Welcome, Visitor Number

1 June 2013


What a weird and wonderful blues the song Me and My Chauffeur is. It was recorded by Memphis Minnie in 1941 and composed by blues guitarist Ernest Lawler (1900 - 1961), who was her husband at that time.

It seems to consist of 19 bars (measures). Do you know of any other piece in the traditional jazz repertoire that has this number of bars? Pretty well all tunes are in multiples of 4, such as the 12-bar blues and the 32-bar standards.

Listen to Memphis Minnie singing her song by clicking here. Try counting the bars. The oddity is partly explained when you notice that no words are sung at all during bars 9 and 10.

The chord sequence seems to be:
Lead in: G7
Bar 1: G7
Bar 2: G7
Bar 3: G7
Bar 4: C
Bar 5: C7
Bar 6: C7
Bar 7: C7
Bar 8: G7
Bar 9: D7
Bar 10: G
Bar 11: G
Bar 12: D7
Bar 13: D7
Bar 14: C7
Bar 15: C7
Bar 16: G
Bar 17: G7
Bar 18: G7/D7
Bar 19: G (or D7/G7 Turn around, it seems)

Tuba Skinny took up the song in the 2010s, with Erika Lewis providing the trickily-timed vocal. Enjoy their performance by clicking here.



My books Playing Traditional JazzEnjoying Traditional Jazz,  and Tuba Skinny and Shaye Cohn   are available from Amazon.