Label: Document Records.
Release Date: November 21, 1995.
Releases: June 28, 2005.
Recording Time: 68 minutes.
Recording Date: October 1927 - August 1928.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.
Styles: Classic Female Blues, Pre-War Blues.
Featured Artists: Irene Scruggs, Martha Copeland.
One of many early blues and jazz women who were overshadowed and ultimately eclipsed by Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, and Bessie Smith, Martha Copeland made about three dozen recordings during the 1920s that were reissued seven decades later on two CDs by the Document label. The second volume traces her Columbia recording activity from October 1927 to August 1928. Her little backing group, billed as her Smokey City Trio on December 6, 1927, was named after Copeland's home town of Pittsburgh, PA. "Wylie Avenue Blues" refers to the main drag in the Lower Hill District where the city's African-American population was concentrated. Her pianists during this period were Porter Grainger (tracks one through six); Rube Bloom (on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "My Daddy Can't Do Nothin' Bad"); James P. Johnson (on "Somethin' Goin' on Wrong" and "Desert Blues"); and J.C. Johnson, who is joined by cornetist Bubber Miley on "Mama's Well Has Done Gone Dry" and "I Ain't Your Hen Mister Fly Rooster." The second half of this compilation holds a smattering of records cut by St. Louis blues woman Irene Scruggs between April 1926 and August 1930. On "Home Town Blues" and "Sorrow Valley Blues," Scruggs was backed by King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators, a rough-edged little group that included trombonist Kid Ory and clarinetist Albert Nicholas; at the same session, Oliver's band backed Georgia Taylor as she sang "Jackass Blues." Scruggs is heard with guitarist Lonnie Johnson on tracks 15 and 16, and the disc closes with five titles recorded for Gennett in Richmond, IN, at the end of the summer of 1930. Anyone seeking more recordings by Irene Scruggs ought to investigate her collaborations with Blind Blake and Little Brother Montgomery, all dating from 1930.
by arwulf arwulf
Credits: Clarenc Adams - clarinet; Rube Bloom - piano; Martha Copeland - accordion, primary artist, vocals; Dorothy Fields - composer; Bob Fuller - clarinet; Porter Grainger - piano; Johnnie Hardge - primary artist; J.C. Johnson - piano; James P. Johnson - piano, speech/speaker/speaking part; Lil Johnson - composer; Lonnie Johnson - guitar; Ralph "Shrimp" Jones - violin; Jimmy McHugh - composer; Andrew Mead - sax (alto); Bubber Miley - cornet; Johnny Parth - producer; Irving Peskin - clarinet; Irene Scruggs - composer, primary artist, vocals; Deloise Searcy - piano; Gerhard Wessely - remastering; John Wilby - liner notes.
Tracks: 1) Shootin` star blues - Martha Copeland; 2) Good time mama blues - Martha Copeland; 3) Wylie Avenue blues - Martha Copeland; 4) Everybody does it now - Martha Copeland; 5) Bank failure blues - Martha Copeland; 6) Second-hand daddy - Martha Copeland; 7) I can`t give you anything but love - Martha Copeland; 8) My daddy can`t do nothin` bad - Martha Copeland; 9) Somethin` goin` on wrong - Martha Copeland; 10) Desert blues - Martha Copeland; 11) Mama`s well has done gone dry - Martha Copeland; 12) I ain`t your hen mister fly rooster - Martha Copeland; 13) Home town blues - Irene Scruggs; 14) Sorrow Valley blues (c-230) - Irene Scruggs; 15) Lonesome valley blues - Irene Scruggs; 16) Sorrow Valley blues (80820) - Irene Scruggs; 17) Worried love, part 1 - Dixie Nolan, Johnnie Hardge (Irene Scruggs and Johnny Hodges); 18) Worried love, part 2 - Dixie Nolan, Johnnie Hardge (Irene Scruggs and Johnny Hodges); 19) You've got what I want - Irene Scruggs; 20) I want you to give me some - Irene Scruggs; 21) My back to the wall (16975) - Irene Scruggs; 22) Borrowed love (16977) - Irene Scruggs; 23) The voice of the blues - Irene Scruggs.