"Look on Yonder Wall
", or "Get Ready to Meet Your Man
" as it was first named, is a blues song first recorded in 1945 by James "Beale Street" Clark. Clark, also known as "Memphis Jimmy", was a blues pianist from Memphis, Tennessee. During the 1940s, he appeared on recordings by Jazz Gillum
William McKinley Gillum , known as Jazz Gillum, was an American blues harmonica player.He was born in Indianola, Mississippi. After running away from home at the age of seven, Gillum spent the next few years in Charleston, Mississippi, working and playing for tips on local street corners...
, Red Nelson (aka Dirty Red), and an early Muddy Waters
McKinley Morganfield , known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician, generally considered the "father of modern Chicago blues"...
session, as well as several singles in his own name.
"Look on Yonder Wall" was performed as a mid-tempo twelve-bar blues, with a recurrent post-World War II theme. It tells of a "man who is somewhat disabled and has not been drafted and takes advantage of that to entertain lonely married women".
- Now baby I've been worried, ever since victory day
- Every time I pick up the paper, your man is comin' this a way
- Look on yonder wall, hand me down my walkin' cane
- Said I'm gonna find me woman, woo-hoo look here come your man
- Now your man have been in the army, 'n' I know that awful rough
- I don't know how many men he done killed, but I think he done killed enough...
Jazz Gillum, with whom the song is often associated, recorded a version on February 18, 1946 (RCA Victor 20-1974), four months after Clark. Although the release was retitled, it credits "James Clark" as the composer.
Elmore James version
In 1961, Elmore James
Elmore James was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader. He was known as "the King of the Slide Guitar" and had a unique guitar style, noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice.-Biography:James was born Elmore Brooks in the old Richland community in...
recorded his version of "Look on Yonder Wall" as the flip side of "Shake Your Moneymaker
"Shake Your Moneymaker" or "Shake Your Money Maker" is a song recorded by Elmore James in 1961 that has become a standard of the blues. Inspired by earlier songs, it has been interpreted and recorded by several blues and other artists...
" (Fire 504). Backing James (vocal and guitar) are Sammy Myers
Sam Myers was an American blues musician and songwriter. He appeared as an accompanist on dozens of recordings for blues artists over five decades. He began his career as a drummer for Elmore James, but was most famous as a blues vocalist and blues harp player...
(harmonica), Johnny "Big Moose" Walker (piano), Sammy Lee Bully (bass), and King Mose (drums). The song is one of the few Elmore James songs to feature harmonica, as he typically used saxophone.
"Look on Yonder Wall" has been interpreted and recorded by many different performers. Although several titles are used, some of the earlier releases are credited to "James Clark".
- 1950 - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup as "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" (RCA 22-0100).
- 1952 - Boyd Gilmore as "Just an Army Boy" (Modern 860).
- 1962 - Junior Parker
Junior Parker was an American Memphis blues singer and musician. He is best remembered for his unique voice which has been described as "honeyed," and "velvet-smooth"...
as "Yonder's Wall" (Duke 367).
- 1964 - Homesick James
Homesick James was an American blues musician. He most notably played slide guitar, and recorded covers of "Stones In My Passway" and "Homesick"...
as "Crutch and Cane" from Blues Southside Chicago.
- 1964 - Eddie Boyd
Edward Riley Boyd known as Eddie Boyd was an American blues piano player, born on Stovall's Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States.-Life and career:...
as "Look on Yonder Wall" from Southside Chicago.
- 1965 - Junior Wells
Junior Wells , born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., was an American Chicago blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist...
with Buddy Guy
George "Buddy" Guy is an American blues and jazz guitarist and singer. He is a critically acclaimed artist who has established himself as a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation...
as "Yonder Wall" from Hoodoo Man Blues
Hoodoo Man Blues is the 1965 debut album of blues vocalist and harmonica player Junior Wells, performing with the Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band, an early collaboration with Grammy Award-winning artist Buddy Guy...
- 1965 - Paul Butterfield
Paul Butterfield was an American blues vocalist and harmonica player, who founded the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early 1960s and performed at the original Woodstock Festival...
as "Look Over Yonders Wall" from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
-Side two:-Personnel:* Paul Butterfield — vocals, harmonica* Mike Bloomfield — electric guitar* Elvin Bishop — electric guitar* Mark Naftalin — organ on "Blues with A Feeling," "Thank You Mr. Poobah," "Screamin'," "Our Love Is Drifting," "Mystery Train," and "Last Night"* Jerome Arnold — bass* Sam...
- 1969 - Earl Hooker
Earl Hooker was an American Chicago blues guitarist, perhaps best known for his slide guitar playing. Considered a "musician's musician", Hooker performed with blues artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Junior Wells, and John Lee Hooker as well as fronting his own bands...
as "Look Over Yonder's Wall" from Don't Have to Worry.
- 1970 - Freddie King
Freddie King , thought to have been born as Frederick Christian, originally recording as Freddy King, and nicknamed "the Texas Cannonball", was an influential African-American blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of "the Three Kings" of electric blues guitar, along with Albert...
as "Yonder Wall" from My Feeling for the Blues.
- 1984 - J. B. Hutto as "Look at the Yonder Wall" from Slideslinger (bonus tracks).
- 1999 - Gov't Mule
Gov't Mule is a Southern rock jam band formed in 1994 as an Allman Brothers Band side project by Warren Haynes and Allen Woody.The band released their debut album Gov't Mule in 1995...
as "Look on Yonder Wall" from Live... With a Little Help from Our Friends.
- 2010 - Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist and singer.-Early life:Bonamassa was born and raised in New Hartford, United States. His parents owned and ran a guitar shop. He is a fourth-generation musician...
as "Look Over Yonder's Wall" from Black Rock.
- 2010 - Steve Miller
Steven H. "Steve" Miller is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter who began his career in blues and blues rock and evolved to a more popular-oriented sound which, from the mid 1970s through the early 1980s, resulted in a series of successful singles and albums.-Early years:Born in Milwaukee,...
as "Look on Yonder Wall" from Bingo!
Bingo! is an album by the Steve Miller Band released on June 15, 2010.The album is the first studio release by the band since 1993's Wide River. It was recorded alongside a second album which was released 10 months later. The album is dedicated in memory of Norton Buffalo, who died on October 30,...