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Saturday 18 October 2014

Good Lovin' / Slowly Goin' Crazy (Savoy 830) - H-Bomb Ferguson

Released January 1952. Both sides recorded in New York on 12th December, 1951.

Personnel: H-Bomb Ferguson (vcl); acc by Julius "Hawkshaw" Watson (tb); Ernest "Pinky" Williams (as,bar); Purvis Henson (ts); Kelly Ownes (p); Leon Spann (b); Jack Parker (d).

More blues bawlin', this time from Robert "H-Bomb" Ferguson backed by a band led by Jack "The Bear" Parker although it should be noted that Julius Watson, Purvis Henson and Leon Spann were moonlighting members of the Buddy Johnson Orchestra. Ferguson's first recordings were as vocalist with the Jack Parker band for Derby in 1950 and he also recorded a session with Parker for Prestige. Prior to signing for Savoy, Ferguson cut a session with the Charlie Singleton band for Atlas.

The influence of Wynonie Harris is very obvious on both these sides, although Ferguson did go on to develop his own style and in fact outlasted his more illustrious mentor by decades. Although derivative, this is a good record which sold well in the New York area although it didn't do enough business to make the national R&B charts.

Billboard gave the disk a good review on 19th January 1952. The verdict on "Good Lovin'" was: "Ferguson hits about as hard as his name implies in shouting a good pounding rocker. The double entendres add to the coin attraction, tho the beat is immense. Has a winning quality."

The review of the B side was less enthusiastic: "Ferguson unwinds an acceptable slow blues but doesn't stir the excitment (sic) he creates on the top side."

Below is the Billboard chart of top selling R&B disks from January 12th 1952. In contrast to the chart from 1947 on the Gatemouth Moore post, independent record companies dominate, with only 2 releases by the majors being in the top ten - Johnnie Ray on the Columbia subsidiary Okeh, and Dinah Washington on Mercury.

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