Memphis Slim

Memphis Slim (September 3, 1915 – February 24, 1988) was an American blues pianist, singer, and composer. He led a series of bands that, reflecting the popular appeal of jump blues, included saxophones, bass, drums, and piano. A song he first cut in 1947, "Every Day I Have the Blues", has become a blues standard, recorded by many other artists. He made over 500 recordings.

He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1989.

Birth and Death Data: Born September 3rd, 1915 (Memphis), Died Paris

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1940 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, vocalist, composer

Notes: Dixon Godrich Rye states that he was born John L. Chatman, but changed the “L.” to “Len” to conform to the requirements of a school he attended. Columbia files list him with “Len” as middle name. He often published his compositions under the name of his father, Peter Chatman, and used the name as a pseudonym in some early recordings.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 42 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-053590 10-in. 10/30/1940 Beer drinking woman Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-053591 10-in. 10/30/1940 You didn't mean me no good Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-053592 10-in. 10/30/1940 Grinder man blues Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-053593 10-in. 10/30/1940 Empty room blues Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-053594 10-in. 10/30/1940 Shelby County blues Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-053595 10-in. 10/30/1940 I see my great mistake Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-059129 10-in. 1/16/1941 Just to prove I love you Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band composer  
Victor BS-059187 10-in. 1/31/1941 She's all in my life Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band composer  
Victor BS-059497 10-in. 4/1/1941 Old Taylor Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano, bass cano, and extra male vocal vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-059498 10-in. 4/1/1941 I believe I'll settle down Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist  
Victor BS-059499 10-in. 4/1/1941 Jasper's gal Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064000 10-in. 4/1/1941 You got to help me some Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064001 10-in. 4/1/1941 Two of a kind Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064002 10-in. 4/1/1941 Whiskey store blues Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064003 10-in. 4/1/1941 Maybe I'll lend you a dime Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist  
Victor BS-064004 10-in. 4/1/1941 Me, myself and I Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and bass cano instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist  
Victor BS-064477 10-in. 6/26/1941 Life is just a book Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064478 10-in. 6/26/1941 I'm not the lad Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064479 10-in. 6/26/1941 My feet jumped salty Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064480 10-in. 6/26/1941 Flying crow blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064481 10-in. 6/26/1941 Levee camp blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064482 10-in. 6/26/1941 I'm feeling low down Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064483 10-in. 6/26/1941 Brown and yellow woman blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-064484 10-in. 6/26/1941 She belongs to the devil Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070375 10-in. 11/4/1941 Let me play your vender Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 1-25 of 42 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim," accessed October 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103579.

Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103579.

"Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103579

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.