Sunday, May 14, 2017

1000 SONGS: DAY 363 SONG # 394

DAY 363: The Blues 

"Another Man Done Gone" is a traditional southern blues in call and response style about a man who escaped a "chain gang". It was first recorded by US-American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax in 1940, in the a cappella version rendered by Vera Hall. Vera Hall came to be known to a wider audience at the end of the 20th century because a man who calls himself "Moby" featured her version of "Trouble so Hard" in one of his recordings (mixed it in, in some way or another). The song in question, about the man done gone has a slight change in the lyrics in the later versions, as Vera sings "he killed another man" and in later versions, this is mostly rendered as "they killed another man". I am not going to indulge in a theory of that circumstance. I just give a few renderings of that often recorded song. Naturally, I start with Vera Hall. Then, there is the only true call and response version done by the master himself, the great Johnny Cash, with Anita Carter in response (allegedly the one person of the Carter family with the most beautiful voice). Then there is the version of the Carolina Chocolate Drops to show that one could do this also with harmony singing. Last, not least, the version of Odetta that initially made this song known to a wider public. I wonder why Nick Cave never did a version of that song (if Johnny could do, ever other baritone in the world should …)

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