Re: Mighty Long Time -- question

Well, that's Tom 2 and All Music Guide 0.
If you read the AMG writeup, McMurray is given credit for transitioning 
Givens from intrumental to vocal bass on "Mighty Long Time".  Following 
Tom's more accurate discography though, there is no way that can be the 
case, as he has stated.
Follow up question:
Anybody know more accurate, searchable blues discographies on the web?

tom ball wrote:

> Glenn wrote:
> I have a question for the Sonny Boy II experts, and you who know you 
> are. Regarding "Mighty Long Time" (track #10 of King Buscuit Time), 
> the liner notes of the Arhoolie disc say that Cliff Bivens, or Givens 
> (two spellings for this name are given-which is correct?) is the sole 
> accompanyist on bass vocals and "broom," which I take to mean a 
> washtub bass. To me, it sounds like SB II is backed up by a a guitar, 
> which would have been played by Joe Willie Wilkins, and a string bass 
> playing the same tango line an octave apart. What's the story with 
> this track?
> The reason I'm asking is because I've have transcribed all three harp 
> solos from MLT for the next issue of Sing Out! magazine and I need 
> accurate info for the article I'm writing that will accompany with the 
> transcription.
> Any help will be greatly appreciated
> ________
> Russ responded:
> My understanding is that Cliff Givens, the great doo-wop bass discovered
> by Lillian McMurray and later a member of the Ink Spots, vocalized the
> bass lines and slapped a broom on the floor for purcussive effect.
> ________________________
> Russ is correct -- that's bass singer Cliff Givens.  (Perhaps a bit of 
> stretch to attribute his discovery to Mrs. McMurry tho, as he'd been 
> in the business since '35, recorded for RCA in '41, and had already 
> been a member of both the Ink Spots and the Golden Gate Quartet.)  
> From what I've read, SB's bass player didn't show up at the session so 
> Lillian called Cliff, who was known to her from the Trumpet gospel 
> sessions by The Southern Sons.
> This is one of my favorite SBWII pieces, and a very strange one 
> indeed.  Every discography I've ever seen says this song is 
> guitarless, and upon the first few listens, it certainly seems to be. 
> But the more one critically listens to it (especially the middle to 
> late parts,) the more it sounds like there may be a very 
> lightly-played single-string guitar line, doubling Givens' bass part 
> an octave higher. Is that what you're hearing, Glenn?  Because if so, 
> I believe I hear it as well... in fact there seem to be a couple of 
> spots where I could swear I'm hearing crackle from a pick-up.  But 
> then the whole song is so drenched in studio-added reverb/echo that 
> it's rather difficult to analyze.  There's no string bass on the song, 
> but the combination of reverb/echo plus Givens' sharply articulated 
> vocal attack (combined with the possible ghost guitar) make it sound, 
> at times, like a string bass.  And although many books, liner notes 
> and discogs state that Givens also played broom on this song, I don't 
> hear it.  Mark Ryan's book says he played the broom in a wire-brushes 
> fashion, by scraping it on the floor.  Great story, and it does seem 
> to be audible on other songs from this session ("Stop Now, Baby" and 
> "Too Close Together" for example,) but does anyone actually hear it on 
> Mighty Long Time?  Or are my ears just shot?!?  :)
> Amazing song, tho...  And an all-time classic recording, IMHO.  And 
> I'm sure Mrs. McMurry would get a huge laugh out of all us 
> harpfiend/internet types discussing (on computers) whether or not a 
> guy played a damn broom 50+ years ago...  :)
> cheers,
> Tom Ball
> Santa Barbara
> .
> -- 
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