An in-depth examination of the music of the 78 era.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
"Wake Up Jacob" - Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers
Set Two: Social Music; Disc One; Track Three: "Wake Up Jacob" performed by Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Rambers. "Violin with two guitar." Recorded in Dallas on June 26, 1929. Original issue Okeh 45375 (402730).
Born in Terrell, Texas in 1900, Archie "Prince" Albert Hunt was a master fiddler. He frequently collaborated with guitarist Harmon Clem, who appears on this recording of "Wake Up Jacob" along with an unknown second guitarist. Hunt's style is considered to be a forbear of Western Swing. Hunt was known to have performed in blackface and was reportedly well-versed in the blues, still a relatively new style during Hunt's early years. In addition to playing with his own Texas Ramblers, Hunt was also known to have performed with fellow Texans Oscar and Doc Harper. He recorded two sessions for the Okeh label during the late '20s, recording "Wake Up Jacob" during his second session in 1929. Hunt was shot to death by a jealous husband in 1931.
According to Smith's liner notes, "Wake Up Jacob" is also known as "Wild Horse," "particularly in North Carolina, Kentucky and other central eastern states." It is also known as "Stony Point," "Stony Point Reel," "Hop Along Sally," "Old Dad," and "Hop Skip Squirrel," among other titles. The song is reportedly descended from "Kelton's Reel." The song dates from the early to mid 19th century. Among its earliest published forms is in Old Dan Emmett’s Original Banjo Melodies (1844). There are also versions of this song that contain lyrics.
In his liner notes, Smith points out the "elaborate complex of accent variations" in this performance, noting that "relative freedom with melody took place earlier in Texas and Louisiana than in more northern states, probably because of a greater diversification of cultures along the Gulf Coast." In the next selection, we will encounter one of those diverse cultures that made this region so creatively fertile...
"Wake Up Jacob" is the third of seven tracks that feature the fiddle in combination with various instruments. The addition of a second guitar on this track allows for considerable interplay between the two guitars, in addition to the interplay between guitar and fiddle. The tune is repetitious, but Hunt's playing is spirited, always holding the listeners interest and almost compelling one to move about. As is the case with the other tracks heard thus far on this volume, the rhythm is simple and driving.
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The great Porter Wagoner is best known to many music fans as the man who introduced Dolly Parton to the world (as well as being a superb duet partner for her). He was more than that, of course. Here he is performing a vocal version of "Wake Up Jacob," complete with fiddle. Look for Dolly in the chorus!
Here's an excellent version of the song performed as "Stoney Point" on banjo.
This is another version of "Stoney Point," this time performed on guitar by "Coty."