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Thread: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #44

  1. #1
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Blues, Stomps, & Rags #44

    According to various sources, Texas Tommy may refer to:
    a) a vigorous social dance for couples, originating in San Francisco, circa 1900-1913, perhaps the first swing dance;
    b) a tricky dance move in the Lindy Hop (aka "Apache");
    c) a hot dog prepared with bacon and cheese, invented in Pottstown, Pa.;
    d) the owner of "Texas Tommy's Silver Dollar Restaurant" in Downer's Grove, Illinois;
    e) a nickname for the gospel and blues pianist, Thomas Andrew Dorsey (not the big band-leader), known as "the father of black gospel music";
    f) a song composed by the blues mandolinist, Yank Rachel (see Blues, Stomps, and Rags #2 & 3), and recorded in 1938 (a.k.a. "Texas Tony", but Yank clearly says "Tommy");
    g) Yank Rachel's girlfriend;
    h) a woman from Texas, the equivalent of "Texas gal";
    i) a prostitute from Texas, "tommy" being slang for prostitute;
    j) the singer in the 1940's blues recordings below;
    k) the mandolin player in the 1940's blues recordings below;
    L) or a combination of the above.

    Some speculate that Tommy Dorsey, the blues and gospel pianist, played these tunes, but I can find no indication that he played mandolin, though it's not impossible. Perhaps the woman singer was also playing mandolin, so that she is "Texas Tommy," both singer and mandolin player. However, she says, "Play that thing," so perhaps not. Anyway, we're left with two fine blues recordings, with a great mandolin accompaniment that we'll credit to "Texas Tommy" for lack of another name.

    (Information from many sources, including Wikipedia,
    http://www.earlyblues.com/Essay%20-%...hapter%203.htm ,
    and
    https://the78rpmrecordspins.wordpres..._redirect=true .)

    Here are the recordings. For the first, if the links don't work, search YouTube for"Jailbreak Blues/Texas Tommy".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_wu9ZQptc0




    For the second, if the links don't work, search YouTube for "Trinity River Bottom Blues/Texas Tommy".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHUbLNHz8vU

    Last edited by Ranald; Mar-17-2019 at 12:24pm. Reason: the usual
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  2. #2
    Registered User maudlin mandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #44

    These two sides were recorded on 25th October 1928, not in the 1940s. The accompaniment is described as "unknown mandolin" and I think from listening to the vocals and accompaniment it is highly unlikely that Texas Tommy was playing mandolin herself.

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