Annotation:Black Eyed Susie (3)

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X:1 T:Black Eyed Susie [3] S:The Skillet Lickers (1928) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Columbia 15283-D, Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers (1928) D:Document DOCD 8057, The Skillet Lickers vol. 2 D: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G Bc|dBde dcAB|cdec cBAc|BABB AGFD|G,DG,D B,2D2| dBde dcAB|cBc^c dcAc|BABB AGFD|G,DG,D B,2[G,2D2]|| |+slide+[G3B3][GB] [G2B2][G_B]-[G=B]-|[GB]BAG E2FD-|(DG)[GB][GB] (DG)[GB][GB]|EFED B,2D2| +slide+[G3B3][GB] [G2B2][G_B]-[G=B]-|[GB]BAG E2FD-|(DG)[GB][GB] (DG)[GB][GB]|EFED B,2D2||

BLACK-EYED SUSIE [3]. American, Reel and Song Air (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This version of "Black-Eyed Susie" was recorded by the North Georgia band The Skillet Lickers in Atlanta in September, 1928, for Columbia Records. The group at the time was the "classic" Skillet Lickers lineup: Gid Tanner (fiddle, vocals), Riley Puckett (guitar, vocals), Clayton McMichen (fiddle), Lowe Stokes (fiddle), Fate Norris (banjo). Tanner and Puckett previously recorded "Black Eyed Susie" as a duet in 1924 (Columbia 119-D), where Tanner's fiddled line is closer to "Black Eyed Susie (1)." The 1928 fiddled tune is different enough from other "Black-Eyed Susie" tunes, but Puckett's vocal line keeps to the more traditional sung melody, and is similar to the 1924 recording. Puckett sings the usual verses (shared with "Hot Corn Cold Corn/"Green Corn"), most also considered "floating" verses (i.e. used in other tunes):

Gals and the boys went huckleberry picking,
We all got drunk and Susie got a licking.
Ha, ha, Black-Eyed Susie, ha, Black-Eyed Susie.

Some got drunk and some got boozy,
I went home with little Black-Eyed Susie.
Ha, ha, Black-Eyed Susie, ha, Black-Eyed Susie.

Love my wife, love my baby,
And I love my buscuits sopped in gravy.
Ha, ha, Black-Eyed Susie, ha, Black-Eyed Susie.

The tune had been known in Georgia for at least the last forty or fifty years. It is mentioned as a fiddle tune, for example, in a humorous account [1] of a celebration of the end of the Whig Party in Georgia in 1886:

Today at eleven a.m. Mr. Tait Ferrell with fiddle in hand, accompanied by the triumvirate of the Coweta Whigs and followed by numberless mourners, marched across the public square and took possession of the court house. The fiddler was placed on the stand in the judge's chair, and then opened the meeting by playing a tune known as "Hell Broke Loose in Georgia." After this Mr. W.G. Ashley was elected chairman, and Mr. Lon Davis as secretary, and then came as the funeral dirge, "Sugar in the Gourd."

Funeral addresses were delivered by the chairman, B. Leigh, James Y. Carmical and M.L. Carter, Jr., while Messrs. J.A. Parks, J.T. Kirby, H.C. Arnall, H.W. Dews and N.B. Glover acted as chief mourners. The exercises were interspersed with such music as "Black Eyed Susie," etc., and when the end came all agreed it was the only funeral occasion ever attended that could beat a circus.

Additional notes

Recorded sources : - Columbia 15283-D (78 RPM), Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett and Clayton McMichen (1928). Document DOCD 8057, "The Skillet Lickers vol. 2."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See the Ballad Index entry for the song [2]
Hear the Skillet Lickers 1928 recording at Slippery Hill [3]
Hear the Tanner/Puckett 1924 recording on [4]
Hear Clayton McMichen's recording at Slippery Hill [5]

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  1. "The Coweta Comedy, A Novel Way of Disposing of a Defunct Party," Sept. 9, 1886, The Atlanta Constitution, p. 2