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Saturday, 2 March 2019

West Coast Blues

Side 1:
01. Stubborn Woman - Mercy Dee
02. Have You Ever - Mercy Dee
03. T-99 Blues - Jimmy Nelson
04. Blues After Hours - Pee Wee Crayton
05. Texas Hop - Pee Wee Crayton
06. S.K. Blues (Part 1) - Saunders King

Side 2:
01. Sitting Here Wondering - J.W. Walker
02. J.W.'s Blues - J.W. Walker
03. Dr. Brown - James Reed
04. You Better Hold Me - James Reed
05. Strange Land - Roy Hawkins
06. S.K. Blues (Part 2) - Saunders King

This is the last of the Musidisc re-releases of the Kent Anthology of the Blues series that I have. West Coast Blues was number 12 and the last in this series which explored the blues sides in the vaults of the Bihari brothers' Modern / RPM labels. This collection differs from the others that I have posted as it includes some really big R&B hits. Pee Wee Crayton's "Blues after Hours" and "Texas Hop" were big sellers, making the higher reaches of the national R&B chart, as did Jimmy Nelson's "T 99 Blues."

The J.W. Walker ("Big Moose" Walker or "Moose John Walker") recorded for Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi. The sides on this comp were recorded in St. Louis with backing provided by Ike Turner and therefore have no connection with the West Coast!

One circumstance common to all the other artists on this record is that they had a Bay Area connection. Pee Wee Crayton, for example, started his professional music career playing with Ivory Joe Hunter's band in San Francisco. Saunders King and Jimmy Nelson both lived in San Francisco and worked the local clubs there. Roy Hawkins was discovered by Bay Area record man Bob Geddins playing in a club in Oakland. James Reed also recorded for Geddins, in fact it was the latter who sent the sides featured on this comp to the Biharis. Mercy Dee Walton cut his first record in Fresno (admitedly well south of The Bay) for the Spire label.

All started their playing and recording careers away from LA, usually recording their earliest sides for Bob Geddins who then brought them to the attention of the Biharis. As with the LPs in the Anthology of the Blues series, there is now an expanded and carefully researched CD equivalent available on the Ace UK label:

Here is the complete list of the Anthology of the Blues series:

1. The Legend Of Elmore James
2. Memphis Blues
3. California Blues
4. Deep South Blues
5. Texas Blues
6. Detroit Blues
7. Arkansas Blues
8. Lightnin' Hopkins: A Legend In His Own Time
9. Mississippi Blues
10. The Resurrection Of Elmore James
11. B.B. King 1949-1950
12. West Coast Blues

West Coast Blues - The Who, The Where and The When (Perhaps)

Mercy Dee - "Stubborn Woman" and "Have You Ever" recorded in Los Angeles in 1955. Released on Flair 1078 in November 1955. "Have You Ever" on this LP is probably an alternate take to the version on the Flair single.

Jimmy Nelson - "T 99 Blues" recorded at the Clef Club, Richmond, California, in June or July 1951. Jimmy Nelson with the Peter Rabbit Trio. Released on RPM 325 in June / July 1951.

Pee Wee Crayton - "Blues After Hours" recorded in Los Angeles in September 1948. Released on Modern 624 in October 1948. "Texas Hop" recorded in Los Angeles in 1948, released on Modern 643, late 1948.

Saunders King - original version of "S.K. Blues" recorded in San Francisco, June 1942 and released on Rhythm 3. New version recorded in San Francisco in 1948 or 49 and released on Rhythm 302 as "Saunders Blues, Pts 1 and 2" in 1949. Reissued on RPM 375 as "New S.K. Blues Parts 1 and 2" in December 1952. Also reissued on RPM 497 as "S.K. Blues, Pts 1 and 2" in 1957. As to which version is on this LP, I'm not sure!

J.W. Walker - "Sitting Here Wondering" and "J.W.'s Blues" recorded in St. Louis, November 11th, 1955, with the Ike Turner band. First released on this compilation.

James Reed - "You Better Hold Me" and "Dr. Brown" recorded in Oakland in March 1954. With the Que Martyn Orchestra. Both sides released on Flair 1042 in July 1954. The version of "You Better Hold Me" released on Big Town 117 in 1955 is a different recording.

Roy Hawkins - "Strange Land" was recorded in San Francisco circa 1948. Released on Down Town 2025 in April 1949. Remastered and reissued on Modern 693 in September 1949.


Anonymous said...

Hi boogiewoody, My name's Andrés and I want to ask a favour, could you upload the young jessie album called I'm gone (ace records compilation) please ?

Greetings from Chile (South America)

boogiewoody said...

Sorry Andres - I don't upload CDs on the blog. That one is still in print and available from Ace. You might find it on other blogs perhaps.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information,cheers