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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - Oil Man Blues

Side 1:
01. Kidney Stew Blues
02. Old Maid Boogie
03. Lazy Gal
04. Bonus Pay
05. King For A Day Blues
06. Oil Man Blues
07. Wandering Mind Blues

Side 2:
01. Some Women Do
02. Alimony Blues
03. High Class Baby
04. When I Get Drunk
05. Have You Ever Missed Your Baby?
06. Ever-Ready Blues
07. Wrong Girl Blues

Download from here:


Another homemade comp under the imaginary "Saxophony" label, a tribute to Saxophonograph. This collection of Eddie "Mr Cleanhead" Vinson small group sides (recorded for Mercury) serves as a companion to the Saxophonograph LP "Mr Cleanhead Steps Out" although I have duplicated two tracks from that album - "Kidney Stew Blues" and "Old Maid Boogie."

If you've been following the recent re-ups (and referring back to the original posts) on Cootie Williams and Eddie Vinson, you'll know that Vinson left the Cootie Williams Orchestra in 1945 to start up his own big band which signed up to the new Mercury label. Around the end of 1946 or beginning of 1947 Eddie started to  record sessions with a slimmed down version of the big band, indeed only one session in 1947 featured the larger aggregation, on April 29th, when "Luxury Tax Blues," "Railroad Porter's Blues," and "Gonna Send You Back Where I Got You From" were recorded.

Full details of the small group sessions are given below, plus the release dates of the sides recorded at these sessions.

Eddie's last recording session for Mercury took place at the end of December 1947, a few days before the start of the American Federation of Musicians recording ban. He would not record again until August 1949 when he started recording a dynamite series of small group sides for King (see the "Cherry Red Blues" post).

These Mercury sides are just as good, if not better, than the King sides. They have a more relaxed, easy swinging vibe to them and despite my decades long love of Eddie's King recordings, I've recently become a convert to the attractions of his Mercury material. Download and judge for yourselves.

And now just for Democratic fellows named Mac, it's time to take you right back to the facts on these tracks, Jack!

The Mercury small group sessions:

New York, November 1946 or January 22nd, 1947 -
Eddie Vinson (alto sax; vocals) with: John Hunt (trumpet); Lee Pope (tenor sax); Greely Walton (baritone sax); Earl Van Riper (piano); Leonard "Heavy" Swain (bass); George "Butch" Ballard (drums):

Kidney Stew Blues (Mercury 8028)
King For A Day (Mercury 8060)
Old Maid Boogie (Mercury 8028)

New York, March 6th, 1947 -
Same personnel as on January 22nd session:

Lazy Gal (Mercury 8039)
Bonus Pay (Mercury 8039)

New York, June 26th, 1947 -
Same personnel as on January 22nd session:

When I Get Drunk (Mercury 8090)
Oil Man Blues (Mercury 8067)
Ever-Ready Blues (Mercury 8138)
Wrong Girl Blues (Mercury 8244)
Wandering Mind Blues (Mercury 8067)
Have You Ever Missed Your Baby? (Mercury 8110)

New York, December 22nd, 1947 -
Same personnel as above:

Some Women Do (Mercury 8076)
Alimony Blues (Mercury 8076)
High Class Baby (Mercury 8090)

The following titles were recorded on December 28th, 1947, in New York by the same personnel as above but are not on this compilation. You can find them on the Saxophonograph LP "Mr Cleanhead Steps Out." -

I Took The Front Door In (Mercury 8138)
Friday Fish Fry (instrumental) (Mercury  8110)
Shavetail (instrumental) (Mercury 8244)

Eddie Vinson's small group sides for Mercury were released as follows:

Kidney Stew Blues / Old Maid Boogie (Mercury 8028) released in January or February 1947

Lazy Gal / Bonus Pay (Mercury 8039) released in May 1947

King For A Day Blues / Railroad Porter's Blues (Mercury 8060) released in November 1947

Oil Man Blues / Wandering Mind Blues (Mercury 8067) released in December 1947

Some Women Do / Alimony Blues (Mercury 8076) released in April 1948

High Class Baby / When I Get Drunk (Mercury 8090) released in July 1948

Friday Fish Fry / Have You Ever Missed Your Baby? (Mercury 8110) released in November 1948

 I Took The Front Door In / Ever-Ready Blues (Mercury 8138) released in May 1949

Wrong Girl Blues / Shavetail (Mercury 8244) released in August 1951

2 comments:

Bob Mac said...

Thanks for this interesting comp. I always enjoy listening to some Mr Cleanhead.

george said...

Many thanks, again, boogiewoody!