Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
DESCRIPTION: Singer recalls once living high, but is now broke; friends no longer come around. " If I ever get my hands on a dollar again/Gonna hold onto it till that eagle grins." " If I ever get back on my feet again/Everybody wants to be my long lost friend"
AUTHOR: probably Ida Cox - B. Feldman
EARLIEST DATE: Jan. 1929 (recordings, Aunt Jemima Novelty Four & Pinetop Smith)
KEYWORDS: poverty drink hardtimes friend
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Aunt Jemima Novelty Four, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Brunswick 7056, 1929)
Louis Jordan & his Tympani Five, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Decca 29018, 1954)
Julia Lee & her Boyfriends, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Capitol 1009, 1950; rec. 1947)
Bessie Smith, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Columbia 14451-D, 1929; Columbia 37577, 1947)
Pinetop Smith, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Vocalion 1256, 1929)
NOTES: There seems to be some uncertainty about the authorship of this piece; the Digital Tradition lists it as by "Jimmy Cox." Given that it came out in early 1929, it might almost have been an anthem for the Great Depression -- except that hardly anyone could buy records then.
I was surprised at the lack of traditional collections. Maybe it's the unusual melody -- my traditionally-tuned voice finds it hard to follow the intervals despite hearing the song many times. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.