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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Rhythm Blues Party - Frank Ballard with Phillip Reynolds Band

Side One:
01. Is There Anbody Here
02. Do Wa Diddi
03. Just Leave It With Me Baby
04. After Hours
05. Drown In My Own Tears
06. Something In My Mind

Side 2:
01. Do You Really Love Me
02. I Just Can't Help It
03. If That's The Way It Is
04. Rollin' In
05. Trouble Down The Road
06. You Gotta Learn To Rock And Roll

Thanks to contributor Marv for sending in this reconstitution of a 1962 LP on the Phillips International label which was owned by Sam Phillips. The entire album was recorded in one session at the Sam Phillips Studio, Madison Avenue, Memphis on the 18th March 1962. Personnel: Frank Ballard (vocals); Phillip Reynolds (tenor sax); Frank Reed (trombone); Clarence Render (trumpet); James E. Matthews (guitar); Kurl McKinney (piano); Ike Price (bass); Chester N. Maxwell (drums).

We're a few years and a mile in style away from Sam Phillips' 1950s blues recordings made in his little Union Avenue studio. Launched in 1957, the Phillips International label was Sam's attempt at a more up market image and to back that up he opened a new suite of studios and offices at 639 Madison Avenue, a few blocks from his old premises, in 1960. This LP was part of a short lived attempt to move into the long player market with 8 albums being issued, including platters by Bill Justis, Carl Mann and Charlie Rich.

There was also an LP of Jimmy Reed influenced blues ,"Hey Boss Man!" by Frank Frost and The Nighthawks' which was closer in style to those great early 50s blues recordings that Sam had produced. However this album by Frank Ballard is a collection of contemporary early 60s R&B / proto-soul, probably aimed at the listening and dancing pleasure of a fairly youthful audience.

Frank Ballard and the Phillip Reynolds band were from Jackson, Tennessee where they seem to have been a popular local club act. There is some information on their background and recordings for Phillips International on the 706 Union Avenue Sessions website and also on the back cover of this LP. Interestingly, they recorded a further 24 tracks during 1962 for Phillips International which remained unissued.

 Frank Ballard and Phillip Reynolds onstage

The Phillips International label was wound up in 1963 after a legal dispute with the Dutch company Philips Electrical who had begun to move into the U.S. record market having bought Mercury. Their own Philips record label had been in existence since 1950 and they naturally contended that the newer Phillips International label would cause confusion.

The only blues LP released on Phillips International

Many thanks to Marv for this contribution.

Info from the 706 Union Avenue Sessions website and "Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll" by Colin Escott with Martin Hawkins.


soulpapa said...

Quite a find! Thank you!

Augie "Waxey" Ciamino said...

GREAT stuff!!! Thanks for posting this- deeply appreciated!

Bob Mac said...

Many thanks BW. I have an album listed in my collection: Frank Ballard - Rhythm And Blues Party (LP Charly) and have no idea if it's the same as this one here today (I'm currently in Thailand for a couple weeks so can't check my backup ext HDDs), anyway, I got a copy here. Thanks again.

Xyros said...

Look forward to giving this a listen and many thanks to Marv for putting it together.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Bob - I believe the Charly LP is a reissue of the Phillips International original. I remember that Charly also reissued the Frank Frost LP back in the 1970s or 80s.


Unknown said...

Frank Ballard is from Jackson, Tennessee not Jackson, Mississippi. This information is on the rear of the outer sleeve, I own a copy of the Phillips International release.

boogiewoody said...

Many thanks, correction made!


Anonymous said...

Frank Reed the trombone player died earlier this year (2020). Here's an online obituary:!/Obituary