McKinley James
McKinley James
Tuskegee Boogie / Ain’t Gonna Pick No Cotton
Macon Records
45rpm 7"

I was born in a den
raised by a bear
I got 4 sets of jaw teeth
and 7 sets of hair
– McKinley James

McKinley James was a blues musician who was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1935 and raised in Macon County, Alabama. He cut only three 45s and this is a reissue of his debut, originally released the custom Tomahawk label out of Columbus, Georgia. Tuskegee Boogie saunters along at an easygoing pace, punctuated by harmonica and some nice and dirty slide guitar, telling the tale of Lucious Amerson (kin to Richard Amerson, I wonder?), the first black sheriff in town, and his campaign against public drunkenness. A local record through & through, the flipside is an upbeat number derived from the regional repertoire (see Albert Macon & Robert Thomas, among others) that features those snappy (original?) lyrics quoted above. Hear Ain't Gonna Pick No Cotton & Tuskegee Boogie.

Not quite sure of the vintage of this reissue (80s / 90s?). These copies show some storage warp, but should play fine. I will give it a quick test before shipping. Learn more about McKinley James in this newspaper article from 1986.