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.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Varetta Dillard - Double Crossing Daddy





Side 1
1. Them There Eyes
2. Please Come Back To Me
3. Love And Wine
4. Double Crossing Daddy
5. I Love You Just The Same
6. Getting Ready For My Daddy
7. Love
8. (That's The Way) My Mind Is Working

Side 2
1. Send Me Some Money
2. You're The Answer To My Prayer
3. I Can't Stop Now
4. Got You On My Mind
5. Skinny Jimmy
6. One More Time
7. I Don't Know What It Is But I Like It
8. Scorched

There’s just time to squeeze in a last post for the year 2011. So here’s a 1984 Mr R&B compilation of Varetta Dillard sides: a mix of blues, ballads and the big beat!

In the early 1950s, a number of big voiced female R&B chanteuses followed in the wake of the great Dinah Washington. There was Ruth Brown, Big Maybelle, Marie Adams, Lavern Baker, Faye Adams and the subject of this post, Varetta Dillard. She was born in Harlem, New York, in 1933. A congenital bone disease left her with a disfigured leg and a lifelong limp but she dealt with these difficulties by throwing herself into a showbiz career, starting by entering local singing contests. She went on to win the prestigious Amateur Hour contest at the famed Apollo Theatre where she was spotted by Lee Magid who signed her to Savoy Records in 1951.

Her biggest hits for Savoy were “Easy, Easy Baby” (#8 R&B in 1952), “Mercy, Mr Percy” (#6 R&B in 1953) and a tribute to the late, great Johnny Ace – “Johnny Has Gone” (#6 R&B in early 1955). In 1956 she signed for the RCA subsidiary Groove, moving over to the main RCA label in 1957. Her contract was not renewed in 1958, and thereafter she had a few releases on Triumph and Cub, with her recording career ending in 1961.

Varetta’s forte was the big beat ballad, and there are some good examples on this excellent LP. “Love” is perhaps the pick of the bunch, with yours truly reaching for the whisky bottle (again!) when it blasts forth from the be bop wino music machine. “Double Crossing Daddy” is a more bluesy performance and just about worth the price of admission alone. “I Love You Just The Same” is another good weepy performance and “Getting Ready For My Daddy Tonight” (with the T.J. Fowler band) is a great sassy “let the good times roll” blaster. A lot of the Savoy material was recorded under the supervision of Leroy Kirkland and features top notch NYC session musicians.

I would go so far as to say there isn’t a weak track on the album. You can hear some of the tracks on the playlist featured below which also includes a couple of tracks not on the LP. The download includes good biographical notes by Glenn Slade. Varetta Dillard died in 1993.



Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

https://rapidshare.com/files/742308413/Double_Crossing_Daddy.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=HRPOSBK3

1. Them There Eyes
Recorded in New York on July 18th, 1952
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by unknown ts, bar, p, prob. Mickey Baker (g) unknown b and d
Released on Savoy 859

2. Please Come Back To Me
Recorded in New York on September 18th, 1951.
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Leroy Kirkland Orchestra: Nathaniel Allen, Emile De Villia (tb) George Kelly (ts) Sol Moore (bar) Fletcher Smith (p) Wally Richardson (g) Prince Babbs (b) Bobby Donaldson (d)
Released on Savoy 822

3. Love And Wine
Recorded in New York on September 18th, 1951.
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Leroy Kirkland Orchestra: Nathaniel Allen, Emile De Villia (tb) George Kelly (ts) Sol Moore (bar) Fletcher Smith (p) Wally Richardson (g) Prince Babbs (b) Bobby Donaldson (d)
Released on Savoy 822

4. Double Crossing Daddy
Recorded in New York on July 18th, 1952
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by unknown ts, bar, p, prob. Mickey Baker (g) unknown b and d
Released on Savoy 871

5. I Love You Just The Same
Recorded in New York on July 1st, 1953
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Buddy Tate's Orchestra: Bobby Johnson (tp) Buddy Tate (ts) Haywood Henry (bar) Skip Hall (p) unknown g, Carl Wilson (b) Billy Smith (d)
Released on Savoy 1107

6. Getting Ready For My Daddy
Recorded in Detroit on January 16th, 1953
Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by T.J. Fowler & his Orchestra: Dezie McCullers (tp) Frank Taylor (as) Walter Cox (ts) T.J. Fowler (p) Henry Ivory (b) Clarence Stamps (d)
Released on Savoy 884

7. Love
Recorded in New York on August 20th, 1954
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Leroy Kirkland Orchestra: unknown ts, bar, p, Mickey Baker (g) unknown b, prob. Bobby Donaldson (d)
Released on Savoy 1137

8. (That's The Way) My Mind Is Working
Recorded in New York on November 4th, 1953
Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Sam Taylor (ts) Haywood Henry (bar) Mal Waldron (p) Wally Richardson (g) John Williams Sr. (b) Bobby Donaldson (d) Leroy Kirkland (arr)
Released on Savoy 1118

9. Send Me Some Money
Recorded in New York on August 20th, 1954
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Leroy Kirkland Orchestra: unknown ts, bar, p, Mickey Baker (g) unknown b, prob. Bobby Donaldson (d)
Released on Savoy 1137

10. You're The Answer To My Prayer
Recorded in New York on May 3rd, 1955
Personnel: Varetta Dillard with The Roamers: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Jerome Richardson, Sam Taylor (ts) Budd Johnson (bar) Ernie Hayes (p) Mickey Baker (g) Milt Hinton (b) Dave Bailey (d) The Roamers (vcl group) Leroy Kirkland, Kelly Owens (arr)
Released on Savoy 1160

11. I Can't Stop Now
Recorded in New York on May 3rd, 1955
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by Jerome Richardson, Sam Taylor (ts) Budd Johnson (bar) Ernie Hayes (p) Mickey Baker (g) Milt Hinton (b) Dave Bailey (d) Leroy Kirkland, Kelly Owens (arr)
Released on Savoy 1166

12. Got You On My Mind
Recorded in New York on June 26th, 1956
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by King Curtis (ts) Haywood Henry (bar) George Berg (bassax) George Rhodes (p) Mickey Baker (g) Lloyd Trotman (b) Panama Francis (d) unknown (vcl group) Leroy Kirkland (arr)
Released on Groove 4G-0159

13. Skinny Jimmy
Recorded in New York on June 26th, 1956
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by King Curtis (ts) Haywood Henry (bar) George Berg (bassax) George Rhodes (p) Mickey Baker (g) Lloyd Trotman (b) Panama Francis (d) unknown (vcl group) Leroy Kirkland (arr)
Released on Groove 4G-0159

14. One More Time
Recorded in New York on October 23rd, 1956
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) acc. by King Curtis (ts) Belford Hendricks (p) Eddie Thomas (g) Russ Saunders (b) Panama Francis (d) The Nightcaps (vcl group) Ray Ellis (arr)
Released on Groove 4G-0177

15. I Don't Know What It Is But I Like It
Recorded in New York on March 7th, 1961
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) with unknown acc. incl. vcl chorus
Released on Cub 9091

16. Scorched
Recorded in New York on February 24th, 1959
Personnel: Varetta Dillard (vcl) with unknown acc.
Released on Triumph 608

Monday, 26 December 2011

Chess Doo-Wop





Side 1
1. White Cliffs Of Dover - The Bluejays
2. Darling I Know - The El-Rays
3. Shoo Doo Be Doo (My Loving Baby) - The Moonlighters
4. Newly Wed - The Orchids
5. Show Me The Way - The Five Notes
6. Give Me (A Simple Prayer) - The Ravens
7. Nadine - The Coronets
8. Ding Dong - The Quintones

Side 2
1. 4 O'Clock In The Morning - The Tornadoes
2. I Want To Love - The Sentimentals
3. Teardrops - Lee Andrews & The Hearts
4. Soft Shadows - The Monotones
5. I'm So Young - The Students
6. So Far Away - The Pastels
7. This Broken Heart - The Sonics
8. False Alarm - The Ravels

Ah, the age-old question - what becomes of the broken-hearted? Well, I’ll tell ya what becomes of the broken-hearted. First of all we (I mean THEY) pull out this old doo-wop comp from a pile of mouldering vinyl and slap side 2 down on the turntable. Then we (no, THEY) reach into the drinks cabinet for a bottle of the real hard yet mellow stuff. Twelve-year old Scotch single malt should do the trick. This isn’t a job for mere wine. Pouring ourselves (no, themselves) a more than generous dram with a wee sensation of water to release the flavour, we (oh, I give up) return to the turntable, glass and bottle in hand and drop the tone arm straight on to “4 O’Clock In The Morning” by the Tornadoes. “It’s four o’clock in the morning, where can my baby be?” pleads our lovelorn, two-timed sufferer. That sets the mood.

Now we’ve gotta remain on the floor by the hi-fi on turntable duty ‘cos we’re going to skip a few tracks here. ‘Scuse me while I take another sip. Forget The Sentimentals, they’re sub Frankie Lymon pre-pubescent strictly for the kids merchants, so just go straight to the phenomenal Lee Andrews & The Hearts. “I sit in my room looking out at the rain …” He’s thinking of a lost romance. I gotta pour me another one.

“Soft Shadows” by The Monotones is another pleader “I’m crying, my poor heart is dying … Please don’t leave me, don’t ever go …” Lord have mercy. “I’m So Young” by The Students is another slow, but it’s more kids stuff, so we’re gonna skip it and go straight to the coup de grace, two absolute killers if you’re feeling emotional, guaranteed to finish me (them, we, you, the bottle, what the hell) off for once and for all. “So Far Away” by The Pastels which reeks of soulful longing and then just when you think it can’t get any deeper you get hit by “This Broken Heart” by The Sonics. “But no other heart will love you like this broken heart of mine.” Too late, she’s gone off with another guy.

The bottle’s nearly empty and I’m face down on the carpet. Just gotta raise enough effort to push the tone arm past the final track by The Ravels as it doesn’t fit the mood. I guess that’s why God invented PCs, media players and playlists. You can stay in your armchair with the bottle by your side, have your selections on repeat play and listen to the same tracks hour after hour before passing out. And they’ll keep on playing …

Ripped from tearstained vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download the LP from here:

http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/D7eIfLem/file.html


Saturday, 24 December 2011

White Christmas - The Drifters featuring Clyde McPhatter and Bill Pinckney


 


Christmas has crept up on Be Bop Wino again, so there is nothing for it but to repost my favourite vocal group festive track - thanks to Joan K.

And of course we can't let Christmas go without reposting the link to the most popular of the Joan Selects collections - the Christmas Special.


Download from here: https://rapidshare.com/files/329639692/Joan_Selects_Volume_11.rar
Password = greaseyspoon

My thanks to all of you - contributors, commenters, followers, readers and email correspondents. It's you folks who really keep this show on the road. More rhythm and bluesin' goodies are in the pipeline so here's hoping we can all keep rockin' through what remains of 2011 and right through 2012.

Have a Merry Christmas, all of you out there on the hepcat internet.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Everything I Do Is Wrong / Don't You Want A Man Like Me - B.B. "Blues Boy" King And His Orchestra (RPM 411)



Both tracks recorded in Los Angeles in February / March 1954. Released on RPM 411 in June 1954.






We're back with another El Enmascarado "Blues on 78" post. Sound quality is a bit rough on these shellac rips but the Masked One has performed a minor miracle to fashion listenable mp3s, especially on "Don't You Want A Man Like Me" which had a persistent sticky on the disc surface. Over to the Masked One who has consented to address his adoring R&B public in between suffering horrendous defeats in the wrestling ring, usually at the hands of tag teams consisting of small shrieking girls:

Don't You Want a Man Like Me has a bit of the dreaded Victrola Tonearm syndrome, but I went with it. B.B.'s chords behind the tenor sax solo are interesting- on first listen I thought it was a steel guitar of some sort. Notice how much the band speeds up at 1:58 when they shift back to the Latin feel. You gotta love old school Everybody In The Room At Once-style recording!

"Don't You Want a Man Like Me" was a rerecording of a number first recorded by B.B. in 1951. The title harks back to Walter Brown's "Confessin' The Blues" recorded with the Jay McShann Orchestra in 1941. The line also occurs in another 1941 recording, "Take Me Back Baby" sung by Jimmy Rushing with the Count Basie Orchestra.

1954 was a good year for B.B. King. He had two big hits with "You Upset Me Baby" and "My Heart Beats Like a Hammer." This disc wasn't quite up there with the other two, but still sold well in some locations.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock Around The Clock EP (Brunswick OE 9250)





Side 1
1. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
2. Mambo Rock

Side 2
1. R-O-C-K
2. See You Later, Alligator

Download from here:

http://www10.zippyshare.com/v/RQhQygSC/file.html

Thanks again to donor Allan for contributing this Bill Haley EP which was released in the UK in June, 1956.

All 4 tracks were recorded at the Pythian Temple, New York City in 1954 – 55.

“Rock Around The Clock” was recorded on the 12th April, 1954. The Comets were:

Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar); Danny Cedrone (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Joey d'Ambrosio (tenor saxophone); Johnny Grande (piano); Marshall Lytle (double bass); Billy Gussak (drums)

“Mambo Rock” was recorded on the 5th January, 1955. The Comets were:

Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Joey d'Ambrosio (tenor saxophone); Johnny Grande (piano); Marshall Lytle (double bass); Cliff Leeman (drums)

Scan courtesy Joan K
“R-O-C-K” was recorded on the 22nd November, 1955. The Comets were:

Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Rudy Pompilli (tenor saxophone); Johnny Grande (piano); Al Rex (double bass); Cliff Leeman (drums)

“See You Later, Alligator” was recorded on the 12th December, 1955. The Comets were:

Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Rudy Pompilli (tenor saxophone); Johnny Grande (piano); Al Rex (double bass); Ralph Jones (drums)

Ripped from vinyl at 256 kbps.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Review: Wailin’ Daddy – The Best of Maxwell Davis (1949-1959)

Normally any CD reviews on Be Bop Wino are to be found at the end of posts on the artist or artists featured on the said CDs. However, this recent 3CD set released on Fantastic Voyage deserves its own post for 2 reasons – (1) it’s a superfine collection which fits right in with the kind of music so beloved of your blog host and many of the collaborators and followers of BBW and (2) it centres on an artist about whom I posted way, way back and therefore many blog followers would miss out if the review of “Wailin’ Daddy” were to be buried deep in the BBW archive.

Maxwell Davis is truly an Unsung Hero of Rock and Roll and the compiler of this set, Dave Penny, has set about rescuing his name from undeserved obscurity with the true fervour of an evangelist of rhythm and blues. For those of you who have missed out on the previous Maxwell Davis posts on Be Bop Wino and are wondering what all the fuss is about, he was one of the most important figures in the development of West Coast rhythm and blues in the 1940s and 1950s. He was an accomplished tenor sax player (listen to his brief but brilliant solo on “Safronia B” by Calvin Boze) but his importance really lies in his abilities as a bandleader, arranger, producer and song writer which saw him play a vital background role on many, many hit R&B records, especially a series of fantastic recordings by Amos Milburn, Percy Mayfield, Charles Brown, Peppermint Harris, and B.B. King.

He performed a role similar to that of Jesse Stone at Atlantic, Dave Bartholomew at Imperial and Willie Dixon at Chess. They were multi talented instrumentalists, songwriters, producers and arrangers who shaped the sound of post World War II Afro-American music, forging the new form of rhythm and blues and in its turn rock and roll. What makes Maxwell Davis different is that he worked for many labels in the Los Angeles area, most noticeably at Aladdin but also for Specialty and the Bihari brothers’ Modern / RPM set up. Those three are just the tip of the iceberg, for “Wailin’ Daddy” also includes recordings for Black & White, Pacific, 4Star, Excelsior, Capitol, Torch, Atomic, Down Beat, Miltone, Exclusive, Supreme, Swing Time, Imperial – I’ll just stop there, but there’s plenty more.

This mid price set covers his career from 1945 to 1959. CD1 (subtitled “Bluesville: The Best of Maxwell’s Singles) is a collection of recordings Maxwell made under his own name. Included are some of the poppy instrumentals he recorded at Aladdin in the 1950s, some of which you can find on this post, plus the harder hitting instrumentals he cut for Modern and RPM, some of which you can find on this post. There’s also a whole bunch of mid to late 1940s jump blues cuts from the likes of Black & White, 4Star, Swing Beat and Modern many of which have probably never been compiled on CD or vinyl.

The remaining two CDs follow Maxwell’s career as a producer / arranger through the 1940s and 1950s, being titled “Swingin’ An Echo: Blowin’ Through The ‘40s” and “Blow, Man, Blow: Rockin’ Through The ‘50s.”

Now it would have been the easiest thing in the world to throw together a collection of the big hits like “Bad, Bad Whiskey” or “Please Send Me Someone To Love” or “Black Night” or “You Upset Me Baby” but our indefatigable compiler has dug real, real deep to bring us a mix of the unexpected, the not so well known and the long forgotten. Sure the big names are there – on CD2 you get Lowell Fulson, Amos Milburn, Percy Mayfield, Lloyd Glenn and Jimmy Witherspoon among others, but there’s also Big Speed McDaniels, Felix Gross, Effie Smith, Mary De Pina and Geechie Smith. CD3 also has its share of well known names such as T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Floyd Dixon and Joe Liggins but you also get La Melle Prince, Rock Heart Johnson, The Cocoas, and Rusty McDonald. As for unexpected big names there’s Ray Anthony (on a version of “Blow Man Blow”) and June Christy.

With such a selection this 3CD set should appeal to both the long time R&B fan and the newbie. It’s not only a history lesson, it’s real fun to listen to with loads of jumpin’ and rockin’ goins on for you hepcats out there. Those short but always on-the-money sax breaks by Maxwell are simply superb with their big warm tone, and where required, buzz saw rasping. Give ‘em a big ending is a basic rule for compiling an R&B mix and the sequence on CD3 from track 24 through to track 30 certainly does that with blasters like “Flip Your Daddy” and “Hot Banana” guaranteed to fill the dance floor or at least get you bouncing round your living room.

In the UK “Wailin’ Daddy” should cost you about £12. Packaging is good with the discs coming in a digi box similar to those old Capitol Blues Collection sets. You get 89 tracks and a 20 page booklet with photos (including a basketball team featuring Charles Mingus and Maxwell Davis), label shots and the usual informative essay by Dave Penny. That’s pretty much a bargain. This is the first issue of a series called “The Architects of Rock ‘n Roll” which may well include more Be Bop Wino heroes. I’ll keep you posted.


Wailin' Daddy: The Best Of Maxwell Davis (Fantastic Voyage FVTD130)

See also these Maxwell Davis posts where you can grab some tracks and read some info:

Maxwell Davis - Father of West Coast R&B


Maxwell Davis And His Tenor Sax

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Rockin' And Rollin' / Peace Breaking People - Lil' Son Jackson (Imperial 5113)



Recorded on the 16th December, 1950, in Houston, Texas. Personnel: Lil' Son Jackson (vocal, guitar).






Blues on 78 is back with another El Enmascarado offering, ripped from the original 78 rpm shellac disc.

Released in March 1951, "Rockin' and Rollin'" was a territorial tip in Billboard for the Dallas area. Although it wasn't a big hit, this record became very influential, generating a good cover version by Jesse Allen in 1954 and various versions by Muddy Waters throughout the 1950s, including "I Want You To Love Me" in 1954 and "Rock Me" in 1956.

The best known version is probably "Rock Me, Baby" by B.B. King which was a hit in 1964. The relaxed but insistent beat also inspired several Slim Harpo recordings such as "I'm A King Bee" and of course Jimi Hendrix performed a 100 mph version at Monterey.

Billboard, May 5th, 1951
It's probable that Lil' Son Jackson had a 1944 recording of "Rock Me Mama" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup in mind when he composed "Rockin' and Rollin'. Anyway it's a great blues which has little to do with what we think of as rock and roll music but leaves us in little doubt as to what that phrase really meant.

With thanks once more to El Enmascarado.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock ‘N Roll EP (Brunswick OE 9214)





Side 1
1. Razzle Dazzle
2. Two Hound Dogs

Side 2
1. Burn That Candle
2. Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie

Download from:

http://www37.zippyshare.com/v/qJKeE2xG/file.html

With the help of generous contributor Allan we continue to rock and roll with Bill Haley And His Comets as we present the first of a series of original UK issue EPs.

“Rock ‘N Roll” was issued in June 1956 and was the second Bill Haley EP to be released in the UK, the first being “Dim, Dim The Lights” which was released in July 1955. The tracks on “Dim, Dim The Lights” were “Shake, Rattle And Roll,” “ABC Boogie,” “Happy Baby” and “Dim, Dim The Lights.”

The tracks on “Rock’N Roll” were split evenly between the two Comets line ups with “Two Hound Dogs” and “Razzle Dazzle” being recorded by The Comets Mark I which had Joey D’Ambrosio and Marshall Lytle who, along with road drummer Dick Richards left to form the Jodimars in September 1955.

Scan courtesy Joan K
“Rock a-Beatin’ Boogie” and “Burn That Candle” were recorded by the Mark II version of The Comets which included Rudy Pompilli on tenor sax and Al Rex on bass.

Two Hound Dogs and Razzle Dazzle were recorded at the Pythian Temple, New York, on the 10th of May 1955.

Personnel: Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar) ; Franny Beecher (lead guitar) ; Billy Williamson (steel guitar) ; Joey d'Ambrosio (tenor saxophone) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Marshall Lytle (double bass) ; Billy Gussak (drums)

Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie and Burn That Candle were recorded at the Pythian Temple, New York on the 22nd and 23rd of September 1955 respectively.

Personnel: Bill Haley (vocal & rhythm guitar) ; Franny Beecher (lead guitar) ; Billy Williamson (steel guitar) ; Rudy Pompilli (tenor saxophone) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Al Rex (double bass) ; Cliff Leeman (drums)

Ripped from vinyl at 360 kbps.

With thanks to Allan.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Swingin' Saxophones Volume 2



Side One
1. Breaking The Blues - James Moody
2. No Dues - Arnett Cobb
3. Cozy's Beat - Cozy Eggleston
4. Red Top - Gene Ammons
5. Serenade - Earl Bostic
6. Harlem Nocturne - Willis Jackson

Side Two
1. A La Carte - Roland Kirk
2. Groovin' - Illinois Jacquet
3. Fuzzy - Gene Ammons
4. Weary Blues - Illinois Jacquet
5. The Way You Look Tonight - Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
6. Triple Threat - Roland Kirk

At last, a follow-up to “Swingin’ Saxophones” on the mysterious Saarland based “Bop und Rhythm” label has arrived in my inbox. There was obviously a gap of a few years between the issues, with the second volume covering tracks recorded between 1950 and 1956, a period when the swing era was receding into the past, thus perhaps rendering the title of the LP somewhat anachronistic (translation – outta time).

Our compiler was obviously a fan of the “big hitters” of the saxophone and wasn’t too concerned about any differentiation between jazz and r&b. In fact you can dance to most of the tracks on here. Let’s call it juke box jazz. Not so much an album, more a state of mind.

There are no discographical details on the cover, but I’ve done a bit of research and listed the date of recording, personnel and original release of each track below. It’s obviously a bootleg, judging by the background noise on most tracks, but sound quality is good. Download and groove to these hiptastic vibes. Or just click your fingers by the virtual juke box.

Download from here:

http://www74.zippyshare.com/v/slCWkmsw/file.html

1. Breaking The Blues by James Moody was recorded in Chicago in November 1956. Personnel: Johnny Coles (tp); William Shepherd (tb); James Moody (ts); Numa "Pee Wee" Moore (bar); Jimmy Boyd (p); John Lathan (b); Clarence Johnson (d)
Originally released on Argo LP 603, “Flute ‘n’ the Blues.”

2. No Dues by Arnett Cobb was recorded in Chicago on February 17th 1956. Personnel: Ed Lewis (tp); Al Grey (tb); Arnett Cobb (ts); Harold Cumberbatch (bar,as); Lloyd Mayers (p); Jimmy Mobley (b); Al Jones (d)
Originally released on Vee-Jay 190.

3. Cozy's Beat by Cozy Eggleston was recorded in Chicago on August 23rd, 1952.
Personnel: Marie Eggleston (as); Cozy Eggleston (ts); Jimmy Boyd (p); Ellis Hunter (g); Curtis Ferguson (b) Chuck Williams (d)
Originally released on States 133.

4. Red Top by Gene Ammons was recorded in Chicago on April 15th, 1953.
Personnel: John Coles (tp); Lino Murray (tb); Gene Ammons (ts); Mack Easton (ts,bar); John Houston (p) unknown (g); Benny Stuberville (b); George Brown (d)
Originally released on United 149.

5. Serenade by Earl Bostic was recorded in New York on March 23rd, 1950.
Personnel: Earl Bostic (as); Count Hastings (ts); Gene Redd (vib); Clifton Smalls (p); Al Casey (g); Kester Betts (b); Joe Marshall (d)
Originally released on King 4369.

6. Harlem Nocturne by Willis Jackson was recorded in New York on July 9th, 1951.
Personnel: John H Russell (tp); Walter “Phatz” Morris (tb); Otis Sutton (as, bar); Willis Jackson (ts); Jimmy Evans (p); Leonard Swain (b); Emmanuel Sims (d)
Originally released on Atlantic 946.

7. A La Carte by Roland Kirk was recorded in New York on November 9th, 1956.
Personnel: Roland Kirk (ts); James Madison (p); Carl Pruitt (b); Henry Duncan (d)
Originally released on the King LP “Triple Threat”, King LP539

8. Groovin' by Illinois Jacquet was recorded in New York on May 24th, 1951.
Personnel: Illinois Jacquet (ts); Hank Jones (p); John Collins (g); Gene Ramey (b); Art Blakey (d)
Originally released on Clef 8968.

9. Fuzzy by Gene Ammons was recorded in Chicago on April 15th, 1953.
Personnel: John Coles (tp); Lino Murray (tb); Gene Ammons (ts); Mack Easton (ts,bar); John Houston (p) unknown (g); Benny Stuberville (b); George Brown (d)
Originally released on United 185.

10. Weary Blues by Illinois Jacquet was recorded in New York on May 24th, 1951.
Personnel: Illinois Jacquet (ts); Hank Jones (p); John Collins (g); Gene Ramey (b); Art Blakey (d)
Originally released on Clef 8968

11. The Way You Look Tonight by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis was recorded in Cincinnati on August 16th, 1955.
Personnel: Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (ts); Doc Bagby (org); Charlie Rice (d)
Originally released on King 4904.

12. Triple Threat by Roland Kirk was recorded in New York on November 9th, 1956.
Personnel: Roland Kirk (ts); James Madison (p); Carl Pruitt (b); Henry Duncan (d)
Originally released on the King LP “Triple Threat”, King LP539

Friday, 2 December 2011

See You Later, Alligator


US 78 rpm issue courtesy El Enmascarado

Listen to "Later For You Baby" by Guitar Slim, "Later Alligator" by Bobby Charles, and "See You Later, Alligator" by Bill Haley And His Comets:








“See You Later, Alligator” was a catch phrase which I remember my parents using back in the 1960s. No doubt they first heard it on the big selling Bill Haley record of that title.

The Haley opus was a cover of “Later, Alligator” a record released on Chess by a Cajun R&B singer, Bobby Charles (real name Robert Charles Guidry). He had recorded it in New Orleans in October 1955. In his turn Bobby Charles had no doubt been inspired by an earlier recording by Guitar Slim (real name Eddie Jones), entitled “Later For You Baby” which had been recorded in Chicago in April 1954 and released on Specialty.

Bill Haley (real name Bill Haley) And His Comets recorded “See You Later, Alligator” in New York on the 12th of December 1955. One other track was recorded at the session – “The Paper Boy (On Main Street, USA)” which became the B-side of “See You Later, Alligator.”

By now it was the second version of The Comets who were recording, Dick Richards, Joey D’Ambrosio and Marshall Lytle having left in September 1955 to form the Jodimars. The personnel on the record were: Bill Haley (vocal and rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax); Johnny Grande (piano); Al Rex (bass) and Ralph Jones (drums).

This was the second recording session for The Comets Mark II, their first session having been on the 22nd September 1955, when they recorded “R-O-C-K”, “Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie”, “The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Burn That Candle.”

US 45 rpm issue courtesy Joan K
“See You Later, Alligator” entered the US pop charts on the 14th January, 1956, where it spent a total of 15 weeks, peaking at number 6. This was Bill Haley’s last top ten hit in the USA, with only “R-O-C-K” / “The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll” subsequently getting in to the US top twenty in July 1956.

In the UK “See You Later, Alligator” charted twice, reaching number 7 in March 1956, and number 12 in September 1956. Bill Haley records continued to sell strongly in the UK through 1956 and into 1957. “The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Rockin’ Through The Rye”, a reissue of “Rock Around The Clock” and “Rip It Up” all made it into the UK top ten in 1956, and “Razzle Dazzle” made it to number 13. “Don’t Knock The Rock” reached number 7 in February 1957, but this was Bill Haley’s last UK hit of the 1950s. “Rock Around The Clock” made it to the top twenty when it was re-issued in 1968 and again in 1974.

With thanks to Joan and El Enmascarado for their scans.

The tracks featured in this post are available on this homemade comp which covers the influences on "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" as well as "See You Later, Alligator":


Tracklist:
01. Around The Clock Part 1 - Wynonie Harris
02. Around The Clock Part 1 - Big Vernon
03. Rock Around The Clock - Sonny Dae & His Knights
04. Move It On Over - Hank Williams
05. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley And His Comets
06. Thirteen Women And One Man - Dickie Thompson
07. Thirteen Women - Bill Haley And His Comets
08. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Joe Turner and his Blues Kings
09. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Bill Haley And His Comets
10. Later For You Baby - Guitar Slim
11. Later Alligator - Bobby Charles
12. See You Later, Alligator - Bill Haley And His Comets

Download from here:



Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rock Around The Clock



UK 45 rpm issue of Thirteen Women / Rock Around The Clock
Rock Around The Clock, or To The Pythian Temple. Or how Bill Haley finally achieved rock and roll immortality. Or, as Little Richard was wont to say, “He got what he wanted, but he lost what he had.”

Listen to "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" and "Thirteen Women":





In “Destination Rock And Roll!” we had a look at how Bill Haley And His Comets evolved from a country band into a rock and roll band while recording for the Philadelphia based Holiday and Essex labels owned by Dave Miller. Having scored a hit on the national pop chart with “Crazy Man, Crazy” in May of 1953, the band’s further releases on Essex failed to match this unexpected success and in the spring of 1954 Bill and the boys signed for Decca after their contract with Miller had lapsed.

And so we arrive at the Pythian Temple in New York City. This imposing art deco building was the headquarters of the New York chapters of the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order bearing similarities to the Freemasons. We shall ignore, if that is possible, the honeycomb of hidden chambers in which secret and no doubt dreadful ceremonies took place and pass further in to the building to a ballroom in which Decca had installed a recording facility in the 1940s.

And there, on the 24th April, 1954, Milt Gabler, who had produced many Louis Jordan hits at the same venue in the 1940s, awaited Bill Haley And His Comets who were due for their first Decca recording session. Two songs were lined up: the A-Side was to be a cover of a minor R&B novelty “Thirteen Women And One Man” which had been written and recorded by Dickie Thompson. Released on Herald in March, 1954, the song had been the subject of a radio ban due to unfortunate implications in the lyrics. The less than pure of mind may have concluded that the song was a description of a sportin’ dude living off the earnings of a group of affectionate ladies but it is unlikely that this was the intention of the songwriter.

However, Milt Gabler had taken the precaution of rewriting the lyrics to give the one guy and a load of dames scenario a new and more innocent context – they were now the happy survivors of a nuclear holocaust. And anyway the whole thing was a dream.

The B-Side was to be “Rock around The Clock,” a number which had been part of the Comet’s live repertoire since the summer of 1953. Co-credited to Max Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight (real name Jimmy Myers), “Rock Around The Clock” borrowed the melody of Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over” and allied it to lyrics on a theme that had emerged in R&B a few years back – round the clock jivin’ (in the shape of dancing or romancing) – especially in various versions of “Around The Clock Blues” recorded by Jimmy Rushing, Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner. Let’s be honest here - these guys weren’t singing about dancing, but Bill Haley was.

Unfortunately, the Comets had been unable to record “Rock Around The Clock” owing to a dispute between Essex Records owner Dave Miller and the song’s co-writer Jimmy Myers. Thus the first recording of the song was by another Philadelphia based combo, Sonny Dae and His Knights, on a small local label, Arcade Records.

The Comets’ move from Essex to Decca cleared the way for them to finally make their own recording of “Rock Around The Clock.” The personnel who arrived somewhat belatedly at the Pythian Temple (due to a ferry breakdown) to record what would eventually become the number which most people now think of as THE 1950’s rock and roll hit were the Comets regular line up of: Bill Haley (vocals, guitar), Joey D’Ambrosio (tenor sax), Johnny Grande (piano), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Marshall Lytle (bass) and Dick Richards (drums). Danny Cedrone, who had played on earlier recording sessions with the band, was drafted in once more to play lead guitar. Dick Richards made way for session drummer Billy Gussak but stuck around to help familiarise the session man with Haley’s preferred drum parts on “Rock Around The Clock.”

Not being part of the regular Comets line up, Danny Cedrone was unfamiliar with “Rock Around The Clock.” As the session was somewhat rushed, he had no time to work out a new solo part, but opted to reproduce note for note the solo he had recorded on Haley’s cover of “Rock the Joint” a couple of years back, this time to even more brilliant effect.

1954 US release of "Rock Around The Clock"
Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town) / (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock (Decca 29124) was released in May 1954. It quickly became obvious from deejay plays and retail re-orders that “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” was the side that people preferred and so Decca quickly switched to promoting it as the de facto A-Side. But it was to no avail, for despite strong sales in some locations, the record peaked at number 23 in the national pop chart at the end of May and then rapidly dropped out of sight.


A few months later Bill Haley And His Comets finally got that follow up hit to “Crazy Man, Crazy” when their cover version of Big Joe Turner’s R&B hit “Shake, Rattle And Roll” crashed into the pop charts in August 1954, reaching number 7. Towards the end of the year the record reached number 4 in the UK pop charts, spending 14 weeks in the Hit Parade. A quick follow up UK release of “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” was much less successful, reaching number 17 and only spending 2 weeks in the chart in January 1955.

“Shake, Rattle And Roll” was recorded on the 7th June 1954 at the Pythian Temple with the same personnel as the “Rock Around The Clock” session with the exception of session drummer Billy Gussak, who was replaced by Panama Francis. Tragically one of the musicians didn’t live to see the success of the record. On 17th July 1954 guitarist Danny Cedrone was killed in a bizarre accident when he fell down the stairs of a Philadelphia restaurant where he had gone to buy his wife a sandwich.

The credited composer of the original version of “Shake, Rattle And Roll” which had been an R&B hit for Big Joe Turner in April 1954 was Charles Calhoun, a pseudonym for Atlantic Records producer Jesse Stone. The song consisted of a series of standard and at times raunchy blues verses of the kind which Big Joe had been belting out since his barroom bawling days in Kansas City way back in the 1930s.


For the Bill Haley release some of the raunchier lines were dropped. Stuff like “Wearing low dresses, the sun comes shining through … I can’t believe all that mess belongs to you” and “Over the hill, way down underneath … you make me grit my teeth” was dropped in favour of much more innocuous lines – have a listen for yourselves. Yet somehow the most graphic line of all was left in – “I’m a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a seafood store.” Rock and roll historians usually say that the line survived because no-one at the Comets session understood it. I prefer to think that it was left in because Bill Haley was a one eyed cat – thanks to botched eye surgery when he was a kid.


In the meantime “Rock Around The Clock” was on the first Bill Haley LP and EP which were released in late 1954. The next single release, “Dim, Dim The Lights” entered the US pop charts in November 1954, reached number 11 and spent 15 weeks in the charts. In the spring of 1955 the two sided hit “Mambo Rock” / “Birth Of The Boogie” was less successful, with the bigger seller of the two, “Mambo Rock,” reaching number 17 and spending only 8 weeks in the chart. However in May 1955, more than a year after being recorded, “Rock Around The Clock” was back and it was an enormous hit.

1955 US re-issue of Rock Around The Clock
The factor which caused such a dramatic turn around in the disc’s fortunes was of course its inclusion in the soundtrack of the film “Blackboard Jungle,” a hard hitting expose of conditions in an inner city school. Well, I assume it was hard hitting, but I’ve never actually seen it. Whatever may be the case, the combination of juvenile delinquents and rock and roll proved irresistible to teenage audiences. The record re-entered the Billboard pop chart on the 14th of May 1955 where it spent 24 weeks, 8 of them at number one. In the UK “Rock Around The Clock” re-entered the pop chart in October 1955 reaching number one by November and staying in the chart for a total of 17 weeks. By this time the Comets line-up which had recorded “Rock around The Clock” was no more.

By September 1955 The Comets not only had two million selling records to their name, they were playing to huge audiences in big venues. The money was pouring in, but now the financial structure of the band caused an inevitable break up. As mentioned in “Destination Rock And Roll,” The Comets consisted of four business partners and the rest were salaried employees. The partners who shared in the financial good fortune were Bill Haley, Billy Williamson, Johnny Grande and manager Lord Jim Ferguson. The other members of the band – Joey D’Ambrosio, Dick Richards and Marshall Lytle were on salary and even after the band hit the big time no proportionate salary increase was forthcoming. This was particularly hard on Marshall Lytle who had been in the band since they were The Saddlemen.

The three non- partners left The Comets and formed a new band, The Jodimars (JOey, DIck, MARShall), which immediately secured a contract with Capitol Records. Bill Haley, Johnny Grande, Billy Williamson and recently recruited lead guitarist Franny Beecher remained as The Comets. Tenor sax player Rudy Pompilli, bass player Al Rex (who had been in The Saddlemen before Marshall Lytle) and drummer Ralph Jones were recruited to replace the departees.

The Comets story continues in a series of upcoming posts, thanks to a generous donor of EPs. I promise less words and more music. Honest injun. In the meantime you can hear many of the tracks mentioned in this post by downloading this homemade comp:


Tracklist:

01. Around The Clock Part 1 - Wynonie Harris
02. Around The Clock Part 1 - Big Vernon
03. Rock Around The Clock - Sonny Dae & His Knights
04. Move It On Over - Hank Williams
05. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley And His Comets
06. Thirteen Women And One Man - Dickie Thompson
07. Thirteen Women - Bill Haley And His Comets
08. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Joe Turner and his Blues Kings
09. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Bill Haley And His Comets
10. Later For You Baby - Guitar Slim
11. Later Alligator - Bobby Charles
12. See You Later, Alligator - Bill Haley And His Comets

Download from here:



Thanks to Joan K for the US scans and the Lawson Family for the UK scans.

It’s already been recommended, but here it is again – a book which every fan of early rock and roll needs to have:

“Rock Around The Clock” by Jim Dawson. It was the main source of info for this post, along with “The Billboard Book of USA Top 40 Hits”, “The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles” (New Musical Express charts), “The Top Twenty Book: Thirty Years of Hits” compiled by Tony Jasper (Music Week charts) and last but far from least, Chris Gardner’s Bill Haley Database.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blues on 78 - the album!



By popular demand - the seven shellac 78 rpm discs sent in by El Enmascarado have now been collected into LP form for downloading, complete with album art! As well as the music in mp3 format, the download contains a folder of the label shots of each side. Carefully programmed for your listening pleasure, this virtual LP will delight both the discerning connoisseur and the drink sodden. It's been played continuously on my Windows Media Player (with cross fading switched on) for the last week.

Track details are on the blog posts for each disc, so go copy and paste. Let's just sum up the "album" as a cornucopia of "real" blues, a style which was an important ingredient in the R&B scene of the 1940s and 1950s.

El Enmascarado has supplied enough shellac rips for a second volume of "Blues on 78" but before we embark on another blues session we have a rendezvous at the Pythian Temple ...

Side One
1. Rockin' With Red - Piano Red
2. Possum Hunt - Smokey Hogg
3. Off The Wall - Little Walter
4. Don't Start Me Talking - Sonny Boy Williamson
5. Boogie Chillen' - John Lee Hooker
6. Honey Honey Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins
7. Walking The Blues - Willie Dixon

Side Two
1. If You're Mine - Willie Dixon
2. Tell Me Mama - Little Walter
3. Sally Mae - John Lee Hooker
4. Moonrise Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins
5. Red's Boogie - Piano Red
6. Let's Get Together And Drink Some Gin - Smokey Hogg
7. All My Love In Vain - Sonny Boy Williamson

Ripped from shellac at 128 kbps by El Enmascarado

Download from here:

http://www12.zippyshare.com/v/thsW6mgP/file.html

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Let's Get Together And Drink Some Gin / Possum Hunt - Smokey Hogg (Modern 20-783)








Recorded in Los Angeles on July 18th, 1950. Personnel: Smokey Hogg (vocal and guitar); Dorothy Broyles (piano); Bill Davis (bass); Edward Hall (drums).

Released in December 1950. The Billboard review on the 9th December 1950 was less than enthusiastic: "Hogg does a so-so southern shout blues in slow tempo. Melody is in the "How Long" vein, lyric not especially strong."

However there was a much more enthusiastic review for the B-side, "Possum Hunt": "Romping boogie blues in the old tradition. Material is real southern back country stuff, honest and earthy. Hogg and combo do a zestful, happy job."

Billboard, December 9th, 1950
Fans of Young Jessie will recognise that "Possum Hunt" is the same song as "Rabbit On A Log" which was released by The Hunters on Flair in 1953. The country blues song was transformed into a frantic R&B rocker with stand out vocals by Richard Berry and Young Jessie, plus yelping hound dog sound effects and disorderly yelling by the rest of the group. It's hard to imagine a more different interpretation of the song which Smokey Hogg performs here.

Modern 20-783 didn't make any chart noise although "Possum Hunt" was a territorial tip in Atlanta in the January 27th 1951 edition of Billboard. In February 1951 Smokey left Modern and signed up with Mercury Records.

And with this disc my bluesin' and boozin' friends, we come to the end of the first round of El Enmascarado's "Blues On 78." I hope you've enjoyed these sounds as much as I have. Many thanks, oh masked one!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Honey Honey Blues / Moonrise Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins (Aladdin 3077)








Both sides were recorded in Houston, Texas, in February 1948. This single was released in February 1951.

This is another in the "Blues on 78" series where we showcase rips from original shellac 78 rpm discs provided by El Enmascarado, and this time we're really going "down home." These sides are probably the rootsiest sounds to hit the blog so far. Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins' musical career began in the 1920s with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander. In 1946 he was discovered by Lola Anne Cullum who got him signed to Aladdin Records out in LA - she had already scouted Amos Milburn for the same label.

Although Lightnin's style harked back to the rough country blues of the 20s and 30s, he had a series of entries in the R&B charts in the late 1940s and early 1950s for Aladdin, Modern, Gold Star and Sittin' In With. This disc didn't chart, but it's a belter - with "Moonrise Blues" being an especially powerful doom-laden performance.

Says El Enmascarado: "A listen to the lyrics of Moonrise Blues makes it easy to guess that the song Bad Moon Rising "borrows" from it. It's one of the darkest Lightning Hopkins songs I can remember. He must have had a big fight with his girlfriend before leaving for the studio."

By way of contrast, "Honey Honey Blues" is an attractive little pleader with lovely guitar playing. There's more Lightnin' coming up in the series, so keep looking in on Be Bop Wino, the blog where the blues reigns!