To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

4,5
Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Languages
Recent
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.
.
Leo
Newton
Brights
Milds

Sweet Home Chicago

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Sweet Home Chicago"
Sweet home chicago 78.jpg
Original 78 record label
Single by Robert Johnson
ReleasedAugust 1937 (1937-08)
Format78 rpm record
RecordedNovember 23, 1936
StudioGunter Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
GenreBlues
Length2:59
LabelVocalion
Songwriter(s)Robert Johnson
Producer(s)Don Law

"Sweet Home Chicago" is a blues standard first recorded by Robert Johnson in 1936. Although he is often credited as the songwriter, several songs have been identified as precedents.[1] The song has become a popular anthem for the city of Chicago despite ambiguity in Johnson's original lyrics. Numerous artists have interpreted the song in a variety of styles.

All five of Chicago's sports teams have played the song at their games in one form or another.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    Views:
    676 757
    324
    538
    605
    449
  • ✪ Sweet Home Chicago
  • ✪ Sweet Home Chicago (Original Song)
  • ✪ Darren Parry - "Sweet Home Chicago" (Robert Johnson/Blues Brothers cover)
  • ✪ Jack de Keyser: "Sweet Home Chicago", Toronto Blues Society's 28th, Toronto, 2013
  • ✪ Tom Guest - Sweet Home Chicago - Robert Johnson Cover

Transcription

Contents

Earlier songs

The melody of "Sweet Home Chicago" is found in several blues songs, including "Honey Dripper Blues", "Red Cross Blues", and the immediate model for the song, "Kokomo Blues".[2] The lyrics for "Honey Dripper Blues No. 2" by Edith North Johnson follow a typical AAB structure:

Oh my days are so long, babe
You know my nights are lonesome too (2×)
I can't find my honey dripper, Lord, I don't know what to do[3]

Lucille Bogan's (as Bessie Jackson) "Red Cross Man" uses an AB plus refrain structure:

If anybody don't believe I've got a Red Cross man
Go out in my back yard to get my Red Cross can
Oh, baby don't don't you want to go, go with me and my man down to the Red Cross Store[4]

Blues historian Elijah Wald suggests that Scrapper Blackwell was the first to introduce a reference to a city in his "Kokomo Blues", using a AAB verse:[5]

Mmmm, baby don't you want to go (2×)
Pack up your little suitcase, Papa's going to Kokomo[6]

"Kokola Blues", recorded by Madlyn Davis a year earlier in 1927, also references Kokomo, Indiana, in the refrain:

And it's hey, hey baby, baby don't you want to go
Back to that eleven light city, back to sweet Kokomo[7]

In 1932, Jabo Williams recorded "Ko Ko Mo Blues," with the same refrain, but included a counting line: "One and two is three, four and five and six".[8] James Arnold laid claim to the song in 1933, styling himself Kokomo Arnold and naming his version "Old Original Kokomo Blues".[9] He later explained the song's references "eleven light city" referred to a Chicago drugstore where a girlfriend worked and "Koko" was their brand name of coffee.[10] Papa Charlie McCoy (using the sobriquet "the Mississippi Mudder") changed the reference to Baltimore, Maryland, in "Baltimore Blues".[11] This had more name recognition to the Southern blues audience than Kokomo, Indiana.

Johnson's adaptation

On November 23, 1936, in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, Robert Johnson recorded "Sweet Home Chicago".[12] He changed the character of the song to one of aspirational migration, replacing "back to Kokomo" with "to Chicago", and replacing "that eleven light city" with another migrational goal "that land of California".

But I'm cryin' hey baby, Honey don't you want to go
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago[13]

Johnson sang this as the first verse and used it as the refrain. Otherwise, his verses retained the structure of Arnold's recording, with similar counting verses. Johnson succeeded in evoking an exotic modern place, far from the South, which is an amalgam of famous migration goals for African Americans leaving the South. To later singers this contradictory location held more appeal than obscure Kokomo. Tommy McClennan's "Baby Don't You Want To Go" (1939)[14] and Walter Davis's "Don't You Want To Go" (1941)[15] were both based on Johnson's chorus. Later singers used Johnson's chorus and dropped the arithmetical verses.

Johnson uses a driving guitar rhythm and a high, near-falsetto vocal for the song. His guitar accompaniment does not use Kokomo Arnold's bottleneck guitar style. Instead, he adapted the boogie piano accompaniments of Roosevelt Sykes to "Honey Dripper" and by Walter Roland to "Red Cross" to guitar.[2] Leroy Carr's "Baby Don't You Love Me No More" (with Leroy Carr on piano and Scrapper Blackwell on guitar) shares the rhythmic approach and the feel of Johnson's initial two verses.[16]

Lyric interpretation

The lyrics only obliquely refer to Chicago itself, in the song's refrain, where the song narrator pleads for a woman to go with him back to "that land of California, to my sweet home Chicago".[13] Indeed, California is mentioned in the song more than Chicago, both during this refrain and in one of the stanzas ("I'm goin' to California/ from there to Des Moines, Iowa"). These perplexing lyrics have been a source of controversy for many years. In the 1960s and 1970s, some commentators speculated this was a geographical mistake on Johnson's part. However, Johnson was a sophisticated songwriter and used geographical references in a number of his songs.

One interpretation is that Johnson intended the song to be a metaphorical description of an imagined paradise combining elements of the American north and west, far from the racism and poverty inherent to the Mississippi Delta of 1936.[1] Like Chicago, California was a common such destination in many Great Depression-era songs, books, and movies. Music writer Max Haymes argues that Johnson's intention was "the land of California or that sweet home Chicago".[17] Another suggests it is a reference to Chicago's California Avenue, a thoroughfare that predates Johnson's recording and which runs from the far south to the far north side of the city.

A more sophisticated and humorous interpretation (and one more consistent with all of the lyrics) has the narrator pressuring a woman to leave town with him for Chicago, but his blatant geographic ignorance reveals his attempt at deceit. Another explanation is that Johnson was conveying a trip across the country, as mentioned in the line, "I'm going to California/from there to Des Moines, Iowa", and that the end destination was Chicago, Illinois, a state sharing borders with Iowa. Writer Alan Greenberg mentions that Johnson had a remote relative who lived in Port Chicago, California, which could add ambiguity as to which Chicago the lyrics are actually referring.[18] Finally, using the same tune, Sam Montgomery sang of a land "where the sweet old oranges grow" in a song by that name.[19] It is unclear whether the reference to oranges (a California cash crop) was corrective of Johnson's geographical confusion or reflective of an earlier song that Johnson changed.

As the song grew to be a homage to Chicago, the original lyrics that refer to California were altered in most subsequent renditions. The line "back to the land of California" is changed to "back to the same old place", and the line "I'm going to California" becomes "I'm going back to Chicago". This altered version dates to pianist Roosevelt Sykes.[1]

Legacy

External video
Barack Obama singing in the East Room.jpg
Buddy Guy & Ensemble: "Sweet Home Chicago", joined by B.B. King and Barack Obama at the White House[20]

"Sweet Home Chicago" is a popular blues standard for professional and semi-professional musicians and numerous artists have recorded it in a variety of styles.[21] Steve LaVere, the manager of Johnson's recording legacy, commented, "It's like 'When the Saints Go Marching In' to the blues crowd".[1]

In 1958, Junior Parker recorded the song as an upbeat ensemble shuffle, with harmonica accompaniment.[22] Duke Records released it as a single, which reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart.[23] Duke included a songwriting credit for Roosevelt Sykes,[22] who recorded the song as "Sweet Old Chicago" in 1955. Neither Sykes nor Parker included a reference to California, a practice that is followed by subsequent performers.

On February 21, 2012, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama hosted, "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues", a celebration of blues music held in the East Room of the White House.[24] President Obama began by describing the origins of blues in the South and added "The music migrated north – from Mississippi Delta to Memphis to my hometown in Chicago".[24] Later, encouraged by Buddy Guy and B.B. King, he joined in singing the first verse of "Sweet Home Chicago".[24]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Knopper, Steve (May 30, 2002). "Sweet Home Chicago Leaves Sour Taste for Some". Chicago Tribune. Tony W. Hunter. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Komara, Edward (2007). The Road to Robert Johnson: The Genesis and Evolution of Blues in the Delta from the Late 1800s Through 1938. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard. pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-634-00907-9.
  3. ^ Paramount (PM 12915)
  4. ^ Banner (Ba 3307)
  5. ^ Wald, Elijah (2004). Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. New York City: Amistad. ISBN 0-06-052423-5.
  6. ^ Vocalion (Vo 1192)
  7. ^ Paramount (PM 12615)
  8. ^ Paramount (PM 13127)
  9. ^ Decca (De 7026)
  10. ^ Oliver, Paul (1984). Blues Off the Record. The Baton Press. pp. 105–106. ISBN 0-88254-751-8.
  11. ^ Decca (De 7009).
  12. ^ Obrecht, Jas. (1997). King of the Delta Blues (Album notes). Robert Johnson. Sony Music.
  13. ^ a b LaVere, Stephen (1990). The Complete Recordings (Box set booklet). Robert Johnson. New York City: Columbia Records. pp. 25–26. OCLC 24547399. C2K 46222.
  14. ^ Bluebird (BB B8408)
  15. ^ Bluebird (BB B9027)
  16. ^ Vocalion (1261) Chicago, 1928
  17. ^ Haymes, Max (2002). "Back to the Land of California … Robert Johnson & 'Sweet Home Chicago'". EarlyBlues.com. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  18. ^ Greenberg, Alan (1994). Love In Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson. Boston, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. p. 226 fn2. ISBN 978-0306805578.
  19. ^ "Sam Montgomery: Where the Sweet Old Oranges Grow – Appears On". AllMusic. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  20. ^ "Music and Arts – Performances at a White House performance". The White House. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  21. ^ Blues Foundation. "1983 Hall of Fame Inductees: Sweet Home Chicago". The Blues Foundation. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Vera, Billy (1992). Junior's Blues: The Duke Recordings (Album notes). Junior Parker. Universal City, California: MCA Records. pp. 3, 4. MCAD 10669.
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1988). "Junior Parker". Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 319. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
  24. ^ a b c Compton, Matt (February 22, 2012). "President Obama Sings 'Sweet Home Chicago'". The White House Blog. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
This page was last edited on 15 January 2020, at 10:58
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.