[Dixielandjazz] Deep Ellum Blues (Was "Deep Elm")

Dan Augustine ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 11:58:49 -0500

>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Deep Elm
>From: Charlie Hooks <charliehooks@earthlink.net>
>To: Anton Crouch <a.crouch@unsw.edu.au>
>CC: DJML Dixieland Jazz <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
>Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002 11:32:22 -0500
>on 6/16/02 7:05 AM, Anton Crouch at a.crouch@unsw.edu.au wrote:
>  > Hello Rebecca
>  > I only know "Deep Elem Blues" as a country blues from the 1930s. Is there a
>  > jazz recording of it?
>  > Also, from book knowledge of course, can you confirm that Deep Elem was the
>  > bordello district of Dallas?
>  > Regards
>  > Anton
>     Anton, "Deep Elm" (spelled Elm but pronounced "Ellum" to rhyme with
>"Tell 'em") is not a blues, but a song written by Willard Robison, I think
>sometime in the thirties, but am not sure.
>     Elm St. in Dallas I am sure about.  When I was a child in Waxahachie, a
>town just 35 miles south of Dallas, Elm Street was the big main street
>leading south through the city on the south side of the Trinity River.
>Since I was only 3 in 1932 and only 6 in 1936 when we moved, I never really
>checked out the bordellos, if any, but Elm Street would have been a likely
>place for them.
Rebecca, Anton, Brian, Charlie and DJML--
     I've got the St. Louis Ragtimers playing "Deep Ellum Blues" on two CD's:
_The St. Louis Ragtimers: Volume 1_ (GHB Records BCD-361, 1997, 
recorded in 1962) and _The St. Louis Ragtimers: 25th 
Anniversary--Early Portraits_ (Ragophile SLR 0607-CD, 1994, recorded 
in 1986).
     The notes from the first CD say about "Deep Ellum Blues" that 
"This is an old folk blues which commemorates a notorious sporting 
district of Dallas, Texas, called Deep Ellum. As is true with most of 
these legendary areas, Deep Ellum has evolved into a popular tourist 
attraction with live entertainment, shops, art galleries and fine 
restaurants."  The notes from the other CD say that "Deep Ellum was 
the notorious entertainment district of Dallas, Texas over a half 
century ago. The lyrics give fair warning - 'When you go down on Deep 
Ellum, keep your money safe at home.' This folk blues is dedicated to 
the memory of the great ragtime and jazz pianist Knocky Parker, who 
taught us this tune."
     I also did a Google-search on "Deep Ellum Blues" and found 204 
websites that mention it.  The second one has a downloadable clip of 
the tune:

**  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu  **
**    "I don't jog.  If I die I want to be sick."  --  Abe Lemons     **