TRC

Sonny Terry: The Folkways Years, 1944-1963

The Folkways Years

Track list:

01. Old Jabo
02. Goin’ Down Slow
03. Crow Jane Blues
04. Harmonica With Slaps
05. Pick A Bale Of Cotton
06. Dark Road
07. Skip To My Lou
08. The Woman Is Killing Me
09. Jailhouse Blues
10. Fox Chase Right On That Shore
11. Shortnin’ Bread
12. Sweet Woman
13. Lost John
14. A Man Is Nothing But A Fool
15. Poor Man (But A Good Man)
16. I’ve Been Your Doggie Since I Been Your Man
17. Custard Pie Blues

Personnel:

Sonny Terry – vocal, harmonica, jew’s harp [jaws harp] (11)
Brownie McGhee – guitar (1-3,5-7,11,12,14,16), vocal (6)
J.C. Burris – body slaps (4), bones (15), vocals (15)
Coyal McMahan – maracas (5,14)
Gene Moore – drums (6)
William Edward Cook – washboard (7)
Pete Seeger – banjo (7,10), vocals (10)
Frank Robertson – bass (7)
unknown performers (8) – washboard, washtub bass, bones, frying pan
Sticks McGhee – guitar (9)
unknown performers (17) – washboard, washtub bass, bones, frying pan, vocal refrain

#01: Folkways 2327 (Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry), November 1957 [re-issue: SF 40011]
#02: previously un-issued recording from about 1950
#03: Folkways 3817 (Blues with Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee), May 7, 1959
#04: Folkways 2369 (Sonny Terry, On the Road), 1958
#05: Folkways 32028 (Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Get on Board), 1955
#06: Folkways 2327 (Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry), 1957 [re-issue: SF 40011]
#07: Folkways 2201 (Washboard Band Country Dance Music), 1963
#08: Folkways 2327 (Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry), 1957 [re-issue: SF 40011]
#09: Folkways 2369 (Sonny Terry, On the Road), 1958
#10: Folkways 2412 (Pete Seeger and Sonny Terry in Concert), 1959
#11: Folkways 3821 (Sonny Terry’s New Sound), 1958
#12: previously un-issued acetate recording
#13: Folkways 32035 (Sonny Terry, Harmonica), July 1954
#14: Folkways 32028 (Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Get on Board), 1955
#15: Folkways 2369 (Sonny Terry, On the Road), 1958
#16: Folkways 3821 (Sonny Terry’s New Sound), 1958
#17: Folkways 32006 (Sonny Terry’s Washboard Band), 1952

This compilation:
Released: 1991
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
SFW40033

Producer & Compiler Kip Lornell
Recorded by: Moses Asch

Liner notes: Kip Lornell
[media.smithsonianfolkways.org/liner_notes/smithsonian_folkways/SFW40033.pdf]

Photography: David Gahr
Design: Carol Hardy

re-mastered by: All Yoshida (at The Mastering Lab, Hollywood)
re-issue production supervision: Anthony Seeger, Matt Walters (assistance: Christopher Jerde)
*****

This anthology of 17 songs, selected from the eight LP albums Sonny Terry recorded for Folkways Records and from previously unreleased acetates, illustrates the remarkable variety of stryles employed by this brilliant harmonica player.

Sonny Terry and Folkways’ founder Moses Asch enjoyed a long and richly rewarding professional association from 1944 until 1959.

This selection displays all of the facets of their long-term collaboration, drawing mostly from Terry’s 1950’s recordings.

It demonstrates Terry’s ability to perform blues, religious, and folk material.

Two items, “Going Down Slow” and “Sweet Woman,” were found among the unissued acetate recordings housed in the Folkways Archive at the Smithsonian’s Office of Folklife Programs and are being released here for the first time.

The rest were taken from the Folkways albums listed in the discography.
~[from liner notes]

*****

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