Sunday, 30 December 2012

Bill Ramal – Screamin’ Saxes (MGM E/SE 4051)

 
 
 
 
 
Side 1
1. Hand Clappin'
2. Hard Times
3. Cloudburst
4. Walkin' With Mr Lee
5. Em-Bee
6. Ichi-Ban

Side 2
1. Back Street
2. Castle Rock
3. Blow Your Horn
4. Sting Ray
5. Honky Tonk
6. Hot Rod

Here’s something that differs from the usual Be Bop Wino fare. It’s not quite the usual cool R&B / Jazz / Rock ‘n’ Roll that I like to think is the staple diet of this august blog. The album title, the front cover art, the track list, it all looks right and yet it’s kind of “off kilter.” There’s positively lurid use of stereo separation as the tenor saxes of Bill Ramal and big band veteran Georgie Auld tear through 12 honking sax instros but the feeling I get from listening to this set is that it consists of R&B by the numbers, or ersatz R&B.

“Screamin’ Saxes” was released in 1962. The sleeve notes assure us that the sounds contained therein are “… big and driving and new; this sound of the 60s.” In fact it’s a compilation of cover versions of 1950s R&B honking sax juke box hits, plus 3 original compositions by Bill Ramal: “Em-Bee”, “Ichi-Ban” and “Sting Ray.”

The cover versions are – “Hand Clappin’” and “Blow Your Horn” both originally by Red Prysock, “Hard Times” by Noble Watts, “Cloudburst” by “Claude Cloud and his Thunderclaps" (really the Leroy Kirkland band with Sam “The Man” Taylor on tenor sax), Lee Allen’s “Walkin’ With Mr. Lee”, Eddie Chamblee’s “Back Street”, “Castle Rock” by Johnny Hodges (Al Sears on tenor sax),” Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett (Clifford Scott on tenor sax) and “Hot Rod” by Hal Singer.
 
 
There’s an interesting post on Bill Ramal at the Ill Folks blog. He was a saxophone player and arranger who worked with Del Shannon and Johnny And The Hurricanes. He also arranged and composed novelty records with Dickie Goodman. The Ill Folks post has a sound sample from Ramal’s 1963 LP “Young America Dances To TV’s Greatest Themes.”

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:


Or here:


The password on the rapidshare download is greaseyspoon. There is no password on the mediafire download.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Joan Selects - Volume 11 - A Doo Wop Christmas

 

'Tis that time of year again, when we try to hold back Time's inexorable advance by losing ourselves in Joan's classic comp from way back when - "A Doo Wop Christmas." Weepers and rockers with a festive theme, chiming bells, wailin' saxes, plaintive lyrics, crazy lyrics, lovelorn teenagers, lovelorn adults who have been around the block a few times, sentimentality and exploitation all mixed in a gumbo that can only be called rock and roll.

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/329639692/Joan_Selects_Volume_11.rar

or from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?a4d9d8vmnbwfyhd

Unfortunately despite all our efforts there is no holding back Time, and we must mark the passing of another of the artists who made the 1940s and 1950s such a great musical era - Cozy Eggleston. His echo-drenched version of "Blue Light Boogie" retitled "Big Heavy" was one of the great R&B sax instrumentals of the early 1950s. The classic photo of Cozy and his wife indulging in saxophonic shenanigans has been a feature on the sidebar of this blog for quite a while now. Like "Big Heavy" it encapsulates the real spirit of rhythm and blues. Goodbye Cozy.


Here's a little playlist with a couple of Cozy's sides, and to bring us back to Christmas, a cool medley of seasonal tunes blasted out by Gene Ammons and Tom Archia. May you all continue to indulge in Be Bop, Doo Wop and Mop Mop. Keep swingin'!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Suede Jacket / Lion’s Roar – Russell Jacquet And His All Stars (King 4242)



Personnel: Russell Jacquet (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Sonny Stitt (alto sax); Leo Parker (baritone sax); Sir Charles Thompson (piano); Al Lucas (bass); Shadow Wilson (drums)

Both sides were recorded at United Sound Studios, Detroit, in May or June, 1948.

The recordings were made for the Sensation label which was owned by Bernard Besman. The Billboard issue of June 19th 1948 carried an article on the purchase of 64 Sensation masters by King Records. The purchase included sides by Todd Rhodes, “Lord Nelson”, Milt Jackson and Russell Jacquet. “Suede Jacquet” / “Lion’s Roar” was released on King 4242 at the end of July or beginning of August 1948. The same record was also released on Sensation 8.



Russell Jacquet was the elder brother of tenor sax giant Illinois Jacquet, in whose band he played trumpet and contributed vocals from 1945 until 1953. During this period he also recorded occasionally as a band leader in his own right, beginning in Los Angeles in 1945 with a group which included Calvin Boze in its line-up.
The session which produced “Suede Jacket” and Lion’s Roar” wasn’t the first time Russell had recorded in Detroit. In 1947 he recorded with Sonny Stitt and Sir Charles Thompson in a group led by Milt Jackson. In May / June 1948 three sessions featuring various line-ups were held by Sensation in Detroit. The first session was credited to “Lord Nelson and His Boppers”, in reality a group led by Sonny Stitt and Milt Jackson. The second session was by The Sonny Stitt Sextet which included Stitt, Milt Jackson, Russell Jacquet and Sir Charles Thompson.

The third session was credited to “Russell Jacquet and His All-Stars.” This was actually the Illinois Jacquet band minus Illinois, but with Sonny Stitt added. Two discs resulted from this session – “Suede Jacket” / “Lion’s Roar” and “Scamparoo” / “Relaxin’ With Randel” (King 4259 and Sensation 12).

“Suede Jacket” is a nice bop workout with solo space given to Stitt, Johnson, Parker, Jacquet and, very briefly, Thompson. “Lion’s Roar” is a rousing showcase for the big bad baritone sax of Leo Parker. This session was a reunion for half of the Unholy Four sax section of the bop-leaning Billy Eckstine big band, Sonny Stitt and Leo Parker both being former members, along with Dexter Gordon and John Jackson.
Many thanks to El Enmascarado for putting the BeBop into the Wino with this 78 disc!

Sources - Bruyninckx  Discography. Sleevenotes by Joop Visser to 4CD set on Proper, "Sonny Stitt - Sax O' Bebop." The May / June 1948 Sensation sessions are included in the set.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Baby, You’re Tops With Me / Slippin’ And Slidin’ – Calvin Boze and His All-Stars (Aladdin 3086)

  

“Baby, You’re Tops With Me” was recorded in Los Angeles on January 13th, 1950. Probable personnel: Calvin Boze (vocal); Floyd Turnham (alto sax); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Chuck Walker (baritone sax); Willard McDaniel (piano); Ulysses Livingstone (guitar); Bill Cooper (bass); Walter Murden (drums)

“Slippin’ And Slidin’” was recorded in Los Angeles on January 15th, 1951. Personnel: Calvin Boze (trumpet and vocal) with possibly Marshall Royal (alto sax); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax) plus unknown baritone sax, piano, guitar, bass and drums. Possibly Scatman Crothers with vocal ensemble.


Aladdin 3086 was released at the beginning of May 1951. It was reviewed in Billboard on May 5th. The verdict on “Baby You’re Tops with Me” was – “Shuffle boogie novelty drives, with Boze doing a Louis Jordan on the lyrics, of which he sings a couple of choruses.” The B-Side, “Slippin’ And Slidin’” was given a higher rating and more positive review – “Boze projects an engaging set of novelty lyrics infectiously, while combo puts down a swingy, medium shuffle. Could click.”

Both these sides are obviously heavily influenced by Louis Jordan. I find myself in agreement with Billboard – “Slippin’ And Slidin’” is a funny (and gloriously politically incorrect) account of the joys of dancing (?) with big boned women.  Somehow one night Calvin finds himself in a shabby joint on the wrong side of town - “… A big fat chick walked up and said ‘come on baby, and dance with me.’” Who could possibly resist such an invitation? “That big fat chick knew all the tricks, she’s got me in a spin …” In fact there’s nothing for it but to go back again the following night for another close encounter with the energetic large dame.
“Baby You’re Tops With Me” is another good jump blues but it doesn’t quite hit the spot the way “Slippin’ And Slidin’” does. The two sides were recorded almost exactly a year apart with different personnel, but they both feature fantastically tight arrangements and playing. Despite this, the record didn’t chart. Dominating the Billboard Rhythm And Blues chart in May 1951 were “Black Night” by Charles Brown, “Lost Love” by Percy Mayfield, “Teardrops From My Eyes” by Ruth Brown and “Rockin’ Blues” by Johnny Otis, featuring Mel Walker.

For much more on Calvin Boze, please read the post “Choo Choo’s Bringing My Baby Home.”

A big thank you to El Enmascarado for providing the rips and scans from a 60 year old 78 rpm shellac disc. Once again the sound quality is remarkably clear and a testament to the work put in on these artefacts from the great years of R&B.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Walkin’ The Chalk Line / Bradshaw Boogie – Tiny Bradshaw (King 4457)



“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” was recorded in Cincinnati on February 8th, 1950. Personnel : Tiny Bradshaw (lead vocal); Jimmy Robinson piano); Clarence Mack (bass); Calvin Shields (drums). Also present at the session, but sitting this track out, were Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Rufus Gore (tenor sax) and Leroy Harris (guitar).
“Bradshaw Boogie” was recorded in New York on January 16th, 1951. Personnel: Tiny Bradshaw (vocal); Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Andrew Penn (trombone); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Red Prysock (tenor sax); Jimmy Robinson (organ); Willie Gaddy (guitar); Eddie Smith (bass); Calvin Shields (drums).



King 4457 was released in mid-June 1951. The disc was reviewed in Billboard on June 30th. Of “Walkin’ The Chalk Line” Billboard said – “Bradshaw and male trio, backed by rhythm section only here, register with a hard-hitting little jingle with a recurring refrain.” And on “Bradshaw Boogie” the comment was: “Tiny and the boys come thru with one of their typical hard driving boogie blues novelties.”

“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” wasn’t a big seller despite being featured in the King / Federal / DeLuxe adverts in Billboard during July and August alongside Lucky Millinder’s “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sleep” by Earl Bostic, “Bloodshot Eyes” by Wynonie Harris, “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” by The Dominoes and Roy Brown’s “Wrong Woman Blues.”

Enough platters were sold to make King 4457 the 90th best-selling R&B record of 1951. The really big hits around the middle of the year included the aforementioned “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” plus “Don’t You Know I Love You” by The Clovers, “Chains Of Love” by Big Joe Turner, “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and “Too Young” by Nat King Cole.

The “Bradshaw Boogie” session marked Red Prysock’s recording debut with the band and his fiery, rabble rousing tenor sax solo really brings what could have been a formulaic side to life.


As always we have El Enmascarado to thank for yet another slice of R&B history from his growing stash of 78 rpm discs. The sound quality on these two rips is remarkable, considering that they originate from shellac that is over sixty years old. I’ve been listening to these sides on my new laptop (a necessary buy after my 11 year old Pentium 4 PC took its final, fatal crash) which I’ve hooked up to my hifi and they pack quite a wallop. Thank you, o masked one!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Odd-En-Dow / Dues In Blues - Gene Ammons And His Orchestra (Mercury 8080)



"Odd-En-Dow" was recorded on December 1st, 1947 and "Dues In Blues" was recorded on December 10th, 1947. Both sides were recorded in Chicago.

Personnel: Gail Brockman (trumpet); John "Raps" Dungee (alto and baritone sax); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); Junior Mance (piano); Gene Wright (bass); Ellis Bartree (drums)

Mercury 8080 was released in May 1948.





Billboard reviewed the disc in its Race Records section on May 8th, 1948. "Odd-En-Dow" was a "light bop riffer, with string of fair solo rides" while "Dues In Blues" received the slightly off hand comment: "instrumental with more bop touches."

Gene Ammons was the son of renowned boogie woogie piano man Albert Ammons. He played tenor sax in his school band, and got his first professional gig with the King Kolax band. His subsequent spell with Billy Eckstine's bop-leaning big band shot him to fame, most memorably on the searing tenor sax battle with Dexter Gordon, "Blowing The Blues Away." In 1947 he left the Eckstine outfit to start a solo recording career on Mercury. He had a hit with "Red Top" (Mercury 8048) and recorded a series of fiery bop sides for the label in 1947 and 1949 before signing for Chess for whom he had another big chart hit in 1950 with "My Foolish Heart." He had brief spells with Woody Herman and Count Basie before forming the legendary Gene Ammons - Sonny Stitt combo. But that may be another story for another post.

With many thanks to El Enmascarado  for ripping these sides from an original 78 rpm disc and for the label scans.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Jump & Jive On 78 - Volume 2




Side 1
1 Headhunter – Johnny Otis
2 Later – Tiny Bradshaw
3 Sing Rebop – Doles Dickens
4 Miss Betty’s Blues – Joe Liggins
5 The Honeydripper Pt 1 – Sammy Franklin
6 The Honeydripper Pt 2 – Sammy Franklin
7 Big Fat Mama – Mystery Artist
8 The Blues – Joe Liggins
9 The Mojo – Sax Mallard

Side 2
1 Blow Mr Jackson – Joe Liggins
2 Cool And Easy – Johnny Otis
3 South of the Orient – Tiny Bradshaw
4 Lover’s Lament – Joe Liggins
5 P.S. I Love You – Mystery Artist
6 Cotton Ball Pt 1 – Sonny Thompson
7 Cotton Ball Pt 2 – Sonny Thompson
8 Let’s Love Again – Sax Mallard
9 Don’t Move a Vip Till I Say Vop – Doles Dickens

We proudly present the second round up of  El Enmascarado’s rips from original R&B 78 rpm discs. The mood is more relaxed and cooler than on the somewhat more heated Volume One of the series, with the exception of the opening blaster, “Headhunter” by Johnny Otis. There’s plenty swingin’ and jivin’ for you cool cats which you can download from here:



A folder of label scans is included in the download.

Ripped from shellac at 128 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

All the info on all the tracks is available on the original posts on Be Bop Wino. Here are the links to unfathomable depths of arcane knowledge:











With many, many thanks to El Enmascarado for his work in rescuing these original ten inchers, many of which are in very poor condition. Volume Three is already shaping up, with a few of its tracks already posted and more in the pipeline. Stay cool, you swing, jump and jive fans!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Joan Spins Again! Volume 4




Side 1
1 Come On Little Baby - The Kings
2 Every Night About This Time - The Sophomores
3 It's Too Late Now - The Cufflinks
4 Never - The Dundees
5 Tree In The Meadow - The Carnations
6 Tomorrow Night - The Serenaders
7 Until You - The Delmonicos
8 4 O’clock In The Morning - The Tornadoes
9 Girl Friend – The Five Scalders

Side 2
1 Why Go On Pretending - The Haven Knights
2 I'm In Love - The Velvet Angels
3 Here I Am Broken Hearted - The Roomates
4 Nellie - The Invictas
5 I Love You Really I Do - The Tantones
6 Juke Box Rock 'n' Roll - The Marigolds
7 I've Been Dreaming - The Rogues
8 Crying My Heart Out - The Masters
9 Blue Island - The Rannels


Number four in Joan’s new series, and perhaps the best yet? Over to Joan –

In this volume there’s something for everyone. The Cufflinks from South Central Los Angeles, of "Guided Missile" fame show that they have mastery of the slow ballad as well. The extremely scarce and collectible "Never" by the Dundees, has namesake Carlyle Dundee on lead. Very few of these have ever surfaced, and most collectors have never even seen it over the last 30 years.

"Tree in the Meadow" is a dreamy early 1950's  ballad from the Derby record company. The Serenaders’ rendition  of Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night" is a most credible send-up, incidentally is also extremely scarce on Detroit's J.V.B. label.

The Five Scalders, also from Detroit are represented here on Volume Four with Girl Friend on Detroit's Drummond marque.  The Tornadoes on Chicago's legendary Chess label, are one of just a few doo wop groups on Chess (other than the Moonglows and Flamingoes), with their "Four O'Clock In The Morning".

Johnny Bragg takes the lead on the Marigolds up tempo "Juke Box Rock 'N' Roll". Bragg had his singing roots in the legendary Sun records Prisonaires vocal group, where he was lead harmony. Also in Volume 4 an interesting acapella issue with "I'm In Love" by the Velvet Angels, who by all accounts were the reformed Diablos several years after the original Nolan Strong and the Diablos disbanded. Rumor has it that Nolan Strong was in the harmony on this one, but not as lead vocalist.

Boogiewoody takes you through Joan’s platters that matter and tells you why this is one hell of a comp:

“Come On Little Baby” by The Kings is a breathless rush of 1950s adrenalin complete with searing sax that lasts about ten seconds then we’re straight into the kind of vocal group track that Joan knows I love – a 1950s reworking of a sophisticated ballad – “Every Night About this Time” which is an old Ink Spots number, here given the dreamy treatment by The Sophomores. And we’re gonna stay in dreamland for the next few tracks, so close your eyes and relax baby ‘cos here come The Cufflinks on Dootsie Williams’ Dooto label with a slab of pure 1950s longing – “It’s Too Late Now.” Yeah, she wants you back but you’ve found somebody else so you can tell her you’re through – or are you?

The slow numbers continue with “Never” which may be the ultimate “we’re through” song in which a terrific lead vocal by Carlyle Dundee soars triumphantly over an out of tune piano. We’re stayin’ sentimental with “Tree In The Meadow” by The Carnations which comes with an Ink Spots style guitar intro and there’s no “so long and get lost baby” sentiments here – just a plain and simple “I’ll Love You Forever.”

And now for an over the top vocal group version of “Tomorrow Night” a song which was a huge hit for Lonnie Johnson in 1948 and that was kind of unlikely ‘cos Lonnie was an innovative blues guitarist and vocalist and “Tomorrow Night” was a piece of Tin Pan Alley pop written in 1939. And I simply don’t know what to make of this out to lunch version by The Serenaders, whomsoever they might have been … I think I like it. Judge for yourselves.

Things sure liven up with an obviously worn to a frazzle disc of “Until You” by The Delmonicos, who kind of remind me of Dion and the Belmonts. Go for it, guys! And then …

OMG as they say – “Four O’clock In the Morning” by The Tornadoes which featured in an earlier Be Bop Wino post of Chess doo wop sides. A post which staggered drunkenly from weepy disc to weepy disc as your lovelorn blog host sought solace in a bottle of 12 year old Scotch while lying on the floor by the turntable … and here we are once more, with yours truly having gone through the complete loved and lost cycle again since that last post and now Joan comes up with this one! I ain’t gonna make it to the end of this comp I tells ya …

Phew, things speed up a bit now with “Girl Friend” which is a basic piece of teen pop with a great sax player on there in among the generic infantile lyrics. Second half coming up …

More sentimental teen type stuff from The Haven Knights but these guys have class. And now here’s some pure vocal joy – a brilliant acapella performance from The Velvet Angels with “I’m In Love.” There’s a definite heavy gospel influence on this one. And here’s where the art of the compilation kicks in as Joan keeps it unaccompanied with The Roomates showing off their chops on “Here I Am Broken Hearted.” The lyrics might seem trite but what a performance!


And now for a full yackety sax driven R&B performance of “Nellie” by The Invictas which shifts the mood nicely and we stay up tempo with the Tantones and their slightly weird falsetto lead vocal on another R&B stomper – “I Love You Really I Do.” This is deep doo wop and I love it!

Right, it’s time for a one hundred per cent stone classic piece of  rockin’ rhythm and blues. Yes, it’s The Marigolds led by the incomparable Johnny Bragg on a genuine blaster “Juke Box Rock ‘n’ Roll.” There are no words to describe the sheer genius of this one.


Gettin’ near the end and the scene shifts to a public toilet where we find The Rogues plus rhythm and sax squeezed into a cubicle with a microphone as they frantically belt out “I’ve Been Dreaming.” All good things must indeed come to an end so how does Joan bring this work of art to a close? Well, there’s a big, big sentimental ending with “Crying My Heart Out” by the solid gone The Masters. Can’t top that? Oh yes you can, if you’re as deeply into this kind of music as Joan is. “Blue Island” by The Rannels evokes a whole lost era of rock ‘n’ roll and r&b in a couple of minutes of sheer artistry. And that’s it folks. A long lost decade summed up in eighteen obscure and semi obscure records. That’s what I call a compilation!


Ripped in various bit rates and the password is greaseyspoon.

New link to updated version of Volume 4 with new rip of "Juke Box And Roll" here:


A few highlights:



 01 - The Kings - Come On Little Baby - 1958 - Jalo 203
 02 - The Sophomores - Every Night About This Time - 1956 - Dawn 216
 03 - The Cufflinks -  It'S Too Late Now 1957 - Dooto 422
 04 - The Dundees - Never – 1954 - Space 201
 05 - The Carnations - Tree In The Meadow - 1952 Derby 789
 06 - The Serenaders - Tomorrow Night - 1952 JVB 2001 
 07 - The Delmonicos - Until You – 1964 - Musictone 6122
 08 - The Tornadoes - 4 O'Clock In The Morning - 1956 - Chess 1649
 09 - The Five Scalders - Girl Friend – 1956 - Drummond 4-3001
 10 - The Haven Knights - Why Go On Pretending – 1957 - Atlas 1092
 11 - The Velvet Angels - I'm In Love – 1964 - Medieval 201 (The Diablos, acapella)
 12 - The Roomates - Here Am I Broken Hearted - Unreleased
 13 - The Invictas - Nellie – 1959 - Jack Bee 1003
 14 - The Tantones - I love you really I do – 1956 - Lamp 2002
 15 - The Marigolds - Juke Box Rock 'n' Roll – 1956 - Excello 2091
 16 - The Rogues - I've Been Dreamin - 1958 - Old Town 1056
 17 - The Masters - Crying My Heart Out - 1958 Le Sage 713
 18 - The Rannels - Blue Island – 1963 - Boss 2122

With thanks to Joan.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

South of the Orient / Later – Tiny Bradshaw, His Piano and Band (King 4664 Dee Jay Special)




Both sides were recorded in Cincinnati on July 29th, 1953. Personnel: Bill Hardman (tp); Andrew Penn (tb); Sil Austin, Rufus Gore (ts); Jimmy Robinson (p); Sam Jones (b); Philip Paul (d)

The record was released in October, 1953. Sil Austin made his recording debut for the Bradshaw band at this session, having replaced Red Prysock who left earlier in the year to start a successful solo career. Thanks are due to El Enmascarado for unearthing this 78 rpm disc.





El Enmascarado comments: “South Of The Orient/Later by Tiny Bradshaw is on a white label promo/DJ copy. Although it looked pristine and pretty much unplayed, it had more surface grit than I expected. That might possibly have something to do with the disc seeming to be made out of vinyl rather than shellac.

South Of The Orient is kind of Afro/Exotica with a mambo beat. It's mostly piano bass and drums, although the horns play quietly in a few spots.

Later is a more straight ahead jump number. The drummer plays brushes rather than sticks, which tend to give it a lighter feel.”

This disc was released after Tiny Bradshaw had enjoyed two substantial instrumental R&B chart hits in 1953 – “Soft” and “Heavy Juice.” Unfortunately “South Of The Orient” failed to live up to the success of the two preceding Bradshaw releases. It may be that “South Of The Orient” was a little too exotic and “jazzy” for the R&B crowd.

Billboard Magazine reviewed “South Of The Orient” thus: “This Oriental flavoured effort bears a close kinship to some of the work being turned out by the bopsters today, but the pulsating tempo and the bright drum work make it a listenable hunk of wax. Good for jazz jocks.”

As for “Later” Billboard commented: “The Tiny Bradshaw ork has a happy time with this riff instrumental that is more jazz than r&b. It swings and it should please a lot of the cats.”

Here’s your chance to hear the two numbers that made it big for Tiny Bradshaw in 1953. “Soft” was released in late 1952 and peaked at number 3 in the R&B charts, spending most of spring 1953 on the best selling list. “Heavy Juice” was a smaller hit, reaching number 9 in August 1953.



Sunday, 30 September 2012

Big John Greer - R & B In New York City






Side 1
1 Woman Is A Five Letter Word
2 Tell Me So
3 Got You On My Mind
4 Let Me Hold You
5 You Played On My Piano
6 Lonesome And Blue
7 I Need You
8 I'll Never Let You Go

Side 2
1 I'm The Fat Man
2 Beginning To Miss You
3 Rhythm In The Breeze
4 Drinkin' Fool
5 Getting Mighty Lonesome For You
6 Too Long
7 Come Back Maybelline
8 Night Crawlin'

This LP was originally uploaded to Be Bop Wino about 5 years ago. Ye gods, we’ve passed our 5th anniversary – 5 years of online rhythm ’n’ bluesin’ – doesn’t time fly? Back then I hadn’t worked out how to scan complete LP covers, so the accompanying scans were pretty poor. The previous post of El Enmascarado’s Big John Greer disc on Sittin’ In With gives me a good excuse to re-up this collection with all new Be Bop Wino standard cover scans and present them for your pleasure. Plus I can also include a little more info on Mr Greer. It’s still the same sound files though …

Tenor sax man and vocalist John Greer arrived in New York to join the Lucky Millinder Orchestra in 1948, on the recommendation of his former school bandmate Henry Glover. As we saw in the previous post he recorded four sides for Bobby Shad’s Sittin’ In With label before his first session on RCA Victor with Millinder which came in January 1949. Possessor of a pleasant singing voice, able to handle sweet ballads and more raucous jump material as well as being more than handy on the tenor sax, he was a natural replacement for Bull Moose Jackson, who had left the Millinder outfit to embark on a very successful solo career.

Greer’s career path closely followed that of Jackson – recording simultaneously with the Millinder band and with his own Rhythm Rockers. When Millinder left RCA in 1950, Greer continued to record for the label and its Groove R&B subsidiary until 1955. Many of his releases were ballads but they failed to bring the success that Bull Moose enjoyed with similar material in the late 1940s and early 50s. In the meantime, Greer continued to record with the Millinder band through 1950 after they had moved to King, most noticeably at a May 1950 session where he was the featured vocalist on several sides including "Let It Roll Again."

Also on King, Greer recorded with Wynonie Harris (“Oh Babe!” “Teardrops From My Eyes” and “Bloodshot Eyes”), Bull Moose Jackson (“Nosey Joe” and “Bearcat Blues”), and Annisteen Allen. His only substantial hit on RCA was “Got You On My Mind” which reached number two on the Billboard R&B chart in the spring of 1952. His contract with RCA / Groove was not renewed in 1955, and he had two sessions for King in 1956 before his recording career was brought to a premature end by what are euphemistically called “lifestyle issues” aka booze.

“R&B In New York City” was released in 1988. As well as the big hit “Got You On My Mind,” there are a few good rockers such as the raunchy “You Played On My Piano” (with Dolores Brown), “I’m The Fat Man” and “Come Back Maybelline” – a fine answer record to Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline.” Ballads predominate on this collection, but they aren’t too sickly sweet and in fact make for pleasantly relaxed listening.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:



Recommended purchase – “I’m The Fat Man” (Rev-ola CR Band 17)


This thirty track collection compiled by Dave Penny concentrates on the swinging, jumping and rocking side of Big John Greer’s music. It includes four tracks recorded with The Du Droppers and comes with very informative notes. An excellent purchase for rockin’ R&B fans.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Tonight’s The Night / Hey Bruz – Big John Greer and his Quartet (Sittin’ In With 518)




Both sides recorded in New York City in the second half of 1948. Exact recording date, personnel and date of release are unknown.

This one-off session for Bobby Shad’s Sittin’ In With label marked the recording debut of Big John Greer. Two singles resulted from the session – “Rockin’ With Big John” / “Wine-ola” (Sittin’ In With 510) plus the featured platter on this post which we can all enjoy thanks to El Enmascarado’s work in ripping these sides from the original 78 rpm shellac disc.

The Sittin’ In With date was something of a moonlight session for tenor sax player and vocalist Big John Greer who had arrived in New York City to join Lucky Millinder’s Orchestra as a replacement for Bull Moose Jackson who had embarked on a solo career. The Millinder outfit was under contract to RCA Victor and Greer’s first recording session with the band took place in January 1949. He sang on “Little Girl Don’t Cry” which was a number fifteen R&B hit, although it was heavily outsold by the Bull Moose Jackson version which reached number two in the charts.

Greer’s career followed a parallel path to that of his fellow saxophonist / vocalist Bull Moose Jackson when he started recording as leader of a small group called The Rhythm Rockers, which consisted of Millinder band members, in April 1949 for RCA Victor. When the Millinder band moved to King in 1950, Greer continued to record for Victor and subsequently its R&B subsidiary Groove until the mid 1950s. He recorded as a sideman for King, being on the Lucky Millinder / Wynonie Harris session which produced a storming version of Louis Prima’s “Oh Babe!” He was also on Bull Moose Jackson’s epic double entendre rocker “Nosey Joe” and recorded several sessions with fellow former Millinder vocalist Annisteen Allen.

We’ll be taking a look at Big John Greer’s output for Victor and Groove in an upcoming updated post of the “R&B In New York City” LP.

Thanks again to El Enmascarado for these rips which are in remarkably good sound quality.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Suckin' and Blowin' - Harmonica Blues






Side 1
1 Telephone Blues - George Smith
2 Keep On Doggin' Me - Sonny & Jaycee
3 East Of The Sun - Jerry McCain
4 Little Sweet Thing - Long Gone Miles
5 P.L. Blues - Papa Lightfoot
6 Love Life - George Smith
7 I'm Lonesome - Cousin Leroy
8 Blues And Misery - Ole Sonny Boy

Side 2
1 Hello Josephine - Long Gone Miles
2 Tell Me Why - Morris Bailey
3 Polly Put Your Kettle On - Sonny Boy Williamson
4 Wine-O-Wine - Jerry McCain
5 You Better Change - Ole Sonny Boy
6 Blues In The Dark - George Smith
7 Dangerous Woman - Sonny Terry
8 Mailman, Mailman - Sonny Boy Williamson

If you dug the recent Little Walter post then you’re sure to love this collection of stompers and wailers by a selection of both well known and obscure blues harp men.

This Dutch LP is probably a bootleg, date unknown. I bought it in “Southside Records” a shop about which I blogged a couple of years back. Sadly the shop is no more, having closed down last winter.

There are good sleevenotes on the back cover and I have added more notes at the end of this post. Download, wail and stomp, blues lovers. And if anyone has the lowdown on the identity of "Ole Sonny Boy" please share this valuable knowledge with the rest of us!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

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  1 Telephone Blues - George Smith
  2 Keep On Doggin' Me - Sonny & Jaycee
  3 East Of The Sun - Jerry McCain
  4 Little Sweet Thing - Long Gone Miles
  5 P.L. Blues - Papa Lightfoot
  6 Love Life - George Smith
  7 I'm Lonesome - Cousin Leroy
  8 Blues And Misery - Ole Sonny Boy
  9 Hello Josephine - Long Gone Miles
10 Tell Me Why - Morris Bailey
11 Polly Put Your Kettle On - Sonny Boy Williamson
12 Wine-O-Wine - Jerry McCain
13 You Better Change - Ole Sonny Boy
14 Blues In The Dark - George Smith
15 Dangerous Woman - Sonny Terry
16 Mailman, Mailman - Sonny Boy Williamson

More info on the tracks:

George Smith – “Telephone Blues” and “Blues In The Dark” recorded in Kansas City in late 1954 / early 1955. Original release – RPM 434. “Love Life” recorded in Culver City, California in early 1956. Backing provided by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra:
Jake Porter (tp) Jack McVea (as) Maxwell Davis (ts) Maurice Simon (bar) Austin McCoy (p) Chuck Norris (g) Red Callender (b) Lee Young (d). Original release – RPM 456.

Sonny Terry – “Dangerous Woman” recorded in Philadelphia in early 1952. Original release on Gramercy G1005 and Josie 828.

Sonny & Jaycee = Sonny Terry and J.C Burris. “Keep On Doggin’ Me” recorded in New York in 1958, first released on Ember 1034.

Jerry McCain – “East of the Sun” and “Wine-O-Wine” were recorded in Jackson, Mississippi, on October 10th, 1953. Personnel: Jerry "Boogie" McCain (vcl,hca,tamb) acc by Bernard Williams (ts) Dave Campbell (p) Chris Collins (g) Herman Fowlkes (b) Walter McCain (d). Both sides originally released on Trumpet 217.

Long Gone Miles = Luke Miles. “Hello Josephine” and “Little Sweet Thing” were recorded in Los Angeles in 1968/9. “Long Gone” Miles on vocal, George Smith on harmonica. First release on Kent?

Papa Lightfoot – “P.L. Blues” recorded in New Orleans on November 19th, 1952. Personnel: Papa Lightfoot (hca); Tommy Ridgley (p); Edgar Blanchard (g); John 'Silver' Cooks (dr). Original release on Aladdin 3171.

Cousin Leroy = Leroy Rozier. “I’m Lonesome” recorded in New York in August 1957. Originally released on Ember E-1023. Personnel: Cousin Leroy (vcl,g) acc. by Sonny Terry (hca) Champion Jack Dupree (p) Larry Dale (b) Gene Brooks (d).

Ole Sonny Boy = Man of Mystery. Thought by some to be Papa Lightfoot, by others to be J.D. Horton. “Blues and Misery” and “You Better Change” were recorded in Nashville in 1956 and released on Excello 2086.

Morris Bailey – perhaps recorded in Nashville circa 1962. Released on Bailey 500.

Sonny Boy Williamson – “Polly Put Your Kettle On.” John Lee Williamson, usually referred to as Sonny Boy Williamson I, to avoid confusion with Rice Miller, the second “Sonny Boy Williamson” who recorded for Trumpet and then Chess in the 1950s and 60s. John Lee Williamson recorded for Bluebird and Victor from 1937 until 1947. He was murdered in June 1948. “Polly Put Your Kettle On” was recorded in Chicago on March 28th, 1947. Personnel: Sonny Boy Williamson (vcl,hca) acc by Blind John Davis (p) Big Bill Broonzy (g) Willie Dixon (b) Charles "Chick" Sanders (d). Original release on Victor, Vic 20-2521.

Sonny Boy Williamson – “Mailman, Mailman.”  Real name Jeff Williamson. Originally from New Orleans, he recorded “Mailman, Mailman” in Shreveport for Ram, accompanied by guitarist James Moore. The record was released on Ram 2501 in late 1961.

Some of my favourite tracks from "Suckin' and Blowin'" on streaming audio:

Saturday, 25 August 2012

J.B. Lenoir - Natural Man






Side 1
1 Natural Man
2 Don't Dog Your Woman
3 Let Me Die With The One I Love
4 Carrie Lee
5 Mama, What About Your Daughter
6 If I Give My Love To You
7 Five Years

Side 2
1 Don't Touch My Head
2 I've Been Down So Long
3 What Have I Done
4 Eisenhower Blues
5 Korea Blues
6 Everybody Wants To Know
7 I'm In Korea

1981 Italian reissue of an LP originally released as Chess LP 410 in 1970.

J.B. Lenoir – guitarist, possessor of a distinctive high pitched voice and wearer of a stylish zebra striped tailcoat. He recorded for Chicago labels JOB, Parrot, Chance and Checker, his biggest hit being “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” on Parrot 809 in 1955.

I picked up this LP second hand in the vinyl basement of Missing Records, under The Hielanman’s Umbrella. If you’re not from Glasgow you won’t have a clue what that is. This collection has been on my WMP playlist for a while now. I wasn’t overly impressed at first, but it’s grown on me. It is most definitely worth your while downloading this, oh fellow blues fans.

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Streamed highlights:



Some of the recording dates listed below differ from the information on the back cover of the LP. I have added original release details for each track. Additional information is from the Red Saunders Foundation website and the Bruyninckx Discography.

All tracks recorded in Chicago:
Natural Man – 14th September, 1955, Chess LP410
Don't Dog Your Woman - 14th September, 1955, Chess LP410
Let Me Die With The One I Love -14th September, 1955, Checker 844
Carrie Lee – December 1950, Chess 1463
Mama, What About Your Daughter - 19th December 1956, Checker 874
If I Give My Love To You - 14th September, 1955, Checker 844
Five Years – 19th December 1956, Checker 874
Don't Touch My Head - 19th December 1956, Checker 856
I've Been Down So Long - 19th December 1956, Checker 856
What Have I Done – 4th March 1955, Parrot 814
Eisenhower Blues – March 1954, Parrot 802
Korea Blues – December 1950, Chess 1449
Everybody Wants To Know – 14th September 1955, Chess LP410
I'm In Korea – March 1954, Parrot 802

“Carrie Lee” and “Korea Blues” were purchased by Chess from JOB.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Little Walter - Confessin' The Blues






Side One
1 It Ain't Right
2 Rocker
3 I Got To Find My Baby
4 Lights Out
5 One More Chance With You
6 Crazy Legs
7 Temperature

Side Two
1 I Got To Go
2 Crazy Mixed Up World
3 Quarter To Twelve
4 Confessin' The Blues
5 The Toddle
6 Up The Line
7 Rock Bottom
8 Mean Old Frisco

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

We kick off a short "blues LP" season on Be Bop Wino with this 1982 Italian release of "Confessin' The Blues" by Little Walter. At the moment I don't really have time to write up extensive notes, so you'll just have to take these posts as they are and dig around the web for further information!

This is a good compilation with only one or two tracks which could be classified as "filler." The rest is killer.

Tracks recorded 1953 - 1963. Musicians include: Little Walter Jacobs (vocal, harmonica); Louis Myers, Dave Myers, Robert Lockwood, Luther Tucker, Freddie Robinson, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy (guitar); Otis Spann, Lafayette Leake (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below, George Hunter (drums)

Download the LP from here:

1. It Ain't Right (1956)
2. Rocker (1954)
3. I Got To Find My Baby (1954)
4. Lights Out (1954)
5. One More Chance With You (1956)
6. Crazy Legs (1953)
7. Temperature (1957)
8. I Got To Go (1955)
9. Crazy Mixed Up World (1958)
10. Quarter To Twelve (1954)
11. Confessin' The Blues (1958)
12. The Toddle (1958)
13. Up The Line (1963)
14. Rock Bottom (1958)
15. Mean Old Frisco (1959)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Joan Spins Again - Volume 3




Side 1
1 Must Be Falling In Love - The Duponts
2 The Angels Sent You To Me - The Carnations
3 Pretty Girl - The V-8's
4 Shouldn't I - The Orients
5 Feelin' Alright This Morning - The Hi-Liters
6 The Wayward Wind - The Centenniels
7 You Can't Stay Here - The Concords
8 Anna Mocora - The Calvaes
9 Love Tears - The Five Embers

Side 2
1 All Of Me - The King Odom Four
2 Baby Don't Go - The Gentlemen
3 'lizabeth - The Thrillers
4 Hello - Little June & The Januarys
5 Mr Blues - The Master Keys
6 Why - The Impalas
7 Gone So Long - The Invictas
8 Sweet Names - The Five Stars
9 Sweet Tooth For My Baby - The Four Buddies

Here ‘tis – another collection of vintage R&B courtesy of Joan K. Volume 3 of Joan Spins Again is a whirlwind tour of a decade of vocal group stylings, ranging from sophisticated early 1950s jazzy records rooted in the sound of The Ravens, to the younger group sounds of the later 50s which were such an important part of the rise of rock and roll. This is a great compilation which I’ve been sitting on for a couple of months, enjoying on the privacy of my own PC. But here it is at last, available for the delectation of R&B fans the wide world over.

I’ve selected some of my personal favourites and put them on the streaming audio widget below, but every track on the collection is a gem. The King Odom Four, The Masterkeys and The Four Buddies are the smoothies here – suave, sophisticated, knowing (and occasionally leering) – their sound really appeals to me. For the younger followers of Be Bop Wino a word of caution: I suspect you have to be at least fifty years old in order to fully appreciate the subtleties of these records. What kind of a kick can rockers possibly get out of an early 1950s reworking of an old standard like “All of  Me” by a seemingly “square” group like The King Odom Four? Just give it a listen and let the sheer hepness of the record take hold of you. The same group also did a cover of “Lover Come Back to Me” which was equally good.

At the opposite end of the rockin’ spectrum we have The Concords, or rather Pearl Reaves and The Concords with “You Can’t Stay Here,” an irresistible pounding treatment of the old blues standard “Step It Up and Go.” This record has featured on several rockin’ R&B comps across the years, perhaps most notably on number 20 of the inestimable “Stompin’” series where it shares disc space with the likes of Riff Ruffin’s “Money For My Honey” and Pigmeat Markham’s “Let’s Have Some Heat.” If you don’t have “Stompin’ 20” then I’m sorry, you just ain’t where it’s at!


Listen to some highlights from Joan Spins Again Volume 3 below:



Download the collection from here:

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1 - The Duponts - Must Be Falling In Love - Winley 212 / SAVOY 1552 (1958)
     (F/b Little Anthony Gourdine)
2 - The Carnations - The Angels Sent You To Me - Savoy 1172 (1955)
3 - The V-8s - Pretty Girl - Most 711 (1959)
4 - The Orients - Shouldn't I - Laurie 3232 (1964)
5 - The Hi-Liters  - Feelin' Alright This Morning - Vee Jay (Unreleased) (1958)  
6 - The Centenniels - The Wayward Wind - Dot 16180 (1961)
7 - The Concords - You Can't Stay Here - Harlem 2332 (1955)
8 - The Calvaes - Anna Morcora - Checker 928 (1959) (F/b Oscar Boyd)
9 - The Five Embers - Love Tears - Gem 227 (1955)
10 - The King Odom Four - All Of Me - Derby (1951)
11 - The Gentlemen - Baby Don't Go - Apollo 470 (1954)
12 - The Thrillers - 'Lizabeth - Herald 432 (1954)
13 - Little June and the Januarys - Hello - Salem 188 (1959)
14 - The Masterkeys - Mr. Blues - Abbey 2017  
15 - The Impalas - Why - Corvet 1017 (1958)
16 - The Invictas - Gone So Long - Jack Bee 1003 (1959)
17 - The Five Stars - Sweet Names - Note (1956) 
18 - The Four Buddies - Sweet Tooth For My Baby - Savoy 866 (1952)

With many thanks to Joan K for all her hard work in putting this collection together.