Let Me Tell You About The Blues: The Evolution Of Atlanta Blues

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 10 May 2010


CAT No: FVTD055UPC TEXT: 5055311000558

Full details

Like Memphis, Tennessee, Atlanta was a staging post for itinerant musicians and like Memphis, it was home to an impressive number of guitarists who established a very distinctive style of playing that became synonymous with the city. It was also the location for the first country blues artist, Ed Andrews, to be recorded. Three years later, Julius Daniels was the first Carolina bluesman to record. Atlanta was also a recording centre for out-of-state artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bo Carter, the Memphis Jug Band, Blind Willie Johnson and Hambone Willie Newbern. A further school of blues gathered around Peg Leg Howell and Eddie Anthony.

The source of Atlanta’s principal blues style was Curley Weaver’s mother, Savannah Shepard, who also taught the Hicks brothers, Charlie and Robert, known on record as Charlie Lincoln and Barbecue Bob. Her influence is also heard in the music of Willie Baker and George Carter. She didn’t teach Blind Willie McTell but he was probably the inspiration for Riley Puckett’s ‘A Darkey’s Wail’. Weaver and McTell recorded together as the Georgia Cotton Pickers, while Weaver also worked with Fred McMullen and Buddy Moss as the Georgia Browns. Willie McTell also accompanied Weaver and artists such as Harris & Harris and Mary Willis. The wealth of musical talent recorded in Atlanta, included Sloppy Henry, Too Tight Henry, Billy Bird, Lonnie Coleman, Barefoot Bill, Lil McClintock, King David’s Jug Band and the Birmingham Jug Band.

World War II put paid to recording in Atlanta until the end of the 1940s, when record companies returned to the city. McTell and Weaver were still around and other country blues artists like Frank Edwards, David Wylie and Pinetop Slim made their mark. But their music was in decline as rhythm and blues rose in importance. Atlanta’s stars included Billy Wright, Piano Red and Blow Top Lynn, sometimes backed by bands led by tenor-man Fred Jackson. Others included Tommy Brown, Melvin Smith, Zilla Mays, Willie Brown and Joyce Jackson. Most popular of all were Chuck Willis and Little Richard, each went on to greater fame after making impressive recording debuts. They merely underlined once again what a valuable breeding ground for talent Atlanta had continued to be.



  1. Time Ain’t Gonna Make Me Stay (Ed Andrews)
  2. My Mamma Was A Sailor (Julius Daniels)
  3. Match Box Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
  4. Barbecue Blues (Barbecue Bob)
  5. Under The Chicken Tree (Earl McDonald’s Original Louisville Jug Band)
  6. A Darkey’s Wail (Riley Puckett)
  7. Mama ‘Tain’t Long Fo’ Day (Blind Willie McTell)
  8. Back Door Blues (Emery Glen)
  9. Kansas City Blues (Memphis Jug Band)
  10. Turpentine Blues (Will Weldon)
  11. Vol Stevens Blues (Vol Stevens)
  12. Jealous Hearted Blues (Charlie Lincoln)
  13. Skin Game Blues (Peg Leg Howell)
  14. Lonesome Atlanta Blues (Bobby Grant)
  15. C. C. & O. Blues (Pink Anderson)
  16. Georgia Crawl (Henry Williams)
  17. Midnight Weeping Blues (Nellie Florence)
  18. Look Here Mama Blues (Uncle Bud Walker)
  19. Canned Heat Blues (Sloppy Henry)
  20. No No Blues (Curley Weaver)
  21. Charleston Contest Pt 1 (Too Tight Henry)
  22. Down In The Cemetery (Billy Bird)
  23. Miss Meal Cramp Blues (Alec Johnson)
  24. Mama, Don’t Rush Me Blues (Willie Baker)
  25. Rising River Blues (George Carter)


  1. Worrying Blues (Macon Ed)
  2. Shelby County Workhouse Blues (Hambone Willie Newbern)
  3. Old Rock Island Blues (Lonnie Coleman)
  4. Ball And Chain Blues (Peg Leg Howell)
  5. This Is Not The Stove To Brown Your Bread (Harris & Harris)
  6. Framer’s Blues (Eli Framer)
  7. She Shook Her Gin (Barbecue Bob)
  8. Brown Skin Woman (Pillie Bolling)
  9. Snigglin’ Blues (Barefoot Bill)
  10. You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond (Blind Willie Johnson)
  11. Coffee Grinder Blues (Jaybird Coleman)
  12. Furniture Man (Lil McClintock)
  13. South Carolina Rag (Willie Walker)
  14. I’m On My Way Down Home (Georgia Cotton Pickers)
  15. Buggy Jail House Blues (Lillie Mae)
  16. Giving It Away (Birmingham Jug Band)
  17. What’s That Tastes Like Gravy (King David’s Jug Band)
  18. What Kind Of Scent Is This (Bo Carter)
  19. Bed Spring Poker (The Mississippi Sheiks)
  20. Talkin’ To You Wimmen About The Blues (Mary Willis)
  21. DeKalb Chain Gang (Fred McMullen)
  22. Decatur Street 81 (Georgia Browns)
  23. Hard Times Blues (Buddy Moss)
  24. Atlanta Town (Chasey Collins)
  25. Dying Crapshooter’s Blues (Blind Willie McTell)


  1. Applejack Boogie (Pinetop Slim)
  2. Brown Skin Woman (Curley Weaver)
  3. Love Changin’ Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
  4. Gotta Get Together (Frank Edwards)
  5. You’re Gonna Weep And Moan (David Wylie)
  6. Duck Fever (Fred Jackson)
  7. Stacked Deck (Billy Wright)
  8. Reliefin’ Blues (Blow Top Lynn)
  9. V-8 Baby (Tommy Brown)
  10. It Ain’t Right To Treat Me Wrong (Chuck Willis)
  11. Body Rocking Daddy (Joyce Jackson)
  12. Barefooot Susie (Waymon Brown)
  13. Royal Peacock Boogie (Roy Mays Orchestra)
  14. Korea Blues (Willie Brown)
  15. Get Rich Quick (Little Richard)
  16. Hey Good Lookin’ (Piano Red)
  17. Under The Viaduct (In Atlanta, Ga) (Junior Tamplin)
  18. Thinkin’ ‘Bout My Mother (Little Richard)
  19. Everybody’s Got The Blues (Melvin Smith)
  20. Nite Shift Blues (Zilla Mays & The Blues Caravan)
  21. You Made Me Baby (H-Bomb Ferguson)
  22. Four Cold, Cold Walls (Billy Wright)
  23. If You Ever Been To Georgia (Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup)
  24. Mean Old Train (Papa Lightfoot)
  25. Wrong Yo-Yo (Piano Red)