner, I'm still leaning towards Big Joe, but Ike was prolific. :confused:
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I totally agree that blues musicians, especially the ones of the mid-fifties and before get little or no recognition or respect for what they have done. They share that sad state of affairs with their early jazz brethren.

    Now...I have this old brain compartmentalized. To me Big Joe Turner is a jump blues artist (ex. "Shake, Rattle and Roll") and Ike Turner is more 50s/60s rythmn-and-blues (Ex. "Proud Mary"). That said, either one could easily have composed the song in question. Still, I'm leaning toward Ike Turner. He did play a purer blues originally, if I recall correctly (and I may not.)

    If there were some way we could actually hear the song in question, we'd have a lot easier time figuring out who played it and who possibly wrote it.

  17. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Onyx, in answer to your most recent question, it could be Albert King, Freddie King or BB King. I've listened to songs from each that I thought might contain the lyrics or phrases you mentioned and none do have that hook..."blues been good to me."

    That doesn't rule them out, but I'm now beginning to think it could be from a broader spectrum of living or deceased artists such as Buddy Guy, Gary Moore, Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Ronnie Earle, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon, Tinsley Ellis, etc. So I will keep searching as it is very interesting to me, for some reason. Maybe I just like that phrase.

  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Jason - You have a good ear. I got saturated by a lot of Turner's less bluesier, more urban, soul stuff. My older brother went to some St. Louis high school dances where the Ike & Tina Turner Revue would play and I'd go along and listen from outside the gyms since grade school kids couldn't get in.

    Not getting recognition/paid for your compositions would definitely make me sing the blues. ;)
  19. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Thanks for your efforts in this matter!! A local mystery has been solved!

    Now the question is: Do I tell everyone or should I just keep it to myself? Hmmm............? ;)
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Onyx, which mystery was solved? Did RickBass and I find one or both of your songs or should I keep looking?


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