The Great American Medicine Show album 1925 – 1947- Viper DL143
15th of March 2021 – DOWNLOAD
The old European idea of the ‘Medicine Show’ involved various acts which included singing, dancing and comedy accompanied by ‘quack’ Doctors or Medicine Men whose remedies might ‘cure any ailments’. The American model of the ‘Medicine Show’- as we think of, started to gain popularity after the American Civil War when the US medical industry was expanding. During this time, there was very little legislation governing what could and could not be sold.
The current Musical trend was an important part of the Medicine Show and often used to soften up the audience before selling their remedies that cured ALL illnesses. These medicines could contain alcohol, cocaine or opium.
Musicians would sing a variety of Folk songs, Dance pieces, Popular Favourites, Comical songs, Parodies, Novelties and instrumentals alongside fellow performers including: minstrels, acrobats, ventriloquists, fire eaters, comedians, snake handlers, mind readers, West Wild themes, dime museums, escape artists and sharp shooters etc.
With the popularity of Radio and TV the Medicines Shows vanished and where soon seen as something from a bygone era. The ‘Variety’ shows of stage, radio and TV became its legacy….All the artists on this album have been involved and learnt their ‘trade’ with the Medicine Show in all its great variety.
…..Ladies and Gentlemen Roll up. Roll up! and enjoy the healing properties this album contains. It will cure all your ills!
|1. Emmett Miller – Thats the Good Old Sunny South 1929.
Emmett Miller was a ‘blackface’ minstrel from Macon, Georgia who combined Jazz and Hillbilly. In 1929, he was part of Okeh’s The Medicine Show. His recording of the classic Lovesick Blues became a signature tune for Hank Williams.2. JE Mainers Mountaineers – Blue Ridge Mountain Blues circa 1937.
An incredible fiddle player from North Carolina whose stage show included Comedy routines of the Medicine Shows.3. Carolina Tar Heels – Rude and Rambling Man 1929.
A show bill of 1930 called Dock Walsh the ‘King Banjo of Carolina’. The band would often perform Folk songs of Black origin.4. Henry Thomas – Bull Doze Blues 1928.
Henry Thomas was a Hobo and travelling songster, who spent much of his life playing were ever he could. A bull-doze’ means a large, efficient dose of any sort of medicine or punishment.
5. Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers – Ida Red 1934.
6. Frank Stokes – Chicken you can Roost Behind the Moon 1928.
7. Charlie Poole – Don’t let your Deal go Down Blues 1925.
8. Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys – Steel Guitar Rag 1934.
9. Shorty Godwin – Jimbo Jambo Land 1929.
10. Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Bring it with you When you Come 1928.
11. Sweet Papa Stovepipe – All Birds look like Chicken to Me 1926.
12. Gene Autry – The Rheumatism Blues 1931.
13. Sonny Terry – Harmonica and Washboard Breakdown 1940.
14. Sleepy John Estes – Special Agent Blues 1938.
15. Roy Acuff – Fire Ball Mail 1942.
16. Will Shade and Memphis Jug Band – Kansas City Blues 1927.
17. Grant Brothers – Tell it to Me 1928.
18. Uncle Dave Macon – Uncle Dave’s Beloved Solo 1926.
19. Walter Cold – Mama Keep your yes Ma’am Clean 1930.
20. Hank Williams – Move It on Over 1947.