1 Gene Phillips - Hey Now
2 Bobby Smith - Don't Shake Those Hips At Me
3 Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist
4 Dave Bartholomew - Cat Music
5 Varetta Dillard - Mercy Mr Percy
6 Camille Howard - Bangin' The Boogie
7 Harry Crafton - Big Fat Hot Dog
8 Little Esther with Little Willie Littlefield - Turn The Lamps Down Low
1 Big Maybelle - New Kind Of Mambo
2 Jimmy Preston - Estellina Bim Bam
3 Pee Wee Crayton - Huckle Boogie
4 Kenzie Moore - Let It Lay
5 Benny Brown - Pappa
6 Paul Williams - Spider Sent Me
7 Gay Crosse - Fat Sam From Birmingham
8 Lil Armstrong - Rock It
All tracks ripped from vinyl @320 kbps
It's time for another Be Bop Wino compilation of late 40's and early 50's R&B, mainly drawn from the stash of vinyl I digitized during my recent long absence from posting. The "Juke Joint Jukebox" blues comp was drawn from tracks digitized during the same period but now we find ourselves back in the Boogiewoody comfort zone with this selection of jump blues, boogie, and sax driven rockin' R&B. Mind you, there's a smattering of West Coast style blues guitar courtesy of Gene Phillips and Pee Wee Crayton on LA's Modern label.
Basic track details are listed below but here are a few observations on some of the tracks, in no particular order.
Guitarist, blues shouter and songwriter Harry Crafton recorded for Gotham in the late forties and early fifties. He was also a member of the semi legendary Nite Riders Orchestra along with Doc Starkes, Harry Van Walls and Melvin Smith. Dripping with double entendre, "Big Fat Hot Dog" features a fine vocal performance by Agnes Riley.
Boogie pianist Camille Howard was a mainstay of Roy Milton's Solid Senders, but also had her own parallel solo recording career. In a similar vein, Erskine Hawkins Orchestra alto saxman Bobby Smith had a parallel recording career in which he led a small band of Hawkins sidemen which recorded for Apollo in 1949-50. "Don't Shake Those Hips at Me", recorded after the Smith band moved over to the Ruby label features the tenor sax of Sam "The Man" Taylor. Benny Brown's "Pappa" is an answer record to Ruth Brown's big 1953 hit on Atlantic "Mama (He Treats Your Daughter Mean)".
And so to Jimmy Preston's "Estellina Bim Bam". Anyone up for a humorous take on habitual domestic abuse? It has a very catchy melody but to my ears the lyrics are extremely unsettling. Perhaps back in 1950 many people would have considered the record to be comedy but nowadays it would be the subject of a thesis on its underlying subtext of misogyny and possible racism. However, on Be Bop Wino we present the recordings of the 1940's and 1950's as they were, rather than as we would like them to have been, so despite my doubts the recording is included on the compilation.
Pianist, bandleader and singer Lil Armstrong (Lil Hardin) was a member of King Oliver's band where she met and married Louis Armstrong in 1924. They divorced in 1932 and Lil went on to build a successful career as an accompanist and bandleader, recording for Decca from 1936 to 1940. Her theme tune was "Brown Gal" (Decca, 1936) which she rerecorded for Gotham in 1947. At the same session she recorded "Rock It", a frantic piece of double entendre, the final verse of which is the unforgettable:
"Yeah, he rocked me sittin', he rocked me lyin',
If I'd a had wings, he'd a rocked me flyin'."
Nothing can follow that.
The tracks (artist, title, original issue, year of recording):
1 Gene Phillips - Hey Now: Modern 20-558, 1948
2 Bobby Smith - Don't Shake Those Hips At Me: aka Shake Your Hips, Ruby 102, 1951
3 Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist: aka Fish Tail, Atlantic 902, 1949
4 Dave Bartholomew - Cat Music: Imperial 5308, 1954
5 Varetta Dillard - Mercy Mr Percy: Savoy 897, 1953
6 Camille Howard - Bangin' The Boogie: Specialty 404, 1951
7 Harry Crafton (w Agnes Riley) - Big Fat Hot Dog: Oscar 106, 1954
8 Little Esther with Little Willie Littlefield - Turn The Lamps Down Low: Federal 12115, 1952
9 Big Maybelle - New Kind Of Mambo: Okeh 7069, 1954
10 Jimmy Preston - Estellina Bim Bam: Gotham 240, 1950
11 Pee Wee Crayton - Huckle Boogie: Modern 20-742, 1950
12 Kenzie Moore - Let It Lay: Specialty 456, 1953
13 Benny Brown - Pappa: Gotham 293, 1953
14 Paul Williams - Spider Sent Me: Savoy 670, 1948
15 Gay Crosse - Fat Sam From Birmingham: alternate take of Gotham 279, 1952
16 Lil Armstrong - Rock It: Gotham 256, 1947