Struttin My Stuff # 20 - The Devil Can´t Save Your Soul

Keep those sinners away!

Greetings to ya all!

The devil can´t save your soul and soul can´t save you from the devil. Soul can save you from God though: there have been numerous well known soul artists who started in gospel music. People like Little Johnny TaylorOV Wright, Wilson Picket, Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson all  began their careers singing the Lord´s music. Maybe the most discussed of them all is Sam Cooke, who in 1957 left The Soul Stirrers to become a R ´n´ B and pop star.

In the blues field those career moves have been less frequent, when it comes to big stars.  Maybe the switch from God to the Devil is too big.  I don´t know of any blues star who really had a earlier career as a gospel artist. (Yes, BB King sang in the gospel choir as a boy, but which blues artist did not start in church?)  A lot of blues artists though, have recorded occasionally gospel numbers or have played and or recorded both, blues and spirituals, simultaneously.

For some (or a lot?) of them this dichotomy mirrored their private lives. A guy like Delta blues pioneer Charley Patton performed and wrote spirituals and preached in local churches. That didn´t keep him from drinking and partying, going through eight marriages and of having his throat cut by a jealous husband. No wonder Patton died at the early age of 43, because of heart problems. His last week on earth he spent in bed because of a bronchitis, all the time preaching from the
Book of Revelations.Shortly before he died Patton went to New York for his last recording session. There he recorded his version of I Know My Time Ain´t Long which he retitled Oh Death. Death was well known to the singer since his early age. Patton was one of twelve children, seven of whom died before they could reach their teens. Quiet unusual, even for a poor black family in the Delta at the beginning of the 20th century.
You can hear Patton´s song on this Struttin My Stuff show, together with a gospel by another Delta blues hero, Johnny Shines, Do Like The Lord Say Do, plus spirituals performed by Chicago pianist Little Brother Montgomery and Sonny Terry with Brownie McGhee.

The eternal battle between God and Devil isn´t restricted to the blues of course. Rock and Roll made a lot of sinners too. Among htem good southern country boys like Jerry Lee Lewis. Anybody who his slightly familiar with the history of the Sun record label must have heard one time or another the religious discussion between Jerry Lewis and Sun boss Sam Phillips - part of it  is today´s show intro. Lewis, brother in law of the not so innocent preacher Jimmy Taggart, recorded quiet a few gospel tunes for Sun. We play Night Train To Memphis, together with religious outings of Jerry Lee´s fellow Sun sinners Charley Rich and Sonny Burgess.

Sinner´s or saints, the artists on a Struttin My Stuff show have one thing in common: they all make music from the soul.

Have fun with the show!

TB Turpentine

Playlist Struttin My Stuff # 20 - The Devil Can´t Save Your Soul

Intro:´´Sermon´ by Jerry Lee Lewis
01 Jerry Lee Lewis - Night Train To Memphis  (Sun, 1959)
02 Marie Gladness - Cops and Robbers  (Abner, 1961)
03 Mike Pedicin -  Burnt Toast And Black Coffee (Federal, 1961)
04 Marilyn Barbarin - Reborn (Bo Sound, mid 60´s)
05 Little Brother Montgomery -  Just Got Over At Last (Follkways, 1965)
06 Honny and the Bees Band - Sisi Mbon  (unknown, avail on comp. Ghana Specia,  Soundway, 2009)
07 Eugene Jefferson - Too Young (Bay-Tone, 1961)
08 The Echoes Of Zion - Wilderness  (Smash, 1961)
09 Norma Fraser - The First Cut Is The Deepest (Coxsone, 1967)
10 Orlando Julius and His Modern Aces - My Girl  (Phonogram Nigeria, 1966)
11 William Bell - Any Other Way  (Stax, 1962)
12 The Fabulous Denos - Bad Girl  (King, 1964)
13 Driftin Slim - Down South Blues  (Modern, 1951)
14 Johnny Shines - Do Like The Lord Say Do (Black and Blue, 1971)
15 Ebo Taylor - Ohiani Sua Efir
16 Clara Ward - Abraham, Martin and John (Capitol, 1969)
17 Furry Lewis -  Billy Lyons and Stackolee (Vocalion, 1927)
18 Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - Oh, What A Beautiful City (Prestige/Bluesville, 1960)
19 Jeb Stuart - A Whole Lot Of Tears (Pure Gold, 1965)
20 Bad Boys - Love (Paula, 1966)
21 Don Norman & The Other 4 - Low Man (Sir John, 1966)
22 Sonny Burgess - All My Sins Been Taken Away (Sun, 1975)
23 Peter ´Guitar´ Lewis -  Raggedy Blues (Federal, 1952)
24 Joe Turner - Wine-O Baby Boogie (Swingtime, 1948)
25 Al Brown - Ain´t No Love In The Heart Of The City
26 Diane Cunningham - Party Time (Fontana, 1967)
27 Ada Richards - I´m Drunk And Real High (Hello World, 19??)
28 Charley Patton - Oh Death (Vocalion, 1934)
Outro: Magic Dick - Magic´s Mood (Atlantic, 1976)

Listen and/or download here (run time 01:20:32, 192 kbps):

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