Be Bop Wino Pages

Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Rumble (Jubilee LP JGM-1114)

I was updating the link on this post and for some reason it shot forward to today's date! Apologies - Be Bop Wino will be back with a whole heap o' fresh posts very soon!

Side 1:
01. Castle In The Sky - The Bop-Chords
02. The Gleam In Your Eye - The Channels
03. Fine Fine Frame - The Continentals
04. If I Could Make You Mine - The Love-Notes
05. Picture Of Love - The Continentals
06. Tonight - The Love-Notes

Side 2:
01. When I Woke Up This Morning - The Bop-Chords
02. Dear Lord - The Continentals
03. Now You Know - The Channels
04. United - The Love-Notes
05. The Closer You Are - The Channels
06. I Really Love Her So - The Bop-Chords

Thanks once more to Joan for the second in the series of Jubilee doowop compilation LPs released in 1959. These sides, which were originally issued in 1956 and 1957, were gathered from the Bobby Robinson group of labels. The Channels and Continentals sides were originally released on Whirlin' Disc, a label co-owned by Bobby Robinson and Jubilee owner Jerry Blaine. They were subsequently re-released as singles on the Port label between 1959 and 1961. The Bop-Chords and Love-Notes sides were originally released in 1956-57 on Holiday, a label owned by Bobby Robinson's brother Danny.

There are occasional clicks and pops and even a skip on these vintage vinyl sides.

Download from:

Rumble (Mega)

Marv Goldberg's article on The Continentals is here:

It includes juicy details on who was backing The Continentals at their recording sessions. Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Sam "The Man" Taylor are names to whet the appetite of any R&B fan.

Marv Goldberg's article on The Love-Notes / The Ivories is here:

More juicy details, this time about the Love-Notes getting rushed on to an Apollo show as "United" / "Tonight" started to climb the charts. Also on the bill of that show were Chuck Willis, Mickey & Sylvia, Big Maybelle and Solomon Burke among others!

This LP was originally posted on Be Bop Wino on 21st June 2008. The original post is here:

The download includes label scans by Joan. Terrific stuff!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Hen Gates, Man Of Mystery or Exploitation A Go Go

In response to a request from BabyHugz we proudly re-present the 3 "Hen Gates" LPs which were donated to the blog 9 years ago. These LPs were released on budget labels to cash in on the rock and roll craze of the 1950s.  Beneath the pseudonym "Hen Gates" lurk recycled R&B / Jazz tracks from the late 1940s and early 1950s, chiefly tracks originally released by Freddie Mitchell on the Derby label. Also in there are some sides recorded by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davies for Lenox around 1947. I suspect there may be other stuff by other artists too (Frank Culley? Morris Lane?) but life is too short to dwell on such esoterica.

The whole saga unfolded across a series of posts back in the spring of 2010 when an anonymous donor sent in "Let's All Dance To Rock And Roll" and followed up with "Rock and Roll". A different anonymous contributor sent in "Rock And Roll No. 2" and much below the line comment contributed towards the attempted identification of the origin of these tracks. The original relevant posts are here:

Click on the links to follow the whole tawdry and at times hilarious tale. However it should be remembered that behind the exploitation there are a lot of very good tenor sax tracks, and, yes, a few tracks spoiled by the plinky-plonk piano which was an unfortunate feature of some of Freddie Mitchell's Derby discs.

Here's yer link to the world of "Hen Gates" -

Warning - 201 MB download!

Sunday, 16 June 2019

The "5" Royales - The Roots Of Soul

Side One:
01. I'm Gonna Run It Down
02. Devil With The Rest
03. You Didn't Learn It At Home
04. How I Wonder
05. Mohawk Squaw
06. When I Get Like This
07. I Ain't Getting Caught
08. Right Around The Corner

Side Two:
01. I Could Love You If You Let Me
02. Come On And Save Me
03. Get Something Out Of It
04. Think
05. Tell The Truth
06. Don't Let It Be In Vain
07. The Slummer The Slum
08. I'm With You

This LP has been posted on other blogs but having posted recently on the Apollo sides of  The "5" Royales, I couldn't resist presenting my own copy of this compilation of King sides which were recorded by the group between 1954 and 1960. It's a good follow up to the previous "The Rockin' 5 Royales" post and, more importantly, it's an excellent LP in its own right.

The "5" Royales signed for King in the Spring of 1954 although their first recording session for their new label was delayed by a lawsuit brought by Apollo chief Bess Berman. Their first issue on King was in August 1954 - "I'm Gonna Run It Down" / "Behave Yourself." If the group thought that their transfer to King with its superior distribution facilities would revive the R&B chart success they had experienced in 1953, they were in for a rude awakening. The single failed to chart as did every other of their King singles until July 1957 when "Tears Of Joy" climbed to #9 in the R&B chart.

Their next King release, "Think", also reached #9 in the R&B chart in September 1957 and even made it to the lower reaches of the pop chart (#66). And that was it for The "5" Royales as far as chart action was concerned. Not another hit, nada, despite two of their subsequent releases becoming hits for other artists - "Dedicated To The One I Love" for The Shirelles (and later for The Mamas and The Papas) and "Tell The Truth" for Ray Charles.

It's a common theme whenever anyone writes about The "5" Royales. Why, after releasing 25 singles on King between August 1954 and June 1960, did this group only chart twice? I've been immersing myself in their King material over the last few weeks and can say that their records mostly ranged from the very good to the absolutely outstanding. So what went wrong?

Perhaps they were too old for the teen market which drove the success of most of the big vocal group hits of the 1950's. Their material was mostly adult in nature and their performances may have been too intense, too bluesy, and simply too Southern for Northern city teenagers. In his introduction to the notes for the Ace CD "It's Hard But It's Fair" Billy Vera noted that as an avid listener of R&B radio in 1950's New York he never once heard a "5" Royales record.

It's largely in retrospect that The "5" Royales are now seen as a major vocal group. They were an important influence on James Brown and the rise of Soul music in general. Group guitarist (and songwriter and bass singer) Lowman Pauling has been acknowledged as an influence by Steve Cropper, although his superb guitar work only really came to the fore on the group's records from 1957 onwards. His guitar playing had been kept in the background while lead guitar duties on the records had been carried out by Mickey Baker, Billy Butler and Tiny Grimes.

The "5" Royales left King in the Spring of 1960 and retreated south to the Memphis based Home Of The Blues label. Lowman Pauling, however, remained at King. Teaming up with "5" Royales pianist Royal Abbit, he had five singles released on King subsidiary Federal between September 1960 and June 1962.

For a more in depth account of The "5" Royales see the excellent article by Steve Walker on the Blackcat Rockabilly website. I've compiled a list of the "5" Royales' single releases on King largely from the article with a couple of alterations from info on Billboard and the website and included it as a pdf in the download from this post.

Original Issue Of The Holy Rollin' Trax on "The Roots Of Soul"

King 4740 - I'm Gonna Run It Down / Behave Yourself - August 1954

King 4744 - Monkey Hips And Rice / Devil With The Rest - October 1954

King 4770 - You Didn't Learn It at Home / Every Dog Has His Day - January 1955

King 4785 - How I Wonder / Mohawk Squaw - March 1955

King 4806 - I Need Your Lovin' Baby / When I Get Like This - June 1955

King 4830 - I Ain't Gettin' Caught / Someone Made You For Me - September 1955

King 4869 - Right Around The Corner / When You Walked Through The Door - January 1956

King 4901 - My Wants For Love / I Could Love You - March 1956

King 4952 - Come On And Save Me / Get Something Out Of It - August 1956

King 5053 - Think / I'd Better Make A Move - May 1957

King 5141 - Tell The Truth / Double Or Nothing - July 1958

King 5153 - Don't Let It Be In Vain / The Slummer The Slum - October 1958

King 5329 - I'm With You / Don't Give No More Than You Can Take - March 1960

Recommended CD

Ace CDCHD 1038 "It's Hard But It's Fair" (2005)

I've had the above CD for many a year and it most definitely is one of my favourite vocal group collections. 26 tracks and informative notes by Tony Rounce with an introduction by Billy Vera.

There are several more comprehensive collections of The "5" Royales available - just search in the usual places and peruse the results. "Soul & Swagger - The Complete 5 Royales 1951-1967" (5 CD set) seems to be the one for the completists.

Monday, 3 June 2019

The Ravens - The Greatest Group Of Them All

Side 1:
01. Mahzel
02. For You
03. Would You Believe Me
04. Write Me A Letter
05. Until The Real Thing Comes Along
06. September Song
07. Always
08. Searching For Love

Side 2:
01. I'm Afraid Of You
02. Fool That I Am
03. Together
04. There's No You
05. How Could I Know
06. It's Too Soon To Know
07. White Christmas
08. Silent Night

Side 3:
01. Deep Purple
02. There's Nothing Like A Woman In Love
03. Careless Love
04. If You Didn't Mean It
05. Someday
06. Lilacs In The Rain
07. I've Been A Fool
08. I'm Going To Paper My Walls

Side 4:
01. Sylvia
02. Tea For Two
03. Without A Song
04. It's The Talk Of The Town
05. No More Kisses For Baby
06. Moonglow
07. Who's Sorry Now
08. I've Got The World On A String

Two LPs of Ravens sides recorded for National between 1947 and 1950. I found this double LP set a few years ago in a record fair at Glasgow University (in the QMU for those of you familiar with that noble seat of learning) and despite its rather beat up condition the fact that it was part of the Savoy "Roots Of Rock And Roll" series meant that it just had to be purchased. After the first play I was underwhelmed by the crackles, clicks and pops, the rather muddy sound quality, and what seemed to be track after track of schlock sung in a Delta Rhythm Boys or even Ink Spots style.

We're all a few years down the line now and this set has grown on me. A lot of the "schlock" now sounds like pretty hip interpretations of the standards of the day, mainly thanks to the dominant feature of the Ravens' sound, the deep bass voice of Jimmy Ricks. There are a few bluesier sides plus one out and out rocker, "Write Me A Letter" which was the group's biggest hit on National. A sign, surely, that if only they had rocked a little harder they may have sold more records. But then we have to remember that the most commercially successful vocal groups who preceeded The Ravens were The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots and The Delta Rhythm Boys, and it is likely that The Ravens were hoping to emulate the pop success of those groups.

I should also point out that this collection followed the release of a single LP on Savoy of The Ravens' National sides, "Old Man River" (SJL 1156) which had 15 tracks and was the better introduction to The Ravens on National.

The go-to site for information on The Ravens is of course Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks with this being the first of four pages on the Ravens' career:

The Ravens came together in New York City in 1946 with the intitial lineup being Jimmy Ricks (bass), Warren Suttles (baritone), Leonard "Zeke" Puzey (tenor) and Henry Oliver "Ollie" Jones (tenor).

Their first recordings were for the Hub label in June 1946 with three records being issued from August to October 1946. In early 1947 Ollie Jones was replaced by tenor Maithe Marshall and the new lineup re-recorded the sides they had already recorded on Hub.The group signed for National Records in April 1947 and recorded 4 sides on the 23rd and 24th of that month - "Mahzel," "Ol' Man River," "For You" and "Would You Believe Me."

Their second release on National, "Ol' Man River" / "Would You Believe Me" was a hit, reaching #10 in the R&B charts, but this was surpassed by their third release, "Write Me A Letter" / "Summertime" which not only climbed the R&B chart to #5 but also reached #24 in the pop chart. This success was followed by a series of pop standard and ballad releases which while always classy didn't really bring about much chart action.

"September Song," "Until The Real thing Comes Along," "There's No You," "Together" and others were stellar performances, but the next National chart success wasn't until the autumn of 1948 with a double sided hit - a cover of The Orioles' best selling "It's Too Soon To Know" reached #11 R&B while its flip side, the bluesy "Be On Your Merry Way" reached #13. Just prior to this, The Ravens had a chart hit on the King label which had bought up the Hub masters. "Bye Bye Baby Blues" / "Once And For All" reached #8 in the R&B chart. There was more success and another double sided hit for The Ravens with their Christmas 1948 smash "Silent Night" / "White Christmas." The latter was very much the inspiration for a hit version by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters in 1954/55.

The autumn of 1948 had also seen some personnel changes within the group. Warren Suttles left in September, being replaced by Joe Medlin. The following month Maithe Marshall left and was replaced by Richie Cannon. Then Medlin left and Marshall returned! In early 1949 Suttles returned and Cannon left, so basically the group was back to what it was when they started with National.

In 1949 failures to chart dominated the Ravens' output although there was one hit with "Ricky's Blues" / "The House I Live In" which reached #8 R&B. As 1949 turned to 1950 there was one last hit on National - "I Don't Have To Ride No More" / "I've Been a Fool" hit #9 in the R&B chart. It's noticeable that the last two hits were both strong blues performances which went down well with R&B audiences. In early 1950 Warren Suttles left again and was replaced with Louis Heyward.

The Ravens recorded their last session for National in August 1950 and then signed to Columbia. Their last release on National was in February 1951- the tender "Lilacs In The Rain," featured a beautiful vocal by Maithe Marshall, while the other side "Time Is Marching On" was a rousing rockin' blues with a lead by Jimmy Ricks and some stinging electric guitar in the arrangement. It failed to chart.

For the rest of the Ravens story - get yourself over to Marv Goldberg's website.

Original Release Details

01. Mahzel - National 9034
02. For You - National 9034 / 9039
03. Would You Believe Me - National 9035
04. Write Me A Letter - National 9038 / Rendition R-5001
05. Until The Real Thing Comes Along - National 9045
06. September Song - National 9053
07. Always - National 9064
08. Searching For Love - National 9039
09. I'm Afraid Of You - National 9098
10. Fool That I Am - National 9040
11. Together - National 9042
12. There's No You - National 9042
13. How Could I Know - National 9059
14. It's Too Soon To Know - National 9056
15. White Christmas - National 9062
16. Silent Night -National 9062

01. Deep Purple - National 9065
02. There's Nothing Like A Woman In Love - National 9085
03. Careless Love - National 9085
04. If You Didn't Mean It - National 9089
05. Someday - National 9089
06. Lilacs In The Rain - National 9148
07. I've Been A Fool - National 9101
08. I'm Going To Paper My Walls - National 9111

The remaining eight tracks (Side 4) were not released on single -
09. Sylvia
10. Tea For Two
11. Without A Song
12. It's The Talk Of The Town
13. No More Kisses For Baby
14. Moonglow
15. Who's Sorry Now
16. I've Got The World On A String

Ravens Singles On National

Titles in italics are not on this compilation. They are mostly on the LP "Old Man River" (SJL 1156) with the exception of - Be On Your Merry Way; I'm Gonna Take To The Road; Phantom Stage Coach.

National 9034 - April 1947 - Mahzel / For You

National 9035 - June 1947 - Ol' Man River / Would You Believe Me - #10 R&B

National 9038 - October 1947 - Write Me A Letter / Summertime - #5 R&B, #24 Pop

National 9039 - December 1947 - Searching For Love / For You

National 9040 - December 1947 - Fool That I Am / Be I Bumblebee Or Not

National 9042 - February 1948 - Together / There's No You

National 9045 - May 1948 - Until The Real Thing Comes Along / Send For Me If You Need Me

National 9053 - August 1948 - September Song / Once In A While

National 9056 - October 1948 - It's Too Soon To Know / Be On Your Merry Way - #11 R&B / #13 R&B

National 9059 - November 1948 - How Could I Know / I Don't Know Why I Love Like I Do

National 9062 - December 1948 - The Raven's Rendition Of: Silent Night / The Raven's Rendition Of: White Christmas - #8 R&B / #9 R&B

National 9064 - January 1949 - Always / Rooster

National 9065 - February / March 1949 - Deep Purple / Leave My Gal Alone

National 9073 - May 1949 - The House I Live In (That's America To Me) / Ricky's Blues - #8 R&B

National 9085 - August 1949 - There's Nothing Like A Woman In Love / Careless Love

National 9089 - September 1949 - Someday / If You Didn't Mean It

National 9098 - December 1949 - I'm Afraid Of You / Get Wise Baby

National 9101 - February 1950 - I've Been A Fool / I Don't Have To Ride No More - #9 R&B

National 9111 - April 1950 - Count Every Star / I'm Gonna Paper All My Walls With Your Love Letters

National 9130 - December 1950 - I'm Gonna Take To The Road / Phantom Stage Couch (Sic)

National 9148 - February 1951 - Lilacs In The Rain / Time Is Marching On

Rendition R-5001 - autumn? 1951 - Write Me a Letter / Marie 
(Rendition was a subsidiary of National)

Recommended listening -
Double CD spanning releases from Hub, National, King, Columbia / Okeh, Mercury and Jubilee.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Rockin' 5 Royales (Apollo LP 488)

Side A:
01. Baby Don't Do It
02. Too Much Lovin'
03. Baby Take All Of Me
04. Courage To Love
05. You Know I Know
06. Help Me Somebody

Side B:
01. What's That
02. Laundromat Blues
03. All Righty
04. I Wanna Thank You
05. Put Something In It
06. I Like It Like That

Thanks to Marv for this "reconstruction" of an LP originally released by Apollo in 1959. Before Marv sent this collection in, I had no idea that Apollo actually issued LPs. On closer investigation on the Both Sides Now website I discovered that Apollo had released LPs intermittently during the 1950s and on into the early 1960s but there was little to interest fans of R&B except this compilation of sides by The "5" Royales. Joan drew my attention to a short series of 10-inch LPs released by Apollo in 1951-52 which compiled some tremendous jazz tracks from the 1940s, so stand by for Be Bop Wino reconstructions of some of these albums.

It is possible that Apollo released this LP to compete with the King LP "The "5" Royales Sing For You" which was also released in 1959. The "5" Royales had been the subject of an acrimonious lawsuit between Apollo and King in 1954 when the latter company lured the group to its roster and for a period of months both companies were issuing "5" Royales records.

Now normally on a vocal group post I refer readers to Marv Goldberg's site which is the go-to place for info on R&B vocal groups. Unfortunately there isn't a "5" Royales article on Marv's site, but I can refer you to this excellent article on the group by Steve Walker which is on the Blackcat Rockabilly website from the Netherlands.

As for this LP - it's one of the great R&B compilations, for you can hardly go wrong with the material recorded by The "5" Royales on Apollo during their stay on the label which lasted little more than two years. No vocal group of the time wore their gospel roots more on their sharp-suited sleeves than The "5" Royales, who had started out as far back as 1942 as The Royal Sons Quintet, a gospel group which included sandpaper voiced lead tenor Johnny Tanner and bass vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Lowman Pauling, both of whom were still in the group when it was picked up by Apollo Records in 1951.

It was Apollo which somehow persuaded the Royal Sons to record secular material, firstly as The Royals and then as The "5" Royales. Success came quickly with their second release, "Baby Don't Do It" racing up the R&B chart to the number one spot in February 1953. Their next record "Help Me Somebody" / "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy" was a double sided hit, both sides charting with "Help Me Somebody" reaching number one in June 1953. Their next record, "Too Much Lovin'" reached the number four spot in the R&B chart in August 1953, but the double entendre "Laundromat Blues" on the other side of the disc was banned by some radio stations.

The "5" Royales finished 1953 as the top selling R&B act of that year but 1954 brought far less success and considerable upheaval as the group left Apollo for King in April. Their last chart entry for Apollo was "I Do" (Apollo 452) which reached number 6 in the R&B chart in February 1954. Their last recording session for Apollo was on the 1st April 1954. On the 10th June 1954 the group had their first recording session for King. Apollo continued to release "5" Royales singles until February 1955 when the backlog of recordings ran out with "Six O'Clock In The Morning" /  "With All Your Heart" (Apollo 467).

Decades later many people would come to think of the "5" Royales as primarily a King act, thanks mainly to three classic songs they recorded for the label - "Think", "Tell The Truth" and "Dedicated To The One I Love" which achieved fame through cover versions by, respectively, James Brown, Ray Charles and The Shirelles, but it was with Apollo that the "5" Royales enjoyed their greatest commercial success, back in that annus mirabilis, 1953.

This reconstituted LP allows us to enjoy one of the greatest of the R&B vocal groups at their peak. Johnny Tanner's pleading, soulful vocals, Lowman Pauling's songwriting (he didn't become a guitar hero until 1957) and last but very much not least, Charlie "Little Jazz" Ferguson's dynamite backing make these recordings stone classics.

Original Release Information for the tracks on Apollo LP 488

You Know I Know / Courage To Love - Apollo 441 - August 1952

Baby Don't Do It / Take All Of Me - Apollo 443 - December 1952

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy / Help Me Somebody - Apollo 446 - April 1953

Too Much Lovin' (Much Too Much) / Laundromat Blues - Apollo 448 - July 1953

All Righty / I Want To Thank You - Apollo 449 - October 1953

Cry Some More / I Like It Like That - Apollo 454 - April 1954

Let Me Come Back Home / What's That - Apollo 458 - June 1954

Six O' Clock In The Morning / With All Your Heart* - Apollo 467 - February 1955

* retitled "Put Something In It" on Apollo LP 488

Apollo LP 488 released in late 1959.

Recommended listening:

All Righty! - The complete Apollo recordings including gospel releases as The Royal Sons Quintet. Westside CD WESM 591. 29 tracks. Released in 1999.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Lynn Hope - The Maharaja Of The Saxophone (King LP 717)

Side 1:
01. Tenderly
02. Rose Room
03. Body And Soul
04. Sands Of The Sahara
05. Blue And Sentimental
06. Shockin'

Side 2:
01. Oo Wee
02. A Ghost Of A Chance
03. Full Moon
04. Little Landslide
05. Stardust
06. Juicy

This is a "reconstruction" of Lynn Hope's King LP which was released in January 1961. The sides were recorded over two sessions in March 1960. Four singles from the sessions were released during 1960 (details below) and then came this album ... and then Lynn Hope faded from the music scene.

These are Lynn's last recordings and they don't sound all that different from his earlier Premium and Aladdin recordings. There's a re-recording of his big hit "Tenderly" and a tremendous slice of heated exotica in "Sands Of The Sahara." The presence of Earl Bostic's vibes player Gene Redd helps keep that slightly strange and exotic vibe going on certain tracks.

Lynn Hope has long been one of my favourite R&B sax players, always earthy yet with a hint of something strange just behind the curtain. There's a link below to a previous post (2009) I wrote on him which has a brief summary of his career. There is also a post on Crownpropellor's blog which has some fantastic photos of Lynn from a 1953 copy of Ebony magazine. The below-the-line comments are also very interesting as his daughter informed blog readers that her father had passed in February 1993.

Another comment on Crownpropellor's post refers to the short story / reminiscence by Amiri Bakara (LeRoi Jones) based around a gig by Lynn Hope. Titled "The Screamers", the story can be found in the Penguin collection "The Portable Beat Reader" (ed. Ann Charters). I came across a suitably beat up copy a couple of years ago in a local charity shop. So let us bring this part of the post to an end with a suitable quote from the story (imagine Lynn's band bomp, bomp, bomping on an R&B standard such as "Night Train" or "Harlem Nocturne" while dancers grind slowly against each other in a packed and seedy club) -

"He stomped his foot and waved one hand. The other hung loosely on his horn. And their turbans wove in among those shadows. Lynn's tighter, neater and bright gorgeous yellow stuck with a green stone. Also those green sparkling cubes dancing off his pinkies. A-boomp bahba bahba, A-boomp bahba bahba, A-boomp bahba bahba, A-boomp bahba bahba, the turbans sway behind him. And he grins before he lifts the horn ... "

The Trax 'n' The Fax

Cincinnati, 4th March 1960:
Lynn Hope (tenor sax) with - Gene Redd (trumpet, vibes); Jamie Palmer (piano); Fred Jordan (guitar); Clarence Mack (bass); Philip Paul (drums) -
Full Moon
A Ghost Of A Chance
Body And Soul

Cincinnati, 28th March 1960:
Personnel as above except Edwyn Conley replaces Clarence Mack on bass -
Blue And Sentimental
Rose Room
Sands Of The Sahara
Little Landslide
Oo Wee

Lynn Hope singles on King -

Tenderly / Full Moon - King 5336 - issued April 1960.
Sands Of The Sahara / Body And Soul - King 5352 - issued June 1960.
A Ghost Of A Chance / Little Landslide- King 5378 - issued August 1960.
Shockin' / Blue And Sentimental - King 5431 - issued December 1960.

King LP 717 "Maharaja Of The Saxophone" issued in January 1961.

Also on the blog:

"Lynn Hope And His Tenor Sax" - Aladdin sides. Posted 12th October 2009. I've added a new Mega link to the post as Zippyshare seems to be disappearing from EU countries.

More of the 1953 Ebony article can be read here - Muslims and Jazz in 1953.

My thanks to the original uploaders of the cover and label scans.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Gatemouth Moore Sings Blues (King LP 684)

Side 1:
01. I'm A Fool To Care
02. Highway 61 Blues
03. Gambling Woman
04. Don't You Know I Love You Baby
05. Teasin' Brown
06. Hey Mr. Gatemouth
07. You're My Specialty Baby
08. Gotta Walk

Side 2:
01. Something I'm Gonna Be
02. I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby
03. Did You Ever Try To Cry
04. Satisfying Papa
05. Graveyard Disposition
06. Willa Mae
07. After Loving A Woman
08. You're Having Hard Luck

Gatemouth Moore Sings Blues (Zippy)

I've "reconstructed" this LP which was originally issued in June 1960 by trawling the internet for the artwork and matching it up with tracks in my collection. As I did this a few weeks ago I've managed to forget where exactly I found the artwork! Probably or a record sales site, so my thanks to whoever uploaded the cover and label shots.

Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore was one of the best of the 1940s blues shouters, yet his recordings for two of the larger independent record companies, National and King, failed to sell. He was a performer who could not only shout rambunctious blues but was also capable of handling crooning duties on pop standards and ballads.

Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1913, his music career took off in 1930 in Kansas City where he sang in a club which featured musicians such as Benny Moten and Count Basie. He formed a quartet in Topeka called the Four Sharps who were recruited for a tour of Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas by the Beckman and Garrity Carnival, a booking which was the start of years on the road for Gatemouth and the Four Sharps with tent shows, circuses, minstrel shows and reviews - outfits such as Porkchop Chapman's Show, Sammy Green's Down In Dixie Minstrels, Sam Dale's Circus, Ida Cox's Darktown Scandals and the F.S. Wallcot Rabbit Foot Minstrels. After being left stranded in Clarksdale Mississippi by the Walcott show, Gatemouth split from the Four Sharps and settled in Memphis.

In 1939 he was recruited by the Walter Barnes band for an extensive tour which lasted into 1940. In April 1940, the tour was about to finish and the band were due to head back to their home base in Chicago when they accepted an extra booking by the Rhythm Club in Natchez, Mississippi. The Rhythm Club consisted of a rather ramshackle club / dance hall housed in a timber and tin sheeting building which had served as a pentecostal church and then as a blacksmith's or motor repair shop. The owners had booked the Tiny Bradshaw band for a dance timed to coincide with the local black high school's commencement celebration on April 23rd, 1940. Bradshaw, however, was offered a week's residency at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and withdrew from the arrangement.

The Walter Barnes band was a long established and popular outfit on what was to become known as the Chitlin' Circuit - that network of clubs, dance halls and ghetto theatres (and even tobacco warehouses) which constituted the venues on the touring itinary of black musicians. The Barnes outfit accepted the late booking, the dance was saved, and the musicians could return home the following day.

What happened on that evening in Natchez has entered history as one of the worst night club fire disasters in the U.S. The Rhythm Club was a potential death trap as the owners had decorated the hall with dried Spanish moss soaked in a kerosene based insect repellent and then sealed all exits and boarded up the windows to prevent non paying spectators from seeing or hearing the band. The only door left open was the main entrance and that was a door which opened inwards.

When fire broke out it spread rapidly and mass panic ensued as the dancers attempted to flee through the only available exit. The death toll came to 209 with many others injured. Deaths were due to crushing, suffocation (the fire consumed all available oxygen), scalding (the heated tin sheeting turned water from the fire brigade's hoses to steam) and burning. Firemen who attempted to enter the building by the front door were confronted by a wall of bodies and had to rip down the sheeting from the walls to gain entry and to let survivors escape.

Walter Barnes, who had kept the band playing in a heroic attempt to quell the panic, died along with all of his musicians except the bass player and drummer who managed to smash their way through a boarded up window and thus escape from the doomed building. A third surviving band member was Gatemouth Moore who was outside the building in the band bus when the fire broke out. One contemporary report stated that he had already left the tour in the company of several other musicians a few days before the disaster but his inclusion in this group appears to have been mistaken.

Gatemouth returned to Memphis for a spell, singing with the Andrew Jenkins band. In 1941 he moved back to Kansas City to take up a residency at the Chez Paree club where he was backed by the Carolina Cotton Pickers with whom he toured in 1942. The club owner, a Mrs Gilmore, decided to start her own record label, Gilmore's Chez Paree, for which Gatemouth made his recording debut in 1944 or early 1945. He cut two singles backed by an "all star" lineup of KC musicians which included Tommy Douglas and Walter Page.

The first single released had two of Gatemouth's own compositions, "I Ain't Mad At You" and "Did You Ever Love a Woman" which he went on to re-record for National when he signed with that company in May of 1945. Unfortunately despite some good records backed by top class bands Dallas Bartley And His Small Town Boys, the Budd Johnson Orchestra, and the Tiny Grimes Swingtet (including John Hardee on tenor sax), the records failed to sell and Gatemouth's contract was not renewed after his third session for National in October 1946.

His first session for King was in August 1947 with a piano, guitar and drums trio. For his second session in October 1947, the group was augmented with a horn section. A total of eight sides were recorded at these sessions, all of which were released on singles and six of which made it to this LP. See section below for details.

On the 26th December 1947 Gatemouth was in a Chicago studio where he recorded a mammoth 20 tracks as King were stockpiling sides in anticipation of the American Federation of Musicians recording ban due to come into force on the 1st January 1948. Of the twenty sides, ten are included on this LP, only four of which had a previous single release. The remaining masters remained unreleased until the the issue of the Westside CD "Hey Mr. Gatemouth" in 2000. There was, however, one exception - a re-recording of "Did You Ever Love a Woman" the master of which had disappeared.

Gatemouth before he renounced sin

Despite the generally very good standard of Gatemouth's King recordings his experience with National was repeated - disappointingly low sales and the termination of his contract. He kept performing live though, until one night in 1949 at the Club DeLisa in Chicago he underwent a sudden religious conversion on stage. His voice simply vanished and he was unable to utter a sound despite the Red Saunders band repeatedly cuing him in. Then he launched into "Shine On Me" amidst tumultous scenes in that palace of sin. On Sunday he was in church, on Monday he enrolled in Bible college and he was on the way to becoming the Reverend Gatemouth Moore, saviour of souls.

That was the end of the Reverend's R&B career, with one exception. After decades of preaching, recording religious songs and playing gospel records on Memphis station WDIA, in 1977 he arranged with Johnny Otis to record an album of R&B tracks which included his old songs and a new song in which he looked back to the now vanished days of his life as a blues singer, "Beale Street Ain't Beale Street No More." He can be seen singing this song in the film "The Road To Memphis", an episode in the TV series "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" from 2003. He appears alone, apparently singing to himself as he walks down a deserted and much changed Beale Street. The Reverend Gatemouth Moore went to his reward in 2004.

The Tracks - The Lowdown

I'm A Fool To Care; Highway 61 Blues - recorded in Cincinnati, 12th August, 1947. Personnel - Gatemouth Moore (vocals); Allen Smith (piano); Willie Gaddy (guitar); Monty Morrison (drums). Also recorded at this session but not on this LP - Christmas Blues; East Of The Sun.

I'm A Fool To Care / Highway 61 Blues - released on King 4178 in October 1947.

Don't You Know I Love You Baby; Gamblin' Woman; Satisfying Papa; Teasin' Brown - recorded in Cincinnati, September 1947. Personnel as above but add unknown trumpet, alto sax, tenor sax.

Gamblin' Woman / Satisfying Papa - released on King 4187 in December 1947.

Teasin' Brown / Christmas Blues - released on King 4195 in December 1947.

Hey Mr. Gatemouth; Did You Ever Try To Cry; Something I'm Gonna Be; You're Having Hard Luck Blues; Willa Mae; Graveyard Disposition; You're My Specialty Baby; After Loving A Woman; Gotta Walk; I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby - recorded in Chicago, 26th December, 1947. Personnel: Gatemouth Moore (vocals); Bill Martin (trumpet); Bert Patrick (alto sax); Moses Gant (tenor sax); Nat Walker and Simeon Hatch (piano); Adolphus Dean (bass); James Adams (drums).

Hey, Mr. Gatemouth / Don't You Know I Love You Baby - released on King 4211 in April 1948.

East Of The Sun / Gotta Walk released on King 4224 in May 1948.

Something I'm Gonna Be / You're My Specialty Baby released on King 4256 in December 1948.

Did You Ever Try To Cry; You're Having Hard Luck Blues; Willa Mae; Graveyard Disposition; After Loving A Woman; I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby - all first released on King LP 684 "Gatemouth Moore Sings Blues" in June 1960.

A further ten tracks were recorded at the 26th December 1947 session. Nine were first issued on Westside CD WESF 100, "Hey Mr. Gatemouth. Complete King Recordings" in 2000. One master, "Did You Ever Love a Woman," remains lost.


Savoy Jazz CD SVY 17327 collection of complete National recordings. 20 tracks.

Westside CD WESF 100 the complete King recordings. 27 tracks. Detailed article by Neil Slaven on Gatemouth which is the main source of information for this post.

The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'N' Roll - Preston Lauterbach. History of the network of clubs and theaters worked by Black music acts from the 1930s onwards. Contains a full account of the Natchez Rhythm Club fire.

On YouTube - The Rhythm Club Fire Documentary (complete film). 30 minute award winning film on the Natchez Rhythm Club fire.

notes by Neil Slaven to Westside CD "Hey Mr. Gatemouth: Complete King Recordings."
"The Chitlin' Circuit And The Road To Rock 'N' Roll" - Preston Lauterbach.
"Big Band Jazz" by Albert McCarthy.
Bruyninckx discography.
Billboard magazine.

Friday, 10 May 2019

If It's Not A Hit I'll Eat My Hat

Side 1:
01. Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton
02. Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace
03. I Love My Baby - Little Richard
04. I Wanna Ramble - Little Junior Parker
05. Farther Up The Road - Bobby Bland
06. Keep On Doggin' - Rosco Gordon
07. To The End - The Sensational Nightingales

Side 2:
01. Texas Flood - Larry Davis
02. Okie Dokie Stomp - Gatemouth Brown
03. Taxi Blues - Little Frankie Lee
04. Spunky Onions - Billy Davis & The Legends
05. Blue Monday - James Davis
06. Funny How Time Slips Away - Joe Hinton
07. Treat Her Right - Roy Head

Nice little Ace comp of sides recorded and issued on Don Robey's labels - both his original Houston-based Peacock label and the Memphis founded Duke label which he acquired under, er, forceful circumstances and subsequently relocated to Houston. See the recent Johnny Ace post for more about this tale of robust business practices and alleged use of firearms as an aid to bringing negotiations to a successful conclusion.

David Mattis, the founder of Duke Records, was far from being the only victim of Robey's methods. Little Richard was assaulted by Robey when the two met to discuss the lack of success of the Georgia Peach's recordings for Peacock. "He jumped on me, knocked me down, and kicked me in the stomach. It gave me a hernia that was painful for years. I had to have an operation. Right there in the office he beat me up." (The Life and Times of Little Richard - Charles White)

Little Richard's final session for Peacock was on October 5th, 1953 in Houston when he cut four tracks backed by the Johnny Otis Orchestra. None of the tracks were released at the time, but when he started getting multi million selling hits on the Specialty label in 1955-56, Robey dug out the discarded tracks and released them on two singles one of which featured the track included on this collection - "I Love My Baby."

As for the rest of the music on this collection - it's a nice mix of R&B, Blues, Soul, Rock 'n' Roll and Gospel. Included are two number one R&B hits, "Hound Dog" by Big Mama Thornton and "Pledging My Love" by Johnny Ace. Both acts were featured together on a regular touring show arranged by another Robey enterprise, the Buffalo Booking Agency. Until that fateful Christmas Night of 1954 at the Houston City Auditorium ...

Monday, 6 May 2019

John Lee Hooker - The Blues (Crown LP 5157)

Side 1:
01. Boogie Chillen
02. I'm In The Mood
03. Crawling King Snake
04. Queen Bee
05. Hobo Blues
06. Weeping Willow

Side 2:
01. Cold Chills
02. Hoogie Boogie
03. Whistling And Moaning
04. Sally Mae
05. House Rent Boogie
06. Anybody Seen My Baby

John Lee Hooker - The Blues (Zippy)

Thanks to regular contributor Marv for this reconstitution of a John Lee Hooker LP which was originally released in 1960. The sides on this collection are a good selection of Hooker's late 1940s / early 1950s releases on Modern, some of which were very big R&B hits. "Boogie Chillen" was number 1 in the R&B charts in January 1949. "Hobo Blues," "Crawling King Snake" and "I'm In The Mood" were also hits in 1950/51. During this period Hooker sides were also released on a multiplicity of labels, including Specialty, King, Chess, and Gotham, sometimes pseudonymously.

A native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, Hooker's footstomping, one man and his guitar delta blues style stood in stark contrast to the jump band and blues combo styles which dominated the R&B charts of the time. When he signed for Vee Jay records in the autumn of 1955, his vocals and guitar work were accompanied by small combos which usually featured labelmate Jimmy Reed's collaborator Eddie Taylor. He re-recorded many of his Modern tracks for Vee Jay and also had success with new R&B material such as "Dimples" and "Boom Boom."

This particular LP was issued at a time when Hooker was making a successful move into the "folk blues" market, having recorded two accoustic albums for the jazz label Riverside aimed at the mainly white college crowd. The Bihari Brothers' budget LP outlet Crown wasn't the only label to cash in on the folk blues craze as more early 1950s Hooker material was recycled on LPs by the King and Chess labels in 1960.

On June 25th, 1960, Hooker appeared at the Newport Folk Festival on the same bill as Joan Baez, Flatt & Scruggs, and The Weavers. On July 3rd he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival. His Riverside LP, "That's My Story" was released around this time. In August 1960 Vee Jay had an ad in the trade papers announcing that the LP "Travelin'" was a winner in the Downbeat International Critics Poll in both jazz and folk categories. In October a Vee Jay advert advised dealers of the issue of "John Lee Hooker's New Folk Single" - "Tupelo" which was a live recording from one of the Newport festivals.

The cover of this Crown LP uses one of the favourite themes of "folk blues" LP covers - empty chair(s) and a guitar lying ready for the folk artist to take to the stage to perform a set of songs relating tales of hard times on the Delta. Mind you this cover is a model of restraint when you compare it with that of another 1960 LP of Hooker sides - Chess LP 1438 "House Of The Blues" which had a photograph of a shot-to-hell country shack.

It should be borne in mind that John Lee Hooker, like fellow Vee Jay bluesman Jimmy Reed, was still recording rockin' R&B records while doing the folk blues rounds. In 1962 his "Boom Boom" reached number 16 in the R&B chart  and even crossed into the lower reaches of the pop charts.

The Track Details:

01. Boogie Chillen - Recorded in Detroit, circa September, 1948. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-627.

02. I'm In The Mood - Recorded in Detroit, August 7th, 1951. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar); Eddie Kirkland (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 835.

03. Crawling King Snake - Recorded in Detroit, February 18th, 1949. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-714.

04. Queen Bee - Recorded in Detroit, November 16th, 1950. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-814.

05. Hobo Blues - Recorded in Detroit, February 18th, 1949. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-663.

06. Weeping Willow - Recorded in Detroit, ? 1949. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-688.

07. Cold Chills - Recorded in Detroit, early 1952. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar); Bernie Besman (organ). Released on Modern 862.

08. Hoogie Boogie - Recorded in Detroit, ? February 1949. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-663.

09. Whistling And Moaning - Recorded in Detroit, ? 1949. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar, whistling). Released on Modern 20-688.

10. Sally Mae - Recorded in Detroit, circa September, 1948. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). This is an alternate take of the side released on Modern 20-627.

11. House Rent Boogie - Recorded in Detroit, November 16th, 1950. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar). Released on Modern 20-814.

12. Anybody Seen My Baby - Recorded in Detroit, August 7th, 1951. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar); Eddie Kirkland (guitar). Released on Modern 847.

Original Single Releases of Tracks:

Modern 20-627 - Sally May / Boogie Chillen' - John Lee Hooker & His Guitar - released November 1948. Re-released as Modern 627 in 1951.

Modern 20-663 - Hoogie Boogie / Hobo Blues - John Lee Hooker & His Guitar - released March 1949.

Modern 20-688 - Whistlin' and Moanin' Blues / Weeping Willow Boogie - John Lee Hooker - released June (?) 1949.

Modern 20-714 - Crawlin' King Snake / Drifting From Door To Door - John Lee Hooker and his Guitar - released October 1949.

Modern 20-814 - John L's House Rent Boogie / Queen Bee - John Lee Hooker - released May 1951.

Modern 835 - I'm In The Mood / How Can You Do It - John Lee Hooker - released October 1951.

Modern 847 - Turn Over A New Leaf  / Anybody Seen My Baby - John L. Hooker - released ?early 1952?

Modern 862 - Rock Me Mama / Cold Chills All Over Me - John Lee Hooker - released circa April 1952.

Elsewhere on the blog: "This Is Hip" - a collection of Vee Jay sides including "Dimples" and "Boom Boom."

Click on the link - "John Lee Hooker - This Is Hip"
The original Zippyshare link is still active and I have added a new Mega link.

Many thanks to Marv and a tip of the chapeau to for cover art.