Tom Delaney

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Tom Delaney was one of the more popular and prolific composers of blues songs in the '20s. He was better known for the behind the scenes activity of composing, although he did make a few appearances interpreting his own songs on record. Much Delaney material was fodder for recording artists and publishers of this era, always on the lookout for new blues material at a time when the large audience for such product had just recently been recognized. Delaney's "Down Home Blues" was a fantastic success for Ethel Waters in 1924, while the Helen Gross recording of "I Wanna Jazz Some More" became famous for his rhymes about "Miss Susan Green from New Orleans."

"Sinful Blues", first published in 1923, was an example of one of the many Delaney titles that fell into control of producer, publisher and record company manager Joe Davis. Davis continued exploiting Delaney material throughout the decade, examples of which include Maggie Jones recording the resigned "If I Lose, Let Me Lose" for Columbia and Clara Smith coming up with an unhassled version of "Troublesome Blues". Not every song he came up with made it all the way to a recording session or sheet music form, however. "Goopher Dust Blues", which may or may not include a spelling mistake in its title and "Grievin Mama" were Delaney titles that were never recorded for undisclosed reasons; "All the Girls Like Big Dick", on the other hand, obviously went too far even in the sex-crazed climate of the '20s. Davis wouldn't even think about releasing this song later in the '50s when naughty "party" records became a fad. Delaney's recordings on his own largely date from 1925 and include "I'm Leavin' Just to Ease My Worried Mind" and "Bow-Legged Mama". ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi
Tom Delaney
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