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Robert Wilkins - The Original Rolling Stone


Yazoo Records

More people were familiar with Mississippi bluesman Robert Wilkins than they realized, if they had heard the Rolling Stones' album Beggar's Banquet. The 7th track off the album, ""Prodigal Son"" was a direct cover of Wilkin's track ""That's No Way To Get Along"", which only credited Jagger/Richards, with no credits to Wilkins himself. Beyond a mere piece of Rolling Stones trivia however, Robert Wilkins was a key figure in the Delta blues, both as an influential performer, whose cues can be heard across recordings by Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Muddy Waters, and yes, The Rolling Stones, but also as a key figure in the merging of gospel music with the contemporary blues style of the time. Witnessing a murder during a concert drove Wilkins towards Christianity, during which he became a priest, and introduced religious elements and themes into his music, putting him in the company of fellow blues ministers Blind Willie Johnson, and Reverend Gary Davis. The Original Rolling Stone (Clearly a playful jab at the band) covers a period before Wilkins' conversion in 1936. The tracks on this compilation were recorded from 1928 to 1935, and feature singles recorded for classic blues labels like Victor Records and Vocalion. Though Wilkins never wrote a ""signature"" song, his distinct vocal vibrato and deft guitar-picking skills shine on tracks like ""I'll Go With Her"", ""Old Jim Canan's"", and of course, the infamous ""That's No Way To Get Along"".