Mose Allison: Parchman Farm (1957)

 |   |  1 min read

Mose Allison: Parchman Farm (1957)

Mose Allison is a jazz and blues singer whose songs have been covered by a surprising number of rock artists . . .  surprising because when you hear Allison's originals -- as in this case, typically swinging, groove-driven by drummer Nick Stabalus and bassist Addison Farner -- it sounds a very long way from how they turned out in the hands of people like Blue Cheer or the Who in the Sixties.

Townshend of the Who says their hit My Generation was inspired by Allison's Young Man Blues and his vocal on the demo was laidback in the manner of Allison.

But he accidentally stuttered so singer Roger Daltrey introduced that as a significant component of the song to suggest youthful nervousness and frustration.

The Who also covered Sonny Boy Williamson's Eyesight to the Blind (on Tommy) which Allison covered around the time of Parchman Farm and Young Man Blues, which the Who did . . . in a very different way.

Here's Mose Allison's Young Man Blues.

 

And here's the Who 

Parchman Farm clearly has its origins in the blues and is about an inmate at the notorious prison in Mississippi which held Bukka White (who wrote Parchman Farm Blues), Elvis Presley's father Vernon, various civil rights and black activists . . . among thousands of others.

This first recording of Parchman Farm was done in Rudy Van Gelder's Hackensack studio for the Prestige album Local Color released in '59.

You might like to compare Mose Allison's Parchman Farm with Blue Cheer's feedback-infused heavy metal version below.

How the hell did that happen? 

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

One of Bob Marley's greatest and most pivotal songs was Soul Rebel, in the earliest version you can hear him moving away from the secular rude boy world into embracing the Rastafarian faith. He... > Read more

Louise Attaque: L'imposture (1997)

Louise Attaque: L'imposture (1997)

Louise Attaque were, for about five years from 1996, one of the most popular bands in France. Their self-titled debut album of '97 was widely hailed and went on to sell almost three million copies,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND; DOWN IN THE FLOOD (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND; DOWN IN THE FLOOD (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

Towards the end of this long, thorough and very interesting but unsanctioned doco, Sid Griffin – musician, writer and curator of the archives of the Dylan/Band sessions in Woodstock... > Read more

DYLAN HORROCKS INTERVIEWED (2010): The graphic novelist as social commentator

DYLAN HORROCKS INTERVIEWED (2010): The graphic novelist as social commentator

At the launch of the long overdue local publication of his graphic novel Hicksville in Auckland recently, Dylan Horrocks said he grew up in two places: In New Zealand and in comics, and both were... > Read more