Week beginning: ... Thursday 11th July 2024

 
PD Productions. Media, Broadcasting and Radio productions for stations worldwide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Back to where it all began ... Thank you for taking the time to visit us. My name is David Howard, PD Productions is based in the South West of the UK, but that isn't where our journey into the blues began .... It all started in a small town bar in Louisiana; it was like travelling back in time, dusty, rickety tables, chairs, and a bare wooden floor. Sat on a little platform was a lady and a guy with a guitar, and then the lady began to sing the blues. I could have closed my eyes, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I could have been listening to Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith. Quietly listening, and with encouragement from others we joined with the ‘Tell us your story’...

We knew and felt the songs were telling us of a deep sadness, borne of a deprivation beyond our comprehension. I was listening to the 'Blues' long before that, but never really understood, until then, what was meant by 'Feeling the Blues' ... Each time I produce ‘Backtracking’ I try to show my love and respect for the people and the lives these songs are about, this deprivation, sadness and misery. We are honouring them by keeping their presence and their simple music alive and well.

Each time, we are taking a journey back in time to the abomination of slavery, the depth of the spirituals and of course the expressive blues from all those years ago. Our research and journey since that day has been a discovery of the ‘Blues’ that never ends, of a culture and history that has faded in the mists of time, but remains for us to find. We're honoured and privileged to share with you this great music and its history, back a hundred years and beyond, a genre so rich, so vast so diverse and so real.

Now based in Somerset (UK) What started all those years ago with a handful of blues tracks, a few faded photographs and books has grown exponentially with the help of our good friends, Alan, Terry and Graham, the ‘Doc’ even my dear late cousin Len (Houston) the never ending patience of Pam and so many people from around the world, far too many to mention, Backtracking has become a library of music and resources so vast it’s often difficult to keep track of it all, as it continues to grow.

Thank you for listening to ‘Backtracking’ from here in the UK. At PD Productions, we extend our best wishes to you all.
David – PD Productions (UK)

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Backtracking, to where it all began ... At PD Productions, our research and journey of discovery never ends, simply because the culture of the blues never ends. We're honoured and privileged to share the music within the genre of the Blues back in time a hundred years and beyond, a genre so vast and so diverse.

So many people from around the world have contributed to our research, and indeed, our library of music, far too many to mention by name. Released every Friday, we invite you to join Backtracking, the blue time machine as we go back to the Roots of the Blues, back, to where it all began.
Featured on Backtracking ..
  • The lady sings the blues.
  • Blues on the Bayou.
  • Gospel blues train.
  • Featured artist of the week.
  • Spirituals – The blues connection.
  • Prison work songs.
  • Myths and Legends of the blues.
    Download the latest Backtracking
    Backtracking archive (Download)
    Blues Research resources (Links / articles)
       
This week on the review / download page
    Gospel Blues file: - Bessie Smith - On revival day
    Myths and Legends of the Blues - Mississippi Blues -1929 to 1937
    Blues in the night - Rainy Night Blues
    Zydeco Blues - Nathan Abshire - Pine grove blues
    Artists long forgotten - Spark Plug Smith - Sweet Evening Breeze
  Published research articles - Spirituals - The-Blues-Connection

Featured artist of the week .... Blind Teddy Darby
 

Theodore Roosevelt Darby, better known as Blind Teddy Darby (March 2, 1906 – December 1975), was an American blues singer and guitarist.. He was born in Henderson, Kentucky. Teddy moved to St. Louis with his family when he was a child, where his mother taught him to play the guitar. During the 20s he served some time in prison for selling moonshine. In 1926, he lost his eyesight because of glaucoma.

 It should come as no surprise that blues musicians of the 1920s and ’30s often recorded under more than one name, whether it was to stay one step ahead of the law, to help secure contracts with multiple record labels or just because a name rang a chord or stuck.

Blind Teddy Darby was no exception. He answered to the nicknames Blind Darby, Blind Blues Darby and Teddy Darby; probably his most amusing professional alias may be that of Blind Squire Turner.

Teddy was a friend of the blues musician Peetie Wheatstraw, a name we know well. On December 21, 1941, Peetie's 39th birthday, Teddy was invited to go for a drive with him and two others, but his wife objected, and he declined the invitation, that proved to be a good decision, Peetie and his two companions were killed when their car ran into a stationary freight train.

In the late 1930s, his career came to an abrupt end when he gave up performing following the murder of Tom Webb. He renounced anything associated with the blues and became an ordained minister. He briefly relented in 1960 when he recorded again for Pete Welding of Testament Records but the recordings from this session were never released.

 
     
    Blind Teddy Darby - Pitty-Pat Blues
    Download featured artist track of the week
    Next time ... Edith Wilson
 
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