Attention Mac Users!

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

1. Use The Unarchiver - www.theunarchiver.com - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - http://www.kekaosx.com/en/ - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Rockin' in Munich

It's time for Be Bop Wino to take a short break from bringing you the best of boppin' and bluesin' for movin' and groovin'. I'm off for a little trip to Munich. Should any Bavarian hipsters happen to notice a cool cat in a retro Scotland football shirt flitting through the streets, beer gardens and pubs of your wonderful city this weekend, that'll be me.

I'll be back with more rhythm delights sometime next week. In the meantime here's a little T-Bone Walker to tide you over - "T-Bone Jumps Again" on Black and White Records. Ripped from vinyl, as ever.



Sunday, 13 June 2010

Plas Johnson - Rockin' With The Plas


Side 1
1. Hoppin' Mad
2. Blow your Blues away
3. Popcorn
4. Downstairs
5. The Loop
6. Swanee River Rock
7. The Big Twist

Side 2
1. Little Rockin' Deacon
2. You Send Me
3. Robin's Nest Cha Cha
4. Plas Jazz
5. Come Rain or Come Shine
6. Dinah
7. Everyone Knows

Now listen up you be bop winos! Big Al (The Bloggers’ Pal) has sent in another tenor sax vinyl gem – a 1980s French Pathe Marconi comp of Plas Johnson’s Capitol singles.

Maybe you haven’t heard of him, but you certainly have heard him. How about these: Shuffle In the Gravel by Young Jessie; Stranded In The Jungle by The Cadets; Girl Of My Dreams by Jesse Belvin; Searchin’ by The Coasters; Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day; Bony Moronie by Larry Williams; Teenage Heaven by Eddie Cochran; Say Mama by Gene Vincent; and a myriad of tracks by Duane Eddy, Ernie Fields, The Piltdown Men, Sandy Nelson, The Ernie Freeman Combo, Johnny Otis, The Marketts, The Routers, The Olympics, and Don & Dewey. And that’s just scraping the surface of the output of Plas Johnson, LA session man extraordinaire.

And if you ain’t no fan of rock and roll or R&B, you’ve STILL heard him on The Pink Panther Theme or The Odd Couple Theme. Plas Johnson’s sax stylings have been ubiquitous on countless pop, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz and film soundtrack recordings emanating from the recording studios of Los Angeles, especially those of Capitol, Imperial and Liberty.

Plas was born in 1931 in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. In the late 1940s, along with his pianist brother Ray, he formed a band called the Johnson Brothers Combo which played around New Orleans and recorded a single for DeLuxe in 1949, “Our Boogie” b / w “Mellow Mama.” Plas went on the road with the Charles Brown Band, and then had a spell in the armed forces.

After completing his service he moved to Los Angeles along with his brother Ray, and around 1955 -56 the brothers were recording with drummer George Jenkins (once of the Buddy Johnson Orchestra back in the day) for the Tampa label. Some of these recordings were issued on an LP credited to Jenkins, “Drum Magic,” while others appeared on an LP credited to Plas, “Bop Me Daddy.”

Big Al also sent in “Bop Me Daddy” but a quick check showed that, unbelievably, this obscure 8 track LP is available as an Amazon mp3 download. One track from the album, “Dungaree Hop” is on the blog post “Original Rhythm ‘N Blues.” If you want to hear the rest of the tracks though, I’m afraid you’ll have to get yourselves over to Amazon. It’s a good LP of gutsy, swingin’ small combo R&B instrumentals. The moody “Last Call,” a Plas composition, is a stand out track. Striptease jazz at its finest. Below you’ll find Big Al’s front and back cover scans of “Bop Me Daddy,” which I’ve included in the download


In 1957 Plas took a break from recording on other people’s discs and laid down a bunch of sides for Capitol, all of which were released as singles and which didn’t make it to LP until Pathe Marconi issued this set. The musicians on these sides were mainly those with whom Plas was recording as a session man – Earl Palmer and Ray Martinez on drums, Irving Ashby, Rene Hall and Bill Pitman on guitar, Ernie Freeman and Ray Johnson on piano and Red Callender on bass. The sound is rather different from the R&B of “Bop Me Daddy.” It’s a mix of what we nowadays call space age pop, lounge, jazz noir, striptease jazz, anything but rock and roll or rhythm and blues. We’re talking mainly background music to that sophisticated cocktail party in your space age bachelor pad.

But do not despair, there’s some great stuff here. Striptease jazz gets covered in the bump ‘n’ grind of “The Big Twist” (swing those tassles, baby!); “Downstairs” is a tremendously tense piece just begging to be played over the opening credits of a late 50s / early 60s TV crime series; its B-Side “The Loop” is a good wailin’ stomper; “Blow Your Blues Away” is another little gem with Plas wailing through a girlie vocal chorus. Now let’s be honest, there is a pop sensibility to a lot of the stuff here, with catchy little hooks and vocal choruses. It’s of its time, but the instrumentalists do get to show off tremendous technique, and all in all it’s an enjoyable listening experience.

In 1958, Plas played flute on an LP for Score, simply titled “Plas Johnson.” In 1959 and 1960, Capitol released two LPs by Plas – “That Must Be The Plas!” and “Mood For The Blues.” In 1963 Charter released two LPs featuring Plas under the pseudonym Johnny Beecher and in 1964 came the Capitol single of The Pink Panther Theme. Through all this and up to the present day Plas continued his session work, including backing Marvin Gaye and Rod Stewart. The website at plasjohnson.com brings you up to date on this fine and still very much active musician. Of course such modernity is beyond the scope of this blog because on Be Bop Wino the 1960s haven’t happened yet.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

http://www16.zippyshare.com/v/RgUThBP6/file.html


Tracklist:

1. Hoppin' Mad
2. Blow your Blues away
3. Popcorn
4. Downstairs
5. The Loop
6. Swanee River Rock
7. The Big Twist
8. Little Rockin' Deacon
9. You Send Me
10. Robin's Nest Cha Cha
11. Plas Jazz
12. Come Rain or Come Shine
13. Dinah
14. Everyone Knows

Recommended purchases:

On Amazon download the mp3 album “Bop Me Daddy.” Rousing stuff.


I had a look through my CDs and found that I had three which feature loads of Plas and here they are:


Sandy Nelson – Rock’N’Roll Drumbeat, Ace CDCHD 586 – tenor sax duties split with Jackie Kelso, once of Roy Milton’s Solid Senders.


Ernie Freeman Combo – Raunchy, Ace CDCHD 659 – good R&B instros


The Piltdown Men Ride Again, Ace CDCHD 681 – includes tracks by Ernie Fields, Billy May and Earl Palmer (Drum Village).

Thank you, Big Al!

Listen to Plas (Downstairs):

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Big Jay McNeely - The Best Of Big Jay McNeely
















































































































Side A
1. Barrelhouse Stomp
2. Deacon's Hop
3. All That Wine Is Gone
4. Deacon Blows For Ray
5. Tall, Brown Woman
6. The Goof
7. Big Jay Shuffle
8. Nervous Man Nervous
9. Hometown Jamboree

Side B
1. 3-D
2. Teen Age Hop
3. Let's Work
4. Striptease Swing
5. Beachcomber
6. Big Jay's Hop
7. Jay's Rock
8. There Is Something On Your Mind
9. Flying Home

Big Jay! Not only is he still with us, he’s still sending audiences wild with his tear-the-paper-off-the-walls saxophonic screeching. This 1985 career spanning Mr R&B compilation LP contains plenty of what were once called “pyrotechnics” but there’s also enough variety in the material to show that there has always been more to Big Jay’s music than 100mph squealing.

The Federal sides occupy a large part of the LP. These include some of the wildest recordings ever put on wax, such as “The Goof” and “3D” but the more relaxed “Big Jay Shuffle” with Big Jay on baritone sax for once, is a nice contrast. UK fans will recognise this as the closing theme to Mark Lamarr’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll” show on BBC Radio2. The opening theme, “Nervous Man Nervous” is also on this collection. “The Goof” was the first Big Jay track I ever heard. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Here’s a couple of Federal EP covers from Joan:



Here’s a quick track-by track guide to this marvellous LP:

Barrelhouse Stomp – Big Jay solos on Johnny Otis Orchestra track, Excelsior 1947.

Deacon’s Hop – the track that made Big Jay a star – Savoy 1948.

All That Wine Is Gone – recorded for Imperial 1950, lead vocal by Jesse Belvin.

Deacon Blows For Ray and Tall, Brown Woman (vocal by Marvin Phillips) – 2 more Imperial tracks, 1951 (poor sound quality).

Hometown Jamboree and Teen Age Hop – released on Bayou in 1953, these 2 tracks are Imperial recordings from 1951 with overdubbed crowd noise.

The Goof, Big Jay Shuffle, Nervous Man Nervous, 3D, Let’s Work, Striptease Swing and Beachcomber – recorded for Federal 1952-1954.

Big Jay’s Hop and Jay’s Rock – recorded for Vee-Jay 1955.

There Is Something On Your Mind (vocal by Little Sonny Warner) recorded in Seattle and released on Hunter Hancock’s Swingin’ label, 1958. A huge R&B and pop hit.

Flying Home – powerhouse rendition of the Lionel Hampton classic. Recorded in Seattle, 1958. Unreleased.

Ripped from vinyl at a honking 320 kbps.

Download from here:

http://www24.zippyshare.com/v/42177317/file.html


1. Barrelhouse Stomp
2. Deacon's Hop
3. All That Wine Is Gone
4. Deacon Blows For Ray
5. Tall, Brown Woman
6. The Goof
7. Big Jay Shuffle
8. Nervous Man Nervous
9. Hometown Jamboree
10. 3-D
11. Teen Age Hop
12. Let's Work
13. Striptease Swing
14. Beachcomber
15. Big Jay's Hop
16. Jay's Rock
17. There Is Something On Your Mind
18. Flying Home

Recommended purchases:



Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely and the Rise of the Honking Tenor Sax! (Big Nickel, 1994). Jim Dawson’s biography of Big Jay with sections on Jack McVea, Joe Houston, Chuck Higgins and Gil Bernal. Excellent account of the LA R&B scene and the rise and demise of the tenor sax as the leading instrument in R&B and rock and roll. A must buy for R&B fans. See link on sidebar (in Sites for Hep Cats) to Jim Dawson’s books.



CeeDees: there are two volumes of Big Jay available in the Chronological Classics series – 1951-1952 and 1953-1955. That gives you all the Imperial, Federal, Bayou and Vee Jay sides. A Classics CD of Big Jay’s 1940s sides for Savoy, Exclusive and Aladdin has long been out of print.



Swingin’ – Golden Classics has the sides recorded for Hunter Hancock’s label, including “There is Something on your Mind.”

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Smiley Lewis - I Hear You Knocking (Imperial LP 9141)


Side A
1. The Bells Are Ringing
2. Standing On The Corner
3. Blue Monday
4. Down the Road
5. Lost Week End
6. Real Gone Lover

Side B
1. Bumpity Bump
2. I Hear You Knockin'
3. I Can't Believe It
4. Hey Girl
5. One Night
6. Nothing But The Blues

Joan keeps our New Orleans vibe going with this 1961 Imperial retrospective LP. This time it’s the 1950’s sides of Smiley Lewis which get the treatment, and the cover art is slightly reminiscent of the Jesse Allen LP on the previous post. This is a reconstruction of the original LP, with all tracks sourced from vinyl.

Smiley’s career was outlined on the “Caldonia’s Party” post. It was a tale of talent not reaping its just rewards, for Smiley’s best records were overshadowed by cover versions by Gale Storm, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley. Even the title track was a big hit in the UK for Dave Edmunds around 1970, but at least it drew the attention of the public (including me) to the great Smiley.

The music on this twelve track LP is absolutely prime New Orleans R&B, recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M studio with bands mostly led by Dave Bartholomew and featuring a supporting cast which includes Fats Domino, Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty, Huey Smith and Earl Palmer. Although Smiley never quite achieved the success his talent deserved, we can enjoy this taste of his glory years from 1952 – 1956 thanks to Joan.

Ripped from vinyl at 128 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/394190219/I_Hear_You_Knocking.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1TV6IUV5

1. The Bells Are Ringing
2. Standing On The Corner
3. Blue Monday
4. Down the Road
5. Lost Week End
6. Real Gone Lover
7. Bumpity Bump
8. I Hear You Knockin'
9. I Can't Believe It
10. Hey Girl
11. One Night
12. Nothing But The Blues

There are two good Smiley collections currently available on Revola and Bear Family. See the recommended purchases section in the "Caldonia’s Party" post.

And lastly here are label scans of three Smiley singles (included in the download) courtesy of Joan, of course!