Sunday, June 27, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Mississippi Sheiks
Song:Sitting On Top Of The World
Album:Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down: The Best Of Mississippi Sheiks
Sitting On Top Of The World is a blues standard today and it was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008. But I'm willing to bet that most music fans don't know where the song originated. The Mississippi Sheiks had a hit with it in 1930. The group originated with the Chatmon family in Bolton, MS. The father Ezell Chatmon was a musician himself and led various string bands in Mississippi. He was also the uncle of blues pioneer Charlie Patton. He had three sons; Armenter Chatmon, Lonnie Chatmon and Sam Chatmon. Armenter was already performing as Bo Carter and Sam was performing as a solo too. Along with fiddle player Walter Vinson, the three brothers called their group Mississippi Sheiks after the Rudolph Valentino hit film The Sheik. They were able to secure a recording contract with Columbia's race label Okeh Records. Sitting On Top Of The World was their first recording in 1930 and their most successful as it crossed over to the mainstream and went gold. The song was written by Vinson and Sam Chatmon though it's likely they based it on other popular songs. There are plenty of rumours out there. Of course it has been covered by plenty of artists though Howlin' Wolf's 1957 recording is probably the best known version. The Mississippi Sheiks recordings are available on several comps but this 1997 Sony/Legacy comp is digitally remastered and is recommended. The Mississippi Sheiks split up in 1935 when the Chatmon brothers went back to farming. Vinson continued to perform with various other groups and he actually recorded as the Mississippi Sheiks in the early 60s and Sam Chatmon recorded in the 60s as well. Very influential group. Here's a video for I'm Sitting On Top Of The World by Mississippi Sheiks.