Corrine, Corrina

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"Corrine, Corrina"
Single by Bo Carter and Papa Charlie McCoy
B-side not by Carter
Released 1928 (1928)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded 1928
Genre Country blues
Length 3:20
Label Brunswick (no. 7080)
Writer(s) unknown

"Corrine, Corrina" (sometimes "Corrina, Corrina") is a 12-bar country blues song in the AAB form. "Corrine, Corrina" was first recorded by Bo Carter (Brunswick 7080, December 1928).[1] However, it was not copyrighted until 1932 by Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon and his publishers, Mitchell Parish and J. Mayo Williams. The song is familiar for its opening verse:

Corrine, Corrina, where you been so long?
Corrine, Corrina, where you been so long?
I ain't had no lovin', since you've been gone

The Mississippi Sheiks, as the Jackson Blue Boys with Papa Charlie McCoy on vocals, recorded the same song in 1930; this time as "Sweet Alberta" (Columbia 14397-D), substituting the words Sweet Alberta for Corrine, Corrina.[2] "Corrine, Corrina" has been recorded in a number of musical styles, including blues, jazz, rock and roll, Cajun, and Western swing. The title of the song varies from recording to recording, most often with the variant "Corrina, Corrina".

History[edit]

"Corrine, Corrina" may have traditional roots, however, earlier songs are different musically and lyrically. One of the earliest is the commercial sheet music song "Has Anybody Seen My Corrine?" published by Roger Graham in 1918. Vernon Dalhart (Edison 6166) recorded a vocal version in 1918,[3] and Wilbur Sweatman's Original Jazz Band (Columbia A-2663), an instrumental version the same year. Graham's song contains sentiments similar to "Corrine, Corrina":

Has anybody seen my Corrine?
No matter where Corrina may be
Tell my Corrina to come right back to me
I want some lovin' sweetie dear

Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded a version of "C.C. Rider" in April 1926 entitled "Corrina Blues" which contains a verse in a similar vein:

If you see Corrina, tell her to hurry home
I ain't had no true love since Corrina been gone (3×)

The Mississippi Sheiks also recorded "Sweet Maggie" in the 1930s:

Sweet Maggie sweet Maggie where you bin so long
Tell me sweet Maggie where you bin so long
There hasn't bin no lovin since you bin gone

Blues recordings[edit]

Notable early singers to record the song included Blind Lemon Jefferson (1926), Bo Carter (1928), Charlie McCoy (1928), Tampa Red (1929, 1930), Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon (1929), Walter Davis (1939), Johnny Temple (1940 ), and Big Joe Turner (1941). Veteran blues artists recorded for the revival market include Mississippi John Hurt (1966) and Mance Lipscomb (1968) Postwar-blues artists recording the song included Taj Mahal and Snooky Pryor.

Jazz recordings[edit]

Among the musicians to record the song were Wilbur Sweatman, Red Nichols (1930). Cab Calloway (1931), Art Tatum (1941), The Black Sorrows (1985), and Natalie Cole.

Early Country recordings[edit]

Several recordings were made for the Country market by artists including Clayton McMichen (1929) and the Cajun musician Leo Soileau (1935).

Western Swing recordings[edit]

In 1934, Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies recorded the song under the title "Where Have You Been So Long, Corrinne," as a Western swing dance song.[4] Shortly thereafter, Bob Wills adapted it again as "Corrine, Corrina," also in the Western swing style. Following his recording with The Texas Playboys (OKeh 06530) on April 15, 1940, the song entered the standard repertoire of all Western swing bands, influencing the adoption of "Corrine, Corrina" by Cajun bands and later by individual country artists.[5]

"Corrine, Corrina" is also an important song related to Western swing's pioneering use of electrically amplified stringed instruments. It was one of the songs recorded during a session in Dallas on September 28, 1935, by Roy Newman and His Boys (OKeh 03117).[6] Their guitarist, Jim Boyd, played what is the first use of an electrically amplified guitar found on a recording.[7]

Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers also recorded an early version of Chatmon's song on February 5, 1937 (Decca 5350).

Folk music revival[edit]

"Corrine, Corrina" entered the folk-like acoustical tradition during the American folk music revival of the 1960s when Bob Dylan began playing a version he titled "Corrina, Corrina". Although his blues based version contains lyrics and song structure from Corrine Corrina, his melody is lifted from "Stones in My Passway" (Vocalion 3723) recorded by Robert Johnson in 1937. Dylan's version, found on his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, also borrows lyrics taken from Johnson's song:

I got a bird that whistles, I got a bird that sings (2×)

The Rising Sons, featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, recorded the song as "Corinna, Corinna" before breaking up in 1966. Taj Mahal then recorded another version in 1968 titled "Corinna". Joni Mitchell covered the song in 1988 on her album Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, with the title "A Bird That Whistles (Corrina Corrina)", and adding a flight-evoking Wayne Shorter sax solo. Other artists who have recorded the song include Eric Clapton, who sings it as "Alberta, Alberta", Willie Nelson, Steve Gillette, Leo Kottke, and Conor Oberst. The English folk band Show of Hands also performed the song on their live album As You Were.

Rock music[edit]

Big Joe Turner recorded a rendition of the song for Atlantic Records in 1956.[8] Ray Peterson's 1960 version, produced by Phil Spector, reached number nine on the Billboard chart.[9] Jerry Lee Lewis included a version on his 1965 album, The Return of Rock.[10] Bill Haley & His Comets released a rock n' roll version on Decca Records in 1958. Steppenwolf recorded it as "Corina, Corina" for Steppenwolf Live, released in April 1970. Rod Stewart recorded a rendition between 2011 and 2013, and it is featured as a bonus track on his Time album. Boz Scaggs included it on his 2013 album Memphis.

Country music[edit]

Asleep at the Wheel recorded the song for their 1993 album A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys with Brooks & Dunn. Their version peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1994.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cheseborough, "Carter, Bo", p. 186: "Carter's [Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks] 1928 recording of 'Corrine, Corrina' is the earliest know version of that song, which has become a standard of American music.
  2. ^ Dixon, Blues & Gospel Records, p. 355.
  3. ^ Seubert, "Has Anybody Seen My Corrine".
  4. ^ "Where Have You Been So Long Corrine by Milton Brown @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  5. ^ Clayton, The Roots of Texas Music, p. 23: "For example, 'Corrine, Corrina,' now considered a Cajun standard, probably was originally an African American blues song. In the 1930s, it was adapted to western swing by Bob Wills, and, from there, worked its way into the standard Cajun repertoire, changing slightly with each transformation."
  6. ^ Govenar, Deep Ellum and Central Track, p. 243: "Dallas, September 28, 1935 ... DAL 181, Corrine, Corrina, Vo/OK 03117."
  7. ^ Dempsey, The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air, p.120: "[Jim] Boyd, who played bass and guitar in his on-and-off career with the Doughboys that continued into the 1990s, receives credit from some researchers with what may be the first recorded use of an electric guitar. It occurred in a September 1935 session with the group Roy Newman and His Boys, who played on Dallas radio station WRR. They recorded 'Shine On Harvest Moon,' Corrine, Corrina' and 'Hot Dog Stomp'."
  8. ^ Turner, Big Joe. "Corrine, Corrina by Big Joe Turner". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  9. ^ "Corinna, Corinna (song by Ray Peterson) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  10. ^ "The Return of Rock - Jerry Lee Lewis | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8. 

Bibliography[edit]