Be Bop Wino Pages

Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Wednesday 28 November 2007

The Dominoes Featuring Clyde McPhatter

1977 Gusto LP focussing on Clyde McPhatter’s years with the Dominoes (1950-1953). The first 9 tracks have lead vocals by McPhatter, while in the second 9 he features on backing vocals. I wonder if it was this version of “Harbor Lights” that Elvis had heard before he recorded his own version of the track at Sun. McPhatter’s lead vocals on the slow numbers are among the most haunting you’ll ever hear.

Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download link:

1. No Says My Heart
2. Do Something For Me
3. Harbor Lights
4. That's What You're Doing To Me
5. I Can't Escape From You
6. Don't Leave Me This Way
7. Deep Sea Blues
8. When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano
9. Yours Forever
10. Chicken Blues
11. Weeping Willow Blues
12. Heart To Heart *
13. The Deacon Moves In *
14. Love Love Love
15. Pedal Pushin' Papa
16. No Room
17.I Ain't Gonna Cry For You
18. I'm Lonely

* = with Little Esther

This album is still available in the UK as an imported CD. Get it from Amazon.

Monday 26 November 2007

The Dominoes - Have Mercy Baby


Updated version of this post is here:

This is a 1985 Charly LP of Dominoes’ King/Federal sides recorded between 1950 and 1955. Billy Ward’s Dominoes were the first vocal group to bring a gospel sound to the R&B charts thanks to the spectacular lead vocals of Clyde McPhatter. In doing so they became progenitors of soul and rock’n’roll. Indeed “That’s What You’re Doing To Me” (May 1951) is a candidate for the first real rock’n’roll record.

“Sixty Minute Man” (lead vocal – Bill Brown) was the first R&B vocal group recording to enter the pop charts (1951). A boastful novelty tribute to physical stamina, it featured the line “I rock ‘em, roll ‘em all night long” and helped to fix the phrase “rock and roll” in the public mind.

In the spring of 1953 Clyde McPhatter left the Dominoes and went on to form the Drifters on Atlantic Records. His replacement was the equally (or even more?) talented Jackie Wilson but his only top ten R&B hit with the group was “Rags To Riches”. Ward changed the style of the Dominoes away from rockers and early soul and more towards sentimental ballads, achieving pop success with “St. Therese Of The Roses” in 1956, and further success after the departure of Jackie Wilson with “Stardust” and “Deep Purple”.

The liner notes by Bill Millar are well worth reading for a history of the Dominoes.

1. Chicken Blues
2. Do Something For Me *
3. Weeping Willow Blues *
4. Sixty Minute Man
5. That's What You're Doing To Me *
6. I Am With You *
7. Don't Leave Me This Way *
8. Have Mercy Baby *
9. Pedal Pushin' Papa
10. I'd Be Satisfied *
11. The Bells *
12. I Ain't Gonna Cry For You
13. You Can't Keep A Good Man Down **
14. My Baby's 3-D
15. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town **
16. If I Never Get To Heaven

* lead vocal – Clyde McPhatter
** lead vocal – Jackie Wilson

Sunday 25 November 2007

Dexter Gordon & Wardell Gray - The Hunt

Many thanks to Billy K for sending this Savoy Jazz double LP to post here.

Each of the four tracks occupied one side of the original album. They are jam sessions, principally tenor sax battles between Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, recorded live in front of an audience at the Brown Bomber, Los Angeles, in July 1947. Other musicians on the sessions include Howard McGhee, Trummy Young, Sonny Criss, Barney Kessel and Hampton Hawes.

Billy K has included scans of the album art, featuring an essay by Ross Russell which wonderfully evokes the Central Avenue scene in Los Angeles and the arrival of bebop on the West Coast.

The original rip from vinyl is in m4a format (160 kbps) and can be downloaded from Billy K's link here:

link deleted by mediafire

I used the freeware program Any Audio Converter to produce an mp3 version (192 kbps ) which you can download from here:

1. Disorder At The Border
2. Cherokee
3. Byas-a-Drink
4. The Hunt

Saturday 24 November 2007

The King Cole Trio - Trio Days

Early Nat “King” Cole Trio sides recorded for Decca in late 1940 and early 1941. The line up is Nat “King” Cole – piano and lead vocals, Oscar Moore – guitar and ensemble vocals, Wesley Prince – bass and ensemble vocals.

These are mostly jazzy, jivey numbers with plenty of instrumentals, ensemble vocals and hepcat lyrics. The early version of “Sweet Lorraine” hints at the future career of Cole as a peerless ballad singer.

This was a 1984 LP in the Charly jazz subsidiary Affinity’s “Big Band Bounce & Boogie” series although what this album has to do with big bands (or boogie) defeats me. I guess it has got plenty bounce, though!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download link:

1. Honeysuckle Rose
2. Sweet Lorraine
3. This Side Up
4. Gone With The Draft
5. Call The Police
6. That Ain't Right
7. Are You Fer It?
8. Hit That Jive Jack
9. Early Morning Blues
10. Babs
11. Scotchin' With Soda
12. Slow Down
13. I Like To Riff
14. This Will Make You Laugh
15. Hit The Ramp
16. Stop, The Red Light's On

Please note: this LP was re-upped in June 2016 in a new post with more information here:

Thursday 22 November 2007

Big Jay McNeely - Big "J" In 3-D (King LP 650)

The Big Jay saga continues with this album (originally released in 1956 as Federal 395) of 12 of his sides recorded for Federal from August 1952 to April 1954. "The Goof", "3D" and "Nervous Man Nervous" are among the wildest tracks he ever recorded. "Mule Milk" is almost as wild but has crowd noises overdubbed in attempt to recreate the crazed atmosphere of Big Jay's live concerts.

By the time this album was released, Big Jay had been away from Federal for one and a half years, had recorded briefly for Veejay in 1955 and had laid down a complete session at Atlantic which was never released. Tastes in R&B and Rock'n'Roll were changing. Sax fans now preferred the smoother stylings of Earl Bostic, and the teenage audience who had made up so much of Big Jay's fan base were turning to vocal groups such as The Penguins, The Clovers, The Drifters and The Platters. Our hero's career appeared to be taking a nosedive. Could he survive or was he doomed to be yesterday's news like Wynonie Harris, Amos Milburn, Roy Milton and so many other one-time R&B heroes?

I have included the album art from both the CD and the Sing 1980s reissue vinyl LP. The front cover for the CD is a repro of the original 1956 vinyl release. The front cover for the 1988 Sing vinyl LP differs from the original. The back cover for the CD has a tracklist and no notes. The back cover of the Sing LP reproduces the original liner notes (which amazingly try to sell Big Jay as a jazz musician) and adds a tracklist, session details and a photograph. In other words if you're burning a CD copy for your collection, it's best to use the CD front cover and the LP back cover.

Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download link:

1. The Goof
2. Ice Water
3. Big Jay Shuffle
4. Rock Candy
5. Whipped Cream
6. Hot Cinders
7. 3-D
8. Hardtack
9. Nervous Man Nervous
10. Mule Milk
11. Let's Work
12. Beachcomber

Monday 19 November 2007

Big John Greer - R&B In New York City

Big band veteran tenor sax man John Greer issued a series of sides for RCA Victor subsidiaries Vic and Groove which were an odd mixture of rocking R&B and sickly sweet ballads. Despite his prowess as a horn player, on most of these sides Greer confined himself to vocalising while the rocking sax breaks were left to Budd Johnson, Big Al Sears and Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor.

Sides on this comp recorded between 1951 and 1955. The only substantial hit was “Got You On My Mind” which was a blatant Ivory Joe Hunter rip-off.

Ripped from the 1988 Official LP at 320 kbps.

Download link here:

More detailed Big John Greer post here:

1. Woman Is A Five Letter Word
2. Tell Me So
3. Got You On My Mind
4. Let Me Hold You
5. You Played On My Piano
6. Lonesome And Blue
7. I Need You
8. I'll Never Let You Go
9. I'm The Fat Man
10. Beginning To Miss You
11. Rhythm In The Breeze
12. Drinkin' Fool
13. Getting Mighty Lonesome For You
14. Too Long
15. Come Back Maybelline
16. Night Crawlin'

Sunday 18 November 2007

Lowell Hastings, Danny Turner & Eddie Woodland - Count 'Red' Hastings

Lowell Hastings, aka “Count” Hastings, aka “Red” Hastings cut two sessions for Gotham Records, one in November 1948 and one in January 1950. A hugely experienced tenor sax man, he is probably best known for his 1949 – 1951 spell with the Earl Bostic group, but a glance at the list of his sessions on the back cover of this LP shows him playing alongside such luminaries as Tiny Bradshaw, Lucky Millinder, Panama Francis, Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan (see front cover photo) and Little Willie John.

Tony Burke’s sleevenotes nicely sum up what is on offer here: “Many jazz musicians of the era moved freely between small jazz combos, big bands and rhythm and blues outfits, and at times when they came to record, the distinction between R&B, jazz and bop became almost indetectable. This compilation, dominated by Lowell Hastings, takes us neatly into the realms where rhythm and blues merged into bop and jazz, and to where Ivin Ballen was trying to carve a niche for his company in an increasingly competitive market.”

The Eddie Woodland and Danny Turner sides, dating from 1949, are in a similar style.

Ripped at 320 kbps from vinyl.

Download link:

1. Diga Diga Do / Count Hastings
2. Sugar Cane / Count Hastings
3. Minor In The Diner * / Count Hastings
4. She's Funny That Way / Count Hastings
5. Patches * / Count Hastings
6. Begin The Beguine / Count Hastings
7. Candied Yam / Count Hastings
8. Patches / Count Hastings
9. Baboo / Count Hastings
10. Minor In The Diner * / Count Hastings
11. Midnight Moan * / Danny Turner
12. Snap Case * / Eddie Woodland
13. Jumpin' With Pio * / Eddie Woodland
14. Danny's Jump ** / Danny Turner

* = previously unreleased take

** = previously unreleased title

Saturday 17 November 2007

Earl Bostic - Sax 'O' Boogie

This LP from Martin Van Olderen’s Oldie Blues label brings together 16 of Earl Bostic’s early Gotham and King sides recorded between 1947 and early 1951. This is raw and raucous jump blues which is quite unlike the hit making arrangements adopted by Bostic after “Flamingo”. The album was mastered from original 78rpm discs so there is some surface noise.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download link:

1. Bostic's Jump
2. Earl's Rhumboogie
3. Hot Sauce Boss
4. 8:45 Stomp
5. Bar Fly Baby
6. Bostic's Boogie Blues
7. Blip Boogie
8. From Midnight To Dawn
9. Swing Low Sweet Boogie
10. Nay, Nay, Go Away
11. Sugar Hill Blues
12. Choppin' It Down
13. No Name Blues
14. Way Down
15. Don't You Do It
16. Rockin' And Reelin'

Recommended Purchase:

"Flamingo" (Proper PVCD 100)

This 2CD set (now out of print?) looks at the early career of Earl Bostic, starting with his spells in the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Rex Stewart. Also featured are the sides recorded with his own big band for Majestic and many of his small group sides for Gotham and King up to October 1951. There are extensive liner notes by Joop Visser. Well worth buying.

Monday 5 November 2007

Bill Haley - restored covers

As you can see on my previous post, the Bill Haley EP cover is in pretty poor condition. One of the members of the rockhall forum has done a neat restoration job and you can see part of the result above. Thank you, fellow rocker!

I've added a couple of crops to the original file and you can download the folder from here:

or download our fellow rocker's original file from his own link here:

It's scratchy old record time again!

Another vintage Bill Haley and his Comets EP from the fabulous fifties. There's some clicking and crackling on this one, which I guess is understandable as it is over 50 years old. The sleevenotes refer to a forthcoming tour of the western United States, Canada and Europe in early 1957.

Two things struck me as I listened to this record. Firstly the standard of the music. These guys really rock. Secondly the standard of sound reproduction. CDs and mp3s just can't compare to original vinyl discs when it comes to delivering gutsy whomp. This is the best way to experience the big beat.

This EP and the earlier one I posted belonged to my pal's dad. They've been lying in my record cupboard for years. I'd noticed that inside the sleeve of this record there was a second disc which I thought might be Rock'N'Roll Stage Show part 1. I pulled it out last night and found that it wasn't. It was this:

The original "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" - rock 'n' roll Nirvana! So here is this piece of musical history for you to hear in something like its original form.

Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show part 2:

1. A Rocking Little Tune
2. Hide And Seek
3. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
4. Blue Comet Blues

1. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
2. Thirteen Women


No password

Monday 15 October 2007

Todd Rhodes - Dance Music That Hits The Spot!

This is a re-up of a post I originally put on rockhall. I have replaced the scan of the front cover (which was pretty dreadful) with a new much-improved scan.
A mix of jazzy jump blues and punchy R&B instrumentals. The earliest sides were recorded for Sensation and Vitacoustic in 1947/8, the rest for King in 1951-54. "Blues For The Red Boy" was used by Alan Freed as the theme for his Moondog radio show in 1951 in Cleveland.

Ripped at 320 kbps from vinyl. Password = greaseyspoon

1. Blues For The Red Boy
2. Pot Likker
3. Teardrops
4. Beet Patch
5. Blue Autumn
6. Specks
7. Echoes
8. Chicken Strut
9. Bell Boy Boogie
10. Rocket 69
11. Feathers
12. Thunderbolt Boogie
13. Red Boy Is Back
14. Snuff Dipper
15. Silver Sunset
16. Gin Gin Gin

If you dig this album then you should buy this excellent CD which has been issued by Ace -

CDCHD 856. Todd Rhodes' early r&B recordings in superb sound quality. Far better than the compressed mp3s ripped from some 1980s bootleg on offer here at Be Bop Wino! Plus a great information booklet is included in the usual exemplary Ace packaging.

Saturday 29 September 2007

Sonny Thompson - Cat On The Keys

Side One:
1. Cat On The Keys pt 1
2. Cat On The Keys pt 2
3. Sugar Cane
4. Clang Clang Clang
5. Mellow Blues pt 1
6. Mellow Blues pt 2
7. Single Shot
8. Cotton Ball pt 2

Side Two:
1. Let's Move
2. Real Real Fine pt 2
3. Gum Shoe
4. Blues Mambo
5. Long Gone pt 2
6. Frog Legs
7. Down In The Dumps
8. Behind The Sun pt 2

Back in the first half of the 1950s the King label of Cincinnati boasted a formidable roster of rhythm and blues bands – Tiny Bradshaw, Todd Rhodes, Bull Moose Jackson, Lucky Millinder, Earl Bostic, Bill Doggett, and the “King of the Two Parter,” Sonny Thompson.

Sonny Thompson’s most successful period as a platter seller was with Miracle Records of Chicago for whom he recorded between 1947 and 1949, a period which saw him have two monster instrumental hits – “Long Gone, Parts 1 and 2” and “Late Freight.” Although he was born in Memphis in 1916, Sonny was raised in Chicago after his family relocated. He studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, but it was the night club ivory tinkling of Earl Hines and Art Tatum which had the biggest influence on his musical career. In the early 1940s Sonny followed in the footsteps of the masters, playing solo piano or heading up a trio on the club circuit around the Windy City.

His recording debut was for the small Detroit based Sultan label where he recorded two solo boogie woogie sides, “Southside Boogie” and Sonny’s Boogie.” In 1946 the Miracle record label was launched by Lee Egalnick in Chicago. Sonny was soon recording for the new diskery along with Gladys Palmer, The Dick Davis Orchestra, Memphis Slim, Eddie Chamblee, and The Sharps and Flats. The full story of Miracle Records and the early career of Sonny Thompson can be read on this page of the Red Saunders Research Foundation website which is a superb source of info on the Chicago R&B scene.

“Long Gone, Parts 1 and 2” was recorded towards the end of 1947 during the period when record companies were piling up recordings in anticipation of the AFM recording ban which would come into force on January 1st 1948. On Part 1 Sonny was accompanied by the Sharps and Flats, a jive trio featuring guitar, bass and drums. This side of the disc was a showcase for Sonny’s piano playing and the guitar of Arvin Garrett. Part 2 was recorded a few days later with Eddie Chamblee’s tenor sax being added to the same personnel as Part 1. Although “Long Gone” was Miracle’s biggest selling disc, a court case brought by a publishing company claiming copyright infringement may have been one of the causes of the demise of the record company in the spring of 1950. By the time Miracle was wound up, Sonny Thompson had already moved over to King Records for whom he started recording in January 1950.

This collection, which was released on Swingtime in 1988, brings together a heap of instrumentals recorded by Sonny for King between 1950 and 1956, with “Long Gone, Part 2” being the only track from his Miracle days. In fact King purchased most of the masters belonging to the defunct Miracle in October 1950.

“Mellow Blues, Parts 1 and 2” was the only instrumental chart hit for Sonny on King, the disc reaching number 8 in the R&B chart in 1952. Sonny’s only other hits with King were both vocal efforts featuring Lula Reed: “I’ll Drown In My Tears” reached number 5 in July 1952 and “Let’s Call It A Day” reached number 8 a month later. And yes, “I’ll Drown In My Tears” is the same song which was later recorded by Ray Charles as “I’ll Drown In My Own Tears.”

Despite the lack of chart success, the tracks on this LP are all excellent instrumentals which show the versatility of Sonny’s tight little group. Most of the sax work is by David Brooks and the electric guitar parts are by Chauncey “Lord” Westbrook, Bill Johnson and perhaps most notably, Clarence Kenner. It’s all fine jazzy stuff with dance floor fillers like “Cat On The Keys” (irresistible!), juke box toe tappers like “Let’s Move” and “Real Real Fine” and slinky late night smoochers like “Mellow Blues” and “Cotton Ball.” The 1956 track “Gum Shoe” has a searing tenor sax solo by King Curtis. This side was cut at what was effectively Sonny’s last session for King as the artist named on the disc label.

Sonny’s work on King wasn’t confined to recording his own sides. He was in demand as backing musician, producer and arranger on sides credited to other artists, most notably Wynonie Harris and Lula Reed (who recorded both as a solo and as Sonny’s band vocalist). Among the sides he cut with Harris were “Greyhound,” “Rot Gut,” “Shake That Thing” and “Git To Gittin’ Baby.” All fine rabble rousing rhythm and blues floor shakers, but sadly unsuccessful when it came to shifting platters. As the 1950s wore on Sonny gradually abandoned his own recording career in favour of his backing and arranging duties, perhaps being best remembered for his work with Freddie King in the early 1960s.

My thanks to Joan for the scans of 1950s EPs and singles by Sonny Thompson. A folder of  Joan's scans is included in the download.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

1. Cat On The Keys pt 1
2. Cat On The Keys pt 2
3. Sugar Cane
4. Clang Clang Clang
5. Mellow Blues pt 1
6. Mellow Blues pt 2
7. Single Shot
8. Cotton Ball pt 2
9. Let's Move
10. Real Real Fine pt 2
11. Gum Shoe
12. Blues Mambo
13. Long Gone pt 2
14. Frog Legs
15. Down In The Dumps
16. Behind The Sun pt 2

Recommended purchases:

Blue Moon has issued five volumes of Sonny’s recordings on CD, covering the years 1946 – 1955.

You may find these two out of print CDs if you search around:

Jam Sonny Jam – Original Miracle and King Masters 1947-1956 (Sequel NEM CD 900)

This is a twenty tracker which includes “Screamin’ Boogie” recorded with the Dick Davies Orchestra and many alternate takes. Very highly recommended.

“The EP Collection” (See for Miles SEECD 702)

This 26 track collection includes six sides by Lula Reed. Her 1952 hits “Let’s Call It A Day” and “I’ll Drown In My Tears” are present as are four extremely tough and gutsy performances from a 1961 session: “I Got a Notion,” “Puddentane,” “I’m A Woman, But I Don’t Talk” and “I Know.” These represent a change in style from her early 1950s work and are very highly recommended, as are all the instrumental tracks by Sonny on this collection.

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Nellie Lutcher & Nat "King" Cole - For You My Love

Cool Cole - what a guy! Here he guests with Nellie Lutcher on the Paul Gayten song 'For You My Love'. This was a 12" single released in the UK in 1985. I can't remember why it was released - perhaps a TV commercial or film tie-in? Does anyone out there know?

B-side has two swingers by Nellie Lutcher - 'He's A Real Gone Guy' and 'Lake Charles Boogie'.

Ripped at 320kbps from vinyl

password = greaseyspoon

Monday 24 September 2007

Scratchy Old Record Time - Bill Haley EP

Genuine 1950's UK-issue Bill Haley 45rpm extended play disc. Dreadful artwork on the front cover. Back cover has good liner notes - it's interesting to read the author struggling to categorise the music. The music? Ah, yes here's Bill Haley and the Comets on the same blog as some of the giants of Jazz and R&B, and guess what? Old Bill doesn't sound too bad at all! There'll be more rock'n'roll and even hillbilly on here. It's all good music!

password = greaseyspoon; ripped from vinyl at 320kbps; click on the link to get the music and the covers.
My thanks to the Lawson family - I borrowed this from them about 25 years ago. I must return it some day ...

The Orioles - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

Side A:
1. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
2. It Seems So Long Ago
3. A Kiss And A Rose
4. Please Give My Heart A Break
5. It's A Cold Summer
6. Would You Still Be The One In My Heart
7. We're Supposed To Be Through
8. I Need You So

Side B:
1. When You're A Long Way From Home
2. When You're Not Around
3. Is My Heart Wasting Time
4. Shrimp Boats
5. It's Over Because We're Through
6. Barfly
7. Drowning Every Hope I Ever Had
8. I Love You Mostly

All vintage label scans are courtesy Joan K.
For a wonderfully researched account of the history of The Orioles, please go to Marv Goldberg’s site.

From Baltimore, Maryland, they came, crashing into the R&B chart (before it was thus named) with a sentimental ballad titled “It’s Too Soon To Know.” Number one with a bullet and pretty high in the pop chart too. Quite an achievement for an unknown vocal group back in 1948. Better established artists such as Dinah Washington, The Ravens and Ella Fitzgerald rushed out cover versions which also performed well in the R&B chart.

The record may have gone down in the annals of R&B as one of the most important in the development of the music, yet to 21st century ears it’s hard to hear what all the fuss was about. “It’s Too Soon To Know” is much closer to the Ink Spots era of vocal group stylings rather than the rockin’ R&B group performances which The Dominoes, The Clovers and The Five Keys turned out just a few years later. Yet this sweet ballad of uncertain adolescent yearning shifted thousands of units and sparked off hysterical scenes among the huge female following which The Orioles attracted to their live appearances. The performance lacked the pop polish of recordings by the Ink Spots and perhaps conveyed more emotion than the more established group would have done with the same material, and that was enough to mark the record as innovative.

The Orioles were originally The Vibra-Naires, founded in Baltimore in 1947. They were: lead tenor Sonny Til (born Earlington Carl Tilghman), George Nelson (baritone), Alexander Sharp (high tenor), Johnny Reed (bass and double bass player) and Tommy Gaither (guitar). The catalyst which brought about their success was the appointment of local songwriter Deborah Chessler as the group’s manager. She secured them a spot on the Arthur Murray Talent Scouts radio show in New York City by sending in demos of the group singing some of her songs, including “It’s Too Soon To Know.” Although the group didn’t win, they were invited back for repeat appearances thanks to huge audience reaction in their favour.

Sonny Til
While the group was in New York, Deborah Chessler used the Vibra-Naires demos to secure a recording contract with Jerry Blaine, owner of the Jubilee label. The group was renamed The Orioles (the state bird of Maryland) and recorded two Chessler compositions for release on a new label started by Blaine, called (It’s A) Natural. “Barbra Lee” b/w “It’s Too Soon To Know” was released on (It’s A) Natural 5000 in July 1948 with the B side quickly becoming by far the bigger seller. Number one spot in the R&B chart plus number fourteen in the pop chart propelled The Orioles into the top twenty selling R&B artists of 1948.

Success attracted the attention of National Records who threatened Jerry Blaine with court action, alleging that his Natural label was a tad too similar in name to their already well established brand. Blaine avoided the court action by closing down Natural and moving “It’s Too Soon To Know” over to his Jubilee label where all subsequent Blaine issues of Orioles recordings appeared.

The big year for The Orioles was 1949 with a string of hits making them the fourth top selling R&B act behind Amos Milburn, Charles Brown and Louis Jordan. All were slow ballads as Jubilee and The Orioles stuck to a winning formula: “Please Give My Heart A Break,” “Tell Me So” (another number one hit), “I Challenge Your Kiss,” “A Kiss And a Rose,” “Forgive And Forget,” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” were the platters that mattered for the guys and their devoted fans. The hits continued into 1950: “Is My Heart Wasting Time,” “At Night,” “O Holy Night,” and “The Lord’s Prayer” were the sellers for that year.

In November 1950 tragedy struck when the group were involved in a car crash while on tour. Tommy Gaither was killed and George Nelson and Johnny Reed were injured. Tommy was replaced by Ralph Williams. 1951 was the year in which The Orioles were toppled from their position as the top R&B vocal group by the arrival of The Dominoes and The Clovers. The following year, in an effort to keep up with the harder rocking sounds of the new groups, The Orioles released “Baby Please Don’t Go” which reached number eight in the R&B charts. Also in 1952 two good bluesy discs, “Barfly” and “See See Rider” saw some chart action.

George Nelson left the group in the spring of 1953, being replaced by Gregory Carroll. In June of that year The Orioles recorded a cover version of the country song “Crying In The Chapel” which became their biggest ever hit, spending five weeks at the top of the R&B charts and reaching number eleven in the pop charts. The follow up, “In The Mission Of St. Augustine,” was their last national hit, reaching number seven in the R&B charts.

A side of "Robe of Calvary" January 1954
From now on the only way was down as a series of “religious” releases such as “In The Chapel In The Moonlight” and “Robe of Calvary” failed to replicate the success of “Crying” and “In The Mission.” Deborah Chessler quit in the autumn of 1954 and a series of departures left Sonny Til as the only original Oriole by the spring of 1955. Sonny recruited a group called The Regals as new Orioles and recorded the last Orioles sides for Jubilee in October 1955.

In May 1956 this second version of The Orioles started a stint for VeeJay which saw the release of three singles to little interest from the public. This group broke up in 1959. In the 1960s Sonny Til recruited several further line ups to sing as the Orioles but by this stage they were very much a “golden oldies” act. As this blog concentrates on the golden years of R&B in the 1940s and 1950s, we shall discretely let the curtain fall on the latter day Orioles while intoning sorrowfully “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.”

For a full account of Sonny Til and The Orioles please get yourselves over to Marv Goldberg’s site. It’s well worth the effort of a couple of clicks.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

1. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
2. It Seems So Long Ago
3. A Kiss And A Rose
4. Please Give My Heart A Break
5. It's A Cold Summer
6. Would You Still Be The One In My Heart
7. We're Supposed To Be Through
8. I Need You So
9. When You're A Long Way From Home
10. When You're Not Around
11. Is My Heart Wasting Time
12. Shrimp Boats
13. It's Over Because We're Through
14. Barfly
15. Drowning Every Hope I Ever Had
16. I Love You Mostly

Investigate further on Be Bop Wino with this slightly trashed copy of “Cadillacs Meet The Orioles.”

Recommended Purchases:

The Orioles 1947-1955 (Future Noise) - A still available 2CD set with 52 tracks from Jubilee.

Jubilee Jive: Rockin’ With The Orioles (Sequel) – A long out of print CD which features many unreleased tracks. Like the title says, it concentrates on rockin’ tunes recorded by the group for Jubilee. Includes “Barbra Lee” the A side of their first hit. Highly recommended if you can find a copy.

Sonny Til (Solo) featuring Edna McGriff (Sequel) – Another out of print CD. This one features tracks Sonny recorded solo for Jubilee as well as his duets with Edna McGriff.

Jubilee and Josie R&B Vocal Groups Volume One (Sequel) – like the previous two recommendations, this CD is out of print. Part of an excellent series released in conjunction with Blues and Rhythm magazine, this collection includes “It’s Too Soon To Know,” “Getting Tired Tired Tired” and “Teardrops On My Pillow.” Other groups on the disc include The Sultans (“Lemon Squeezing Daddy”), The Marylanders and The Charioteers. If you see this one, grab it.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Stompin' At The Savoy

Side 1
1. Stompin' At The Savoy (Intro)/ Erroll Garner
2. T'Ain't What You Do / Little Esther
3. My Brown Frame Baby / H-Bomb Ferguson
4. Midnight Rambler / Sam 'The Man' Taylor
5. The Milkshake Stand / The Three Barons
6. Howling Winds / Big Joe Turner
7. Brown Gold / Art Pepper Quartet
8. Romance Without Finance / Tiny Grimes with Charlie Parker
9. Cupid's Boogie / Little Esther & Mel Walker
10. I Ain't Mad At You / Gatemouth Moore
11. All Nite Long / Johnny Otis

Side 2
1. Spinal / Fats Navarro & Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis
2. Ornithology / Babs Gonzales
3. The Birdland Story / Eddie Jefferson
4. Another Hair-Do / Charlie Parker & Miles Davis
5. The Jam Man / Slim Gaillard & Bam Brown
6. Sweet Man / Miss Rhapsody with Slam Stewart
7. Rock Me To Sleep / Helen Humes
8. Write Me A Letter / The Ravens
9. Rib Joint / Sam Price

This is the first music post on Be Bop Wino and it’s a fair representation of the kind of material I hope to post. It presents a mixture of R&B and jazz from the vaults of Savoy Records of Newark, New Jersey. There are also sides from National, another early independent record company which was taken over by Savoy.

Savoy was one of the first (founded in 1942) R&B indies and pioneered not only the new R&B music but also bebop - the new progressive form of jazz. In fact Savoy was the first indie record company to have a hit record on the 'Harlem Hit Parade' as the R&B chart was known at the time - 'Don't Stop Now' by the Bunny Banks Trio in January 1943. This was at a time when the major labels, especially Decca, had a virtual monopoly on the Race Charts. A year later not only Savoy, but other new indies such as Beacon and Exclusive were placing platters on the bestseller list.

These tracks have been ripped from a cassette which was given away free (via mail order) in the New Musical Express either in 1982 or the first half of 1983. At this time Ace and Charly had started their extensive reissue programmes. The Mr R&B group of labels were also issuing obscure and long-forgotten rhythm and blues records. The cassette was a sampler for a reissue programme of LPs of Savoy sides but somehow these albums always seemed to be harder to find than the Ace and Charly stuff.

The programming on the cassette (by Roy Carr and Neil Spencer) was a revelation as it ignored the genre boundaries and boldly mixed R&B and jazz. Somehow the two related but different kinds of music seemed to fit together well, perhaps because they came from the same time period. “Stompin’ At The Savoy” certainly opened my ears to the sound of bebop and related 1940s jazz. Before I heard this cassette I had confined my purchases of vintage music to jump, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. After hearing these tracks, my taste in 1940s and 1950s music broadened to encompass bebop, swing and hard bop.

I've included the liner notes in the upload as they are a good evocation of a time when many people were discovering this wonderful music. The list of record shops on the cover certainly came in handy for me as in the summer of 1983 I used it to search out shops such as Doug Dobell's, Rocks Off, Rhythm Records and of course Ted Carroll's legendary Rock On.

Ripped at 320 kbps from a free cassette, so don't expect the sound to be hi in the fi.
1. Stompin' At The Savoy (Intro)/ Erroll Garner
2. T'Ain't What You Do / Little Esther
3. My Brown Frame Baby / H-Bomb Ferguson
4. Midnight Rambler / Sam 'The Man' Taylor
5. The Milkshake Stand / The Three Barons
6. Howling Winds / Big Joe Turner
7. Brown Gold / Art Pepper Quartet
8. Romance Without Finance / Tiny Grimes with Charlie Parker
9. Cupid's Boogie / Little Esther & Mel Walker
10. I Ain't Mad At You / Gatemouth Moore
11. All Nite Long / Johnny Otis
12. Spinal / Fats Navarro & Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis
13. Ornithology / Babs Gonzales
14. The Birdland Story / Eddie Jefferson
15. Another Hair-Do / Charlie Parker & Miles Davis
16. The Jam Man / Slim Gaillard & Bam Brown
17. Sweet Man / Miss Rhapsody with Slam Stewart
18. Rock Me To Sleep / Helen Humes
19. Write Me A Letter / The Ravens
20. Rib Joint / Sam Price

I hope this humble offering serves as a starting point for a journey to the Nirvana of Perfect Hepness. Start your pilgrimage along the Highway of Cool by seeking out the recommended CDs below:

Still Stompin’ At The Savoy (Giant Steps Records GIST 003)

This CD version of “Stompin’ At The Savoy” was released in 2003, twenty years after the original cassette. The number of tracks was expanded to 23, with a few of the original tracks dropping out. There are extensive notes on each track by Roy Carr. Among the “new” tracks are “And The Angels Swing” by Stan Getz, “Mambo Boogie” and “Turkey Hop” by Johnny Otis, “Now’s The Time” by Charlie Parker, “Barbados” by Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, “We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll” by Wild Bill Moore and “The Hucklebuck” by Paul Williams. From the original cassette, tracks by Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor and Sam Price were dropped along with “Another Hair-Do” by Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. This CD is still available at a budget price and also as an mp3 download.

First Steps (Savoy Jazz SVY 17197)

This Billy Vera compilation of 1940s jazz sides from Savoy has only one track in common with “Still Stompin’ At The Savoy” – “And The Angels Swing” by Stan Getz. There are tracks by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Ike Quebec, Dexter Gordon, George Shearing, Leo Parker, Harold Land, etc. Issued in the US, and still available, it turned up in the UK at branches of Fopp at a ludicrously cheap price. It was just the ticket for those whose curiosity for 1940s jazz had been aroused by either the cassette or CD version of “Stompin’ At The Savoy.”

Black California Volume 2 (Savoy Jazz SV-0274)

A 1995 Japanese CD issue of one of the LPs trailed by the “Stompin’ At The Savoy” cassette. It’s probably impossible to find now, but keep searching those second hand record shops. It has 4 tracks by Slim Gaillard (including “The Jam Man”), 4 by Helen Humes (including “Rock Me To Sleep”), 4 by Kenny Clarke, “Wake Up Old Maid” by Russell Jacquet and 2 long jam session tracks – “Blow Blow Blow” by Wardell Gray and “What Is This Thing Called Love” by Wild Bill Moore and Gene Montgomery. The CD has 17 tracks whereas the original double LP set had 21 tracks.

Jumpin’ Like Mad – Cool Cats and Hip Chicks Non-Stop Dancin’ (Capitol Blues Collection)

A 2 CD set compiled by Billy Vera in 1996 with the Swing Revival very much in mind. This is a fantastic choice of Aladdin, Imperial and Capitol sides mixing jazz, jump and R&B. There’s everything from Gene Ammons to Lalo Guerrero, Lester Young to Jimmy Liggins, Cootie Williams to The King Cole Trio. Throw in Ella Mae Morse, Calvin Boze, Louis Prima, Peggy Lee, T-Bone Walker, Jesse Price, Big Jay McNeely and numerous others and we are talking god-like genius in the compilation department. Long out of print. If you get a chance to buy a copy, grab it!

Jumpin’ & Jivin’ (Ace CDCHD 654)

Billy Vera is the king of categorisation busting as he proves with another mix of R&B and jazz. On this 1997 set he juxtaposes West Coast R&B sides from Specialty with hip jazz tracks from NYC label Prestige. This CD is notable for featuring some hard rockin’ late Roy Milton sides. Among the cool cats are Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, King Pleasure, Leo Parker, Joe Carroll and my fellow Scot Annie Ross. Nice! It’s possibly out of print now, but there should be plenty of second hand copies floating around.

Let’s Jump – Swingin’ Humdingers from Modern Records (Ace CDCHD 809)

Once more Billy Vera breaks through the artificial boundaries of genre with this 2002 compilation of jump, swing, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. The liner notes pay tribute to the Swing Scenesters of the 1990s who gave another boost to the survival of this kind of music. There’s Oscar McLollie, Ben Webster (with Benny Carter), Lucky Thompson, Gene Phillips, Big Jim Wynn, Vido Musso, Jimmy Witherspoon, The Flairs and other swingin’ cats. Still in print and most highly recommended.