Monday, October 21, 2013

Otha Turner and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - Shimmy She Wobble

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series of examples of the early Jazz song "Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble" That tune is also known as "Shimmy She Wobble".

This post showcases a performance of "Shimmy She Wobble" by Otha Turner and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band. This post also showcases a contemporary performance of this tune by The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band without Otha Turner.

Click for Part I of this series.

Part I provides information about that 1917 composition. Part I also showcases a 1928 recording of "Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble" by the African American Jazz band McKinney's Cotton Pickers.

Click for Part II of this series.

Part II showcases a recording of this tune by Sidney Bechet.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble" was composed in 1917 by the African American composer Spencer Williams. indicates that "Spencer Williams (1889-1965) was one of the earliest black composers to shape jazz as popular music."

Click Part I for more information about "Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble".

"Othar "Otha" Turner (June 2, 1907 – February 26, 2003)[1] was one of the last well-known fife players in the vanishing American fife and drum blues tradition.[2] He was born in Madison County, Mississippi, and lived his entire life in northern Mississippi as a farmer, where in 1923, aged 16, he learned to play fifes fashioned out of rivercanes.

Turner's Rising Star Fife and Drum Band (which consisted of friends and relatives) primarily played at farm parties.[2] Turner, along with bandmates Mae Hemphill and Abe Young, performed as the "Mississippi Fife and Drum Corps" on an episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood that aired on November 18, 1982.[3] They began to receive wider recognition in the 1990s. They appeared on Mississippi Blues in Memphis Vol. 1 in 1993, followed by inclusion in many other blues collections. They released their own critically acclaimed album Everybody Hollerin' Goat in 1998. This was followed by From Senegal to Senatobia in 1999, which combined bluesy fife and drum music with musicians credited as "the Afrossippi Allstars".

The title, Everybody Hollerin' Goat, refers to a tradition Turner began in the late 1950s of hosting Labor Day picnics where he would personally butcher and cook a goat in an iron kettle, and his band would provide musical entertainment. The picnics began as a neighborhood and family gathering; it grew over the years to attract musical fans, first from Memphis, Tennessee, and later from all over the world.

The song, "Shimmy She Wobble", from Everybody Hollerin' Goat was featured in the 2002 film, Gangs of New York. Martin Scorsese, the film's director, featured Turner in his 2003 PBS mini-series The Blues as a link between African rhythms and American blues. The concept was continued on the 2003 album Mississippi to Mali by Corey Harris. The album was dedicated to Turner, who died a week before he was scheduled to record for the album. His granddaughter and protégé Shardé Thomas, then 12 years old, filled in for the recording sessions.

Othar Turner died in Gravel Springs, Mississippi, aged 95, on February 26, 2003.[1] His daughter, Bernice Turner Pratcher, who had been living in a nursing home for some time suffering from breast cancer, died the same day, aged 48. A joint funeral service was held on March 4, 2003, in Como, Mississippi. A procession leading to the cemetery was led by the Rising Star and Fife Band, with Shardé Thomas, then 13 years old, at its head playing the fife."

Example #1: Othar Turner and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - Shimmy She Wobble (1)


Sam Collins Published on May 2, 2012

Credited to Othar Turner's Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Everybody Hollerin' Goat is a collection of haunting, authentic Mississippi-born fife and drum blues from Turner, aged 90 at the time of recording this, his solo debut. A compilation of field recordings and home recordings, it was assembled by Luther Dickinson, the son of the legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson.
- by Jason Ankeny

seated photo: in Gravel Springs, Mississippi by William R. Ferris
For an article about Othar Turner's community picnics, click,58,58 "Othar Turner, Cane Fife Maker" by William Ferris

Example #2: Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - Shimmy She Wobble - North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic 2010

Max Shores, Uploaded on Jul 19, 2010

Led by Sharde Thomas on the fife, The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band performs "Shimmy She Wobble" with Ricky Davis of Blue Mother Tupelo on guitar, Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and Hill Country Review on drums, and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and the Black Crowes on bass. This song was recorded at the 5th annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, a two-day event which takes place in Potts Camp, MS.

The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic is hosted by Kenny Brown who played guitar with the late blues legend, R. L. Burnside. The event is patterned after an annual event held for decades by the late Otha Turner of Gravel Springs, MS who is Sharde Thomas' grandfather. Ms. Thomas learned to play the fife from Mr. Turner. The Otha Turner family picnic (sometimes called the Goat Roast because goat sandwiches are served) is still held in Gravel Springs, MS each year on the last weekend in August.

More about Otha Turner:

My thanks to Otha Turner for his musical legacy. My thanks also to The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band for carrying on the tradition of African American fife and drum bands.

Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. My thanks to the all those who are quoted in this post.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment