Eighty four years earlier today, OKeh Records released The Mississippi Sheiks" "Sitting on Top of the World," a song that would come to be one of the many impactful and also well-known in music...

You are watching: Sit on the top of the world


*
Today we’re bringing you an additional enattempt in Amerihave the right to Blues Scene’s exclusive “Brief History of a Song” series.

Eighty 4 years back today, OKeh Records released The Mississippi Sheiks’ “Sitting on Top of the World,” a song that would become one of the many impactful and famous in music, crystalizing The Mississippi Sheiks’ powerful contribution to dozens of genres and styles of renowned music. A deceptively basic and also lucid blues song, it ended up being the Sheiks’ landmark success in a brilliant career in the at an early stage music industry. Though over eight decades have actually passed given that the song’s release, it’s time and aget prstove it’s remaining power in modern music.

The track’s elegance is obtained from it’s sparsity, via the Sheiks’ original variation containing nothing even more than an acoustic guitar doubling as rhythm and also percussion, Walter Vinson’s timeless, smokey vocals, and a fiddle, courtesy of Lonnie Chatmon, that weaves with the song, harmonizing with the lyrics, arguing both a haunting backup vocal and the iconic southerly sounds of the country. The simplicity and appeal of the lyrics and the ambiguity of the sound provided it a global appeal throughout genres; being recorded in, among others, blues, bluegrass, nation, and also ultimately, even tough rock.

The Mississippi Sheiks were among the a lot of interesting bands in the 20th century. Their music ended up being some of the earliest famous tracks as documents ended up being widespread in dwellings. The Sheiks’ lineup was a liquid and also revolving group, depending upon who was accessible, that included Walter Vinson, Lonnie and also Sam Chatmon, Bo Carter, also the Chatmon’s brvarious other, and also Charlie McCoy. The team lived about Jackson, Mississippi and as soon as they weren’t making music, they fequipped.

The Chatmon’s father, Henderson, was a previous slave and what Sam referred to as a “musicianer”, a guy renowned for his musical abilities. The patriarch of the household taught his children to play. “My daddy provided to play on the porch,” Chatmon told folklorist Alan Lomax in his film, Amerideserve to Patchwork. “We’d be in the residence playing and also one of us make choose a mistake, made a mistake playing, and also he’d tell us ‘carry that fiddle boy, you didn’t play that right’, so he might play it for us.”

The team taped over sixty songs in the 1930s, including “I’ve gained Blood in my Eyes for You”, “Bootlegger’s Blues”, “Things About Comin’ My Way”, “The World is Going Wrong” which was extended by Bob Dylan. They ultimately dispersed, partially from effects of the Great Depression, and a lot of members of the household simply returned to farming in Mississippi as they constantly had actually. Bo Carter ongoing a successful solo career, having actually recorded the original version of the well-known “Corrina, Corrina”.

Two years after the original release, Big Bill Broonzy extended the song, as did a number of various other performers, including beforehand blues legend Charley Patton. Around that time, nation and also western swing pioneer Milton Brown extended the track, which result in it’s widespreview popularity in Counattempt music.

Althe majority of thirty years after it’s original release, Howlin’ Wolf tape-recorded one of the the majority of renowned blues versions of the song in background on Chess Records. His wailing harmonica and Hosea Lee Kennard’s genius piano playing provided the song an impactful new life.

In 1967, The Grateful Dead’s self-titled deyet album contained a country-infprovided, upbeat variation of the track. One year later, Cream, proceeding to pay homage to their best impacts, videotaped a well known version of the song for their Wheels of Fire album.

In 2003, rocker Jack White of The White Stripes covered the song for the movie Cold Mountain. In the vein of the original, the fiddle loosely mimicking playing backup. In 2008, White was featured prominently playing “Sittin"” on piano in the powerful documentary, It Might Get Loud. And in 2009, Babsence Hen Music released Things About Comin’ My Way – A Tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks featuring the North Mississippi Allstars, John Hammond, Ndidi Onukwulu, and also the Carolina Chocolate Drops singing covers of Sheiks songs.

See more: Which Of The Metal Form Is So Soft It Can Be Cut With A Knife

“Was all the summer and all the loss, simply trying to find my bit Lenore. But now she’s gone, I don’t worry… I’m sitting on optimal of the people,” sang Vinboy, who’s lyrics, in addition to the Sheiks’ song, would be re-taped thousands of times for years to come. In 2008, the song was inducted right into the Grammy Hevery one of Fame, acknowledging the continuing to be power and also widespread cultural and musical influence the song continues to reap. For eighty four years, the impact of a former servant and his household of farmers deserve to continue to be felt in eincredibly day music.