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

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Saturday 5 July 2008

Rock and Roll with Joe Houston and his Rockets (Tops L1518)

Side One:
1. Off Beat
2. Rock That Boogie
3. No Name Rock
4. Goofin'
5. Joe's Rock
6. Tall Gal Blues

Side Two:
1. All Night Long
2. Movin' And Groovin'
3. Corn Bread And Cabbage Greens
4. I Woke Up This Morning
5. Flying Home
6. Teen-Age Boogie

Once again I must thank a certain anonymous sax fan who sent this Joe Houston LP for us all to share. In fact that comes nowhere near a strong enough expression of my gratitude. What I would like each and every one of you bebopwinos out there to do is to get down on your knees and in true “Wayne’s World” fashion yell, “We are not worthy! We are not worthy!”

Anyone who attempts to make sense of the complete 1950s Joe Houston discography is probably doomed to madness as he flitted between various Los Angeles record companies, most notably John Dolphin’s group of labels (Recorded in Hollywood, Cash, Money), the Biharis’ Modern/RPM/Flair/Crown outfit and Jake Porter’s Combo label. Jim Dawson probably nails it in his cover notes to the Ace (UK) CD “Joe Houston Blows Crazy!” In those notes he states that the Biharis bought Joe’s original version of “All Night Long” from John Dolphin and used it on an LP called “Blows All Nite Long” released on Modern in April 1956. The inspiration for this album (according to Jim) was an LP released on the low budget Tops label called “Rock and Roll with Joe Houston”, the tracks for which Joe had recorded in one session, including a new version of “All Night Long”.

The Tops Records story is told at length on The Both Sides Now website. Briefly, Tops Music Enterprises was founded in Los Angeles in 1947 by Carl Doshay and Sam Dickerman as a distribution company which bought up and sold on second hand jukebox records. In the early fifties they started recording cover versions of the hits of the day and releasing them on the low budget Tops Record label. In the mid-fifties Tops started recording and releasing original material by “name” artists who were past the first flush of fame or else by artists who were hopefully up and coming.

And so amongst the rather cheesy albums by the likes of The Jay Wilbur Orchestra, The Christian Chapel Choir, Scatman Crothers, and Akoni Lani & His Islanders, there appeared this gem by Joe Houston. Both Sides Now gives it a release year of 1957 and Modern’s “Blows All Nite Long” as 1956, which doesn’t quite match up with Jim Dawson’s note that the Tops album influenced the Biharis’ decision to release their own Joe Houston album. However, Brian Lee’s Color Radio website (which features some great Joe Houston label shots) gives the Tops album’s release as 1956 which is probably the correct year.

What really matters is the music which is top notch R&B / rock ‘n’ roll. I wouldn’t mind knowing who the backing musicians are! Joan K has supplied some Joe Houston label shots from Money (including the original “All Night Long”) and Modern which will round the post off nicely. Thanks Joan!

Ripped at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

1. Off Beat
2. Rock That Boogie
3. No Name Rock
4. Goofin'
5. Joe's Rock
6. Tall Gal Blues
7. All Night Long
8. Movin' And Groovin'
9. Corn Bread And Cabbage Greens
10. I Woke Up This Morning
11. Flying Home
12. Teen-Age Boogie


Anonymous said...

cool thank you rockin the blues is back

Red Neckerson said...

Be Bop Thanks for the Joe Houston post!! I bought the Tops album several years ago at a flea market only to find out after I got home that it was the wrong Lp! which is another reason not to Drink and Buy records!!



Psycho Paul said...

wow this is fantastic i had this years ago didnt think i would find it again thanx