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Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

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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.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra - Walkin'

Here’s a second helping of Buddy Johnson sides from Mercury with this follow up LP (originally issued as Mercury MG-20322 in 1957) to “Rock’n Roll”. This re-issue on Official dates from 1988.

When I dug this LP out of the vinyl vault a couple of years ago for a post on Rockhall, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the contents and, rushing to judgement, I decided that the majority of the tracks weren’t worthy of a post by a hip rockin’ cat like myself. So I extracted 5 tracks (the whole of side 1 minus track 3) and added them to the tracks from “Rock’n Roll” to make up a collection of jumping big band rock ‘n’ roll.

Well I’m not ashamed to admit that I was wrong, for this is one cracking little album. Of the tracks I originally rejected, only two fall into the sentimental ballad category: Nolan Lewis’s Eckstine-style singing on “There’s No One Like You”, and the slightly hipper Floyd Ryland’s 1950’s crooner effort on “You’re Everything My Heart Desires.” Ella Johnson’s vocal efforts on side two are absolutely outstanding. “You’d Better Believe Me” is a sultry blues while “So Good” is a rocker with an irresistible dance beat.

The final two tracks are contrasting instrumentals which demonstrate Buddy Johnson’s talent as an arranger. “Bitter Sweet” conjures up pictures in my mind’s eye of deserted city streets at dawn. It’s like a moody piece from the soundtrack of a 50’s crime film or perhaps an episode of “The Naked City” (“there are eight million stories in New York …”) “Gone Walkin’” on the other hand is all hustle and bustle, evoking the streets in the rush hour.

As for the rest of the LP, it’s rock’n roll time again, with blaring saxes by Purvis Henson, Dave Van Dyke and Johnny Burdine. I’m glad I listened more carefully this time around. Download and appreciate the many sides of the Buddy Johnson Orchestra: blues, boogie, ballads, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll.

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1. Rockin' Time
2. They Don't Want Me To Rock No More (vcl – Ella Johnson)
3. There's No One Like You (vcl - Nolan Lewis)
4. Rock On! (vcl – Buddy Johnson)
5. Ain't Cha Got Me (Where You Want Me) (vcl – Ella Johnson)
6. Buddy's Boogie
7. Oh! Baby Don't You Know (vcl – ensemble)
8. You'd Better Believe Me (vcl – Ella Johnson)
9. You're Everything My Heart Desires (vcl – Floyd Ryland)
10. So Good (vcl – Ella Johnson)
11. Bitter Sweet
12. Gone Walkin'

Saturday 26 September 2009

Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra - Rock 'N Roll (Mercury LP 20209)

Thanks to an anonymous donor who sent in vinyl rips and cover scans of this Buddy Johnson LP which was originally released on Mercury in 1956 and reissued on the Official label in 1988.

Our donor is a sax player who provides an interesting sidelight on the influence of this album and of Buddy Johnson’s tenorman Purvis Henson (that’s him with Buddy on the front cover of the Official issue) on the players who were keeping this music going back in the 1980s:

“This record was a major influence on almost all of the White Blues and Rhythm and Blues Bands that were working the East Coast circuit in the 80's including Roomful. We all circulated tapes of this Album to each other. It is not all that surprising considering that Little Walter listed Buddy Johnson as a major influence and even covered “I'm Just Your Fool”. The main Sax player Purvis Henson has been an influence on all of us Sax players, what an incredible player. I am including both the original Mercury cover art and the Official release. Hope you dig it Bro.”

I dig it, I dig it.

Bandleader, pianist, arranger, songwriter and vocalist Buddy Johnson was a major figure in R&B history, not just because of the longevity of his recording career (1939 – 1964) but also because of the sheer quality and versatility of his band. In the 1940s The Buddy Johnson Orchestra had a string of hits on Decca (many featuring vocalists Ella Johnson, Buddy’s sister, and Arthur Prysock) and was a huge live attraction in their New York base and in the Southern States. Like other top big bands of the era, their repertoire included dance tunes, boogies, blues and ballads. As the era of the big band faded in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Buddy managed to keep his band together, both on the road and in the studio.

In early 1953 Buddy signed for Mercury, revitalising his chart career and starting a new phase of success for the band which had already survived the transformation from swing to R&B and now found itself at the forefront of the rise of rock ‘n’ roll as it became part of the live shows promoted by Alan Freed and his New York rival Tommy “Doctor Jive” Smalls.

The precedent was set in 1953 when The Buddy Johnson Orchestra was part of the first of the really big R&B touring package shows – The Big Rhythm and Blues Show organised by the Moe Gale agency - which also included Ruth Brown, Wynonie Harris, The Clovers and Lester Young. The show drew huge audiences as it travelled through the Eastern States, The Midwest and The South. In Cleveland it drew 10,000 to a show hosted by Alan Freed who would use the band on his own rock ‘n’ roll package shows such as his Boston show of May 1955 which included Bo Diddley, Nappy Brown, The Five Keys, The Moonglows, Dinah Washington, Little Walter, Al Hibbler and Dakota Staton. As late as January 1959, with its hit making days long gone, the band was on the “Biggest Show of Shows” along with The Platters, Jimmy Clanton, Clyde McPhatter, The Crests, The Cadillacs, Bo Diddley and Duane Eddy.

In the same month Buddy’s contract with Mercury was not renewed and the band signed for Roulette but their only single release on the label met with indifference, for the days of that now largely forgotten genre, Big Band Rock ‘n’ Roll, were well and truly over. Before the end of 1959 Roulette released an LP titled “Go Ahead and Rock Rock Rock” credited to both Buddy and Ella. In the early 1960s deteriorating health brought Buddy’s retiral from the music scene. Ella also retired, to take care of Buddy who passed away in 1977, with Ella passing away in 2004.

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1. I Don't Want Nobody v – Ella Johnson
2. Doot Doot Dow
3. Bring It Home To Me v – Ella Johnson
4. You Got It Made v – Floyd Ryland
5. A Pretty Girl v – Ricky Harper
6. Any Day Now v – Ella Johnson
7. It's Obdacious v – Buddy Johnson & Gil Askey
8. Crazy 'Bout A Saxophone v – Buddy Johnson
9. Upside Your Head v – Ella Johnson
10. Ain't But One v – Ella Johnson
11. A-12
12. I'm Just Your Fool v – Ella Johnson

If you want to hear more of Buddy Johnson on Mercury, I recommend this excellent CD on Rev-Ola: “Gotta Go Upside Your Head” (CR Band 6).

Note: Mercury LP MG-20209 was originally issued on the Wing subsidiary of Mercury as MGW-12005. The cover was similar to the Mercury issue MG-20209, although with the tracklist on the other side of the cover photo (see below) –

"Ex-Rhode Islander" pointed out that after the Mercury issue, the LP was again reissued on Wing as MGW 12111. This time round it was retitled "Rock'n Roll Stage Show" and the adman's dream couple photo was replaced by a photo of the band with Buddy and Ella centre front.

Friday 25 September 2009

Nat Cole Meets The Master Saxes (Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet and Dexter Gordon)

I’ve never really thought of myself as a “record collector”. I’m just a guy who happens to have a lot of records. I don’t pore over dealers’ lists or trawl round record fairs and I guess I’m also too canny to pay those ludicrous “collectors’ prices” that some of the sharks in the second hand market demand. However I like to think that I have some taste in music and also that I know a bargain when I see one!

Regular visitors to the blog will have realised that we’ve gone vinyl here at Bebopwino, just in time for my main sources of second hand vinyl to either start drying up or vanish completely. Yup, those interesting independent record stores are disappearing faster than snaw aff a dyke, certainly as far as Glasgow is concerned. There is a long established shop through in Edinburgh which literally has floor to ceiling vinyl but the prices just aren’t to my taste and as so many crates of LPs are crammed into the shop, customers aren’t allowed in for a casual browse.

Now before you all start panicking and running around yelling “Oh no, Bebopwino is running out of vintage sounds, and life just won’t be worth living once he’s uploaded his last record,” just breath a sigh of relief because there are plenty more LPs in my vinyl vault. And there have been a couple of unexpected reinforcements recently in the shape of a bunch of jazz LPs turning up in my local charity shop and then, thanks to a work colleague, another bunch of jazz LPs kind of fell into my lap. Meaning a jazz collector went to the great second hand record shop in the sky and his collection was possibly heading for the skip until my colleague stepped in and did a great rescue job by contacting people he knew who would be interested in this kind of stuff.

So courtesy of a deceased jazz fan and my co-worker here is the first LP from that batch: Nat “King” Cole with three of the best tenor sax men of the day, specifically 1942 – 1943.

The sides with Lester Young were recorded in July 1942 for Van and several years later surfaced as two singles on the new Philo label. The Illinois Jacquet sides were recorded around the same time and appeared on the obscure Disc label as 12 inch 78rpm singles. “Pro-Sky” is my favourite track on the album as Illinois really cuts loose on it. If I were compiling a collection of sides that illustrated the rise of the honking tenor sax, this track would be on it. And it pre-dates the famous Jazz At The Philharmonic recording of “Blues” by about two years. The Dexter Gordon sides were recorded for Clef and Mercury in late 1943.

This LP was probably the one in the worst condition out of the whole bunch, so despite the TLC which I have lavished on it, there is still substantial, hiss, crackle, and lordy knows what else. Audiophiles beware.

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Nat “King” Cole plays piano on all tracks :

1. Indiana / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
2. I Can't Get Started / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
3. Tea For Two / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
4. Body And Soul / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
5. Heads / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
6. I Can't Give You Anything But Love / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
7. I Found A New Baby / Dexter Gordon Quintet
8. Blowed And Gone / Dexter Gordon Quintet
9. Sweet Lorraine / Dexter Gordon Quintet
10. Rosetta / Dexter Gordon Quintet
11. Pro-Sky / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
12. It Had To Be You / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)

King Porter - Special Request

This 1989 Official LP features not one, but two jump groups going under the name of “King Porter and His Orchestra”. Tracks 1 – 8 were recorded between 1947 and 1949 by a Detroit-based group led by trumpet player James Poe. The first two tracks were recorded for the small Paradise label. Tracks 3 to 6 were recorded for Joe Von Battle’s JVB label but sold to King who released them in 1949. Tracks 7 and 8 were recorded for King in Cincinnati. The Paradise sides probably have Paul Williams on alto sax, while the JVB and King sides have Wild Bill Moore on tenor sax.

Meanwhile out on The Coast, another King Porter was recording for Imperial. This was trumpeter/arranger Jake Porter who would found Combo Records a few years later. The group backing him was in fact guitarist Gene Phillips’ band which at various times featured Bumps Myers, Marshall Royal and Lloyd Glenn.

This leaves the last two tracks on the LP which were recorded in 1952 for the 4 Star label. It’s not certain which of the King Porter groups was on these recordings. Perhaps there was even a third band using the name?

As for the music, both bands put in good shifts with plenty of tough tenor work (especially from Wild Bill) on show.

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1. Russel St Hussel
2. Porter's Ball
3. Shuffling Boogie
4. Russell Street Hustle
5. King Porter Special
6. Bar Fly
7. Come On In
8. Battle Ax
9. Charlie The Boogie Man
10. Bumps Boogie (vocal – Gene Phillips)
11. Hey Little Brownie (vocal – Gene Phillips)
12. Should Have Rationed Myself (vocal – Gene Phillips)
13. Chidtlin' Ball (vocal – Gene Phillips)
14. Don't Let Fletcher Getcha
15. Special Request
16. I've Tried (vocal – Marie Wells)

Jimmy Liggins - I Can't Stop It

Born seven years after his bandleader brother Joe, Jimmy Liggins embarked on his own musical career in 1947. After a brief try at a career in boxing, Jimmy became driver for Joe’s band as they toured the country in the wake of their smash hit “The Honeydripper”. Jimmy couldn’t help but be impressed by the large amounts of money that Joe was earning and at the end of 1946 he left The Honeydrippers to start up his own band, which he named The Drops of Joy.

In September 1947 the band started recording for Art Rupe’s Specialty Records, with “I Can’t Stop It” being their first release. This record demonstrated that Jimmy’s sound was going to be very different from Joe’s. Jimmy’s up-tempo recordings all featured pounding rhythms, shouted, half-spoken vocals and heavy riffing from twin tenor saxes. When the band played slower blues it was with a real gutsy down-in-the-alley feel as you can hear on this 1981 Mr R&B compilation.

The first incarnation of The Drops of Joy had the hard blowing tenors of Harold Land and Charles “Little Jazz” Ferguson backing up Jimmy’s guitar and vocals on his self-penned songs. Chart success came in 1948 with “Teardrop Blues” (Billboard no. 7) and in 1949 with “Careful Love” (no. 15), both songs having been recorded in December 1947.

The first line-up of The Drops of Joy broke up after a violent incident during a performance on the 1st April 1948 in a Jackson, Mississippi skating rink. Little Jazz was slashed with a razor and Jimmy was shot through the mouth. Full details can be read in the sleeve notes of this LP.

In November1948 the new line-up, augmented by Maxwell Davis, recorded four tracks and returned to the charts with “Don’t Put Me Down” (no. 9). In 1951 Jimmy formed a third version of the band which included Herman “Rockhouse” Manzy on drums. In late 1952 or early 1953 The Drops of Joy recorded their last session for Specialty which yielded their biggest hit “Drunk”. Jimmy then left Specialty, possibly because of a money dispute, a course of action for which he later expressed regret. He had only one more recording session, in June 1954 for Aladdin. Four terrific hard-rocking sides were recorded; “I Ain’t Drunk”, “No More Alcohol”, “Boogie Woogie King” and “Talking That Talk”, but none saw chart action.

Jimmy’s music represented a step away from the swing influenced jump bands, and was a move towards the harder rocking variety of rhythm and blues and ultimately rock and roll. Download and enjoy some real righteous riffs!

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1. I Can't Stop It
2. Don't Put Me Down
3. Troubles Good-Bye
4. Misery Blues
5. Move Out Baby
6. Answer To Teardrop Blues
7. That Song Is Gone
8. I Want My Baby For Christmas
9. Down And Out Blues
10. That's What's Knockin' Me Out
11. Lonely Nights Blues
12. Goin' Down With The Sun
13. Brown Skin Baby
14. Lover's Prayer
15. Dark Hour Blues
16. I'll Never Let You Go

Thursday 24 September 2009

Bull Moose Jackson - Big Fat Mamas Are Back In Style Again

Benjamin Clarence Jackson was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1919. He took up the saxophone while at school. He formed a band called The Harlem Hotshots who played gigs around North Ohio, tried his luck with various bands in New York State, and then returned to Cleveland where he was discovered in 1943 by bandleader Lucky Millinder who gave him the saxophone chair recently vacated by Lucky Thompson.

Christened “Bull Moose” by his bandmates (perhaps because of his unprepossessing looks), Jackson soon added vocal duties to his repertoire, reportedly being given his start when band vocalist Wynonie Harris failed to show for a gig in Lubbock, Texas.

When Syd Nathan set up the King Label in Cincinnati in 1945, he concentrated at first on signing Country and Western artists from the burgeoning local scene which centred around the WLW “Midwestern Hayride” program. He soon set up an R&B subsidiary named Queen, with ex-Millinder trumpet player Henry Glover as A&R man. Glover was keen to have his old boss record for the new label, but as Millinder was already under contract to Decca, Bull Moose became the front man for a series of recordings by the Millinder orchestra in 1945/46. Some sides were recorded with the full orchestra, others with a small group of Millinder musicians which became The Buffalo Bearcats.

The glory years for Bull Moose were 1948 and 1949 when he had considerable chart success mostly with romantic ballads such as “I Love You, Yes I Do”, “All My Love Belongs To You”, “Don’t Ask Me Why” and “Little Girl Don’t Cry”. So successful was Bull Moose, he displaced Louis Jordan as top selling R&B artist in 1948 and, along with Wynonie Harris, helped King to become the top selling R&B label of that year.

This 1980 Mr R&B LP concentrates on the “other side” of Bull Moose Jackson – the stomping instrumentalist and the singer of some of the most infamous double entendre recordings in R&B history, and also of some fiery rabble rousing jump blues. One of his earliest successes was with an answer record to the Millinder/Harris hit “Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well?” “I Know Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well” gets this collection off to a fine start, and the saga of Deacon Jones and his devoted congregation continues with the raucous “Fare Thee Well, Deacon Jones”.

As we have already seen, Syd Nathan maintained strong Country and R&B rosters and he liked to exchange songs between the two styles. There are two examples here: the blasting version of Wayne Raney’s “Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me?” and a spirited rendition of Moon Mullican’s “Cherokee Boogie”. For me, the Bull Moose version of “Why Don’t You” easily eclipses the rather sedate original but personally I think Moon Mullican’s “Cherokee Boogie” is better than the cover by Bull Moose.

Neither of Bull Moose’s most infamous “dirty” records are here – “I Want A Bow Legged Woman” and “Big Ten Inch”, but “Nosey Joe”, a Leiber-Stoller composition from 1952, certainly runs them close in the double entendre stakes. Although he was still making fine records in the early 1950s, changing fashions in R&B meant that Moose’s music was going out of style and his King career came to an end in 1955. The final track on this LP was recorded in Los Angeles in 1957 for the small Encino label with backing by a group led by Rene Hall and the rather unfortunate addition of a vocal chorus.

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Thanks to Joan for the vintage King EP cover.

1. I Know Who Threw The Whiskey (In The Well)
2. Bull Moose Jackson Blues
3. Sneaky Pete
4. Cleveland Ohio Blues
5. Fare Thee Well, Deacon Jones
6. Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
7. Miss Lucy
8. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
9. Memphis Gal
10. Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me
11. Big Fat Mamas Are Back In Style Again
12. Cherokee Boogie (Eh-Oh-Aleena)
13. Nosey Joe
14. Bootsie
15. I Wanna Hug Ya, Kiss Ya, Squeeze Ya
16. Watch My Signals

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Be Bop Wino Wailin' The Blues

I thought I’d try my hand at putting together some short compilations ripped from vinyl of the kinds of music that get covered here on Be Bop Wino, so here’s the first in what I hope will be a series. I was determined to keep the number of tracks down to sixteen per volume in an attempt to revive the lost art of compiling an LP, but faced with some mighty fine blues I ended up with eighteen tracks. But I’m not gonna do a Joan – there won’t be thirty or forty tracks on these collections! Famous last words.

So we kick off with the blues, and Be Bop Wino tours the South – beginning with Sam Phillip’s studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he recorded blues artists for release on Modern / RPM out of LA , Chess in Chicago and of course for his own Sun label. Howlin’ Wolf, Rosco Gordon, Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, Doctor Ross (the harmonica boss!) and one man band Joe Hill Louis were just some of the talents who graced the studio at 706 Union Avenue.

Jackson, Mississippi was the home of Lillian McMurray’s Trumpet label where the recording careers of the second Sonny Boy Williamson (William Miller) and Elmore James kicked off. Sonny Boy’s “Mighty Long Time” was the B side of his classic “Nine Below Zero.” Another label which originated in Memphis was Duke, founded by James Mattis, but in 1952 it was taken over by the Houston based owner of Peacock, Don Robey, and its operation moved to Texas. Duke remained an outlet for musicians from Memphis, including Bobby Bland, Johnny Ace and Junior Parker. The latter had made his first recordings in Memphis under the supervision of Ike Turner for Modern / RPM, but found greater success with Sun (“Feelin’ Good” and “Mystery Train”) before moving on to Duke.

Colourful entrepreneur Don Robey founded his Peacock label in Houston in 1949 initially to record blues guitarist / singer Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown who was being managed by Robey. In this collection there are three early Peacock recordings, by Lavada Durst (Dr. Hepcat), New Orleans guitarist Edgar Blanchard and Houston bass player Donald “Silver” Cooks. Blanchard and Cooks are backed by Blanchard’s band The Gondoliers. The harmonica on these two tracks is played by the legendary Papa Lightfoot out of Natchez, Mississippi.

Hillbilly musician Eddie Shuler formed Goldband Records in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1951. The label had a strong country / Cajun / rockabilly roster, but Eddie started recording R&B artists like Boozo Chavis and Classie Ballou in the mid fifties. Lee Baker Junior, better known as Guitar Junior was Goldband’s most successful blues artist hitting it big with his first release in 1957, “Family Rules.” Guitar Junior eventually moved to Chicago, changed his name to Lonnie Brooks, and enjoyed a successful “second” blues career.

The only track recorded for a major label here is the unreleased “Sober” by Piano Red. The track was recorded for RCA in Atlanta with backing provided by Clyde “Blow Top” Lynn’s band. Born in 1911 in Hampton, Georgia, as Willie Perryman, Piano Red’s recording career started in 1936. In the 1950s he had an unlikely career boost when he released a series of raucous (and salacious) R&B pounders like “Rockin’ With Red” and “Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo Yo” which attracted a whole new audience of young rock ‘n rollers.

Many southern artists migrated to the Northern cities. John Lee Hooker is always associated with Detroit and Chicago of course became home to many southern blues musicians. Chi-Town’s Chess Records (and its Checker subsidiary) had a fantastic array of blues talent – Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Rogers, these are just a handful of names from dozens. Magic Sam (Sam Maghett) belonged to the generation which succeeded that of Muddy and his cohorts. In 1957 he started recording for the small Cobra label, with “All Your Love” (recorded under the supervision of Willie Dixon) being the most successful of four singles he released in 1957 / 1958.

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1. She May Be Yours (But She Comes To See Me Sometime) / Joe Hill Louis
- Sun 178, 1953

2. Downtown Boogie / Doctor Ross
- unissued Sun Studios recording, early 1950s

3. I'm Gonna Forget About You / Ike Turner
- unissued Sun Studios recording, 1953

4. Mighty Long Time / Sonny Boy Williamson (II)
- Trumpet 166, 1951

5. That's Alright / Junior Parker
- Duke 168, 1957

6. Hattie Green / Lavada Durst
- Peacock 1509, 1950

7. Creole Gal Blues / Edgar Blanchard
- Peacock 1514, 1950

8. Mr Ticket Agent / Silver Cooks
- Peacock 1510, 1950

9. There Better Be No Feet (In Them Shoes) / Junior Parker
- Duke 147, 1955

10. Everything's Going To Be Alright / Little Walter
- Checker 930, 1959

11. Chocolate Drop / Howlin' Wolf
- unissued Sun Studios recording, 1951/52

12. Decorate The Counter / Rosco Gordon
- unissued Sun Studios recording, 1952

13. Sober / Piano Red
- unissued RCA recording, 1953

14. Movin' On Down The Line / John Lee Hooker
- unissued United Sound Studios recording 1948-52

15. All Your Love / Magic Sam
- Cobra 5013, 1957

16. Roll Roll Roll / Guitar Junior
- Goldband 1068, 1958

17. Diggin' My Potatoes / Washboard Sam
- Chess 1545, 1953

18. Blue Midnight / Little Walter
- Checker 955, 1960 (recorded 1952)

Sunday 20 September 2009

Hot Cinders! Blazing R&B Instros From King & Federal

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!

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The Tracks:

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

Earl Bostic:
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

Lloyd Glenn:
Chica Boo: Swing Time 254, King 15042, recorded Los Angeles, November 9th, 1950

Hank Marr:
Tonk Game: Federal 12400, 12507, recorded Cincinnati, December 10th, 1960
The Greasy Spoon: Federal 12508, recorded Cincinnati, June 26th, 1963

Sonny Thompson:
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

Bill Doggett:
Hammer Head: King 5070, recorded New York City, May 9th, 1957
Shindig: King 5070, recorded Chicago, July 17th, 1957

Tiny Bradshaw:
Heavy Juice: King 4621, recorded Cincinnati, January 19th, 1953

Lynn Hope:
Tenderly: King 5336, recorded Cincinnati, March 4th, 1960

Lucky Millinder:
Heavy Sugar: King 4557, recorded New York City, June 25th, 1952

Freddy King:
Side Tracked: Federal 12462, recorded Cincinnati, April 5th, 1961

Johnny Pate:
Walkin’ With Mr Lee: Federal 12314, recorded Chicago, December 13th, 1957

James Brown:
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

Bill Jennings:
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.

Return of The Boogster?

Dammit, looks like I'm back. I have an archive of old posts up until April 2009. I've found out how to use this import / export thing and so selected old posts (vinyl only) will start to appear here. Non- vinyl will not appear again. Some posts will be revamped, especially those which could do with new LP cover scans. It will be a while before anything new appears as I am still determined to have that much needed rest. I need to re-engage with reality. There is life beyond music, you know!

The blog may go invitation only. I'll warn you in advance. In the meantime enjoy those old posts and the comments too!

Saturday 19 September 2009

Farewell to Be Bop Wino

It lasted almost 2 years and got nearly 890,000 hits. On the 18th September, 2009, the Bebopwino blog was taken down by Blogger on receipt of a complaint. This was, I think, the third complaint received about the blog content. The takedown notification did not specify which post or posts were the subject of the complaint, so we'll never know what provoked Blogger to deliver the coup de grace.

I would like to thank all those who dropped by, and especially those who took the trouble to comment on the posts. Sometimes the comments were far more interesting than my semi-literate ramblings.

Of course I must give a huge thank you to those who contributed sights and sounds to the blog. Thank you for the effort and care you put into bringing rare and forgotten music to the rockin' nation. A very, very special thank you goes to Joan whose "Joan Selects" series of vinyl rips was such a sensational hit with you blogsters. Joan's support and encouragement was simply beyond value in keeping the blog going and in taking it to a level which I never anticipated when I started out back in 2007.

On looking back over the history of the blog, I would probably have done things a bit differently if I had known back then what I know now. I would probably have stuck to a strictly vinyl policy and perhaps put a time bar on the links. Towards the end I was getting a bit worried about the sheer accumulation of material that was available on the blog. The revival of formerly out of print CDs as mp3 downloads from the likes of Amazon also made monitoring the "no in-print albums" policy harder and there were definitely a few things which had become commercially available again lurking way back in the blog.

The purpose of the blog was to help promote interest in a kind of music which simply doesn't receive the kind of media coverage it deserves. I believe that responsible music blogs can be an effective way of promoting "niche" music. It's interesting that among the supporters of Be Bop Wino were musicians, deejays and music retailers. For me that's a strong indication that responsible music blogs can increase sales of CDs, mp3s and concert tickets.

As for a possible return of Be Bop Wino - well, you never know! But for now I'm gonna have a rest from blogging. Keep tuning in to Uncle Gil, Red Neckerson, The Hound, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Rocker Stomp, and the many others who promote the cause of real rhythm 'n' blues and rock 'n' roll. When you download don't forget to say "thank you", you naughty kids!