Sunday, 4 October 2009

Original Rhythm 'N Blues

Here’s the first all new, entirely original post on the resurrected blog. It’s another example of a 1980s purchase which has remained forgotten and ignored for years in my vinyl cupboard.

From what I can glean from the rockin’ interweb, this collection originally appeared on the Sunbeam label. This particular LP from the Wino’s vaults was issued on the “Arbee” label. The back cover credits it to Arbee Records, England, 1977, while the actual record label says it was made in France in 1985. To add to the delicious confusion it has three different titles on the cover – “Original Rhythm ‘N Blues 1948-‘52” on the front, “Rhythm & Blues Anthology” on the spine and “Rhythm & Blues In The 40’s & 50’s” on the back. There is no title on the record label.

But what the heck, let’s not get too “record collectory”. It’s the music that matters and this is a little gem of a collection which shows the jazz and swing influences on R&B and at the other end of the timescale here (actually 1947-56) the influence of R&B on rock and roll. There’s lots of jumpin’ and jivin’ from big band veterans like Joe Thomas, Cootie Williams and Eddie Wilcox. The influence of the Jimmie Lunceford band in particular looms large here. There are also plenty of contributions from the following generation of rockin’ R&B musicians like Plas Johnson and “Mad Mel Sebastian.” Does anyone know who “Mad Mel” really was?

The information on the LP cover is pretty cursory, so I’ve done some digging round the worldwide R&B internet to get the low down on these wild waxings. ‘Scuse me if I don’t say too much about Earl Bostic and Bill Doggett. They’re both either on the blog or are about to be partially restored to the blog (no CDs!). Let us content ourselves with the observation that, like many other musicians on the LP, they both came out of the big band and jazz scene of the 1940s to make a mark on the R&B scene of the 1950s.

The tracks:

1. The Bo-Do Rock - Earl Bostic
2. Lavender Coffin - Joe Thomas
3. Typhoon - Cootie Williams
4. Serenade To Twins - Johnny Sparrow
5. Shuffle Express - Eddie Wilcox
6. Blow Mr Low - Joe Williams
7. Charmaine - Burnie Peacock
8. Just Fall In Love - Dan Grissom
9. Dungaree Hop - Plas Johnson
10. Honkin' - Jimmy Jackson All Stars
11. Goodnight, Irene - Mighty Man Maxwell
12. Gin And Coconut Milk - Wilburt Harrison
13. Aviator Papa - Lolly Pop Jones And Ethel Morris
14. Rain - Oscar McLollie
15. Pachuco Bop - Mad Mel Sebastian
16. Cherry - Clarence Palmer & The Jive Bombers

The info (updated June 2017):

1. The Bo-Do Rock - Earl Bostic
recorded in Los Angeles, April 19, 1956 for King Records (King 4930) – Earl Bostic with the Bill Doggett combo. No need to say any more about these giants of R&B. A sample of their work is already on the blog or will appear soon.


2. Lavender Coffin - Joe Thomas
recorded for King Records, Linden NJ, May 21, 1949 released on King 4296 in June 1949. Joe Thomas spent 15 years as tenor sax player and vocalist with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Started his own small band and recorded for King 1949 – 1951.


3. Typhoon - Cootie Williams
recorded for Mercury, December 1947 and released on Mercury 8083 in May 1948. Cootie Williams was for many years trumpeter in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In the early 1940s he formed his own big band which had Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson”, Sam “The Man” Taylor and Bud Powell in the line up. By the time this side was recorded all of these musicians had left and the band had slimmed down to 9 or 10 pieces. The following year Willis Jackson joined and the band had a hit with the two-parter which gave Jackson his nickname – “Gator Tail”.

4. Serenade To Twins - Johnny Sparrow
recorded for National Records in NYC in March 1950 and released on National 9121 in October 1950. Tenor sax man Johnny Sparrow played in Jay McShann’s band (alongside Paul Quinichette) then in Louis Armstrong’s big band. He replaced Johnny Griffin in Lionel Hampton’s band, playing alongside Morris Lane. In 1949 he left the Hampton outfit to form his own small band known as “Johnny Sparrow and his Bows and Arrows”. He recorded some sides for Melford, including the hit “Sparrow’s Flight”, then signed for National in 1950 and moved on to Gotham in 1952.

5. Shuffle Express - Eddie Wilcox
recorded for Derby Records, New York, June 1951 and released on Derby 766 in August 1951. Another alumnus of the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, pianist Eddie Wilcox led small bands which recorded for New York based labels Abbey and Victor in 1949-50. In 1951 he signed for Derby Records, acting as an arranger, producer, A&R man and band leader for the label. “Shuffle Express” was originally released as the B-side of Betty McLaurin’s “The Masquerade Is Over”. On this session the band included tenor sax men Freddie Mitchell and Lucky Thompson.

6. Blow Mr Low - Joe Williams
recorded in Chicago, September 1953 with the Red Saunders band. Released on Savoy 1165 in July 1955. Joe Williams was a blues shouter who had spells with the Coleman Hawkins and Lionel Hampton bands and is best remembered for his tenure in the Count Basie band in the 1950s. His biggest hit was “Every Day I Have The Blues.”

7. Charmaine - Burnie Peacock
recorded for King in New York, November 1951, and released on King 4506 in December 1951. Burnie Peacock was a clarinet and alto sax player who played in the big bands of Lucky Millinder, Jimmie Lunceford, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, all in the space of three years from 1945 - 48. He stood in for Earl Bostic when the latter was recovering from a car crash.

8. Just Fall In Love - Dan Grissom
recorded for Million, Los Angeles 1955, released on Million 2011 in May 1955. The vocal group on the record is The Ebb Tones. This was the B-side of “Recess in Heaven”. Dan Grissom was a vocalist and alto sax player with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. He was rather uncharitably nicknamed “Dan Gruesome” by jazz fans who were less than enamoured by his song stylings. From 1945 onwards he made records as a vocalist for various small labels in Los Angeles.

9. Dungaree Hop - Plas Johnson
recorded for the Tampa label in Los Angeles in 1956 and released on Tampa TP-116 in August 1956. Tenor sax man active in R&B and the poppier side of rock and roll in the mid to late 50’s, recording LPs for Capitol and Score. Also active in session work and in the jazz field. That’s his sax work on Henry Mancini’s “Pink Panther Theme.” See plasjohnson.com for much more info on this prolific musician.

10. Honkin' - Jimmy Jackson All Stars
released as RPM 349 in 1952. Evidence from the matrix numbers points towards this recording actually originating from a session by Benny Carter recorded for Modern in 1949 with Ben Webster on tenor sax. Moreover, like “Honkin’”, Carter’s “Cottontail” / “Time Out For The Blues” (released on Modern 858) also has dubbed on crowd noises. If you would like to investigate further then please buy the wonderful Ace (UK) compilation “Let’s Jump! Swingin’ Humdingers From Modern Records” (CD CHD 809). This Billy Vera compiled CD has Benny Carter’s “Cottontail” / “Time Out For The Blues” plus “Deep Purple” which is credited to the Jimmy Jackson All-Stars.

The Jazz West Coast Research blog has a post on the renaming of jazz tracks on the Modern/RPM/Crown labels, including the Benny Carter / Jimmy Jackson tracks. Discographies do list a Jimmy Jackson session in 1952 with musicians such as Billy Hadnott and Devonia Williams taking part,but the master numbers seem to show that the tracks originate from the Carter session of 1949.

11. Goodnight, Irene - Mighty Man Maxwell
recorded for Discovery in Los Angeles on August 9th, 1950. Released on Discovery 524 in September 1950. Billboard announced the recording artist as "Mad Man Maxwell."Discovery was a small jazz label which was taken over by Savoy.

12. Gin And Coconut Milk - Wilburt Harrison
recorded for DeLuxe in Miami, November 1953. B-Side of “Nobody Knows The Trouble” (DeLuxe 6031). Yes, it’s Wilbert Harrison who had the massive hit “Kansas City” for Fury in 1959, and who also recorded “Let’s Stick Together” which was covered by Canned Heat and later by Bryan Ferry.

13. Aviator Papa - Lolly Pop Jones And Ethel Morris
recorded for DeLuxe in New Orleans in 1948. Lollypop Jones “starred” in 3 films in 1946 – two musical shorts, “Chicago After Dark” and “Lucky Gamblers”, and a grade Z all-black horror movie “Midnight Menace” in which he got to sing “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Don’t Sell My Monkey Baby”.

14. Rain - Oscar McLollie
Recorded for Class, Los Angeles, 1953, released on Class 503 in March 1953. Oscar McLollie recorded two singles for Leon Rene’s Class label in 1952/53, his first release being “The Honey Jump”. During 1953 he transferred to Modern Records and recut “The Honey Jump” with his group now called The Honeyjumpers. After a series of good records such as “All That Oil In Texas” and “Lolly Pop”, he recorded briefly for Mercury in 1956. In 1957 he was back recording for Class, including several duets with Jeanette Baker. One of their numbers “Hey Girl - Hey Boy” was covered by Louis Prima and Keely Smith in the film of the same name.

15. Pachuco Bop - Mad Mel Sebastian
recorded for M & S in 1952, probably in Los Angeles. B Side of "Raven Hop." “Mad Mel Sebastian” is a pseudonym for …? Is it Chuck Higgins? Or someone cashing in on Chuck’s “Pachuco Hop”? Does anyone know anything about Mad Mel? A comment on the original post says that he had a disc on the small "R&B" label called "Walkin' On The Ceiling."

16. Cherry - Clarence Palmer & The Jive Bombers
recorded for Savoy (Savoy 1515) in New York in May 1957, released in June 1957. Very similar sound to their 1956 Savoy hit “Bad Boy.” The Jive Bombers were a group whose origins lie back in the 1930s as does “Bad Boy” which descends from Lil Armstrong’s “Brown Gal.” Now that would be worth a post on its own!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

http://www111.zippyshare.com/v/v4l0D1Wq/file.html

8 comments:

Paulo Futura said...

tks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

-matt

Anonymous said...

Wonderful!

Am on the hunt for Alvin "Red" Tyler's "Rockin & Rollin" (ACE 2037) if you come across it.

Thanks you, as always - d.

boogiewoody said...

I'm afraid I don't have that Red Tyler LP. Ace (UK) issued an LP with the same title and credited to Red Tyler many years ago, but the track list was very different and included a few tracks by other artists. The complete original album plus unissued alternates was issued on CD by Westside in 1998 under the title "Simply Red".

The CD is out of print but is available as a download from amazon.co.uk. I posted the CD on the old blog but the links were taken down by the fileshare services. I presume that was because the Westside CDs of Ace material are mostly available on the amazon mp3 download service.

Anonymous said...

Mad Mel Sebastian!!! What a way to kick off the all "new," disprove the destroyers BBW pages!!!

Mr. Mad Mel also had a nutty number out on the tiny So Cal. "R&B" label (think Jewels) in the early to mid-'50s. Try to find THAT one!!!

"Walkin' on the Ceiling"!!!

About the only words to it, a drunken band refrain: "Walkin' on the ceiling, cool feeling"!!! Sounds like an after hours Chuck Higgins session fueled by waaaay too much wine....!!!

Keep a-boppin' !!!

- B_B

Anonymous said...

B - Thanks for the info on the Westside CDs/mp3s of Tyler's album. I'm going to check it out! - d.

Gyro1966 said...

Cool stuff. I especially enjoy your homemade comps ripped at high bit rates. Keep up the fine work!

boogiewoody said...

Hey Gyro, great to hear from you! Always enjoy your uploads to Twilightzone. You and I seem to have bought many of the same LPs back in the 1980s! Any chance of reuploads of the companion volumes to Harlem Heavies?