Chauffeur Blues

Jefferson Airplane

About Chauffeur Blues

"Chauffeur Blues" is a song originally recorded by Memphis Minnie as "Me and My Chauffeur Blues" in 1941 and subsequently covered by many other artists. The 1941 recording credited Memphis Minnie's husband and performing partner, Ernest "Little Son Joe" Lawlars as the songwriter, though it is thought she wrote it herself. The song was also sometimes credited to the recording's producer, Lester Melrose, which allowed him to collect royalties on it without actually having written it. The melody is identical to that of "Good Morning, School Girl", recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson I in 1937. The Jefferson Airplane version of this song is on the album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, with Signe Anderson as the lead vocalist. It is performed at a faster tempo and uses only three of the four verses. Anderson performed the song with strong contralto vocals. According to Jeff Tamarkin, author of Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen brought in "Chauffeur Blues" for Signe to sing. Jorma probably found the song on Judy Roderick's folk/blues album "Woman Blue" released in 1965. It was not included in the repertoire of Jefferson Airplane's early gigs and was performed only occasionally. It was last performed by the Airplane on October 15, 1966, at the concert recorded as Signe's Last. An extended version of the song is included in the remastered version of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. 


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