Not Only But Also...
~ Political Song Writing an essay on Political song writing...
~ Favourite Things
Jim lists a few of his favourite things...
~ Singing the Blues all aspiring blues artists should read this...
~ Desert Island Disks if you could take only 10 disks to a desert island, what would they be?
~ Desert Island Films and which 10 movies would you take with you? 
~ Songs That Stopped Me In My Tracks
When was the last time a song stopped you in your tracks?

How to Sing The Blues 

Aspiring blues musicians should carefully read the following before embarking on a career in the blues. The blues is not for everyone, but if you can meet most of these criteria, you will have gone a long way towards being a blues performer of some note.


How to write the blues (attributed to Memphis Earlene Gray with help from Uncle Plunky).

1. Most blues begin "Woke up this morning."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line.

"I got a good woman, with the meanest dog in town."

3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it.
Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.

"Got a good woman with the meanest dog in town.
He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and he weighs 500 pounds."

4. The blues are not about limitless choice.

5. Blues cars are Chevys and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.

8. The following colors do not belong in the blues:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. violet
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. beige
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. mauve

9. You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall, the lighting is all wrong.

10. Good places for the Blues:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. the highway
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. the jail house
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. the empty bed

Bad places:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Ashrams
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. Gallery openings
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. A weekend in the snowfields

11. No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.

12. Do you have the right to sing the blues?

Yes, if:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. your first name is a southern state - like Georgia
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. you're blind
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. you shot a man in Memphis.
spacer.gif (49 bytes) d. you can't be satisfied.

No, if:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. you once were blind but now can see.
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. you're deaf
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. you have a trust fund.

13. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues.

14. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues. Other blues beverages are:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Cheap wine
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. Whiskey
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. Muddy water

Blues beverages are NOT:
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Any mixed drink
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. Any wine kosher for Passover
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. Diet cola (all brands)

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a blues death, if you die during a liposuction treatment.

16. Some Blues names for Women
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Sadie
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. Big Mama
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. Bessie

17. Some Blues Names for Men
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Big Joe
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. Blind Willie
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. Little Willie
spacer.gif (49 bytes) d. Lightnin'

Persons with names like Sierra or Sequoia will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

17B. Other Blues Names (Starter Kit)
spacer.gif (49 bytes) a. Name of Physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic)
spacer.gif (49 bytes) b. First name (see above) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
spacer.gif (49 bytes) c. Last Name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)


Note from webmaster: Ok, if you got this far, you may have gathered that the author (or authors) of this checklist had his/her tongue firmly in cheek. Jim found this item on the rec.music.folk newsgroup and couldn't resist including it here. We hope the author(s) - whoever they may be - don't mind.

 

JIM LESSES: Sometimes I Wake Up Naked

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JIM LESSES: American Dream

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