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The Roots of Rap

The Roots of Rap
Classic Recordings from the 1920s and 30s

Yazoo 2018; Ordering Information


"There is a vitality in this story telling tradition that
makes the music a joy."
- Los Angeles Times
"Provocative insights"- New York Newsday

Rap is considered today's modern urban music, but its roots reach far into the past as this provocative project shows. The rapping technique has been present in many American musical genres, for 100 years or more, including early rural music, both black and white, religious songs, blues, ragtime, vaudeville, and hokum. This album features rap precursors by such legendary figures in American music as Blind Willie Johnson, Pine Top Smith, Memphis Jug Band, Butterbeans and Susie, Seven Foot Dilly & his Dill Pickles, Dixieland Jug Blowers, Jimmie Davis, Blind Willie McTell and more! A highly entertaining and provocative exploration into early American musical history.

1. BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON,
If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down

2. LUKE JORDAN,
Cocaine Blues

3. ALLEN BROTHERS,
Bow Wow Blues

4. FRANKIE 'HALF-PINT' JAXON,
Jive Man Blues
5. HENRY THOMAS,
Jonah in the Wilderness
6. WILLIE WALKER,
South Carolina Rag
7. MEMPHIS JUG BAND,
Whitewash Station
8. RED HENDERSON,
Automobile Ride Through Alabama
9. SPECKLED RED,
The Dirty Dozen No. 2
10. BUTTERBEANS & SUSIE,
'Tain't None O' Your Business
11. BEALE STREET SHEIKS,
It's A Good Thing
12. JIMMIE DAVIS,
She's A Hum Dum Dinger

13. LEROY CARR,
Papa's On the House Top
14. REV. EDWARD W. CLAYBORN,
Let That Liar Alone
15. FRANK HUTCHINSON,
Back in My Home Town
16. T.C.I SECTION CREW,
Track Linin
17. BLIND WILLIE MCTELL,
Atlanta Strut
18. LONNIE GLOSSON,
Arkansas Hard Luck Blues
19. KANSAS CITY KITTY & GEORGIA TOM,
How Can You Have the Blues?
20. SEVEN FOOT DILLY & HIS DILL PICKLES,
Pickin' Off Peanuts
21. PINE TOP SMITH,
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
22. DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS,
When I Stopped Running I Was at Home
23. MEMHIS MINNIE,
Frankie Jean
© 2000 Yazoo Records