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.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The Untouchable Sound Of Bill Black's Combo

Side 1:
01. White Silver Sands
02. Movin'
03. Smokie - Part 2
04. Monkey-Shine
05. Don't Be Cruel
06. Little Queenie
07. Josephine
08. Willie

Side 2:
01. Turn On Your Love Light
02. Memphis, Tennessee
03. Hearts Of Stone
04. Twist-Her
05. Honky Train
06. Little Jasper
07. Do It - Rat Now
08. So What

As bass player in Elvis, Scotty and Bill, Bill Black sits for evermore at the top table in rock and roll Valhalla. What we have here is a boffo compilation of instrumental sides recorded by the group he formed in 1959 after splitting with Elvis - Bill Black's Combo.

The initial line up which featured on the group's biggest hits was - Bill Black (electric bass), Reggie Young (lead guitar), Martin Wills (tenor sax), Joe Lewis Hall (piano) and Jerry Arnold (drums). Their brand of danceable beat heavy music was an instant hit with "Smokie Parts 1 and 2" reaching number 17 in the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1959 and topping the R&B chart in January 1960. The run of chart success continued through 1960 into 1961 with "White Silver Sands" being their biggest hit at number 9 in the Hot 100 and number 1 in the R&B chart.

Their last top 20 hit was "Hearts Of Stone" in February 1961, but their records continued to enter the top 40 and then the lower reaches of the Hot 100 for several years - see the details below in the Trax Fax section. Unfortunately poor health caused Bill to retire from touring and concentrate on a recording studio he opened in Memphis.

The Combo carried on touring with a changing line up (sans Bill) which included Ace Cannon, Carl McAvoy and Chips Moman at various times and at the request of The Beatles featured as the opening act of the Fab Four's US tour of 1964. Bill sadly passed away in October 1965 while undergoing surgery for a brain tumor.

Bill Black's Combo continued to tour and record after Bill's death. There is one example of their later work on this compilation, an excellent version of Bobby Bland's "Turn On Your Love Light."

Their music was largely unknown in the UK with none of their records charting over here, so this LP came as a pleasant surprise when I bought it back in the 1980's. There is a touch of slightly cheesy organ on a few tracks, but in the main it's excellent toe-tapping stuff with "Twist-Her" being a standout for me. It's an absolutely essential choice for your next Big Boss Twist Party, groovers!

Bill Black's Combo was a big influence on fellow Memphis groups The Mar-Keys and Booker T and the MGs, so if you're a fan of their sounds, then you'll love this LP.

There's a marvellous YouTube clip of the group in action in the film "Teenage Millionaire" in 1961. They come across as super-cool -  

 Teenage Millionaire

A good short article on the group is here -

Trax Trax Trax - The Fax Fax Fax

Smokie - Part 1 / Smokie - Part 2 - released on Hi 45-2018 in October 1959 - #17 in the Billboard Hot 100, December 1959. #1 in the Billboard Hot R&B Sides, January 1960.

White Silver Sands / The Wheel - released on Hi 45-2021 in February 1960 - #9 in the Billboard Hot 100, March, 1960. #1 in the Billboard Hot R&B Sides, May 1960.

Josephine / Dry Bones - released on Hi 45-2022 in May 1960 - #18 in the Billboard Hot 100, July 1960.

Don't Be Cruel / Rollin' - released on Hi 45-2026 in August 1960 - #11 in the Billboard Hot 100, October 1960. #9 in the Billboard Hot R&B Sides, October, 1960.

Blue Tango / Willie - released on Hi 45-2027 in November 1960 - #16 in the Billboard Hot 100, December 1960.

Hearts Of Stone / Royal Blue - released on Hi 45-2028 in February 1961 - #20 in the Billboard Hot 100, March, 1961.

Movin' / Honky Train - released on Hi 45-2038 in August 1961 - #41 in the Billboard Hot 100, October, 1961.

Twist-Her / My Girl Josephine - released on Hi 45-2042 in November 1961 - #26 in the Billboard Hot 100, January, 1962

So What / Blues For The Red Boy - released on Hi 45-2055 in July 1962 - # 78 in the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1962.

Do It - Rat Now / Little Jasper - released on Hi 45-2064 in March 1963 - #51 in the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1963.

Monkey-Shine / Long Gone - released on Hi 45-2069 in August 1963 - #47 in the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1963.

Memphis Tennessee and Little Queenie - released on Hi LP HL 12017 "Bill Black's Combo Plays Tunes By Chuck Berry" in June 1964.

Little Queenie / Boo-Ray - released on Hi 45-2079 in August 1964 - #73 in the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1964.

Turn On Your Love Light / Ribbon Of Darkness - released on Hi 45-2145 in May 1968 - #83 in the Billboard Hot 100, July, 1968.

Friday, 20 July 2018

A History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Volume 2 (1959-1962)

Side 1:
01. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 1) - Jessie Hill
02. A Certain Girl - Ernie K-Doe
03. Fortune Teller - Benny Spellman
04. Trick Bag - Earl King
05. I Know (You Don't Love Me No More) - Barbara George
06. All These Things - Art Neville
07. It Will Stand - The Showmen

Side 2:
01. Ya Ya - Lee Dorsey
02. Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe
03. Over You - Aaron Neville
04. I Like It Like That (Part 1) - Chris Kenner
05. Sea Cruise - Frankie Ford
06. There's Something On Your Mind (Part 2) - Bobby Marchan
07. But I Do - Clarence "Frogman" Henry

A History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Volume 2 (Zippy)

This collection of New Orleans sides mainly from the early 1960's and mainly from Joe Banashak's Minit and Instant labels (formed in 1959 and 1961 respectively) nicely book ends the series of New Orleans posts which began with the Paul Gayten "Creole Gal" LP about 6 weeks ago.

That collection included some of the earliest R&B tracks recorded in New Orleans for the DeLuxe label and across the following weeks we had sides recorded for Chess and its subsidiaries, mostly under the supervision of Paul Gayten, a Bobby Charles collection, Huey "Piano" Smith sides for Johnny Vincent's Ace label, Little Richard's Specialty sides mostly recorded in New Orleans with some of the best local musicians, and lastly some of Fats Domino's sides recorded for Imperial, often under the supervision of Dave Bartholomew.

The sides on this Rhino collection show a shift away from the 1950s sound of New Orleans towards smoother soul style productions often featuring brass stabs which you just don't find in the earlier R&B style. The figure who dominates many of these sides as producer, arranger, songwriter and piano player is Allen Toussaint who was undoubtedly largely responsible for the development of the early '60's New Orleans sound.

There are, however, connections to some of the LPs featured recently on Be Bop Wino. Frankie Ford's big hit "Sea Cruise" which was recorded for Ace has backing by Huey Smith and The Clowns. In fact the track was originally a Clowns track with vocals by Huey Smith and Gerri Hall. The vocals were removed and replaced with a Frankie Ford vocal and steamboat whistle and bell effects were dubbed on - result: a hit.

One time Clowns vocalist Bobby Marchan delivers what must surely be the talking bridge to end all talking bridges on "There's Something On Your Mind" released on Bobby Robinson's NYC based Fire label. This is a performance that is so over the top that the listener may end up questioning their own sanity. How can such a monologue even exist?

Many of the other musicians on this collection were present on the 1950s material already featured on the blog - the Neville Brothers, Ernie K-Doe, Earl King and of course Clarence "Frogman" Henry whose 1961 recording on Argo of the Bobby Charles composition "But I Do" was produced by Paul Gayten, which is where we came in, I guess. And it got to number 4 in the Billboard Hot 100. Not a bad way to finish this run of New Orleans posts. There'll be more in the near future, but let us pass on to other locations and other music in this, the Be Bop Wino summer of rock 'n' roll.

Release details of the tracks are on the back cover of the LP along with informative notes by Don Waller.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Fats Domino Story Volume 2 - Ain't That A Shame

Side 1:
01. Please Don't Leave Me
02. You Said You Love Me
03. Don't Leave Me This Way
04. Fat's Frenzy
05. Goin' Back Home
06. '44'
07. If You Need Me
08. Where Did You Stay?

Side 2:
01. Don't You Hear Me Calling You
02. Love Me
03. Little Mama
04. Don't You Know
05. I Know
06. All By Myself
07. La La
08. Ain't It A Shame

I bought this one a few years ago in a second hand record shop (now deceased) in Shawlands in the South Side of Glasgow, not far from Be Bop Wino HQ. In fact I picked up three volumes of the Fats Domino story - 2, 3 and 4, covering the years 1953 - 1958. Sorry, folks, no volume 1, so no "Fat Man" and the very early R&B hits.

Volume 2 finds Fats on the cusp of becoming a Rock 'n' Roll superstar. The final track, which was originally titled "Ain't It A Shame" was covered by Pat Boone whose version (titled "Ain't That A Shame") reached number one in the Billboard Hot Hundred. Fats' original version reached number ten in the same chart and number one in the R&B chart, becoming the second biggest R&B seller of 1955, behind "Only You" by The Platters.

As you can see from the cover scan, this LP was probably a record library disc. The record itself was in reasonable shape so it scrubs up fairly well in its digitised form. The tracks are a selection from Fats' output on Imperial from mid-1953 to mid-1955, beginning with one of the great rockers, "Please Don't Leave Me." As usual, you can find full details of the tracks below.

Fax On The Trax

Some sources list Cosimo Matassa's J & M Studio in New Orleans as the recording location of all the sides on this compilation, but Rick Coleman, author of "Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll" and annotator of the Ace 5 CD collection of Fats Domino's Imperial singles 1950 - 1965, is certain that the "Please Don't Leave Me" and "Ain't It A Shame" sessions were recorded in Los Angeles while Fats and his band were on tour, "Please Don't Leave Me" being recorded at Radio Recorders and "Ain't It A Shame" being recorded at Master Recorders. There is also uncertainty regarding who exactly played on some of the sessions, so what follows below should be regarded as an approximation.

Please Don't Leave Me and You Said You Love Me recorded on the 18th April, 1953. Personnel: Fats Domino (vocal, piano) with - Wendell Duconge, Robert "Buddy" Hagans, Herb Hardesty (saxes); Walter Nelson (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Cornelius Coleman (drums).

Please Don't Leave Me / The Girl I Love - released on Imperial 5240 in June 1953. Number 3 R&B.

Rose Mary / You Said You Love Me - released on Imperial 5251 in September 1953. Number 10 R&B.

Don't Leave Me This Way and Fat's Frenzy recorded on the 2nd September, 1953. Personnel as for 18th April 1953 session.

Something's Wrong / Don't Leave Me This Way - released on Imperial 5262 in November 1953. Number 6 R&B.

Fat's Frenzy - released on EP IMP-143 "Fats Domino Rock And Rollin' Vol. 3" in August 1956. Also on Imperial LP 9009 "Fats Domino Rock And Rollin'" in August 1956.

Goin' Back Home and "44" recorded on September 19th, 1953. Personnel as for 2nd September session, although Lee Allen possibly replaces Herb Hardesty.

"44" - released on Imperial LP 9055 "The Fabulous Mr D" in 1958.

Goin' Back Home - released on Imperial LP 9227 "Walking To New Orleans" in January 1963.

If You Need Me recorded on the 27th October, 1953. Personnel - same as previous session.

If You Need Me - released on EP IMP-143 "Fats Domino Rock And Rollin' Vol. 3" in August 1956. Also on Imperial LP 9009 "Fats Domino Rock And Rollin'" in August 1956.

Where Did You Stay recorded on the 14th March, 1954. Personnel - Fats Domino (vocal, piano) with Dave Bartholomew (trumpet); Lee Allen and Herb Hardesty (saxes); Walter Nelson (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Cornelius Coleman (drums).

Where Did You Stay / Baby Please - released on Imperial 5283 in May 1954.

Little Mama and I Know recorded on the 10th July, 1954. Personnel - similar to previous session but Wendel Duconge and Buddy Hagans replace Lee Allen and Herb Hardesty on saxes.

Thinking Of You / I Know - released on Imperial 5323 in December 1954, Number 14 R&B.

Little Mama - released on Imperial LP 9227 "Walking To New Orleans" in January 1963.

Love Me and Don't You Hear Me Calling You recorded on the 13th August 1954. Personnel as in previous session but Lee Allen and Herb Hardesty replace Wendel Duconge and Buddy Hagans on saxes.

Love Me / Don't You Hear Me Calling You - released on Imperial 5313 in October 1954.

Don't You Know recorded on the 27th January, 1955. Personnel as on 13th August session.

Don't You Know /Helping Hand - released on Imperial 5340 in February 1955. Number 7 R&B.

All By Myself and Ain't It A Shame recorded on the 15th March, 1955. Personnel: similar to above.

La-La recorded on the 30th March, 1955. Personnel probably similar to above.

Ain't It A Shame / La-La - released on Imperial 5348 in April 1955. Number 1 R&B. Number 10 in Billboard Hot 100.

All By Myself / Troubles Of My Own - released on Imperial 5357 in August 1955. Number 1 R&B.

Further Listening

As with Little Richard, the back catalogue of Fats Domino has remained in print in one form or another over the decades. In the UK you can buy public domain CD collections of both the Imperial singles and LPs at what sometimes seems to be almost giveaway prices. For example Not Now Music has a 3CD set "The Imperial Singles Collection" which has 75 tracks and which you may be able to pick up for £5.

Fats fans who hanker after every single he released on Imperial will want the 5 CD series released on Ace Uk. I've got the first 3 volumes and can recommend them most highly.

And that still wouldn't be the complete Fats output on Imperial as some tracks were only released on LP.

Recommended reading - "Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll" by Rick Coleman. Da Capo Press, 2007.

More Fats to be digitised soon ...

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Joan Selects Volume 24 - Songs About Food

File size = 154.9 MB

Track List

01. Dig This Menu Please! - Red Rodney Sextet
02. Saturday Night Fish Fry - The Blue Dots
03. Fried Chicken & Macaroni - The Fascinators
04. Beans And Corn Bread - Louis Jordan
05. Beans N' Greens - The Nutones
06. Sweet Potato Blues - Lonnie Johnson
07. Peanuts - Little Joe and the Thrillers
08. Peanuts - Rick & The Keens
09. Red Hots And Chili Mac - The Moroccos
10. Shortnin' Bread - The Bell Notes
11. Red Beans And Rice - Bob Mitchell
12. Red Beans And Rice - Kokomo Arnold
13. Fried Chicken - The Marylanders
14. Ham Hocks - Cecil Payne
15. Pizza Pie - Norman Fox & The Rob Roys
16. Monkey Hips And Rice - The "5" Royales
17. Rice, Red Beans And Turnip Greens - Little Richard
18. Hot Dog Dooley Wah - The Pyramids
19. Pass The Biscuits Please - Andre Williams
20. Fat Meat 'n' Greens - Edgar Hayes
21. Peppermint Stick - The El Chords
22. Hot Tamales - The Counts
23. Chicken Necks - The Genies
24. Cherry Pie - Marvin and Johnny
25. One Fried Egg - The Charioteers
26. Hot Pastrami - The Dartells
27. Hot Biscuits And Gravy - Marvin Phillips And The Good Timers
28. Crazy 'Bout Your Cooking - Johnny Otis Band
29. I Like Pie, I Like Cake - The Four Clefs
30. Hart's Bread Boogie - Billy 'Red' Love
31. Ice Cream Baby - The Pearls
32. Crab Louis - The Strangers
33. Eat Your Mush And Hush - Sonny Knight & The Cleeshays
34. Hot Dog - Chris Powell
35. Friday Fish Fry - Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson & His Orchestra
36. Hot Pastrami - Joey Dee and the Starliters
37. Hamburger Hop - Johnny Hicks
38. Hoe Cake, Hominy And Sassafras Tea - The Four Vagabonds
39. Chili Dogs - Dusty Brooks
40. Chittlin' Supper - Peg Leg Howell
41. Chittlins & Rice - Champion Jack Dupree
42. Corn Bread - Hal Singer

What is there to say? A musical feast, nay, a banquet, a blow-out, a frenzied self service buffet where you get to eat all you can, and then you go again. And then it's time for dessert. Forty-two tracks about food, served up by Joan in a fashion guaranteed to set the seasoned R&B fan drooling.

What I like about this collection is the cross genre range of the music. Of course there's plenty of doo wop, but mixed in there's pre-war blues, a hint of hillbilly, hot harmony singing, jumpin' jive, proto soul and a smattering of instrumentals, which serves as a reminder of how many an R&B, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz and Soul instro ended up being named after food. And what food! We're talking American food! OK - Mexican too. Red beans and rice, chile, hamburgers, hot dogs, soul food, stuff to make you fat, fat, fat. Could be another compilation in there.

As usual a few of the cuts are from pretty trashed discs. Andre Williams' plea to "pass the biscuits" just about makes it to the end and Marvin and Johnny's "Cherry Pie" has definitely seen better days, but that's part of the Joan Selects experience. There's a folder of label shots to go with the sounds and there's more detail on the tracks (researched by Joan) below.

So a big thank you to Joan for all her work in puttting this collection together. I've listened to it three times and in my opinion this is one of the very best of "Joan Selects." Now for some reason I've got me a hankering for a burger, fries and a Seven Up, but hold the mayo - I'm on a diet!

Original Release Details

01 Red Rodney Sextet - "Dig This Menu Please!" - Released On: Okeh 4-6899 Release date: 1952

02 The Blue Dots - "Saturday Night Fish Fry" - Released On: Ace 526 Release date: 2/1957

03 The Fascinators - "Fried Chicken & Macaroni" - Released On: Capitol F4247 Release date: 7/1959

04 Louis Jordan - "Beans And Corn Bread" - Released On: Decca 24673 A Release date: 1949

05 The Nutones - "Beans N' Greens" - Released On: Combo 45-127-AA Release date: 1957

06 Lonnie Johnson - "Sweet Potato Blues" - Released On: Okeh 8586 Release date: 1927

07 Little Joe and the Thrillers - "Peanuts" - Released on Okeh 4-7088  Release Date: 1957

08 Rick & The Keens - "Peanuts" - Released On: Smash S-1705 Release date: 1961

09 The Moroccos - "Red Hots And Chili Mac" - Released On: United U-193 Release date: 1956

10 The Bell Notes - "Shortnin' Bread" - Released On: Madison M136 Release date: 1960

11 Bob Mitchell - "Red Beans And Rice" - Released On: Derby 731 Release date: 1949

12 Kokomo Arnold - "Red Beans And Rice" - Released On: Decca 7347 A Release date: 1937

13 The Marylanders -  "Fried Chicken" - Released On: Jubilee 45-5113 Release date: 1953

14 Cecil Payne - "Ham Hocks" - Released On: Decca 48139 Release date: 1950

15 Norman Fox & The Rob Roys - "Pizza Pie" - Released On: Capitol F4128 Release date: 1959

16 The Five Royals - "Monkey Hips and Rice" - Released On: King 45-4744 Release date: 1954

17 Little Richard - "Rice, Red Beans and Turnip Greens" - Released On: Peacock 5-1628 Release date: 1954

18 The Pyramids - "Hot Dog Dooley Wah" - Released On: Shell 45-711 Release date: 1959
19 Andre Williams - "Pass The Biscuits Please" - Released On: Fortune 839x Release date: 1958 

20 Edgar Hayes - "Fat Meat 'n' Greens" (I) - Released On: Exclusive EXC-1339-3 Release date: 1949 

21 The Elchords - "Peppermint Stick" - Released On: Good 544 Release date: 1958 

22 The Counts - "Hot Tamales" - Released On: Dot 45-1199 Release date: 1954 

23 The  Genies - "Chicken Necks" - Unreleased Warwick recording, circa 1960

24 Marvin and Johnny - "Cherry Pie" - Released On: Modern 45x933 Release date: 1954

25 The Charioteers - "One Fried Egg" - Unreleased Josie recording, 1955
26 The Dartells -  "Hot Pastrami" - Released On: Dot 45-16453 Release date: 2/1963

27 Marvin Phillips & Goodtimers- "Hot Biscuits & Gravy" - Released On: Eastman 800 Release date: 1959

28 The Johnny Otis Band - "Crazy 'Bout Your Cooking" - Released On: Exclusive EXC-1299-5 Release date: 1949

29 The Four Clefs - "I Like Pie, I Like Cake" - Released On: Bluebird B-9994-B Release date: 1941

30 Billy Love - "Hart's Bread Boogie" - Released On: Harts Bread H B-66 Release date: 1954

31 The Pearls - "Ice Cream Baby" - Released On: Onyx 511 Release date: 1957

32 The Strangers- "Crab Louis" - Released On: Christy C-45-107-A Release date: 1959

33 Sonny Knight & The Cleeshays- "Eat Your Mush and Hush" - Released On: Eastman ES 787-00 Release date: October 1958

34 Chris Powell - "Hot Dog" - Released On: Columbia 30162 Release date: June 1949

35 Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson & His Orchestra -  "Friday Fish Fry" - Released On: Mercury 8110 Release date: 1947

36 Joey Dee - "Hot Pastrami with Mashed Potatoes Part 1" - Released On: Roulette R-4488 Release date: 1963

37 Johnny Hicks - "Hamburger Hop" - Released On: Columbia 20737 Release date: 1950 

38 The Four Vagabonds - "Hoe Cake, Hominy And Sassafras Tea" - Released On: Apollo 1030 Release date: 1946

39 Dusty Brooks - "Chili Dogs" - Released On: Bullet 346-B Release date: 1951

40 Peg Leg Howell - "Chittlin' Supper" - Released On: Columbia 14426-D Release date: 1929

41 Champion Jack Dupree - "Chitlins and Rice" Released on Apollo 407 Release Date 1948

42 Hal Singer Sextette - "Corn Bread" - Released On: Savoy 671-A Release date: 1948 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Chuck Berry - Berry Is On Top

Side 1:
01. Almost Grown
02. Carol
03. Maybelline
04. Sweet Little Rock & Roller
05. Anthony Boy
06. Johnny B. Goode

Side 2:
01. Little Queenie
02. Jo Jo Gun
03. Roll Over Beethoven
04. Around And Around
05. Hey Pedro
06. Blues For Hawaiians

Originally issued as Chess LP 1435 in June 1959. The John Sippel sleevenotes on the back cover are the notes which appeared on the original issue. "Sweet Little Rock & Roller" was originally titled "Sweet Little Rock And Roll" on its single release.

There are quite a few classics on this LP but I would class "Hey Pedro" and "Blues For Hawaiians" as filler and not killer! The rest? Rock 'n' roll, baby, rock 'n' roll.


Maybellene - recorded on May 21st 1955. Chuck Berry (guitar, vocal) with Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Jasper Thomas or Ebby Hardy (drums); Jerome Green (maracas).
Released on Chess 1604 b/w "Wee Wee Hours" in July 1955.

Roll Over Beethoven - recorded on April 16th, 1956. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).
Released on Chess 1626 b/w "Drifting Heart" in May 1956.

Johnny B. Goode - recorded on 29th or 30th December, 1957. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Lafayette Leake (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).
Released on Chess 1691 b/w "Around And Around" in April 1958.

Around And Around and Blues For Hawaiians - recorded on February 28th, 1958. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar, dubbed 2nd guitar) with unknown piano, electric bass, drums.

Around And Around - released on Chess 1691, B Side of "Roll Over Beethoven" in April 1958.
Blues For Hawaiians not released on single.

Carol and Hey Pedro recorded on May 2nd, 1958. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Johnnie Johnson (piano on "Carol"); George Smith (bass); Ebby Hardy (drums).
Both sides released on Chess 1700 in August 1958.

Anthony Boy, Jo Jo Gun, Sweet Little Rock And Roll, were recorded on 28th September, 1958. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums) with possibly Bo Diddley (2nd guitar).

Sweet Little Rock And Roll / Jo Jo Gun - released on Chess 1709 in October 1958.
Anthony Boy / That's My Desire - released on Chess 1716 in January 1959.

Little Queenie - recorded in January 1959. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums); possiby Bo Diddley (2nd guitar).
Release - see below.

Almost Grown - recorded on February 17th, 1959. Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums); Harvey and The Moonglows (vocal group).

Almost Grown / Little Queenie released on Chess 1722 in March 1959.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Little Richard - His Greatest Recordings

Side A:
01. Ready Teddy
02. Rip It Up
03. The Girl Can't Help It
04. I'll Never Let You Go
05. Miss Ann
06. Good Golly, Miss Molly
07. Lucille
08. Keep A Knockin'

Side B:
01. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave
02. Tutti Frutti
03. Heeby-Jeebies
04. Send Me Some Lovin'
05. Chicken Little Baby
06. Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey
07. She's Got It
08. Long Tall Sally

Rock and roll starts here? Probably. We don't have all of Little Richard's greatest recordings on this collection as "Jenny Jenny" and "Slippin' And Slidin'" are missing. Indeed "Chicken Little Baby" is an odd choice for an LP of "greatest recordings" as it is basically a demo with Little Richard accompanying himself on piano. Later, when Specialty were desperately looking around for Little Richard material to release, they alighted on the demo and dubbed on some backing. It was pretty crap though, so only the Good Lord knows what it's doing in here.

Speaking of whom - this collection represents perhaps the greatest 2 year oeuvre in rock and roll history - the sides recorded for Specialty Records between September 1955 and October 1957 by THE wildman of rock, the man with the makeup, the pompadour, the pencil thin moustache, the suit that's two sizes too big, the screeching, wailing, sinning, debauched former Princess Lavonne, the Georgia Peach himself, laydeezingennelmen, the one and only Little Richard.

Then he found God, in Australia of all places, and the conveyor belt of howling rock and roll classics stopped. There were gospel recordings, there were comebacks as Little Richard strayed from the right hand path and got off the good foot, there were re-recordings of his Specialty hits for various labels like VeeJay and Modern, there were further spells of righteous preaching whenever he renounced sinning, and Little Richard became best known for being Little Richard. "He got what he wanted, but he lost what he had."

Nothing Little Richard subsequently recorded approached the level of his 1955 - 1957 sides, many of which were recorded at Cosimo Mattassa's J & M Studio in New Orleans with stunning backing by Lee Allen, Alvin "Red" Tyler and Earl Palmer. Some of the tracks on this collection feature Little Richard's own band, The Upsetters, who were almost as good as the New Orleans gang. Recording and release dates and personnel are listed below in the "Fax" section. The download includes an Easter egg which will make everything clear to the seekers after knowledge.

The Fax On The Rockin' Tracks:

Tutti Frutti recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 14th September, 1955. Personnel: Little Richard (vocal, piano); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Huey Smith (piano); Justin Adams (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

Tutti Frutti / I'm Just A Lonely Guy - released on Specialty 561 in October 1955.

Chicken Little Baby demo recorded at the Specialty Office, Los Angeles in late 1955. Little Richard (piano, vocal).

A version with dubbed on drums and vocal group was released on Specialty LP 2104 "The Fabulous Little Richard" in March 1959.

Long Tall Sally and Miss Ann were recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 7th February, 1956. Personnel: Little Richard (piano, vocal); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

Long Tall Sally / Slippin' And Slidin' - released on Specialty 572 in March 1956.

Jenny Jenny / Miss Ann - released on Specialty 606 in May 1957.

Ready Teddy, Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey, and Rip It Up recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 9th May, 1956. Personnel: Little Richard (piano, vocal); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Ernest McLean (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums). No piano on "Rip It Up."

Rip It Up / Ready Teddy - released on Specialty 579 in June 1956.

Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey - B-Side of Good Golly Miss Molly (Specialty 624) in January 1958.

Lucille and Heeby-Jeebies recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 30th July 1956. Personnel: Little Richard (piano, vocal); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Roy Montrell (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

Heeby-Jeebies / She's Got It - released on Specialty 584 in October 1956.

Lucille / Send Me Some Lovin' - released on Specialty 598 in February 1957.

Can't Believe You Wanna Leave  recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 1st August, 1956. Personnel: Little Richard (piano, vocal); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Roy Montrell (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

Released as B -Side of "Keep A Knockin'" on Specialty 611 in September 1957.

She's Got It recorded at Master Recorders, Los Angeles on 6th September 1956. Personnel: Little Richard and The Upsetters - Little Richard (piano, vocal); Wilbert Smith (tenor sax); Grady Gaines (tenor sax); Clifford Burks (tenor sax); Jewel Grant (baritone sax); Nathaniel Douglas (guitar); Olsie Richard Robinson (bass); Charles William Connor (drums).

Released as B-Side of Heeby Jeebies on Specialty 584 in October 1956.

Good Golly, Miss Molly recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 15th October 1956. Personnel: Little Richard (piano, vocal); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Roy Montrell (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

Good Golly Miss Molly / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey - released on Specialty 624 in January 1958.

The Girl Can't Help It and Send Me Some Lovin' were recorded at the J & M Studio, New Orleans on 16th October 1956. Personnel the same as the previous day, but add vocal group on "The Girl Can't Help It" - Adolph Smith, William Tircuit, Art Neville and Junior Gordon.

The Girl Can't Help It / All Around The World - released on Specialty 591 in November 1956.

Lucille / Send Me Some Lovin' - released on Specialty 598 in February 1957.

Keep A Knockin' recorded at a radio station in Washington D.C. on 16th January 1957. Personnel:  Little Richard and The Upsetters - Little Richard (piano, vocal); Wilbert Smith (tenor sax); Grady Gaines (tenor sax); Samuel Parker (baritone sax); Nathaniel Douglas (guitar); Olsie Richard Robinson (bass); Charles William Connor (drums).

Keep A Knockin' / Can't Believe You Wanna Leave - released on Specialty 611 in September 1957.

I'll Never Let You Go recorded at Master Recorders, Los Angeles on 18th October, 1957. Personnel: Little Richard and The Upsetters - Little Richard (piano, vocal); Clifford Burke (tenor sax); Wilbert Smith (tenor sax); Grady Gaines (tenor sax); Nathaniel Douglas (guitar); Olsie Richard Robinson (bass); Charles William Connor (drums).

Released as the B-Side of Baby Face on Specialty 654 in August 1958.

 Further Listening

Little Richard's Specialty sides have remained in print in one form or another since the 1950's. They're public domain now in the UK so there is a multiplicity of reasonably priced collections available. Beware of issues of his post Specialty sides which may contain re-recordings of his greatest hits.

I have this Jasmine set in my CD collection -

"She Knows How To Rock" - a 2 CD collection of the great man's Specialty singles in chronological order. Includes the sides he recorded in a brief return to the label in 1964. Jasmine JASCD 545.

I also have - 

"The Specialty Sessions" (3SPCD 8508-2) - a 3 CD collection which includes loads of outtakes, alternate takes and generally more Little Richard than most casual fans need. Each CD has notes by Ray Topping and also included is a 20 page booklet which, unfortunately, seems to be the same book which was issued when this set was released on vinyl and has simply been reduced in size for the CD box. This has made the text illegible without the aid of an electron microscope. However thanks to the invention of scanners and graphic image software the booklet can now be made legible again.

Mo' rockin' stuff in the pipeline!

He's Got It!