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Elder Curry

Elder Curry was a singing preacher and an underrated guitar player whose fervent, righteous sermons/songs featured staccato guitar lines, the full tilt barrelhouse piano of Elder Beck, and the stomping feet, clapped hands, and raised voices of his entire congregation, all of which make his records sound like a cross between a Saturday night speakeasy and a Sunday morning prayer meeting. He recorded 12 tracks (three of these were never issued) with his congregation and Elder Beck for Okeh Records at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, MS, on December 16 and 18, 1930, including the marvelous "Memphis Flu," which holds some claim to being the first rock & roll record ever made. A song about the 1918/1919 influenza outbreak that killed some 700,000 Americans, "Memphis Flu" features a driving, relentless 4/4 beat that is as startlingly modern as the Old Testament fire-and-brimstone-styled lyrics are chillingly cold, placing the blame for the epidemic on all those sinners who provoked the wrath of God. Never has a song about the flu been so cold-hearted and yet sounded so joyous and (forgive the pun) infectious. ~ Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Gospel: Negro Spirituals-Gospel Songs / 1926-1942

Disc 1

1. Let Your Light Shine On Me

2. Mother's Children Have A Hard Time

3. I'll Go Where You Want Me To Do

4. He's Got His Eyes On You

5. The Need Of Prayer

6. True Friendship

7. Goin' On To Heaven In The Sanctified Way

8. Thou Carest Lord For Me

9. Sign Of The Judgement

10. Take Your Burden To The Lord...

12. Memphis Flu

13. He Got Better Things For You

14. No Hiding Place

15. The Black Diamond Express To Hell (I & II)

16. If You See My Savior

17. Precious Lord, Take My Hand

18. The Prodigal Son

Disc 2

1. Oh, My Lord

2. God Shall Wipe All Tears Away

3. I Want Jesus To Walk Around My Bedside

4. When The Saints Go Marching In

5. When I Stand Before The King

6. Tell Me What Kind Of Man Jesus Is

8. Twelve Gates To The City

9. Moan, You Moaners

10. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

11. The Valley Of Time

12. The Sun Didn't Shine

13. Do Lord Send Me

14. Shake Mother's Hand For Me

15. This Train

16. Rock Me

17. I'm Free At Last

18. Wade In The Water

x

Track List: People Take Warning 3: Man Vs. Man

Disc 1

2. Wreck Of The Old 97

3. Bill Wilson

4. The Crash Of The Akron

5. The Fate Of Talmadge Osborne

8. Fate Of Will Rogers & Wiley Post

9. Down With The Old Canoe

10. Wreck Of Number 52

11. Kassie Jones Part 1

12. Kassie Jones Part 2

13. The Brave Engineer

14. The Sinking Of The Titanic

15. Fate Of Chris Lively And Wife

16. Wreck On The Mountain Road

17. The Unfortunate Brakeman

19. The Fatal Wreck Of The Bus

20. Last Scene Of The Titanic

21. Casey Jones

23. The Titanic

24. When That Great Ship Went Down

Disc 2

1. The Story Of The Mighty Mississippi

3. Dixie Boll Weevil

5. Ohio Prison Fire

6. Memphis Flu

7. Explosion In The Fairmount Mine

8. Storm That Struck Miami

9. When The Levee Breaks

10. Alabama Flood

13. High Water Everywhere, Part 2

14. Ryecove Cyclone

15. McBeth Mine Explosion

16. Dry Well Blues

17. Baltimore Fire

18. Tennessee Tornado

19. Dry Spell Blues, Part 2

20. The Santa Barbara Earthquake

21. The Death Of Floyd Collins

22. The Porto Rico Storm

23. Boll Weavil

24. The Flood Of 1927

Disc 3

1. Peddler And His Wife

2. The Little Grave In Georgia

3. Kenney Wagner's Surrender

4. Henry Clay Beattie

5. The Murder Of The Lawson Family

7. Railroad Bill

8. Frankie

9. Trial Of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 1

10. Trial Of Richard Bruno Hauptmann, Part 2

12. Darling Cora

13. Billy Lyons And Stack O' Lee

14. Tom Dooley

17. Fingerprints Upon The Windowpane

18. The Bluefield Murder

20. Fate Of Rhoda Sweeten

21. Dupree Blues

22. Poor Ellen Smith

Comments

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