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Rolling Stones unreleased: When You Got A Good Friend
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Written by: Robert Johnson
Recorded: Sumet-Burnet Recording Studio, Dallas, TX, June 23 1972
“When You Got a Good Friend” is a blues song recorded on November 23, 1936, in San Antonio, Texas, by legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. The song was unissued until 1961, when it was included on the LP King of the Delta Blues Singers.
Johnson performed the song in the key of E, and recorded two takes, the second of which was used for the LP. Both takes are included on the album The Complete Recordings.
The song uses the melody made popular by the hit record M & O Blues by Walter Davis. Johnson composed two songs to this melody – “Ramblin’ On My Mind” and “When You Got A Good Friend” – with different musical approaches and different guitar tunings, although both were in the key of E.
Eric Clapton recorded the song for the 2004 album Me and Mr. Johnson.