Talking Hard Luck

DESCRIPTION: Talking blues, describing the singer's hard times in surrealistic terms: "I've been bawled out and balled up, held down and held up... lost all I had and part of my furniture...and if that ain't hard luck, folks, then you tell me what is."
AUTHOR: Chris Bouchillon & Lonnie Glosson (each supplying part)
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Chris Bouchillon)+1936 (recording, Lonnie Glosson)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes nonsense recitation talltale
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, p. 105, "Born in Hard Luck" (1 text)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, pp. 214-215, "Talking Hard Luck" (1 text with musical accompaniment)

Roud #1422
Clarence Ashley & Tex Isley, "Tom's Talking Blues (Hard Luck Blues)" (Ashley01)
Chris Bouchillon, "Born in Hard Luck" (Columbia 15151-D, 1927; Clarion 5144-C, 1930 [as Clay Chapman]; Velvet Tone 2498-V, 1932 [as Clay Chapman]; on GoodForWhatAilsYou)
Harmon Canada, "Born in Hard Luck" (Gennett 6972/Champion 15808 [as Joe Smith]/Supertone 9554, 1929; Champion 45173 [as Joe Smith], c. 1935)
Lonnie Glosson, "Talking Hard Luck" (Conqueror 8732, 1936)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Talking Hard Luck" (on NLCR03, NLCR12, NLCREP1, NLCRCD1)
Pete Seeger et al, "Hard Luck Blues" (on PeteSeeger11)
Buddy Starcher, "After I Lost That Job" (Starday SEP 158, c. 1960)

Born In Hard Luck
Good Place to Be From, Anyway
NOTES [78 words]: This is a group of recitations on similar themes, basically grouped around the Bouchillon, Glosson, and Starcher pieces, all part of minstrel, circus and medicine-show traditions. The Ashley piece combines Bouchillon's and Starcher's with a couple of verses from "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," while the New Lost City Ramblers stitch together Bouchillon's and Glosson's. Much of the material also shows up in the work of medicine-show artist Harmonica Frank Floyd. - PJS
Last updated in version 6.3
File: CSW214

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.