How Long Blues

Composer: Leroy Carr / ?

Grateful Dead

No Grateful Dead recordings.


no info Leroy Carr, 1928
no info Jimmy Rushing with the Count Basie Orchestra, 193?
no info Joe Turner and The Varsity Seven, 1940
no info Jazz, Vol. 2: The Blues, Various Artists (Jimmy Yancey), 1950
no info Scrapper Blackwell, 1959
no info Odetta and The Blues, Odetta, 1962
no info Folk Music of Washington Square, Various Artists (Howard Bradley), 1962
no info The Best of the Blues, Jimmy Reed, 1963
no info Favorites, Jesse Fuller, 1965
no info Confessin' The Blues, B. B. King, 1966
no info Hot Tuna, Hot Tuna, 1970
info Livin' on the Mountain, Del McCoury, 1971
no info Big Ben Sings, Scatman Crothers, 1973
no info Hoppkorv, Hot Tuna, 1976
no info Red Rocking Chair, Doc and Merle Watson, 1981
no info Red Rocking Chair, Doc Watson, 1982
no info Great Moments With B.B. King, B.B. King, 1982
no info Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting, Ray Charles, 1989
info Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: 1928-1929, Tampa Red, 1991
no info Deeper Shade Of Blue, Del McCoury, 1993
no info From The Cradle, Eric Clapton, 1994
no info Hurry Down Sunshine, The Essential Recordings Of Leroy Carr, 1995
no info Down In Mississippi, Pinetop Perkins, 1998
no info Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 1928-1929, Leroy Carr, 19??
no info As Good As It Gets: Country Blues, Various Artists (Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr), 2000
info Big Boss Man (Box set), Jimmy Reed, 2001
info Baby, Don't You Tear My Clothes, James Cotton, 2004
info Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959), Ray Charles, 2005
info The !!!! Beat: Legendary R&B and Soul Shows from 1966, Vol. 5, Various Artists (Lou Rawls), 2005
info Looking at Long John Baldry: The UA Years 1964-1966, Long John Baldry, 2006
no info Classic Piano Blues from Smithsonian Folkways, Various Artists (Speckled Red), 2008
info Setlist: The Very Best of Hot Tuna Live, Hot Tuna, 2011
info Original Album Classics, Hot Tuna, 2012


It is likely that this title is used in relation to two different songs performed by the Dead.

The version performed with Spencer Davis in 1989 is very similar to the song associated with Leroy Carr. This was originally recorded by Carr as How Long - How Long Blues.

The song performed in a few acoustic sets in 1970 varies considerably from the Leroy Carr song. It may well be a different song, albeit one with similarities to the Carr song. It's possible that this second version is based on the song How Long recorded by Frank Stokes.

How Long Blues was also performed by the Garcia / Saunders group on July 2, 1974 with Roger Troy sitting in on vocals.

The How Long Blues title is retained here for all versions until further information is available.

The song associated with Leroy Carr is usually credited to him. However it may be that it was an existing song when he recorded it 1928. In Screening The Blues (1968), Paul Oliver writes,

Leroy Carr, for example, is associated with the blues, How Long, How Long although earlier version of it are known by Ida Cox and Papa Charlie Jackson. Carr gave it a special quality which 'fixed' the blues in his style of singing and playing.
Ida Cox recorded How Long, Daddy, How Long in September 1925.