Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First, ya gotta empty that jug.


Regular riders here on the Bus know that we are fond of Jug Band music.
After the Civil War, homemade instruments were common, with traditional European instruments being very expensive, if they could be found. Especially for rural Black musicians, who improvised with whatever was at hand. Earthenware jugs, washboards, spoons, all were turned to musical service. Gus Cannon (Cannon's Jug Stompers) is said to have made his first banjo from a bread pan and a broom handle.

Jug Bands started along the waterfront in Louisville, Kentucky around the turn of the century and quickly spread along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. The music was lively, and full of good cheer. By 1910 Clifford Hayes, Earl McDonald's Dixieland Jug Blowers (later known as The Original Louisville Jug Band), and many other Jug Bands were playing in Louisville.

The Memphis Jug Band played on the streets of Memphis as well as at high society parties and even at the mayor's inauguration ceremonies. Jug Band music was very popular in the south during the 1920s and '30s. In 1926, folks attending the Kentucky Derby heard sets by the Louisville Jug Band, the Mud Gutters Jug Band, Whistler's Jug Band, the Faust Brothers Jug Band, the Henry Smith Jug Band, the Jess Ferguson Jug Band, Mike Perkin's Jug Band, and the Clifford Hayes Orchestra. Pretty high faluten stuff for musicians playing household implements!

Cannon's Jug Stompers - Feather Bed

Memphis Jug Band - K.C. Moan

Cincinnati Jug Band - Newport Blues

3 Comments:

Anonymous Lucy said...

While I did enjoy this collection, I had to chuckle to myself when listening to Newport Blues. I heard similar sounds last spring when I was helping one of our young cow birth her first calf.

January 18, 2006 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've milked 'em, but I never birthed 'em. Now I know what song to reference for the sound.

I saw an Andy Griffith episode, which featured the Dillards, yesterday. Actor Denver Pyle was playing the jug. Another verrrrry timely coincident, Ed.

January 18, 2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really nice stuff killer blues

January 18, 2006 2:42 PM  

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