Playlist for Wednesday June 4, 2008
hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kim Logue
1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders
In 1964 Syd Barrett joined a band in London called The Tea Set. When the band found themselves billed to play a gig with another band of the same name, Syd came up with an alternative name for the band: "The Pink Floyd Sound". They soon dropped "Sound" from the name calling themselves The Pink Floyd, and eventually just Pink Floyd. Syd borrowed the names of 'Pink' and 'Floyd' from the names of two Carolina bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council, having plucked them out of Paul Oliver's liner notes for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller Album which read: "Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen [...] Pink Anderson or Floyd Council -- these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys."
Piedmont Blues is characterised by a fingerstlye guitar method common to many folk and blues traditions where steady rythmic bass notes are thumbed on the low strings and the melody and ornamentation are fingered on the high strings. Piedmont blues musicians tended to employ a lot of older ragtime techniques and rhythms which differentiated them from Mississippi Delta area finger pickers. The Piedmont (literally 'foot hill') refers to the plateau region between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian Mountain range extending from New Jersey down through the Carolinas to Alabama.
2. Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay - Blind Boy Fuller
Blind Boy Fuller was born Fulton Allen in Wadesboro, North Carolina on July 10, 1907, one of a family of 10 children. His mother died while he was young and he moved with his father to Rockingham where he learned field hollers, rags and blues from older singers and started playing guitar. He married as a teen and began working as a labourer but, having lost his sight, turned to playing music full time. There are two stories regarding his blindness: one has a Charlotte doctor offering a diagnosis of ulcers behind his eyes brought on by damage caused by what researcher Bruce Bastin calls "some form of snow-blindness"; the other story is that an ex-girlfriend threw chemicals in his face. In 1935 James Baxter Long, a record store owner scouting for the American Recording Company, took him to New York to record. He was renamed "Blind Boy Fuller" and made over 120 records over the subsequent five years, establishing himself along with Reverand Gary Davis and Blind Blake as a preeminent example of the Piedmont Blues style. He was a heavy drinker with a violent temper and was briefly jailed in 1937 for shooting his wife in the leg with a pistol. He died in 1941 from alcohol related ailments .
3. Runaway Man Blues - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
Floyd Council was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on September 2, 1911. He started out as a street singer along with his brothers, Leo and Thomas, in the 1920s. In the 1930s, he frequently accompanied Blind Boy Fuller as second guitar, and was taken to New York City in 1937 by John Baxter Long to record with Blind Boy Fuller, though he also recorded six solo tracks during a second visit to New York in December 1937. These were initially issued under the name "Blind Boy Fuller's Buddy", though the record company also tried to promote him with the names "Dipper Boy Council" and "The Devil's Daddy-in-Law". He likely would have become much better known during the 60's Folk & Blues revival if it wasn't for ill health. He suffered a stroke in the 1960s which impaired his motor skills and partially paralyzed his throat. He died of a heart attack in 1976.
4. Greasy Greens - Pink Anderson
Pink Anderson was born in Laurens, South Carolina on February 12, 1900 and raised in the upstate town of Spartanburg. At the age of 14 he became a medicine show musician, entertaining the crowds while Dr. Kerr of the Indian Remedy Company hawked his "medicines". Dr Kerr sold his elixers until his retirement in 1945, employing Pink Anderson for a good 30 years. Pink learned and played the blues "after hours" and, in 1928, recorded a handful of tracks for Columbia Records. His career as a bluesman was resurrected somewhat during the 1960s Folk and Blues revival. He died of a heart attack in October 1974. All the Pink Anderson recordings on this episode of Sugar In The Gourd date from 1961.
5. I'm Grievin' And I'm Worryin' - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
6. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1 - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
7. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
8. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2 - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
9. Mother - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
10. Goodbye Blue Sky - Luther Wright & the Wrongs
Luther Wright and The Wrongs conceived their project of a full-on Country & Western cover of Pink Floyd's The Wall as they idly picked along to the radio while passing travel hours in their tour van. It was a crazy idea but the more they explored it the more the themes and structure of the songs from Roger Waters' epic 1979 operatic rock concept album seemed to lend themselves to a country adaptation. The band recorded the album over 6 months in 2001 and initially (and quietly) pressed a CD of the first half as Rebuild the Wall Volume One, planning to release Volume Two when they had full licensed clearance on the project. However, when Roger Waters received the project with enthusiasm and wrote to The Wrongs himself saying he enjoyed the CD and offered his blessings, they opted to release the full Rebuild The Wall project on a single CD instead of the initial Volume One/Volume two arrangement.
11. Chicken - Pink Anderson
12. I Don't Want No Hungry Woman - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
13. Betty And Dupree - Pink Anderson
14. Two Of A Kind - Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968 after mental health problems exacerbated by stress and psychedelic drugs made him a little unreliable. He was replaced by guitarist David Gilmour. Bassist, vocalist and composer Roger Waters eventually moved to the forefront of the band. Syd continued recording on his own, releasing two albums before retreating into a self-imposed seclusion for over 30 years. He kept busy by making art and gardening. He passed away on July 7, 2006. The song Two Of A Kind was recorded for the BBC in February 1970 and was broadcast on the program 'Top Gear' in May of that year.