Nothing but ......

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nothing But The Blues XXII

Disc 22 is completely dedicated to the infamous Booker T. Washington White, better known as Bukka White. The life story of Bukka is one more of those unbelievable stories! Bukka was born in late 1906 in the Mississippi delta, as so many of his contemporaries. Booker learned to play the guitar at the age of 9 from his father, who was part-time railroader, part-time musician. Only two years later Booker was a proficient guitar and piano player.
At the age of 15 Booker left home to roam the delta. In 1930 he had his first recording session. But the music wasn't enough to live from, so Booker earned his money as a professional baseball player, or even as a boxer. The real discovery of Booker came in 1937 when he met Lester Melrose, a well known scout, in Chicago. But again his career went 'on ice' as Booker was sentenced and sent to prison for shooting a man. Now, the story goes that he made his first recordings for Melrose while he escaped after his arrest. Although he was recaptured shortly afterwards he recorded Shake' em On Down, which was an instant hit. In prison Booker recorded with Alan Lomax. But after his release he recorded 24 songs in just two days for Melrose.
When the Blues-scene more or less came to a stop during the mid 40's, Booker stopped as well. Only to resurface during the revival of the early 60's, to continue capturing his audience until he died in 1977.
On this disc the tracks 2 and 9 are from the 1937 Chicago session while he was running from the law. On these tracks there is a second guitar of which we do not know who is playing it. The other tracks date from 1940 (also Chicago) and are from the two days in the studios. On all these tracks Bukka is accompanied by Washboard Sam. Make sure you listen to Fixin' To Die Blues which was later re-arranged into Fixin' To Die for the 1962 debut album of Bob Dylan, called Bob Dylan.

The password = "scrooge".
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