"It all started with Joseph Spence
when I was a little kid. He was one
of my all-time great inspirations.
When he did those bass runs, I didn't
understand it. I was so mad all the time."

Ry Cooder


Joseph Spence
b. August 3, 1910 in Small Hope, Bahamas
d. March 18, 1984 in Nassau, Bahamas

discography
J O S E P H   S P E N C E; source: front cover of Ryko/Hannibal CD 44192
source: front cover of Ryko/Hannibal CD 44192
photographer: Guy Droussart

Joseph Spence LPs / CDs
#year
of release
titlelabel # / notes
11959Joseph Spence: Bahaman Folk Guitar
Music of the Bahamas Volume 1

- Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer   @ Spotify
- There Will Be A Happy Meeting In Gloryland   @ Spotify
- Brownskin Gal   @ youtube   @ Spotify

- I'm Going To Live That Life   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- Face To Face I Shall Know Him   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- Jump In The Line   @ Spotify

rec. July 23, 1958 at Fresh Creek Settlement, Andros, Bahamas Islands by Samuel B. Charters with assistance by Ann Danberg Charters; Joseph Spence, voc, g
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Folkways FS 3844

(=) Smithsonian Folkways
CD SF-40066 (US 2006)

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= Doxy Music DOY658
(It 2011)

21964Joseph Spence: Folk Guitar /
John Roberts & Frederick McQueen: Bahaman Ballads & Rhyming Spirituals


Joseph Spence
- Bimini Gal (6:22)   @ Spotify
- The Lord Is My Sheperd (5:23)   @ Spotify
- Glory Glory (4:50)   @ Spotify

John Roberts
- Out On The Rolling Sea
- Cecil Gone In The Time Of Storm
Frederick McQueen
- Harcourt Got Drowsed
- Dig My Grave
- Kneeling Down Beside The Gate
- Shake My Hand


Joseph Spence tracks rec. July 23, 1958 at Fresh Creek Settlement, Andros, Bahamas Islands by Samuel B. Charters with assistance by Ann Danberg Charters; Joseph Spence, voc, g
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Folkways FS 3847

Joseph Spence tracks
(=) Smithsonian Folkways
CD SF-40066 (US 2006)

31964Joseph Spence: Happy All The Time

- Out On The Rollin' Sea   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- Bimini Gal   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- We Shall Be Happy   @ Spotify
- The Crow   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- Diamond On Earth   @ Spotify
- Uncle Lou / No Lazy Man   @ Spotify

- How I Love Jesus   @ Spotify
- Conch Ain't Got No Bone   @ Spotify
- I Am Living On The Hallelujah Side   @ youtube   @ Spotify

rec. 1964 in Nassau, Bahamas by Paul Rothchild with the assistance of Fritz Richmond (with two mics and a portable Nagra recorder); Joseph Spence, voc, g; Edith Pinder (Spence' sister), voc
Elektra EKL 273 cover photo by Fritz Richmond
notes by Paul Rothchild
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Elektra EKL 273

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= Carthage CGLP 4419 (1985)

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= Ryko/Hannibal CD 44192
(Ca 1993)

notes by David Suff
and Jac Holzmann
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= Water CD 110 (US 2003)

41966The Real Bahamas In Music and Song

Pindar Family & Joseph Spence
- We Will Understand It Better By And By
- Sheep Know When Thy Shepherd Calling (Frederick McQueen & Rev. W.G. McPhee)
- I Told You People Judgment Coming (Sam Greene & Group)

Joseph Spence
- Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend #   @ youtube
- Sailboat Malarkey (Frederick McQueen)
- Up In The Heaven Shouting (Bruce Green, Tweedy Gibson, Clifton Graham)

Joseph & Louise Spence
- Won't That Be A Happy Time   @ youtube
- Out On The Rolling Sea (Fredrick McQueen, George McKenzie, Sheldon Swin)

- I Am So Glad (Bruce Green, Tweedy Gibson, Clifton Graham)
- Come For Your Dinner (Fredrick McQueen)
- God Locked The Lion's Jaw (Fredrick McQueen, Stanley Thompson, Sheldon Swin)

Pindar Family & Joseph Spence
- Great Dream From Heaven
- My Lord Help Me To Pray (Bruce Green, Tweedy Gibson, Clifton Graham)
- Numberless As The Sands On The Seashore (Sheldon Swin, Stanley Swin, Ronald Swin, George McKenzie)
- I Ain't Got Long (Sam Greene & Group)
- I Bid You Goodnight (Pindar Family)


rec. June 1965 in the Bahamas by Peter K. Siegel & Jody Stecher

# rec. May 1965 in New York during Joseph Spence's first American concert tour



Nonesuch H-2013 (mono)
H-72013 (stereo)




= Polydor 236 581 (UK 1969)


Nonesuch Explorer Series
7559-79300-2 (1998)
The Real Bahamas
Volumes 1 & 2


= Nonesuch 7559-79725-2
(EU 2003)
The Real Bahamas Vol. 1

51972Joseph Spence: Good Morning Mr. Walker

- Out On The Rolling Sea   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- I See Mary And Joseph   @ Spotify
- Oh, How I Love Jesus   @ Spotify
- Lay Down My Brother (aka I Bid You Goodnight)   @ Spotify
- Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer   @ Spotify

- Good Morning Mr. Walker   @ Spotify
- The Glory Of Love   @ Spotify
- Don't Let Nobody Burn Down Burma Road   @ Spotify
- Sloop John B   @ Spotify
- Be A Friend To Jesus   @ Spotify
- Mary Ann   @ Spotify

rec. May 16, 1971 in the afternoon and last three selections at a concert that evening in Cambridge, MA by Chris Strachwitz and Dick Waterman; Joseph Spence, "guitar and vocal sounds"; engineered by DurG Gessner; supervised by Jack Viertel
cover photo by Dick Waterman; liner photo by Andrew Ltd. Nassau
notes (1971) by Jack Viertel
click to enlarge !

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Arhoolie 1061

(=) Arhoolie CD 349

Arhoolie discography

= Mississippi MR-046
(US 2009)

61978The Real Bahamas Volume 2

- I See Mary And Joseph - Joseph Spence and the Pindar Family
- Peter, You Need The Lord - Bruce Green et al.
- Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There - Swin Family
- Troublesome Water - Tweedie Gibson et al.

- Kneeling Down Inside The Gate - Pindar Family & Joseph Spence
- Jesus Your Name So Sweet - Bruce Green et al.
- Take Me Over The Tide - Pindar Family

- When The Leaves Turn Red - Bruce Green et al.

- There Will Be A Happy Meeting - Joseph Spence
- King Canute - Linda Albury
- The Little Black Moustache - Linda Albury
- The Great Coronation - Swin Family
- The Captain Go Ashore - Fredrick McQueen

- Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold God's Body Down - Pindar Family & Joseph Spence

rec. June 1965 in the Bahamas by Peter K. Siegel & Jody Stecher
cover art by Carole Kowalchuk
notes by Jody Stecher







Nonesuch H-72078


Nonesuch Explorer Series
7559-79300-2 (1998)
The Real Bahamas
Volumes 1 & 2


= Nonesuch 7559-79733-2
(EU 2003)
The Real Bahamas Vol. 2

71980Joseph Spence: Living On The Hallelujah Side

- I'll Overcome Some Day *   @ youtube [at 0:00]
- Just A Closer Walk With Thee #   @ youtube [at 2:05]
- Where Shall I Go *
- I'll Be A Friend To Jesus # []   @ youtube [at 5:06]
- More And More With Jesus *
- Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town *   @ youtube

- On My Way To Heaven #   @ youtube [at 7:50]
- Neighbor Gone Home #   @ youtube [at 0:00]
- Jesus On The Mainline #   @ youtube
- Living On The Hallelujah Side # []   @ youtube [at 2:05]
- When The Saints Go Marching In *   @ youtube [at 4:30]
- Irene Goodnight #   @ youtube [at 7:25]

# rec. August 23 and 24, 1978 at the New Olympia Hotel, Nassau, Bahamas by Scott Billington and Bill Nowlin; Joseph Spence, voc, g; [] Blooming Rosalie Roberts, voc

* rec. November 1972 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by DurG Gessner; Joseph Spence, voc, g
notes (July 1980)
by Scott Billington
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Rounder 2021

Rounder discography

81990Joseph Spence: Bahamian Guitarist
Good Morning Mr. Walker

- Out On The Rolling Sea [Arhoolie 1061]
- I See Mary And Joseph [Arhoolie 1061]
- Oh, How I Love Jesus [Arhoolie 1061]
- I Bid You Good Night [Arhoolie 1061]
- Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer [Arhoolie 1061]
- Good Morning Mr. Walker [Arhoolie 1061]
- The Glory Of Love [Arhoolie 1061]
- Don't Let Nobody Burn Down Burma Road [Arhoolie 1061]
- Bye And Bye *   @ Spotify
- If I Had The Wings Of A Dove *   @ Spotify
- All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name *   @ Spotify
- Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend *   @ Spotify
- Brown Skin Gal *   @ Spotify
- Neighbor Gone Home *   @ Spotify
- He Walks With Me (Live) *   @ Spotify
- Will The Serpent Be Unbroken (Live) *   @ Spotify
- The Lord's My Shepherd (Live) *   @ Spotify
- Yellow Bird (Live) *   @ youtube   @ Spotify
- Sloop John B. (Live) [Arhoolie 1061]
- Be A Friend To Jesus (Live) [Arhoolie 1061]
- Mary Ann (Live) [Arhoolie 1061]

* previously unreleased tracks

rec. May 16, 1971 in Cambridge, MA by Chris Strachwitz and Dick Waterman; Joseph Spence, voc, g
cover photo by Guy Droussart
Arhoolie 1061

notes by Jack Viertel

Arhoolie CD 349

Arhoolie discography

91990 Joseph Spence: Glory

- Glory Glory #
- Old Time Religion *
- Jordan Chilly River *
- All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name #
- Down By The Riverside #
- In Time Like This #
- Old Rugged Cross []
- Piano Tune §
- Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend *
- Jesus On The Mainline *
- We Will Understand It Better By And By #
- Shake My Hand *
- Rock Daniel *
- In The Garden *
- Out On The Rolling Sea *

all tracks rec. by Guy Droussart; Joseph Spence, voc, g, p
# rec. March 29 & 30, 1978 at the home of Joseph and Louise Spence
* rec. May 7, 1978 at the home of Raymond and Edith Pinder
[] rec. April 13, 1980 at the home of Blooming Rosalie Roberts
§ rec. April 14, 1980 at the Oakes Field Primary School
photo, hand-coloring by Guy Droussart
notes by Guy Droussart
click to enlarge !
Rounder CD 2096

Rounder discography

101992Joseph Spence & The Pinder Family:
The Spring of Sixty-Five


- Out On The Rolling Sea
- Victory Is Coming   @ youtube
- Harcourt Got Drowned
- I Bid You Goodnight #   @ youtube [at 3:42]
- Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer *   @ youtube
- If I Could Hear My Mother Pray
- Living On The Hallelujah Side
- No Grave To Hold God's Body Down
- The Crow
- Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There
- Troublesome Waters #   @ youtube [at 0:00]
- Live The Life I Sing About In My Song
- When Jesus Calls Again

# rec. June 1965 in the Bahamas by Peter K. Siegel & Jody Stecher
Seven selections were recorded at the same sessions that yielded the Nonesuch Real Bahamas album, recorded in the backyard of the Pinders, with Spence accompanied by incredible vocals from the Pinder Family, Edith, Raymond, and Geneva

* rec. May 1965 in New York during Joseph Spence's first American concert tour
Six tracks were recorded in New York City during Joseph Spence's first tour of the U.S., and prominently feature Spence's guitar and vocals, with harmonies and occasional lead vocals from his sister Edith Pinder

prod. by Peter K. Siegel
notes by Jody Stecher



Rounder CD 2114

Rounder discography

111992Joseph Spence: The Complete Folkways Recordings  1958

- Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer [Folkways FS 3844]
- There Will Be A Happy Meeting In Glory [Folkways FS 3844]
- Brownskin Gal [Folkways FS 3844]
- I'm Going To Live That Life [Folkways FS 3844]
- Face To Face That I Shall Know Him [Folkways FS 3844]
- Jump In The Line [Folkways FS 3844]
- Bimini Gal [Folkways FS 3847]
- The Lord Is My Shepherd [Folkways FS 3847]
- (Glory, Glory) When I Lay My Burden Down [Folkways FS 3847]




Smithsonian Folkways
CD SF-40066
121995Frederick McQueen, Pinder Family, Joseph Spence & others:
Kneelin' Down Inside the Gate

The Great Rhyming Singers of the Bahamas

- My Lord Help Me To Pray - Bruce Green
- Standing In The Need Of Prayer - Joseph Spence
- Kneelin' Down Inside The Gate - Stanley Thompson
- Run Come See Jerusalem - Frederick McQueen
- Be Engaged Unto The Lord - Bruce Green
- I Met My Mother This Morning - Clifford Ellis

- Cecil Gone In The Time Of Storm - Joseph Spence
- Long Summer Days - Frederick McQueen
- Hallelujah, My Mother Gone Over - Bruce Green
- Shepherd Moan - Frederick McQueen

- Shepherd Moan - Joseph Spence
- Oh Jesus My Baby - Shelton Swain And Group
- There Is Good News - Bruce Green

- Just A Little Talk With Jesus - Joseph Spence
- What A Beautiful Home - Joseph Spence

rec. June 1965 in Nassau, Bahamas and May 1965 in New York; Bruce Green, Clifton Green and Tweedie Gibson, voc; Joseph Spence & the Pinder Family, voc; Stanley Thompson and Group, voc; Frederick McQueen with Rev. W.G. McPhee, voc; Clifford Ellis and Group, voc
notes by Jody Stecher
click to enlarge !
Rounder CD 5035

Rounder discography



Additional information appreciated !!!

 

 

 

Other artist's Covers of Joseph Spence songs
#year
of
release
Artist:
Record Title

- featured Joseph Spence song
label # / notes
11982Ralph McTell: Water Of Dreams

- Got To Be With Yyou
- Please Don't Haunt Me
- I'm Not A Rock

- Hands Of Joseph
- Pykey boy
- Bentley & Craig
- Water Of Dreams
- Affairs Of The Heart
- Cold On The Stones
- I Want You
- Geordie's On The Road
- Song For Martin

"Hands Of Joseph" played live:  
click to enlarge !

click to enlarge !
Mays TG005

= Leola TPGCD23 (2003)

also on
Castle CCSCD329 (1992)
"Silver Celebration"

live version on
Leola TPGCD16 (DCD 1999)
"Travelling Man
- The Journey The Songs"

Leola OLABOX60
(4-CD box set 2006)
"The Journey - Recordings
1965-2006"

21982Ralph McTell

- Song For Ireland
- Hands Of Joseph

click to enlarge !
Lunar LOON 11 (Ireland)
31994Out On the Rolling Sea
A tribute to the music of Joseph Spence
& the Pinder family

- On the Rolling Sea When Jesus Came to Me - Van Dyke Parks
- Kneelin' Down Inside the Gate - Jody Stecher / Kate Brislin / Larry Hanks
- Afindrafindrao - David Lindley   @ youtube
- Sloop John B. - Ron Kavana
- Blow Wind Blow - Taj Mahal
- Tsiaro - Tarika Sammy
- People Get Ready - David Grisman / Marc Silber
- Although the Lord Be High Above - Victoria Williams
- Paul & Pana Tsy Fotoana Mahafinaritra Ve Izao? / I Ain't Got Long On This Island - Rossy
- The Crow - Wavy Gravy / Henry Kaiser / Steve Kimock Crow
- Great Dreams From Heaven - Michael Chapman
- A Chilling Tale: Harcourt Drowned / Troublesome Water - 3 Mustaphas 3   @ youtube
- Don't Let Nobody Burn Down Burma Road - Tom Constanten   @ youtube
- Stealin' - Ralph McTell
- Carmen Goes to Bimini - Mitch Greenhill/Wayne Smith
- Good Morning Mr. Walker / Wait Til Tomorrow - Niles Hokkanen
- Goodnight Irene - Japheth Dean
- Out on the Rolling Sea - Jim Dickinson
- I Bid You Goodnight - Blue Murder




Hokey Pokey CD HPR 2004.2
= Green Linnet GLCD 3095


Additional information appreciated !!!

 

Sources / Further reading:
- own record collection
- eBay auctions
- diverse internet resources

source of left column picture: Back cover of Rounder LP 2021

 

A Tribute to Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family
by Bryan P. Deno
http://spence.bryandeno.com

Joshua Gone Barbados: A Joseph Spence Appreciation
by Chris Smith
http://www.indiana.edu/%7Esmithcj/cjsbvoi2.html

Joseph Spence Fingerstyle Phenomenon
by John Stropes and Justin Segel
http://www.stropes.com/refdocs/spence.pdf

 

Stefan Wirz


Please feel free
to complete,
to correct
or to comment
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(latest date of editing: 09/21/2013)