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Johnny Woods

Mississippi Harmonica

CONTENTS
Page 3

2nd edition
January 2015 release
Track listing and credits

Pages
4-8

1st edition
Autumn 1972 release
Graphics, liner notes,
track listing and credits

Pages
9 & 10

1st record release flyers

Pages
11-15

Event and recording
ephemera

Page 16

Oblivion Records
Discography

Johnny Woods Mississippi Harmonica
Oblivion Records single O#2

2nd edition, Released January 2015

1. Long Haired Doney
2. Three O’Clock in the Morning
Johnny Woods: harmonica
Recorded by Tom Pomposello, Thursday, April 27, 1972 in Olive Branch, Mississippi
Remastered by Fred Seibert Cover design: Frank Olinsky www.frankolinsky.com
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1st edition: Autumn 1972
Original front sleeve
Oblivion Records, Vinyl 45rpm single

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Graphics by the Oblivionettes (Fred Seibert)
featuring John Dunn and Susan DeLaney
Photography: Tom Pomposello
Olive Branch, Mississippi
April 27, 1972
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1st edition: Autumn 1972
Original back liner, single, and labels
Oblivion Records, Vinyl 45rpm single

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Graphics: Fred Seibert, John Dunn,
& Susan DeLaney Morgan

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Liner notes, 1st edition, 1972
By Tom Pomposello

harp players, would say, “back home we
got a boy named Little Johnny Woods
– man, that boy is a harmonica playin’
fool, sure as you’re born.” I had also
known about him from the appearance
he made with Fred at the 1969 Memphis Blues Festival (subsequent to which
studio material was released), and also
from some field recordings made by
George Mitchell. A lot of people might
remember Johnny solely for an Ann arbor Blues Festival “appearance-fiasco”
in which he kind of screwed up the McDowell-Woods set. Johnny doesn’t have
the best reputation for holding his liquor.
After that he sort of drifted in oblivion
(yeah).

During the spring of 1972, I spent
some time in Mississippi visiting with
my friend and teacher Fred McDowell.
Now Fred had promised to show me
around and introduce me to a few of his
musical cronies, and I told Fred that I’d
especially like to meet his old harmonica playing sidekick, Johnny Woods. I
had know about Johnny first form the
way Fred, whenever the subject turned to

Locating Mr. Woods was not the
easiest task. Johnny used to live in the
town Senatobia, which is about ten miles
north of Como, Fred’s hometown. But
Johnny is a farmer, and as such he must
go where the work is. Word had reached
us that he had re-located in the town of
Olive Branch, just south of Memphis.
Try as we might we just couldn’t find
him that April morning. Whenever we

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got to the place where he was supposed
to be for sure, for sure he wasn’t there.
Until finally acting upon a tip from a
person who was acquainted with Johnny’s employer, we tracked him down
to a farm on the proverbial outskirts of
town.

It was about noon when we pulled
up into the dirt driveway and headed
up the long path towards an old shack.
There on the porch I could make out the
figure of a small gray-haired man peering primly at our approaching vehicle.
Fred smiled, “That’s him, Tom.” Then
I watched as Johnny’s face lit up when
he realized it was Fred. The two hadn’t
seen each other in months. Johnny called
inside to his wife. “look who’s here. It’s
Fred. Freddy McDowell!
We got out of the car. Fred made the
introductions and Johnny invited us inside. We were fortunate to have caught
Johnny during his lunch break. While
we talked, Fred told me to play the tapes
of the session that he and I had done in
New York. And

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as the subject shifted to music, Johnny confided that he hadn’t been playing much lately and besides he’s had
to pawn his last harp when things got
tough. Luckily Fred had anticipated that
this might be the case and before we
started out he had told me to bring along
a couple of my harmonicas. Well Johnny, I guess it’s time for us to hear some
of your stuff,” Fred smiled again at me
as if to say ‘wait’ll you hear this,’ then
he looked at Johnny, chuckled, and said,
“Go on boy.” And Johnny blew, tapped
his foot in rhythm and sang, “Well, gonna see my long haried do-o-ney…” I
don’t exaggerate when I tell you that I
was overwhelmed. When he finished,
and I had expressed my enthusiasm to
him Johnny grinned as he said, “You
know, it don’t sound like much to me.”
Fred and I grinned too and I asked for
an encore. Johnny came outside and I
snapped a few pictures while he posed
in front of Fred’s new Pontiac. An interesting contrast indeed. We shook hands
and make our good-byes for it was about
time for Johnny to get back up on his
tractor (note hard hat in cover photo).
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Here then are the two harmonica
solos exactly as Johnny Woods played
them that day during his lunch break
complete and unedited from the time I
turned on the tape recorder.
– Tom Pomposello

Back liner credits, 1st edition, 1972
Johnny Woods: harmonica
Recorded Thursday, April 27, 1972, Olive Branch, Mississippi, by Tom Pomposello
Remastered by Fred Seibert
Graphics by the Oblivionettes
featuring John Dunn, and Susan DeLaney
Cover photo by Tom Pomposello
This recording was made possible by a
special grant from the Dick Pennington
Blues
Foundation
Addition copies of this disc can be had
by sending $1.00 (plus 25 cents for postage and handling) to:
Oblivion Records
P.O. Box X
Roslyn Heights, New York 11577
©(P) 1972

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Distributor
flyer for
Mississippi
Harmonica
handmade
by producer
Tom
Pomposello

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Second
distributor
flyer for
Mississippi
Harmonica,
poorly
redesigned
by producer
Fred Seibert

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Johnny Woods photographed by
Tom Pomposello, Olive Branch, Mississippi
April 27, 1972.

Kodak Instamatic negatives scratched from
poor storage for over 40 years.
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Johnny Woods damaged negative restored in a print by master printer
Chuck Kelton, Kelton Labs, New Jersey. www.keltonlabs.com
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Some of
co-producer
Fred Seibert’s
Mississippi
Harmonica
graphics notes.

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Musician and archivist Tom
Pomposello recorded Johnny
Woods on an outdoor porch
with a portable Panasonic
cassette machine like this one.
Olive Branch, Mississippi,
April 1972

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Original monaural cassette-to-1/4”
magnetic tape transfer of Johnny
Woods’ Mississippi Harmonica. 1972

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Oblivion Records Discography
January 2015
Vintage
Cover

2015
Cover

Mississippi Fred McDowell
Live in New York
Original LP release 1972
Oblivion Records OD-1
Johnny Woods
Mississippi Harmonica
Original single release 1972
Oblivion Records O#2
Marc Copland • John Abercrombie
• Clint Houston • Jeff Williams
Friends
Original LP release 1973
Oblivion Records OD-3
Charles Walker &
The New York City Blues Band
Blues from the Apple
Original LP release 1974
Oblivion Records OD-4

Joe Lee Wilson
Livin’ High Off Nickels & Dimes
Original LP release 1974
Oblivion Records OD-5
Honest Tom Pomposello
Original LP release 1975
Oblivion Records OD-6
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Oblivion Records
Digital Box Set
Complete 1972-1975

Oblivion Records
1972-1975

www.oblivionrecords.tumblr.com

Founded by
Tom Pomposello and Fred Seibert
& Dick Pennington
Logo designed by
Lisa Lenovitz Eaton

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