“Play Parties In Song And Dance” by Lead Belly - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1941Album Chart of the Decade: 1940s

TJR says

“Play Parties In Song And Dance”, recorded in May 1941, was the first of many Lead Belly releases on Moe Asch’s label. At the time, columnist Walter Winchell was not impressed: “How could anyone make a children’s record with a convicted murderer? His harsh judgement belied the reality of the situation – Lead Belly and the kids got on like a house on fire. Moe Asch (in his 1962 introduction on the Lead Belly songbook) recalled: “One Christmas Lead Belly gave a concert for children at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was jam-packed, children all over the place, frantic parents. But the moment he started to play and sing, the audience hushed and the children grouped around him as if it was grandfather singing for them; some sang with him, others danced. The parents were bewitched.” At least 5 of these are party dances, and the original album of 78s included photographs of children doing the moves. “You can’t lose-a-me, Cholly, You can’t lose-a-me, boy” sings Led Belly on the best track, a dance tune he learned in his youth. It borrows some of the verses from an old folk song found all over the South, “Down at Widow Johnson’s.” It sure beats Black Lace. Carlsberg don’t do 5 year olds’ birthday parties. But if they did…

The Jukebox Rebel

A [02:38] 5.3.png Lead Belly - Ha Ha Thisaway (Huddie Ledbetter, Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax) Folk
B [02:41] 4.7.png Lead Belly - Little Sally Walker (Huddie Ledbetter, Son Seals) Folk
C [02:41] 5.4.png Lead Belly - Redbird (Huddie Ledbetter) Folk
D [02:41] 5.5.png Lead Belly - Christmas Song (Huddie Ledbetter) Folk
E [02:21] 4.6.png Lead Belly - Skip To My Lou (Traditional) Folk
F [02:32] 6.3.png Lead Belly - You Can’t Lose Me Cholly [1941 version] (Huddie Ledbetter) Folk
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