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.

Saturday 31 December 2016

Slim Gaillard - Mish Mash (Clef MGC-126)

Side A:
01. Soony-Rooney
02. Babalu
03. Sabroso
04. Laughing In Rhythm

Side B:
01. Taxpayers' Blues
02. Eatin' With The Boogie
03. St. Louis Blues
04. I Know What To Do

Download from here:

Thanks to El Enmascarado for this 10 inch Slim Gaillard LP which was released in 1953. The initial release was on the Mercury label, also in 1953, with the exact same front and back covers, though with different disc labels. The Clef cover has a "Clef Records" sticker (?) covering the spot where "Mercury" should be.

Track details:

"Laughing In Rhythm" and "Soony Roony" were recorded in NYC on March 5th 1951. Personnel: Dick Hyman (piano); Slim Gaillard (guitar, vocals); Ernie Shepard (bass, vocals); Herbie Lovelle (drums); Pepe Benque (bongos)

"Soony Roony (Song of  Yxabat)" and "Laughing In Rhythm" were released in April 1951 on Mercury single 5606, credited to Slim Gaillard And His Peruvians.

Billboard reviewed "Soony Roony" in its "Popular" section as follows - "Slim's on top form for a wonderful takeoff on Yma Sumac. Loaded with yocks all the way, this one's bound for plenty deejay play."

The review of "Laughing In Rhythm" was less enthusiastic - "Side starts auspiciously, with Slim doing an infectious laughing riff, but nothing develops."

"Babalu" and "Sabroso" were recorded in NYC on May 25th 1951. Personnel: Buddy Tate (tenor sax); Maceo Williams (piano); Slim Gaillard (guitar, vocals); Clyde Lombardi (bass); Charlie Smith (drums)

Mercury single 8950 had "Sabroso" along with a different take of "Babalu," listed on the disc label as "Babalu (Orooney)". Credited to Slim Gaillard And His Internationally Famous Orchestra, and released in August 1951.

Billboard review of "Sabroso" (under "Hot Jazz") - "Attempt a 'commercial' offering, a flabby little jingle, falls flat." The review of "Babalu (Orooney)" was equally negative - "Slim attempts a satire on emotional Latin vocals, sprinkled liberally with vouts and orooney's but nothing happens."

"Taxpayers' Blues," "Eatin' With The Boogie," "St. Louis Blues" and "I Know What To Do" were recorded in NYC on January 24th 1952. Personnel: Harry Carney or Cecil Payne (baritone sax); Slim Gaillard as Bulee Gaillard (guitar, vocals); unidentified others.

"Eatin' With The Boogie" and "Taxpayers' Blues" were released on Mercury single 8970 in April 1952, credited to Bulee Gaillard and His Southern Fried Orchestra.

Although reviewed in the "Hot Jazz" section, Billboard noted of "Eatin' With the Boogie" - "Disk is far better suited to the rhythm and blues market than for the jazz fans. It's a rocking item which could draw coin. Lyric by Gaillard is a Southern menu." Billboard's review of "Taxpayer's Blues" expressed similar sentiments - "Topical blues ditty could get some action in the r.&b. market. Doubtful whether the jazz cats will be attracted."

"St. Louis Blues" and "I Know What To Do" were released on Mercury single 8998 in August 1952, credited to Bulee Gaillard and His Southern Fried Orchestra. I couldn't find a Billboard review for this disk.

As the old year fades into the new, we round off 2016 with a last post (for this year!), thanks to El Enmascarado who sent in this 10 inch LP of sides recorded by Slim Gaillard for Clef / Mercury in the early 1950s. The album title "Mish Mash" is an accurate description of the contents as can be seen from the recording and release details along with the contemporary Billboard reviews above.

The four tracks on Side A were recorded in 1951 and represent some of the well established aspects of Slim's rather unique take on jazz. "Sooney-Rooney" is a send up of the sound of Yma Sumac, a sound with which I was previously unfamiliar but which I made the mistake of listening to on YouTube, specifically her destruction of Mozart's great "Queen of the Night" aria from "The Magic Flute." I may never recover from that experience.

"Babalu" is another send up (in cod Spanish and Vout), this time of a rather melodramatic hit for Miguelito Valdes. Check it out on YouTube. With "Sabroso" and "Laughing In Rhythm" we are in more familiar Slim Gaillard territory with lots of "vout oreenies" being thrown into the mix. "Laughing In Rhythm" was a longtime Gaillard favourite which went back to the late 1930s and his time as part of the duo of Slim and Slam (Stewart) when the hep pair cheered the 52nd Street scene with a string of humorous jive novelties starting with "Flat Foot Floogie (with the Floy Floy)."

The B side of this album, which was recorded in one session in 1952, is in a rhythm and blues style. Was Slim perhaps a little intoxicated at this session? El Emascarado has speculated that perhaps he was. I didn't hear that at first but now I tend to think that the entire studio was out of its gourd. Whatever, these 4 tracks are a world away from Slim's NYC work in the late 1930's and his hepcat tracks recorded in Hollywood after the Second World War. It's not that they're bad, they're just not Slim, apart, perhaps, from "Eatin' With The Boogie" which carries on Slim's career-long obsession with composing songs around items of food!

There may well be more Slim Gaillard music on the blog soon. Keep tuned oroonie, and have a vout New Year!

Saturday 24 December 2016

Joan's A Doo Wop Christmas - Nuthin' Compares To It!

01. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - The Melodeers
02. Jingle Jangle - The Penguins
03. White Christmas - The Drifters, Featuring Clyde McPhatter
04. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - The Harmony Grits
05. You're My Christmas Present - The Skyliners
06. Can This Be Christmas - The Falcons
07. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - The Cadillacs
08. It's Christmas Time - The Five Keys
09. Rockin' Santa Claus - The Martels
10. It's Christmas Once Again - Frankie Lymon
11. Merry Christmas To My Heart - The Sheps
12. Merry Merry Christmas Baby - The Tune Weavers
13. Merry Twist-Mas - The Marcels
14. Merry Christmas Darling (And A Happy New - The Uniques
15. Mambo, Santa, Mambo - The Enchanters
16. Mr. Santa's Boogie - The Marshalls
17. Just A Lonely Christmas - The Moonglows
18. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
19. (It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas - The Orioles
20. A Christmas Long Ago (Jingle Jingle) - The Eschelons
21. Hey Santa Claus - The Moonglows
22. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - The Orioles
23. White Christmas - The Ravens
24. After New Year's Eve - The Heartbeats
25. Every Heart Is Home At Christmas - The Five Keys
26. Happy Holiday - The Shells
27. Christmas Is Coming At Last - The Rhythm Kings
28. Rockin' & Rollin' With Santa - The Hepsters
29. Christmas Letter - La Fets and Kitty
30. Have A Merry Christmas - The Robins, Featuring Little Esther
31. Love For Christmas - The Ebonaires
32. Merry Christmas - The Cameos

It's a last minute decision to post this evening, but we just can't let Christmas go by without putting this old favourite up again. Originally posted in 2008 - 30 rockin' Yuletide tracks from Joan. It's the only way to spend Christmas - listening to these solid sides while knocking back a tipple or two.

Download from here:

We'll be back after the festivities. Have a good Christmas everyone.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Vout Cowboy / Mary Lou - Louis Prima with Foy Willing And The Riders Of The Purple Sage (Majestic 5003)

Recorded in New York, circa June 1946. No personnel details. Released in August 1946.

Alternative download method - click on the link to download both sides plus label scans:

Thanks to El Enmascarado for these rips from a 78 rpm shellac disc. The disc was slightly warped, which prevented it from lying flat in the masked one's scanner, hence the blurred label scans. Despite worn grooves our blog benefactor has succeeded in getting good quality sound from both sides.

As for the music - " a jazz/cowboy" crossover is how El Enmascarado describes it. It's an unlikely collaboration between New Orleans born Italian-American hepcat Louis Prima and a western band whose usual milieu was Roy Rogers movies. And there's added "vout" - the jive term popularised by Slim Gaillard (of whom we shall speak in an upcoming post), another popular "hep" figure who was enjoying a wave of popularity at the time of this recording.

There's an obvious influence of the Ella Mae Morse / Freddie Slack hit "Cow Cow Boogie" on "Vout Cowboy" plus Louis Prima's own scat singing ("vootedy bootedy bootie macscootie") set against the plains harmony of the Riders Of The Purple Sage. An unusual amalgam, yet it works. "Mary Lou" starts off with strictly squaresville harmonies from The Riders then builds to a roaring climax as the horns of the Prima band blast in. Another unlikely yet likeable combination.

Billboard review:

"Louis Prima does a switch on the sweet-and-hot formula by spinning out a contrast of hillbilly and swing. For the outdoor aura, brings in a fine vocal troupe in Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage. And with a cow-cow-boogie type of chant in "Vout Cowboy," Prima gets an opportunity to inject some scat singing along with the Westerners as they tell the story of a "hillbilly killer diller."

"Completing the Prima imprint is a tasty dish of his gutbucket Gabriel horning, The contrast is not so sharply defined for the "Mary Lou" evergreen that has the Riders singing it sweetly as the Prima horns blow hot. "Vout Cowboy" should make for a real coin clicker."

Trumpeter, singer, band leader and composer Louis Prima was already a veteran performer when he made these recordings. He first started recording in 1934 with a small jazz group usually billed as "Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang" and, as the band grew in numbers, "Louis Prima and his Gleeby Rhythm Orchestra."

In 1944 he started recording with big band backing and in the next few years issued a string of great records on Hit, Majestic, Savoy and V Disc such as "Robin Hood," "Angelina," "Just a Gigolo," "Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well," (backed with the terrific "You Gotta See Baby Tonight") " "Brooklyn Boogie," and "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop."

At the end of the 40s he had recruited Keely Smith as a vocalist and was recording for Mercury. His most memorable disc at that time was issued on the Robin Hood label - a recording of his own composition "Oh! Babe."

A later generation know him better for his mid to late 1950s recordings on Capitol with Keely Smith and the great Sam Butera on tenor sax. These records were made at a time when Prima's career had received a major boost when he started playing the Vegas lounges with Keely Smith and Sam Butera and the Witnesses. The audience of wise guys, high rollers, suckers and schmucks lapped up his reprises of old material such as "Angelina," "Oh Marie" and the medley of  "Just a Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody."

To an even later generation (mine!) he was King Louis in the 1960s Disney cartoon of "The Jungle Book." An even younger generation enjoyed his music when his Capitol recordings with Sam Butera received heavy play during the 1990s swing revival. The "Just a Gigolo" / "I Ain't Got Nobody" medley, "Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days" and "Jump, Jive And Wail" enlivened many a swing dance and the last named tune featured in a GAP commercial known as "Khaki Swing." But by then Louis was past caring as he had passed away in 1978.

Foy Willing (real name Willingham) was a Texas born singer, songwriter bandleader and actor. He founded The Riders Of The Purple Sage in 1942 (Patti Page was an early member) and they quickly gained a niche as a Western band which appeared in many 'B' western movies from the early 1940s to the early 1950s. They replaced The Sons Of The Pioneers when the latter split with Roy Rogers in 1948.

The kind of material they played included "Cool Water," "Blue Shadows On The Trail," "Ridin' Down That Old Texas Trail" and "Wind." You get the idea. They had Country top ten hits in the 1940s with "Texas Blues," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," and "Detour." The group broke up in 1952 but occasionally reunited to record and perform. Foy Willing died in July 1978, just over a month before the death of Louis Prima.

Sunday 11 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2 EP

Side 1:
01. A Rocking Little Tune
02. Hide And Seek

Side 2:
03. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
04. Blue Comet Blues

Download from here:

The final EP in our Bill Haley UK EP posts. Brunswick OE 9279 was released in December 1956.

Recording details:

"A Rocking Little Tune" was recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 30th March 1956. Personnel: Bill Haley (rhythm guitar); Franny Beecher (lead guitar); Billy Williamson (steel guitar); Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax); Johnny Grande (accordion); Al Rex (double bass); Ralph Jones (drums).

"Hide And Seek" was recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 23rd March 1956. Personnel as above with vocal by Billy Williamson.

"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" and "Blue Comet Blues" were recorded at The Pythian Temple, NYC on the 27th March 1956. Personnel as above with vocal on "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" by Bill Haley, Johnny Grande plays piano. No vocal on "Blue Comet Blues."

Original release details:

"A Rocking Little Tune" and "Hide And Seek" were first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417.

"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" was first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417. Subsequently issued in December 1956 on 45 and 78 on US Decca single 30148, B Side of "Don't Knock The Rock." Single failed to chart.

"Blue Comet Blues" was first released in August 1956 on US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" Decca DL 8345, and on US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" Decca ED 2417. Subsequently issued in October 1956 on 45 and 78 on US Decca single 30085, B Side of "Rudy's Rock." Single reached number 34 in the Billboard pop chart in November 1956.

Discographical information from Chris Gardner's Bill Haley Database.

I cannot recommend the above site too highly for all things concerning Bill Haley. Further information in these posts was gleaned from "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches and "The Billboard Book Of USA Top 40 Hits" by Joel Whitburn.

This copy of "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2" was one the first vinyl records I digitized back in 2007. It belonged to long time Glasgow friends the Lawson family and somehow I inherited it. The front cover was pretty trashed and torn mainly because as well as housing the EP, an original UK issue of "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" was also crammed inside. See this scan for the cover as it actually is:

I posted the EP on the old Rock Hall forum (Be Bop Wino was but a gleam in my eye back then) and a fellow forum member who wished to remain anonymous kindly produced cleaned up versions of the front and back covers:

For this post I've gone back to the original beat up version of the cover, worked on it a little with Photofiltre, and produced a version which is not quite so pristine looking as the above, but (I like to think) still preserves the "lived in" look of an artifact from the 1950s. I have also cleaned up the back cover, but it didn't require much work as it was in pretty good condition.

All three versions of the front cover are included in the download so you can chose whichever you prefer.

That's me all Bill Haleyed out now, but he may make a reappearance on the blog if and when I get round to restoring the epic post "Rock The Joint!"

Saturday 10 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1 EP

Side 1:
01. Calling All Comets
02. Rockin' Through The Rye

Side 2:
01. Hook, Line And Sinker
02. Rudy's Rock

Download from:

Thanks again to Allan for this original 1950s Bill Haley EP. Brunswick OE 9278 was released in the UK in December 1956. The same EP was released in the US in August 1956. This is the first appearance of this EP on Be Bop Wino, after a delay of 5 years in getting it posted. Never mind, "Rudy's Rock" is worth the wait.

Recording details:

"Rudy's Rock" and "Hook, Line And Sinker" were recorded on March 23rd 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. The personnel were:

Bill Haley (vocal & rhythm guitar) ; Franny Beecher (lead guitar) ; Billy Williamson (steel guitar) ; Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Al Rex (double bass) ; Ralph Jones (drums)

"Calling All Comets" was recorded on  March 27th 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. Personnel as above.

"Rockin' Through the Rye" was recorded on March 30th 1956 at The Pythian Temple, NYC. Personnel as above.

Original release details:

"Calling All Comets" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416).

"Rockin' Through The Rye" was originally released in June 1956 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 29948, B side of "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy." Single did not chart.

"Hook, Line And Sinker" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416). It was subsequently released in March 1957 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 30214, B side of "Forty Cups Of Coffee." Single did not chart.

"Rudy's Rock" was originally released in August 1956 on the US Decca LP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show" (DL 8345) and the US Decca EP "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1" (ED 2416). It was subsequently released in October 1956 on 45 and 78 on the US Decca single Decca 30085, b/w "Blue Comet Blues." It reached number 34 on the Billboard pop chart in November 1956.

One more Bill Haley EP to come, and then we'll have something a little more "unusual" courtesy of long time contributor El Enmascarado.

Friday 9 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock Around The Clock EP (Re-up)

Side 1:
01. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
02. Mambo Rock

Side 2:
03. R-O-C-K
04. See You Later, Alligator

Download from:

Re-up of another UK issue Bill Haley EP donated by Allan. As with the previous "Rock'N Roll" EP, "Rock Around The Clock" was issued in June 1956 and contained 2 tracks by what I like to call The Comets Mark 1 on Side 1, backed by 2 tracks from The Comets Mark 2 (the post Jodimars breakaway lineup which featured Rudy Pompilli and Al Rex) on Side 2.

Full details of personnel and recording dates are on the original post (from 20th December 2011) here:

The original US single release of these tracks was as follows:

"(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" on Decca 29124, April 1954. Number 1 in the Billboard pop chart, summer 1955

"Mambo Rock" on Decca 29418, January 1955. Number 17 in the Billboard pop chart.

"R-O-C-K" on Decca 29870, March 1956. Number 16 in the Billboard pop chart.

"See You Later, Alligator" on Decca 29791, December 1955. Number 6 in the Billboard pop chart, early 1956.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock'N Roll EP (Re-up)

Side 1:
01. Razzle Dazzle
02. Two Hound Dogs

Side 2:
03. Burn That Candle
04. Rock-a-beatin' Boogie

Download from:

Continuing with the Bill Haley story ... the next 4 posts will be of original 1950s UK issues of Bill Haley And The Comets EPs, commencing with "Rock'N Roll." I must thank generous contributor Allan for 3 of these EPs. He sent in sound files and image files for "Rock'N Roll", "Rock Around The Clock" and "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 1."

Unfortunately I only ever did get round to posting the first two of these EPs. I must have been all Bill Haleyed-out back then in December 2011, so 5 years later here I am trying to make amends by posting all 3 of these EPs plus "Rock 'N' Roll Stage Show Part 2". I have a copy of that last EP which belonged to long time family friends the Lawson family and I originally posted it back in the very earliest days of the blog in 2007. This time round I'll give it the full 2016 style Be Bop Wino treatment.

In 2007 I also posted a copy of "Rock'N Roll" which belonged to the Lawsons but this present post has the sound files plus scans from Allan along with cover scans from that first copy of the EP.

The first Bill Haley EP to be issued in the UK was "Dim, Dim The Lights" (Brunswick OE 9129), in July 1955. The tracks on that EP were: "Shake, Rattle And Roll", "ABC Boogie", "Happy Baby" and "Dim, Dim The Lights."

In June 1956 two more Bill Haley EPs were issued in the UK: "Rock'N Roll" (Brunswick OE 9214) and "Rock around The Clock" (Brunswick OE 9250).

The original post on "Rock'N Roll" (9th December, 2011) can be found here:

That post contains full details of recording dates and personnel on the 4 tracks, plus a scan of an original single release of "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" from Joan.

"Two Hound Dogs" and "Razzle Dazzle" were recorded by the first hit making line up of The Comets. "Burn That Candle" and "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" were recorded after the departure of Joey D'Ambrosio, Marshall Lytle and Dick Richards to form The Jodimars, and the arrival of Rudy Pompilli, Al Rex and Ralph Jones as replacements. More details of the whys and wherefores of the breakup are in the 2011 post on the huge success of "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" here:

Here are the original US release details of the tracks on the "Rock'N Roll" EP:

"Razzle Dazzle" / "Two Hound Dogs" was released on Decca  29552 in June 1955, reaching number 15 in the Billboard pop chart.

 "Burn That Candle" / "Rock-a-beatin' Boogie" was released on Decca 29713 in October 1955, reaching number 9 in the Billboard pop chart.

More Bill coming soon!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Rock Around The Clock! Again!

Side One:
01. Around The Clock Part 1 - Wynonie Harris
02. Around The Clock Part 1 - Big Vernon
03. Rock Around The Clock - Sonny Dae & His Knights
04. Move It On Over - Hank Williams
05. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley And His Comets
06. Thirteen Women And One Man - Dickie Thompson

Side Two:
01. Thirteen Women - Bill Haley And His Comets
02. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Joe Turner and his Blues Kings
03. Shake, Rattle And Roll - Bill Haley And His Comets
04. Later For You Baby - Guitar Slim
05. Later Alligator - Bobby Charles
06. See You Later, Alligator - Bill Haley And His Comets

Download from:

To paraphrase the great Hank Ballard - "... what is this I see?" An ultra rare rock 'n' roll LP issued on Essex, the tiny label which gave Bill Haley his first big pop hit "Crazy Man, Crazy"? Or is it some dodgy bootleg from the '50s, or 60's or ... ? Nope it's another Be Bop Wino homemade comp which was the best way I could think of to rescue an old post from November 2011 - Rock Around The Clock.

That post used streaming audio to illustrate the origins of Bill Haley's biggest hit (and probably still the top selling 1950's rock and roll single) "(We're Gonna) Rock around The Clock." It was conceived as a follow-up to the original "Destination Rock and Roll!" post which told the story of how Bill Haley and His Comets moved from their country roots to an R&B based sound which became rock and roll. Unfortunately the streaming audio host, Divshare, mysteriously vanished from the web, leaving "Rock Around The Clock" and various other posts soundless and more or less wrecked.

I've decided to restore a couple of the streamed tracks on "Rock Around The Clock" but the story will now be illustrated by providing a downloadable "album" featuring the tracks mentioned in the post. I've added the three tracks used to illustrate the background to another big Bill Haley hit, "See You Later, Alligator" about which I wrote a post back in December 2011.

The story of how "Rock Around The Clock" became a worldwide hit is told in depth in Jim Dawson's marvelous book "Rock Around The Clock: The Record That Started The Rock Revolution!" If you should come across a copy going for a reasonable price, grab it! It's an enthralling read for all fans of rock 'n' roll and r&b.

It's quite a story, so get yourself over to my original "Rock Around The Clock" post to discover the roots of the song, who actually recorded it first, why it was a B Side on Bill Haley's disc, how it bombed, how Big Joe Turner provided Haley with the long awaited follow up hit to "Crazy Man, Crazy" and why "Rock Around The Clock" had a second coming and became a monster hit. Oh yeah, and where did the money go? Not to all The Comets, that's for sure. Find out who left the band and who replaced them. And what about poor Danny Cedrone, the guy who played the world's first rock 'n' roll guitar break? It's all in the post, bud!

And as though that weren't enough excitement for one evening, the story continues in my post on "See You Later, Alligator." From Guitar Slim to Bill Haley And The Comets via a Bobby Charles B Side.  It's crazy man, crazy!

More Bill coming soon. Keep yer peepers on this blog.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Bill Haley - Destination Rock and Roll! Re-upped! Twice!

Side One:
01. Rocket '88'
02. Green Tree Boogie
03. Rock The Joint
04. Rocking Chair On the Moon
05. Real Rock Drive
06. Crazy Man, Crazy

Side Two:
01. Wat'cha Gonna Do
02. Fractured
03. Live It Up!
04. Farewell, So Long, Good-Bye
05. I'll Be True
06. Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Original release details:

01. Rocket '88' - Bill Haley and The Saddlemen - Holiday 105 - July 1951

02. Green Tree Boogie - Bill Haley and The Saddlemen - Holiday 108 - August 1951

03. Rock The Joint - Bill Haley with The Saddlemen - Essex 303 - April 1952

04. Rocking Chair On the Moon - Bill Haley with The Saddlemen - Essex 305 - August 1952

05. Real Rock Drive - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 310 - January 1953

06. Crazy Man, Crazy - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 321 - April 1953

07. Whatcha Gonna Do - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 321 - April 1953

08. Fractured - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 327 - June 1953

09. Live It Up! - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 332 - September 1953

10. Farewell - So Long - Good-Bye - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 332 - September 1953

11. I'll Be True - Bill Haley and His Comets - Essex 340 - December 1953

12. Chattanooga Choo-Choo - Bill Haley and Haley's Comets - Essex 348 - March 1954

There have been a few requests for Bill Haley to be re-upped to the blog, so I've decided to kick off with this compilation of some of his pre-Decca sides on the small Holiday and Essex labels.

"Destination Rock and Roll!" is a home-made compilation with the front cover art adapted from a series of Essex EP covers, and the back cover ripped off from a Decca EP.

I chose the 12 tracks to illustrate the transformation of Bill Haley's music from Countrified covers of R&B hits to a heavily R&B influenced sound which kind of accidentally ended up as Rock 'n' Roll, if for the purposes of this post we define Rock 'n' Roll as the white version of Rhythm and Blues. Yep, as far as I can make out, Bill Haley invented Rock 'n' Roll. Or maybe it was Jimmy Cavallo. It definitely wasn't that Johnny-come-lately down in Memphis 'cos Bill had been rockin' for a couple of years before Elvis hauled his ass into Sam Phillip's studio and luckily for the big E, Sam had the foresight to team him up with Scotty Moore and Bill Black.

Just kidding - I really dig early Elvis and no one person "invented" Rock 'n' Roll (which I am capitalizing today just because I can). But it must be said that Bill Haley rarely received the credit he deserved when the time came to write the history of where and how and why that music came about.

I wrote a very extensive post for "Destination Rock and Roll!" back in August 2011 which you can read here:

I entreat you all, if you count yourselves as true fans of Rock 'n' Roll, to click on the link and dig Bill and his role in the development of the music to which we still groove, sixty-five years on.

That post has a selection of label and cover shots supplied by Joan K. The sound files on "Destination Rock and Roll!" were also supplied by Joan. They were ripped from original 1950s vinyl singles and EPs, so there is surface noise on quite a few of the tracks. For this post I have put together a second version of the compilation, using non-original audio sources (ahem). Both versions contain a folder of Joan's scans of the original 1950s artwork.

Original vinyl ripped version here:

New version with less surface noise here:

More Bill Haley re-ups coming soon!

Thursday 17 November 2016

Lost Dreams: The New Orleans Vocal Groups

Side 1:
01. Drunk Drunk Drunk - The Kidds
02. Why Fool Yourself - Bernie Williams
03. Bluesy Me - Dave Collins & The Scrubs
04. Lost Dreams - The Dukes
05. Sunny Side Of The Street - The Bees
06. Eternally Yours - The Barons
07. Cotton Picking Hands - The Dukes

Side 2:
01. Later, Baby - Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens
02. Boom Boom - The Barons
03. Teardrop Eyes - The Dukes
04. Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans
05. Shake The Dice - The Barons
06. Darling, Please - The Bees
07. Last Ride - The Dukes

Lost Dreams: The New Orleans Vocal Groups. EMI America ST-17232. Sleeve notes by Jim Dawson and Steve Brigati. Design by Henry Marquez and Lou Beach. Issued in 1987.

Download from here:

Having spotlighted The Spiders in the previous post, we remain on the New Orleans vocal groups theme with this compilation of sides from the label which hosted The Spiders, Imperial. This LP has been on the blog off and on over the years but for the purpose of this post I've added new cover and label scans. There is also a folder of 45 rpm scans provided by Joan K.

The notes on the back cover of the LP are very comprehensive and I've based the notes below on the sleeve notes. I have, however, added some extra info and corrected a couple of points regarding release numbers and release dates. See the tracklist below for a summary and then read on!

01. Drunk Drunk Drunk - The Kidds (Imperial 5335) February 1955
02. Why Fool Yourself - Bernie Williams (Imperial 5360) July 1955
03. Bluesy Me - Dave Collins & The Scrubs (Imperial 5294) July 1954
04. Lost Dreams - The Dukes (unreleased, 1956)
05. Sunny Side Of The Street - The Bees (unreleased, 1955)
06. Eternally Yours - The Barons (Imperial 5343) March 1955
07. Cotton Picking Hands - The Dukes (Imperial 5415) November 1956
08. Later, Baby - Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens (Imperial 5211) December 1952
09. Boom Boom - The Barons (Imperial 5343) March 1955
10. Teardrop Eyes - The Dukes Imperial 5401) July 1956
11. Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans (Imperial 5307) October 1954
12. Shake The Dice - The Barons (unreleased, 1955)
13. Darling, Please - The Bees (unreleased, 1954)
14. Last Ride - The Dukes (unreleased, 1956)

The earliest side on this compilation, "Later, Baby" by Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens, was released on Imperial 5211 in December 1952. The B Side was "When Boy Meets Girl." The group was actually a gospel group, The Humming Four, who backed Allen "Fat Man" Man Matthews (at that time singing with The Dave Bartholomew Band) on these two sides. The disc didn't do much business and singer and group went their separate ways for a while.

At the end of 1953 Matthews and a changed line up of The Humming Four re-united in the recording studio as The Hawks. They released a total of five singles in 1954 and in June of that year also backed up Dave Collins (adopting the moniker The Scrubs) on "Bluesy Me" (Imperial 5294) which was released the following month.

The full story of The Hawks, The Four Kittens, and The Scrubs can be found on Marv Goldberg's site here:

The Pelicans and The Kidds were the same group recording under different names. "Ain't Gonna Do It" (Imperial 5307), released in October 1954, was the B Side of "Chimes". In February 1955 the same group, now renamed The Kidds, released "Drunk, Drunk, Drunk" (Imperial 5335). Both of these discs were equally raucous and unruly. Versions of "Ain't Gonna Do It" were also recorded by Smiley Lewis and Fats Domino.

The Bees were brought to New Orleans from New York by Dave Bartholomew. They recorded the double entendre "Toy Bell" which was released in October 1954. Many years later Chuck Berry covered the song as "My Ding-A-Ling". The Bees tracks on this comp, "Darling Please" (1954) and "Sunny Side Of The Street" (1955) were not released

"Eternally Yours" / "Boom Boom" (Imperial 5343) by The Barons was released in March 1955. Billboard described "Boom Boom" as being "in dubious taste." Note that the release number given to "Boom Boom" in the LP sleeve notes is wrong. Imperial 5359 was another disc by the Barons - "My Dream, My Love" / "I Know I Was Wrong" (July 1955). The rousing "Shake The Dice" is an unreleased Barons track from 1955.

The Barons may be the group backing Bernie Williams on "Why Fool Yourself" (Imperial 5360) which was released in July 1955, b/w "Don't Tease Me".

The Dukes recorded  a couple of sessions for Imperial in 1956. "Teardrop Eyes" (Imperial 5401) was released in July 1956 and was highly rated by Billboard. "A highly effective side, sparked by the unusually distinctive vocal work of the lead singer on a moving theme." "Cotton Picking Hands" (Imperial 5415) was the B Side of "Wini Brown" which was released in November 1956. Neither "Lost Dreams" nor the supremely weird "Last Ride" were released in the 1950s.

A disc listed by some websites as a Dukes release on Imperial from 1954, "Come On And Rock" / "I'll Found A Love", is in fact a bootleg issue of two unreleased sides recorded for Specialty by a different group called The Dukes. A listen to "Come On And Rock" on YouTube confirms that these Dukes sound nothing like Imperial's Dukes. See Marv Goldberg's article on The Dukes who recorded for Specialty for details:

You can hear more Imperial vocal group sides on the BGO CD reissue of 2 LPs originally issued on the Imperial label in the US and on Liberty in the UK around 1970: "Rhythm 'N' Blues Vol. 1: The End Of An Era" and "Rhythm 'N' Blues Vol. 2: Sweet N' Greasy". The LPs were part of a series of 8 "Legendary Masters" LPs inspired by Bob Hite of Canned Heat.

BGOCD466. The Dukes, The Bees, The Kidds / The Pelicans, and The Barons are featured, and sides not on "Lost Dreams" are on this CD. The Spiders, The Hawks and The Shaweez provide more New Orleans sounds.

Included in the download is a folder of scans by Joan K, so let's close the post with a visual feast.