[Dixielandjazz] Lonesome Road - again.

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Wed Feb 11 18:21:46 PST 2004

Dear Luis,
On 11 June 2003 I sent you my transcribed spoken 'lyrics' for Louis
Armstrong's "Lonesome Road" (6 November 1931. Okeh 41538) which included the
"We have  a little Creole member here - or rather a new deacon. He wanna say
something to this congregation. He's none other than the Creole boy, little
satchel-mouth Joe Lindsay. Say something to them Joe.
Joe Lindsay: Now sisters 'n' brothers. We want to pick a good collection
here tonight. For brother Armstrong."
"Why here's two little songwriters here. Little Louis Dunlap and George
Cuspidor [Carpenter]. An' what you think about that? They're smokin' a Louie
Armstrong special cigar. More power to you boys.
Hello professa Shermangood. Ah...my dear brother. He lookin' all prosperous.
He's a New Orleans boy too."
I have already identified Louis Dunlap and George Carpenter for you.
Who though, I have always wondered, was 'Professa Shermangood'? And
suggested to you that perhaps it was a nickname for drummer Tubby Hall, the
only musicion on the record not mentioned.
Not so.
I have received this afternoon Laurie Wright's new disccographal book
'Storyville 2002-3 and there on page 143 is a photograph taken in the summer
of 1931 by studio photographer Villard Paddio of New Orleans, captioned The
Three Musketeers and signed by Louis on 1/26/32.
The Musketeers are identified on the photo as Little Joe, Louis Armstrong
anf Prof Cook. In a letter referring to this photograph jazz authority, Theo
Zwicky (Zurich, Switzerland.) identifies Louis' companions as Little Joe
(alias Joseph/Joe Lindsey, Joe-seefus, 'Seefus') valet and Prof. (Sherman)
Cook, MC. 
Zeo added: Milt Hinton told me (16 July 1985) that Prof Cook's "first name
was Sherman; he was from Mississippi, had small bands. One of those who
always hung around. My mother's sister Alberta was his girlfriend for a
while. She knew him when he came to Chicago with Louis."
Included in the above was a reference to a paragraph by Laurie Wright, in
'Storyville 1998-9' (page 161) which says [and I missed it at that time]
that "one of the speakers on "Lonesome Road" is not bass player John
Lindsay, but Joe Lindsey....a New Orleans bandleader who gave Louis his
first job in 1916. He was known as Little Joe, Joe-seefus or, more commonly,
Seefus." Preston Jackson told Laurie Wright that Professor Cook and Joe
Lindsey were on tour [April 1931-April 1932] with Louis from Chicago right
through to the time the big band disbanded in New York several months [?]
later and their function was to help with the baggage, look for rooms for
the musicians, etc."
Therefore, again from my transcribed 'lyrics' of "Lonesome Road":
"But never-the-less I'm in love wit ya.
Band member screams: Aaaaaah!
Louis: Hold that sister, but get offa my foot.
band member: Oh, brother Armstrong. You're killin' me."
So, 'Sister' (above) is in fact 'Seefus'!

It never ceases to amaze me. The information is out there, if only we could
find it all.
Very kind regards,

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