This is the latest from The Bluesmobile’s C.C. Rider, who spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past. With the dirt of the Delta on her hands, she sleeps in the shadow of the giants on whose shoulders popular music now stands.
(April 1, 1897 – August 10, 1948)
Lemme tell you about Lucille Bogan. Mississippi born and Alabama raised. She started her recording career in 1923, which makes her one of the first of the blues babes on wax. But she’s also one of the coolest. And definitely the boldest. Where other ladies of her era relied on creative innuendo to talk about sex, Lucille had no problem layin’ it right out. In fact, most of her songs are straight up nasty. Ms. Bogan recorded a number of classics. But she’s most famous for one track. Recorded in 1935. Called “Shave ‘em Dry.” A song so obscene, it would make most modern rap songs sound like something your grandma would like. I’ll play it for you now…
Just kidding. I’d have the FCC at my door so fast I can hear ‘em knockin’ just thinkin’ about it. I’ll let you find that one yourself. But what’s especially cool about all these songs I can’t play, is that they give you an idea of what blues singers really sounded like in after hours clubs, roadhouses and juke joints. It’s a style called hokum. There’s a lot that never got recorded, cause it was just too raunchy. That’s why we’re lucky to have Lucille. Here’s a nice hokum for you. Just dirty enough. Lucille Bogan and “Barbecue Bess.”