Label: Document Records.
Release Date: March 8, 2005.
Recording Time: 59 minutes.
Recording Date: April 26, 1927 - 1955.
Release Info: Studio Recording.
Styles: Acoustic Blues, Black Gospel, Country Blues, Early Jazz, Gospel, Harmonica Blues, Old-Timey, Pre-War Country Blues, Pre-War Gospel Blues, String Bands.
Featured Artists: Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, Marylin Scott, Sonny Boy Williamson, One String Sam, Norfolk Jazz and Jubilee Quartets, Williamson Brothers and Curry, Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks), Doctor Peter Clayton (Cleighton), Professor Hull, Harlem Hamfats, Jazzbo Tommy and His Lowlanders, Smokey (Andrew) Hogg, Sonny Terry, Ramblin' Thomas, Big Bill Broonzy, Herschel Brown, Memphis Night Hawks (Alabama Rascals), Ida Cox and Her All Star Band, Four Blazes (see also Five Blazes), Johnny Shines.
Document Records has released some 900 titles over the years, giving the label the world's largest in print catalog of vintage American roots music, and its archival reach encompasses rare 78s and field recordings from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s in all avenues of music, including blues, jazz, country, and gospel, as well as several hybrids that defy classification. As a historical source, no label, not even Smithsonian Folkways, has done a more thorough job of tracing the early roots and branches of American vernacular music and making it available in affordable editions. Which is why the label's new Shortcuts sampler series is such a great idea, since it allows listeners a budget-minded peak into Document's vast backlist. My Babe is the third in this series, and it yields several neglected gems, including Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's proto-rock & roll rave-up "Where Did You Stay Last Night?," recorded in 1951, and the Norfolk Jazz Quartet's assured and unaccompanied "Stand By the Bedside of a Neighbor," recorded in North Carolina in 1938. The eerie, primal sound of One String Sam playing what used to be called a diddley bow on "My Baby Ooo," recorded in Detroit in 1956, is another highlight, as is the equally bizarre "Blaze Face Cow" by Jazzbo Tommy & His Lowlanders, recorded in Arkansas in 1937. Jazzbo Tommy, in this case, was Tommy Settlers, and his kazoo playing simply defies both gravity and reason. It may be true, as some say, that it has all been said, sung, and shouted a thousand times over, but the kinds of 78s that Document assembles in its collections prove that, no matter what, you haven't heard it all. - Review by Steve Leggett
Document Records: Document Shortcuts represents some of the very best in American Roots music and together they provide one of the finest show case samplers available on the market. There is so much good music in the Document Catalogue and these samplers are an excellent way of taking a shortcut into the biggest catalogue of vintage blues, jazz, gospel, boogie-woogie and country music in the world. Maybe you already know something about Document, maybe (to use a music biz term) you are just "scratching the surface". Either way, here is a clip, a snippet, an appetizer made up from great tracks found within the catalogue. The songs and music will bring you the full spectrum of human emotion; from humour, often with tongue firmly placed in cheek, to sadness, sometimes reaching a spiritual, emotional level. The music found on Document is about so many different things; things that we will recognise, regardless of our nationality, religion, colour, politics, education, class or wealth and that is because it is unashamedly about real life as you and I have known it, either for a moment or a lifetime. "You can hear a certain type of record playin'. You can be feelin' very normal, nothin' on your mind, period. But it's somethin' on that record hits you. It's somethin' that you have happened in your life." - John Lee Hooker. Each CD booklet provides an introduction to Document, full track details and original discographical details with references to the Document CDs that each track is taken from.
Credits: Barbecue Bob - guitar (12 string), primary artist, vocals; Alfred Bell - cornet; Artie Bernstein - string bass; Jimmy Bertrand - drums, washboard; Big Bill Broonzy - composer, guitar, primary artist; Herschel Brown - primary artist; Buddy Burton - piano; Prentice Butler - string bass; Charlie Christian - guitar; Peter J. Clayton - composer; Peter Cleighton - primary artist, vocals; Melvin Coldten - baritone (vocal); Ida Cox - composer, primary artist, vocals; Ernest "Big" Crawford - bass; Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Blind John Davis - piano; Willie Dixon - string bass; The Four Blazes - primary artist; Edmond Hall - clarinet; Lionel Hampton - drums; Harlem Hamfats - primary artist; Ernie Harper - piano, vocals; Andrew Harris - string bass; Norman "Crip" Harris - tenor (vocal); Fletcher Henderson - piano; Robert Hicks - composer; J.C. Higginbotham - trombone; William "Shorty" Hill - guitar; Andrew Hogg - guitar, vocals; Andrew "Smokey" Hogg - primary artist; Paul Linsley "Jelly" Holt - drums; Darnell Howard - clarinet, sax (alto); Bob Hudson - piano; Jazzbo Tommy's Lowlanders - primary artist; Ransom Knowling - bass; Little Walter - harmonica; Robert Lockwood, Jr. - guitar; Ezekiel Lowe - piano; Horace Malcolm - piano; Charlie McCoy - guitar, mandolin; Floyd McDaniel - guitar; Memphis Nighthawks - primary artist; Punch Miller - clarinet, guitar, piano, sax (alto), trumpet; Herb Morand - composer, trumpet; Norfolk Jazz Quartet - primary artist; Oh Red - washboard; One String Sam - primary artist, vocals; Hot Lips Page - trumpet; Professor Hull - vocals; Professor Hull's Anthems Of Joy - primary artist; Odell Rand - clarinet; Judge Riley - drums; Jimmy Rogers - guitar; Charles Saunders - drums; Marylin Scott - composer, guitar, primary artist, spoken word, vocals; L.K. Sentell - guitar; Tommy Settlers - kazoo, vocals; Johnny Shines - composer, guitar, primary artist, vocals; Raymond Smith - tenor (vocal); Sonny Terry - harmonica, primary artist, vocals; Henry Thomas - composer; Ramblin' Thomas - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Traditional - composer; Len Williams - bass (vocal); Pearlis Williams - drums; The Williamson Brothers - arranger, primary artist; Arnold Williamson - fiddle; Irving Williamson - guitar, vocals; Sonny Boy Williamson II - harmonica, vocals; Sonny Boy Williamson I - composer, primary artist.
Tracks: 1) Where Did You Stay Last Night - Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup; 2) I Got What My Daddy Likes - Marylin Scott; 3) Mellow Chick Swing - Sonny Boy Williamson; 4) My Baby Ooo - One String Sam; 5) Stand By The Bedside Of A Neighbour - Norfolk Jazz and Jubilee Quartets; 6) Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand - Williamson Brothers and Curry; 7) Jambooger Blues - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 8) Black Snake Blues - Doctor Peter Clayton (Cleighton); 9) Everybody Talkin' 'Bout Heaven Ain't Gin' There - Professor Hull; 10) Hamfat Swing - Harlem Hamfats; 11) Blaze Face Cow - Jazzbo Tommy and His Lowlanders; 12) Kind Hearted Blues - Smokey (Andrew) Hogg; 13) Harmonica & Washboard Breakdown - Sonny Terry; 14) Ground Hog Blues - Ramblin' Thomas; 15) How Much You Want It Done ? - Big Bill Broonzy; 16) New Talking Blues - Herschel Brown; 17) Wild Man Stomp - Memphis Night Hawks (Alabama Rascals); 18) Hard Times Blues - Ida Cox and Her All Star Band; 19) Chicago Blues - Four Blazes (see also Five Blazes); 20) So Glad I Found You - Johnny Shines.