“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” was recorded in Cincinnati on February 8th, 1950. Personnel : Tiny Bradshaw (lead vocal); Jimmy Robinson piano); Clarence Mack (bass); Calvin Shields (drums). Also present at the session, but sitting this track out, were Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Rufus Gore (tenor sax) and Leroy Harris (guitar).“Bradshaw Boogie” was recorded in New York on January 16th, 1951. Personnel: Tiny Bradshaw (vocal); Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Andrew Penn (trombone); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Red Prysock (tenor sax); Jimmy Robinson (organ); Willie Gaddy (guitar); Eddie Smith (bass); Calvin Shields (drums).
King 4457 was released in mid-June 1951. The disc was reviewed in Billboard on June 30th. Of “Walkin’ The Chalk Line” Billboard said – “Bradshaw and male trio, backed by rhythm section only here, register with a hard-hitting little jingle with a recurring refrain.” And on “Bradshaw Boogie” the comment was: “Tiny and the boys come thru with one of their typical hard driving boogie blues novelties.”
“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” wasn’t a big seller despite being featured in the King / Federal / DeLuxe adverts in Billboard during July and August alongside Lucky Millinder’s “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sleep” by Earl Bostic, “Bloodshot Eyes” by Wynonie Harris, “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” by The Dominoes and Roy Brown’s “Wrong Woman Blues.”
Enough platters were sold to make King 4457 the 90th best-selling R&B record of 1951. The really big hits around the middle of the year included the aforementioned “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” plus “Don’t You Know I Love You” by The Clovers, “Chains Of Love” by Big Joe Turner, “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and “Too Young” by Nat King Cole.
The “Bradshaw Boogie” session marked Red Prysock’s recording debut with the band and his fiery, rabble rousing tenor sax solo really brings what could have been a formulaic side to life.
As always we have El Enmascarado to thank for yet another slice of R&B history from his growing stash of 78 rpm discs. The sound quality on these two rips is remarkable, considering that they originate from shellac that is over sixty years old. I’ve been listening to these sides on my new laptop (a necessary buy after my 11 year old Pentium 4 PC took its final, fatal crash) which I’ve hooked up to my hifi and they pack quite a wallop. Thank you, o masked one!