Down and Out Blues

Down and Out Blues
Compilation album by Sonny Boy Williamson
Released 1959 (1959)
Recorded August 12, 1955 – March 27, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois
Genre Chicago blues
Length 31:56
Label Checker LP-1437
Producer Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon
Sonny Boy Williamson chronology
Down and Out Blues
The Real Folk Blues

Down and Out Blues is the first LP record by American blues musician Sonny Boy Williamson (real name Rice Miller). The album was released in 1959 by Checker Records (see 1959 in music).

The album was a compilation of Sonny Boy's first singles for Checker, from "Don't Start Me to Talkin'" b/w "All My Love in Vain" through "Dissatisfied" b/w "Cross My Heart".

The album features many famous blues musicians backing Sonny including Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, and Willie Dixon.



The first session that Sonny Boy Williamson recorded for Checker was on August 12, 1955 were he recorded "Don't Start Me to Talkin'" and "All My Love in Vain",[1] which were released as a single a month later in September.[2] On January 7, 1956 he recorded "Let Me Explain". The single "Keep It to Yourself" b/w "The Key (To Your Door)" was recorded on August 7, 1956. "Fattening Frogs for Snakes" b/w "I Don't Know" was recorded on February 6, 1957[1] and was released either in late May or early June.[3] "99" was recorded on September 1, 1957[1] and was released as the B-side of "Born Blind" in late January or early February 1958.[4] The single "Cross My Heart" b/w "Dissatisfied" was recorded at the same session. "Wake Up Baby" b/w "Your Funeral and My Trial" was the last song on Down and Out Blues to be recorded on March 27, 1958.[1]

Artwork and packaging

The album cover features a photograph of a home-less person by Don Bronstein, and the liner notes were written by Studs Turkel, who had written Giants of Jazz.[5]


Down and Out Blues was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2007.[6] In 1988, the album won a W.C. Handy Award for Vintage/Reissue Album (US).[7]

Track listing

All songs written by Sonny Boy Williamson.

Side one
  1. "Don't Start Me to Talkin'" – 2:30
  2. "I Don't Know" – 2:20
  3. "All My Love in Vain" – 2:45
  4. "The Key (To Your Door)" – 3:10
  5. "Keep It to Yourself" – 2:45
  6. "Dissatified" – 2:40
Side two
  1. "Fattening Frogs for Snakes" – 2:16
  2. "Wake Up Baby" – 2:21
  3. "Your Funeral and My Trial" – 2:26
  4. "99" – 2:35
  5. "Cross My Heart" – 3:18
  6. "Let Me Explain" – 2:50


Per liner notes[8]


Down and Out Blues peaked at #20 on the UK Albums Chart.[9]

Release history

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1959 Checker Records mono LP LP-1437
stereo LP LPS-1437
United Kingdom 1963 Pye International Records LP NPL 28036
United States 1990 MCA Records/Chess Records CD CHD-31272
Japan 2001 MCA Records CD UICY-3207

External links


  1. ^ a b c d (1993) Album notes for The Essential by Sonny Boy Williamson [CD liner]. United States: MCA Records/Chess Records (CHD2-9343).
  2. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records". Billboard: 43. September 24, 1955. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records". Billboard: 66. June 3, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records". Billboard: 61. February 3, 1958. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ Album notes for Down and Out Blues by Sonny Boy Williamson [Vinyl sleeve]. United States: Checker Records (LP-1437).
  6. ^ Past Hall of Fame Inductees Blues Foundation. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  7. ^ Past Blues Music Awards Blues Foundation. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  8. ^ (1990) Album notes for Down and Out Blues by Sonny Boy Williamson [CD liner]. United States: MCA Records/Chess Records (CHD-31272).
  9. ^ "Sonny Boy Williamson". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Down and out — may refer to: In film and television: Down and Out in Paris and London, a 1933 semi autobiographical book by George Orwell Down and Out in Beverly Hills, a 1986 American comedy film Down and Out in America, a 1986 documentary film on poverty in… …   Wikipedia

  • Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out — Single by Bessie Smith B side Take It Right Back Released 1929 (1929) Format …   Wikipedia

  • Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out — is a blues standard, written by Jimmie Cox in 1923. Its lyric, told from the point of view of a one time millionaire during the Prohibition era, reflects on the fleeting nature of material wealth and the friendships that come and go with… …   Wikipedia

  • Odetta and the Blues — Studio album by Odetta Released …   Wikipedia

  • Blues Hall of Fame — Die Blues Hall of Fame ist die Ehrengalerie der Blues Foundation, einer gemeinnützigen Einrichtung in Memphis, Tennessee, die sich die Förderung des Blues zum Ziel gesetzt hat. Seit 1980 werden Pioniere des Blues durch die Aufnahme in die „Hall… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blues — 〈[ blu:z] m.; , 〉 1. 〈Mus.〉 1.1 schwermütiges Tanzlied der nordamerikanischen Schwarzen 1.2 aus (1.1) hervorgegangener langsamer Gesellschaftstanz im 4/4 Takt 1.3 aus (1.1) hervorgegangene Stilrichtung des Jazz 2. 〈fig.; umg.〉 Anfall von… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Out of Sight (song) — For the 1999 song see Guitars (Mike Oldfield album). Out of Sight Single by James Brown from the album Out of Sight …   Wikipedia

  • Blues in the Night (musical) — Infobox Musical name= Blues in the Night caption= London Cast Recording music= Various lyrics= Various book= Revue basis= productions= 1980 Off Broadway 1982 Broadway 1987 West End awards= Blues in the Night is a musical revue conceived by… …   Wikipedia

  • Blues dance — Blues dancing is a modern term used to describe a family of historical dances that developed along side and danced to blues music, or the contemporary dances that are danced in that aesthetic. African American essayist and novelist Albert Murray… …   Wikipedia

  • Blues — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Blues Orígenes musicales: espiritual afroamericano y canciones de trabajo O …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.