Macon Records
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McKinley James
Tuskegee Boogie / Ain’t Gonna Pick No Cotton
Macon Records
45rpm 7"
$6

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 first one that came out on the custom Tomahawk label out of Columbus, Georgia. (good luck finding that one) Tuskegee Boogie saunters along at an easygoing pace, punctuated by harmonica and some nice and dirty slide guitar, telling the tale of the local sheriff, Lucious Amerson (kin to Richard Amerson, I wonder?), who was the first black sheriff in town and apparently had a bit of a hard-on for people going around publicly intoxicated. A local record through and 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

These tracks have appeared on a few compilations but seem more at home on 45. I’ve been a big fan of this record for several years so when I had the good fortune to find the remaining copies of this reissue (which has been out of circulation for 20+ years), they were all scooped forthwith. They show some storage warp, but should play fine. If not, holler at me and we'll fix it. Finite stock. Learn more about McKinley James in this newspaper article from 1986.