Friday, June 7, 2019

Bradley Mason Hamlin writes

Can’t Get Her Curves Out of My Mind

I’ve been
playing the blues
for several

it’s too obvious
a gambit
too close
to the bone

with old school

this morning
John Lee
is “Boogie Chillun”

sure enough
and I find myself
to reality

isn’t quite
to battle
the ongoing issue
of lack of sleep

tossing & turning
the wild eternity

all the ghosts
that whisper secrets

and your name.

1 comment:

  1. John Lee Hooker was born in 1912, 1915, 1917, 1920, or 1923, perhaps in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in Tallahatchie county, or near Clarksdale, in Coahoma county. He was the youngest of the 11 children of his parents, who separated in 1921, and his mother then married William Moore, who played a droning, 1-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time, which employed "bottleneck" slide guitar. Hooker ran away from home at 14(?) and began performing in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1943 he began working in Detroit, Michigan, and switched to electric guitar. He rarely played with a standard beat, changing tempo to fit the needs of the song, so backing musicians had difficulty playing with him. Elmer Barbee, a local record shop owner, arranged for him to record several demos and sent them to Bernie Besman, who ran the Detroit area's only professional record company. Besman recorded him solo, playing guitar, singing, and stomping on a wooden pallet in time with the music. Saul, Jules,and Joe Bihari's Modern records, in Los Angeles, released "Boogie Chillen" in 1948. As Hooker recalled, "I wrote that song in Detroit when I was sittin' around strummin' my guitar. The thing come into me, you know? I heard Will Moore done it years and years before. I was a little kid from down South, and I heard him do a song like that, but he didn't call it 'Boogie Chillen.' But it had that beat, and I just kept that beat up and I called it 'Boogie Chillen.'" He earned little from record sales and often, under various pseudonyms, recorded variations of his songs for different studios for an up-front fee; thus much of his early output was performed as John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee, John Lee Cooker, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and his Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, and the Boogie Man. Although he was illiterate he was a prolific lyricist:

    Well, my mama 'low me just to stay out all night long
    Oh, Lord
    Well, my mama 'low me just to stay out all night long
    I didn't care she 'low, I would boogie anyhow

    When I first came to town, people, I was walkin' down Hastings Street
    Everybody was talkin' about the Henry Swing Club
    I decided I drop in there that night
    When I got there, I say, "Yes, people"
    They was really havin' a ball
    Yes, I know

    Boogie Chillen'

    One night I was layin' down
    I heard mama and papa talkin'
    I heard papa tell mama let that boy boogie-woogie
    It's in him and it got to come out
    And I felt so good
    Went on boogin' just the same


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