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Pradinis puslapis Istorijos Dainų istorijos Forty-Four - blues standard
Forty-Four - blues standard
Istorijos - Dainų istorijos
Artist:
Title: Forty-Four
Well I walked all night long, with my .44 in my hand (2x)
Now I was looking for my woman, found her with another man
Well I wore my .44 so long, Lord it made my shoulder sore (2x)
After I do what I want to, ain't gonna wear my .44 no more
Now I heard my baby say, she heard that 44 whistle blow (2x)
Lord it sounds like, ain't gonna blow that whistle no more
Now I got a little cabin, and it's number 44 (2x)
Lord I wake up every morning, the wolf be scratching on my door

 

Forty-Four (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Forty-Four" or "44 Blues" is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana. However, it was Roosevelt Sykes, who provided the lyrics and first recorded it in 1929, that helped popularize the song. "Forty-Four," through numerous adaptations and recordings, remains in the blues lexicon eighty years later.

"The Forty-Fours," as its earlier form was sometimes referred to, was a piano-driven "barrelhouse honky-tonk blues" that was performed as an instrumental. Little Brother Montgomery, who is usually credited with the development of the song, taught it to another blues pianist along the way by the name of Lee Green; Green, in turn, taught it to Roosevelt Sykes. As Sykes explained: "He [Lee Green] was the first guy I ever heard play the "44" Blues. Several people had been playing it through the country of course - Little Brother Montgomery and several others, but nobody had ever recorded it and there was no words to it, no words or lyrics at all. So Lee Green, he took a lot of time out to teach me how to play it." By the time he recorded it in 1929, Roosevelt Sykes supplied the lyrics and called the song "44 Blues":

Well I walked all night long, with my .44 in my hand (2x)
Now I was looking for my woman, found her with another man
Well I wore my .44 so long, Lord it made my shoulder sore (2x)
After I do what I want to, ain't gonna wear my .44 no more
Now I heard my baby say, she heard that 44 whistle blow (2x)
Lord it sounds like, ain't gonna blow that whistle no more
Now I got a little cabin, and it's number 44 (2x)
Lord I wake up every morning, the wolf be scratching on my door

It was not until after Sykes recorded "44 Blues" that Green and Montgomery recorded their versions of "The Forty-Fours." While instrumentally both were similar to Sykes' version, the subject matter and lyrics were different. Lee Green recorded his version, titled "Number 44 Blues," two months after Sykes (August 16, 1929, Vocalion 1401). About one year later, Little Brother Montgomery recorded his version titled "Vicksburg Blues" (September 1930, Paramount 13006-A). Of the three, Roosevelt Sykes' version was the most popular and "was to be far more influential than Green's version." "[Sykes' lyrics] played on the differing interpretations of the phrase 'forty-fours' - the train number 44, the .44 caliber revolver and the 'little cabin' on which was the number 44, presumably a prison cell." "Undoubtedly, these overlays of meaning generally appealed to other singers, accounting for the frequent use of Sykes' lyrics."

Due to the song's popularity, many versions of "Forty-Four" would appear over the following years, including some that bore little resemblance to the original except for the title. Sykes, Green, and Montgomery recorded it themselves ten times between 1929 and 1936. In 1954, when Howlin' Wolf recorded his version, "Forty Four" took on a new outlook. Backing Wolf, who sang and played hamonica, were Hubert Sumlin and Jody Williams (electric guitars), Otis Spann (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Earl Phillips (drums). Together they transformed "Forty Four" into a Chicago blues, with prominent guitar lines and an incessant "martial shuffle on the snare drum plus a bass drum that slammed down like an industrial punch-press." Wolf retained Sykes' handgun reference and added "Well I'm so mad this morning, I don't know where in the world to go." With Howlin' Wolf's gruff and overpowering vocal style, the overall effect was menacing.

In keeping with the times, subsequent versions of "Forty-Four" would be more often in the Chicago blues style and bear Howlin' Wolf's influence. In 1968 "Forty-Four" was brought into the blues-rock age by Johnny Winter on his The Progressive Blues Experiment album (Imperial LP 12431). Winter's version was played at a faster tempo and had a more spare sound (trio of guitar, bass, and drums) dominated by Winter's guitar. Little Feat recorded "Forty-Four Blues" (coupled with another Howlin' Wolf song listed as "How Many More Times," but actually "No Place To Go") on their 1971 debut album Little Feat (Warner Bros. WS 1890). Little Feat's version, with piano and harmonica, was closer to Howlin' Wolf's, but it also featured the addition of slide guitar by Ry Cooder. In 1998, The Derek Trucks Band recorded "Forty-Four" on the album Out of the Madness (House Of Blues Records). In 2006 Eric Burdon covered it for his album Soul of a Man. During their 2008 tour, the Black Crowes included "Forty-Four Blues" in their set list.

Eighty years later, in one form or another, blues and other artists continue to record and perform the "barrelhouse honky-tonk blues" that Little Brother Montgomery taught Lee Green and Roosevelt Sykes recorded in 1929.

 

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