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.
Ripped from vinyl at 256 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon
Download from here:
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'
Thanks for the welcome back, Anonymous, and I'm glad to be back. Many thanks also for the links to Buddy Johnson's Decca sides, but the blog is now for posting vinyl LPs/EPs/singles only.
I think that posting links to a collection of 63 tracks would really be against the spirit of the blog, hence your comment not appearing here. I'll be recommending the Buddy Johnson Ace CD on an upcoming post of an LP of Buddy's Decca sides.
Actually maybe I won't just post vinyl rips - I've got cassette rips too!
So glad you're back! - d.
I can not fully express my gratitude for your research, on my Uncle Nolan Lewis. It has meant more to me and my family then you will ever know. I thank God for you and all your time and consideration.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Thank you for your very kind message Mable. Of course I must thank the anonymous R&B historian who went to the trouble to rip sound files from vinyl and also send in a publicity photo of your uncle.
I think his track with Buddy Johnson, "Send Out for a Bucket of Beer" is a classic swinger which could still fill dance floors today.
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