[Dixielandjazz] Re: Papa Charlie Jackson

Bill Haesler bhaesler@nsw.bigpond.net.au
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:41:56 +1000

Dear Bill,
Papa Charlie (also known as Charlie Carter) was a shadowy figure who (so 'they'
say) was born in New Orleans. 
Unconfirmed and no date available. 
He toured with minstrel/medicine shows pre WWI and played in Chicago clubs
during the 1920s-30s. Worked at the Kentucky State Fair (1928). In addition to
composing "Shake That Thing" and "Salty Dog" he was also the author of dozens of
other titles which he recorded for Paramount from Aug 1924 to May 1930. He also
made records for Okeh/ARC in 1934-5. 
Paul Oliver (noted blues historian) said that Jackson was the "first Negro folk
singer to record", and I am not about to disagree with such an eminent
authority. He certainly was one of the first male self-accompanied singers to
break with the classic blues-singers-with-bands, typified by Bessie Smith, Ma
Rainey, et al. 
He played 6 string banjo tuned as a guitar and was part of the 'hokum blues'
tradition of the 1920s (discussed some years ago on the DJML) and a singer of
comic and vaudeville songs in addition to the blues.
Charlie Jackson died (early 1938) in Chicago.
The complete recordings (about 65 sides) under Papa Charlie's name are on
Document CDs 5087/5088/5089. 
About half were acoustically recorded. They were so popular that most surviving
78s are well worn (loved).
Papa Charlie also recorded with Freddy Keppard, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Lizzie
Miles, Maggie Jones, Rosetta Crawford, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake and others.

Kind regards,
PS: As is usual when answering this type of query, I am playing examples of the
artist. Good stuff. Worth seeking out.