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F-20 The Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 3 “Basin Street Blues”

Released: 1984
Reissue Production: Jeff Alexson & Tom Diamant
Graphic Design: Elizabeth Weil
Cover photo hand tinting: Elizabeth Weil
Cover photo: a montage of photos taken by Robert Stinnett at a live performance in 1948 at Maple Hall in San Pablo, California
Musician’s notes by Eldon Shamblin
Other notes by Tom Diamant & Jeff Alexson
Catalog Number: LP: F-20, Cassette: C-20, CD: K-20
Photo montage and airbrushing: Stan Wolf

Side One: Basin Street Blues, I’m A Ding Dong Daddy, Crazy Rhythm, Milk Cow Blues, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone, Four Or Five Times, Frankie Jean

Side Two: It’s Your Red Wagon, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, You Just Take Her, Barnard Blues, I Never Knew, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Take The “A” Train

The album, featuring the blues/jazz side of Wills, starts out with Basin Street Blues, which Wills had recorded before on September 29, 1936 (released on 78 on the Vocalion and Okeh labels). The Tiffany version has a rare saxophone solo by Louis Tierney, who usually played fiddle in the Playboys.

But the real surprise on this album, was Frankie Jean. This was a slow, talking blues with Tommy Duncan singing accompanied by only a guitar. It is so different than anything else Wills recorded that people didn’t think it was the Wills band and thought that it had mistakenly been put on the record. Duncan had recorded the song before, on the January 26, 1945 Wills session for Columbia,and then again in 1959. It’s an old Memphis Minnie song. For more information about the song Frankie Jean and audio clips of each version, click here

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