Lee Allen started out with the Paul Gayten Orchestra in the late 1940s and subsequently joined Dave Bartholomew’s band. But it is as leader of the studio band at Cosimo Matassa’s New Orleans recording studio that he will probably be best remembered. At Cosimo’s he featured on many R&B and Rock’n’Roll recording sessions with Little Richard, Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, Shirley & Lee, Lloyd Price, Smiley Lewis etc, etc.
In 1957 he signed on with Ember Records and recorded under his own name, issuing the substantial hit “Walkin’ With Mr Lee”. This LP was on the NoLa label, which I have to say I have never heard of. The liner notes are by John Broven.
But enough of the music. What about that LP cover? It is truly a monument to sleaze. And what tragic story lies behind the downfall of the lady reduced to dancing the hoochie coochie while twirling tassles for the delectation of an unruly mob of drunks? Ah well, at least she got to hear Lee Allen playing rambunctious rhythm ‘n’ blues and sly striptease jazz. Every cloud has a silver lining.
I must also extend a big thank you to Joan K who contributed scans of original Ember singles and an EP at very short notice. Joan you are awesome.
Ripped from vinyl at 192 kbps. Some surface noise audible. Password = greaseyspoon
Download and do the shimmy shimmy shake:
2. Walkin' With Mr Lee
3. Tic Toc
4. Bee Hive
6. Big Horn Special
7. Jim Jam
8. Strollin' With Mr Lee
9. Teen Dreams
10. Boppin' At The Hop
11. Lee's Blues
12. Hot Rod Special
13. Ivy League
14. Short Circuit Funky
15. Creole Alley
16. Cat Walk
Acrobat Records in the UK have recently released a 24 track CD of Lee Allen sides. If you liked this download, please spend some cash on the disc (Acrobat ACMCD4267):