RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jun 29, 2002 12:22 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-28-02 AT 08:30 PM (CST)]
lets go back a bit...Poor Bob ..Muddy..in the the same
state..same time frame...Muddy ran a Juke joint...never
booked Poor Bob...hmmm this
boy must have a Hollywood agent to pass this sort of stuff
off.

I'm not exactly sure what year Muddy started operating his juke, at least without going to the scores of books here in the shelves, but it wasn't as easy as Muddy calling Poor Bob on the phone and asking him to slip a date in to play in or around Clarksdale. Your doubts about Muddy's statements have absolutely no documentation to back them up. Some issues you did bring up; 2nd rate copyist, slimy bastard, and one who dismissed his influences, have easily been answered with correct documentation.

Are you really going to keep going with this...Poor Bob the
mega Delta Star ..( by Muddy's admission )who was a protegy
of Papa Charley and Son House ..and Muddy didn't see
him...AND then Muddy came up with some crap about maybe
seeing Poor Bob from a distance...Man that burns me beyond
belief...three cock crows before dawn...!

The only reason I keep going with this, as do you, is because you were the first one to post that Muddy dismissed his influences (see above where you said "by Muddy's admission"). It's been proven that he recognized his influences and rightly credited them with being the inspiration for his music. I'll go back to Gordon's new book and a quote from Muddy to clarify the point...
"I first heard him when he came out with 'Terraplane,' and I believe 'Walkin Blues' was on the other side. I always followed his records right down the line."
And Muddy refused to join the circle who claimed to have been running partners with Poor Bob. He might have wondered if it was Johnson he'd seen in Friar's Point, but remember he was questioned about this years after the fact. When shown a picture of RJ, Muddy stated that he believed that it actually was Johnson he saw. That seems to be the basis for you saying Muddy "came up with some crap about maybe seeing Poor Bob from a distance." I'd hasten to ask, if someone questioned you about a schoolmate, one you didn't know personally, and asked if you ever saw him, what your response would be. Granted, that particular person wasn't an icon or mega-star, but at the time, Robert Johnson wasn't either. He was what most of the Delta blues players were, primarily a regional artist. It wasn't until researchers began seeing the influence of Johnson on scores of other artists, that he became a legend or mega-star. Pretty much the same with Muddy. His direct influence on countless players can't be simply dismissed because you have some personal dislike. Let's see, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, a music magazine, a classic Bob Dylan song, and how many other people or things can we come up with that Muddy influenced?

Do you know ..thinking about it as I write I think Muddy
booked Poor Bob solid in his joint ..pulled his riffs and
then took advantage of Poor Bob's death and the lack of
information.

This malarky doesn't even deserve comment, so I'll close. But I do find it interesting that when asked who else deserves the title of "King of Chicago Blues" more than Muddy, you have no comment... nor on why Johnny Winter actually sought Muddy out... nor do you offer any sort of explanation on how you later called him a "required American icon." As to my recollection, an icon is a likeness or image of something holy...

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby dcblues » Sat Jun 29, 2002 2:05 am

The only thing I have to add right now, is that I'm glad this conversation is being kept pretty civil. On other boards, this would have quickly turned into a major flame war. Says a lot about the people who post here.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby houndog » Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:41 am

The general feeling on this list is Robert Nighthawk would be a decent contender for the originator of the Chicago sound.

I would point out that a true originator from the delta Louis Armstrong left New Orleans for Chicago in 1922,Muddy didn't go north to create the Chicago sound he was one of many who followed the standard migration route and who got very lucky.
I would also see Sonny Boy's "King Biscuit"recordings as a definite musical link between Nth+Sth blues...but that is only in my head and not written anywhere.
Also people should have a listen to the Chicago Blues Sessions"The Sutherland Lounge" May 1964 to hear other Chicago Blues threads.

My own view is that Ike Turner was the real unrecognised Delta >Chicago artist as the Chess"Rocket 88" outsold Muddy's singles nationally in 1951, it was also covered by that other required icon Bill Haley,coverage that Muddy's records did not.Chuck repaid the "compliment" with the Hillbilly"Ida Red"as "Maybelline".
(By icons what I mean is that we require icons to hang a number of concepts on ,so in the religious sense any icon like Christ,Budda,Hitler etc are those whom we imprint our hopes,fears and wishes on.So Bill Halley was a icon in that he was obviously white and so the white population could safely listen to the black music he was playing.Elvis is another obvious American icon, but I think he kicked down a lot more preconceptions/stereotypes than he was given credit for.)
Ike also brought The Wolf to the fore ,but he will best be remembered for trying to shoot Anna Mae Bullock sadly without success, rather than as a talent scout for the Chicago/North market.

But back to the Question...Muddy v.Wolf.

I still think that Elmore got overshadowed due to a early death....and he slipped in between Muddy and Wolf in Chicago in 1952 so how about Elmore....!

adios,
Lovat.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:46 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-29-02 AT 07:06 AM (CST)]>>The general feeling on this list is Robert Nighthawk would
be a decent contender for the originator of the Chicago
sound.<<

I won't decide what the general concensus is among others here, but what I did notice was that Nighthawk was regarded as another key element in Muddy's playing. I also noticed much more respect and regard for Muddy Waters. You seem to have some personal axe to grind.

>>I would point out that a true originator from the delta
Louis Armstrong left New Orleans for Chicago in 1922,Muddy
didn't go north to create the Chicago sound he was one of
many who followed the standard migration route and who got
very lucky.<<

Muddy did follow the standard migratory route, but his getting lucky had something to do with him playing what was Delta Blues in a way no one had managed yet... this time, plugged in, amplified, and distorted. And Armstrong's relationship to actual Delta Blues, the likes played by Son House, Willie Brown, Robert Johnson, and others, is a little far off the path. In New Orleans, he was playing Dixieland, but when recording in Chicago, it was called hot jazz, I believe. So does this mean Armstrong deserves credit for developing the Chicago Blues style?


>>My own view is that Ike Turner was the real unrecognised
Delta >Chicago artist as the Chess"Rocket 88" outsold
Muddy's singles nationally in 1951, it was also covered by
that other required icon Bill Haley,coverage that Muddy's
records did not.Chuck repaid the "compliment" with the
Hillbilly"Ida Red"as "Maybelline".<<

Ike Turner had little to do with Chicago, especially in this context. "Rocket 88," by Jackie Brenston, was recorded in Memphis by Sam Phillips and only leased to the Chess label. It wasn't recorded in Chicago, it was only issued from there. And since Ike Turner was also scouting talent for the Bihari brothers in California, does that mean you'd also credit Ike for developing the West Coast Blues style? Muddy's records might have been outsold by "Rocket 88" at the time, but Muddy's importance as a recording artist began a number of years before Mr. Brenston entered the Memphis Recording Service. And overall, Muddy's importance casts a much larger shadow on the future of music than Brenston, or Bill Haley. Muddy's recordings were also known to do quite well on the charts, both before and at the time you mention, he wasn't a one-hit-wonder like Brenston was.


>>Ike also brought The Wolf to the fore, but he will best be
remembered for trying to shoot Anna Mae Bullock sadly
without success, rather than as a talent scout for the
Chicago/North market.<<

Yes, Ike was responsible for bringing Wolf to the fore, but again, this was well after Muddy began his assault on music by playing Delta Blues in an amplified style and Wolf went to Chicago at the request of the Chess brothers, not at Ike's request.

DC, you're right about the general nature of those who participate here. Had this discussion been in some other site, it would have degenerated mighty quickly.

And SL, don't go off looking for Muddy's respect in other places... he deserves, and gets, plenty of it here... regardless of the personal vendetta one is trying to settle.

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby allanlummox » Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:02 pm

OK, ok, I'm gonna say it...

Every time Lovat refers to Robert Johnson as "Poor Bob", I wince.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:36 pm

Poetic license, probably, since Robert referred to himself as Poor Bob in "Cross Road Blues." And I'm now researching the possibility that Muddy's nefarious nature led him to hire Johnson to play his juke, just to lift some guitar licks! So far, I've found no evidence of this ever happening, but also, since Muddy seemed to capitalize on Johnson's early death, and the mystery of that death leading to Muddy's popularity, I could manage all sorts of unfounded, non-documented material...

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby houndog » Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:49 pm

Louis Armstrong...played with Bessie Smith , the Empress of the Blues.I am not connecting Muddy's playing with Louis , obviously one was a originator and you already know my views on the other, merely pointing out that the northern migration was a traditional path.
As you know Bessie Smith did not in any way see herself connected to the Blues as played by House/Muddy etc.
Although now you mention it... Louis did have to stand 10 paces back from Oliver when recording, that overheated New Orleans sound again.

Ike Turner....exactly that Blueswriter, the amplified guitar distortion he pushed left Muddy standing....and not just in the south or north..but nationally...!

"personal vendetta"...if that is what it feels like Blueswriter, lets shake hands and leave it..eh ?

best regards,
Lovat.

Jelly Roll Morton Allan " I'm a whinin' boy ...don't deny my name" ...Poor Bob, that's what he called himself...why the wince? Don't deny his name.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jun 29, 2002 5:15 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-29-02 AT 01:41 PM (CST)]>Louis did have to stand 10
paces back from Oliver when recording, that overheated New
Orleans sound again.<

I thought that was because of flatulence...

>Ike Turner....exactly that Blueswriter, the amplified guitar
distortion he pushed left Muddy standing....and not just in
the south or north..but nationally...!<

That West Memphis/Helena style was pushing distorted guitar prior to Ike Turner popping up. Guys with the names of Johnson, Wilkins, Kizart, Stackhouse, and others were playing through small, decrepit amps with blown speakers and the volume knob on eleven (does it actually go to eleven?) before Ike stepped in. My point was that Turner had little to do with the Chicago style itself, where you pointed out that he (Ike Turner) was a link. Certainly Ike can get some amount of credit for recordings that appeared on the Chess imprint, but the fact remains that he was producing sessions quite far from Chicago that were leased to labels like Chess and and the Bihari's RPM logo. Also, Wolf's music changed considerably once he began recording up North. Listening to the sides cut by Phillips and those done with the Chess brothers (proper) showed less of that violent-sounding West Memphis/Helena style (due in part to new sidemen, but also due to the influence of Chicago itself).

>"personal vendetta"...if that is what it feels like
Blueswriter, lets shake hands and leave it..eh ?<

No problem shaking hands... while not everyone sees eye-to-eye here, we have some highly interesting, engaging discussions. And as pointed out before, the good-natured folks who hang here generally steer clear of throwing flames out of spite. I'd hope that my posts on this thread aren't seen as that - they were in defense of an artist I admire and respect, without question. Some humor tossed in, some just documented evidence that I saw as necessary points in the discussion.

There's no vendetta in a 'me versus you' way, Lovat.

I've a need to get some more writing done...

best regards from here as well!

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby allanlummox » Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:03 pm

I recognised the reference...it's just pretentious.

Anyway, it's not as though Muddy SOUNDS particularly like Johnson...his music creates a completely different feeling, right from the earliest Lomax recordings.

Oddly, I find the idea of not liking Muddy Waters kinda hard to swallow...although I have met West Coast Acid Casualty Boomer types who met various old bluesguys in the 60's who said they liked the old Country Blues men...Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House...because they were so gentle but disliked the Electric guys because they were arrogant & rough...

Sounds like the Country darkies knew there place and the city ones didn't to me...Old Berkeley hippies are a LOT more reactionary & racist than they think.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:30 pm

I'm hoping that last sentence was NOT meant as a racial slur, but talk about pretentious! While someone not liking Muddy is hard to swallow, calling African-American blues players by that term isn't anywhere near acceptable. I'm sure it wasn't meant as derogatory, but it's hard to swallow considering you found it hard to accept that Lovat doesn't particularly care for Muddy. I'm not trying to open a can of worms here either, but I strongly believe that these blues players deserve far more respect than a reference such as that...

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby allanlummox » Sat Jun 29, 2002 9:20 pm

The problem seems to be that one person has a Wild Hare about Muddy's character...something that came to him in a fantasy, apparently, which Brit blues fans are wont to have.

So none of this Controversy will alter that...although I do enjoy the show of erudition.

(there's a promoter in Lincolnshire who introduces himself as "Mississippi" whatever-the-heck... he'd been there once...)
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sun Jun 30, 2002 1:41 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-29-02 AT 09:43 PM (CST)]Having re-read the post in question, I'll let Allan explain if he wishes. I did state in my first post to that term that I didn't think it was meant as derogatory, but you're correct that comments like that, whether actual quotes or just references to what someone else said, are better left alone.

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby allanlummox » Sun Jun 30, 2002 3:21 am

It was my intention to typyfy racist thought as objectionably as possible...

I refuse to let appearing politically correct hide the issue...
American racism needs to be discussed, argued about, made as public an embarassment as possible...

The opinions stated by the aforementioned aged hippies seemed like a glossed-over preferance for Uncle Remus, or Tom, or what have you.

Finding that in the old Bluesmen...whatever their style, whatever their mannerisms, bugs me.

Believe me, this is one of my BIG high horses.

I'd love to say it wasn't my intention to offend...but that would be a lie.

But believe me, I don't use words like that to typefy African Americans or members of ANY ethnic group.

I do feel likean erudite bunch like this can handle the subject.

BTW, anyone read Mojo's article about Living Blues magazine? he talks about something quite close to my own observances there...very eloquently.
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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby blueswriter » Sun Jun 30, 2002 11:54 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-30-02 AT 08:00 AM (CST)]>I refuse to let appearing politically correct hide the
issue...
American racism needs to be discussed, argued about, made as
public an embarassment as possible...<

Allan... while I agree that racism is something that needs to be discussed, I took exception to you using the term without prefacing it with some sort of explanation.

>Finding that in the old Bluesmen...whatever their style,
>whatever their mannerisms, bugs me.<

Am I correct in assuming that you had, or have, a problem with the fact that the older African-American bluesmen seemed like a more polite bunch who always minded their manners around white people? I'll wait for something here before I write anymore.

>I'd love to say it wasn't my intention to offend...but that
>would be a lie.<

I guess I don't quite understand a few things here... firstly, why you would intentionally offend is beyond me. If racism is an issue with you that needs discussing, I can see that as perfectly acceptable if it were worked into the forum with some background. You stated that you don't use words like that to typefy any ethnic race, yet in its context without explaining it, did you not generalize and make a broad-sweeping remark that did typefy an ethnic race?

>I do feel likean erudite bunch like this can handle the
>subject.<

I agree that this bunch can handle a topic such as the one now being tossed about and I don't mean to come across as a loudmouth, but discussions about racism that are started with intent to offend, as opposed to opening the eyes of others with grace and respect, bothers me greatly.

>BTW, anyone read Mojo's article about Living Blues magazine?
he talks about something quite close to my own observances
there...very eloquently.<

Having read Paul Garon's article previously, I read Mojo's piece and rebuttal and tend to agree with him fully. Garon does make rather large leaps to cover ground he believes in, and in doing so, just as Mojo pointed out, Garon makes himself look more ridiculous when comparing thoughts like falling off the edge of the earth and so on. Garon's allowed his thoughts, just as anyone else is, but as I said above, my problem was that you intentionally set out to offend.

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RE: Muddy vs. the Wolf..rant..rant

Postby allanlummox » Sun Jun 30, 2002 2:23 pm

OK...my original statement was to the effect that certain supposedly liberal "Berkeley Types" had expressed a liking for elderly African Americans with sweet manners shy and quiet, while disliking the more rowdy, raucus, drinking-and-gambling mannerisms of the Electric blues crowd. This is upon meeting them back in the Mythical days of yore.

I was personally offended by this...it seemed to me that their attitude was patronising in the extreme and thinly covered an ugly racism and a tendancy to stereotype.

It was not my specific intent to offend anyone here, BUT I did use the word I used (thank GOD it didn't start with N) in order to show racism up as archaic and offensive.

Perhaps I should have thought again...oh well, here we are discussing it.

It being the Skeleton in the closet.

As a young man singing the Blues, I was often confronted by folks who opined that Whites couldn't sing Blues...

Well, since I really wanted to sing Blues, I kept on anyway.

But I had to think about it.

I've been in bands with Blacks, and I've been in bands with Racist Whites who didn't like playing with other races...hard to understand in a Blues situation but true.

Personally, I feel that the fascination early blues holds for many educated, sensitive Whites is healthy and can help create understanding of the history of Race problems in America.
If these performers are seen as the men they were and not as stereotypes.

Mainly though the blues is music that I love..that I have loved since before I realised that it WAS music with any ethnic focus...(as a little kid, I had a bunch of my moms 45's from the 1950's, and it never occured to me that Jerry Lee Lewis & Little Richard might not sit at the same table-yes I know, that's Rock & Roll, but that was my introduction to the music)


It's a wide and wierd subject, Race and American Music...
Eddie Lang recording as Blind Willy Dunn so he could play on "Race" records with Lonnie Johnson, Mezz Mezzrow convincing himself that he had "become" a Black man...

Amadie Ardoin, the great Cajun Fiddler, beaten until he was blind in order to teach him some manners...

Little Ceramic Jazz musicians I'm starting to see for sale all over...like lawn jockeys with guitars and saxophones...
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