Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Treniers - Rockin' Is Our Bizness

Side 1:
01. Rockin' Is Our Bizness
02. Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie
03. Get Out Of The Car
04. Hi-Yo Silver
05. It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings
06. Plenty Of Money
07. Hadacol, That's All
08. Rockin' On Sunday Night

Side 2:
01. Go Go Go
02. Trapped In A Web Of Love
03. Long Distance Blues
04. Hey Little Girl
05. Bald Head
06. Poon Tang
07. The Moondog
08. Taxi Blues

Download from here:

The third and final instalment of our look at The Treniers. This 1983 Edsel LP gathers 16 sides recorded for Okeh (and Epic in the case of "Go! Go! Go!") between 1951 and 1955. The version of "Go! Go! Go!" on this LP is not the track The Treniers recorded in 1951 for their first release on Okeh, but is a version they recorded in 1955 for their Epic LP "Go! Go! Go! The Treniers On TV." For the re-recording The Treniers, who were normally backed by a small band led by Gene Gilbeaux on piano and featuring Don Hill on alto sax, were accompanied by a larger band led by Quincy Jones.

My one quibble about the tracks on this LP is that I wish the Gene Gilbeaux band had featured a tenor sax player to help fill out the sound, as Don Hill has so much to do in the way of providing sax accompaniment. That said, these Okeh sides are still good examples of early rock 'n' roll, especially the recordings released in 1952 which include the wild double whammy of "Hi-Yo Silver" / "Poontang", not to mention "It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings" and "Rockin' On Sunday Night." They closed out 1952 with a tribute to rock 'n' roll DJ Alan Freed, "The Moondog" (backed by "Poontang" which was making a second appearance on the B-Side of a Treniers disc).

Other great tracks on this LP include "Plenty Of Money" which is very similar to Jimmy Witherspoon's "Ain't Nobody's Business", and a couple of R&B covers - "Bald Head" by Roy Byrd and "Hey Little Girl" by The Larks. And let us also note the Bill Haley-penned  "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie."

On many of these tracks "The Treniers" included not only twins Claude and Cliff, but also brothers Buddy and Milt. In 1953-54 Milt Trenier recorded some good rockin' tracks for RCA and its subsidiary Groove, including "You're Killing Me," "Squeeze Me," "Flip Our Wigs," and "Day Old Bread."

A particular point of note is the January / February 1955 release of "Get Out Of The Car" which was originally released under the title "Oh! Oh!" as you can see on this scan from Joan K:

It was reviewed under this title in the February 12th 1955 issue of Billboard, but there are scans on the web showing a single release of this track with the title "Get Out Of The Car." This was the title used when the track was included on the 1955 LP "The Treniers On TV" and on an accompanying EP. It may be that a decision to change the title was taken when in late February 1955 Flair issued a cover version by Richard Berry titled "Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car." Although the Flair issue gives composer credit to Berry, it is definitely a Claude and Cliff Trenier composition. In the liner notes to the Ace CD "Get Out Of The Car" Berry said that the record company gave him the composer credit without his prior knowledge.

The LP has excellent liner notes by Bill Millar (all hail!) and the tracklist includes record number, month and year of original release, thus relieving me from my usual trawl through the internet and books. There is one slip, though - "The Moondog" was not released in January 1952, but rather December 1952 - January 1953.

The Treniers final recording session for Columbia / Okeh / Epic took place in December 1955 and was followed by an April 1956 session for RCA subsidiary Vik. As was mentioned in the previous post, Trenier records weren't big sellers. Their strength lay in their dynamic stage act which rocked the halls, clubs and lounges of resorts such as Wildwood and Atlantic City and of course that resort  non plus ultra, Las Vegas, where for decades the Treniers entertained desperate gamblers. As we shall see in an upcoming post they were the real progenitors of that type of rock 'n' roll which has been largely forgotten and which barely has a name, though the cognoscenti sometimes refer to it as "room rock 'n' roll" or "lounge rock 'n' roll." We could maybe call it "Dinner Jacket and Bow Tie Rock and Roll."

Whatever it was, The Treniers kept doing it decade after decade. Milt left the act in 1959 to open a lounge in Chicago where he continued to perform and where his brothers made periodic appearances. Nephew Skip Trenier joined the band and the boys kept on rockin'. They still kept on after Cliff died of cancer in 1983. Buddy retired, but Claude rocked ever onwards until November 2003 when he played his last Vegas gig a few weeks before he passed away.

Recommended reading - "Their God Wore Shades" in "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches.

The Treniers on CD:

From 1985 -  a rare CD release on Jonas Bernholm's Dr Horse label. Includes Milt Trenier sides as well as Mercury, Okeh and Vik material by The Treniers.

From 2004 - nice digipack presentation with notes by Adam Komorowski. Mercury and Okeh material plus a couple from Milt Trenier and His Solid Six (Shorty Rogers band).

From 2010 - part of Bear Family Records' "Rock" series. 32 tracks and a 64 page booklet.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Treniers - Go! Go! Go! (Epic EP EG-7014)

Side 1:
01. Go! Go! Go!
02. Rocking On Sunday Night

Side 2:
01. Rockin' Is Our Bizness
02. This Is It

Download from here:

We rejoin the story of The Treniers with their recordings for Columbia R&B subsidiary Okeh for whom they started recording in May, 1951. The 7" EP (Extended Play) format appeared in 1951 when the boffins at RCA Victor found a way to extend the running time of a 45 rpm disc beyond five minutes and soon all the major companies started issuing 4 track "extended play" 7 inch 45 RPM records which, with their thick cardboard sleeves, resembled "mini-LPs."

This Epic (another Columbia subsidiary) EP was reviewed in the 2nd January, 1954 issue of Billboard, so its date of release is either January 1954 or perhaps even December 1953. Either way, it is probably the first "rock and roll" EP.

The tracks were originally released on Okeh singles as follows:

"Go! Go! Go!" was recorded at the first Okeh Treniers session on May 21st, 1951 and released on Okeh single 6804 in June 1951. The B-Side was a brilliant blues sung by Claude Trenier, "Plenty Of Money."

"Rocking On Sunday Night" and "This Is It" were both recorded on January 9th, 1952. "Rocking On Sunday Night" was released on Okeh 6904 (b/w "Cheatin' On Me") in September 1952. "This Is It" was released on Okeh 6984 (B-Side of "I'd Do Nothin' But Grieve") in July 1953.

"Rockin' Is Our Bizness" was recorded on October 22nd, 1952. It was released on Okeh 6960 (b/w "Sugar Doo") in April 1953. This track continues The Treniers connection to the Jimmie Lunceford band as it is an adaptation of Lunceford's 1935 hit "Rhythm Is Our Business."

Probable personnel on these sides is - Claude Trenier and Cliff Trenier (vocals) with Gene Gilbeaux (piano and direction); Don Hill (alto sax); Charles Drayton (bass); Henry "Tucker" Green (drums). It is likely that Buddy Trenier and Milt Trenier are also on vocals on some or all of the tracks.

Of all the Treniers Okeh singles, only "Go! Go! Go!" had a brush with the R&B charts. The reason is probably that it was impossible to capture the intensity of the Treniers live act on sound recordings. The sides on this EP feature lots of whoopin' and hollerin' which would be the point where The Treniers would launch into some athletic stage moves or other "business."

Fortunately there is film and television footage of the brothers' live act which you can easily find on YouTube. Perhaps the most intriguing clip is from "The Colgate Comedy Hour," a TV show hosted by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This clip dates from May 1954 and may well be the first performance of rock and roll on national television.

"Stick around, folks! We'll be back in the next post!"

Thanks to Joan K for the front cover scan and label shots. The back cover shot is from via a Google image search. This post is a "reconstruction" of the original EP with the audio taken from various sources.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Trenier Twins - Buzz Buzz Buzz

Side 1:
01. Buzz Buzz Buzz
02. Sure Had A Wonderful Time Last Night
03. I Miss You So
04. Hey! Sister Lucy
05. No Baby No!
06. Ooh, Look-A There Ain't She Pretty

Side 2:
01. Ain't She Mean
02. It's a Quiet Town In Crossbone County
03. Convertible Cadillac
04. Sometimes I'm Happy
05. Why Did You Get So High, Shorty
06. Everybody Get Together

Download from here:

Facts on the tracks, Jack:

Personnel on tracks 1 - 10: The Trenier Twins : Claude Trenier, Cliff Trenier (vocals) acc by Gene Gilbeaux Orchestra : Don Hill (alto sax); William "Buddy" Collette (tenor sax); Gene Gilbeaux (piano); Bob Bain (guitar); Herman Washington (bass); Henry Green (drums)

"Buzz Buzz Buzz" and "Sure Had A Wonderful Time Last Night" were recorded in New York on May 15th, 1947. Released on Mercury 8045 in June 1947.

"I Miss You So," "Hey! Sister Lucy," "No Baby No!" and "Ain't She Mean" were recorded in New York on September 16th, 1947. "I Miss You So" / "Hey! Sister Lucy" released on Mercury 8058 in October 1947.

"Ooh, Look-A There Ain't She Pretty," "It's a Quiet Town In Crossbone County," "Convertible Cadillac," and "Sometimes I'm Happy" were recorded over two sessions in December 1947. Remaining Mercury releases were as follows:

"No Baby No!" / "Ooh, Look-A There Ain't She Pretty" Mercury 8071, January 1948.
"Ain't She Mean" / "It's a Quiet Town In Crossbone County" Mercury 8078, March 1948.
"Convertible Cadillac" / "Sometimes I'm Happy" Mercury 8089, June 1948.

Several sources list a November 1948 repressing of Mercury 8089 with "Convertible Cadillac" / "Near To Me" as the featured sides.

Personnel on "Why Did You Get So High, Shorty" and "Everybody Get Together": Claude Trenier, Cliff Trenier (vocals) acc by Gene Gilbeaux Orchestra: Don Hill (alto sax); unknown other horns, Gene Gilbeaux (piano); unknown (drums).

These sides were recorded in Los Angeles, circa January 1950 and released on London 17007 in March 1950. Release was credited to "The Treniers with Gene Gilbeaux And His Orchestra."

London was originally an outlet for UK Decca material in the US (Vera Lynn, George Formby, Edmundo Ros, Billy Cotton, etc), but also started issuing American pop, hillbilly and R&B recordings, with R&B records bearing a green label.

The Treniers! This post started out being a re-up of an LP of early 1950s Okeh sides by the group which was a big influence not only on Bill Haley but also on several other early rock 'n' roll acts (mostly originating from the Philadelphia area or upstate New York) such as Charlie Gracie, Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, and Jimmy Cavallo. As I started listening to The Treniers here at Radio Be Bop Wino, I realised I had the tracks to make up a little homemade compilation of pre-Okeh Treniers tracks, specifically their Mercury sides recorded in 1947 and their 1950 single on London.

So what he have here isn't the rockin' and rollin' Treniers but the Louis Jordan influenced jump blues combo which recorded under the moniker of "The Trenier Twins", with the exception of the final track on the collection, "Everybody Get Together" which, with its unruly bawlin' and squallin', foreshadows the rockers which The Treniers would start issuing on Okeh the following year.

Although several members of the rather large Trenier family were at one time or another members of the group, it was always about the identical twin brothers, Claude and Cliff. Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1919, the boys were encouraged to play musical instruments by their father, and when they enrolled at Alabama State College in 1940, their musical interests soon overshadowed their studies. Seriously, who would want to study to be a teacher when there is a chance to jump and jive to one's hearts content? Especially if the little band you form gets to share a bill with Louis Jordan. It was a no-brainer. While at college the boys made the acquaintance of two more musically inclined students who would go on to be a vital part of their later professional success - alto sax player Don Hill and pianist Gene Gilbeaux.

World War Two interrupted the jumpin' and jivin' as Claude was called up by Uncle Sam. Upon leaving the forces in 1944 he joined the Jimmie Lunceford band out on the West Coast. Soon twin brother Cliff was also a band member and in early 1945 the boys made their first recording as a duo with the Lunceford band - "Buzz Buzz Buzz" - which lay unreleased until 1949.

After leaving the Lunceford band, the boys split up, with Cliff returning to Mobile and Claude opting to stay on in Los Angeles to try his hand at a solo musical career. He had some success, obtaining residencies at various clubs, including the Club Alabam where he replaced Wynonie Harris, and also spots with various small groups including Big Jim Wynn's band with whom he recorded a second version of "Buzz Buzz Buzz" and "Ee-Bobaliba" in late 1945. In 1947 Claude persuaded Cliff to rejoin him out west and while working in San Francisco they met their old student compadre Gene Gilbeaux who was able to call Don Hill and the act which was at first known as The Trenier Twins with Gene Gilbeaux's Orchestra was formed.

The group was signed by Mercury Records for whom they recorded 5 singles between May and December 1947. A combination of the Petrillo recording ban and a punishing live schedule kept the Treniers out of the studio until early 1950 when they recorded a single for London Records - the Jordanesque "Why Did You Get So High Shorty?" and the first recorded indication that their jump blues sound was changing into proto rock and roll, "Everybody Get Together."

Above: The Treniers, 1950. In the background - Don Hill and Gene Gilbeaux.

The act was getting wilder with all sorts of fast paced dance and comedy routines mixed into the diet of rockin' music. It was around this time that Bill Haley, then leading a hick cowboy band called The Saddlemen, saw The Treniers in action at a club in Wildwood, New Jersey. What he saw impressed him mightily and helped him to decide to mix a little rhythm and blues into his act. Meanwhile outside the club there was a Philadelphia kid called Freddie Bell (or more likely at that time Ferdinando Dominick Bello) hanging around doing vacation jobs such as shoe shining. Freddie heard, and Freddie liked. The Treniers liked him back, they even nicknamed him "Ding-Dong." Sounds like a song ...

"We'll be back in Be Bop Wino's next post!"

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Slim Gaillard - Mish Mash (Clef MGC-126)

Side A:
01. Soony-Rooney
02. Babalu
03. Sabroso
04. Laughing In Rhythm

Side B:
01. Taxpayers' Blues
02. Eatin' With The Boogie
03. St. Louis Blues
04. I Know What To Do

Download from here:

Thanks to El Enmascarado for this 10 inch Slim Gaillard LP which was released in 1953. The initial release was on the Mercury label, also in 1953, with the exact same front and back covers, though with different disc labels. The Clef cover has a "Clef Records" sticker (?) covering the spot where "Mercury" should be.

Track details:

"Laughing In Rhythm" and "Soony Roony" were recorded in NYC on March 5th 1951. Personnel: Dick Hyman (piano); Slim Gaillard (guitar, vocals); Ernie Shepard (bass, vocals); Herbie Lovelle (drums); Pepe Benque (bongos)

"Soony Roony (Song of  Yxabat)" and "Laughing In Rhythm" were released in April 1951 on Mercury single 5606, credited to Slim Gaillard And His Peruvians.

Billboard reviewed "Soony Roony" in its "Popular" section as follows - "Slim's on top form for a wonderful takeoff on Yma Sumac. Loaded with yocks all the way, this one's bound for plenty deejay play."

The review of "Laughing In Rhythm" was less enthusiastic - "Side starts auspiciously, with Slim doing an infectious laughing riff, but nothing develops."

"Babalu" and "Sabroso" were recorded in NYC on May 25th 1951. Personnel: Buddy Tate (tenor sax); Maceo Williams (piano); Slim Gaillard (guitar, vocals); Clyde Lombardi (bass); Charlie Smith (drums)

Mercury single 8950 had "Sabroso" along with a different take of "Babalu," listed on the disc label as "Babalu (Orooney)". Credited to Slim Gaillard And His Internationally Famous Orchestra, and released in August 1951.

Billboard review of "Sabroso" (under "Hot Jazz") - "Attempt a 'commercial' offering, a flabby little jingle, falls flat." The review of "Babalu (Orooney)" was equally negative - "Slim attempts a satire on emotional Latin vocals, sprinkled liberally with vouts and orooney's but nothing happens."

"Taxpayers' Blues," "Eatin' With The Boogie," "St. Louis Blues" and "I Know What To Do" were recorded in NYC on January 24th 1952. Personnel: Harry Carney or Cecil Payne (baritone sax); Slim Gaillard as Bulee Gaillard (guitar, vocals); unidentified others.

"Eatin' With The Boogie" and "Taxpayers' Blues" were released on Mercury single 8970 in April 1952, credited to Bulee Gaillard and His Southern Fried Orchestra.

Although reviewed in the "Hot Jazz" section, Billboard noted of "Eatin' With the Boogie" - "Disk is far better suited to the rhythm and blues market than for the jazz fans. It's a rocking item which could draw coin. Lyric by Gaillard is a Southern menu." Billboard's review of "Taxpayer's Blues" expressed similar sentiments - "Topical blues ditty could get some action in the r.&b. market. Doubtful whether the jazz cats will be attracted."

"St. Louis Blues" and "I Know What To Do" were released on Mercury single 8998 in August 1952, credited to Bulee Gaillard and His Southern Fried Orchestra. I couldn't find a Billboard review for this disk.

As the old year fades into the new, we round off 2016 with a last post (for this year!), thanks to El Enmascarado who sent in this 10 inch LP of sides recorded by Slim Gaillard for Clef / Mercury in the early 1950s. The album title "Mish Mash" is an accurate description of the contents as can be seen from the recording and release details along with the contemporary Billboard reviews above.

The four tracks on Side A were recorded in 1951 and represent some of the well established aspects of Slim's rather unique take on jazz. "Sooney-Rooney" is a send up of the sound of Yma Sumac, a sound with which I was previously unfamiliar but which I made the mistake of listening to on YouTube, specifically her destruction of Mozart's great "Queen of the Night" aria from "The Magic Flute." I may never recover from that experience.

"Babalu" is another send up (in cod Spanish and Vout), this time of a rather melodramatic hit for Miguelito Valdes. Check it out on YouTube. With "Sabroso" and "Laughing In Rhythm" we are in more familiar Slim Gaillard territory with lots of "vout oreenies" being thrown into the mix. "Laughing In Rhythm" was a longtime Gaillard favourite which went back to the late 1930s and his time as part of the duo of Slim and Slam (Stewart) when the hep pair cheered the 52nd Street scene with a string of humorous jive novelties starting with "Flat Foot Floogie (with the Floy Floy)."

The B side of this album, which was recorded in one session in 1952, is in a rhythm and blues style. Was Slim perhaps a little intoxicated at this session? El Emascarado has speculated that perhaps he was. I didn't hear that at first but now I tend to think that the entire studio was out of its gourd. Whatever, these 4 tracks are a world away from Slim's NYC work in the late 1930's and his hepcat tracks recorded in Hollywood after the Second World War. It's not that they're bad, they're just not Slim, apart, perhaps, from "Eatin' With The Boogie" which carries on Slim's career-long obsession with composing songs around items of food!

There may well be more Slim Gaillard music on the blog soon. Keep tuned oroonie, and have a vout New Year!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Joan's A Doo Wop Christmas - Nuthin' Compares To It!

01. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - The Melodeers
02. Jingle Jangle - The Penguins
03. White Christmas - The Drifters, Featuring Clyde McPhatter
04. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - The Harmony Grits
05. You're My Christmas Present - The Skyliners
06. Can This Be Christmas - The Falcons
07. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - The Cadillacs
08. It's Christmas Time - The Five Keys
09. Rockin' Santa Claus - The Martels
10. It's Christmas Once Again - Frankie Lymon
11. Merry Christmas To My Heart - The Sheps
12. Merry Merry Christmas Baby - The Tune Weavers
13. Merry Twist-Mas - The Marcels
14. Merry Christmas Darling (And A Happy New - The Uniques
15. Mambo, Santa, Mambo - The Enchanters
16. Mr. Santa's Boogie - The Marshalls
17. Just A Lonely Christmas - The Moonglows
18. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
19. (It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas - The Orioles
20. A Christmas Long Ago (Jingle Jingle) - The Eschelons
21. Hey Santa Claus - The Moonglows
22. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - The Orioles
23. White Christmas - The Ravens
24. After New Year's Eve - The Heartbeats
25. Every Heart Is Home At Christmas - The Five Keys
26. Happy Holiday - The Shells
27. Christmas Is Coming At Last - The Rhythm Kings
28. Rockin' & Rollin' With Santa - The Hepsters
29. Christmas Letter - La Fets and Kitty
30. Have A Merry Christmas - The Robins, Featuring Little Esther
31. Love For Christmas - The Ebonaires
32. Merry Christmas - The Cameos

It's a last minute decision to post this evening, but we just can't let Christmas go by without putting this old favourite up again. Originally posted in 2008 - 30 rockin' Yuletide tracks from Joan. It's the only way to spend Christmas - listening to these solid sides while knocking back a tipple or two.

Download from here:

We'll be back after the festivities. Have a good Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Vout Cowboy / Mary Lou - Louis Prima with Foy Willing And The Riders Of The Purple Sage (Majestic 5003)

Recorded in New York, circa June 1946. No personnel details. Released in August 1946.

Alternative download method - click on the link to download both sides plus label scans:

Thanks to El Enmascarado for these rips from a 78 rpm shellac disc. The disc was slightly warped, which prevented it from lying flat in the masked one's scanner, hence the blurred label scans. Despite worn grooves our blog benefactor has succeeded in getting good quality sound from both sides.

As for the music - " a jazz/cowboy" crossover is how El Enmascarado describes it. It's an unlikely collaboration between New Orleans born Italian-American hepcat Louis Prima and a western band whose usual milieu was Roy Rogers movies. And there's added "vout" - the jive term popularised by Slim Gaillard (of whom we shall speak in an upcoming post), another popular "hep" figure who was enjoying a wave of popularity at the time of this recording.

There's an obvious influence of the Ella Mae Morse / Freddie Slack hit "Cow Cow Boogie" on "Vout Cowboy" plus Louis Prima's own scat singing ("vootedy bootedy bootie macscootie") set against the plains harmony of the Riders Of The Purple Sage. An unusual amalgam, yet it works. "Mary Lou" starts off with strictly squaresville harmonies from The Riders then builds to a roaring climax as the horns of the Prima band blast in. Another unlikely yet likeable combination.

Billboard review:

"Louis Prima does a switch on the sweet-and-hot formula by spinning out a contrast of hillbilly and swing. For the outdoor aura, brings in a fine vocal troupe in Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage. And with a cow-cow-boogie type of chant in "Vout Cowboy," Prima gets an opportunity to inject some scat singing along with the Westerners as they tell the story of a "hillbilly killer diller."

"Completing the Prima imprint is a tasty dish of his gutbucket Gabriel horning, The contrast is not so sharply defined for the "Mary Lou" evergreen that has the Riders singing it sweetly as the Prima horns blow hot. "Vout Cowboy" should make for a real coin clicker."

Trumpeter, singer, band leader and composer Louis Prima was already a veteran performer when he made these recordings. He first started recording in 1934 with a small jazz group usually billed as "Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang" and, as the band grew in numbers, "Louis Prima and his Gleeby Rhythm Orchestra."

In 1944 he started recording with big band backing and in the next few years issued a string of great records on Hit, Majestic, Savoy and V Disc such as "Robin Hood," "Angelina," "Just a Gigolo," "Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well," (backed with the terrific "You Gotta See Baby Tonight") " "Brooklyn Boogie," and "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop."

At the end of the 40s he had recruited Keely Smith as a vocalist and was recording for Mercury. His most memorable disc at that time was issued on the Robin Hood label - a recording of his own composition "Oh! Babe."

A later generation know him better for his mid to late 1950s recordings on Capitol with Keely Smith and the great Sam Butera on tenor sax. These records were made at a time when Prima's career had received a major boost when he started playing the Vegas lounges with Keely Smith and Sam Butera and the Witnesses. The audience of wise guys, high rollers, suckers and schmucks lapped up his reprises of old material such as "Angelina," "Oh Marie" and the medley of  "Just a Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody."

To an even later generation (mine!) he was King Louis in the 1960s Disney cartoon of "The Jungle Book." An even younger generation enjoyed his music when his Capitol recordings with Sam Butera received heavy play during the 1990s swing revival. The "Just a Gigolo" / "I Ain't Got Nobody" medley, "Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days" and "Jump, Jive And Wail" enlivened many a swing dance and the last named tune featured in a GAP commercial known as "Khaki Swing." But by then Louis was past caring as he had passed away in 1978.

Foy Willing (real name Willingham) was a Texas born singer, songwriter bandleader and actor. He founded The Riders Of The Purple Sage in 1942 (Patti Page was an early member) and they quickly gained a niche as a Western band which appeared in many 'B' western movies from the early 1940s to the early 1950s. They replaced The Sons Of The Pioneers when the latter split with Roy Rogers in 1948.

The kind of material they played included "Cool Water," "Blue Shadows On The Trail," "Ridin' Down That Old Texas Trail" and "Wind." You get the idea. They had Country top ten hits in the 1940s with "Texas Blues," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," and "Detour." The group broke up in 1952 but occasionally reunited to record and perform. Foy Willing died in July 1978, just over a month before the death of Louis Prima.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2 EP

Side 1:
01. A Rocking Little Tune
02. Hide And Seek

Side 2:
03. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
04. Blue Comet Blues

Download from here:

The final EP in our Bill Haley UK EP posts. Brunswick OE 9279 was released in December 1956.

Recording details:

"A Rocking Little Tune" was recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 30th March 1956. Personnel: Bill Haley (rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax); Johnny Grande (accordion); Al Rex (double bass); Ralph Jones (drums).

"Hide And Seek" was recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 23rd March 1956. Personnel as above with vocal by Billy Williamson.

"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" and "Blue Comet Blues" were recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 27th March 1956. Personnel as above with vocal on "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" by Bill Haley, Johnny Grande plays piano. No vocal on "Blue Comet Blues."

Original release details:

"A Rocking Little Tune" and "Hide And Seek" were first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417.

"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" was first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417. Subsequently issued in December 1956 on 45 and 78 on US Decca single 30148, B Side of "Don't Knock The Rock." Single failed to chart.

"Blue Comet Blues" was first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417. Subsequently issued in October 1956 on 45 and 78 on US Decca single 30085, B Side of "Rudy's Rock." Single reached number 34 in the Billboard pop chart in November 1956.

Discographical information from Chris Gardner's Bill Haley Database.

I cannot recommend the above site too highly for all things concerning Bill Haley. Further information in these posts was gleaned from "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches and "The Billboard Book Of USA Top 40 Hits" by Joel Whitburn.

This copy of "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" was one the first vinyl records I digitized back in 2007. It belonged to long time Glasgow friends the Lawson family and somehow I inherited it. The front cover was pretty trashed and torn mainly because as well as housing the EP, an original UK issue of "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" was also crammed inside. See this scan for the cover as it actually is:

I posted the EP on the old Rock Hall forum (Be Bop Wino was but a gleam in my eye back then) and a fellow forum member who wished to remain anonymous kindly produced cleaned up versions of the front and back covers:

For this post I've gone back to the original beat up version of the cover, worked on it a little with Photofiltre, and produced a version which is not quite so pristine looking as the above, but (I like to think) still preserves the "lived in" look of an artifact from the 1950s. I have also cleaned up the back cover, but it didn't require much work as it was in pretty good condition.

All three versions of the front cover are included in the download so you can chose whichever you prefer.

That's me all Bill Haleyed out now, but he may make a reappearance on the blog if and when I get round to restoring the epic post "Rock The Joint!"

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1 EP

Side 1:
01. Calling All Comets
02. Rockin' Through The Rye

Side 2:
01. Hook, Line And Sinker
02. Rudy's Rock

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Thanks again to Allan for this original 1950s Bill Haley EP. Brunswick OE 9278 was released in the UK in December 1956. The same EP was released in the US in August 1956. This is the first appearance of this EP on Be Bop Wino, after a delay of 5 years in getting it posted. Never mind, "Rudy's Rock" is worth the wait.

Recording details:

"Rudy's Rock" and "Hook, Line And Sinker" were recorded on March 23rd 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. The personnel were:

Bill Haley (vocal & rhythm guitar) ; Franny Beecher (lead guitar) ; Billy Williamson (steel guitar) ; Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Al Rex (double bass) ; Ralph Jones (drums)

"Calling All Comets" was recorded on  March 27th 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. Personnel as above.

"Rockin' Through the Rye" was recorded on March 30th 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. Personnel as above.

Original release details:

"Calling All Comets" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416).

"Rockin' Through The Rye" was originally released in June 1956 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 29948, B side of "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy." Single did not chart.

"Hook, Line And Sinker" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416). It was subsequently released in March 1957 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 30214, B side of "Forty Cups Of Coffee." Single did not chart.

"Rudy's Rock" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416). It was subsequently released in October 1956 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 30085, b/w "Blue Comet Blues." It reached number 34 on the Billboard pop chart in November 1956.

One more Bill Haley EP to come, and then we'll have something a little more "unusual" courtesy of long time contributor El Enmascarado.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock Around The Clock EP (Re-up)

Side 1:
01. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
02. Mambo Rock

Side 2:
03. R-O-C-K
04. See You Later, Alligator

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Re-up of another UK issue Bill Haley EP donated by Allan. As with the previous "Rock'N Roll" EP, "Rock Around The Clock" was issued in June 1956 and contained 2 tracks by what I like to call The Comets Mark 1 on Side 1, backed by 2 tracks from The Comets Mark 2 (the post Jodimars breakaway lineup which featured Rudy Pompilli and Al Rex) on Side 2.

Full details of personnel and recording dates are on the original post (from 20th December 2011) here:

The original US single release of these tracks was as follows:

"(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" on Decca 29124, April 1954. Number 1 in the Billboard pop chart, summer 1955

"Mambo Rock" on Decca 29418, January 1955. Number 17 in the Billboard pop chart.

"R-O-C-K" on Decca 29870, March 1956. Number 16 in the Billboard pop chart.

"See You Later, Alligator" on Decca 29791, December 1955. Number 6 in the Billboard pop chart, early 1956.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock'N Roll EP (Re-up)

Side 1:
01. Razzle Dazzle
02. Two Hound Dogs

Side 2:
03. Burn That Candle
04. Rock-a-beatin' Boogie

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Continuing with the Bill Haley story ... the next 4 posts will be of original 1950s UK issues of Bill Haley And The Comets EPs, commencing with "Rock'N Roll." I must thank generous contributor Allan for 3 of these EPs. He sent in sound files and image files for "Rock'N Roll", "Rock Around The Clock" and "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1."

Unfortunately I only ever did get round to posting the first two of these EPs. I must have been all Bill Haleyed-out back then in December 2011, so 5 years later here I am trying to make amends by posting all 3 of these EPs plus "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2". I have a copy of that last EP which belonged to long time family friends the Lawson family and I originally posted it back in the very earliest days of the blog in 2007. This time round I'll give it the full 2016 style Be Bop Wino treatment.

In 2007 I also posted a copy of "Rock'N Roll" which belonged to the Lawsons but this present post has the sound files plus scans from Allan along with cover scans from that first copy of the EP.

The first Bill Haley EP to be issued in the UK was "Dim, Dim The Lights" (Brunswick OE 9129), in July 1955. The tracks on that EP were: "Shake, Rattle And Roll", "ABC Boogie", "Happy Baby" and "Dim, Dim The Lights."

In June 1956 two more Bill Haley EPs were issued in the UK: "Rock'N Roll" (Brunswick OE 9214) and "Rock around The Clock" (Brunswick OE 9250).

The original post on "Rock'N Roll" (9th December, 2011) can be found here:

That post contains full details of recording dates and personnel on the 4 tracks, plus a scan of an original single release of "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" from Joan.

"Two Hound Dogs" and "Razzle Dazzle" were recorded by the first hit making line up of The Comets. "Burn That Candle" and "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" were recorded after the departure of Joey D'Ambrosio, Marshall Lytle and Dick Richards to form The Jodimars, and the arrival of Rudy Pompilli, Al Rex and Ralph Jones as replacements. More details of the whys and wherefores of the breakup are in the 2011 post on the huge success of "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" here:

Here are the original US release details of the tracks on the "Rock'N Roll" EP:

"Razzle Dazzle" / "Two Hound Dogs" was released on Decca  29552 in June 1955, reaching number 15 in the Billboard pop chart.

 "Burn That Candle" / "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" was released on Decca 29713 in October 1955, reaching number 9 in the Billboard pop chart.

More Bill coming soon!