Tidbits: Step It Up And Go
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Step It Up And Go (Tidbits)
Man of Peace posted:
German magazine, 'Blues Forum', issue No. 14, 2nd quarter of 1984,
contained an interview with Larry Johnson.
Larry Johnson, born in Atlanta, GA, in 1938, had moved to New
York City in the late fifties where he played harmonica for people
like Brownie McGhee or Alec Seward. Alec Seward, a fairly unknown
blues guitarist (although he recorded with Woody Guthrie, Sonny
Terry and Brownie McGhee), introduced Larry Johnson, who had just
started teaching himself guitar, to Reverend Gary Davis.
"One night we went to his place. Gary liked my harmonica
playing... And since we both came from the same rural area, we
started to talk. I mentioned Blind Boy Fuller and stated 'Yeah,
Gary, I remember his 'Step It Up and Go' well.' 'Yes,' he replied,
'I taught him that back then.' I said, 'You're crazy!' But then he
played it for me and it knocked me off my feet." (p. 15)
Obligatory Dylan content: Besides the fact that Dylan covered
Blind Boy Fuller's (or Rev. Gary Davis') 'Step It Up and Go' on
'Good As I Been To You,' he also came rather close to getting
married by the Reverend (just like Wavy Gravy and his ex-wife).
Robert Shelton on p. 131 of the Penguin edition of
'No Direction Home': "Before the end of 1961, he was talking about
marriage... planning the ceremony in detail. One winter night at
the White Horse, he told Suze and me how it would go: 'We'll get
Reverend Gary Davis... to perform the ceremony. Naw, he can just
sing the ceremony. And we'll have all the singers there.