Various ‎– The Rural Blues: A Study Of The Vocal And Instrumental Resources

RBF Records ‎– RF 202, RBF Records ‎– RF-202
2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Box Set


Volume One, Side One: Vocal Styles
Coarse Vocal Tone
A1 Will Shade I Can't Stand It
Deeper Chest Tones
A2 Hambone Willie Newburn* Shelby County Work House Blues
Clearer Head Tones
A3 Robert Johnson From Four Until Late
Simple Rhythm
A4 Furry Lewis You Can Leave, Baby
Complex Regular Rhythms
A5 Sleepy John Estes Sloppy Drunk Blues
Irregular Phrase Length, Regular Rhythm
A6 L'il Son Jackson* Roberta Blues
A7 Lightnin' Hopkins Bad Luck And Trouble
A8 Blind Boy Fuller Thousand Woman Blues
Extended Vocal Chant
A9 Arthur Crudup* If I Get Lucky
Freely Rhythmic Chant
A10 Charlie Pickett Down The Highway
Volume One, Side Two: Vocal Ornamentation
B1 Kokomo Arnold Milk Cow Blues
False Bass
B2 Blind Willie Johnson Take Your Burden To The Lord
B3 Tommy McClennan New Highway 51
B4 Lightnin' Hopkins Penitentiary Blues
B5 Blind Willie McTell Mama T'aint Long Fo' Day
B6 Charlie Burse Take Your Fingers Off It
Spoken Interjection
B7 Charlie Lincoln* My Wife Drove Me From My Door
B8 Peg Leg Howell Skin Game Blues
B9 Lightnin' Hopkins Come Go Home With Me
Recitative Verses
B10 Lightnin' Hopkins Goin Back To Florida
Mixed Style
B11 Robert Johnson Standing At The Crossroads
Volume Two: Instrumental
Side Three: Guitar As Melodic Voice
C1 Lightnin' Hopkins One Kind Favor
Pocket Knife
C2 Furry Lewis John Henry
C3 Blind Willie Johnson Nobody's Fault But Mine
Bottle Neck
C4 Furry Lewis Warm Up
Guitar As Complex Rhythmic Accompaniment
C5 Bukka White Bukka's Jitterbug Swing
C6 Furry Lewis Casey Jones
C7 Peg Leg Howell Coal Man Blues
C8 John Hurt* Frankie
Other Instruments
12 String Guitar
C9 Blind Willie McTell Southern Can Mama
C10 Papa Charlie Jackson Airy Man Blues
C11 Skip James Little Cow And Calf Is Gonna Die Blues
Piano And Guitar
C12 Leroy Carr And Scrapper Blackwell New How Long How Long Blues
Side Four: Added Melodic Instruments
D1 Bert Bilbro Mohana Blues
D2 Sonny Terry & Oh Red With Blind Boy Fuller Harmonica Stomp
D3 Frank Stokes Shiney Town Blues
D4 Virgil Perkins Trouble In Mind
Added Rhythm Instruments
Bass- Plucked
D5 Arthur Crudup* Mean Old Frisco
Bass- Bowed
D6 Brownie McGhee Sporting Life Blues
D7 Virgil Perkins Solo
Larger Accompaniment Groups
D8 Charlie Burse Tippin' Round
D9 Ham Gravy Mama Don't 'Low It
D10 Moochie Reeves Key To The Highway

Companies, etc.



"This material is intended as a study of the musical resources of the rural blues. It is not often recognised that Afro-American music is marked by considerable variation within its various styles and that a style like the blues is a unique musical idiom. It is hoped that this study will clarify these idiomatic characteristics."

Includes a large, 8-page booklet with a scholarly essay.

The examples by Will Shade and Charlie Burse were recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, in December, 1956. Track A1 is from unissued material in Samuel B. Charters' collection. Other material from this session was issued on Folkways Record FA2610, "American Skiffle Bands."

The examples by Furry Lewis were recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, on February 24, 1959 and October 3, 1959. Tracks C2 and C6 are from the first recording session, when Furry used a pocket knife; tracks A4 and C4 are from the second session, showing the use of a bottle neck. All these examples are from unissued material in Samuel B. Charters' collection.

Lightnin' Hopkins was recorded in Houston, Texas, on February 4, 1959. Track C1 is from unissued material in Samuel B. Charters' collection. The other examples are issued on Folkways Record 3469, "Lightnin' Hopkins."

The examples by Virgil Perkins were recorded in Houston, Texas, in November, 1955. This material, and the example by Moochie Reeves, recorded in Mobile, Alabama, in July, 1954, is previously unissued and from Samuel B. Charters' collection.

There are several editions of this box set, each with its own variations in tracklisting, artwork, and liner notes. This version has orange lettering on the front cover, a 1960 copyright, and catalog number RF 202 on the front of the box and on the booklet, and catalog number RF-202 on the disc labels.

© 1960 by Record, Book, and Film Sales, Inc.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A Run-Out, Stamped): RF 202 A
  • Other (Run-Outs, Hand-Etched): DTC
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B Run-Out, Stamped): RF 202 B
  • Matrix / Runout (Side C Run-Out, Stamped): RF 202 C
  • Matrix / Runout (Side D Run-Out, Stamped): RF 202 D

Other Versions (4 of 4) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
RF 202, 202X, RF 202(x) Various The Rural Blues: A Study Of The Vocal And Instrumental Resources(2xLP, Comp + Box) RBF Records, RBF Records, RBF Records RF 202, 202X, RF 202(x) US 1964 Sell This Version
XTRA 1035 Various The Rural Blues(2xLP, Album, Comp, Mono) XTRA XTRA 1035 UK 1966 Sell This Version
XTRA 1035 Various The Rural Blues(2xLP, Comp, Mono + Box) XTRA XTRA 1035 UK 1966 Sell This Version
RF 202 Various The Rural Blues: A Study Of The Vocal And Instrumental Resources(2xCDr, Comp, Enh, RE) Smithsonian Folkways RF 202 US 2007 Sell This Version