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Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

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Sunday 6 March 2016

Jack McVea Special!


Side 1:
01. Bartender Boogie
02. Tarrant Blues
03. O-Kay For Baby
04. We're Together Again
05. Ooh Mop
06. Don't Blame Me
07. Frisco Blues
08. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

Side 2:
01. Open The Door Richard!
02. Wine-O
03. Inflation Blues
04. Groovin' Boogie
05. No, No, You Can't Do Dot Mon
06. Jack Frost
07. Mumblin' Blues
08. The Key's In The Mailbox

Download "Open The Door Richard!" from here:


Side A:
01. My Business Is C.O.D.
02. Play It Over
03. Rainy Day Blues
04. F Minor Boogie
05. It Never Should Have Been This Way
06. Jack's Boogie
07. Baby Make Up Your Mind
08. Butch

Side B:
01. Two Timin' Baby Boogie
02. Evening
03. Fish For Supper
04. New Deal
05. Naggin' Woman Blues
06. You Can Come Back Home
07. Tatoe Pie
08. Carlos

Download "New Deal" from here:

Original issue of "Open The Door Richard!" tracks, which were recorded in Los Angeles between August 1945 and December 1947:

01. Bartender Boogie aka B.B. Boogie - Black & White 750
02. Tarrant Blues - Apollo 370*
03. O-Kay For Baby - Apollo 761
04. We're Together Again - Apollo 366*
05. Ooh Mop - Black & White 750
06. Don't Blame Me - Apollo 761
07. Frisco Blues - Black & White 751
08. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying - Black & White 793
09. Open The Door Richard! - Black & White 792
10. Wine-O - Black & White 751
11. Inflation Blues - Exclusive 260
12. Groovin' Boogie - Black & White 810
13. No, No, You Can't Do Dot Mon - Exclusive 266
14. Jack Frost  - Exclusive 266
15. Mumblin' Blues - Exclusive 270
16. The Key's In The Mailbox - Black & White 828

* = credited to "Rabon Tarrant with Jack McVea's All Stars"

Original issue of "New Deal" tracks, which were recorded in Los Angeles between August 1945 and late 1948, except for "Rainy Day Blues" which was recorded in San Francisco in 1944.

01. My Business Is C.O.D. - Black & White 762
02. Play It Over - Black & White 762
03. Rainy Day Blues - Rhythm 502/509
04. F Minor Boogie - Black & White 767
05. It Never Should Have Been This Way - Apollo 370*
06. Jack's Boogie - Black & White 767
07. Baby Make Up Your Mind - Black & White 763
08. Butch - Black & White 842
09. Two Timin' Baby Boogie - Black & White 842
10. Evening - Exclusive 70X
11. Fish For Supper - Exclusive 70X
12. New Deal - Melodisc 110
13. Naggin' Woman Blues - Apollo 365*
14. You Can Come Back Home - Modern 20-756**
15. Tatoe Pie - Exclusive 270
16. Carlos - Exclusive 48X

* = credited to "Rabon Tarrant with Jack McVea's All Stars."
** = credited to "Gene Phillips with Jack McVea & His Orchestra." The song title was "You Can't Come Back Home."

As requested by a cool cat (by your re-up requests shall ye be judged), here's Jack McVea on a couple of Jukebox Lil LPs. We know what that means - occasional dodgy sound quality as the tracks were mastered from original 78 rpm records coupled with superb background research and notes. Jonas Bernholm's reissue labels really set the standard back in the 1980s.

The excellent "Blues And Rhythm" magazine has recently completed a 3 part series on Jonas and his work entitled "The Mr R&B Interviews." There is also a Label Listing of every release on every Jonas Bernholm label. These labels were: Route 66, Mr R&B, Stockholm, Blues Boy, Crown Prince, Saxophonograph, Jukebox Lil, Whiskey, Women, And ... , Dr. Horse, Earth Angel, Gospel Jubilee, Jazz Information, and Clanka Lanka. Scream and shout, check it out!

LPS from the Mr R&B group of labels can still be purchased at North American distributor and also at Norton Records. In Europe they can be purchased at Bear Family Records, Germany.

And so to Jack McVea. My original post on "Open The Door Richard!" had a summary of his career. Here's the link:

The original "New Deal" post is here:

He was an important figure in the development of West Coast R&B. After quitting the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, he formed a small jump group in 1943 which was very much modeled on the successful Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five. Mid to late 1940s Los Angeles hosted a thriving jump 'n' jive small group scene with bands led by McVea, Roy Milton, Joe Liggins, Luke Jones, Buddy Banks, Joe Lutcher, Jimmy Liggins, Johnny Otis, King Perry, Calvin Boze and others all playing in the jump blues style which dominated the nascent rhythm 'n' blues scene.

Jack McVea's first recordings were made for the small Rhythm label of San Francisco in 1944  (see "Rainy Day Blues"). His first LA records were made for Melodisc in August 1945 (see "New Deal"). In the same month he recorded for Apollo, not only having discs issued in his own name, but also accompanying artists like Wynonie Harris and Big Duke Henderson. These sessions are covered in a Delmark CD, "McVoutie's Central Avenue Blues." A recommended purchase!

In October 1945 Jack signed up with Black & White Records, with whom he recorded until March 1947 when the company went bankrupt. It was Black & White which issued Jack's massive hit "Open The Door Richard!" but unfortunately almost all the royalties were diverted from the artist while coincidentally the label owner was suddenly able to indulge in a lavish lifestyle. Continuing creative accountancy practices drove Black & White to inevitable bankruptcy. In late 1947 Jack recorded sides for Exclusive but did not record again as a leader until he signed for Combo in 1953. By now Jack's band was totally different from the band which had enjoyed success in the 1940's. He continued to record for Combo until 1957 after which his recording career quickly faded.

The full story can be read on the sleevenotes to both the Jukebox Lil LPs. The period covered by these albums, 1944 - 47, is also comprehensively covered on a 4CD set issued on JSP.

More accurately, Jack's 1944 - 1947 recordings are contained on the first 3 CDs of this set while CD number 4 contains tracks by George Vann and Alton Redd, both of whom were drummer / vocalists with 1940s LA jump bands. George Vann is featured on tracks by The Sepia Tones, Joe Alexander's Highlanders, The Spirits of Rhythm, Four Joes And a Jane, Johnny Alston and Sylvester Scott. Early Jump Heaven!

The Combo masters are owned and reissued by UK Ace Records. There's some good Combo McVea tracks on the excellent compilation of Combo and Dootone sides "Honk! Honk! Honk!"

Also on Ace is a CD dedicated solely to Jack McVea on Combo, "Fortissimo!"

This CD includes quite a few alternate takes and even some rehearsal tracks. Worth investigating, but "Honk! Honk! Honk!" is a far better collection.


Anonymous said...

You're on a roll, Boogiewoody! I wish I was feeling so inspired. Re: the sound quality on these LPs: I used to buy the Route 66 albums in the late '70s, early '80s and don't think it was such an issue for me then, being used to the clicks and pops as a collector of 45s and 78s at the time. I was grateful just having access to these European imports and the info provided in the liner notes.

I miss being able to purchase Blues & Rhythm magazine at my local bookstore, but the distributor no longer carries it. ;-(

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for commenting Marie. Quite a few of my Route 66 LPs were bought second hand, which doesn't help with the clicking and popping. That said, I love them all! I used to be able to buy Blues & Rhythm in record shops in Glasgow but none of the surviving ones have it, so nowadays I subscribe and have it sent through the post. You can check out their website at


rm said...

thank you very much

iggy said...

Hi boogiewoody! As a big fan of all of the great Jonas Bernholm Swedish record labels (eg Jukebox Lil, Route 66, Mr R&B, etc), I want to thank you so much for making these fine Jack McVea sides available once more. Look forward to spending more time "looking through your collection" asap. All good wishes,


boogiewoody said...

Thanks for commenting, folks. Iggy - there are quite a few Jonas Bernholm LPs on the blog, but many links were lost when rapidshare collapsed. If you want an LP which has a dead link please request a re-up.


Alfie Cooke said...

oh, that'll be joyful!!!

boogiewoody said...

Indeed, Alfie - available on "Fortissimo!" and one of the daftest records I've ever heard!

Fernando said...

Hi! Thank you a lot for this marvelous post! Only place on the whole internet where I could find the album artwork for these albums! May I ask you to fix the link to 'New Deal'? I think it has expired. Thank you!

Fernando said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! Only place on the whole internet where I could find the inside artwork of this album!
May I ask you to fix the link to 'New Deal'? It seems it's expired. Thank you!

boogiewoody said...

New link for "New Deal" is now on the post.