Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Vout Cowboy / Mary Lou - Louis Prima with Foy Willing And The Riders Of The Purple Sage (Majestic 5003)











Recorded in New York, circa June 1946. No personnel details. Released in August 1946.

Alternative download method - click on the link to download both sides plus label scans:

http://www21.zippyshare.com/v/cKhzeOd7/file.html

Thanks to El Enmascarado for these rips from a 78 rpm shellac disc. The disc was slightly warped, which prevented it from lying flat in the masked one's scanner, hence the blurred label scans. Despite worn grooves our blog benefactor has succeeded in getting good quality sound from both sides.


As for the music - " a jazz/cowboy" crossover is how El Enmascarado describes it. It's an unlikely collaboration between New Orleans born Italian-American hepcat Louis Prima and a western band whose usual milieu was Roy Rogers movies. And there's added "vout" - the jive term popularised by Slim Gaillard (of whom we shall speak in an upcoming post), another popular "hep" figure who was enjoying a wave of popularity at the time of this recording.

There's an obvious influence of the Ella Mae Morse / Freddie Slack hit "Cow Cow Boogie" on "Vout Cowboy" plus Louis Prima's own scat singing ("vootedy bootedy bootie macscootie") set against the plains harmony of the Riders Of The Purple Sage. An unusual amalgam, yet it works. "Mary Lou" starts off with strictly squaresville harmonies from The Riders then builds to a roaring climax as the horns of the Prima band blast in. Another unlikely yet likeable combination.



Billboard review:

"Louis Prima does a switch on the sweet-and-hot formula by spinning out a contrast of hillbilly and swing. For the outdoor aura, brings in a fine vocal troupe in Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage. And with a cow-cow-boogie type of chant in "Vout Cowboy," Prima gets an opportunity to inject some scat singing along with the Westerners as they tell the story of a "hillbilly killer diller."

"Completing the Prima imprint is a tasty dish of his gutbucket Gabriel horning, The contrast is not so sharply defined for the "Mary Lou" evergreen that has the Riders singing it sweetly as the Prima horns blow hot. "Vout Cowboy" should make for a real coin clicker."



Trumpeter, singer, band leader and composer Louis Prima was already a veteran performer when he made these recordings. He first started recording in 1934 with a small jazz group usually billed as "Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang" and, as the band grew in numbers, "Louis Prima and his Gleeby Rhythm Orchestra."

In 1944 he started recording with big band backing and in the next few years issued a string of great records on Hit, Majestic, Savoy and V Disc such as "Robin Hood," "Angelina," "Just a Gigolo," "Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well," (backed with the terrific "You Gotta See Baby Tonight") " "Brooklyn Boogie," and "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop."

At the end of the 40s he had recruited Keely Smith as a vocalist and was recording for Mercury. His most memorable disc at that time was issued on the Robin Hood label - a recording of his own composition "Oh! Babe."

A later generation know him better for his mid to late 1950s recordings on Capitol with Keely Smith and the great Sam Butera on tenor sax. These records were made at a time when Prima's career had received a major boost when he started playing the Vegas lounges with Keely Smith and Sam Butera and the Witnesses. The audience of wise guys, high rollers, suckers and schmucks lapped up his reprises of old material such as "Angelina," "Oh Marie" and the medley of  "Just a Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody."

To an even later generation (mine!) he was King Louis in the 1960s Disney cartoon of "The Jungle Book." An even younger generation enjoyed his music when his Capitol recordings with Sam Butera received heavy play during the 1990s swing revival. The "Just a Gigolo" / "I Ain't Got Nobody" medley, "Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days" and "Jump, Jive And Wail" enlivened many a swing dance and the last named tune featured in a GAP commercial known as "Khaki Swing." But by then Louis was past caring as he had passed away in 1978.

Foy Willing (real name Willingham) was a Texas born singer, songwriter bandleader and actor. He founded The Riders Of The Purple Sage in 1942 (Patti Page was an early member) and they quickly gained a niche as a Western band which appeared in many 'B' western movies from the early 1940s to the early 1950s. They replaced The Sons Of The Pioneers when the latter split with Roy Rogers in 1948.


















The kind of material they played included "Cool Water," "Blue Shadows On The Trail," "Ridin' Down That Old Texas Trail" and "Wind." You get the idea. They had Country top ten hits in the 1940s with "Texas Blues," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," and "Detour." The group broke up in 1952 but occasionally reunited to record and perform. Foy Willing died in July 1978, just over a month before the death of Louis Prima.

18 comments:

Art Vandelay said...

Did you forget links, or are they coming in comments?

boogiewoody said...

Hi Art

There should be 2 streaming audio players on the post you can download the mp3s by clicking on the down arrows at the bottom of each of these players.

Please let me know if the streaming audio players aren't visible on the post.

BW

boogiewoody said...

New link to download a folder with both mp3s and their label scans is now on the post.

BW

Art Vandelay said...

Thank you for the zippy. The players are working fine for me, but there are no download arrows displaying. Just checked players on other posts, and arrows not there either.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Art
the black download arrows are really tiny, situated to the right of the timer at the bottom of the player. Perhaps they're only available to people who are logged in to Zippyshare. Can anyone else tell me if they are or aren't seeing the download arrows?

BW

Art Vandelay said...

Ok, the problem seems to be the way you're embedding the player. Try reducing the display width. Here's how the player looks when opening the frame containing the player in a new tab. The download option then displays and functions.

http://api.zippyshare.com/api/jplayer_embed.jsp?key=et4NJD52&server=www120&width=440

boogiewoody said...

Thanks Art. I've reduced the width of the embedded players. Hopefully you can see all the functions now.

BW

Daddy Cool said...

Hi Be Bop,
Great stuff.
I wondered where you got the NYC location from - I know Majestic advertised since 1945 that they had their own studio but I've never ascertained the exact name/address.
Foy Williams involvement would to me suggest that a Hollywood/LA location was more likely as that is where he normally recorded and in fact recorded there for Capitol on 19/06/46 so this recording date is between 19/06/46 and 27/07/46 when Billboard announced the release - my guess would be early July.
Louis' rhythm section at this time was Allan Logan (piano), Jimmy Vincent(drums), Kirby Ellison (bass) but who the others were is anybody's guess.

Art Vandelay said...

Voilà!

boogiewoody said...

Many thanks Daddy Cool. The information, such as it is was from the Bruyninckx discography. Around this time and for several years afterwards info on the Prima band lineups is very sketchy in Bruyninckx. I've found a Billboard review of a March 1946 gig at the 400 Club in New York which lists the players in his big band (not by instrument but by section) and none of his old rhythm section are named.

Most of Prima's recording at this time (including airshots) seems to have been in NYC, New Jersey and Long Island. I've found a Billboard article datelined Hollywood June 29th 1946 announcing that Foy Willing had signed for Majestic, a rep from the company having traveled from the East Coast to meet Willing's manager. Article also mentions that first recording will be Vout Cowboy with Prima, so it looks like your guess of early July is spot on!

Can't find any mention of Prima traveling to Hollywood to record or Willing traveling to New York, so location remains in some doubt.

BW

Marie said...

BW,
I would have loved to hear these tracks, but I can't see the player. I also can't access Zippyshare because my malwarebytes program blocks an attack every time I try.

These odd collaborations are fascinating. Have you heard Louis Armstrong with Jimmie Rodgers on Blue Yodel No. 9 (1931). Probably too early a sound for you, but it's interesting, too.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Marie

Sorry you can't see the players - not sure what the solution is. Perhaps malwarebytes is blocking access. Zippyshare has been occasionally infected with malware recently - sometimes when I try to download from there it tries to hijack my browser and I have to use Task Manager to close down my browser.

It's an occasional problem - a popup appearing after clicking on "download" offering some program or other. I don't even try to close the popup in case it starts downloading some crap or other. I just close my browser.

I'd love to know if there are any alternatives to zippyshare.

Nope, haven't heard the Louis Armstrong - Jimmy Rodgers track yet, tho I might have it squirreled away on a CD somewhere.

Marie said...

Boogiewoody,
I know some people are using googledrive for streaming songs, though I haven't tried it myself. My favourite is still Box because it's not a fly-by-night company and is very reliable. You're offered 10 GB storage, 10 GB bandwidth on the free account. With your large audience, though, you might run out very quickly. They used to renew the bandwidth automatically every month - I don't know if that's still the case.

Clarence E. Jones III said...

I never thought I would live to hear Prima & The Riders together! Thx so much!

Marie said...

All the best for the festive season, Boogiewoody!

boogiewoody said...

Thank you Marie, and best wishes to you also. There may be one more post before Christmas Day!

JohnnyDiego said...

Never heard these Louis Prima records before. Fabulous. Thanks so much.

Mr Fab said...

I'm a long time Prima fan/collector (used to see Sam Butera in Vegas) and never heard of these before. These are NUTS.