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Lil Johnson

Lil Johnson made use of one thing that always sells in music, everytime: sex. She eventually toned down her lyrics somewhat, since record company censorship was beginning to plague her as well as shifting public taste. Nonetheless, she recorded quite a few sides between the late '20s, when she first appeared in the recording studios, and 1937, when she performed on her last known songs. Like many pianists and singers from this period, her recordings fell into a state of copyright limbo in which just about anyone capable of sequencing a series of tracks was able to release her songs on anthologies relating to the blues and boogie-woogie piano. There was a particular interest in Johnson's case among producers of collections such as Copulatin' Blues, a title that apparently seems appealing enough to be used for several different collections by unrelated labels. Song titles such as "You'll Never Miss Your Jelly Till Your Jelly Roller Is Gone" reveal how appropriate her material is to such collections, although she never really made up her mind which direction she wanted to go into with the food-equals-sex metaphors; at one point switching from jelly rolls to peanuts -- "Get 'Em From the Peanut Man," the listener is advised -- and eventually settling on something that is actually healthy, cabbage. "Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage?" Johnson asks on this side, one of several of her records in which the solid feel of the rhythm and the peskiness of the blues improvisations make up for relatively uninspired lyrics. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Dope & Glory

Disc 1

1. Sendin' The Vipers

2. Viper's Drag

3. When I Get Low I Get High

4. I'm Gonna Get High

6. Do You Dig My Jive

7. Ol' Man River

8. Knockin' Myself Out

9. Reefer Man?

11. Here Comes The Man With The Jive

12. If You're A Viper

13. Texas Tea Party

15. Jack I'm Mellow

16. Sweet Marihuana Brown

18. Weed Smoker's Dream

19. The 'G' Man Got The 'T' Man

20. All The Jive Is Gone

21. Stuff Is Here

22. Weed

23. Knockin' Myself Out

24. If You're A Viper

25. Save The Roach For Me

Disc 2

1. Killin' Jive

2. Mary Jane

3. Sweet Sue, Just You

4. Hit That Jive, Jack

5. All Teeed Up

6. Golden Leaf Strut

8. Blue Reefer Blues

10. I'se A-Muggin' Part 2

11. Jive Man Blues

12. Knocking Myself Out

13. Muggin' The Blues

14. Mellow Stuff

15. Minor Goes A Muggin'

16. Reefer Man

17. Try Some Of That

18. Dopey Joe

19. The Stuff Is Here

20. Don't Credit My Stuff

21. A Vipers Moan

23. Smoking Reefers

25. Willie The Weeper

x

Track List: Marijuana Madness

1. Reefer Man

3. Here Comes The Man With The Jive

5. The Stuff Is Here

6. Sweet Marijuana Brown

7. Viper Mad

8. "G" Man Got The "T" Man

9. All The Jive Is Gone

10. Feelin' High And Happy

12. Weed

13. Save The Roach For Me

14. Knockin' Myself Out

15. Jack, I'm Mellow

16. You'se A Viper

17. Dope Head Blues

18. Ol' Man River (Smoke A Little Tea)

19. Mellow Stuff

20. Killin' Jive

21. They Raided The Joint

22. Texas Tea Party

23. Lotus Blossom

x

Track List: Rude Dudes

Disc 1

2. Elevator Papa, Switchboard Mama

3. The Boy In The Boat

4. My Handy Man

5. Electrician Blues

6. Lollypop

7. She Showed It All

8. If It Don't Fit (Don't Force It)

9. Take It Easy Greasy

11. Mashing That Thing

12. Let Me Play With Your Poodle

13. I'm Gonna Keep My Hair Parted

14. Sweet Petunia

15. The Dirty Dozen No. 2

16. We Can Sell That Thing

17. Banana In Your Fruit Basket

19. He's Just My Size

Disc 2

2. If You Don't Give Me What I Want

3. One Hour Mama

6. Terrible Operation Blues

7. Cigarette Blues

8. Southern Can Mama

12. Meat Cuttin' Blues

14. The Best Jockey In Town

15. Kitchen Man

16. Blue Bloomer Blues

17. My Pencil Won't Write No More

18. Ain't That A Mess

19. How You Want Your Rollin' Done?

20. My Man O' War

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