This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Some pretty mama better come and get this black snake soon" - Blind Lemon Jefferson

Chris and I go to the movies a lot. He's more of a buff than I am, but it's still fun going to see films with someone who enjoys a story to go along with explosions and titties. Of course, the music geek in me gets a chance to shine every now and again. We saw the trailer for Black Snake Moan, which looked awesome because frankly any movie where Samuel L. Jackson ties a drunk, white trash girl to a radiator is going to make for good cinema. Chris thought the name of the movie was an attempt to tie Sam Jackson to the word "snake;" I had to slap him on the back of the head Three Stooges-style and inform him it was named after the Blind Lemon Jefferson song from the late 20's. We don't have as much Blind Lemon as was recorded (he supposedly laid down more than 100 songs between 1926 and his death in 1929, remarkable for a colored musician in the prewar era. Hell, Robert Johnson recorded less than 30, and he's considered the giant of prewar blues musicians.

Born in 1893, Blind Lemon earned his name by being 1) blind, and 2) fat. Basically, jackshit is known about this guy. From what dorky, obsessive white guys have gleaned from the historical record, he started playing parties and such in 1912, but no one knows where he learned to play or who taught him. He's like Jesus in that he just kind of appeared, did awesome things, and then died. He also supposedly met and was a big influence on Leadbelly, but once again, the historical record is spotty at best.

Around 1926 he was discovered by Paramount and began recording gospel songs under the name Deacon L.J. Bates. This didn't last too long, and he recorded an insane amount of blues songs for the label, which resulted in an astounding 43 records (keep in mind that back in the day of the 78, they could only release 2 songs at a time, with many artists having fewer than five releases to their name). Throw in the fact that he was writing a lot of his own songs, unusual for the time, and he was an artist that was outstripping peers like the kick-ass Charley Patton.

Like all other artists with obscured personal histories, the true Blind Lemon is lost to history. Some say he was a sloppy drunk womanizer, while some said he was a churhgoing man who respected the Sabbath. Even his death is shrouded in mystery. Some say he has his coffee poisoned by a jealous lover. Some say he had a heart attack. Others profess that he froze to death in a snowstorm. Regardless, the dude recorded some killer songs, rocked hard, and died before he got ugly. Sounds TKAAD worthy to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:17 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home