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 February 24th, 1988 (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

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  
Victor BS-070376 10-in. 11/4/1941 Broadcast blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070377 10-in. 11/4/1941 Gonna hit the highway Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070378 10-in. 11/4/1941 I've been treated wrong Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070379 10-in. 11/4/1941 Evil blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070380 10-in. 11/4/1941 Get down brother Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070381 10-in. 11/4/1941 Lovers' Lane blues Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070382 10-in. 11/4/1941 You stole my love Washboard Band (Washboard Sam) Male vocal solo, with washboard band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070434 10-in. 12/4/1941 Whiskey and gin blues Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass composer, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-070435 10-in. 12/4/1941 You gonna worry too? Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass composer, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-070436 10-in. 12/4/1941 This life I'm living Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass composer, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-070437 10-in. 12/4/1941 Caught the old coon at last Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass composer, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-070438 10-in. 12/4/1941 Don't think that you're smart Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass composer, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-070439 10-in. 12/4/1941 Lend me your love Memphis Slim Male vocal solo, with piano and imitation string bass instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist  
Victor BS-070458 10-in. 12/8/1941 Don't you know me Kansas Katie Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070459 10-in. 12/8/1941 I can't let you go Kansas Katie Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070460 10-in. 12/8/1941 Deep sea diver Kansas Katie Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-070461 10-in. 12/8/1941 He's my man Kansas Katie Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano instrumentalist, piano  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim," accessed November 27, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103579.

Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 27, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103579.

"Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 27 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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