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.

Sunday 28 February 2016

New York Blues Volume 2


Side 1
01. Angel Child - Sammy Myers
02. Little Girl - Sammy Myers
03. You Don't Have To Go - Sammy Myers
04. Sad, Sad Lonesome Day - Sammy Myers
05. Rockin' With B - B. Brown & His Rockin' McVouts
06. The Pleasure Is All Mine - Bobby Long
07. I'm Tired Of It - Dr. Horse

Side 2
01. I Go Into Orbit - Johnny Acey
02. What Am I Going To Do - Johnny Acey
03. Why Baby - Mighty Joe Young
04. Empty Arms - Mighty Joe Young
05. Jack That Cat Was Clean - Dr. Horse
06. Think I Know - Dr. Horse
07. Go Away Mr. Blues - Noble Watts and June Bateman

Download from:

Second compilation of blues sides from Bobby Robinson's labels. These are all early 1960s recordings from Fire, Fury, Fling and Everlast. Two of the Sammy Myers sides (recorded with Elmore James in 1961) were unissued as singles. Original release details are given below:

01. Angel Child - Sammy Myers - unissued recording (1961)
02. Little Girl - Sammy Myers - unissued recording (1961)
03. You Don't Have To Go - Sammy Myers - Fury 1035 (1960)
04. Sad, Sad Lonesome Day - Sammy Myers - Fury 1035 (1960)
05. Rockin' With B - B. Brown & His Rockin' McVouts - Everlast 5014 (1961)
06. The Pleasure Is All Mine - Bobby Long - Everlast 5020 (1963)
07. I'm Tired Of It - Dr. Horse - Fire 501 (1961)
08. I Go Into Orbit - Johnny Acey - Fling 728 (1962)
09. What Am I Going To Do - Johnny Acey - Fling 728 (1962)
10. Why Baby - Mighty Joe Young - Fire 1033 (1961)
11. Empty Arms - Mighty Joe Young - Fire 1033 (1961)
12. Jack That Cat Was Clean - Dr. Horse - Fire 514 (1962)
13. Think I Know - Dr. Horse - Fire 501 (1961)
14. Go Away Mr. Blues - Noble Watts and June Bateman - Everlast 5033 (1965)

Bobby Robinson was an example of that comparative rarity in the world of 1950s R&B - a black entrepreneur who owned record companies catering for the musical tastes of the black community. Other examples include Don Robey, John Dolphin and the Rene Brothers. His first label, started in 1951, was Robin (quickly renamed Red Robin) on which the first record issued was "Bobby's Boogie" / "Ghost Town" by saxman Morris Lane. Other Bobby Robinson labels were Fire, Fury and Fling. He had a brief business relationship with Jerry Blaine with whom he co-owned the Whirlin' Disc label. With his brother Danny, Bobby also ran Everlast and Enjoy. Danny owned Holiday and Vest.

The music issued on these labels covered most R&B bases, from sophisticated sax outings to fiery electric guitar blues to doo wop. The only really big pop hit was Wilbert Harrison's "Kansas City" but Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae" and "Sugar Babe", Bobby Marchan's two parter "There Is Something On Your Mind", and "Soul Twist" by King Curtis also saw a bit of pop action while selling well in the R&B market.

In the UK, JSP Records have issued a 4 CD collection, "The Bobby Robinson Story, Selected Sides 1951 - 1960."

There are no doo wop or vocal groups sides included. Disc A is drawn from the Red Robin label and includes sides by Morris Lane, Charlie Singleton, Red Prysock, Tiny Grimes, Sonny Terry, Champion Jack Dupree and Brownie McGhee. Disc B has Fire and Fury sides from Hal Paige & The Wailers, Wilbert Harrison, Junior Lewis, Sam Myers and Tarheel Slim. Disc C has Fire sides by Willis Jackson, Mary Ann Fisher, Buster Brown, Wild Jimmy Spruill, Riff Ruffin, Tarheel Slim & Little Ann, Elmore James and Bobby Marchan. Disc D has Fury, Fire, Vest and Everlast sides by, inter alia, Tarheel Slim, Buster Brown, Bobby Marchan, Elmore James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Wild Jimmy Spruill and B.Brown.

If that don't whet your appetite then Jack you're dead.

Also worth looking out for is the 2 CD letter box set on Charly from 1996 - "The Fire & Fury Story."

Disc One is titled "The Doo Wop Years" and includes sides by The Du-Droppers, The Channels, The Teenchords, The Kodoks, The Vocaleers and others. Disc Two is a more eclectic mix with quite a few sides and artists to be found on the JSP collection plus Arthur Crudup, King Curtis, Titus Turner and the one and only Doctor Horse.

Friday 26 February 2016

New York Blues Volume 1


Side 1
01. Shake Baby Shake - Champion Jack Dupree
02. Daisy - Brownie McGhee
03. Candied Yams - B. Brown
04. Drunk Again - Champion Jack Dupree
05. Doggin' My Heart Around - Sonny Terry
06. My Baby Left Me - B. Brown
07. Number Nine Blues - Champion Jack Dupree

Side 2
01. Harmonica Hop - Sonny Terry
02. Fannie Mae Is Back - B. Brown
03. Highway Blues - Champion Jack Dupree
04. Don't Dog Your Woman - Brownie McGhee
05. Stumbling Block Blues - Champion Jack Dupree
06. Hardworking Man - B. Brown
07. Shim Sham Shimmy - Champion Jack Dupree

Download link:

Good collection of sides from Bobby Robinson's NYC labels, mainly from 1953 sessions for his first label Red Robin, by Champion Jack Dupree, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. Also present are 4 early 1960s sides from the Vest label (owned by Bobby's brother Danny) by B. Brown and his Rockin' McVouts. It's all rousing stuff and there are good notes by Chris Smith on the back cover. Session and release details are also on the back cover so there's no need for me to add any more. Just download and dance!

Sunday 21 February 2016

Chick Webb & His Orchestra - In The Groove


Side 1
1 - Don't Be That Way
2 - What A Shuffle
3 - Blue Lou
4 - Go Harlem
5 - You'll Have To Swing It *
6 - Strictly Jive
7 - Rock It For Me *
8 - Squeeze Me

Side 2
1 - If Dreams Come True *
2 - A-Tisket, A-Tasket *
3 - Azure
4 - Spinnin' The Web
5 - Liza
6 - Undecided *
7 - T'Ain't What You Do *
8 - In The Groove At The Groove

*vocal by Ella Fitzgerald

Download from here:

All sides were recorded for Decca between November 1934 and February 1939. The Chick Webb band had previously recorded for Vocalion and Columbia / Okeh.

I have to own up to being out of my comfort zone with this one. We've stepped back a decade from the normal Bebop Wino era of jump blues and early R&B to the heyday of big band swing. However there are, inevitably, strong connections with the postwar era of rhythm 'n' blues and jazz to be found in the personnel of the Chick Webb Orchestra. Most obviously there is the presence of Ella Fitzgerald who joined the band in early 1935 and whose vocal efforts guaranteed big record sales in the second half of the 1930s.

Ella in front, Chick at the drums
There among the reed players is none other than alto sax man Louis Jordan who became a band member in mid 1936, replacing arranger and alto sax player Edgar Sampson who had decided to strike out on his own. As well as contributing the occasional vocal performance, Jordan played clarinet and soprano saxophone with the band. He had ambitions to form his own band and when he did leave in mid 1938 it was after a blazing row with Chick, who was convinced that Jordan had attempted to lure some of his musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald, to the new group. Shortly afterwards Louis formed the Tympany Five which set a whole new trend for blues and boogie based jump bands.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan in the studio
Tenor sax player Teddy McRae was a long standing member of the Chick Webb Orchestra. In the 1950s he recorded humorous R&B records under the pseudonym "Mr. Bear."  His "I'm Gonna Keep My Good Eye On You" is considered by discerning critics (i.e. me) to be a work of genius but it unaccountably remains absent from The Great American Songbook.

Chick employed Bardu Ali as front man for the band. Although a musician (trumpet) and band leader in his own write, his role in the Chick Webb Orchestra was akin to that exemplified by Cab Calloway and Lucky Millinder: hold the whole show together and keep the audience's attention by M.C.-ing, conducting, dancing and even singing the occasional number. After the death of Chick and the breakup of the band, he formed his own group and subsequently headed West to L.A. He entered a business partnership with Johnny Otis and opened the Barrelhouse night club, a venue which played a pivotal role in the rise of West Coast rhythm and blues. His full name was Bahadur Ali and he was the son of a Bengali immigrant, Moksad Ali and his African American wife, Ella Blackman. There is a very interesting article on Bardu Ali on the "Taj Mahal Foxtrot" blog here:

A blog with the subtitle of "The Story of Bombay's Jazz Age" is simply irresistible.

Stompin' at The Savoy
The Chick Webb Orchestra reigned supreme at the Savoy Ballroom where they attracted a fanatical following among the dancers. The room was equipped with two stages, making it an ideal venue for big band battles. Among the bands who lost out to Webb were those of Count Basie and Benny Goodman although Chick had to cede victory to Duke Ellington.

As for Chick himself, his life was tragically short. Born in Baltimore in 1909, he was a diminutive hunchback because of tuberculosis of the spine. Despite his physical handicaps he had the drive and determination to become a first class drummer and bandleader. His health, which was never good, deteriorated markedly in 1938-39. In June 1939 he entered hospital in his native Baltimore for an operation but failed to recover from the procedure. The band limped on for another year or so under the leadership of Ella Fitzgerald with Teddy McRae as musical director but without Chick it just wasn't the same and the inevitable breakup came in 1941.

Chick Webb

Friday 5 February 2016

Buddy Johnson Special!

Be Bop Wino continues its look at big big band rhythm 'n' blues with re-ups of 3 Buddy Johnson LPs. 

First up is the Silver Star Swing Series compilation of Decca sides recorded by Buddy in the 1940s and early 50s.


Side 1
1 - South Main
2 - Fine Brown Frame
3 - Opus Two
4 - Walk 'em
5 - You'll Get Them Blues
6 - Hey, Sweet Potato
7 - Far Cry
8 - Serves Me Right

Side 2
1 - Li'l Dog
2 - You Can't Tell Who's Lovin' Who
3 - Down Yonder
4 - Shake 'em Up
5 - Dr Jive Jives
6 - I'm Gonna Jump In The River
7 - Baby You're Always On My Mind
8 - Shufflin' And Rollin'

Download link:

Original post (well worth reading!) from 9th October 2009 is here:

In 1953 Buddy moved to the Mercury label and I've re-upped two Mercury LPs which were originally released in the 1950s. One of them, "Rock 'N Roll," was donated in its 1950s form by a kindly saxophonist, and the other, "Walkin'," is a 1980s re-release on Official. Buddy's band was perhaps the longest surviving of the big swing bands, playing through the swing and r&b years and on into the rock 'n' roll era, so here's the Mercury LP "Rock 'N Roll", with additional artwork from the 1980s re-release on Official:


1 - I Don't Want Nobody
2 - Doot Doot Dow
3 - Bring It Home To Me
4 - You Got It Made
5 - A Pretty Girl
6 - Any Day Now

Side 2
1 - It's Obdacious
2 - Crazy 'Bout A Saxophone
3 - Upside Your Head
4 - Ain't But One
5 - A-12
6 - I'm Just Your Fool

Download link:

Original post from 26th September 2009 is here:

This post is well worth checking out for insights from our anonymous sax playing donor plus other commentators, and my take on the role of Buddy's band in the early rock 'n' roll era.

On the 27th September 2009 I posted an Official re-release of another Buddy Johnson LP on Mercury, "Walkin'."


Side 1
1 - Rockin' Time
2 - They Don't Want Me To Rock No More
3 - There's No One Like You
4 - Rock On!
5 - Ain't Cha Got Me (Where You Want Me)
6 - Buddy's Boogie

Side 2
1 - Oh! Baby Don't You Know
2 - You'd Better Believe Me
3 - You're Everything My Heart Desires
4 - So Good
5 - Bitter Sweet
6 - Gone Walkin'

New download link:

Original post from 27th September 2009 is here:

Once again, please read the wise words, especially if you're just discovering Buddy Johnson.

In the original posts I recommended 2 CDs for purchasing:

"Walk 'Em: The Decca Sessions" (Ace CDCHD 623) is still available. A superb collection which is one of my all time favourite Ace CDs and you can't get any higher praise than that!

For the Mercury sides I recommended a Rev-Ola compilation, "Gotta Go Upside Your Head" (CR Band 6) which at that time was an easily available mid-price CD. A search through Amazon and a few other sites has revealed that it is now a rarity and dealers are asking big bucks for it. If you come across a reasonably priced copy, snap it up. Otherwise, there is a 28 track CD on Hoodoo Records called "Rock On! The 1956-62 Recordings" or there is a 2CD compilation on Jasmine Records called "Rock On! The 100th Anniversary Collection - Twenty Years of Blues, Boogie and Ballads 1941-1961" which may be worth investigating.