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Friday 8 June 2012

Cotton Ball Parts 1 and 2 – Sonny Thompson (King 4729)

Recorded on May 21st, 1954 in Cincinnati. Personnel: Fred Clark (as); David Brooks (ts); Tommy Purkson (bar); Sonny Thompson (p); Clarence Kenner (g); James Royal (b); Robert Boswell (d). Released July, 1954.

Thanks to El Enmascarado for these rips from the original 78 rpm disc of this two part late night smoocher from Sonny Thompson. You can imagine these cool jazzy sounds coming out of a tavern juke box shortly before closing time. Perhaps the clientele have been listening to Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, The Midnighters, Fats Domino and Ray Charles. But the evening wears on and only a few hardened drinkers remain to hear this moody late night instrumental. That’s it, folks. We’re closing. Ain’t you got homes to go to?

Billboard Magazine reviewed “Cotton Ball” on July 17th, 1954: “Here’s a neat slow-blues instrumental item which is particularly danceable yet retains a retentive melody line. The strongly repetitious bass figure and drum backing spark the various solo efforts for a slick hunk of wax. For the jazz and r.&b. markets."

Sonny Thompson had several hits with slow instrumentals such as “Long Gone”, “Late Freight” and “Mellow Blues.” “Cotton Ball” wasn’t a big seller but as you can hear, it’s a fine atmospheric recording. For an overview of Sonny’s career (plus an LP to download) see this post:

You can listen to “Late Freight” ripped from El Enmascarado’s 78 rpm disc at this post:


Anonymous said...

I love stuff that has that old-fashioned studio reverb on it. Bartender- give me a Rock & Rye!

Paco's brother said...

Too good, not time to go to bed !

Anonymous said...

Perfect end-of-evening record while you're holding up the bar (or the other way around!) It's got a spot reserved in my next ipod playlist.

Is that Lula Reed in the album photo? What do you think of her voice? It's never grown on me - what I've heard is just a little too shrill for my delicate ears.

Anonymous said...

¡¡¡Fantástico swing!!!

JennyD said...

You're just so darn great. I can't stop smilin', tapping my toes, and swaying. I must have died and gone to boogiewoody heaven :D

Zesty said...

Oh, man, what a great post!

Ran right out and bought CD
The Complete Sonny Thompson - Vol. 5 1954-1955

Listening now to my new favourite, an' waiting for Vol. 2 to arrive...

boogiewoody said...

Cheers Zesty. Sounds like you're on the road to financial ruin ... but at least you'll have fun!