Saturday, March 31, 2012

Floyd's Guitar Blues = Blues for Hawaiians

Not that many people have looked at this.  But it's worth looking at, even though I have to admit it shook me up.  But it's the way the blues so often worked-- songs passed down through time.  I was brushing my teeth, looking at Fred Rothwell's Long Distance Information, when I saw for the first time in the section about "Deep Feeling" mention of "Floyd's Guitar Blues" recorded in 1939 by Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy, with Floyd Smith on steel guitar. (Smith, incidentally, or not incidentally, is from St. Louis!)  Take a listen.

The song isn't "Deep Feeling."  It's "Blues for Hawaiians."  Check it out.

It's too late now, but the Floyd Smith estate might have taken the same route Chuck did with "Surfin' USA."  (Funny that he gave it a surf name.)  Which of course takes us back to Berry Park in 1986, the camera flying over a filthy pool, and there is Chuck, maroon jacket and bolo tie, paying homage to Mr. Smith.

I always wondered how and why he remembered the song after all those years-- (a song he obviously hasn't played much in concert).  Now I know.  It's a song he heard as a teenager, and we never forget those.

Here's Muddy Waters doing it, too-- although his version is a bit modified.

I've got to say, I always credited the strange slide sound of Chuck Berry to Chuck Berry, and was knocked senseless by the melancholy beauty of that closing scene in "Hail! Hail!"  Now I need to learn more about Mr. Smith.

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