1 June 2013

Post 93: 'ME AND MY CHAUFFEUR' - A 19-BAR TUNE!

What a weird and wonderful blues the song Me and My Chauffeur (recorded by Memphis Minnie in 1941) is.

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 chord sequence seems to be:
Lead in: G7
Bar 1: G7
Bar 2: G7
Bar 3: G7
Bar 4: G7:C7
Bar 5: C7
Bar 6: C7
Bar 7: C7
Bar 8: G7
Bar 9: D7
Bar 10: G
Bar 11: G7
Bar 12: D7
Bar 13: D7
Bar 14: C7
Bar 15: C7/D7
Bar 16: G7
Bar 17: D7/C7
Bar 18: G7/D7
Bar 19: 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.

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Footnote

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