Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ding Dong Daddy & Mean Mean Mama

Music used to be whole a lot more fun!
Case in point are these two Western Swing classics:

Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys - Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas) (buy album) (1946)

The Light Crust Doughboys - Mean Mean Mama (From Meana) (buy album) (1940)

The Bob Wills' tune comes from Volume 3 of the Tiffany Transcriptions. For the un-initiated, the Tiffany Transcriptions is a famous ten-volume collection of radio recordings. The sound is clear and the band is lively. It's the best place to start your Bob Wills' collection.

My favorite is Volume 3, which highlights the jazzier side of the Playboys' sound. Read the AMG Review. You can listen to "Basin Street Blues" (also from Volume 3) in my previous post.

If you're looking for a starter Bob Wills' record, I'd suggest getting Volume 2, which is the "Best Of" the Tiffany Transcriptions. The song "Cherokee Maiden," which is currently posted in the sidebar, comes from this volume.

Some of the later volumes of the Tiffany Transcriptions are out of print, but you can download them all, DRM-free HERE. If you like Western Swing (and, c'mon who doesn't just a little bit?) this is great news!

Now read about The Light Crust Doughboys.

After listening to these songs, I wondered how far it would be to travel from Dumas to Meana. Problem was I couldn't find a town called "Meana" anywhere on the map. (I'm not from Texas, so maybe one of my Texas readers can enlighten me about the location of Meana?) The closest I could find was Bastrop, Texas, which used to be called "Mina". It's 600 miles from Dumas to Bastrop (formerly Mina). Considering the distance, it seems unlikely that the Ding Dong Daddy would meet up with the Mean Mean Mama. This is probably a good thing. Otherwise, somebody might have to write a song called The Big Bad Baby (From Bastrop).

If you're interested in exploring the genre beyond Bob Wills, I highly recommend purchasing the 4-CD box set called Doughboys, Playboys, and Cowboys which usually sells for less than $30.00. (buy album).

To learn more about Western Swing, check out this blog: Western Swing on 78.


nicolas said...

a quick one (I'm just passing by, very busy at work and with a certain song list) : check out Asleep At The Wheel if you don't know them already
They made an entire tribute album to Bob Wills and they are the best Western swing revival band in activity. Great performers !
I should also advise you a compilation called "Western swing Texas" amazon link http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/103-9139819-6485431?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=western+swing+fremeaux
it is by French label Frémeaux & Associés who made fantastic country & blues compilations that you will find on the Amazon page
My knowledge of country and early blues wouldn't be the same without them

Paul said...


I have the Asleep At The Wheel tribute and agree it's a good one. Here's a hotlink to the Amazon page you reference: western swing fremeaux.

Anonymous said...

"Mean, mean mama from Mena" is the proper spelling. It refers to Mena, Arkansas, which is about 100 miles north of Texarkana. In 1940, the town of Mena was famous as the home of the two men responsible for the popular radio show, "Lum and Abner."

Rel Davis