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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Huey "Piano" Smith - Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu






















Side A:
01. Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu Pt 1 - Huey Smith and The Clowns
02. Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu Pt 2 - Huey Smith and The Clowns
03. Little Chickee Wah Wah - Huey And Jerry
04. Little Liza Jane - Huey Smith and his Rhythm Aces
05. Just A Lonely Clown - Huey Smith and His Clowns
06. Hush Your Mouth - Bobby Marchan with Huey Smith & his Band
07. Don't You Know Yockomo - Huey "Piano" Smith with his Clowns

Side B:
01. High Blood Pressure - Huey (Piano) Smith And The Clowns
02. Don't You Just Know It - Huey (Piano) Smith And The Clowns
03. Well I'll Be John Brown - Huey "Piano" Smith with his Clowns
04. Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues - Huey Smith
05. Dearest Darling (You're The One) - Huey Smith
06. She Got Low Down - Huey "Piano" Smith And His Clowns
07. Second Line - Huey & Curley






Huey "Piano" Smith's 1950's hits embodied the very spirit of New Orleans R&B / rock 'n' roll - infectious, danceable, exuding a party atmosphere. Juke box classics guaranteed to get the good times rolling. His first solo recordings for Savoy, made in 1953, were mediocre to say the least. OK they were awful, poorly sung by Huey, dirges that should have been a whole lot better than they turned out to be. Yet a few years later he was churning out great New Orleans R&B for Johnny Vincent's Ace label. How come?

Well for a start he turned over singing duties to a vocal group of shifting personnel called The Clowns whose unison chanting of the novelty / nursery rhyme lyrics accompanied by rhythmomatic handclapping always got the party going. Then there was the addition of lead vocalist Bobby Marchan, indefatigable leader of a troupe of female impersonators. And of course there was a red hot backing band, with Huey on piano and another shifting population of top New Orleans musicians which usually featured such as Red Tyler, Lee Allen, Roland Cook, Earl King and Hungry Williams.

So be prepared to party hearty as you listen to this early Ace (UK) compilation of some (but not quite all) of Huey's top sides. I've changed some of the song titles to their original titles on single. I've also added the proper artist credits as they appeared on those singles sixty years ago. Full details below.


Here Come The Fax On The Trax ...

Little Liza Jane recorded in New Orleans, 1956. Personnel:

Huey Smith and his Rhythm Aces: Lee Allen (tenor sax); Red Tyler (baritone sax); Huey Smith (piano); Earl King and/or Mac Rebennack (guitar); Roland Cook (bass); probably Earl Palmer (drums).

Original release: Everybody's Whalin' / Little Liza Jane - Huey Smith and His Rhythm Aces, on Ace 521 in November 1956.

Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, Parts 1 and 2, and "Just A Lonely Clown" recorded in Jackson, Mississippi, 1957. Personnel: 

Huey Smith (piano); Lee Allen and Red Tyler (saxes); Earl King (guitar); with unknown piano, bass, drums. The Clowns (vocals) - Bobby Marchan, Johnny Williams, Sid Raphael, Gerri Hall, Eugene Francis.

Original releases: Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu Parts 1 and 2 - Huey Smith and The Clowns, on Ace 530 in June 1957.

Just A Lonely Clown / Free Single And Disengaged - Huey Smith and His Clowns, on Ace 538 in October 1957.

Little Chickee Wah Wah recorded in New Orleans in 1957. Personnel:

Huey Smith (piano, vocal); Mac Rebennack (guitar); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums); Gerri Hall (vocal); unknown bass.

Original release: Little Chickee Wah Wah / I Think You Jiving Me - Huey And Jerry, on Vin 1000 in 1958.

High Blood Pressure and Don't You Just Know It were recorded in New Orleans in December 1957. Personnel:

Huey (Piano) Smith and the Clowns : Lee Allen, Robert Parker (tenor saxes); Red Tyler (baritone sax); Huey Smith (piano); Earl King (guitar); Roland Cook (bass) Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums); The Clowns : Bobby Marchan (lead vocal) with possibly same personnel as on Rockin Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu.

Original release: High Blood Pressure / Don't You Just Know It - Huey (Piano) Smith And The Clowns, on Ace 545 in January 1958.

Hush Your Mouth and Well I'll Be John Brown were recorded in New Orleans in 1957. Session credited to Bobby Marchan and The Clowns. "Well I'll Be John Brown" credited to Huey Smith on its original release. Personnel:

Bobby Marchan (vocal); Alvin "Red" Tyler (tenor sax); Huey Smith (piano) with unknown tenor and baritone saxes, bass, drums and unknown vocal group.

Original release: see below

Don't You Know Yockomo recorded in New Orleans in 1958. Personnel:

Bobby Marchan (lead vocal); Gerri Hall (vocal); Huey Smith (piano); The Clowns (vocal group - probably the same as on Rocking Pneumonia) with rest of instrumental group probably similar to High Blood Pressure session.

Original release: Don't You Know Yockomo / Well I'll Be John Brown - Huey "Piano" Smith with his Clowns, on Ace 553 in November 1958.

Hush Your Mouth / Quit My Job - Bobby Marchan with Huey Smith & his Band, on Ace 595 in June 1960

Dearest Darling (You're The One) and Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues recorded in New Orleans in 1959. Personnel:

Bobby Marchan (vocal); Huey Smith (piano) with similar personnel to "Don't You Know Yockomo" session.

Original release: Dearest Darling (You're The One) / Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues - Huey Smith, on Ace 571 in September 1959.

She Got Low Down recorded in New Orleans in 1961. Personnel:

Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns: Lee Allen and Alvin "Red" Tyler (tenor saxes); Huey Smith (piano); with unknown bass and drums; Curley Moore, Billy Brooks, Gerri Hall (vocal group).

Original release - She Got Low Down / Mean, Mean Man - Huey "Piano" Smith and His Clowns, on Ace 638 in November 1961.

Second Line recorded in New Orleans, circa 1963-64. Personnel:

Huey Smith (piano, vocal); Curley Moore (vocal); rest unknown.

Original release: At The Mardi Gras / Second Line - Huey & Curley, on Ace 671 X in 1964

Elsewhere On The Blog



Originally posted in August 2008, this was a reconstitution by Joan of an LP originally issued in 1959. Joan used rips from 45 rpm singles and EPs to put the LP "back together" and also provided some scans of original Ace label singles. I recently re-upped the LP in answer to a request and improved the tagging and boosted the volume slightly.



From The CD Collection:


Westside CD WESM 516 issued in 1997

24-track collection of Huey's biggies on Ace released on Westside, who issued a whole lotta Ace goodies back in the late 1990's. Volume 2 did appear but by that time I reckoned I had all the Huey I needed. If you come across this CD going second hand for a reasonable price then you're sorted for Huey and his Clowns.
 

2 comments:

george said...

Many thanks, boogiewoody!

boogiewoody said...

Cheers, George.

BW