Monday, July 29, 2013

BARBECUE chapter I

Barbecue Blues
Robert Hicks, better known as Barbecue Bob (September 11, 1902 – October 21, 1931) was an early American Piedmont blues musician. His nickname came from the fact that he was a cook in a barbecue restaurant. One of the two extant photographs of Bob show him playing his guitar while wearing a full length white apron and cook's hat.

Early life
He was born in Walnut Grove, Georgia. He and his brother, Charlie Hicks, together with Curley Weaver, were taught how to play the guitar by Curley's mother, Savannah "Dip" Weaver. Bob began playing the 6-string guitar but picked up the 12-string guitar after moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1923–1924. He became one of the prominent performers of the newly developing early Atlanta blues style.

In Atlanta, Hicks worked a variety of jobs, playing music on the side. While working at Tidwells' Barbecue in a north Atlanta suburb, Hicks came to the attention of Columbia Records talent scout Dan Hornsby. Hornsby recorded him and decided to use Hicks's job as a gimmick, having him pose in chef's whites and hat for publicity photos and dubbing him "Barbecue Bob".

During his short career he recorded 68 78-rpm sides. He recorded his first side, "Barbecue Blues", in March 1927. The record quickly sold 15,000 copies and made him a best selling artist for Columbia's race series. Despite this initial success, it was not until his second recording session, in New York during June 1927, that he firmly established himself on the race market. At this session he recorded "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues", a song inspired by the major floods taking place in Mississippi at that time. This song, as well as his other blues releases, gained considerable popularity, and his records sold much better than those of other local blues musicians.
He died in Lithonia, Georgia, of a combination of tuberculosis and pneumonia brought on by influenza, at the age of 29, on October 21, 1931. His recording of "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues" was apparently played at his graveside before burial.
Barbecue Blues lyrics
Woke up this morning gal
'Twixt midnight and day
With my hand around my pillow
Where my brownie used to lay

I know I ain't good looking
Teeth don't shine like pearls
So glad, good looks
Don't take you through this world

Going to starch my jumper mama
Iron my overalls
My brown done quit me
God knows she had it all

I'm going to tell you now gal
Like gypsy told the Jew
If you don't want me
It's a cinch I don't want you

Did you ever dream lucky
Wake up cold in hand
That's a mighty true sign
Your brown got some other man

My mama told me
Papa told me too
Some brown skin woman
Going to be the death of you

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