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Monday, 29 March 2010

Hen Gates And His Gaters - Rock And Roll (Plymouth P-12-144)

Thanks once more to our Stateside sax benefactor for supplying this rare Hen Gates LP issued on the Plymouth label.

It’s a great follow up to the previous post “Let’s All Dance To Rock And Roll”, and we are still in the land of cheapo Don Gabor LPs, for Plymouth was another of his labels. So once again we are dealing with a poorly packaged record. The back cover has no track list but the front cover helpfully lists 4 titles followed by “etc.” Naturally none of these titles is used on the record labels …

But enough of the negative vibes. The good news is that as we saw in the previous post, “Hen Gates” was a pseudonym used to disguise the fact that this album is made up of retitled Freddie Mitchell sides recorded for Derby between 1949 and 1952. Be Bop Wino fans can rest assured that this collection contains plenty of bootin’ sax to tickle our audio palates. The sides used on this collection are even further removed from rock and roll than the “Let’s All Dance” LP. At least that album used hard rockin’ R&B which could just about pass for rock and roll. Many of the tracks on the “Rock and Roll” collection are jazzier with that rather annoying (to me) plinky plonk piano to the fore. It’s mostly good Be Bop Wino type stuff, though, and well worth a listen.

I’ve managed to identify the origins of five of the tracks as follows:

Track 1, “Stop” is “Pony Express”, recorded 1950/51, originally released on Derby 725

Track 4 “Hold It” is “Hot Ice” (minus intro), recorded December 1951, originally released on Derby 777

Track 5 “The Creep” is “Doby’s Boogie”, recorded in 1949, originally released on Derby 713

Track 8 “Rockin’ and Rollin’ Hop” is “Madera Hop”, recorded in December 1951, originally released on Derby 807

Track 11 “Bunny Rock” is “Cold Heat” (minus intro), recorded in 1952, originally released on Derby 793

“Cold Heat” and “Doby’s Boogie” also turned up on the “Let’s All Dance” LP under the titles “Great Gates Rock” and “Lose”, respectively.

Could I repeat my plea for information as to the origins of the other Hen Gates tracks on both albums? I actually have a nagging doubt about the origin of some of the “Let’s All Dance the Rock and Roll” tracks, mainly because they seem to be in a different style from the tracks used here. Of course the difference may be explained by the need for Plymouth to use earlier tracks than the ones used by Masterseal in order to keep duplication to a minimum.

Ripped from hissing vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

Or from here:

1. Stop
2. Hand Clappin'
3. Look Out
4. Hold It
5. The Creep
6. T. N. T.
7. Jumpin' And Shoutin'
8. Rockin' And Rollin' Hop
9. Back Bone
10. Look And Listen
11. Bunny Rock
12. Bear Walk

Further listening –

Baikinange has “That Boogie Beat”, an Allegro Royale cheapo LP of Freddie Mitchell tracks, here:

It’s a pretty trashed copy of a budget priced collection released after Derby had gone belly up and sold off its masters. But at least it’s not masquerading as a "Hen Gates" rock and roll LP, and the link still works!

Classics has an excellent CD, “The Chronological Freddie Mitchell 1949-1950," available. You can also purchase this collection as an mp3 download from Amazon.

Amazon also has a 45 track mp3 only collection available – “Rockin’ Wailin’ Saxophone.” Some of the titles on the collection are those used on the Hen Gates LPs.

Lastly, another big thank you to our anonymous donor. Lang may yer lum reek.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

MUCHO BUENO¡¡¡¡, thk is just im looking foor, gracias amigo desde españa

hamfat said...

dear Woody,
Haven't been here for a while - just wanted to post about the Hen Gates (Rock & Roll) stuff. We used to get some of these on Plymouth and Royale LPs for 59 cents in the junk bins and flea markets back in the 70s.
I always knew it was based on Freddie Mitchell records as we had some of the originals. It's great to hear The Creep again after many years. I always knew this one as Cravin' by Hen Gates & his Gators.
Keep it up,

hamfat said...

Just listened to more of the Hen Gates LP - the tunes Back Bone & Look and Listen are well known to me. They are Leapin On Lenox and Lockjaw's Bounce from Lockjaw Davis' early recordings on the Lennox label. They feature Johnny Acea on piano.
I'm not surprised to see them on this album. I originally had them on numerous low budget labels under different names. The best was an album called "Kickin & Wailin" with Eddie Lockjaw Davis on Continental (which means Continental must have bought out some of the other labels before selling out to Plymouth/Royale).
Hope this didn't confuse things further.

boogiewoody said...

Wow Scott, I think we're diggin' deep here and the Hen Gates Mystery may yet be solved!

I've just been on my Windows Media Player, made a playlist of the Eddie Davis Lenox tracks from the Classics CD "Eddie Lockjaw Davis" 1946 - 1947" (8 in all) and lined them up against the Rock 'n' Roll album.

"Backbone" is "Minton's Madhouse" and "Look and Listen" is "Leapin' on Lenox."

Interestingly the CD booklet lists three "Lockjaw" Davis tracks recorded for Lenox as having their first release on the Remington group of labels:

"Huckle Bug" was released on Plymouth LP P12-115

"Music Goes Down Around" was released on Remington EP 75

"Lockjaw's Bounce" was released on Plymouth LP P12-122

Unfortunately the notes don't give the titles of the LPs or EP.

On the Hen Gates "Rock'n'Roll" LP "Look Out" and "Bear Walk" sound like they might be the same track! The Lockjaw Davis tracks for Lenox were recorded with small groups - some of the as yet unidentified tracks on "Rock 'n' Roll" were recorded with larger bands.

The "T.N.T" track is one hell of a boogie / guitar / sax workout! I wonder if any of this is a pointer towards the source(s) of the "Let's All Dance" tracks?

mojokilian said...

I can add another LP to the Hen Gates heap: Rock and Roll No. 2 on Plymouth P-12-149. Front and back cover are same as Rock and Roll 1, with four different titles mentioned on front, followed by "etc.". 7 of the 12 tracks are retitled tracks of the Masterseal LP. I can specify these if interested.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Mojokilian,

Rock 'N' Roll No. 2 is on the blog - check out the April 25th 2010 entry! Any help you can give with matching up the tracks to the Masterseal LP would be much appreciated.

Bob said...

Rapidshare link STILL working. Thanks God! (and Thank You! indeed)

boogiewoody said...

Sssshhhhh ... keep it a secret. Rapidshare keep sending messages for me to upgrade my account!

BabyHugZ said...

Could you please re-up this album as well as the other Hen Gates post? Yr blog is beyond amazing, thank you!

boogiewoody said...

Hi BabyHugz

There are 3 Hen Gates LPs which I'll re-up tomorrow.