BALLAD OF THE BOLL WEEVIL

Latest update on 15/09/2014

Artist: Transported Mississippi workers on the Brazos River
Author: traditional
Label: L.o.C.
Year: 1908

John A.Lomax recording. Fats Domino's and Teresa Brewer's Bo Weevil is another song. See also: Mississippi Boweavil Blues.

Covers:

1921:

Al Bernard & Ernest Hare [first commercial recording (Brunswick) as Boll Weevil Blues; Ernest Hare alone on Vocalion]

1924:

Fiddlin' John Carson [as Dixie Boll Weevil]

1924:

Vernon Dalhart, Ed Smalle & Harry Reser [as Boll Weevil Blues]

1924:

Ma Rainey [as Bo-Weavil Blues]

1924:

Bessie Smith [as Boweavil Blues]

1924:

Skillet Lickers [as Boll Weevil Blues]

1926:

Carl Sandburg [as The Boll Weevil]

1927:

Jaybird Coleman

1928:

W.A. Lindsay & Alvin Condor [version on disaster comp People Take Warning (Tompkins Sq)]

1934:

Lead Belly [as Boll Weevil; Lomax recording]

1935:

Kokomo Arnold [as Bo Weavil Blues]

1936:

Willie Williams [John Lomax recording in Virginia]

1940:

Vera Hall [as Boll Weevil Blues; John A. Lomax-recording; his son Alan revisited Vera in '59]

1946:

Tex Ritter [and in '48 as Boll Weevil Song]

1947:

Homer & Jethro [as Boll Weevil]

1957:

Alexis Korner [with Cyril Davis]

1957:

Rambling Jack Elliott

1958:

Alan Lomax [with Alexis Korner on guitar]

1958:

Odetta

1959:

Sid Hemphill [Alan Lomax recording]

1960:

Eddie Cochran [as Boll Weevil Song; credited to himself]

1961:

Brook Benton [idem, credited to Cochran/Capehart]

1961:

Gordon Heath & Lee Payant

1962:

Fred Gerlach

1963:

Pete Seeger

1963:

Gus Cannon

1964:

Mance Lipscomb [eye witness of the calamity]

1964:

Walter Brennan [as Boll Weevil]

1969:

Shocking Blue [as Boll Wevil, also credited to Cochran/Capehart]

The boll weevil is a brown-black beetle devastating the South since the earliest blues years and still reigning supreme. In 1892 he came crawling in from Mexico into Texas, with all of his little friends and relatives. When they'd eaten up Texas they migrated to Louisiana in 1903 and another five years later to Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. It's this inextinctability that makes it such a legend. There's many songs about the boll weevil in all of those southern states, made up by blacks and whites alike. The blues versions stuck. Blacks apparantly identified with the insect's ability to defy all means of destruction.

Contact


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Arnold Rypens
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info@originals.be

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