Little Walter started "Evans Shuffle" with a riff that comes 45 seconds into "The Honeydripper." From :45 to 1:23 in Liggins's recording, "Evans Shuffle" is a 100% ripoff of "The Honeydripper." (I just listened to Liggins's cut to make sure.) The only difference is that the sax on Liggins's cut raises the opening riff by a half step the second time it occurs in the four-repetition sequence: a truly hip move that Walter couldn't copy because he didn't overblow.
The lesson in all this isn't that LW was a fake and cheat. It's a) that he had a sharp-eared sense of what was going on in the larger musical culture of his time and he knew what the public would like; b) that genius sometimes proceeds by creatively adapting rather than generating from scratch; and c) that recording artists who borrow heavily from other recording artists sometimes change the title on a song so they can call what they're doing an original, even through it's essentially an adaptation of somebody else's work.
Last Edited by on Aug 13, 2010 12:01 PM
I'm for one not going to say Little Walter is a Cheat or rip off artist but I do have some questions about the original riff from "Juke" It is directly pulled From Snooky Pryor's 1948 recording Snooky & Moody's boogie. (my mind was blow away when I learned this earlier in the week listening to "just Wailing") Seems Like what you said Kudzurunner is that LW had an ear for what he liked and would copy bits and pieces of other music and use it as his own. No different than other artists and their influences.
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