MY BLACK MAMMA

Latest update on 28/02/2018

Artist: Son House
Author: James McCoy
Label: Paramount
Year: 1930

Learned it in 1927 from a James McCoy in Lyon, MS. (along with Preachin' The Blues). Some unissued Paramount recordings shelved on an attic and discovered in 1985, reveil Son House also recorded it as Walking Blues, version reissued on Document since. Lead Belly cut another Death Letter Blues.

Covers:

1936:

Robert Johnson [slide motiv in Walking Blues; Son House was Robert Johnson's big example, instrumentally and vocally, in spite of his religious background; Son House really considered the blues as being the Devil's music]

1941:

Muddy Waters [as Country Blues #1 and Feel Like Going Home; in his interview with Alan Lomax during this first Stovall session, Muddy holds Son House as his main influence; that was the first time Lomax heard that name]

1942:

Son House [as My Black Woman; Lomax recording]

1959:

Barbara Dane [as Walking Blues with Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon]

1965:

Son House [as Death Letter]

1966:

Paul Butterfield Blues Band [as Walking Blues]

1967:

Taj Mahal [as The Celebrated Walking Blues]

1968:

Capt. Beefheart [as Ah, Feel Like Ahcid]

1971:

Bonnie Raitt [as Walking Blues]

1980:

Blues Band [as Death Letter]

1981:

Rory Block [as Walking Blues and in '08 as My Black Mamma]

1990:

Hindu Love Gods

1992:

Freddie & The Screamers

1992:

Eric Clapton

1995:

Walter Trout [as Death Letter Blues]

1995:

Cassandra Wilson [as Death Letter]

1997:

Amos Garrett [as Walking Blues]

2000:

Corey Harris [idem]

2000:

White Stripes [as Death Letter]

2001:

James Blood Ulmer [idem]

2003:

John Mellencamp [idem]

2004:

[idem]

2006:

Dion [as Walkin' Blues]

2015:

Sonny Landreth [as Walking Blues]

The lyrics of the second verse (Ain't no heaven, ain't no burnin' hell, Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell) inspired John Lee Hooker for Burning Hell. The lyrics of the third verse ("My black mama's face shines like the sun, Lipstick and powder can't help her none") are almost identical to those in Albert King's Oh Pretty Woman. The fourth verse (If you see my milk cow, tell her 'hurry home, Ain't had no milk since my milk cow's been gone) resurfaced four years later in Kokomo Arnold's Milk Cow Blues (see there).

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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