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They Ain't Walking No More

Lucille Bogan


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"Queen of Sex Blues"


This record was cut in Chicago during late March 1930 with Lucille Bogan's vocals, backed by Charles Avery on Piano.

Lucille Bogan first recorded vaudeville songs for Okeh Records in New York in 1923, with pianist Henry Callens. Later that year she recorded "Pawn Shop Blues" in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the first time a black blues singer had been recorded outside New York or Chicago. In 1927 she began recording for Paramount Records in Grafton, Wisconsin, where she recorded her first big success, "Sweet Petunia", which was covered by Blind Blake. She also recorded for Brunswick Records, backed by Tampa Red and Cow Cow Davenport.

By 1930 her recordings had begun to concentrate on drinking and sex, with songs such as "Sloppy Drunk Blues" (covered by Leroy Carr and others) and "Tricks Ain't Walkin' No More" (later recorded by Memphis Minnie). She also recorded the original version of "Black Angel Blues", which (as "Sweet Little Angel"). Trained in the rowdier juke joints of the 1920's, many of Bogan's songs, most of which she wrote herself, have thinly-veiled humorous sexual references. The theme of prostitution, in particular, featured prominently in several of her recordings. In 1933 she returned to New York, and, apparently to conceal her identity, began recording as Bessie Jackson for the Banner label. By this time Lucille was usually accompanied by pianist Walter Roland, with whom she recorded over 100 songs during the two year period between 1933 and 1935.

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