Monday, April 02, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charley Patton

Artist:Charley Patton
Song:Rattlesnake Blues
Album:Pony Blues: His 23 Greatest Songs

Blues pioneer Charley Patton is known as Father of the Delta Blues. His 1929 recordings were very influential to the development of the blues and other forms of popular music. He was born Apr. 28, 1891 in Edwards, MS. His parents were Bill and Annie Patton. But it was known locally that he was the son of former slave Henderson Chatmon whose other children were blues musicians. Patton was a light skinned black so it was known that he was of mixed race including Cherokee. He grew up on the Dockery Plantation which was also where Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf learned to play. Patton was taught to play by Henry Sloan, one of the earliest blues musicians in the delta. Not much is known about him except that he taught Patton. Though he occasionally went to Chicago and other places, for the most part Patton toured the south through the 20s. Patton is considered very influential because of his song structure and he also knew he was an entertainer. His shouting singing style was also influential. So he finally got the opportunity to record for Paramount Records in 1929. He recorded Rattlesnake Blues in Wisconsin. The problem was that Paramount didn't care about the recording quality. If you're wondering about the spelling of his name, he was known as Charlie but Paramount spelled it Charley. Companies like Yazoo have done a great job of cleaning the recordings up and remastering them so they are at least listenable. This CD is from the British label Proper and is a good intro to Patton's music. Patton was a big seller for Paramount and he continued to record for them until his death from heart problems on Apr. 28, 1934 at age 42. The headstone you see in the video was paid for by John Fogerty. Obviously Charley Patton's influence is immeasurable but significant. Here's a video for Rattlesnake Blues by Charley Patton.

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