Papa Charlie Jackson - Honoring Black History
Papa Charlie Jackson (1887 – 1938) was an early American bluesman and songster who accompanied himself with a banjo guitar, a guitar, or a ukulele. His recording career began in 1924. While much of his life remains a mystery, Jackson was an influential figure in blues music. He was the first self-accompanied blues musician to make records, and one of the first musicians of the hokum genre, which uses comic, often sexually suggestive lyrics and lively, danceable rhythms. He wrote or was the first to record several songs that became blues standards, including "All I Want Is a Spoonful" and "Salty Dog". Nonetheless, he has received little attention from blues historians.
Initially performing in minstrel shows and medicine shows, from the early 1920s into the 1930s he played frequent club dates in Chicago and was noted for busking at Chicago's Maxwell Street Market.In August 1924, he recorded the commercially successful "Airy Man Blues" and "Papa's Lawdy Lawdy Blues" for Paramount Records. In April 1925, Jackson released his version of "Shave 'Em Dry".\ One of his subsequent tracks, "Salty Dog Blues", became his most famous song. Among his recordings are several in which he accompanied classic female blues singers, such as Ida Cox, Hattie McDaniel, and Ma Rainey.