Monday, September 05, 2005

mp3s from Charley Patton

Charley Patton

Charley Patton is considered by most blues authorities to be one of the earliest and best known blues singers and guitar players. He was born on May 1, 1891, in Hinds County near Edwards or Bolton, Mississippi. His parents were Bill and Annie Patton, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi. When Patton was nine years old, his family moved to Dockery's plantation. It was at this time that Patton developed a love for music. He took up the guitar in his early teenage years.

He, like many poor black Mississippi bluesmen found he could be free while singing this music. One of my favorite statements about Charley Patton comes from Robert Palmer's "Deep Blues : A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta"Deep Blues : A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta;

Charley Patton saw a world of changes during the fifty-odd years of his life, but the system was in effect in the upper Delta before he was born, and it outlasted him by several decades. He adapted to it well enough despite his lingering rage, which he tended to take out on his women, sometimes by beating them with a handy guitar. He suffered his dark moods and his occasional repentance and conversions, but he also had fun, or something like it. He rarely worked for whites except to furnish a night's entertainment, and he was never tied to a menial job or a plot of land for very long. He went where he pleased, stayed as long as he pleased, stayed as intoxicated as he pleased, left when he wanted to, and had his pick of the women wherever he went. And he created an enduring body of American music, for he personally inspired just about every Delta bluesman of consequence, and some blueswomen as well. Along with Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, and a few others who created not just styles but dynasties, he is among the most important musicians twentieth century America has produced. Yet we know very little about his formative years, and practically nothing about how he learned his art.


Charley Patton @ The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project of Starkville High School

Charley Patton @ Trail of the Hellhound

At this link you will find two sample wav files.


"Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues" (3:06, 531 kB) - Paramount 12805, Richmond Ind., 14 June, 1929

"Mean Black Cat Blues" (2:57, 508 kB) - Paramount 12943, Grafton Wis., late November/early December, 1929

"High Water Everywhere, Part 1" (3:08, 536 kB) - Paramount 12909, Grafton Wis., December, 1929

"Bird Nest Bound" (3:12, 535 kB) - Paramount 13070, Grafton Wis., 28 May, 1930

"Poor Me" (2:58, 514 kB) - Vocalion 02651, New York, 1 February, 1934

Charley Patton's Grave

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