Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Yesterday, I found myself listening a lot to Ukelele player Lil’ Rev. I first heard him when Justin and I visited Alex and Linda in Green Bay and attended Ukelele Night at Kavarna. I liked his singing so much, I snatched up two CD’s right there on the spot.

I was stuck on one song in particular: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. If you go here, you can hear Lil’ Rev perform a bit of it on the very last video clip on the page.

While he has a few videos online, I searched and couldn’t find his version of this particular song. So I started looking around at other videos, at other people who also covered this song.

Along the way, I learned quite a few things about this song. It was originally written by Jimmy Cox in 1923 and made popular by Bessie Smith and has since been covered by folks like Janis Joplin, B.B. King and Eric Clapton.

Arguably, Clapton did a lot to popularize this song (it appeared on his Unplugged album, which came about through the MTV Unplugged series). In fact, if you search on YouTube, you’ll find numerous videos with the title of “Clapton Cover.”

In my searching, I came across three covers by musicians who just really liked the song… and whose covers I really liked.

Sung by Mark O’Dell and Andrew Ascosi. I’m guessing by the slippers and the stairwell that this was recorded in a college dorm somewhere. They’ve posted up a few more videos here.

In digging a bit more, it looks like they’re still doing music as a group called Mixed Business. It’s weird in that I don’t know these guys at all, but I’m glad they’re still playing together and doing it for a living.

Sung by YouTube user gepardrock. Can’t seem to find more about him other than that.

Sung by YouTube user Erotomania89, whose name I think is Jonas Wendin. When I first saw this video, I had my doubts (in my searches, I stumbled across some not-so-good covers). I hate to admit this, but at first glance I was ready to write him off due to his youth and his hair.

But I’m glad to have been wrong about that – when he started singing, I was sold. To me, he sounds incredibly good for just a small room and a built-in camera. I bet he would sound great on a stage with a decent mic.

He has a lot of videos posted up. I really like his voice and hope he’s able to do the singing thing full time.

This is another one of those moments where I’m in awe of the Internet. So many talented people out there.

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