Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blues Song in the Spotlight - Sitting on Top of the World

The folk blues song Sitting on Top of the World has been done by so many great musicians over the years that I thoght I would do a post on it.

It was originally written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon, core members of the Mississippi Sheiks, a popular country blues band of the 1930s.

According to Wikipedia;

In May 1930 Charlie Patton recorded a version of the song (with altered lyrics) called “Some Summer Day.” During the next few years cover-versions of "Sitting on Top of the World" were recorded by a number of artists: The Two Poor Boys, The Famous Hokum Boys, Big Bill Broonzy, Sam Collins, Milton Brown and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. After Milton Brown recorded it for Bluebird Records the song became a staple in the repertoire of western swing bands.

"Sitting on Top of the World" has become a standard of traditional American music. The song has been widely recorded in a variety of different styles – folk, blues, country, bluegrass, rock – often with considerable variations and/or additions to the original verses. The lyrics convey a stoic optimism in the face of emotional set-backs and the song has been described as a “simple, elegant distillation of the Blues”.

Check this clip out, it is a vintage clip of Howlin' Wolf doing the song Sitting On Top Of The World. The thing that caught my eye is that it is in color. That and the fact that it is a knock out performance by Mr. Howlin' Wolf. The note at YouTube states that the video is from Chicago, 1974.



mp3s of Sitting on Top of the World @Amazon.com

Sitting On Top Of The World by Howlin' Wolf

Sitting On Top Of The World by B.B. King

Sitting On Top Of The World by Cream

Sitting On Top Of The World by the Greatful Dead [Live at Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, February 8, 1970]

Sitting On Top Of The World by Al Jolson

Sitting On Top Of The World by Dean Martin

Sitting On Top Of The World by Van Morrison With Carl Perkins

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