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Post new topic Murphey’s ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ … now with TAB
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Author Topic:  Murphey’s ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ … now with TAB
Guy Cundell


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More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 2:46 am    
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Murphey’s wonderful recordings of ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ with the Plainsmen are legendary and have been discussed here on the forum a number of times. The two Coast recordings, one unissued, have been the subject of wonder as Murphey peels off Django Reinhardt’s version of the head recorded in 1938. The unissued version has a glitch in Murphey’s second bar, which is why it may have been rejected.


The following sound file has Django’s 1938 intro followed by Murphey’s head of the version released by Coast.

https://soundcloud.com/guy-cundell/honeysuckle-rose-joaquin-quotes-django

A YouTube video of the unreleased take released by ‘TOPS’ at 2.50

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoKpO7uFCSk&t=169s


But here is the revelation. Chris Clem has just posted a previously unknown version of Honeysuckle Rose from a McGregor transcription disc that seems to have come from the same session. The band and arrangement are same but in this version, Murphey doesn’t run the Reinhart intro but offers his own. It is glorious!
I think that this is either a first take that was pepped up by Murphey with his Reinhardt ideas on later takes or that it is a ‘safety take’ in case the record company rejected the Reinhardt stuff. Either way, it is another wonderful instrumental track showing Murphey’s mastery.

Major thanks to Chris Clem! Here is his Youtube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKvlYbIyhps

Post script: Chris Clem is pretty sure that this version is not from the same session as he believes that McGregors were consistent about doing their own recordings and offer a matrix number of MM 0830 for this track. The similarities suggest that if it was not a product of the Coast session, it was recorded about the same time. However, the fact that Coast would sell an outtake to TOPS leaves the door slightly ajar to my theory.

Below is a set of transcriptions by which the three recordings of Django's head can be compared.







Last edited by Guy Cundell on 18 Sep 2018 5:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 6:40 am    
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Here it is if the above link doesn't go to the right spot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKvlYbIyhps

First song is the newly discovered Honeysuckle Rose; second song is Dark Eyes from a Hollywood Barn Dance radio show of the same era.
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 6:46 am    
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Wow this version is amazing!!!
I prefer this version!

Thanks a lot for posting that.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 11:32 am    
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Thanks for the correction, Mitch. I think it's right, now.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 4:43 pm    
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Reading about McGregor, 'the De Mille of the discs', I now understand Chris's confidence that this cut is not an outtake from the Coast session. That being true, how many more gems might be hidden in this catalogue? I see that the McGregor collection rests in the Library of Congress, which sounds like a great excuse for another visit sometime.

Links on McGregor
https://www.oldradioshows.org/2015/03/c-p-macgregor-and-the-transcribers/
http://tenwatts.blogspot.com/2008/09/macgregor-sollie.html

A very informative piece on the history of transcription discs.
http://www.jimramsburg.com/by-transcription-audio.html
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Lucky Oceans


From:
Fremantle, W Australia, Australia
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2018 11:27 pm    
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Awesome! Thanks, Guy for the find and for the transcription. What a thrill to hear some mostly unheard Joaquin!
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 14 Sep 2018 5:48 pm    
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Cheers, Lucky. It's a pretty exciting find! Kevin Coffey suggests that 'lost' is too strong a word and I guess it was not lost in the sense of the lost Tiffany transcriptions but if it is on a 16" disc that requires special playback equipment and it's in an archive or a private collection then it may as well be at the bottom of a mineshaft. So major thanks to Chris Clem for digging this and so many other great tracks up.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 16 Sep 2018 9:08 am    
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Thrilling stuff, Guy!

I'm always amazed at how Murph maintained that singing tone regardless of tempo. Each note or chord always rings out for its duration and never sounds cut-off.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 16 Sep 2018 9:09 am    
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Thrilling stuff, Guy!

I'm always amazed at how Murph maintained that singing tone regardless of tempo. Each note or chord always rings out for its duration and never sounds cut-off.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 18 Sep 2018 5:06 pm    
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He never disappoints, Andy!

Here is a transcription of the final chorus. He is using his usual chordal tuning of the era, F#9. The recording is running slow, I would think and it must be in F rather than E. I am never sure what Murphey does with the other two lower strings. There is an issue at the back of bar 11 that probably involved one of them but I haven't worked it out. It is fleeting.


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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 19 Sep 2018 4:09 am    
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You have a golden ear to transcribe this stuff, Guy! It was played 72 years ago but still sounds astounding. Murph had some excellent teachers but he more or less achieved this on his own. Back then, folks weren't bombarded with media constantly perhaps had the time and space to dig in and focus more. I know that all these screens have diminished my own attention span a bit.
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 19 Sep 2018 11:42 am    
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Great find, cool to hear the back to back comparison too
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Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post  Posted 19 Sep 2018 9:54 pm    
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Guy Cundell wrote:
He never disappoints, Andy!

I am never sure what Murphey does with the other two lower strings.




Cool stuff guy, thanks a lot.

Jerry Byrd has a F#9th 8-string tuning listed in his course:
string 7 is C#, string 8 G#
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Andy Costigan


From:
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Post  Posted 27 Sep 2018 2:57 am     Nicholas Fryer playing Joaquin's solo on "Honeysuckle Rose"
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thanks Guy for the transcription
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pCtvXUGs5k
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