Aunt Caroline Dye

Memphis Jug Band, 1930

The original version was recorded by the Memphis Jug Band on May 29, 1930 in Memphis, with Will Shade on lead guitar and vocal, Charlie Burse on rhythm guitar and speech, Ben Ramey on kazoo and speech and Hambone Lewis on jug.

Will Shade starts with a simple lead part using E chord shapes, but on the third verse he moves up two frets and plays a part based around the D shape that he had used a few years earlier on "Memphis Jug Blues."

Charlie Burse takes the second guitar part, but instead of simple alternating bass notes, he adds a little bass riff on the fifth and sixth measures of each verse, then plays a series of chromatic bass runs for the solo that fit neatly with Shade's lead part.

Ben Ramey's kazoo riff on the second half of each line is well known, but he plays continuously through the song, with a mostly consistent part, except when he pauses to add spoken interjections.

Although the original key is F#, I moved it to G to make it easier for others to play along with, and to avoid a buzz from tuning my guitar down three half steps for the rhythm part, but this made the high notes in the voice and kazoo parts hard to reach. Moving it down to E would have made it easier to sing, but then it would be impossible to play the low bass notes in the rhythm part as Burse did.

Documents: Kazoo Notation


Speech 1
Speech 2
Lead Guitar
Rhythm Guitar

This version is available for purchase on the Golden Harvest album.


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