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January 14, 2013

D e l t a    H a z e    C o r p o r a t i o n
Copyright ©2012
Delta Haze Corporation
All rights reserved.
All content used by permission.
Munka Music - artist
Walter Roland
* Blues vocal, piano, also guitar, harmonica

was born at Ralph, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama on 20 December 1902 (according to  
Social Security documents) or 4 December 1903 (according to his death certificate).
His surviving daughters state that he was a son of bricklayer Grant Roland and of
Della Leatherwood.
In 1933, he was recorded at New York City for the American Record Company, and he had apparently traveled to the session with
Lucille "Bessie Jackson" Bogan and guitarist Sonny Scott. Scott's recording of HIGHWAY NO. 2 BLUES may refer to Highway 2 which passes to the north of both
Mantua and Ralph.

Some attempt was made by the American Record Company to pass Walter's guitar-accompanied work off as by another artist, ALABAMA SAM, and his duets
with Scott were issued as by the JOLLY TWO or, with vocal asides by Lucille Bogan, as by the JOLLY JIVERS.

A duet with Lucille Bogan was credited BESSIE JACKSON AND WALTER SCOTT, perhaps simply a clerical confusion between Roland and Sonny Scott.

His best-selling recording was EARLY THIS MORNING, a reworking of an earlier Paramount recording by Charlie Spand, SOON THIS MORNING, but Walter was
successful enough to continue recording until 1935.

Bob Campbell was also present at the 1934 sessions, and both Walter and Bob recorded versions of DICE'S BLUES, which was revived postwar by Big Chief Ellis
and others. The two-guitar accompaniment for Lucille Bogan's I HATE THAT TRAIN CALLED THE M & O is by Bob Campbell and Josh White.

At his later sessions, Walter was teamed with guitarist Josh White in an apparent attempt to repeat the success of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, but the
arrangement may have failed after Josh was incapacitated in the late 1930's, and Walter failed to make further recordings.

At some later time, possibly as late as 1950, Walter became a farmer. In later years he was known by the nicknames "Old Soul" and (because of his
unexpurgated lyrics to the song of that title) "Shave 'Em Dry".

Roland was reputedly playing guitar as a street singer in the 1960's. As well as Birmingham, he worked around Dolomite and the Interurban Heights, around
Brighton and elsewhere.

In about the late 1960's, Walter was trying to be a peacemaker in a domestic argument between a neighboring husband and wife and one of the disputing
parties fired a shotgun, with the result that Walter was blinded by buckshot. His children learned of the incident only after about two weeks, when he was still
in hospital, possibly at Hueytown. Roland left his guitar behind when he was hospitalized, and it was never retrieved.

By 1968, Walter had retired from music because of his blindness, and was cared for by his daughters at Fairfield, near Miles College. In 1968, he applied for
an old age pension. He lived at 5130 Avenue G, Fairfield, Alabama 35064 in his last years and had been widowed by the time he died there of bronchogenic
carcinoma on 12 October 1972.
* Catalogue - including alternate title references.
Walter Roland was one of the most technically proficient of all blues pianists, and in addition he displayed considerable
feeling in his playing and singing. He was also an able guitarist, and recorded several titles backing his own vocals and
those of others, playing guitar. His middle daughter, Della, recalls that he also played harp.

Walter Roland was said to have been based in the 1920's or 1930's around Pratt City, near Birmingham, Alabama, but
supposedly (from the lyrics to HUNGRY MAN SCUFFLE) met Lucille 'Bessie Jackson' Bogan at 'Slick Rock'
(perhaps Sylacauga, Alabama). More likely, because of his 1933 association with Sonny Scott, and Scott's recording of
HIGHWAY NO. 2 BLUES, Walter and Sonny had only recently arrived at Birmingham when they first recorded.

However, by the time he began recording, Walter had formed a liaison with his second wife, Jessie Pattijohn, or
Pettijohn, by whom he had daughters Della Roland, born 9 January 1933, and Betty Frances Roland, born 4 April 1935.

Although his recording career began in 1933, it is evident that Walter was already an accomplished musician with a fully
formed style.

Roland partnered Lucille Bogan when they recorded for the A R C labels between 1933 and 1935, in the course of which,
he recorded in his own right. William Ronald Calaway of Orlando, Florida, apparently persuaded them to travel to
New York City to record.

Walter's first disc, RED CROSS BLUES (Banner #32822) is credited as by ALABAMA SAM. A later Paramount issue (#9001)
is credited MOSE JACKSON. RED CROSS BLUES has since become a blues standard, versions having been recorded by
Sonny Scott, Sonny Boy Williamson (as WELFARE STORE BLUES), Champion Jack Dupree, Robert McCoy, Forest City Joe,
and many others.

Although Walter was the first to record the blues standard RED CROSS BLUES, Walter Davis was the first to register a
song called RED CROSS BLUES for copyright. Its subject-matter is the only connection with Roland's song and they stand as
separate songs. Part 2 of Davis' song was later remade by Josh White as WELFARE BLUES. Davis also registered a
RED CROSS BLUES, NO. 2, again unrelated to Roland's song.

Roland's song was registered for copyright (as having been composed jointly by himself and Calaway) early in 1934.
Interestingly, RED CROSS BLUES is one of the relatively few recordings made by Roland for which he accompanies himself
alone playing guitar, rather than piano.
Lyrics transcriptions of the Walter Roland compositions and
MP3 files of such catalogue are available upon request
for licensing purposes in an effort to further assist you.
Copyright©2012 Delta Haze Corporation. All rights reserved. All content used by permission.
45 PISTOL BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

BACK DOOR BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

BAD DREAM BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

BIG MAMA - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

BOUT THE BREAK OF DAY - see EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)

C. W. A. BLUES
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

CLUB MEETING BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

COLD BLOODED MURDER - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

COLLECTOR MAN BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Roberts [alias Walter Roland,]

COME ON DOWN - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

DICE'S BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

DICES DICES - see DICE'S BLUES

EARLY IN THE MORNING - see EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)

EARLY IN THE MORNING NO. 2
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

EARLY THIS MORNIN' - see EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)

EARLY THIS MORNING
- listen
Words & Music by Sonny Scott & Walter Roland

EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY) - listen
Words & Music by Sonny Scott and Walter Roland

EARLY THIS MORNING 'BOUT BREAK OF DAY -

see
EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)

EARLY THIS MORNING #2 - see EARLY IN THE MORNING NO. 2

EARLY THIS MORNING (JUST ABOUT THE BREAK OF DAY) -

see
EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)
 
EVERY MORNING BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

FRISCO BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Sonny Scott

GUITAR STOMP (Instrumental) - listen
Music by Walter Roland & Sonny Scott

HOUSE LADY BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

HUNGRY MAN'S SCUFFLE - listen
Music by Walter Roland

I NEED A HUNDRED DOLLARS - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

I'M GONNA SHAVE YOU DRY
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

I'M ON MY WAY - see YOU GONNA NEED ME

JOOKIT JOOKIT
(Instrumental with spoken commentary) - listen
Music by Walter Roland

LAST YEAR BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

KEEP ON SAILING - see SAIL ON LITTLE GIRL NO. 2

MAN, MAN, MAN
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

MONEY TAKER WOMAN - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

NEW EARLY IN THE MORNING - see EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY)

NEW RED CROSS BLUES - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

NO GOOD BIDDIE - listen
Words & Music by Sonny Scott

O. B. D. BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

OVERALL BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Sonny Scott

PENNILESS BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

PIANO STOMP (Instrumental with spoken commentary by Sonny Scott) - listen
Music by Walter Roland

RAILROAD STOMP (Instrumental) - listen
Music by Walter Roland & Sonny Scott

RED CROSS BLUES - listen
Words & Melody by William Ronald Calaway and Walter Roland

RED CROSS BLUES No. 2 - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

RED CROSS ST' - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

RED CROSS STORE - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

THE RED CROSS STORE - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

RED CROSS STORE BLUES - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

S. O. L. BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

SAIL ON LITTLE GIRL NO. 2 - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

SAIL ON; LITTLE GIRL; SAIL ON - see SAIL ON LITTLE GIRL NO. 2

SCHOOL-BOY BLUES
[16996-3] - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

SCHOOL-BOY BLUES [17009-1] - listen
Words & Melody by Walter Roland

SCREW WORM - listen
Words & Melody by Walter Roland

SLAVIN' BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

T MODEL BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

TALKIN' LOW BLUES - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

WEE BABY BLUES -see EARLY THIS MORNING ('BOUT BREAK OF DAY) and SCHOOL-BOY BLUES

WELFARE BLUES - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

WELFARE STORE BLUES - see RED CROSS BLUES No. 2

WHATCHA GONNA DO
- listen
Words & Music by Jolly Jivers

WINDING MIND - see SCHOOL-BOY BLUES

WORN OUT MAN BLUES
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

YOU CALL YOURSELF A CADILLAC - see T MODEL BLUES

YOU GONNA NEED ME
- listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland

YOU GONNA WANT ME - listen
Words & Music by Walter Roland