At the next recording session on October 1st, 1949, Amos was backed by the real Chicken-Shackers, his road band, which featured a much heavier sax sound thanks to two tenor saxes and a baritone sax. Five sides were recorded: "Bow Wow," and "Let's Make Christmas Merry Baby," both released on Aladdin 3037, "Drifting Blues," and "Real Pretty Mama," both released on Aladdin 3038 and "Untitled Boogie," which remained unreleased until Capitol issued the 3 CD set "Blues, Barrelhouse and Boogie Woogie" in 1996.
The Aladdin Chicken-Shackers on this session were: Don Wilkerson and Willie Smith (tenor saxes), Willie Simpson, Jr. (baritone sax), Amos Milburn (piano, vocal), Johnny Brown (guitar), Harper Cosby (bass) and Calvin Vaughan (drums).
Amos recorded with this line-up until April 1951, occasionally alternating with Maxwell Davis led studio groups. "Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby" is a fine piece of festive filth or seasonal sleaze which is rooted in "Merry Christmas Baby" - a 1947 hit for Charles Brown with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. "Bow Wow" is a good instrumental workout, although one cannot help but feel that it is a bit of "filler" for the B Side of the intended Christmas hit.
With thanks to El Enmascarado for his heroic efforts in creating a listenable rip from "Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby" which was in very poor condition with scratches, a crack and a chewed up spindle hole.
Sources: liner notes by Mark Humphrey from the Capitol 3CD set "Blues, Barrelhouse and Boogie Woogie: The Best Of Amos Milburn, 1946-1955", and Billboard Magazine which is available free via Google Books.
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