Dan Sane

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Dan Sane (September 22, 1896 February 18, 1956) was an American Memphis and country blues guitarist and songwriter. He was a working associate of Frank Stokes and, according to Allmusic journalist, Jason Ankeny, 'they had emerged among the most complementary duos in all of the blues, with Sane's flatpicking ideally embellished by Stokes' fluid rhythms.' The best known of Sane's penned songs were 'Downtown Blues' and 'Mr. Crump Don't Like It.' His surname was alternatively spelt as 'Sain'.
Dan Sane

Sane was born in Hernando, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and played in Will Batts' string band, before meeting guitar player Frank Stokes. Sane and Stokes busked together around Memphis' Beale Street at weekends. During the 1920s the pair performed on Beale Street as a duo billed as the Beale Street Sheiks and played in white venues, including country clubs, parties and dances, as members of Jack Kelly's Jug Busters. Their first recording was for Paramount Records in August 1927, under the Beale Street Sheiks name. A National Park Service's tourist guide to the blues heritage of the Mississippi Delta says: 'The fluid guitar interplay between Stokes and Sane, combined with a propulsive beat, witty lyrics, and Stokes's stentorian voice, make their recordings irresistible.'

They moved to Victor Records in 1928, where the recordings were under Stokes' own name. They recorded a two-part version of 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do', a song well known in later versions by Bessie Smith and Jimmy Witherspoon, but whose origin lies somewhere in the pre-blues era. A locally popular song was 'Mr. Crump Don't Like It,' whose lyrics referred to Memphis mayor E. H. Crump and his campaign to clean up Memphis' less salubrious areas. That song may have been based on an earlier song on the same topic by W. C. Handy. The Sheiks also continued to busk the streets, and play informally at parties.

In 1929, Stokes and Sane recorded again for Paramount, resuming their 'Beale Street Sheiks' billing for a few cuts. These 1929 sides were their last together, although Sane and Stokes continued their intermittent performing partnership up to the latter's retirement from music in 1952.

In 1933, Sane and Batts (19041956), alongside Kelly, recorded as the South Memphis Jug Band.

Sane died in Memphis in February 1956, aged 59.

His guitar playing contributions have appeared on numerous compilation albums, including The Best of Frank Stokes (Yazoo Records, 2005).

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