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."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...


good to hear you are around. RS seems to suck. no one seems to use it anymore. hope you work that out. i don't have help with that. enjoy the retirement, it dose not suck.

Frank Jive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Subliminal Kid said...

Best wishes for a successful retirement. It'll be good to see you back on the scene again. You should have plenty of time on your hands, I certainly have had the past five years. . . .

paco's brother said...

Pas de problème, je passais souvent pour voir s'il y avait de la lumière.
Bon sang ne saurait partir!
Bon courage.

paco's brother said...

Pas de problème, je passais souvent pour voir s'il y avait de la lumière.
Bon sang ne saurait partir!
Bon courage.

thunda said...

Greetings...It's good to have you back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, you have been missed.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, you have been missed.

Xyros said...

Good to see you back after a difficult time.
I use free Zippyshare which up till now has never been a problem. Downside is that files are deleted after 30 days inactivity and I think the max file size is 200mb. Another one to consider is Mega, the new Megaupload. Haven't used it myself but I hear good things about it.

Calvin said...

Welcome back! I suggest Zippyshare.
Calaco

boogiewoody said...

Many thanks for the good wishes and advice, good people. I've already got about 15 zippyshare links up, although I always regarded them as a back up to rapidshare. I'll probably stick with zippyshare just now.

It's good to be back and also to look around other blogs. Regular posting will resume in August, but there will be the occasional post between now and then!

"Bon sang ne saurait partir" - I like that!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, was getting worried

King Ning said...

Mediafire is a good bet:

https://www.mediafire.com/upgrade/?plan=pro

Anonymous said...


Welcome back!!! I too was getting a little concerned. I know how you feel...I'm planning to retire in 12-18 months. At some point it isn't worth it. There's more to life.

Sorry you lost your joy for music for awhile...I'm sure once you're retired you'll gain it back.

You always post fantastic music in great, *real* analog sound. I love it!!! Both the music...and how it sounds.

Zippy is the best right now for downloads, but links disappear after a month.

Mega is a little more flaky for downloads (issues with different browser types, operating system types, etc), don't know how long they're retain...their old site retained quite long.

RapidShare is pretty much un-useable now. Odd that they would charge so much for a site that doesn't really work for downloads anymore.

I'll be thinking of you end of Aug....enjoy retirement!

AlienOnAcid said...

Glad to see you back, many thanks for your blog !

TC'sTunes said...

A big sigh of relief. Can't think of a better way for you to enjoy retirement, than spreading great vibes to thirsty ears.
Thanks for all you do for mine!