Saturday Matinee – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Dixon and a Big Wad of Blues

Sister Rosetta Tharpe‘s  version of “Didn’t It Rain” (Manchester, England in 1964). She exemplified the musical connection between gospel, blues and rock and roll. The song first appeared as piano sheet music in 1927, but I’d guess it dates to the 1800s [h/t Bunkessa].

What a treasure trove this is [via]. In the early 1960s The Blues was largely ignored in the U.S., yet many classic artists found a receptive audience  in Britain. From the Utoobage description:

“Recorded live for TV broadcast throughout Britain, these historic performances have been unseen for nearly 40 years. Filmed with superb camera work and pristine sound, 14 complete performances and 4 bonus performances are included by Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Junior Wells, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”

Spotted Willie Dixon on bass in that vid, so let’s post this:

Yeah, he stuttered in real life, yet Dixon wrote and performed an incredible amount of classic blues tunes.

This compilation should hold you for a while. Have a great weekend, folks, and may you never be nervous.

Saturday Matinee – Jerry Lee Lewis, Joan Jett, The Blasters, Big Joe Turner

Great cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s “The Wild One.”  Here’s Jerry Lee Lewis’ version of “Wild Child.”

Although Iggy Pop did a great cover (here’s the instrumental track if you want to sing along), Joan Jett’s version is pretty good, and looky who shows up on the street.

Speaking of covers, here’s The Blasters’ 1981 version of Little Willie John’s “I’m Shakin’.” From the Wikipud:

Phil Alvin explained the origin of the band’s name: “I thought Joe Turner’s backup band on Atlantic records – I had these 78s – I thought they were the Blues Blasters. That ends up it was Jimmy McCracklin. I just took the ‘Blues’ off and Joe finally told me, that’s Jimmy McCracklin’s name, but you tell ‘im I gave you permission to steal it.”

Big Joe Turner was a great big band blues singer in the early days of rock and roll rhythm and blues. “Shake, Rattle and Roll” was his first big hit in 1954, but was coopted by Bill Haley & His Comets (who cleaned up the lyrics for the white folks).

That’s all for now, have a great Memorial Day Weekend, see you back here tomorrow.

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