1923: Lucille Bogan

 Jan, 25 - 2014   no comments   1900 - 1929 Music1930s Music

Black Angel Blues

Black Angel Blues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucille Bogan (April 1, 1897 – August 10, 1948) was an American blues singer, among the first to be recorded. She also recorded under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson. The music critic and sexologist Ernest Borneman stated that Bogan, along with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, was in “the big three of the blues”

She was born Lucille Anderson in Amory, Mississippi, and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1914, she married Nazareth Lee Bogan, a railwayman, and gave birth to a son, Nazareth Jr., in either 1915 or 1916. Lucille later divorced Nazareth and married James Spencer, who was 22 years younger than herself.
She first recorded vaudeville songs for Okeh Records in New York in 1923, with pianist Henry Callens.  Later that year she recorded “Pawn Shop Blues” in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the first time a black blues singer had been recorded outside New York or Chicago.

In 1927 she began recording for Paramount Records in Grafton, Wisconsin, where she recorded her first big success, “Sweet Petunia”, which was covered by Blind Blake. She also recorded for Brunswick Records, backed by Tampa Red and Cow Cow Davenport.

By 1930 her recordings had begun to concentrate on drinking and sex, with songs such as “Sloppy Drunk Blues” (covered by Leroy Carr and others) and “Tricks Ain’t Walkin’ No More” (later recorded by Memphis Minnie). She also recorded the original version of “Black Angel Blues“, which (as “Sweet Little Angel”) was covered by B.B. King and many others. Trained in the rowdier juke joints of the 1920s, many of Bogan’s songs, most of which she wrote herself, have thinly-veiled humorous sexual references. The theme of prostitution, in particular, featured prominently in several of her recordings.

In 1933 she returned to New York, and, apparently to conceal her identity, began recording as Bessie Jackson for the Banner (ARC) label. She was usually accompanied on piano by Walter Roland, with whom she recorded over 100 songs between 1933 and 1935, including some of her biggest commercial successes including “Seaboard Blues”, “Troubled Mind”, and “Superstitious Blues”.

Her other songs included “Stew Meat Blues”, “Coffee Grindin’ Blues”, “My Georgia Grind”, “Honeycomb Man”, “Mr. Screw Worm In Trouble”, and “Bo Hog Blues”. Her final recordings with Roland and Josh White included two takes of “Shave ‘Em Dry”, recorded in New York on Tuesday March 5, 1935. The unexpurgated alternate take is notorious for its explicit sexual references, a unique record of the lyrics sung in after-hours adult clubs.[

Another of her songs, “B.D. Woman’s Blues”, takes the position of a “bull dyke” (“B.D.”), with the line “Comin’ a time, B.D. women, they ain’t gonna need no men” “They got a head like a sweet angel and they walk just like a natural man.” “They can lay their jive just like a natural man.”
She appears not to have recorded after 1935, and spent some time managing her son’s jazz group, Bogan’s Birmingham Busters, before moving to Los Angeles shortly before her death from coronary sclerosis in 1948. She is interred at the Lincoln Memorial Park, Compton, California.

  • Bessie Jackson.
  • Bob Campbell Guitar
  • Thomas Dorsey Piano
  • Will Ezell Piano
  • Eddie Heywood Piano
  • Frank James or Eddie Miller Piano
  • Walter Roland Piano, Guitar, Vocals
  • Tampa Red Guitar
  • Alley Boogie  – (Lucille Bogan) 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7210, Perfect 198-B
  • Baking Powder Blues 7-18-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33059
  • Barbecue Bess 3-6-1935 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33475
  • B.D. Woman’s Blues 3-7-1935 Chicago, Illinois ARC 5-12-58
  • Black Angel Blues 12-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7186
  • Bo-Easy Blues 8-4-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner
  • Boogan Ways Blues 7-31-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33245
  • Chirpin’ The Blues 7-1923 Atlanta, Georgia Okeh 8071-A
  • Coffee Grindin’ Blues  (Lucille Bogan) 5-9-1927 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7083
  • Cravin’ Whiskey Blues 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12577
  • Changed Ways Blues 8-2-1934 Chicago, Illinois ARC 6-02-64
  • Crawlin’ Lizard Blues 12-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7193
  • Doggone Wicked Blues 7-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12514
  • Dirty Treatin’ Blues 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7163
  • Don’t Mean You No Good Blues  (Lucille Bogan / Henry Callens) 7-1923 Atlanta, Georgia Okeh 8074-B
  • Down In Boogie Alley 8-1-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33149
  • Drinking Blues 7-31-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33245
  • Forty-Two Hundred Blues 7-18-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33119
  • Groceries On The Shelf 7-19-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32904
  • Jim Tampa Blues Banjo Accompaniment Charlie Jackson  (Lucille Bogan) 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12504-A
  • Jump Steady Daddy 3-7-1935 Chicago, Illinois ARC 5-12-58
  • House Top Blues 7-18-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32845
  • Kind Stella Blues Banjo Accompaniment Charlie Jackson 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12504-B
  • I Hate That Train Called The M And O 7-31-1934 Chicago, Illinois ARC 6-02-64
  • Levee Blues  (Williams / Alman / Roth) 3-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12459
  • Lonesome Daddy Blues  (Lucille Bogan / Henry Callens) 7-1923 Atlanta, Georgia Okeh 8074-A
  • Lonesome Midnight Blues 7-30-1934 Chicago, Illinois ARC 6-04-63
  • Man Stealer Blues 3-7-1935 Chicago, Illinois Melotone 350913 B
  • Mean Twister 7-20-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33059
  • My Baby Come Back 7-18-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32956
  • My Georgia Grind  (Spencer Williams) 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7145
  • My Man Is Boogan Me 7-31-1934 Chicago, Illinois Perfect 0317 Banner 33375
  • New Muscle Shoals Blues 7-20-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33072
  • New Way Blues 10-8-1928 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7051
  • Nice And Kind Blues 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12577
  • Oklahoma Man Blues  (Lucille Bogan / Williams) 7-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12514
  • The Pawn Shop Blues 7-1923 Atlanta, Georgia Okeh 8079
  • Pay Roll Blues 10-8-1928 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7051
  • Pig Iron Sally 7-31-1934 Chicago, Illinois Perfect 0317 Banner 33375
  • Pot Hound Blues  (Lucille Bogan) 5-9-1927 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7083
  • Reckless Woman 8-1-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33313
  • Red Cross Man 7-17-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner
  • Roll And Rattler 7-19-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32904
  • Seaboard Blues 7-19-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32833
  • Shave ‘Em Dry 3-5-1935 Chicago, Illinois Banner
  • Sloppy Drunk Blues  (James) 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7210 Perfect 198-A
  • Skin Game Blues 3-8-1935 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33448
  • Struttin’ My Stuff 12-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7193
  • Superstitious Blues (Hooch House Blues 7-20-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32956
  • Stew Meat Blues 3-8-1935 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33448
  • Sweet Patunia  (H. Charles) 3-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12459
  • Sweet Man, Sweet Man 8-1-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33149
  • That’s What My Baby Likes 3-5-1935 Chicago, Illinois Melotone 350913 A
  • They Ain’t Walking No More 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7163
  • Tired As I Can Be 8-1-1934 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33313
  • T & N O Blues 7-17-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner
  • Tricks Ain’t Walking No More 12-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7186
  • Triflin’ Blues (Daddy, Don’t You Trifle On Me)  (Porter Grainger / Bob Ricketts) 7-1923 Atlanta, Georgia Okeh 8071-B
  • Troubled Mind 7-20-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 32833
  • Walkin’ Blues 7-18-1933 Chicago, Illinois Banner 33119
  • War Time Man Blues  (Lucille Bogan) 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12560-B
  • Whiskey Selling Woman  (Lucille Bogan) 3-1930 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick 7145
  • Woman Won’t Need No Man  (Lucille Bogan) 6-1927 Chicago, Illinois Paramount 12560-A
  • You Got To Die Some Day 7-30-1934 Chicago, Illinois ARC 6-04-63

lucille bogan – shave ’em dry (1935)

lucille bogan – till the cows come home

Lucille Bogan – Coffee Grindin’ Blues

Lucille Bogan – Sloppy Drunk Blues

  • Okeh Records
  • Paramount Records
  • Brunswick Records
  • Banner (ARC)
  1. http://www.last.fm/music/Lucille+Bogan
  2. http://www.redhotjazz.com/bogan.html
  3. http://www.deltahaze.com/LucilleBogan.html

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