[Dixielandjazz] Overlooked jazz tunes
Tue, 4 Jun 2002 22:40:09 -0400
Willard absolutely. Share Cropper's Blues, wonderful melody and great lyric.
Spent an evening in Denver with Sutton -- Jean and I were though only pole
in the hotel room he was playing in and we played a game of stump the
pianoman and stump the audience. Between the two of us we must have run
through 15 Robeson gems.
"Peaceful Valley" a good one, and "Don't tell a man about his women" was
And you are right -- he had ear for lyrics much like Mercer, but then they
were both country boys -- Willard from MO and Johnny from GA.
Let;'ssee what the others come up with -- after all the Cornonation is over
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Hooks" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 9:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Overlooked jazz tunes
> on 6/4/02 3:28 PM, Don Ingle at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > I have noted that we seem to get off on non-jazz threads more and more
> > lately. So...to get something going more in the spirit of this being
> > list, I suggest this subject.
> > Everyone has a few jazz tunes that they know but that are seldom played
> > anymore. I have several in mind and I will list them now. I will be
> > interested in hearing about some of the unsung songs you might suggest.
> > My list:
> > Stomp Mr. Henry Lee. Credited to several people but most in the know
> > that the reclusive Houston pianist Peck Kelly was the originator of it,
> > the latter support of Big T and Eddie Miller who were especially fond of
> > tune. A real "stomper" at that.
> > Just for a Thrill. A lovely ballad by Lilian Armstrong. Several good
> > recordings of it...Nancy Wilson for one.
> > Makes a great solo tune for instruments as well. Change of pace tune for
> > otherwise up tempo sets.
> > Deep Henderson. Hardly ever played anymore these days but a good tune
> > mid-tempos.
> > Blue Lou. Once a big band staple, but long neglected.
> > There are many others I'd but let's hear yours.
> > Don Ingle
> Great idea, Don! ("Deep Henderson" is one of my favorite tunes!)
> Let me add several Willard Robison tunes--not only "Old Folks," which
> does get played but not nearly enough (I called it once when Wild Bill was
> aboard, and he grinned: "anybody like 'Old Folks' can't be all bad!")--but
> also, "That Old Deserted Farm," "T'aint So," and either version of "The
> Devil is Afraid of Music: Sing, Brother, Sing!" [Willard wrote and sold
> version, then needed money and wrote and sold a modified version to
> "Old Folks" needs a vocal, for the lyrics are superb, written by "the
> wife of one of the band members." Poor woman has no name of her own, like
> "the wife of Zebedee's sons" in the Bible. She deserves mention!
> But, truth is, they all need vocals because Willard was a very fine
> lyricist. Feels like Mercer with the words lying easy on the tongue, nice
> clever little rhymes not striven for, just seeming right.
> Everyone (who matters) knows "Cottage For Sale," but it's played too
> seldom by OKOM bands. Again, the lyrics are superb, but by Willard (I
> There was a wonderful Public Radio show out of Memphis 25 years ago
> (someone sent me a tape, if I can find it) featuring all Willard songs,
> moderated by Alec Wilder (whose "I'll Be Around" I also recommend, with
> marvelous ascending bass line) and sung by Barbara Lea, a vocalist who
> the actual melody to each tune without the personal "improvements" usual
> today. Bless her heart! You can listen and learn!
> Willard was a Southern boy who moved to New York but whose heart never
> left the country and country things. Deserted houses, country folk and
> country preachers of the kind I knew as a kid in Texas back in the early
> thirties. I at first thought he was black. He's got the feel!
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