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Joe-And-Cleoma-FalconJoe and Cléoma Falcon’s “Allons a Lafayette” is probably the first commercial Cajun music recording ever released. The record is credited to Joseph Falcon, and in their day it was considered improper for a woman to perform in dancehalls. But this didn’t stop them. The couple performed extensively in southern Louisiana and Texas in the 1920’s and 30’s, together enjoying a large following and becoming a major and lasting influence on Cajun music. Cléoma played guitar, Joe played accordion, and they both sang. First released on Columbia Records, this song has since been recorded by many Cajun artists and remains a standard of the genre.

Joseph and Cléoma Falcon – “Allons a Lafayette” (play/download mp3)

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Jack Kelly & His South Memphis Jug Band – “Highway No. 61″

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Several decades before Bob Dylan recorded his breakthrough “Highway 61 Revisited” album, the folk-blues song “Highway No. 61″ was interpreted […]

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Syd Valentine’s Patent Leather Kids – “Rock And Gravel”

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This uptempo instrumental romp from Syd Valentine’s Patent Leather Kids features some expert piano, banjo, and trumpet work. The players […]

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Clifford Hayes’ Louisville Stompers – “Dance Hall Shuffle”

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Another important figure in early Jug Music, Clifford Hayes was born in 1895 in Glasgow, Kentucky. Hayes played fiddle with […]

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King David’s Jug Band – “Sweet Potato Blues”

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King David’s Jug Band was a popular attraction in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West End in the early 20’th century. Named for […]

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Harvey Brooks Quality Four – “Frankie And Johnny”

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Named after the Quality Cafe in Los Angeles, Harvey Brooks Quality Four was one of several bands formed by pianist […]

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Blind Blake – “Hookworm Blues”

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The “King Of Ragtime Guitar,” Blind Blake makes his 6-string sing on this swinging uptempo blues rag, “Hookworm Blues,” which […]

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Dixieland Jug Blowers – “Boodle-Am Shake”

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The Dixieland Jug Blowers fused the traditional Jug Band lineup of jug, banjo, guitar and fiddle, with jazz woodwinds, brass […]

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Peg Leg Howell – “Peg Leg Stomp”

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Born on a farm in Eatonton, Georgia in March of 1888, Joshua Barnes Howell taught himself to play guitar at […]

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Bobby Leecan’s Need More Band – “Washboard Cut Out”

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Born in Philadelphia in 1897, Bobby Leecan was an influential steel string guitarist whose style embraced blues, vaudeville, jug music […]

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Bessie Smith – “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

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To say Bessie Smith was a superstar in her time is no overstatement. She had no less than fifteen chart-topping […]

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Big Bill Broonzy – “How You Want It Done”

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In his long career, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and copyrighted over 300 songs. Many were original, some were adaptations of […]

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Paddy Killoran – “Sligo Maid’s Lament”

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Sligo is a form of lively folk music which takes its name from the county and town of Sligo on […]

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Akins Birmingham Boys – “I Walked And Walked”

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This is one fine early example of amply motivated walking in song, from a group called Akins Birmingham Boys. Little […]

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The Mississippi Sheiks – “Please Baby”

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The Mississippi Sheiks from Bolton, Mississippi were a popular band in their time, and their recorded songs have been covered […]

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Ephraim Woodie & The Henpecked Husbands – “Last Gold Dollar”

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“Last Gold Dollar” is the first of several sides Ephraim Woodie and the Henpecked Husbands recorded for the Columbia label […]

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The Blue Boys (Hayes and Prater) – “Easy Winner”

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Guitarist Napoleon “Nap” Hayes and mandolinist Matthew Prater recorded this instrumental gem in Memphis, Tennessee in February of 1928. “Easy […]

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Ed Meeker – “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”

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Opening day of the baseball season always makes me think of Ed Meeker and his classic song “Take Me Out […]

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Dutch Coleman and Red Whitehead – “Dad’s Gettin’ Fuzzy”

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Here’s some blistering harmonica boogie from “blues harp” masters Dutch Coleman and Red Whitehead. Expertly shaping the tone with their […]

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