Baby, Please Don't Go (3:55)

Cover of These Are My Blues

From These Are My Blues and 22 other releases

“Baby, Please Don’t Go” is a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams in 1935. It is related to a group of early 20th century blues and work songs that include “Alabama Bound”, “Another Man Done Gone”, and “Don’t Leave Me Here”, and “Turn Your Lamp Down Low”.

It has become a blues and rock standard, and has been recorded by many artists (see list below).

1935 version

The original single by Joe Williams’ Washboard Blues Singers can be heard on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol. 4 (Revenant, 2000).

1941 version with
Big Joe Williams - Guitar, Vocals
Sonny Boy Williamson I - Harp
Ransom Knowling - Double Bass
Judge Riley - Drums

The band Them fronted by Van Morrison, released “Baby, Please Don’t Go” as the A side of a single in late 1964. Boosted by the B side, a ditty entitled “Gloria”, the single became their first hit, reaching #10 on the UK Singles Chart. This version is included on the double CD compilation The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison, Van Morrison’s 1990s greatest hits album, The Best of Van Morrison and various compilations of Morrison’s work. Session guitar work was played by a then little-known Jimmy Page.

John Lee Hooker’s posthumously released DVD Come See About Me includes a 1992 performance where Hooker plays “Baby, Please Don’t Go” on his guitar while sitting on a dock. He is accompanied on harmonica by Van Morrison.


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