Be Bop Wino proudly presents another compilation in association with our good friends over at Rocker Stomp
– the home of rock ‘n’ roll web compilations.
It’s quite a while since I’ve done this sort of thing and I’ve been mulling over several ideas for comps. For this one I took as my inspiration the Ace (UK) CD “Honky Tonk! The King & Federal R&B Instrumentals”. I realised I had more than enough tracks on vinyl to get an unofficial Volume 2 together, so here it is. All ripped from well used vinyl at 320 kbps with the occasional scratch, click and thump to help you dear listeners experience that genuine 1950s sound.
Although the collection is subtitled “Blazing Instros”, there are in fact quite a few slow burners here as I’ve tried to vary the pace. I think that’s important as listening to 25 frantic honkers and squealers one after the other can be kind of daunting to say the least.
So sit back, imagine you’re in your favourite tavern some time in the early 1960s and the jukebox is particularly well stocked with the kind of platters that get the punters shufflin’ round the dance floor. There’s plenty of tenor sax, piano, Hammond organ and electric guitar to get the joint a-rockin’ and a-swayin’. It’s blues time, so hoist a beer or two, let your Uncle Boogiewoody drop the coins into the slot and swing baby swing!
Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps.
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Download from here:
1. Nervous Man Nervous - Big Jay McNeely
2. Special Delivery Stomp - Earl Bostic
3. Jump And Grunt - Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
4. Chica Boo - Lloyd Glenn
5. The Greasy Spoon - Hank Marr
6. Mellow Blues pt 2 - Sonny Thompson
7. Let's Move - Sonny Thompson
8. Hammer Head - Bill Doggett
9. Tonk Game - Hank Marr
10 Heavy Juice - Tiny Bradshaw
11. Hot Cinders - Big Jay McNeely
12. September Song - Earl Bostic
13. Tenderly - Lynn Hope
14. Gum Shoe - Sonny Thompson
15. Heavy Sugar - Lucky Millinder
16. Side Tracked - Freddy King
17. Walkin' With Mr Lee - Johnny Pate
18. Doodle Bug - James Brown
19. Big Boy - Bill Jennings
20. Shindig - Bill Doggett
21. Hold It - James Brown
22. 3-D - Big Jay McNeely
23. Bear Cat Blues - Bull Moose Jackson
24. What's New - Bill Jennings
25. Big Jay Shuffle - Big Jay McNeely
Big Jay McNeely:
Big Jay Shuffle: Federal 12102, recorded Hollywood, August 26th, 1952
Nervous Man Nervous: Federal 12141, recorded Hollywood, June 23rd, 1953
3-D: Federal 12151, recorded Hollywood, June 23rd, 1953
Hot Cinders: Federal 12179, recorded Cincinnati, January 8th, 1954
September Song: King LP547, recorded Los Angeles, February 28th, 1957
Special Delivery Stomp: King LP583, recorded Los Angeles, January 30th, 1958
Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson:
Jump and Grunt: King 4396, recorded New York, May 22nd, 1950
Chica Boo: Swing Time 254, King 15042, recorded Los Angeles, November 9th, 1950
Tonk Game: Federal 12400, 12507, recorded Cincinnati, December 10th, 1960
The Greasy Spoon: Federal 12508, recorded Cincinnati, June 26th, 1963
Mellow Blues, pt. 2: King 4488, recorded New York City, April 11th, 1951
Let’s Move: King 4657, recorded Cincinnati, July 23rd, 1953
Gum Shoe, King 5055, recorded New York City, October 11th, 1956
Hammer Head: King 5070, recorded New York City, May 9th, 1957
Shindig: King 5070, recorded Chicago, July 17th, 1957
Heavy Juice: King 4621, recorded Cincinnati, January 19th, 1953
Tenderly: King 5336, recorded Cincinnati, March 4th, 1960
Heavy Sugar: King 4557, recorded New York City, June 25th, 1952
Side Tracked: Federal 12462, recorded Cincinnati, April 5th, 1961
Walkin’ With Mr Lee: Federal 12314, recorded Chicago, December 13th, 1957
Doodle Bug: Federal 12360 credited to J.C. (James) Davis, recorded New York City, January 30th, 1959
Hold It: King 5438, recorded Los Angeles, October 4th, 1960
What’s New: King 4735, recorded Cincinnati, July 8th, 1954
Big Boy: King 4760, recorded Cincinnati, October, 1954
Bull Moose Jackson:
Bear Cat Blues: King 4551, recorded New York City, February 6th, 1952
Who else is playing on these solid senders?
The Sonny Thompson band has three credited tracks but Sonny was also an important A&R man and arranger at King Records. Sonny plays piano on the Bull Moose Jackson track “Bear Cat Blues” and provides the backing for Freddy King on “Side Tracked.” The Sonny Thompson band features David Brooks on tenor sax on “Let’s Move.” On “Gum Shoe” David Brooks is joined by King Curtis on tenor sax.
Throughout his career as a bandleader, alto sax maestro Earl Bostic featured the cream of R&B and jazz musicians in his band line ups, including John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine, Count Hastings, Rene Hall, Gene Redd, Mickey Baker, Mario Delagarde, and Barney Kessell. On “Special Delivery Stomp” Earl Palmer is on drums. Earl Bostic recorded at least three versions of “September Song” during his career. The version here probably dates from 1959, although it could be the 1957 version. I’m not going to try my luck by attempting to say who actually plays on the track.
The Bill Doggett line ups on “Hammer Head” and “Shindig” have the classic “Honky Tonk” duo of Billy Butler on guitar and Clifford Scott on tenor sax. Johnny Pate plays bass on “Shindig”. Pate arranged many of the Impressions sessions in the 1960s but back in the 1950s he had his own little group which veered between R&B and jazz. His cover version of Lee Allen’s “Walkin’ With Mr Lee” has heavy interplay between tenor saxman Edwin Johnson and organist Claude Jones. Bill Doggett backs guitarist Bill Jennings on “Big Boy.” On the dreamy “What’s New” backing is provided by Jennings’ own group, although minus band regular Leo Parker. Jennings played on many Willis Jackson sessions on King and Prestige in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Time for honourable mentions to uncredited sax players on the comp. Buddy Tate is on Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s “Jump and Grunt” and Red Prysock is the featured player on Tiny Bradshaw’s “Heavy Juice.” The frantic riffing on many of Big Jay McNeely’s Federal sides would have dissolved into chaos if it wasn’t for the almost uncanny understanding between Big Jay on tenor and his brother Bob on baritone sax. J.C. Davis is the tenor sax player in James Brown’s band on “Hold It.” He had several instrumental releases under his own name on Chess / Argo as well as leading the road band for Etta James. “Doodle Bug” was released on Federal under J.C. Davis’ name, with James Brown’s role limited to playing the organ and contributing an occasional yelp.
Gettin’ near the end now! Count Hastings is on tenor sax along with Hal Clark on big band leader Lucky Millinder’s “Heavy Sugar.” Organist Hank Marr’s band at various times included Freddy King and Rusty Bryant, but neither is present on “Tonk Game” or “The Greasy Spoon.” In fact I haven’t a clue as to who is on these tracks. Lloyd Glenn’s big 1950 hit “Chica Boo” was recorded for Swing Time Records. This recording seems to have resurfaced on several labels including King and Specialty. The recording features pianist Lloyd’s long-time collaborators Billy Hadnott (bass) and Bob Harvey (drums) as well as bongo player Earl Burton. Hadnott and Harvey were both present when Glenn re-recorded “Chica Boo” for Aladdin, and you can find that version on the blog if you use the search box. Lastly, Lynn Hope’s 1960 re-recording of his old 1950 hit on Premium, “Tenderly” has long time Earl Bostic alumnus Gene Redd on vibes helping to re-create that wonderful overheated “exotic” sound which Hope and Bostic exploited so well throughout the 1950’s.