The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings from the 1920's and 30's

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Burgin Mathews
This ambitious and thought-provoking project turns to early black-and-white, religious, and secular traditions for antecedents to modern rap styles. Drawing from the commercial recordings of the 1920s and '30s, The Roots of Rap provides a broad sampling of rural voices straddling the lines of speech and song against the rhythms of piano, banjo, and guitar. The roots of rap, this collection argues, existed in early black work songs and in the Southern pulpit; in the performances of singing street evangelists; and in black vocal traditions such as the "dozens." Early forms of rap emerged in the vaudeville routines of minstrel and medicine shows, arising also in the country...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Burgin Mathews
This ambitious and thought-provoking project turns to early black-and-white, religious, and secular traditions for antecedents to modern rap styles. Drawing from the commercial recordings of the 1920s and '30s, The Roots of Rap provides a broad sampling of rural voices straddling the lines of speech and song against the rhythms of piano, banjo, and guitar. The roots of rap, this collection argues, existed in early black work songs and in the Southern pulpit; in the performances of singing street evangelists; and in black vocal traditions such as the "dozens." Early forms of rap emerged in the vaudeville routines of minstrel and medicine shows, arising also in the country humor and talking blues of many rural white performers. To illustrate its thesis, the album draws from some of the greatest performers of the period, including Blind Willie Johnson, Seven Foot Dilly, Butterbeans and Susie, and Memphis Minnie, whose extraordinarily funky "Frankie Jean" closes the set. Like the best of Yazoo's projects, this effort is carefully and intelligently constructed, as well as consistently entertaining.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/23/1996
  • Label: Yazoo
  • UPC: 016351201829
  • Catalog Number: 2018
  • Sales rank: 270,386

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 If I Had My Way I'd Tear the Building Down (3:12)
  2. 2 Cocaine Blues (3:18)
  3. 3 Bow Wow Blues - Allen Brothers (3:21)
  4. 4 Jive Man Blues (2:54)
  5. 5 Jonah In The Wilderness (2:57)
  6. 6 South Carolina Rag - Willie Walker (3:13)
  7. 7 Whitewash Station (2:45)
  8. 8 Automobile Ride Through Alabama - Red Henderson (3:17)
  9. 9 The Dirty Dozen No. 2 (2:59)
  10. 10 Tain't None O' Your Business (3:21)
  11. 11 It's a Good Thing (2:59)
  12. 12 She's a Hum Dum Dinger (From Dingersville) (2:47)
  13. 13 Papa's on the Housetop (2:57)
  14. 14 Let That Liar Alone - Rev. Edward Clayborn (2:37)
  15. 15 Back In My Home Town (3:04)
  16. 16 Track Linin - T.C.I. Section Crew (2:48)
  17. 17 Atlanta Strut (3:12)
  18. 18 Arkansas Hard Luck Blues (2:43)
  19. 19 How Can You Have the Blues? (2:53)
  20. 20 Pickin' off Peanuts - Seven Foot Dilly & His Dill Pickles (3:29)
  21. 21 Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out - Pinetop Smith (2:47)
  22. 22 When I Stopped Running I Was At Home (3:24)
  23. 23 Frankie Jean (That Trottin' Fool) (2:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leroy Carr Track Performer
Blind Willie Johnson Vocals, Slide Guitar, Track Performer
Blind Willie McTell Guitar, Track Performer
Memphis Jug Band Track Performer
Memphis Minnie Track Performer
Henry Thomas Track Performer
Jimmie Davis Track Performer
Speckled Red Piano, Track Performer
Allen Brothers Track Performer
The Beale Street Sheiks Track Performer
Butterbeans & Susie Track Performer
Frank Hutchison Track Performer
Luke Jordan Track Performer
Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom Track Performer
Rufus G. Perryman Piano
Willie Walker Track Performer
Lonnie Glosson Harmonica, Track Performer
John Dilleshaw Guitar
Prince Laval Vocals
The Dixieland Jug Blowers Track Performer
Technical Credits
Scrapper Blackwell Contributor
Leroy Carr Contributor
Blind Willie Johnson Composer
Memphis Jug Band Contributor
Memphis Minnie Composer, Contributor
Frank Stokes Contributor
Henry Thomas Contributor
Jimmie Davis Contributor
Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon Contributor
Pinetop Smith Contributor
Clifford Hayes Contributor
Allen Brothers Contributor
The Beale Street Sheiks Contributor
Butterbeans & Susie Contributor
James Cox Composer
Frank Hutchison Contributor
Luke Jordan Contributor
Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom Contributor
Earl McDonald Contributor
Dan Sane Contributor
Willie Walker Contributor
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey Contributor
Don Kent Producer, Liner Notes
Richard Nevins Producer, Remastering
Joan Pelosi Art Direction
Mozelle Alderson Contributor
The Dixieland Jug Blowers Contributor
Traditional Composer
Tom Dorsey Composer
Jimmie Cox Composer
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