I Shouldn’t Have Left You

Without a Dope Beat to step to. I heard that on the radio the other day and I thought what a great title for a post. It’s a line from the song “Try Again: by Aaliyah. It’s been over a month since I wrote a post. As a matter of fact, I’ve been putting a little extra time into getting one of my father’s songs sampled or re-recorded by a more current artist. The song was “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” written by my father in 1917. In 1919 A White lady named Marion Harris, one of the first White women to sing the “Blues”, recorded the song and it sold over a million copies. They probably thought the song was a dope beat, or groovy, or, no, they thought it was Jake, Jack. Though the beat was too mellow to step to, unless you knew how to do the foxtrot. Or maybe the ukulele version lent itself to dancing. Bessie Smith version is definitely “Bluesy”. Anywho, I and my friends are working at trying to come up with a version that would be more modern. The closest I’ve found is Salt N Pepa’s Whatta Man – “‘cuz good men are hard to find”.

Now this version is a good toe-tapper: Fats Waller

Most of the other versions are a lot slower. I’m thinking of possibly having someone do a hip-hop version ft. Lil somebody: “You gotta Hug him in the mornin’, kiss him at night, give him plenty lovin, shawty, treat your man right, ’cause “a good man is hard to find” girl, I said a good man is hard to find, so work your stuff, girl, dadadadaBOOM. ” It needs a dope beat.

We need a dope beat. Something to lift us out of the low spot we’ve been in this year due to the Pandemic. Not to mention Life’s other slings and arrows. Writing about and focusing on the things my father accomplished in his life puts a smile on my face. Some of the other songs he wrote have really funny titles, like: You Can Read my Letters, but You Sure Can’t Read My Mind”, Or this one he wrote with Clarence Williams, You’ve Got the Right Key, But the Wrong Keyhole. Can you imagine someone recording The Right Key today? Comedians would have a field day. Find something that makes you smile and share it with someone.

Stay safe, find a dope beat and step to it.

And thanks, for stopping by. 😉

What Makes U Smile?

What makes you smile before you even know you are smiling? It’s a nice thing to have happen. It’s nice to know that in a world where bad things happen, there exists happenings that make me smile, automatically. My lips turn up at the corners by themselves. For instance, a few days ago I got up, turned on my laptop and checked my mail.  There was a message from a friend in England. She started her message with “Hello Dearest Elva”. Since it was early morning I hadn’t had time to become grumpy so I was able to receive this greeting as I know it was meant. My friend is such a nice lady. Someone I met during my book writing journey. She is a good-hearted person. And I know she is genuine. And so it made me feel good to hear from her. It was like an “Awwww” moment. While reading the rest of her message  my lips began to smile of their own accord. She had found an article in a book that was a copy of correspondence my father, Eddie Green had, probably in 1949, with a man by the name of Joe Davis. The article stated:

Early in April, Davis heard from one of his old contacts from the 1920s, Eddie Green. Now managing Sepia Productions in Los Angeles, Green had written to offer a song: “I am sending you this record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart.’ This was taken from the sound track of the picture Mr. Adam’s Bomb’ which I have just produced. This was a short subject produced by us primarily for the Colored theatres. I think I mentioned this to you when I was in New York last summer. This tune should be a great tune for the Mills Brothers or a quartette like them. I am sending it to you because I believe that you, being there in the big City, could reach them better than I can out here.”

Addressing him as Eddie, Davis wrote back immediately: “You know how it always gives me great pleasure to hear from you. As soon as I receive the record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart,’ I will be only too pleased to go over it, and if you have any other songs, please send them to me, as I sure would like to publish a few things more by you.”

The thing is, I have been looking for the copyright of that song since 2014. Or a copy of the lyrics. Or something to prove that Eddie did indeed write the song. So, talk about pleased, I was so happy to see that my friend had actually found a letter from Eddie stating exactly what he did with the song he wrote for his movie! It was amazing to me. When I took my eyes off the page, I realized I had been smiling the whole time. That is such a blessing.

The song was sung in the movie by Margaret Westfield. I snapped this while watching the movie on Youtube from the Internet Archives. Unfortunately I have not been able yet to find anything on her. Though she had a lovely voice.

According to the internet “Joseph M. “Joe” Davis (October 6, 1896 – September 3, 1978[1]) was an American music producer, publisher and promoter in jazz, rhythm and blues and pop music. I might have found him had I known about him in the 70s.

I am in the process of gathering all of Eddie’s songs for possible re-release. Though it is a process. I have to verify copyright and also deal with folks who may claim copyright falsely. I don’t want Eddie’s work to stay hidden. I also want to have the paperwork for my grandson. Any money I make will be minimal-for me, it’s mainly about showcasing my father’s many talents. It’s about what I feel in my Heart. And what makes me Smile.

May you become more aware of what makes YOU smile.

Thanx so much, for stopping by. 🙂