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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pinetop Smith - "PineTop's Boogie Woogie" (example, lyrics, comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides an example Pine Top Smith's December 29, 1928 record "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie". Song lyrics and comments about "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" are also included in this post.

The Addendum to this post features my comments about certain vernacular sayings that are found in "PineTop's Boogie Woogie" and their contemporary equivalents or very similar contemporary terms and their meanings.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks Pine Top Smith for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publisher of this post's featured sound file on YouTube.
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Several posts on songs that include the word "boogie" in their title can be found on this pancocojams blog. Click the tag "boogie" below or use the internal search engine to find those posts.

SHOWCASE EXAMPLE
Pine Top Smith, December 1928: PineTop's Boogie Woogie



davidhertzberg, Published on Apr 16, 2011

Clarence Smith, better known as Pinetop Smith or Pine Top Smith (1904 - 1929) performs Pine Top Boogie. From the rare LP you see above, part of a four LP set produced by the jazz critic Leonard Feather and released by Decca in 1957 under the title "Encyclopedia of Jazz on Records."
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Selected comment from this sound file's discussion thread:
MooPotPie, 2011
"...That 1928 recording by "Pinetop" Smith is probably THE most influential source of what became rock music, though the boogie-woogie style probably dates to the late 19th century when it was known as "sixteenths" referring to the 16th notes in the left hand. Eubie Blake recalled hearing it by that name in the 1890s."

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INFORMATION ABOUT & LYRICS FOR THIS SONG
From http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=5014.0
"dj, on: July 03, 2008, 11:37:27 AM
"Clarence "Pine Top" Smith recorded "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" for Vocalion in Chicago on December 29, 1928. The world almost didn't get to hear Smith, as he was killed by a stray bullet while playing at a dance less than three months later, on March 15th, 1929.

The record is notable for being the first appearance of the term "boogie woogie" on record, and for being one of the first appearances of what would become known as a boogie woogie bass. Lots of pianists (and a few guitar players) have recorded versions of "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" through the years, but very few have copied Pine Top's words. Here they are. If anyone has any additions or corrections, I'd be happy to receive them.

I've transcribed the words from both takes. They're pretty much the same, but there are two points of interest. 1) In take A, Pine Top calls the song "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie", but in take B he calls it "Pine Top Trouble", an interesting name given that the lyrics are a set of dance instructions and the word "trouble" is never used. (Though Pine Top recorded a "Pine Top Trouble" earlier in December which was never issued). 2) In take A, Pine Top shouts "Hold it" or "Hold yourself" over a trill , then shouts "Stop" and plays a descending melodic line. the two together are quite distinctive. But on take B, Though Pine Top says "when I say 'Stop'...", but never actually says stop, though the "Hold it", trill, and descending melodic line are still there. This would seem to be such a distinctive part of the piece that the difference, and the fact that the difference is consistent throughout the piece, is surprising.

"Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" (Take A)

(Instrumental)

I want all of you all to know this is Pine Top's Boogie Woogie
I want everybody to dance 'em just like I tell you
And when I say "Hold yourself" I want all of you to get ready to stop
And when I've said "Stop", don't move
And when I say "Get it", I want all of you all to do a boogie woogie
Hold it now
Stop
Boogie woogie
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

(Instrumental)

Now when I say "Hold yourself" this time, I want all of you to get ready to stop
When I've said "Stop", don't move a peg
When I say "Get it", everybody mess around
Hold yourself now
Stop
Mess around

(Instrumental)

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

Say little girl, you, standin' there with the red dress on
Back right up here at this piano where Mr. Pine Top is
That's right, face the audience
Now when I tell you to hold yourself, you get ready to stop, you hear?
And when I've said "Stop", don't you move a peg
And when I say "Get it", I want you to shake that thing
Hold yourself now
Stop
Shake that thing
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

Now I'm gon' pick this piano

(Instrumental)

"Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" (Take B)

(Instrumental)

Now listen here all of you, this is my Pine Top Trouble
I want everybody to dance 'em just like I tell you
And when I say "Hold yourself" everybody get ready to stop
And when I've said "Stop", don't move a peg
And when I say "Get it", everybody do a boogie woogie
Hold yourself now
Boogie woogie
Now That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

(Instrumental)

Now when I say "Hold yourself" this time, y'all get ready to stop
And when I've said "Stop", don't move
When I says "Get it", everybody mess around
Hold yourself
Mess around
Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout

(Instrumental)

Say little girl, you, standin' there with the red dress on
You come right up here where Mr. Pine Top is
Now face the audience
Now when I tell you to hold yourself, you get ready to stop
And don't move a peg
And when I say "Get it", I want you to shake that thing
Hold yourself now
Shake that thing
That's what I'm talkin' about

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ADDENDUM
Here's a list of some vernacular sayings that are found in "PineTop's Boogie Woogie" with their contemporary equivalents or very similar contemporary terms, and their meanings:
"dance 'em just like I tell you" = (dance like I tell you, and when I tell you to)

"Hold yourself" = "Hold it" (immediately stop dancing)

"Hold it now" = command to immediately stop dancing. This is similar to, if not the same as the command "Freeze" ("Freeze" means to stop moving, to stand in place (usually in a dramatic pose)
as though you have suddenly been frozen by ice)

"Don't move a peg" = don't move anything
From Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary By Stephen Calt, p. 180
"admonition to remain motionless, based on the Southern expession not to move a peg

"Get it" = "it" means those dance moves; This command means to show how well you can dance. "Get it!" is often used now as an exhortation to dancers and other performers and a statement that shows that those watching really like the way the person is dancing (or performing).

"Mess around" = do the dance steps that you want to do, improvise dance moves[?], or dance with a lot of enthusiasm[?]

I want you to shake that thing = shake your butt

That's what I'm talkin' about - that's what I mean (the dancers are doing what the singer wants them to do, as per the words in the song.

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