Alias Roosevelt Sykes, probably trying to outdo his own one year older hit 44 Blues. Same theme, smaller gun. ("I got a 32-20, shoots like a 45") A little like Arno: "Ik heb een kleintje maar 'k schiet verre". Reissued on Sykes' Complete Recorded Works Vol. 2 (Document). The melody reminds Bo Weavil Jackson's Some Scream High Yellow for Paramount in 1926 (Sam Butler).
Skip James [as 22-20 Blues, a non-existing calibre]
Muddy Waters [Lomax recording]
John Hammond [as 32-20]
Bob Dylan [outtake World Gone Wrong]
Keith Richards [as Keith's Boogie]
Peter Green [on his Robert Johnson Songbook-cd]
Gov't Mule [and in '03 with Sonny Landreth on The Deepest End]
Gov't Mule [with Sonny Landreth]
Eric Clapton [mostly crediting Skip James]
32-20 fitted both gun and rifle. The rhythm used in Robert Johnson's version foreshadows late thirties' jive and even R&B. That's why Robert is considered so crucial in the transition from deep south folk-blues to urban rock 'n roll. Big Boy Crudup's Give Me A 32-20 (Bluebird - '42) is another song, popular among black WW II soldiers.