excerpt from 'Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story' pp. 117 (332 words)

excerpt from 'Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story' pp. 117 (332 words)

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Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story

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When Elmore James was recording, he would just run one song down with the band, and on the second one, that would be the first take of it. After about three takes, it's a done deal. He would just pick something at random, come up with a beat, and everybody would just blend in. Most of his stuff he did that way was slide[. …] He would use different notes, but his early material was basically the same unless he recorded something with a horn section. I have a lot of friends in this modern technology deal, but I like to take my hat off to the guys from the old school who're gone and some who're still around. To me, that's just common courtesy. [...] You should always give respect to your peers.

In 1964, there was a gentleman named Willie Roy Sanders who recorded an early version of a song called "Crosscut Saw." He was a construction worker; he and Albert King had worked together doing road construction on some jobs in the upper western part of Arkansas, and from there back down to West Memphis, building highways and clearing land for other stuff to be built. When Willie Roy's record came out, "Crosscut Saw" was the number one blues song at radio station WDIA in Memphis. The people who Willie Roy had a contract with, somehow they decided to go with Albert King instead, and later on he recorded that same song. He stepped it up a little bit, and that's the way he made it his own. Now everybody knows it as Albert King's song, and he didn't even write it. Willie Roy didn't get no money from doing his own version, either.

There's one thing I can say, even back from day one, and that's people always want to point the finger at the white musician for stealing the black man's music. But the thing with Albert King and Willie Roy Sanders, that was black on black, against black.

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excerpt from 'Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story' pp. 117 (332 words)

excerpt from 'Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story' pp. 126-127 (332 words)


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