Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1923)

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1923)

by George W. Williams
     
 

In 1997 Document added to an already dizzyingly diverse catalog of reissued historic material by releasing the complete recorded works of George Williams and Bessie Brown, among the first black vaudeville duos to make records for a major label. The grand early 20th century tradition of the African-American husband-and-wife act was best defined by See more details below

Overview

In 1997 Document added to an already dizzyingly diverse catalog of reissued historic material by releasing the complete recorded works of George Williams and Bessie Brown, among the first black vaudeville duos to make records for a major label. The grand early 20th century tradition of the African-American husband-and-wife act was best defined by Jodie "Butterbeans" Edwards and Susie Hawthorne. The trail blazed by Butterbeans & Susie was also trod by Leola "Coot" Grant and Kid "Sox" Wesley Wilson, who adapted their act to the extent that it fit with slightly more modern developments, enabling them to make records with Sidney Bechet in the 1930s and '40s. When compared with skilled comedians like these, Williams and Brown might come across as peculiarly slow and less talented. For this reason it is better to listen to them in their own context, which is that of old-styled vaudeville standup comedians who trundle out routines that were relatively new at the time and clearly resonated with audiences who had domestic issues of their own. The pianist on all but five titles was Fletcher Henderson (Alexander Brown kneads the ivories on tracks nine through 12, and Lemuel Fowler plays piano on "Scat! Mr. Sweetback"), and several sessions were also visited by members of Henderson's own band. These were cornetist Howard Scott (tracks 13, 14, 19, and 21), trombonist Charlie Green (tracks 19 and 21), and saxophonists Don Redman (tracks 15 and 16) and Coleman Hawkins (tracks 22 and 23). Williams sings alone on tracks six, seven, eight, 15, 16, and 20, while Bessie Brown's first recording session without Williams (she sings "Hoodoo Blues" and "How Can I Get It [When You Keep on Snatchin' It Back]") has staid guitar accompaniment by Roy Smeck, billed here as Alabama Joe. On her "Mississippi Delta Blues" and "Pork Chop Blues," note again the presence of young Coleman Hawkins. This is wonderfully antiquated music, and the song titles indicate that independently and as a team, Williams and Brown drew upon the standard repertoire for their brand of entertainment during the mid-'20s. Their approach and the records they left behind stand comparison with Alfoncy and Bethenea Harris, Jazz Caspar and Louella Jones, and Mike Jackson and Mabel Richardson. Each of these duos (in addition to several other vaudeville acts) appear in fact on Document 5528, the sequel to this volume.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/03/1997
Label:
Document
UPC:
0714298552720
catalogNumber:
5527

Tracks

  1. Satisfied Blues  - George W. Williams
  2. Double Crossin' Daddy  - George W. Williams
  3. You Need Some Lovin'  - George W. Williams
  4. If Mama Quits Papa, What Will Papa Do?  - George W. Williams
  5. Papa, Don't You Mean Your Mama No Good?  - George W. Williams
  6. A Woman Get Tired of One Man All of the Time  - George W. Williams
  7. The Gal Ain't Born Who Can Treat Me Like You Do  - George W. Williams
  8. I'm Goin' out Tonight and Strut My Stuff  - George W. Williams
  9. You Ain't Quittin' Me Without Two Weeks' Notice  - George W. Williams
  10. I Won't Stand No Leavin' Now  - George W. Williams
  11. It Takes a Brownskin Man to Make a High Yellow Blue  - George W. Williams
  12. He's Never Gonna Throw Me Down  - George W. Williams
  13. No Second-Handed Lovin' for Mine  - George W. Williams
  14. If You Hit My Dog I'll Kick Your Cat  - George W. Williams
  15. Hard Headed Gal  - George W. Williams
  16. I'm Tired of Begging You to Treat Me Right  - George W. Williams
  17. How Can I Get It (When You Keep on Snatchin' It Back)  - George W. Williams
  18. Hoodoo Blues  - George W. Williams
  19. I Can Do What You Do  - George W. Williams
  20. Chain Gang Blues  - George W. Williams
  21. When You Go Huntin', I'm Goin' Fishin'  - George W. Williams
  22. Mississippi Delta Blues  - George W. Williams
  23. Pork Chop Blues  - George W. Williams
  24. Scat! Mr. Sweetback  - George W. Williams

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