OH, PLAY THAT THING!

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The sheet of manuscript paper below — with thanks to Norman Field and David Weiner, rescuers and researchers both — is my idea of Holy Writ: the lead sheet for Joe Oliver’s composition DIPPER MOUTH BLUES, registered with the Library of Congress in 1923.  Does it get more magical than that?  And Norman thinks that “by Joseph Oliver” in the upper right is in the King’s hand.  (All that is missing is the royal seal, methinks.) 

This page originally belonged to or passed through the hands of Turk Murphy — who knew something about playing the blues in a style the King would have liked — thus the signature in the bottom right corner, in a handwriting that isn’t the same as that found top right.  JAZZ LIVES readers should consider themselves encouraged to play, sing, or hum along.  As for rehearsals, you’re on your own.   

4 responses to “OH, PLAY THAT THING!

  1. Thanks for posting this, Michael – new to me and very precious!

  2. A beautiful site to behold, the Rosetta Stone and Bayeux Tapestry got nothin’ on this!

    Mind if I repost on my site?

  3. Certainly not (consider me pleased!) and unlike the RS and the BT, it is portable: you could gaze upon it at appropriate moments on your smartphone while stuck on the train! Open all night, too, as opposed to most “art” installations and historical monuments. Papa Joe would be delighted: bring on that sugar bowl! Cheers, Michael

  4. Love it! Thanks so much for posting this beautiful piece! Love Turk Murphy as well! I just came across your blog for the first time and I look forward to repeat visits.

    Keep Jazz alive!

    Best,

    Bernie C. – Drivetime

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