Posts Tagged ‘blues’

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Yodel blues: Winston Holmes

17 May 2009

Winston Holmes is a bit of an enigma. He was probably born around 1898 in Kansas City (Missouri) and was a good looking and restless man. He started a record label, Merritt Records, and was a performer himself. His vocals were energetic, with bird calls, train whistles and yodels. He made some songs with Lottie Kimbrough, a blues singer who made a career in the twenties. You can hear them together on Lost Lover Blues and Wayward Girl Blues.

He also made a session with Charlie Turner playing twelve-string guitar and harmonica on Rounders Lament and The Kansas City Call, with bird calls on both songs and yodel on the second one. No more info about all this, but these yodels are very early examples, at a time where Jimmie Rodgers was popularizing them.

Lost Lover Blues and Wayward Girl Blues (1928 – with Lottie Kimbrough)

Rounders Lament and The Kansas City Call (1929 – with Charlie Turner)

(image from the Yazoo Record Times Ain’t Like They Used To Be, Vol. 1, info and music from the Document cd Kansas City Blues)

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They cover Jimmie Rodgers !: Blue Yodel No.II

3 November 2008

I’m a bit late this week because I spent the last days in Seville, but her I am.

After the innumerable covers of the Blue Yodel No.I, this post will be very poor in songs: I only found two other versions of Blue Yodel No.II.

The first version was recorded in March 1937 by the Rhythm Wreckers, a blues group distinguished by the presence of the vocalist, Whitey McPherson, who was 14-15 years old at the time of the recording. I first thought it was a woman singing the song ! He had an amazing voice and was influenced by Emmett Miller and Jimmie Rodgers, so it is not a suprise he sang this song.

The picture comes from a post about the group on Western Swing on 78. Whitey McPherson sits in the middle of the front row, with white shirt and white cowboy hat.

Lefty Frizzell, the honky tonk star, recorded different songs of Jimmie Rodgers in June 1951. Blue Yodel No.II is one of them but he didn’t yodel on it. He really liked playing these songs and made another session in 1953.

The Rhythm Wreckers – Blue Yodel #2 (My lovin’ gal Lucille) (found on this or this cd)

Lefty Frizzell – Blue Yodel #2 (on the Bear Family box)