I'm So Glad

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"I'm So Glad"
Single by Skip James
B-side "Special Rider Blues"
Released February 1931 (1931-02)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded 1931
Genre Blues
Length 2:47
Label Paramount (no. 13098)
Songwriter(s) Skip James

"I'm So Glad" is a Delta blues-style song originally recorded by American musician Skip James in 1931. Blues historian Gerard Herzhaft notes "This spiritual probably dates back to the beginning of the blues".[1] Blues writer Stephen Calt describes it as "a Two-Step piece marked by fiendishly fast playing [in] an eight bar arrangement comprised of single measures."[2] He adds it is not related to an earlier Lonnie Johnson tune.[2]

Paramount Records released James' "I'm So Glad" on the then standard 10-inch 78 rpm shellac phonograph record in 1931.[1] It is included on various compilations as well as Hard Time Killing' Floor (2005), a complete collection of James' recordings on compact disc, by Yazoo Records.[2] James' song has been recorded by early blues artists, including Fred McDowell.[1] After it was reworked by British rock group Cream, the song gained a much wider audience. James' was pleased and remarked "That piece is absolutely gonna stand".[2]

Rock adaptations[edit]

Cream updated the song, using a blues rock arrangement. They recorded it in September 1966 for their debut album, Fresh Cream.[3] "I'm So Glad" was a feature of their live performances.[3] A recording from The Forum in October 1968 is included on the album Goodbye (1969).[3]

Deep Purple recorded "I'm So Glad" for their first album Shades of Deep Purple. The group's vocalist Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice had recommended that the group record it. In the mid-1960s, both had recorded "I'm So Glad" with a previous band the Maze. Deep Purple introduces the song with their own arrangement, titled "Prelude: Happiness". It is a medley consisting of excerpts from the instrumental arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov's classical Scheherezade. The Cream-derived song starts after the medley. Besides the studio version, in October 1968, Deep Purple recorded a live performance of the medley, which was later released on Inglewood – Live in California (2002). It was also recorded at The Forum, during their tour with Cream.


  1. ^ a b c Herzhaft, Gerard (1992). "I'm So Glad". Encyclopedia of the Blues. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press. pp. 454–455. ISBN 1-55728-252-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d Calt, Stephen (2005). Hard Time Killing' Floor (Album notes). Skip James. Yazoo Records. pp. 4, 8. 2075. 
  3. ^ a b c Roberty, Mark (1993). Slowhand: The Complete Life and Times of Eric Clapton. New York City: Crown Trade Paperbacks. pp. 30, 40–41. ISBN 0-517-88118-7.