Root Blog

Mississippi Records Tape Series, Vol. 6 – Death Might Be Your Santa Claus

V/A – Death Might Be Your Santa Claus
Mississippi Records Tape Series, Vol. 6 – Random 78’s from 1903 to 1953.

I can’t even deal with the “Extensive Drunken Liner Notes” for this one, so a hi res jpeg is included.
Knock yourself out.


  1. Zach on January 28th, 2009

    Thank you thank you thank you for these!!!

  2. aaddaamm cc. on January 30th, 2009

    the last one to download. thank you so much. these tape are amazing and i really appreciate the time you took to post them all.

  3. Erroneous Monk on March 17th, 2009

    I transcribed the crazy liner notes. Didn’t correct any misspellings or re-capitalize. Hopefully didn’t add too many typos or misspellings of my own:

    Side A-
    1. Big Maybelle- That’s a pretty good love
    Further proof that rock n’ roll existed well before 1955. Big Maybelle transitioned gracefully from gut bucket r&b singer in the 1950’s to a sucsessfull activist for civil rights in the 1960’s, & a decent soul vocalist to boot- recording the best version of “96 tears” & an intense ballad called “Heaven will welcome you Dr. King”

    2. Hoagy Carmichael- Hong Kong Blues
    This song appears in the Bogart/McCall movie “To have or have not” minus the line about opium. Hoagy looms large over pop music to this day- his long cheesy shadow always will.

    3. Canalejas- Danza Mona
    A mysterious to me 1927 flamenco 78. I bought a large collection of flamenco 78’s awhile back from an old Spannish man who told me they “spoke of sadness & nothing more” & this one was amongst them– but it sounds pretty goddam joyfull to me.

    4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe- Didn’t it rain?
    & still more proof that rock n’ roll is older than the mid 1950s. This might be one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

    5. Bo Diddley- She’s fine, she’s mine
    Crazy 1955 Bo recording. Swampy.

    6. Big Mama Thornton- I smell a rat
    Still more pre-rock rock. The line about whiskey dripping down the chin kills me everytime. Uncomfortable & violent song.

    7. Hank Williams- Please don’t let me love you
    After Hank died MGM records put out every goddam demo he ever recorded on 78′- sometimes adding a band &/or strings, but sometimes bare bones as all hell like this song, Hank & Ray Davies are my favorite songwriters of all time & late nights alone in my room are often plagued with their voices.

    8. Hada Brooks- The man I Love
    Early badass female jazz musician. The kind of song you can kick off your shoes & drink several white russians too (… & yes, I’ve had several white russians through the course of making this tape- don’t judge me. Drunked tape making is the divine providence of the bachelor. You’re not my mom…)

    9. Two Gospel Keys- Can’t no grave hold my body down
    Beautiful gospel 78. This group was incredibly popular in their day- outselling fucking Hoagy carmichael at one point (that cheap phoney basterd.)

    10. Angelillo- Bulerieas
    Another mysterious flamenco 78 from the old Spannish man’s collection.

    11. Glacier Park Indians- Medicine Song
    A 78′ from 1903! As close as I may ever get to knowing what the west coast of America sounded like before all this weird shit was built on it. Bare in mind that we’ve only been here (we being Western culture) for about 170 years, whle Native “digger” Indians were on the west coast for over 6,000 years. So who’s really winning? They’ll be back.

    Side B-
    1. Roy Smeck- Lil’ Grass Shack
    I used to listen to alot of music like this, but now I can’t stand it. Still, I have to admit that this song has a certain psychotic charm. I remember playing it over & over one night years ago & waking the next day & selling a large amount of my record collection & leaving town alive. The song that put me over the edge!

    2. Bobettes- Look at the stars
    Oldest member of this band was 15. Had a big hit with “Mr. Lee” about their school principal, but I prefer the follow up song “I shot Mr. Lee”. Dark!

    3. The Soul Stirrers- Pilgrim of Sorrow
    The majority of my gospel 78s come from a basement in North Portland that was filled with Porno magazines & gospel records! Apparently the collector of these goods would slide back & forth between the two, but never collect both at once. It breaks down like this, according to the evidence left in the basement- 1950-1961: Collected gospel. 1962-1973: Collected porno. 1974- 1984: Collected gospel. 1985-1989: Collected porno. A classic back slider. It took me a full week to excavate this
    basement. This record & the next were amongst the finds.

    4. Dixie Hummingbirds- What are they doing in heaven today?
    See previous note.

    5. Billie Holiday- Gloomy Sunday
    The song found on the most post suicide last song & testament turntables of all time. Every copy of this 78 is haunted.

    6. Stuff Smith & his Onyx Boys- T’aint no use
    One of the millions of creepy jazz records from this period. Not sure if I like it or not, but here ’tis!

    7. Rose Murphy (The Chi-chi girl)- I can’t give you anything but love
    A record that always makes me instantly happy. No one else I know likes her at all & an overpriced copy of a 10″ of hers sits on the wall of Mississippi Records for going on 5 years.

    8. Canaries with organ- La Poloma.
    There are millions of 78s just like this one. Its a weird genre, & if you look at the best sellers charts from the 1910s you will see a few canary records on them! People are weird & love novelty.

    9. ?- Chinese Opera song
    I once bought a collection of 1,000 or so Chinese opera 78s… & for some reason this is the one I kept.

    10. John Jacob Niles- Lulle Lullaby: Endlessly creepy folksinger.

    11. Pale N. Lua- The Rosary
    One of my favorite Hawaiian song with absolutely no florishes. The lost art of restraint in full effect.

    General notes on this tape….
    There is no theme at work on this particular tape beyond me drunkenly exploring my 78 collection before moving into a new house & deciding what to get rid of. I don’t even like all of these songs, & some of them will end up on the shelves off Mississippi Records tomorrow. Thanks for your tolerance & please don’t be bashfull about returning this tape if you don’t
    like it. I don’t even really think I like it.
    Don’t be afraid of the dark…

  4. Erroneous Monk on March 17th, 2009

    In case it’s not clear by the fact that I typed that all up, I’m a huge fan of these mixes. The Mississippi Records store is magic; the label & compilations are magic. Thanks for posting this, Root Blog.

  5. Christopher on September 28th, 2009

    Anyone have the label information from the La Poloma 78? (“Canaries with Organ?”)

  6. Lauren on May 20th, 2016

    Is there anywhere to buy this tape/download the MP3? I bought one for a friend in SF a few years ago but want one for my own collection. I hope so!!