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.

Monday 30 May 2016

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - What You Get When The Gettin Gets Good

Side One:
01. Work With Me Annie
02. Sexy Ways
03. Don't Change Your Pretty Ways
04. Rock And Roll Wedding
05. Open Up The Back Door
06. Rock, Granny, Roll
07. Tore Up Over You
08. Is Your Love For Real?

Side Two:
01. The Twist
02. Teardrops On Your Letter
03. Kansas City
04. Sugaree
05. Finger Poppin' Time
06. Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
07. What Is This I See?
08. I'm Gonna Miss You

Download from:

I wasn't going to post this one as it has already appeared on several other blogs, but after listening to a load of Midnighters' tracks while putting together the previous post on the Hank Ballard & The Midnighters King LP and then discovering that I'd already ripped this LP several years ago, I thought 'what the heckola, let's get it out there.'

So after completing the mad task of scanning a complete gatefold LP sleeve, here 'tis in all its glory - one of the best of the 1980s R&B reissue LPs. Now you can listen to many of the tracks mentioned in the previous post, although one humungous omission is "It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)." Seek it elsewhere and ye shall find.

There are only 2 tracks from the year of the Midnighters' breakthrough, 1954, i.e. "Work With Me Annie" which they recorded while they were still The Royals, and "Sexy Ways", the title of which must have caused consternation back in the straight laced '50s.

The rest of Side One consists of great rock and roll tracks from 1955 - 57 which failed to chart. Several reasons have been forwarded for this - The Midnighters were associated with "off colour" R&B thanks to material like "Sexy Ways" and couldn't get airplay; King / Federal boss Syd Nathan failed to promote them properly; or alternatively Syd Nathan was unwilling to come up with the required payola.

Side Two is a selection of tracks from the years when, billed as "Hank Ballard & The Midnighters" and now recording for King instead of its Federal subsidiary, the group returned to the charts big style, starting with "Teardrops On Your Letter" / "The Twist" in 1959. The latter track became an international pop and dance phenomenon, but for Chubby Checker's cover version, not for Hank Ballard's original recording. Nevertheless The Midnighters enjoyed a couple of years of hits partly on the back of "The Twist" and who could begrudge them that?

The LP notes include full recording details (including backing musicians) of all the tracks and an excellent essay by Cliff White.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Hank Ballard And The Midnighters (King LP 581)

Side 1:
01. Open Up The Back Door
02. In The Doorway Crying
03. Oh So Happy
04. Let 'Em Roll
05. E Basta Cosi
06. Stay By My Side

Side 2:
01. Daddy's Little Baby
02. Partners For Life
03. Is Your Love For Real
04. What Made You Change Your Mind
05. Let Me Hold Your Hand
06. Early One Morning

Download from:

Originally released in 1958 as "The Midnighters Volume Two", Federal 581, but with the King label on the cover (see below)

In 1963 the LP was reissued as "Hank Ballard And The Midnighters", King 581, in the cover at the top of this post. The LP posted here is a 1987 repro of the 1963 release. The tracks on this album were originally released as singles from 1956 to 1958. All of these singles were credited to "The Midnighters," as was the original 1958 release of this LP. The group's records were credited to "Hank Ballard & The Midnighters" from 1959 onwards when they were released through the King label. The first single to be credited thus was "Teardrops On Your Letter" / "The Twist" (King 5171).

Original single releases of the tracks on the "Hank Ballard And The Midnighters" LP:

Partners For Life - Federal 12251 - 1956
Open Up The Back Door - Federal 12260 - 1956
Early One Morning - Federal 12270 - 1956
Let Me Hold Your Hand - Federal 12288 - 1957
E Basta Cosi / In The Doorway Crying - Federal 12293 - 1957
Oh So Happy / Is Your Love For Real - Federal 12299 - 1957
Let 'Em Roll / What Made You Change Your Mind - Federal 12305 - 1957
Stay By My Side / Daddy's Little Baby - Federal 12317 - 1958

The Midnighters were founded as The Royals in Detroit in 1950. In late 1951 they were spotted at a talent show by Johnny Otis who recommended them to Syd Nathan, the owner of King Records. Before the end of 1951 the group were signed to the King subsidiary label Federal and their first recording session followed in January 1952. Their first single, the Johnny Otis penned "Every Beat Of My Heart" failed to chart, as did their next five singles. However, after their first session, the group were joined by Hank Ballard, whose songwriting and singing talents would transform their fortunes. He composed and sang lead on their first R&B chart success, "Get It", which climbed to number 6 in the R&B charts in the summer of 1953.

The modest success of "Get It" was totally eclipsed in early 1954 by the massive success of another Ballard composition and lead performance, "Work With Me Annie", a leeringly suggestive opus that outraged the moral majority (before they called themselves that), provoked bannings by radio stations and sold by the cartload to storm to the top of the R&B charts. As if that wasn't bad enough, a follow up piece of single entendre filth, "Sexy Ways", reached number 2. By now The Royals were no more, having been renamed The Midnighters. In fact the name change had taken place while "Work With Me Annie" was rising to the top of the charts, so that early pressings of the disc had The Royals on the label, with The Midnighters taking the credit on later pressings.

The Midnighters were back at the top of the charts in the autumn of 1954 with "Annie Had  A Baby", which may well have caused many of the moral majority to die of apoplexy. This disc kicked off a slew of answer songs by other artists which helped to cement the Midnighter's place as THE R&B phenomenon of 1954. However, as the year drew to a close, The Midnighter's next contribution to the Annie saga, "Annie's Aunt Fannie" merely demonstrated the law of diminishing returns as it failed to replicate the success of their earlier discs. In the summer of 1955 the group returned to the top 10 with another classic piece of R&B, "It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)" and that, strangely enough, was that.

Between 1955 and 1958 The Midnighters released a string of strong singles which included great R&B sides such as "That Woman", "Rock And Roll Wedding", "Rock Granny Roll", "Open Up The Back Door", "Tore Up Over You" and "Is Your Love For Real", all of which failed to chart nationally. The tracks on the "Hank Ballard And The Midnighters" LP all date from this period of chart failure.

The Midnighters onstage 1957/8
As can be seen from the above picture, The Midnighters were still a popular and dynamic live act. In mid 1958 The Midnighters were released from their recording contract with Federal and they recorded a demo version of "The Twist" for VeeJay. However they were soon re-signed to King where, now billed as Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, they recorded "Teardrops On Your Letter" and "The Twist" which became an R&B hit in early 1959. The record even scraped into the pop charts but it was Chubby Checker's cover version of "The Twist" which became an international pop sensation.

Although Hank and the group missed out on worldwide fame and fortune which should have been theirs with "The Twist", they were once again a successful R&B and even pop act. They had further success in 1960-61, starting with "Kansas City", followed by "Finger Poppin' Time", "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" and a string of dance records such as "The Hoochi Coochi Coo" and "The Continental Walk." The group broke up in 1962 and Hank continued with a solo recording and performing career into the Soul era.

More info at -

Marv Goldberg's in depth look at The Royals and early Midnighters:

Todd Baptista's overview of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters:

Recommended further listening:

"The Royals featuring Charles Sutton and Hank Ballard - The Federal Singles." Ace CDCHD 1054
- The Royals' complete Federal singles including "Work With Me Annie."

"Hank Ballard And The Midnighters - Come On And Get It: The Singles Collection 1954-1959."
Jasmine JASCD 568. 2 CD set with all The Midnighters singles from "Work With Me Annie" to beyond "The Twist." 58 tracks in all. The Midnighters at their peak.

"Dancin' And Twistin'" - Ace CDCHD 779. 24 Federal & King dance tracks from 1955 to 1969. Some duplication with the Jasmine set.

Friday 20 May 2016

Ivory Joe Hunter - 7th Street Boogie

Side 1:
01. 7th Street Boogie
02. Blues At Sunrise *
03. Boogin' In The Basement
04. Reconversion Blues
05. High Cost Low Pay Blues
06. Grieving Blues
07. Siesta With Sonny
08. Send Me Pretty Mama

Side 2:
01. I Quit My Pretty Mama
02. Woo Wee Blues
03. Don't Fall In Love With Me
04. What Did You Do To Me
05. I Got Your Water On
06. SP Blues
07. Leave Her Alone
08. Don't You Believe Her

*Ivory Joe Hunter with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers

Download from:

Go West, young man! Ivory Joe Hunter ('twas his actual name) was one of a number of Texas pianists / singers who moved to California during and after World War Two and helped kick start the growth of R&B on the West Coast. Charles Brown, Amos Milburn, Floyd Dixon and Little Willie Littlefield all spring immediately to mind.

When Ivory Joe arrived in Oakland, California in 1942, he was already an experienced club pianist, deejay and bandleader. He formed a jump band while performing at Slim Jenkins' club on 7th Street in Oakland, but was unable to attract the attention of any of the new West Coast record labels that were springing up. His first record, "Blues At Sunrise" was therefore recorded for his own short lived label, Ivory. It became a hit when it was picked up by Exclusive, reaching number 3 in the R&B charts at the end of 1945. In 1946/7 Ivory Joe issued singles on Pacific, a label in which he was a co-owner.

Sales of the Pacific records were poor, so Joe sold his masters to 4 Star who re-issued some sides which had originally appeared on Pacific and also gave a first time issue to some of Joe's hitherto unreleased masters. It was a reissue, "Pretty Mama Blues" (Pacific 637, 4 Star 1254) which became Joe's biggest success so far, reaching number 1 on the R&B chart in September 1948. By this time Joe had been recording for King for a year. He stayed with them until August 1949, having hits with "Don't Fall In Love With Me", "What Did You Do To Me", "Guess Who" / "Landlord Blues", and "Jealous Heart."

In October 1949 Joe started recording for MGM and hit it big, reaching the number 1 R&B spot with "I Almost Lost My Mind." His next MGM disc, "S.P. Blues" was a top ten hit and he was back at number 1 again with "I Need You So." "It's A Sin" was a lesser hit but as all of these chart successes came in 1950, Ivory Joe Hunter was the 3rd top selling R&B artist of that year, ahead of such luminaries as Roy Brown, Dinah Washington and Louis Jordan. There were no more hits on MGM and in 1954 Ivory Joe signed with Atlantic Records where he recorded more hit material, most noticeably "Since I Met You Baby" which was an R&B and pop hit in 1957. In the same year he had another hit with "Empty Arms."

In 1959 he recorded for Dot without much success and the 1960s were spent label hopping but without achieving any significant sales. He did, however, have a more productive time as a songwriter in both the Soul and Country & Western fields. A successful appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1970 led to recording sessions for Epic and Paramount, but in late 1973 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Ivory Joe Hunter passed away in November 1974.

Most of the above info is from an article by Dik De Heer on Additional information from Big Al Pavlow's "R & B Book" and Bill Millar's sleevenotes to this LP. There is an extended essay on Ivory Joe Hunter by Bill Millar in his excellent book "Let The Good Times Rock."

Article by Dik De Heer:

Original release details:

01. 7th Street Boogie - Pacific 601
02. Blues At Sunrise - Originally on Ivory, then Exclusive 56
03. Boogin' In The Basement - Pacific 602
04. Reconversion Blues - Pacific 601
05. High Cost Low Pay Blues - Pacific 630
06. Grieving Blues - Pacific 634
07. Siesta With Sonny - King 4220
08. Send Me Pretty Mama - King 4424
09. I Quit My Pretty Mama - King 4326
10. Woo Wee Blues - King 4455
11. Don't Fall In Love With Me - King 4220
12. What Did You Do To Me - King 4232
13. I Got Your Water On - King 4347
14. SP Blues - MGM 10618
15. Leave Her Alone - MGM 10663
16. Don't You Believe Her - MGM 10818

Many of the Pacific sides were re-released on 4 Star.

Explore further with:

"Jukebox Hits 1945 - 1950" on Acrobat,

"Blues, Ballads & Rock 'N' Roll" - collection of Atlantic sides on Ace,

"Woo Wee!" - collection of King sides on Ace.

And, joy of joys, Bill Millar's book "Let The Good Times Rock" is still available at reasonable prices on Amazon marketplace. A rippingly good read.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Chess Doo-Wop Re-upped

Side 1:
01. White Cliffs Of Dover - The Bluejays
02. Darling I Know - The El-Rays
03. Shoo Doo Be Doo (My Loving Baby) - The Moonlighters
04. Newly Wed - The Orchids
05. Show Me The Way - The Five Notes
06. Give Me (A Simple Prayer) - The Ravens
07. Nadine - The Coronets
08. Ding Dong - The Quintones

Side 2:
01. 4 O'Clock In The Morning - The Tornadoes
02. I Want To Love - The Sentimentals
03. Teardrops - Lee Andrews & The Hearts
04. Soft Shadows - The Monotones
05. I'm So Young - The Students
06. So Far Away - The Pastels
07. This Broken Heart - The Sonics
08. False Alarm - The Ravels

Download from here:

Original drunken post (26th December 2011) here:

Having restored The Moonglows to the blog, it seemed fitting to resurrect the Chess Doo-Wop collection. The original post is a fine demonstration of the art of music blogging while lying semi-comatose on the deck. Note that Dean Martin once said, "You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on."

The Moonlighters were really The Moonglows going under another name. And The Ravens make an over-the-top appearance after their turn on the recently re-upped "Whoppers!" Jubilee compilation. And that's Gene Ammons on sax on track 1 "The White Cliffs Of Dover", which should attract the attention of the tenor sax crowd. Now where's the booze?

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Look! It's The Moonglows (Chess LP 1430) re-upped

In response to a re-up request, here is the 1958 Chess LP "Look Out! It's The Moonglows" which was ripped by Joan K.

Download from:

Side 1:
01. Love Is A River
02. Blue Velvet
03. This Love
04. When I'm With You
05. I'll Stop Wanting You
06. Don't Say Goodbye

Side 2:
01. Ten Commandments Of Love
02. Kiss Me Baby
03. Penny Arcade
04. Mean Old Blues
05. Sweeter Than Words
06. Cold Feet

Original post (9th July, 2008) is here:

For the story of The Moonglows, read Marv Goldberg's article here:

The download includes scans by Joan.

Sunday 15 May 2016

I Understand / Sugar Lump - The Four Tunes (Jubilee 5132)

Recorded January 1954, released February 1954. Number 6 on pop charts, number 7 on R&B charts. Personnel: Pat Best (baritone); Jimmie Nabbie (tenor); Danny Owens (tenor); Jimmy Gordon (bass). Pat Best sings lead on both sides. Besides writing "I Understand", he also wrote "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons."

Billboard review, 3rd April, 1954:

"I Understand" - "Warm and intimate ballad is arranged by a knowing hand. It shows off the Four Tunes to best advantage. This side may need only the slightest shove to get it off the ground. With the breaks it could build with the best of them. Bears close watching."

"Sugar Lump" - "Cute ditty, cleverly written, is awarded a bouncy and infectious reading by the group. A good, commercial waxing that could make some noise with energetic promotion."

The Four Tunes started as The Brown Dots, the group formed by Deek Watson when he left The Ink Spots. He eventually split with The Brown Dots who became The Sentimentalists and then The Four Tunes.

The full story is on Marv Goldberg's site here:

From 1946 - 49 The Four Tunes recorded for Manor and its subsidiary Arco, both under their own name and as backing group for Savannah Churchill. They switched to RCA, recording for them from 1949 until 1952, then joined Jubilee with whom they recorded until 1957.

Thanks to Joan K for the sound files and scans of "I Understand" and its B side. And of course thanks to Joan for the whole Jubilee vocal group series.

Saturday 14 May 2016

Whoppers! (Jubilee JGM-1119) re-upped

Side 1:
01. Marie - The Four Tunes
02. Take Me Back To Heaven - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
03. I Understand - The Four Tunes
04. Come To Me Baby - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
05. Sugar Lump - The Four Tunes
06. Sweethearts On Parade - Billy Ward & The Dominoes

Side 2:
01. Crying In The Chapel - The Orioles
02. Green Eyes - The Ravens
03. It's Too Soon To Know - The Orioles
04. Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle - The Ravens
05. Tell Me So - The Orioles
06. I'll Always Be In Love With You - The Ravens

Released in June, 1960. A reissue of the 1956 LP "Best Of Rhythm And Blues" (Jubilee LP 1014).

Download from here:

The last in the series of Jubilee vocal group compilations released in 1959 - 1960 and a real curiosity. The contents seem to be completely divorced from the teen hoodlums cover picture as the 12 numbers on offer all hark back to an earlier era of R&B and there's little here that could pass as rock 'n' roll. However, the collection is an R&B historian's delight as it includes the record that launched the career of The Orioles back in 1948, "It's Too Soon To Know" plus their big 1953 hit "Crying In The Chapel."

The Four Tunes (originally The Brown Dots) sides "Marie" and "I Understand" were big, big hits in 1953/54, not only in the R&B charts, but also in the pop charts.

Most of the rest of the tracks were issued between 1953 and 1956. The Ravens tracks are the latest releases of the collection, from 1956, long after their 1940s /early 1950s heyday on Savoy. Similarly, the Dominoes tracks are a world away from their early 1950s gospel influenced rockers on Federal with Clyde McPhatter on lead. These 1954-55 sides are from a time when Billy Ward was repositioning the group as a pop act. However, Jackie Wilson leads on "Take Me Back to Heaven."

What did Billboard make of this LP?

Not  a bad review! (June 13th 1960).

The original post of this LP (June 23rd 2008) with label scans by Joan K can be found here:

Here's some of the scans:

Thanks to Joan K for sights 'n' sounds.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Good Old 99 / Fried Chicken - The Marylanders (Jubilee 5114)

Issued March, 1953. Personnel: Buster Banks (tenor) - lead on "Good Old 99"; Johnny Paige (tenor) - lead on "Fried Chicken"; David Jones (baritone); Henry Abrams (bass); Tommy Bonds (guitar). Band - Buddy Lucas (tenor sax) with unknown accompaniment.

These were the sides by The Marylanders that were originally intended to appear on the "Boppin'" compilation featured in the previous post. They were withdrawn at the last minute and replaced with tracks by The Teardrops. The change in the tracklist came after the LP cover and record labels had already been printed and so the absent Marylanders were wrongly credited with being on the album.

Billboard review of the original single release of these sides, April 4th 1953:

The Marylanders were a Baltimore vocal group who started as a gospel group before moving to R&B in the late 1940s. They were signed to Jubilee Records in early 1952 but only had 3 records released on the label: "I'm A Sentimental Fool" / "Sittin' By The River" in April 1952; "Make Me Thrill Again" / "Please Love Me" in August 1952, and "Good Old 99" / "Fried Chicken" in March 1953.

When their Jubilee contract was not renewed the group broke up, but a slightly different lineup started doing business as The New Marylanders. For the full story go to (you've guessed it!) Marv Goldberg's website here:

Thanks to Joan K for Marylanders label scans.

There's one more Jubilee vocal group comp to be re-upped. Stay tuned! Don't move that dial!

Monday 9 May 2016

Boppin'! (Jubilee JGM-1118) re-up

Side 1:
01. Baby Let Me Bang Your Box - The Toppers
02. I Miss You So - The Orioles
03. Red Light Green Light - The Coney Island Kids
04. Brown Gal - Deke Watson & The Brown Dots
05. Blue Moon - The Emanons
06. My Heart - The Teardrops

Side 2:
01. Moonlight Beach - The Coney Island Kids
02. In The Mission Of St Augustine - The Orioles
03. You're Laughing Because I'm Crying - The Toppers
04. Wish I Had My Baby - The Emanons
05. Why Does a Drink Make You Think - Deke Watson & The Brown Dots
06. Ooh Baby - The Teardrops

Download from:

Original post from June 21st 2008 is here:

Thanks to Joan K for the 4th in the series of 5 vocal group compilations issued by Jubilee in 1959 / 60. It's an eclectic mix this time round with The Orioles and The Brown Dots representing the older form of vocal group R&B, raunch from The Toppers with "Baby Let Me Bang Your Box" (about a piano, I think) and the much more modern sound of The Coney Island Kids.

Above: Billboard review, June 27th 1960. Note that the LP was originally supposed to include tracks by The Marylanders, but these were replaced by tracks by The Teardrops.

Deke (or more usually Deek) Watson had a long career going back to the 1940s lineup of the The Inkspots. Marv Goldberg has a great article on Deek Watson, The Brown Dots, and The 4 Tunes here:

Well worth a read!

Thanks to Joan K for the sounds 'n' scans.