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William Harris

Virtually nothing is known about bluesman William Harris; as a result of the rhythmic intricacy of the guitar work in evidence on the nine songs which comprise his recorded legacy, historians have placed him as a product of the Mississippi Delta, although the geographic references scattered among his music also suggest an Alabama background. Birmingham, Alabama was certainly the location of his first recording session, cut on July 18, 1927; accounts suggest that at the time Harris was a performer with F.S. Wolcott's Rabbit Foot Minstrels. Theories that he traveled the medicine show circuit are lent further credence by his second recording date, which occured over a three-day period in October 1928 in Richmond, Indiana; among the tracks cut by Harris was "Kansas City Blues," previously recorded by Jim Jackson, another medicine show entertainer. Additionally, two other staples of the circuit, Frank Stokes and Papa Charlie Jackson, previously recorded "Take Me Back," updated by Harris as "Hot Time Blues." In all likelihood, these are mysteries which will never be solved -- his trail ends after this final session. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: American Primitive Vol. 2: Pre-War Revenants (1897-1939)

Disc 1

2. Deal Rag

3. Motherless Child Blues

4. Big Bed Bug (Bed Bug Blues)

5. I Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape

7. Black Dog Blues

8. Workhouse Blues

12. Friday Moan Blues

13. Pick Poor Robin Clean

14. It's Cold In China Blues

15. Black Sheep Blues

16. Old Hen Cackle

17. Frisco Blues

18. Hot Time Blues

19. Take A Look At That Baby

20. Skinny Leg Blues

21. Little Birdie

22. Little Girl In Rome

23. Dangerous Blues

24. Mean Low Blues

25. Be My Kid Blues

Disc 2

1. Last Kind Words Blues

2. Poor Mourner

3. Jamestown Exhibition

4. There's A City Built Of Mansions

5. Cairo Blues

6. Two White Horses In A Line

7. Shrimp Man

8. Don't Mistreat Your Good Boyfriend

9. Bull Frog Blues

10. Pretty Polly

11. Go Down Moses

12. Over To My House

13. Shaking Weed Blues

14. Big Mac From Macamere

15. Moaning The Blues

16. Original Blues

17. John Henry Blues (Take 3)

18. Sobbin' Woman Blues

19. Bad Notion Blues

20. Eagles On A Half

21. Mississippi Swamp Moan

22. Red Cross The Disciple Of Christ Today

23. Kansas City Blues

24. As Free As A Little Bird Can Be

25. No Mo' Freedom

x

Track List: Mississippi Blues 1926-1941

Disc 1

1. Cottonfield Blues Part 1

2. Bedside Blues

3. Mississippi Bottom Blues

5. I'm Leavin' Town

6. Hittin' The Bottle Stomp

7. Last Kind Words Blues

10. Fare Thee Well Blues

11. That Won't Do

14. The Jail House Blues

15. Black Spider Blues

16. Traveling Riverside Blues Take 1

17. Baltimore Blues

18. Down The Big Road Blues

20. Milk Cow Blues

23. Jailhouse Fire Blues

25. Times Has Done Got Hard

Disc 2

3. Ninety Nine Blues

4. Snake Doctor Blues

5. Little Girl In Rome

6. It's Cold In China Blues

9. Bull Frog Blues

10. Dangerous Woman

15. Take A Little Walk With Me

16. Last Time Blues

17. Dough Roller Blues

22. Cherry Ball

23. Bad Notion Blues

25. Rowdy Blues

Disc 3

1. My Buddy, Blind Papa Lemon

7. Barefoot Blues

8. Jumpin' And Shoutin' Blues

12. Got The Blues About Rome

14. Skippy Whippy

15. Yellow Dog Blues

17. Tallahatchie River Blues

18. Stered Gal

19. Motherless And Fatherless Blues

21. I'm Gonna Train My Baby

22. Out On Santa Fe-Blues

23. It's Hard Time

Disc 4

1. Clarksdale Moan

3. Lonesome Man Blues

5. Loving Lady Blues

9. Little Boy Blue

10. Cottonfield Blues Part 2

13. Two Time Blues

14. Back Door Blues

16. Skinny Leg Blues

18. Mississippi Moan

19. Married Man Blues

20. Jefferson County Blues

24. Grand Daddy Blues

25. Let's Go Riding

x

Track List: Richer Tradition Country Blues & String Band Music

Disc 1

1. Guitar Blues

3. Sundown Blues

4. Salt Lake City Blues

5. Whiskey And Gin Blues

6. James Alley Blues

7. Goin' To Leave You Blues

10. Bamalong Blues

11. Man Trouble Blues

13. Frisco Whistle Blues

14. Two Ways To Texas

15. Gravel Camp Blues

16. T And T Blues

17. Death Bell Blues

18. C.C. & O. Blues

20. Rolling Log Blues

21. Kyle's Worried Blues

22. Bull Frog Blues

23. Sobbin' Woman Blues

24. Miss Meal Cramp Blues

25. The Unknown Blues

Disc 2

1. Jail House Blues

2. Blues, Just Blues, That's All

5. Dirty Guitar Blues

6. Boodle-Am-Shake

7. Quill Blues

8. The Jug Band Special

9. Cold Morning Shout

10. Violin Blues

11. Easy Winner

13. I Got A Gal

16. Adam And Eve

17. Runnin' Wild

18. Giving It Away

19. Jackson Stomp

21. Travelin' Railroad Man Blues

23. Ted's Stomp

24. Dusting The Frets

Disc 3

3. Mean Conductor Blues

7. I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop

8. Rising River Blues

9. She Could Toodle-Oo

11. Old Rock Island Blues

12. Cairo Blues

13. I Ain't Givin' Nobody None

14. Showers Of Rain Blues

15. Framer's Blues

16. If I Call You Mama

17. Never Drive A Stranger From Your Door

18. Mississippi Swamp Moan

19. Paddlin' Madeline Blues

21. South Carolina Rag

24. Window Pane Blues

25. Hot Jelly Roll Blues

Disc 4

1. Labor Blues

2. Goin' Away Blues

3. No Baby

5. Dreaming Blues

6. Weeping Willow Blues

7. Way Down In Arkansas

9. Indian Squaw Blues

10. Florida Bound

11. God Didn't Make No Monkey Man

12. Tallahatchie River Blues

14. Bedside Blues

15. Lonesome Midnight Dream

16. Billy Goat Blues

17. That Won't Do

18. Ghost Woman Blues

20. Rollin' Dough Blues

21. Starvation Farm Blues

23. Teasin' Brown Blues

25. Dago Blues

Comments

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Live this guy's sound. A lot like Lead Belly.

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