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Big Boy Ben

The main topic of pseudonyms utilized by blues recording artists is a remarkable field of research, the most frequent reward being the key realization a totally obscure recording artist using a strange name is in fact another performer, maybe even even more obscure and with a straight stranger name. Generally motivating the deceptions was the prolific bluesman or woman’s wish to benefit from recording opportunities beyond your realm of the current contract contracts. Occasionally blues or so-called “competition” artists documented under additional names to be able to appear a little less black as well as perhaps garner a wider target audience because of this. The situation of Big Boy Ben suits neither requirements, and actually is usually downright bizarre. A set of recordings released in past due ’20s under that name in the Gennett competition series, after that reissued around the Varsity catalog in 1940, is usually one thing for certain, and this is the world’s just hermaphroditic blues record. That isn’t as the lyrics want to do with a mixed male and woman creature; that could not be therefore rare, and is in fact the main topic of not just one but many classic blues tunes. No, the best Boy Ben platter was a classic mixed male and woman creation. A male vocalist was featured around the 1st side, a lady around the additional. Inexplicably, both edges were acknowledged to Big Boy Ben, on both Gennett and Varsity variations. No explanation because of this marketing strategy offers have you been provided, nor would one ever become accepted. Fortunately for future years of civilization, the real identities of Mr. and Mrs. Big Young man Ben have already been exposed. Wayne Cole was in charge of the tune “Mistreated the Just Friend YOU’D,” perhaps a primary message towards the Gennett honchos who made a decision to launch this tune under a pseudonym. Feminine vocalist Lena Matlock had taken treatment of business on the other hand with some sage assistance entitled “Mama KEEP THE Yes Ma’am Clean.” Cole was better referred to as a violinist, frequently working in rings with Tommie Bradley. That is an extremely uncommon exemplory case of Cole by himself, as well as the reception the record received shows his desire for being truly a sideman was in a position. “The 1st side is quite poor,” critic Joe Shephard published in Jazz Info. This critic was a lot more keen on Matlock on the other hand, and was observant plenty of to note the difference between your two singers who have been being promoted beneath the same name (pretty good capabilities of observation for any music critic): “…On the next the singer differs, a female, and good….” The wonderful Matlock’s main carrying out partner was Willie “Scarecrow” Owens, a troubling fellow sometimes simply referred to as “the Scarecrow.” “Easy Creeping Mama” and “Need Your Ashes Hauled” had been two of their recordings, certainly describing different facets of their romantic relationship. Her sole documenting on her personal was the wonderful “End Bitin’ Other Ladies in the trunk,” initial released in 1930.

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