June 20, 2024


Buzz The Music

Very little identified Paducah jug band musician Stovepipe No. 1 left distinctive mark on genre’s heritage

Nevertheless Jones was very last spotted alive in the 1960s, his audio has managed to dwell on. A collection of his recordings with David Crockett was launched in 1988 by RST Information and reissued on CD by Document Records in 1994. That similar assortment is now obtainable digitally.

Though not known to a lot of, Stovepipe No. 1 – a west Kentucky musician nicknamed for his hat and instrument of alternative – still left a exclusive mark on the heritage of jug band new music.

Born Samuel Chambers Jones in August 1890, the Black Paducah native would go on to turn into a roving musician and recording artist buying and selling in the genres of the time – blues, ragtime, folk and jug new music.

“Sam Jones was a performer who straddled the fence amongst Blues, Gospel and the Region string band custom,” Cincinnati music writer Uncle Dave Lewis wrote for AllMusic. “Given his unusual choice of instrument, Sam Jones was a natural for Jug bands.”

McCracken County Public Library regional and relatives historian Nathan Lynn explained, like many terrific Black musicians of the late 19th and early 20th hundreds of years, really very little is recognised about Jones’ personal existence.

“What blows my thoughts about this is [that] this person is placing out this amazing music and there’s no point out of him anyplace in Paducah newspapers,” stated Lynn, a folks musician with a proclivity for river tunes.

Nevertheless it’s not identified when he remaining Paducah and western Kentucky, Jones was a touring artist by the early 1910s, playing dwell tunes on avenue corners, in speakeasies and at times even at funerals. Sooner or later, he wound up in Cincinnati’s West Stop.

The Black Voice of Cincinnati – an Ohio cultural and historical team – described the West Conclude as property to a massive populace of African-Us citizens who moved to the town from the South hoping to locate jobs and enhanced race-relations. It was also the house of the Cotton Club, a location where Jones frequently done.

Journalist and writer Michael Jones has prepared a e-book on Louisville jug music. He claimed musicians like Stovepipe No. 1 never tumble into rigid style categories and that artists would often adjust up their types with their audiences.

“He’s a mysterious figure. Persons usually say ‘this track may be Stovepipe’ or Stovepipe could possibly have been discovered with this particular person,” Jones stated. “You feel of American music as this one particular narrative, but it is like a tree – it is pretty complex. There ended up different men and women from unique races influencing one particular yet another.”

Jones designed his nickname partly because he regularly wore a stovepipe hat, filling it with money so it would in good shape his head. He also performed a stovepipe instrument – ordinarily a portion of tin pipe, three to four inches in diameter – when carrying out.

Jones claimed his nickname was stolen by Alabama blues artist Johnny Watson, who went by the identify Daddy Stovepipe. Jones afterwards added “No. 1” to his nickname to assert his claim he was the authentic stovepipe participant.

A single of the surviving descriptions of Jones, attributed to mate and fellow blues artist James “Pigmeat” Jarrett in Steven C. Tracy’s “Going to Cincinnati: A Heritage of Blues in the Queen Town,” identifies him as a just one-person band, while he would often be accompanied by musicians like guitar gamers Charlie Crimson and David Crockett and harmonica participant Small Joe. Jarrett himself would often accompany Jones as a piano player.

In accordance to “Going to Cincinnati,” Jarrett admired Jones’s harmonica enjoying and singing. He said Jones’s voice sounded much more like a mature, center-aged male than a male in his 20s.

Jones’ very first breakthrough happened when he recorded with Gennett Data in Richmond, Indiana, in May 1924. He recorded six tunes which includes “Sixth Street Blues,” an ode to Cincinnati’s Sixth Road.

His recording with Gennett confirmed his extensive vary of musical ability and design. Yet another track from the recording, “Spanish Rag,” refers to the Spanish tuning or open G tuning Jones employed when enjoying the tune.

Tunes during this time interval was usually segregated concerning “race records” – blues, spiritual and dance new music promoted to Black audiences – and “hillbilly records” which utilised Appalachian and nation songs marketed to White audiences. These classes had been intended to support predict viewers taste and to protect against cultural integration.

3 months after Jones’ session with Gennett, he cut 20 songs with Columbia Information in New York Town, which include his model of the folks standard “Turkey in the Straw.” He also recorded his model of “Cripple Creek” for Columbia, a track that audio historians have documented as being promoted to white audiences.

Jones’s past recording was with Okeh Data in Atlanta, Ga in December 1930, with guitarist David Crockett below the name King David’s Jug Band. There are no known recordings of Stovepipe soon after 1930.

“The King David Jug Band records afford us an prospect to hear the stovepipe that Sam Jones played in better than acoustically recorded sound,” Dave Lewis said in a element on the musician he noted for Cincinnati’s WVXU. “With all of the examine that has been done in the region of blues, we are continue to miles away from a granular understanding of the variances between these numerous traditions.”

There is a deficiency of historic report for the end of Jones’ lifestyle and it is still unidentified when or in which he died. Via the 1950s, he could however be witnessed accomplishing in the Cincinnati place, actively playing on street corners and in bars.