San Francisco Bay Blues Times Two

Originally posted January 24, 2008

I mentioned in yesterday’s post Jesse Fuller’s authorship of “San Francisco Bay Blues” and his tendency to perform the song up-tempo, which became a tradition for those who performed it later. Here’s a clip from YouTube, showing Fuller performing the song in 1963.

First of all, you’ll notice that along with a harmonica on the neck rack, Fuller has a kazoo, which he uses to accompany one of the choruses. Then there’s that thing on the floor that he operates with his feet. It’s Fuller’s own invention, called a Foldella. A note at YouTube says, “It’s something like a five string upright bass viol, with five foot-operated piano keys.”

Video deleted.

And I thought, as long as I was wandering through videos of “San Francisco Bay Blues,” I’d offer one more, this one a 1965 televised concert performance by the pop folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Note the kazoo chorus, which became for many a traditional part of any performance of the song.

Note: The video here was newly embedded during archiving. It may be the same performance, but I am not certain of that. Note added June 6, 2011.

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