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  • Walkin' the Dog

    Not the final lurch-free word on this but a fun take anyway, what with the bird and stuff. Shelton Brooks wrote this. He's better known for "Some of these Days" and "Darktown Strutters Ball." Born of mixed black and native heritage in southern Ontario (at the end of the underground railroad), he moved to Detroit when he was 16 and seems to have had a successful musical career in Detroit and Chicago. He published "Walkin' the Dog" in 1916.

    Hi Mom!

  • #2
    EDIT function grrrr.... Nice Duet!


    This is the one I thought you meant

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    • #3
      Glad you liked it. Nope, not that one. And not this one either:

      Hi Mom!

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      • #4


        I'm becoming a Shelton Brooks fan. Very interesting background--Canadian-born native/black parents & classical music training--and a career at the middle levels of American black entertainment mostly in the mid-west. A few hits, played piano for Ethel Waters and Florence Mills. Bessie Smith recorded one of his songs. etc. etc. But, AFIK, no coherent biography. The "North American Black Historical Museum" is located in Amherstburg Ontario (the north end and destination of the underground railway), where Brooks was born, but I contacted them and they know almost nothing of him. A few photos.

        So I scrounge around looking for Shelton Brooks songs on the internet. There's a career for you!
        Hi Mom!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pogo97 View Post


          I'm becoming a Shelton Brooks fan. Very interesting background--Canadian-born native/black parents & classical music training--and a career at the middle levels of American black entertainment mostly in the mid-west. A few hits, played piano for Ethel Waters and Florence Mills. Bessie Smith recorded one of his songs. etc. etc. But, AFIK, no coherent biography. The "North American Black Historical Museum" is located in Amherstburg Ontario (the north end and destination of the underground railway), where Brooks was born, but I contacted them and they know almost nothing of him. A few photos.

          So I scrounge around looking for Shelton Brooks songs on the internet. There's a career for you!
          Very interesting. Finding off the beaten track songs and composers ican be eye opening and rewarding. Also, being known as the musical caretaker and promoter of obscure songs and artists might even lead to being booked as such, or guest radio spots or cultural grants...

          Along those lines, it's amazing to me how many folks that were relatively succesful, can still remain off the general public's radar.

          This reminds me of my search for info on Benny Payne, Billy Daniel's piano player. I've talked before about a two week stint I did with Benny and Billy Daniels, back in the early eighties. Benny was a talented musician, and a very humorous guy, but little info can be found about him - just a little snippet hear and a little tidbit there AFAIK. This is his IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0668265/

          There just isn't enough info on the smaller players IMHO - at least not for me. I realize though, that many folks just want to know about the current flavour of the day, and I'm in the minority.


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          • #6
            I do mostly songs from before my time, so I can't just take it for granted that I know how they should be done. So I do a lot of listening to old scratchy recordings. I love it.

            We're doing a WWI gig in late July, so I'm using that as an excuse to dredge up some > century-old songs.


            Did you know that "K-K-K-Katy" was quite probably written in Kingston ON for a Kingston girl?

            It's a riot to play and sing although the war-related parts in the second verse are stupid and evil. Plus the off-chance of some stutterer beating me up.

            And this is how popular music sounded in 1918. (There's a skit at the end of this recording that I haven't heard before. Avoid listening to it, it's awful.)

            Hi Mom!

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            • #7
              Thanks for sharing that. I enjoy very early recorded music as well. Songs like this are why I laugh whenever people start talking about the banality of modern pop songs. Pop songs have ALWAYS been banal and popular often due to some silly fashion of the day. As were the arrangements and singing styles. You can so often date a recording simply by the affectations in the vocals or the instrumentation/arrangements used. In 1918 as much as in 2014. Culturally and historically I find most of that stuff fascinating. And apparently making fun of stuttering was the "Gangham Style" of the WWI era. Who knew?
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              • #8
                For lyrics as old as Katy's, I find them to be relatively tame. In those days political and correct didn't often exist in the same sentence.

                Way back in the mid 1970's one of my band's female vocalists used to sing Katy during the intro to You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. Yep, gone are those days. Probably might have trouble with My Generation or even Ron Howard singing Gary Indiana from the Music Man. But I draw the line at Monty Python's bolour supplement skit, with the man who couldn't say "c" - they can't get rid of that!

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