Week #182 ~ Sittin' on Top of the World

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week we had a tie, and since we haven't have a bluegrass tune in a few weeks, I went with Sittin' on Top of the World, which was submitted as a bluegrass tune.

    As you know, I don't know much about bluegrass tunes. Here's what I found:

    From Wikipedia:

    "Sitting on Top of the World" (also rendered as "Sittin' on Top of the World") is a folk-blues song written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon, core members of the Mississippi Sheiks, a popular country blues band of the 1930s. Walter Vinson claimed to have composed “Sitting on Top of the World” one morning after playing a white dance in Greenwood, Mississippi.[1]

    The song was first recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks in 1930 (on the Okeh label, No. 8784), became a popular crossover hit for the band, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.[2]

    In May 1930 Charlie Patton recorded a version of the song (with altered lyrics) called “Some Summer Day”[3] 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, 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.[1]

    "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 setbacks, and the song has been described as a “simple, elegant distillation of the Blues”.

    You Tube of Doc Watson:

    You Tube of The Mississippi Sheiks:

    You Tube of Cream:

    You Tube of Taj Mahal & Corey Harris:

    You Tube of Jeff Healey (I think he's GREAT!!!)

    For you Dead Heads out there...

    I love Robert Cray...

    Look, "our" own, Will Fly has done it!

    Finally, I found a bluegrass version! Lonesome River Band

    If anyone can find any notation, that would be great. Otherwise... you're on your own!
  2. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Here is a link to some notation; http://www.8notes.com/scores/6489.asp
  3. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    There are three TablEdit versions on Mandozine:
  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks, you guys. I guess I didn't look that hard!
  5. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Wow! A totally different side of you, David. What a treat!
  6. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Totally awesome!
  7. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    That IS a treat, and I'll have to add that you selected some pretty amazing photos, too!
  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    What they said!!!! I'm assuming that's the one man band we know as David Hansen.... a singer, too!
  9. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Great stuff, David. You totally have the blues mojo! Love it.
  10. Marcelyn
    So cool, David. You and the mandonator really nailed this one.
  11. nanaimo
    What a wonderful take on an old time song.
  12. laura809
    That was great David. I particularly loved the bass line.
  13. nanaimo
    Great job Laura. You really got into the groove in that one!
  14. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    I love your mando breaks, Laura. The entire piece is well-done; I wish I could do that.
  15. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's Sittin' on Top of the World fingerpicked on a National resophonic guitar which was in open d tuning. I've also overdubbed a bit of mandolin too. (Somehow I lost the video for the mandolin... but you get to see me reading the words as I sing and play guitar.)

  16. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Nice and smooth Michael - I really enjoy your blues. Well, not YOUR blues, but you know what I mean.
  17. Marcelyn
    Two more great versions. I love the old time acoustic blues sound you bring out of the guitar and mandolin Michael. Not to mention the awsome vocals. If I were to play the blues--which I'm working on, but not too successfully--that would be the way I'd want to do it.
    And Laura, you really packed some emotion into that one. Maybe blues is your thing. Do you play the drums too?
  18. nanaimo
    »Another great version! I too love that easy groove!
  19. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    David-funky bassline,super vocal and Mandonater Salvation. Laura- great lead mandolin improvisation. Michael-usual classy performance.
    My video is cut short as I got completely lost at the end.
  20. Topher Gayle
    Topher Gayle
    David plays his Mandonator, I'm playing his Santa Cruz guitar. Fun!

  21. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Pretty slick stuff you have going on there. Totally enjoyable.
  22. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    More great versions from everyone, yippee! I really like that open D/guitar version, Michael; nice solid thumb back beat ... always amazes me how folks can do that.
  23. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice job Laura. Like your split screen video. Maudlin: good job and a nice sounding guitar too!

    Topher and David: nice & smooth with a kind of western swing vibe you've got going there. Really enjoyed it!
  24. GKWilson
    It wasn't a big week for posts. But, all that contributed were quite stellar. David [The Voice] Hansen, Stuche, Laura and Maudlin's blues renditions were great. David and Topher. What can I say. Wouldn't it be nice to have a friend that's a great guy and just happens to be a good musician as well.
    I thought I might have time to post this week but couldn't find a version I liked. Then I ran across a break by Dan Tyminski in the key of C. At about half speed [or less] it's nice and bluesy and gave me a chance to work in a key that I seldom play.
    Just wanted you to know that us lurkers, sometime posters, are out there working. And, you are our inspiration.
    Thank you. Gary
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