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Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1923-1924) by Virginia Liston

Label: Document Records.
Release Date: May 20, 1996.
Releases: September 7, 2000; July 5, 2005.
Recording Time: 68 minutes.
Recording Date: September 18, 1923 - October 25, 1924.

Styles: Classic Female Blues, Early Jazz.

Featured Artist: Virginia Liston.

An obscure but talented classic blues singer, Virginia Liston recorded 36 selections during 1923-1926. The first 23 are on this Document CD. Although Liston did not have any hits, many of her recordings are memorable. Vol. 1 is highlighted by "You Thought I Was Blind but Now I See," "You Can Have It (I Don't Want It)," "Early in the Morning," and "You've Got the Right Keyhole." The latter two songs have Liston joined by Clarence Williams' Blue Five, which at the time included cornetist Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet (on clarinet and soprano), and trombonist Charles Irvis. All of the other selections have Williams on piano (usually solo) except for "Jail House Blues," which has a guitarist who might possibly be Bechet (in his only recording on the instrument). As usual, Document does an excellent job of reissuing obscure recordings complete and in chronological order. Collectors of 1920s classic blues will want this set and its follow-up, Vol. 2.
by Scott Yanow

Credits: Louis Armstrong - cornet; Sidney Bechet - clarinet, guitar, sax (soprano); Steve Brown - composer; Willie Brown - composer; Henry Butler - composer; Buddy Christian - banjo; Ernest Elliott - clarinet; Porter Grainger - piano; Sam Gray - duet, primary artist, vocals; Eddie Green - composer; Bob Higgins - composer; Charlie Irvis - trombone; Virginia Liston - duet, primary artist, vocals; W. Benton Overstreet - composer; Johnny Parth - producer; Steven C. Tracy - liner notes; Traditional - composer; Sylvester Weaver - guitar; Gerhard Wessely - remastering; Clarence Williams - composer, piano.

Tracks: 1) Bed time blues; 2) You thought I was blind but now I see; 3) You don`t know my mind blues; 4) Sally Long blues; 5) Don`t agitate me blues; 6) Happy shout; 7) House rent stomp; 8) Shreveport blues; 9) You can have it (I don`t want it); 10) Just take one long last lingering look; 11) I don`t love nobody; 12) `tain`t a doggone thing but the blues; 13) Jail house blues; 14) Mississippi blues; 15) I never knew what the blues were (until you went away); 16) San Francisco blues; 17) Pineland blues; 18) Weeping willow blues; 19) Early in the morning; 20) You got the right key, but the wrong keyhole; 21) Give it to me good; 22) Bill Draw; 23) Monkey jungle blues.