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Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Sunday 24 January 2016

T.J. Fowler - Early Detroit R&B

Re-up as requested by you jumpers and jivers out there, complete with a new front cover scan plus label scans. Sorry, I forgot to do a new back cover so you'll have to get along with the old one.

Download from here:


Side 1
1 - T.J. Boogie
2 - What's The Matter Now
3 - Midnight Clipper (pt 1)
4 - Midnight Clipper (pt 2)
5 - Harmony Grits
6 - Red Hot Blues
7 - Hot Sauce
8 - Blue Lullaby

Side 2
1 - Night Crawler
2 - Fowler's Boogie
3 - Back Biter
4 - Wine Cooler
5 - Camel Walk
6 - Gold Rush
7 - The Queen
8 - Tell Me What's The Matter

Boogie pianist and bandleader T.J. Fowler (and T.J. was his given name) was a stalwart of the post-war Detroit R&B scene who never enjoyed chart success but nevertheless did record a number of very good sides on his own account as well as providing backing for big names like Paul Williams and Varetta Dillard. Born in Georgia in 1910, he was raised in Detroit where he attended the local conservatory of music. His professional music career started when he played piano at a poolroom owned by his father and then he joined a band led by alto sax player Guy Walters. From there he moved to another Detroit band led by Clarence Dorsey where he played alongside Paul Williams.

In 1947 T.J. formed his own jump band which provided the backing for Paul Williams on his big 1948 seller "35-30". T.J.'s own first disc was recorded for local label Paradise - "Sultry Moon" / "Mango Blues" which does not feature on this collection. During 1948 - 49 T.J.had discs released on both National and Sensation. These form the side one of this comp and are mostly rousing boogies and stompers. "Midnight Clipper" is in the style of Sonny Thompson's moody hit "Long Gone" while "Blue Lullaby" is as its title indicates - an attractive mood piece with an outbreak of bluesy piano in the middle section.

The first six tracks of side two are instrumentals recorded for Savoy in 1952-53. They have a punchier sound than the 1940s sides, particularly when blues guitarist Calvin Frasier weighs in. The last two sides of the compilation were recorded in Chicago at the end of 1953 for the States label. "The Queen" is another good instrumental while the vocal side "Tell Me What's The Matter?" rattles along nicely enough. T.J. continued to play live gigs around Detroit  through the 1960s with small groups but gradually his non-musical business interests took up more of his time. He died in Detroit in 1982.

Recommended purchase and the source of the above information is the 25 track Classics Blues & Rhythm Series CD "T.J.Fowler 1948 - 1953." Compiled and annotated by Dave Penny who acknowledges the Jim Gallert book "Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit 1920-60" as a source of information.

Listen to the sensational "Red Hot Blues":

Listen to "Camel Walk":


Anonymous said...

Hey, Boogiewoody! So glad to see that you're not just back with a bang, but a veritable explosion of R 'n' B goodies!!

boogiewoody said...

Hi Marie! Thanks for commenting. There's quite a few Be Bop Wino projects in the pipeline. Got my enthusiasm back.


bulldogUK said...

Thank you very much for the re-up