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Hollywood Rag by Cannon’s Jug Stompers

Gus Cannon ("Banjo Joe") made his first banjo when he was a child.  Built it out of his mother's frying pan.  He was born in Red Banks, MS in 1883, grew up as a sharecropper and later moved to Coahoma County and spent a lot of time in the Clarksdale area during the period that the blues form was being created.  He began performing with Noah Lewis in 1910.  Later, Gus and Noah became the heart of Cannon’s Jug Stompers.  In it Gus played the banjo and a jug, which he wore in a harness around his neck.  The Jug Stompers was a classic, which lasted until the depression brought it to an early end.  

Gus was older than most of the street musicians in Memphis.  He lived to be 96 and was able to help establish the origins for much of the music in the area.  His own music was pre-blues, a collection of bawdy, comic songs that grew out of the minstrel show, medicine show and jug band format.  This music has lasting popularity, and one tune Gus wrote, Walk Right In, became a mainstay of the folk era.  It was recorded by the Rooftop Singers in 1963 and became a #1 hit song.
The wind blows through the tall grass sounding like rain.  We set up on a road that runs alongside Old Highway 61.  It was once the railroad bed in the town of Hollywood, Mississippi.  Today, this is a recording studio for a guitar version of Cannon's Jug Stompers’ Hollywood Rag.