Some of the music JumpJim describes hearing on his trip to buy old blues records with Chester Bly — a trip that has many unintended consequences.
Chester, knocking on doors, asking his monomaniacal question. Got any records? Under your porch, maybe? Pay a dime a piece.
Here are some of the records the two get hold of.
As the two leave Mississippi after Chester’s encounter with Miss Alberta, JumpJim hears a little boy singing the words “Pharaoh army sure got drownded.” This is from the spiritual “Mary, Don’t You Weep.” Why do you think Kunzru includes this song?
And on Seth’s own southern journey, tracing the footsteps of Chester Bly, he refers to this song.
Willie Brown, whose legendary (and lost) recording, Paramount 13099, “Kicking in My Sleep Blues” b/w “Window Blues.”
This is “The Negro Laughing Song,” sung by George W. Johnson, the first Black American to be recorded. Kunzru alludes to this song near the end of White Tears.