Bessie Jones

Put Your Hand on Your Hip and Let Your Backbone Slip

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Bessie Jones (1902-1984) was one of America's foremost singers of folk, gospel, and children's songs. A stunning musical talent who possessed an exceptional memory and driving desire to share her musical wealth with younger generations, Jones grew up on the Georgia Sea Islands. As a girl on the islands, Jones learned many songs from her grandfather, Jet Samson. Samson's vast repertoire of tunes drew upon his own early childhood in Africa, his years as a slave in America, and his subsequent life of freedom on the islands. On this Rounder release, Jones carries her grandfather's legacy forward by singing 31 songs, and even telling a couple of stories. Jones was one of the first artists to record with Rounder in the early '70s, and Put Your Hand on Your Hip and Let Your Backbone Slip includes the two albums she recorded with the company at the time: So Glad I'm Here and Step It Down. The songs from So Glad I'm Here are mostly religious and folk-oriented. The Step It Down tracks are, by contrast, full of games and children's songs, such as "Old Line Brewster," a game that dates back to slavery. Though the CD compilation features Jones' sweet and powerful singing, the Georgian diva also plays a mean tambourine. Her performance is complemented by handclapping, a chorus of children, and Douglas Quimby's baritone voice. The result is an incessant group of tracks that will draw you in, perhaps even persuading you to Put Your Hand on Your Hip and Let Your Backbone Slip.

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