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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1923-24) by Hazel Meyers

Label: Document Records
Release Date: May 14, 1996
Releases: September, 2000; July 5, 2005
Recording Time: 70 minutes
Recording Date: September, 1923 - June, 1924

Styles: Classic Female Blues, Pre-War Blues, Country Blues

Blues woman Hazel Meyers is said to have cut more than 40 sides for seven different labels in New York City during the years 1923-1926. Twenty-three of these were reissued in 1996 on Document 5430, as the first volume of her complete recorded works. As is the case with many of the nearly forgotten early female blues artists in the Document catalog, hardly any biographical data about Meyers has come to light. We know that she spent several years touring with a show called "Steppin' High", made her earliest records with pianist and composer Porter Grainger and aspiring bandleader Fletcher Henderson, and two of her last with young Fats Waller. Interestingly, on "Low Down Papa" and the "Graveyard Dream Blues" she is backed by pianist Leslie Hutchinson, destined for fame in Great Britain during the Second World War as "Hutch." Henderson, who was quite busy during the early to mid-'20s providing piano accompaniments for female blues singers, often brought along players from his jazzy little dance band. On this collection, for example, Meyers is heard with cornetists Joe Smith, Howard Scott, and Elmer Chambers, as well as clarinetist Don Redman. In June of 1924 she recorded with her Sawin' Trio, composed of cornetist Bubber Miley and two-thirds of the Choo Choo Jazzers: clarinetist Bob Fuller, and pianist Louis Hooper. Joe Smith, best known for his work with Bessie Smith, seems to have been well-suited for the measured, down to earth delivery of Meyers. Listen for Smith's subtly creative mute technique on the "Awful Moanin' Blues" and his expressive intonation during the "Mason-Dixon Blues." Eleven of this singer's later recordings were lumped together with titles by Edna Hicks and Laura Smith onto one CD (Document 5431) as "Volume Two" of their combined complete recorded works. Two more Meyers recordings subsequently surfaced on Document 1005 as Female Blues: The Remaining Titles, amidst 21 recordings by ten other women.
by arwulf arwulf

Credits: Lovie Austin - composer; Elmer Chambers - cornet; Bob Fuller - clarinet; Porter Grainger - piano; Fletcher Henderson - piano; Louis Hooper - piano; Alberta Hunter - composer; Leslie Hutchinson - piano; Hazel Meyers - primary artist, vocals; Bubber Miley - cornet; Johnny Parth - producer; Don Redman - clarinet; Howard Rye - liner notes; Howard Scott - cornet; Joe "Fox" Smith - cornet; Gerhard Wessely - remastering.

Tracks: 1) Wish I had you (and I`m gonna get you blues); 2) Love ain`t blind no more; 3) Graveyard dream blues (12048); 4) Graveyard dream blues (12049); 5) Low down papa (12050); 6) Low down papa (12051); 7) He`s never gonna throw me down (12208); 8) Awful moanin` blues; 9) Mason-Dixon blues; 10) Chicago bound blues; 11) Bleeding heart blues; 12) Down hearted blues; 13) `Tain`t a doggone thing but the blues; 14) Plug ugly (the worst lookin` man in town); 15) Heart-breakin` joe; 16) Don`t mess with me; 17) Don`t know and don`t care blues; 18) I`m gonna tear your playhouse down; 19) Pipe dream blues; 20) Black star line; 21) Papa don`t ask mama where she was; 22) I`m every man`s mama; 23) You better build love`s fire (or your sweet mama`s gone).