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'"Dallas Blues"', written by Hart Wand, is an early blues song, first published in 1912. It has been called the first true blues tune ever published.Duncan, 'Blues Fiddling Classics', p. 30: "This tune was the first 12-bar blues to be published (March 1912). It was written by violinist/band leader Hart Wand from Oklahoma." However, two other 12-bar blues had been published earlier: Anthony Maggio's "I Got the Blues" in 1908 and "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", a Tin Pan Alley song whose first verse is twelve-bar blues, in 1911. Also, two other songs with "Blues" in their titles were published in 1912: "Baby Seals Blues" (August 1912), a vaudeville tune written by Franklin "Baby" Seals,[http://www.myblues.eu/blog/?p=2342#_ftn9 Erwin Bosman, "How criticism helped the vaudeville: The spotlight on Franklin Baby Seals", 'MyBlues.eu']. Retrieved 10 March 2017 and "The Memphis Blues", written by W.C. Handy (September 1912).Davis, 'The History of the Blues', p. 59: "But in a sense, the very first blues was the twelve-bar opening verse to the pop song "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," which was published in 1911."Davis, 'The History of the Blues', p. 59: "The composer of the very first copyright 'blues' was Hart Wand, a white Oklahoma violinist and bandleader whose 'Dallas Blues' was so named because its melody gave a black porter who worked for Wand's family 'the blues to go back to Dallas.' This was followed a few months later by 'Baby Seal Blues', a negligible item by the black vaudeville performer Arthur 'Baby' Seals and ragtime pianist Arthur Matthews." Neither, however, were genuine blues songs.Charters, 'The Country Blues', pp. 3435: "The first was Hart Wand's 'Dallas Blues,' published in March; the second was Arthur Seals's 'Baby Seals' Blues,' published in August; Handy finally brought out his blues in September. Both Handy and Arthur Seals were Negroes, but the music that they titled 'blues' is more or less derived from the standard popular musical styles of the 'coon-song' and 'cake-walk' type. It is ironic the first published piece in the Negro "blues idiom, 'Dallas Blues,' was by a white man, Hart Wand."
The song, although written in standard blues tempo,[http://digital.library.msstate.edu/u?/SheetMusic,26683 ]Wand, "Dallas Blues", p. 2. is often performed in a ragtime or Dixieland style.
The blues was originally published as an instrumental for piano solo. In its original published version it consists of a single twenty-bar theme (a basic twelve-bar theme with a repeat of the final eight measures) presented twice, the second time in a elaborated ragtime form. A second edition of the song, also for piano solo, uses the same twenty-bar theme but precedes it with an independent twelve-bar melody. In 1918, a third version appeared, for voice and piano, with lyrics by Lloyd GarrettJasen, 'A Century of American Popular Music', p. 45: "Dallas Blues"; Wand Publishing Co.—Oklahoma City, 1912; Probably the first published blues number. Words were added (by Lloyd Garrett in 1918). Although a favorite of dance and jazz bands, Ted Lewis and His Band had the number 7 hit in 1931, with Fats Waller as vocalist (Columbia 2527-D). to express the singer's longing for Dallas:
The song version uses the two themes of the second version, but reduces the eight-bar repeat on the second theme, so both are twelve-bar. It is mainly in this third form that the work has become known.
No date is found for the actual composition of "Dallas Blues" but Samuel Charters, who interviewed Wand for his book 'The Country Blues' (1959), states that Wand took the tune to a piano-playing friend, Annabelle Robbins, who arranged the music for him.Charters, 'The Country Blues', p. 35. Charters added that the title came from one of Wand's father's workmen who remarked that the tune gave him the blues to go back to Dallas. Since Wand's father died in 1909, the actual composition must have predated that.
In any case, within weeks of its publication it was heard the length of the Mississippi River,Charters, 'The Country Blues', p. 36: "Twenty bars in all, it was easy to play and whistle, and within a few weeks it was a favorite the length of the Mississippi River." and its influence on all the blues music that followed is well documented.
*Charters, Samuel B. (1975). 'The Country Blues'. Da Capo Press. .
*Davis, Francis. (2003). 'The History of the Blues: The Roots, the Music, the People'. Da Capo Press. .
*Duncan, Craig (1994). 'Blues Fiddling Classics'. Mel Bay Publications. .
*Jasen, David A. (2002). 'A Century of American Popular Music: 18991999'. Routledge. .
*Muir, Peter C. (2010). 'Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920.' University of Illinois. ISBN 978-0-252-03487-9.
*Wand, Hart A. (1912). [http://digital.library.msstate.edu/u?/SheetMusic,26683 "Dallas Blues"]. Wand Publishing. From [https://web.archive.org/web/20090418002924/http://digital.library.msstate.edu/collections/sheetmusic/index.html Mississippi State University's Templeton Digital Sheet Music Collection].
*Wand, Hart A. (music); Garrett, Lloyd (words) (c. 1918). [https://web.archive.org/web/20100613214222/http://www-libraries.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/sheetmusic.pl?WTDallasBl&WesternTrails&main "Dallas Blues"]. Frank Root & Company. From the [https://web.archive.org/web/20080512073430/http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/music/smp/index.html University of Colorado Digital Sheet Music Collection].
Category:Music of Oklahoma
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