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Clarence Williams & His Orchestra - "Let Every Day Be Mother's Day" (1935 Vocalion)

Cover Image for Clarence Williams & His Orchestra - "Let Every Day Be Mother's Day" (1935 Vocalion)

w Taush Hammed, Willie Smith, Clarence Williams; Single, Vocalion – 3195

...at least in America. This Sunday's Mother's Day in the U.S., so a happy one to all. And do something nice for yours. Or if nothing else, don't wait until she's gone to be sorry - be sorry now...

Clarence Williams (fl. 1910-1940) was both a Jazz (including jug-band) musician and extremely shrewd businessman. One of the first Jazz publishers, he was a proponent of the careers of too many greats to name, among them Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and in particular Bessie Smith.

He also has writing credits on many Jazz standards including "T'ain't Nobody's Business", and indeed "Let Everyday Be Mother's Day" (image from Discogs), though it seems he was known to buy up songs from struggling musicians - "for a song", as they say...a not uncommon practice in the industry...and so it's left to scholars who know better to sort out how much of a role he really had in what.

Case in point, from 1933 on Williams has had the credit for "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It", as made famous in 1949 by Country star Hank Williams (no relation, presumably...), but an earlier version/basically the same song recorded in 1927 by Tom Gates & His Orchestra credits two of the recording musicians named Lee Blevins & Victor Sells. Also the Hank Williams version has got "floater lyrics" - sets of lyrics that show up in a bunch of different folk songs (in a moderately-broad sense of "folk" encompassing Blues, Old-time, Tin-Pan Alley, all that kind of stuff...) - that aren't in the Gates version; specifically, "Ain't no use in me working so hard / cause I got a woman in the rich/white folks' yard" or something along those lines (cf. Uncle Dave Macon - "I've Got the Mourning Blues", 1926).

Also, fun fact, Hank Williams plays the guitar solo on his version:

And for comparison, here's the Gates version:

Alright, we've deviated considerably from today's subject (reproduced on a 2001 compilation album by Timeless Records, incidentally) but none of it'll be on the test...have a meaningful weekend and Mother's Day, and before you go...

Also Check Out:

By the Intruders:

"I'll Always Love My Mama" - YouTube | Spotify

By Fats Waller:

"'Taint Nobody's Bizness If I Do" - YouTube | Spotify

By Sonny Burgess:

"My Bucket's Got a Hole In It" - YouTube | Spotify

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