Rockabilly Redux.

I’m presently enjoying a sabbatical in the big city, but still can’t get this song out of my head, so am scratching the itch and getting it on record, especially since youtube is introducing some sort of pay wall in the near future.

Country music pioneers the Delmore Brothers wrote Blues Stay Away from Me in 1949.

The Delmore Brothers
Their original version – which has a very traditional country slant – with some great biographical notes from various commenters.

Blues stay away from me
Blues why don’t you let me be
Don’t know why
You keep on haunting me

Love was never meant for me
True love was never meant for me
Seems somehow
We never can agree

Life is full of misery
Dreams are like a memory
Bringing back
Your love that used to be

Tears so many I can’t see
Years don’t mean a thing to me
Time goes by
And I still can’t be free


Blues/jazz great Lonnie Johnson also did a version, but it’s not available on youtube, so here is his version of Broken Levee Blues where Johnson’s vocals could easily be mistaken for Blind Willie McTell, while backed by Black American string quartet instrumentation so popular on the medicine show circuit from an earlier epoch. That was a time when rural rubes could watch dancing chickens, jeer at the geek and then purchase a patent medicine which, at a minimum, provided a jolly good alcohol/narcotic habit.


Anyway, back to our main theme.
There are just so many versions of Blues Stay Away from Me.
Sleepy La Beef giving it a blues reading and, not surprising, given his baritone vocal range.

Johnny Burnette with a version which combines country, blues and rockabilly elements.

Gene Vincent’s version where he nails the lyrics in perfect rockabilly mode, and with just the right amount of added studio echo.

Finally, The Band’s version with some tasty organ by Garth.

Obviously, like any holiday, this post is well and truly on the slippery path to self-indulgence and excess.

Chains of Love written by Big Joe Turner.
Chains of love
Has tied my heart to you
Chains of love
Have made me feel so blue
Well, now I’m your prisoner
Tell me what you’re gonna do

Are you gonna leave me
Are you gonna make me cry
Are you gonna love me
Are you gonna make me cry
These chains of blues gonna haunt me
Until the day I die

Well, if you’re gonna leave me
Please won’t you set me free
Well, if you’re gonna leave me
Please won’t you set me free
I can’t stay here with these chains
Less’n you stay on here with me

Well, three ‘o clock in the morning
Baby the moon is shining bright
Yeah, three ‘o clock in the morning
The moon is shining bright
I’m just sitting here wondering
Where can you be tonight

Blues/deep soul version by Bobby Bland.

Johnny Burnette (like his confrere Gene Vincent) was equally at home in the blues idiom.

Finally, everyone needs a country sweetheart.

What can I say. Holiday lite!

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