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Origin: Jesus on the Main Line / ...Mainline

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Jesus on the Main Line^^ (25)
CHORDS Req: Jesus on the mainline^^^ (8)


Cappuccino 11 Aug 02 - 05:29 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 02 - 06:47 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 02 - 06:49 AM
Tweed 11 Aug 02 - 07:05 AM
Tweed 11 Aug 02 - 07:31 AM
Cappuccino 11 Aug 02 - 07:44 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 02 - 08:04 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 02 - 08:11 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Aug 02 - 08:20 AM
masato sakurai 12 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM
Tweed 12 Aug 02 - 05:33 PM
Abuwood 13 Aug 02 - 03:35 AM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 02 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 13 Aug 02 - 06:55 AM
GUEST 13 Aug 02 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Colin 13 Aug 02 - 09:12 AM
dwditty 13 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 13 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM
Cappuccino 14 Aug 02 - 02:11 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 05 - 11:02 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 05 - 11:07 PM
Azizi 07 Jan 05 - 11:25 PM
GUEST,Jami108 22 Oct 09 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,gwilliams57 17 Nov 11 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,davnkatz 07 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM
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Subject: Jesus on the main line
From: Cappuccino
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 05:29 AM

We've got a special appeal on for our charity, and we're in the middle of recording a single-song CD - an eight-minute version of Jesus is on the Main Line.

I got it from an old Ry Cooder album, where the credit is given is 'traditional'. Any further clues as to origin, please?

Thanks. - Ian B


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 06:47 AM

This gospel has been recorded by lots of singers (including Joseph Spence, Gospel Harmonettes, Isaac Douglas, James Shorty & Viola James, Sam Block, Pilgrim Jubilee Singers, and Voices of Jordan--whose CDs I have), and is also known as "Jesus Is On the Mainline," "On the Mainline," "Go Tell Him What You Want," "Tell Jesus (What You Want)." I don't know its history, at least for now. The lyrics are not requested, but I'll post them for reference.

JESUS ON THE MAINLINE (Traditional)

Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

If you want and you can't --, tell him what you want.
If you want and you can't --, tell him what you want.
If you want and you can't --, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

~Masato


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Subject: Ly Add: JESUS ON THE MAINLINE
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 06:49 AM


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Tweed
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 07:05 AM

Mississippi Fred MacDowell was playing it in the late 50's when Alan Lomax recorded him near Como, Miss. The song is built for call and response and I'd reckon it to be a much older field holler/work/gospel song. That's a good choice IanB. Oddly enough a woman came on the Tweedboard a little while ago looking for lyrics to Jesus on the Mainline to sing at a church function over in the Tampa area. Is it possible that the current craze for Gospel Rock is finally about to burn itself out and people are lookin' for songs with a little spiritual substance again? You might check to see if Lomax got any of the rights signed over to him, but I kinda think it's an old traditional song, or should be anyhow. Songs like that should be free for any who have ears to hear;~)
Tweed


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Tweed
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 07:31 AM

Here's another set of lyrics Masato. I reckon you managed to get into Harry's Blues Online this morning;~)

JESUS ON THE MAINLINE

Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

O, the line ain't never busy, tell him what you want
O, the line ain't never busy, tell him what you want
The line ain't never busy, tell him what you want
Call him up, and tell him what you want.

Now, if you're feeling down and out,tell him what you want,
If you're feeling down and out,tell him what you want,
If you're feeling down and out,tell him what you want,
Call him up and tell him what you want.

If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
If you're sick and you want to get well, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

If your soul's in danger, tell him what you want,
If your soul's in danger, tell him what you want,
If your soul's in danger, tell him what you want,
Call him up and tell him what you want

Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
Jesus is on that mainline, tell him what you want.
You gotta call him up and tell him what you want.

I guess with this song you could add your own easy enough.
Tweed


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Cappuccino
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 07:44 AM

With eight minutes to fill, we need all the lyrics we can get! I didn't know the 'soul's in danger' verse, but thanks. And, friend Tweed, the call-and-response is a good idea... we'll incorporate that into the vocals, which we haven't laid down yet.

And I think we'll credit it to 'trad arr.', then.

Oh, Masato, thanks for the recent help with the lyrics for 'Everybody's Got Religion and Glory'. Came out a treat!

- Ian


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Subject: Lyr Add: JESUS ON THE MAINLINE (Ry Cooder)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 08:04 AM

Thanks, Tweed. MacDowell hasn't been index into my personal gospel CD list, which hasn't been revised for two years.

Here's the Ry Cooder version (from HERE>

JESUS ON THE MAINLINE
(Traditional)

I know Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up and tell Him what you want

Well, the line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Wo, that line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Well, the line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Keep on calling Him up
And tell Him what you want

Well, if you want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
If you want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
If want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, call Him up
You can call Him up and tell Him what you want

Well, if you're sick and wanna get well
Tell Him what you want
Well, if you're sick and you wanna get well
Tell Him what you want
If you're sick and you wanna get well
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up and tell Him what you want

And if you're feeling down and out
Tell Him what you want
And if you're feeling down and out
Tell Him what you want
And if you're feeling down and out
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up and tell Him what you want

I know Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, call Him up
Call Him up and tell Him what you want

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 08:11 AM

Ralph Stanley recorded it. HERE is the sound clip.


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 08:20 AM

Hi, Ian:

We add: "He will come in a hurry," and "Call him up, call him up," and "If you need more power." It's common practice to improvise lines, too. When Joe's back was killing him, I sang, "If your back is bothering you." Like many black gospel songs, there is no accepted "text." There are just the words that someone sang when they recorded the song. Use you imagination.. "If your lost, can't find your way," or whatever comes to mind.

When my wife Ruth and I go out to visit my family in Wisconsin we always go to a black Baptist Church in a neighboring town and they never fail to sing this song as one of the songs they sing, warming up the church for the service. We sing it at churches all over the place... a good message with a lot of energy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM

According to Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th ed. (Oxford, 1997), "Jesus On the Main Line" (sung by (Mrs) Lillie Knox) and "Jesus On De Main Line Too" (sung by Plantation Echoes) were recorded by the Library of Congress, both in 1937. These seem to be the earliest recordngs.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Tweed
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 05:33 PM

Makes sense Masato. I'm guessing that phones in the deep south probably weren't all that prevalent or used much by the workin' folks before that time.


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Abuwood
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 03:35 AM

Treaties does an extra verse

If you,re broke and you need some cash, tell him what you want


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 05:15 AM

This is a fun song. I have to admit that the first version I heard was a parody, "The Goddess Is My Mainline." I believe the parody was written by Bob Fitch, now of Santa Cruz, California - at least, he's the one I heard it from.
The Goddess is my mainline, tell her what you want
The Goddess is my mainline, tell her what you want
The Goddess is my mainline, tell her what you want
Call her up, and tell her what you want
There have been other threads on this song.
-Joe Offer, in London visiting Micca, who prefers the goddess version of the song-

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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 06:55 AM

My mate Smiley Dave has two new verses

For the total and complete destruction of the capatilist state tell him what you want

which is great cos it doesn't scan proper

or

two pints of lager and a packet of crisps tell him what you want


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 09:09 AM


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: GUEST,Colin
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 09:12 AM

I don't have any details of it being recorded but Paul Jones of The Blues Band has performed this live, just him and a harmonica and it's a cracking version.

The last time I heard him do it they did say they were recording a live album that night. (few years ago, Blackheath Concert Halls, London). Haven't looked to see if it's out there though.

C.


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: dwditty
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM

I have done this song with groups, starting it off and the "passing the lyric" around the group. People will improvise the lyric with whatever their particular call is at that moment. They are not all keeper lines, but if you get a group of 8 plus people and do this song that way, you will have to pare your choices down to restrict it to eight minutes.

And besides:

If you need 8 minutes of lyrics,
Just tell Him what you want!

dw


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM

During peace demos we sang to the tune
If you see Maggie Thatcher, tell her what you want,
All together, tell her what you want.

If you want some peace NOW
Tell her what you want.

And much more, with some regarding Ronnie Raygun too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Cappuccino
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 02:11 PM

It is coming out at eight minutes, 51 seconds. I'm already beginning to lose count of the instruments on it, and I haven't added the keyboards and accordion yet, never mind the backing vocals. Probably at least four tracks of them alone, to accommodate everyone who wants to be in with a shout.

This is what happens when you devise new methods of 'bouncing' tracks on a Roland portastudio!!!!

There's going to be more credits on this than on the Mudcat CD...

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 11:02 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 11:07 PM

Like Tweed said, check out Fred McDowell's version...


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Subject: RE: Help: Jesus on the main line
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 11:25 PM

Just a note that this is one of the uptempo songs that I remember the "young adult" gospel choir singing in my African American Baptist church singing with off beat clapping. This was in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s and early 1960s.

I've always liked this song..I wish you much success with your recording!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jesus on the Main Line / ...Mainline
From: GUEST,Jami108
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 12:16 AM

I grew up singing this song in rural Pentecostal churches in the late 60's and early 70's. It was always VERY uptempo and usually was sung at the climax of services when folks were jumpin' around and doing all that stuff that caused Pentecostals to be called "Holy Rollers." I've trolled the internet for recordings, but none of them can remotely touch the energy of the way those churches did it. We definitely weren't serpent handlers, but the music in this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMP-CQ_bvSM) gets at the general sound.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jesus on the Main Line / ...Mainline
From: GUEST,gwilliams57
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 09:05 AM

These songs sound best with four or five voices and one or two instruments at most.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jesus on the Main Line / ...Mainline
From: GUEST,davnkatz
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM

My wife and I are starting a music ministry (I'm 76 and she's 71) ffor senior centers, retirement homes, etc. A lyric we added is:

If you're a sinner and you wanna be saved, tell Him what you want
If you're a sinner and you wanna be saved, tell Him what you want
If you're a sinner and you wanna be saved, tell Him what you want
Call Him up and tell Him what you want


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