Mississippi Sheiks

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1931-1934)

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Document's third helping of the Mississippi Sheiks' chronologically arranged "complete works" is stocked with 23 OKeh, Paramount, and Bluebird recordings made in Atlanta, GA, Grafton, WI, New York, NY, and San Antonio, TX, during the "lean years" of 1931-1934. One reason the Sheiks were able to maintain some measure of popularity and continue making records during a time when phonograph companies were shutting down and established artists had difficulty finding regular work was their practiced ability to appeal to both white and black listeners. The violin that they took turns playing was in that sense the key to success, as live audiences and the record-purchasing public really went in for the Southern rural sound that characterized this fiddle-and-guitar group during the first half of the 1930s. Credit is also due to the strongly steeped chemistry between Walter Vinson and the brothers Lonnie, Sam, and Bo Chatman. Bo succeeded as a solo act under the name Bo Carter by specializing in "dirty blues" that teemed with amusing sexual metaphors. On this intriguing collection, Bo is credited as the creator of such colorful titles as "Bed Spring Poker" and "I've Got Blood in My Eyes for You."

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