Honkers and Screamers, Be-Boppers and Doowoppers, Rockers, Rollers and Boogie Woogie Jukebox Chicks
Thursday, 12 June 2014
"Too Tired" - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
This is an alternate take of the B side of RPM 431, the A side being "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" aka "Don't Touch Me Baby."
Both sides were recorded in Los Angeles in January 1955. Johnny "Guitar" Watson (guitar, vocals) was accompanied by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra featuring James Parr (trumpet); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Big Jim Wynn (baritone sax); Willard McDaniel (piano); Billy Hadnott (bass); Jesse Price (drums). Just about all of these names will be familiar to long time followers of this blog.
The reason I chose this particular track as the headline of this post is that the title sums up the reason why I haven't posted since last September. I can only apologise to everyone for dropping out of sight for so long. Ever increasing pressure of work has kept me away from blogging. On top of that (or perhaps because of that) I lost my enthusiasm for music - months went by during which I listened to no music at all. Every evening I was coming home from work and finding myself too tired to do anything much other than fall asleep in front of the TV. Not a good situation to be in.
Faced with this dilemma - working or enjoying a reasonable quality of life - there was only one thing to do. Yes, you've guessed it - give up work. I'll be retiring from drudgery in a few months time (end of August) and so I'll be able to devote time to keeping Be Bop Wino up and running.
The good news is that during the first half of my absence I ripped a bunch of vinyl discs to mp3, including the tracks on this post, and so there is a stockpile of material to post.
The bad news concerns Rapidshare. I was able to maintain a large back catalogue of links by taking out a Rapidshare premium account which cost around £8 per month. Unfortunately Rapidshare have decided to increase the cost to around £50 per month which is a total rip off, so many of these links will die as I refuse to stump up that amount of cash. If anyone has any advice on alternative file sharing sites, please get in touch.
Anyway, back to Johnny "Guitar" Watson. In late 1952 he made his recording debut on piano and vocals on the Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones single "Pachuko Hop" / "Motor Head Baby" (Combo 12) and I've featured these tracks on the playlist below. In 1953, billed as "Young John Watson", he was signed by Ralph Bass for Federal where he recorded the astonishing "Space Guitar" in amongst pretty standard R&B fare which included a re-recording of "Motor Head Baby."
In 1955 he was signed to the Bihari Brothers' RPM label. I've included a further 3 tracks from his RPM output on the playlist, all recorded around 1955 in Los Angeles.The RPM sides are all alternate takes to the original released versions - "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" (RPM 431), "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" (RPM 436) and "She Moves Me" (RPM 471). "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" was originally recorded by Earl King. Johnny's cover version was his most successful release on RPM.
Here's a short playlist of some of Johnny's RPM work - all alternate takes to the released versions, plus Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones on Combo. Fans of swing and jump will recognise the "Pachuko Hop" riff - it's Lucky Millinder's "Apollo Jump."
If you own the copyright of any music posted here and wish to have it removed from the blog, please contact me at the above email address and it will be removed forthwith.
Dedicated to REAL R&B, Rock'n'Roll, Blues and Jazz
This is a site dedicated to rockin' 1940s and 1950s music, ripped from vinyl. Some cuts are a bit on the rough side. If you're looking for audio perfection you're on the wrong site baby! If you like what you hear on this site please buy this kind of music. There are many reasonably priced reissues available from web dealers or perhaps from your local record shop, if it still exists. These reissues will be in far better sound quality than the vinyl rips on this site and they will usually have more up to date liner notes and info, so go out and splash a little cash now and again. Help keep those reissue labels going in these difficult times.
No in-print CDs will be posted here. In fact no CDs will be posted here. I will occasionally list recommended purchases to help you hear more from artists featured on the blog.
"The night is the corridor of history, not the history of famous people or great events, but that of the marginal, the ignored, the supressed, the unacknowledged; the history of vice, of error, of confusion, of fear, of want; the history of intoxication, of vainglory, of delusion, of dissipation, of delirium." Luc Sante - Low Life