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When I was down on the Gulf coast, in nineteen-four, I missed going to the St. Louis Exposition, to get in a piano contest, which was won by Alfred Wilson of New Orleans. I was very much disgusted because I thought I should have gone. I thought Tony Jackson was gonna be there, and of course that kind of frightened me. But I knew I could have taken, er, Alfred Wilson.
So then I decided that I would, er, travel about different little spots. Of course I was down in Biloxi, Mississippi, during the time. I used to often freq . . . er, frequent, er, the Flat Top, which was nothin’ but a old honky tonk, where nothin’ but the blues were played. There was fellas around played the blues like Brocky Johnny, Skinny Head Pete . . . Old Florida Sam and Tricky Sam, and that bunch.
What did they play?
Why, they just played just ordinary blues — the real lowdown blues, honky tonk blues.
What are the names of some of ‘em?
Well, for an instant, er, Brocky Johnny used to say, er, sing a tune something like this. The title was, er:
“All You Gals Better Get Out and Walk,
Because He’s Gonna Start His Dirty Talk.”
So we happened to truck down to, er, Mobile. At that time I was supposed to be a very good pool player. And I could slip upon a lot of people playing pool, because I’d played piano and they thought I devoted all my time to the piano. So we gotten Alabama bound. And the frequent saying was, any place that you was goin’, why, you was supposed to be bound for that place. So in fact, we was Alabama bound, and when I got there I wrote this tune called “Alabama Bound.” It goes this way:
I’m Alabama bound,
If you like me, sweet baby,
You gotta leave this town.
When that rooster crowed,
When the hen ran around,
If you want my love, sweet babe,
You’ve got to run me down.
She said, “Don’t you leave me here,
Don’t leave me here,
But, sweet papa, if you just must go,
Leave a dime for beer.”
I said, “Sweet mama babe,
Sweet mama babe,
If you must stay,
I’ll be gone for days and days.”