[78-L] Mississippi Mud and the Mississippi Flood of 1927

Rodger J Holtin rjh334578 at gmail.com.invalid
Tue Nov 12 19:22:43 PST 2019

Some of you guys might remember a thread that ran here on 78 - L at least 10
years ago, maybe longer. I think the title might have been Dixiemania. The
idea was to gather up the names of as many songs from 1918 to 1930 or beyond
where the main theme was a home-sick southerner wishing to be back home,
often in spite of known or perceived hardship.

Muddy Water by Trent-Richman and DeRose made the list. "It's muddy there but
I don't care, still it's my home." 

I started my presentation by listing some of those tunes and used that to
segue into Muddy Water by Bessie Smith and the Crosby vocal from the
Whiteman version. 

There was a great migration of southerners to Chicago and other places
seeking war work during WWI, and it continued through the Twenties.   Much
as they loved working regularly, many of those Southerners thought of their
Northern experience as being cold, unhappy, and inhospitable.  Homesickness
was at epidemic proportions, and they sang and wrote songs about that
experience.  Immediately the songs proved very popular among black and white
audiences alike.  And Tin Pan Alley Yankees like Irving Berlin and George
Gershwin picked up on the formula as well.  


The 78-List came up with 415 such songs - of which I have about 50, here's a

Alabama Moon

Dear Old Southland

Deep Down South 

I'm Goin' South

Muddy Water

My Sunny Tennessee

Georgia On My Mind

Tuck Me to Sleep in My Old Kentucky Home

When the Moon Shines on Coral Gables

Birth of the Blues

There's a Cabin in the Pines

Got the South in My Soul

There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland To Me

When a Lady Meets a Gentleman Down South

Mississippi Basin  

Blues in the Night

Birmingham Bertha

When It's Sleepy Time Down South



Muddy Water is exactly that kind of song - written by Jo Trent [Black]-Peter
DeRose [American French ancestry]-Harry Richman [American Jew] [a
cross-section of America at the time.]

IF this was influenced by a southern flood, it would probably be the
Cumberland flood of Christmas Day, 1926, which does appear to be true of
Back-Water Blues by Bessie Smith.


Rodger Holtin

78-L Member Since MCMXCVIII


For Best Results Use Victor Needles


-----Original Message-----
From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
[mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of John Wright
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:24 AM
To: 78-L at 78online.com
Subject: Re: [78-L] Mississippi Mud and the Mississippi Flood of 1927



I've often played records on my podcasts that suggest reference to 1927
flood, or the threat in later years.

These two songs were featured recently:

River, Stay 'Way From My Door (Dixon, Woods)  1930?

O Lord, Send Us The Sunshine (Schoenberg, Neumayer) 1930?


Deep River Blues (Green, Handy) 1927

Muddy Water (de Rose, Richman) 1926 before the actual big flood!


John Wright


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