Leadbelly, Sam Price, and Albert Ammons in Studio

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This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Ralph Berton hosts a music program featuring songs by Leadbelly.

At head, Leadbelly has just finished singing "Grey Goose." Berton explains the importance of work songs to laborers and Leadbelly sings "The Axe Chopping Song." After, Berton talks about the realities of life in the Deep South and asks Leadbelly to illustrate with "TB Blues." Before singing, Leadbelly explains the provenance of each song.

Berton introduces a new Blues singer, primarily a pianist, called Sam Price. Berton explains what Boogie-Woogie blues is and who Cow Cow Davenport is. Price plays his version of "Cow Cow Blues" and then sings "Hey Lordie Mama," which is Berton's favorite. Berton asks Price to perform "The Dirty Dozen" by Rufus Perryman a.k.a. Speckled Red.

Berton introduces Albert Ammons and talks more about Boogie-Woogie, which has only just been discovered but is an old form of piano playing. Ammons plays "Mecca Flat Blues" and then Boogie-Woogie Style. Berton describes the scene in the studio.

Meade Lux Lewis plays the "Yancy Special."

The Golden Gate Singers do "Wade in the Water" and "Noah, Noah."


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 8281