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Thread: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

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    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    ...for those of you who haven't heard the original...

    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Mar-28-2017 at 3:56pm. Reason: checking link

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    Wonderful article & videos! Listen to Mr. Bill speaking about Deford Bailey: https://youtu.be/6uzwL1XXSQM

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    was so fortunate to have made it to this show. truly inspiring!

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    Registered User mandotool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Thanks Bradley..
    for those interested...a great biography on DeFord.
    https://www.amazon.com/DeFord-Bailey...=deford+bailey

    some rare live performance video..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z20d-eHcjhk

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    Monroe Mandolin Camp reddressproductions's Avatar
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    Catch a bit of Evening Prayer Blues at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here's another version...
    https://youtu.be/7G4dmPTsiSw

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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by mandotool View Post
    for those interested...a great biography on DeFord.


    Although I credited David C. Morton and Charles K. Wolfe and their bio, I haven't been able to find either through the usual social media channels. If anyone has their contact info, I'd love to thank them directly for a job well done.
    Last edited by BradKlein; Mar-14-2017 at 9:31pm.
    BradKlein
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    Spruce 

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    Speaking of biographies, I'd like to share a bit of personal correspondence with Monroe's biographer, Richard D. Smith.



    Also significant -- and truly unprecedented -- is that when Monroe recorded "Evening Prayer Blues" on Feb. 19, 1981, for what became his Master of Bluegrass album, he performed it not as a solo but as a mandolin trio, in company with Larry Sledge and Jesse McReynolds.

    Bill Monroe occasionally played as part of impromptu mandolin harmony groupings on stage... but Monroe -- the supremely competitive musician -- never, to the best of my knowledge, recorded with other mandolin players in a studio. (If I've forgotten any other examples beside "Evening Prayer Blues, they were still extraordinarily rare.) So for Monroe to opt to record "Evening Prayer Blues" as a mandolin trio ... well, think about what a special act of musical communion this tune represented for him.

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    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    Bill Monroe occasionally played as part of impromptu mandolin harmony groupings on stage... but Monroe -- the supremely competitive musician -- never, to the best of my knowledge, recorded with other mandolin players in a studio. (If I've forgotten any other examples beside "Evening Prayer Blues, they were still extraordinarily rare.)
    Well...
    Besides "Evening Prayer Blues", Larry Sledge and Jesse McReynolds also played on "Melissa's Waltz For J.B." and "Lady Of The Blue Ridge" on the "Master of Bluegrass" LP...

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Love hearing it on the oval hole....

    https://youtu.be/x99v7DfS3dg

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    Bruce's link to DeFord Bailey's solo harmonica recording seems to have vanished from the first comment, so I am linking to a youtube version, HERE. Enjoy. And thanks for the many kind comments and to folks who have shared this fascinating story.


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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Thanks Brad for putting up (replacing) that video. The original posted by Spruce disappeared for me too but I figured it was an issue with my computer.

    On the subject of the original DeFord Bailey's harmonica version I'm somewhat confused. I'll admit that the only version of Evening Prayer Blues I've been familiar with up until now is the Compton version. I understand (now, after reading the article) that Mike is paying tribute to Mr. Bailey's recording by doing the first part in 'A' and replicating the blues notes of the harmonica etc. When it moves into the key of 'G' it is more or less the Bill Monroe version.

    What I don't quite understand is how or why Bill Monroe's version in 'G' is even considered the same tune. I hear the basic roots of the Bailey tune in Bill's version, but to me, it sounds like Bill took a very simple and repetitive blues-run and fleshed it out into a structured 'fiddle-tune' with well defined A and B parts.

    I wonder if Bill Monroe took credit for writing his own version of this tune, or did bill allow his updated version to remain the property of DeFord Bailey?

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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Hmm, looked at the code he put in. Shouldn't have worked but did for awhile. Not sure what went on there. Sometimes it's better to move on and not spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. Either way, I put the video back in there.

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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    I hear the basic roots of the Bailey tune in Bill's version, but to me, it sounds like Bill took a very simple and repetitive blues-run and fleshed it out into a structured 'fiddle-tune' with well defined A and B parts.

    I wonder if Bill Monroe took credit for writing his own version of this tune, or did bill allow his updated version to remain the property of DeFord Bailey?
    A couple of thoughts come to mind. One is that Monroe travelled with Bailey, and heard him play this tune live numerous times. And he probably based his adaptation on what he'd heard and his very considerable musical memory rather than the recording which he may or may not have owned. There is a second non-commercial recording of Bailey playing the tune in G and it seems that Bailey did perform it in that key at times.

    As for royalties, I presume they went to Bailey since Monroe seemed pretty clear that he considered it his tune rather than an original composition.
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    Registered User mandotool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Came across an interview with DeFord's grandson ..Carlos DeFord Bailey..
    He tells a story of DeFord out on the road on a Grand o'l Opry tour in the "Jim Crow South" days...
    He says Monroe went out and bought a large suitcase that DeFord who (at 4'9"tall) could fit into and how Monroe and Acuff would sneak him into hotels and carry him up the stairs in the suitcase..
    Nothing says you care like carrying somebody up the stairs in a suitcase..

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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Wow! What a story. If you have a link to the interview, I'd like to read it.
    BradKlein
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    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    That video was unvailable to me, but I found others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z20d...Xdi3jGHHlWibxA

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    Noting that today is the birthday of DeFord Bailey, born this date 1899.

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    Default Re: Article: A Brief History of Evening Prayer Blues

    Bit of historical information for those wishing to dive deeper into the history of DeFord Bailey. On this date 2005 PBS ran a feature on DeFord that culminated in a lot of information still housed on their web site. The Timeline in particular is quite interesting.

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    Noting the anniversary of this fine bit of writing put together for us by Bradley Klein.

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    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Thanks for reposting. Don't know how I missed this. I must have been in Scotland. Oh, wait! I was.

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    Today is the anniversary of DeFord's passing in 1982. Can never get enough of this feature article. One of our favorites.

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