Thirty First Street Blues
X:1 T:Thirty First Street Blues N:From the playing of the Leake County Revelers (Mississippi) M:C L:1/8 R:Blues (instrumental and vocal) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/thirty-first-street-blues D:Columbia 15668-D (78 RPM), Leake County Revelers (1931. Recorded D:12/1930 in Jackson, Mississippi D:Document DOCD 8030, "Leake County Revelers, vol. 2" (199) Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:F A6G2|AG3 F3[GA]-|[AA]GAG AG3|F4-FD C2| A6G2|AG3 F3[GA]-|[AA]GAG AGAG-|G6 A-B| c2c2 cdcA-|BB3 B4|AGAG AGAG|AGAG- G2C2| A6G2|AG3 F3[GA]-|[AA]GAG AG3|F8||
THIRTY FIRST STREET BLUES. AKA - "31st Street Blues." American, Blues (whole time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "Thirty First Street Blues" was written by Wendell Hall (1896-1969) and Harry ("Happy Harry") Geise and was first recorded in 1924 for Columbia Records (14009-D)by African-American songstress Clara Smith, billed as "The World's Champion Moaner." The recording also featured Fletcher Henderson on piano. Hall was a country singer, vaudeville artist, songwriter, pioneer radio performer, Victor recording artist and ukulele player and was known as the "Red-haired music maker" and "The Pineapple Picador" in his recording heyday in the 1920's and '30's. Although he started out as a xylophone player, he found the ukulele more portable and he became an expert on the instrument, or rather, instruments, for in addition to the standard ukulele he mastered the taropatch ukulele, banjo, the hybrid banjolele as well as the tiple. He published his tutor Ukelele [sic] Methods in 1925.
The Mississippi group the Leake County Revelers, with fiddler Wil Gilmer, covered "Thirty First Street Blues" in Dec., 1930, also recording it for Columbia Records in Jackson, Mississippi (released the following year). The words go:
- Railroad take me back: got the Thirty-First Street blues,
Please don't jump the track: I ain't got no time to lose.
Can't get nothing, while roving around
But it's all gravy, in my home town.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
New York don't get me, Chicago must.
The piece was also recorded by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in Dallas in 1937, but the side was unissued by Vocalion. Another jazz-influenced Texas group, W. Lee O'Daniel and His Lightcrust Doughboys, had better luck when they recorded "Thirty First Street Blues" for Vocalion in 1934.