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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Otis Blackwell On RCA And Groove

01. Wake Up Fool
02. Please Help Me Find My Way Home
03. Fool That I Be
04. Number 000
05. Oh! What a Babe
06. Here Am I
07. O-O-O-Oh!
08. I Face This World Alone

As a follow up to the previous post of Otis Blackwell's sides recorded for Joe Davis between September 1953 and April 1955, here's a little homemade compilation of the sides he recorded for RCA Victor in October 1952 and for the Groove subsidiary of RCA in June 1954. The bit rates are variable which reflects the "cobbled together" nature of this collection, but that shouldn't spoil your listening pleasure too much.

Tracks 1-4 were recorded in New York on October 22nd 1952. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with: Sammy Watkins (trumpet); Frank "Floorshow" Culley (tenor sax); Budd Johnson (baritone sax); Freddy Redd (piano); Rene Hall and Napoleon Allen (guitars); Gene Smith (bass); Roland Jefferson (drums).

Wake Up Fool / Please Help Me Find My Way Home - released on RCA Victor 20-5069 in December 1952.

Fool That I Be / Number 000 - released on RCA Victor 20-5225 in March 1953.

adapted from

Tracks 5-8 were recorded in New York on June 24th 1954. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with: Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Fred Washington (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass) Martin Wilson (drums).

Oh! What A Babe / Here Am I - released on Groove 4G-0034 in September 1954.

O-O-O-Oh! and I Face This World Alone were not released.

As a sort of aside, I came across a vivid short portrait of Otis Blackwell's early days as a blues singer in what is one of the best music books I have read in the last few years - "Lonely Avenue - The Unlikely Life And Times Of Doc Pomus" by Alex Halberstadt (Jonathan Cape, 2007). The book and the related film "AKA Doc Pomus" were discussed below the line in the comments section of the post "Joe Turner and Pete Johnson - Jumpin' The Blues."

The Pismotality blog has an in-depth review of both the film and book (plus other relevant books) here:

Warning - once you find yourself on Pismotality you may not escape for many hours such is the quality of writing. It's happened to me on numerous occasions.


Bob Mac said...

Another fine addition to my R&B collection. Many thanks, BW.

Anonymous said...

many thanks for the tasty comp,
that makes sense. Home-made is
many times the ideal.
Best wishes !
- Jay from the North.