Musty's Early Influences (Country, blues, jazz, folk, etc)


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Thread: Musty's Early Influences (Country, blues, jazz, folk, etc)

  1. #1

    Talking Musty's Early Influences (Country, blues, jazz, folk, etc)

    MUSTY’S EARLY INFLUENCES (Country, Blues, Jazz, etc)


    Hi. I’m planning on a 100 greatest artists list (well, really, it’s my favorite artists lists and you probably already know who number one is going to be). Before I start on that though, I thought I might mention some of the early artists that pre-dated the rock era. Some were big influences on the evolution of rock n roll while others are just artists I happen to like. So I’m going to start on the next post. Please feel free to comment as I’ll leave an index on this post so you don’t miss anything



    THE CARTER FAMILY
    BILLIE HOLIDAY
    WOODY GUTHRIE
    LEADBELLY
    HANK WILLIAMS
    LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANNY FIVE
    NAT KING COLE
    JIMMIE RODGERS
    SPIKE JONES AND HIS CITY SLICKERS
    ROBERT JOHNSON
    SON HOUSE
    THE WEAVERS
    Last edited by mrmustard615; October 6th, 2019 at 01:52 PM. Reason: adding links in thread
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  2. #2
    THE CARTER FAMILY (Country, bluegrass, folk)


    Note: This is on the original Carter Family who recorded in the 1920s and 1930s.




    Favorite Songs: Keep On the Sunny Side of Life, Can the Circle Be Unbroken, Worried Man Blues

    For a long time, the only song I had really heard was Keep On the Sunny Side of Life, recorded in 1928. More recently, I’ve listened to probably a dozen songs from this very influential trio. The trio was formed by A.C. Carter, his wife Sara, and her sister Maybelle. They hailed from southwest Virginia and auditioned for record producer Ralph Peer of Bristol, Tennessee and released their first single, Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow in late 1927. The next year, they recorded a cover of Keep On the Sunny Side of Life, the song that got my attention. It remains my favorite song of the 1920s. Wildwood Flower followed in 1929, then they recorded a slew of singles in the mid to late 1930s, the best known song being Can the Circle Be Unbroken. By the 1940s, the original generation gave way to a new generation of Carters from the offspring of Sara and Maybelle. One of Maybelle’s daughters was none other than June Carter who, of course, would later marry Johnny Cash.

    The Review: So where do I rate the Carter Family? Well, to be honest I’m not much of a fan of bluegrass and yet, I could listen to this group forever. They write well crafted songs and, of the songs they didn’t write, they have good taste in what they cover. They are a group I like to listen to when I feel like listening to earlier folk sounds.

    Links to some of their songs:
    Keep On the Sunny Side of Life:
    Can the Circle Be Unbroken:
    Worried Man Blues:


    Rating (out of ten): 7.5
    Last edited by mrmustard615; September 21st, 2019 at 08:12 PM. Reason: typos
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  3. #3

    BILLIE HOLIDAY ( jazz, blues, torch singer)



    Favorite Songs: Strange Fruit, God Bless the Child, Summertime, Willow Weep For Me

    The ultimate torch singer, Billie Holiday’s career stretched over two decades from 1934 until her tragic death in 1959. Born in Philadelphia but raised in Baltimore, she moved to New York in the early 1930s and would soon embark on her jazz career as she became part of the Harlem Renaissance. After recording with Benny Goodman, she embarked on her own career recording classics such as Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child. Strange Fruit is especially unique for its subject matter which happened to be about racism and lynching in the American South, a controversial topic at the time. Holiday’s career flourished well into the 1940’s before drug addiction began to get the best of her. Still. Even with the arrests, her career flourished and she entered one more golden era in the 1950’s in her Lady Sings the Blues phase. Her career would be cut short tragically when her alcohol use led to cirrhosis of the liver and she died in a New York hospital in 1959. Ironically she was arrested for narcotics on her death bed so the cops must have been disappointed when they weren’t allowed to haul her corpse to jail.

    The Review: Really, I divide Billie Holiday’s music into two era’s, the 1930’s and 1940’s which was probably more consistent. She was bold with her subject matter and I loved her voice. She seems a little more inconsistent in the 1950s, possibly because of some of the material she was given but she still would be able to belt out classics like Willow Weep For Me and I’m a Fool To Want You, off her last album, Lady in Satin in 1958.

    Links to some of her songs and albums.

    Strange Fruit
    God Bless the Child
    Willow Weep For Me
    Lady in Satin (album)


    Rating (Out of ten): 7

    Thanks to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Holiday and The Official Website of Billie Holiday https://billieholiday.com/bio/ for information.
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  4. #4

    WOODY GUTHRIE (Folk)




    Favorite Songs
    : Vigilante Man, America First, Jesus Christ

    Pretty much the standard for all folk artists since, Guthrie, perhaps more than anybody in the 1940s, had a pulse of the mood of the average person. He started out singing songs as a hobo during the Great Depression. Those days where he was often hungry and being rousted by police had an influence on his writing which, at times, could be seen as radical. Even now, I wouldn’t doubt if some of today’s conservatives would still consider him something of a subversive. He wrote songs that supported the working man for the most part. He was also something of a patriot when he blasted the likes of Charles Lindbergh (America First) and penned songs such as All You Fascists and even had written on his guitar This Machine Kills Fascists. Eventually, Huntington’s Chorea would take the best of him and he eventually would be confined to a bed and then, hospitalization. He died in 1967, but his legend lives on, through his son, Arlo, and through various tributes such as the Mermaid Avenue albums that Wilco and Billy Bragg recorded in the late 1990s.

    The Review: As much of a fan of folk as I am , especially with protest folk (Dylan, Phil Ochs, etc), I haven’t heard as much of Woody Guthrie as I would like to. Having said that, I’m very impressed with the songs I have heard. One thing about Woody, you always know where he stood. His lyrics were always to the point whether he was supporting union rights, supporting the war effort, or simply singing about freedom as in This Land Is Your Land, which was a popular song in my elementary school music classes.

    Woody Guthrie Links:

    Vigilante Man
    America First
    Dust Bowl Ballads (album)

    Rating (Out of Ten): 9

    Thanks to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for information: https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/woody-guthrie
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  5. #5

    LEADBELLY ( Folk, blues)







    Favorite Songs: Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Gallis Pole, John Henry, Mr. Hitler

    Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, received his first instrument, an accordion, at 15. He soon would be playing guitar and played at bars while he travelled. He had to stop when he fell ill and had to move back in with his parents. When he recovered, he ran afoul of the law twice. He was serving time for murder when he received a pardon from Texas governor Pat Neff. Five years later he would be imprisoned for attempted murder in Louisiana. It was in prison there where he was discovered by folklorist John Lomax and Leadbelly found himself playing prisons upon his release in 1934. He began recording in 1935 but spent the rest of his life as a relative unknown. It was only after the Weavers recorded his composition Goodnight Irene that people began to hear of Leadbelly. His reputation has continued to grow posthumously.

    The Review: In some ways he is the African American Woody Guthrie. He is certainly comparative to Guthrie both in his musical style and the quality. Like Guthrie, he wasnít afraid to tackle the issues of the day whether he was blasting Alabama in Scottsboro Boys or railing against fascism in Mr. Hitler. If you like folk music, I think it would behoove you to listen to this artist. He certainly is a relief from the usual pop standards of the 1930s and 1940s.

    Leadbelly Links:
    Goodnight Irene
    Where Did You Sleep Last Night
    Mr. Hitler
    Gallis Pole

    Rating (Out of ten): 8
    More information on Leadbelly can be found here: https://www.blackpast.org/african-am...die-1888-1949/
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  6. #6

    HANK WILLIAMS (Country, Honky Tonk)





    Favorite Songs: Long Gone Lonesome Blues, Kaw-Liga, I’m a Long Gone Daddy, Lovesick Blues

    Not much introduction needed here. One of the big influences on country music, Hank Williams was also quite influential with early rock n roll artists as well as the country rock movement that began in the late 1960s. At his best, he was able to craft such country swing classics as Hey Good Lookin, Jambalaya, and Your Cheatin Heart. He was a big star on country radio in the late forties/early fifties and was riding high when he was killed in an auto accident at the age of 29 in early 1953.

    The review: I would be lying if I said I’ve heard every song from this man but I have liked what I did hear. I can see why he was such an influence, especially in country music. You might notice that I didn’t mention his best known songs among my favorites, not there is anything wrong with them. I tend to like the songs of his that have a bit more swing to them. Drinking affected some of his output but he never seemed to wane from the quality of his recordings. Not a favorite artist of mine but he deserves all the accolades as one of the great influences of 20th century music.

    Hank Williams links:
    Long Gone Lonesome Blues
    Lovesick Blues
    The Hank Williams Memorial Album

    Rating (Out of ten): 7.5

    Notable bio link: https://alancackett.com/hank-williams-biography
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  7. #7

    LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANNY FIVE (Jazz, Swing, Jump Blues)




    LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANNY FIVE (Jazz, jump blues)

    Favorite Songs: Saturday Night Fish Fry, Iím Alabama Bound, Ration Blues, Caldonia

    Part of the swing era initially, Louis Jordan would be one of the pioneers of the Rhythm and Blues movement that would be such a huge influence on rock n roll. His songs were tinged with humor throughout and was a welcome respite during the World War II years. Indeed he would release material in the early and mid 1940s meant to boost the morale of fighting soldiers overseas. As the forties turned into the fifties, Jordan and his Tympanny Five would incorporate beats more in tune with what would become rock n roll. Still, his sales would decline, and Jordan would move on to more conventional jazz sounds. Nevertheless, he remains one of the true pioneers of rock n roll.

    The Review: To be honest, I havenít heard everything from this band or from Louis Jordan himself, but what I have heard I can say I do like the humor of his material. I canít say I can get into everything ( I still donít get Five Guys Named Moe), but there are some gems in his material and he is certainly a good listen for those interested in the progression of rhythm and blues.

    Louis Jordan Links:

    Caldonia
    Saturday Night Fish Fry
    Five Guys Named Moe
    Ration Blues

    Rating (Out of Ten) : 7

    Bio link: https://www.furious.com/perfect/louisjordan.html
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmustard615 View Post


    Favorite Songs: Strange Fruit, God Bless the Child, Summertime, Willow Weep For Me

    The ultimate torch singer, Billie Holiday’s career stretched over two decades from 1934 until her tragic death in 1959. Born in Philadelphia but raised in Baltimore, she moved to New York in the early 1930s and would soon embark on her jazz career as she became part of the Harlem Renaissance. After recording with Benny Goodman, she embarked on her own career recording classics such as Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child. Strange Fruit is especially unique for its subject matter which happened to be about racism and lynching in the American South, a controversial topic at the time. Holiday’s career flourished well into the 1940’s before drug addiction began to get the best of her. Still. Even with the arrests, her career flourished and she entered one more golden era in the 1950’s in her Lady Sings the Blues phase. Her career would be cut short tragically when her alcohol use led to cirrhosis of the liver and she died in a New York hospital in 1959. Ironically she was arrested for narcotics on her death bed so the cops must have been disappointed when they weren’t allowed to haul her corpse to jail.

    The Review: Really, I divide Billie Holiday’s music into two era’s, the 1930’s and 1940’s which was probably more consistent. She was bold with her subject matter and I loved her voice. She seems a little more inconsistent in the 1950s, possibly because of some of the material she was given but she still would be able to belt out classics like Willow Weep For Me and I’m a Fool To Want You, off her last album, Lady in Satin in 1958.

    Links to some of her songs and albums.

    Strange Fruit
    God Bless the Child
    Willow Weep For Me
    Lady in Satin (album)


    Rating (Out of ten): 7

    Thanks to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Holiday and The Official Website of Billie Holiday https://billieholiday.com/bio/ for information.

    You gave Billie a rating of 7?
    I take back the reputation post I gave you.
    On a scale of 1 to 10, Billie was an 11.
    She did more to shape Blues than probably any other blues singer since Bessie Smith.
    Some days I listen to nothing BUT Billie. Even now, almost 70 years after her death, her music is still relevant.
    Hell, I just heard her in the Mrs Maisel soundtrack the other day.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmustard615 View Post




    Favorite Songs: Long Gone Lonesome Blues, Kaw-Liga, I’m a Long Gone Daddy, Lovesick Blues

    Not much introduction needed here. One of the big influences on country music, Hank Williams was also quite influential with early rock n roll artists as well as the country rock movement that began in the late 1960s. At his best, he was able to craft such country swing classics as Hey Good Lookin, Jambalaya, and Your Cheatin Heart. He was a big star on country radio in the late forties/early fifties and was riding high when he was killed in an auto accident at the age of 29 in early 1953.

    The review: I would be lying if I said I’ve heard every song from this man but I have liked what I did hear. I can see why he was such an influence, especially in country music. You might notice that I didn’t mention his best known songs among my favorites, not there is anything wrong with them. I tend to like the songs of his that have a bit more swing to them. Drinking affected some of his output but he never seemed to wane from the quality of his recordings. Not a favorite artist of mine but he deserves all the accolades as one of the great influences of 20th century music.

    Hank Williams links:
    Long Gone Lonesome Blues
    Lovesick Blues
    The Hank Williams Memorial Album

    Rating (Out of ten): 7.5

    Notable bio link: https://alancackett.com/hank-williams-biography


    Okay, how can you give Hank Senior a 7.5 rating?
    Hank Williams was the very definition of country music.
    Literally, if you look up country music in the dictionary, there's a picture of Hank.
    Tis why it was such a big deal when he got fired from the Opry. It would be like the Catholic Church firing Jesus.

  10. #10

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