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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.


Paco's brother said...

I have "I'm the fat man", really great artist!
Merci pour le complément!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this music so precious. A greeting.