Monday, February 15, 2010

Blue Devil Blues Texas Alexander 1920's Music Jazz Lone State State Texan Texana Art Roland Dressler Collection Galveston



Art Print measures:17 inches X 11 inches

This is a retro reproduction recent re-issue of advertising poster promoting recorded music printed on heavy card stock paper





Both Blue Devil Blues & Penitentiary Moan Blues were recorded in November 1928


As his name implied, Blues singer Texas Alexander was from the Lone Star State.

He started performing at local parties and picnics in the early 1920s, sometimes working with Blind Lemon Jefferson.

In 1927 he started recording and made some very good Blues records with such Jazz luminaries as Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang, Clarence Williams and King Oliver.

He continued to record until 1929 and then after a five year break made a number of recordings in 1934.

He didn't record again until 1947.

Throughout his career Alexander often performed with his guitarist cousin Lightnin' Hopkins.

During the Depression and afterwards Hopkins and Alexander often resorted to working as street musicians or outside of music altogether.

Alexander didn't play an instrument so he always performed with accompanists or in a band setting.

In the late 1930s he worked with Lowell Fulson and Howlin' Wolf among others.

In 1939 Alexander murdered his wife and was sentenced to prison from 1940 to 1945.

When he got out of prison he hit the streets again with Lightnin' Hopkins and the pair recorded in 1947 on the Aladdin label.

Texas Alexander made his last recording in 1950 with Benton's Busy Bees and died of syphilis in 1954.

Additional notes:

A primal, stirring blues voice, Alexander was well known in the Brazos River bottomlands when he started recording in 1927.

From bluesmen like Lightnin' Hopkins and Lowell Fulson comes a verbal image of this big-voiced master of blues song craft standing on a wagon bed at a country fair or picnic.

His vibrant tenor, one step away from a field holler, rang out over the revelry as he improvised verse after verse.

His early records for Okeh are notable not only for the personal originality of his songs, but for the musical motifs against which they are set.

Unable to play himself, Alexander used a variety of accompanists.

On disc these range from the brilliant guitar work of Little Hat Jones, Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang to the string band blues of the Mississipi Sheiks and the full on jazz of King Oliver's New Orleans band.

Alexander's performing and recording career continued into the '30s with sessions for Vocalion.

In 1940, he was sent to the state pen at Paris, TX, for killing his wife.

After his release in 1945 he spent time in Houston, joining his cousin Lightnin' Hopkins for live shows and recording for the Freedom label with pianist Buster Pickens.

By 1954 he was back in the bottomlands where he died a debilitated victim of the ravages of syphillis.

His recordings

Titles like "Corn Bread Blues" or "Frisco Train" -- are an express ticket back to days before records and radio, when the blues were young and lived way up country.

Price: $20. shipping in U.S.A.

Contact: Roland Dressler

Cell: 409.750.3688

You can send mail to me at:

Roland Dressler

P.O. Box 16214

Galveston, Texas, 77552

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