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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Listen To Dr. Jive

Side 1:
01. Steady Grind - Warren Lucky
02. Will Ya Please? - Danny Taylor
03. Makeena - Danny Taylor
04. There's Nothin' Wrong With This World - Danny Taylor
05. Shoemaker Man - Danny Taylor
06. Bartender Fill It Up Again - Otis Blackwell
07. Oh! What A Wonderful Time - Otis Blackwell

Side 2:
01. Listen To Dr. Jive - Dean Barlow
02. I Got A Letter - Lem Johnson
03. It Takes Money, Honey - Lem Johnson
04. Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues - Lem Johnson
05. Tall Tall Women - Nat Foster
06. Dog House Blues - Nat Foster
07. Lonely Soldier Blues - Nat Foster

First time on the blog for this collection of R&B / Rock and Roll sides recorded by NYC label owner Joe Davis. There are comprehensive notes by Bruce Bastin who released collections of Joe Davis material on Krazy Kat during the 1980s.

Joe Davis was a pioneering NYC R&B label owner who founded Beacon in 1942 and had quick success with Savannah Churchill and The Five Red Caps. He kept Beacon going during the 1950s and also launched the Davis and Jay-Dee labels as well as recording material for MGM.

There is something ironic about the front cover picture of this LP as Dean Barlow's "Listen To Dr. Jive" was recorded as a theme for a rival of Alan Freed, Tommy "Dr Jive" Smalls whose afternoon R&B show on WWRL matched the Freed show in popularity, just as his onstage R&B concerts competed strongly with Freed's live reviews.

In common with many LPs in my collection, this one languished forgotten on the shelf but repeated listens in the last couple of weeks have led me to conclude that it's a cracking little compilation which deserves the attention of seasoned (and not so seasoned) fans of New York rhythm 'n' blues.

Fax On The Trax

Warren Lucky - "Steady Grind." Unreleased take of "Fish Bait" (Beacon 105). Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Danny "Run Joe" Taylor - "Will Ya Please" and "Shoemaker Man" were unreleased. "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With This World" / "Makeena" released on Davis 454 in October 1956. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

adapted from

Otis Blackwell - "Bartender, Fill It Up Again" / "You're My Love" was released on Jay-Dee 787 in late January 1954. Possible personnel - Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Bill Graham (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass) Cozy Cole (drums). Recording date was possibly December 30th 1953.

"Oh ! What A Wonderful Time" / "Let The Daddy Hold You" released on Jay-Dee 808. Recorded on March 9th 1955. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal); Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass); Specs Powell (drums); Leroy Kirkland (arranger).

Dean Barlow - "Listen To Dr. Jive" was probably not released on a single. Recorded January 18th 1956. Personnel: Dean Barlow (vocal) with Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Howard Biggs (piano, arranger); Everett Barksdale (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

Lem Johnson - "I Got A Letter" / "It Takes Money, Honey" released on MGM 11467 in March 1953. "Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues" was released on MGM 11532 in July 1953. B Side of "Never Love Anybody Better Than You Do Yourself." Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Nat Foster - "Lonely Soldier Blues" / "Tall, Tall Woman" released on MGM 11445 in 1953. "Dog House Blues" was not released. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Elsewhere On The Blog

Thunderbolt! Honkin' R&B Instrumentals 1952-1956 is a fine collection of sax sides recorded by Joe Davis. Warren Lucky, Al King, Haywood Henry and a collection of NYC's finest session men.

Vocal Group R&B From Joe Davis Volume One 1952-1953 early vocal group stuff from Joe Davis labels. The Crickets feature Dean Barlow as lead vocalist and the collection does not have THAT Blenders' track!


Bob Mac said...

Many thanks for this one BW. Certainly some very early R&B here.

Christophe said...

Un grand merci.

Don Rocin said...

This album languished? What a hot collection BW. But standing out like the proverbial Great Balls of Fire - just like he does in the history of this great period of human history - is Otis Don’t Be Cruel Blackwell. What a writer, what a singer. And to top it off I hadn’t heard Oh! Wat a Wonderful Time before. I’m playing it now. What a great song. I’m so glad I fell over your blog way back. It never fails.

boogiewoody said...

Cheers folks - I've edited the post slightly as I realized there were a couple of stylistic and spelling missteps.

I could've and should've written more on Otis Blackwell and Tommy Smalls, but heck, a slight dose of the dreaded lurgie put me in the mood to just get the post out there.


Bob Mac said...

Agree entirely with above comments on the Otis Blackwell tracks, I also never heard these before and didn't realize Otis went that far back. I'm always pulling standout tracks to make up my own "Best Of" collections and those 2 early Blackwell tracks were on my most recent.

boogiewoody said...

The notes on the back of the LP mention LP Flyright 575 - Otis Blackwell Singin' The Blues which was a reissue of a 1957 Davis LP of the same name. Unfortunately I don't have that one, but I'm working on it (ahem). It'll take a couple of weeks, but there could be an Otis Blackwell post in the pipeline.


Anonymous said...

thank You for the Dr.Jive comp.
- Jay from the North.

P.S.: and thanks for the nice 'ahem',
that brought to my mind the hilariously
merry play "Importance of being Ernest",
where the characters of the play often
said that when arriving to the scene.
I wondered long time what could that
special word mean.
- Jay.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic LP! Never heard this before! Thank you.
Hanst from Holland