Talk:Black Angel Blues

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Peter R. Ascoff writes in the Encyclopedia of the Blues (Komara ed., 2006):[1]

[Lucille Bogan and Tampa Red] shared recording sessions in 1928 and 1929, and it is probably impossible at this late date to determine who originally created the song's melodic and poetic hooks. Although Bogan's recording (at least its Oriole 8121 issue) credits "Smith" as the composer, she wrote many of her own songs and "Black Angel Blues" certainly contains her earthy styleof poetic imagery and straightforward melody. It wouldn't have been the first time a composer credit was assumed by a third party. Tampa Red's Vocalion release carried no composer credit, and apparently no other artist recorded this soon-to-be-classic during the pre-World War II era. (p. 84)

Some songwriter credits from record labels:

  • Lucille Bogan ("Black Angel Blues", 1930): Smith (some modern compilations list the artist as "Lucille Bogan feat. Bessie Smith", there are no sources that Bessie Smith wrote or recorded the song)
  • Tampa Red ("Black Angel Blues", 1934): not listed (a modern compilation lists "Bogan/Smith")
  • Robert Nighthawk (as "The Nighthawks") ("BAB", 1949): Robert McCollum a.k.a. Nighthawk
  • Tampa Red (re-recording as "Sweet Little Angel", 1950): Hudson Whittaker a.k.a. Tampa Red
  • Earl Hooker ("Sweet Angel", 1953): Earl Hooker
  • B.B. King ("Sweet Little Angel", 1956): King-Josea (Josea was a pseudonym of Joe Bihari)
  • B.B. King ("Sweet Little Angel" album re-recording, 1956): King-Taub (Taub was a pseudonym of Jules Bihari)
  • Earl Hooker ("Sweet Black Angel" instrumental, 1969): Robert Nighthawk

Some BMI songwriter listings (with different BMI work numbers):

  • "Black Angel Blues": Lucille Bogan[2]
  • "Black Angel Blues": Robert Lee McCollum (a.k.a. Robert Nighthawk)[3]
  • "Sweet Angel": Bagan L; Smith[4]
  • "Sweet Angel": Earl Hooker[5]
  • "Sweet Little Angel": Riley B. King, Jules Bihari[6]
  • "Sweet Little Angel": Robert Lee McCullum (a.k.a. Nighthawk)[7]

Ojorojo (talk) 18:39, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Further to the discussion on my talkpage and your notes here, I think with the documentary evidence above quoted it would be fair and correct to attribute the song to Bogan. We can see RS have quoted her as the songwriter and there is no further burden of proof on editors. My edit AGF, but now needs amending. --Richhoncho (talk) 09:04, 11 May 2016 (UTC)