Thursday, April 20, 2017

Johnny Copeland - Down on Bending Knees


Between the late 1950s and the early 1980s, Texas guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland recorded dozens of soul/blues singles, on both regional and national labels. I have 15 of them, and spun just over half of those last night. "Down on Bending Knees," released on Golden Eagle in 1962, will represent them all here.

Copeland was "discovered" by the wider blues community in the 1980s, and was recast as a hard-core bluesman for the rest of his career. But in reality, he played and sang R & B as well as blues. Golden Eagle 101 is typical for him - it pairs a blues with an R & B/soul tune, "Just One More Time," on the flip side. I don't know whether the printed title of the blues side is the result of a producer's mishearing, but Copeland seems to be singing, "down on bended knee." He performed this song for the rest of his career - as "Down on Bended Knee," by the way.

I can't find much information on the Golden Eagle label, except that it was based in Texas. I have three Copeland 45s on Golden Eagle, as well as records on the Wand, Jet Stream, Resco, Allboy, Bragg, Kent, Brown Sugar, Wet Soul, and Atlantic labels. The best of them are deep Southern soul/blues. Here's "Down on Bending Knees."


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