List of Songs
Samples of DeFord's Music
one eighteen-month period in 1927 and 1928, DeFord made what turned
out to be his entire collection of commercial recordings. During
three recording sessions, he produced a total of eleven three-minute
sides, barely enough for a modern LP and in contrast to the hundred
plus recordings of his Opry contemporaries such as Uncle Dave Macon
and the Delmore Brothers. DeFord's efforts brought him little monetary
reward and he did not pursue future recording sessions.
Session: In the spring of 1927, Judge Hay, the Grand Ole Opry
announcer, arranged for DeFord and two other musicians to record
at Columbia Records in Atlanta. DeFord recorded only two songs,
American Blues" and "Hesitation Blues." Judge
Hay was not pleased with the session and canceled the deal. The
two Columbia sides were never issued.
Session: Judge Hay then arranged for DeFord to record with Brunswick
and Vocalian in New York. DeFord recorded eight songs, "Pan
American Blues," "Dixie Flyer Blues," "Muscle
Shoals Blues," "Evening Prayer Blues," "Up Country
Blues," "Old Hen Cackle," "Alcoholic
Blues," and "Fox
Chase." The songs were issued in the Brunswick 100
"Songs of Dixie" series, apparently the only songs performed
by a black musician in the entire series, and again in the Vocalian
5000 series entitled "Old Time Tunes."
|"I recorded eight tunes and I played every one of
them perfect the first time. They couldn't get over that.
They said I was the first one to ever record in that studio
who didn't have to play something more than once."
Session: DeFord's third commercial recording session happened
at Victor in Nashville. It was the first recording session to take
place in what would become Music City USA. Only three of the eight
sides he recorded were released by Victor: "Ice Water Blues,"
"Davidson County Blues," and "John Henry."
Legendary DeFord Bailey Album
During 1974 - 1976, DeFord allowed David Morton to tape a large
part of his repertoire on quiet evenings in his apartment. The album
includes some of DeFord's best harmonica work as well as his lesser-known
guitar work, blues singing, and banjo playing.
for the material in this section, including excerpts:
David C. Morton with Charles K. Wolfe, DeFord Bailey: A Black Star
in Early Country Music (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee
Courtesy of The Legendary DeFord Bailey and Tennessee
of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
| PLAYING STYLE | SONGS
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