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Sunday 17 July 2016

Various Artists - Chess Masters


Download LP1 from here:

Side 1:
01. Sweet Black Angel - Robert Nighthawk
02. Walkin' Blues - Muddy Waters
03. Mad Man Blues - John Lee Hooker
04. Sad Hours - Little Walter
05. Dust My Broom - Elmore James
06. Diggin' My Potatoes - Washboard Sam

Side 2:
01. Third Degree - Eddie Boyd
02. Mama Talk To Your Daughter - J.B. Lenoir
03. I'm Ready - Muddy Waters
04. I'm Glad You Reconsidered - Lowell Fulson
05. I'm A Man - Bo Diddley
06. Walkin' By Myself - Jimmy Rogers


Download LP2 from here:

Side 3:
01. I Don't Know - Sonny Boy Williamson
02. Goin' Down Slow - Little Walter
03. So Many Roads - Otis Rush
04. All Your Love - Otis Rush
05. I Got My Eyes On You - Buddy Guy
06. The First Time I Met The Blues - Buddy Guy

Side 4:
01. The Sun Is Shining - Elmore James
02. Stormy Monday Blues - Elmore James
03. Spoonful - Howlin' Wolf
04. The Red Rooster - Howlin' Wolf
05. Help Me - Sonny Boy Williamson
06. Feel So Bad - Little Milton

I think this PRT (Precision Records and Tapes) Chess Masters double LP came out in the early 1980s. I bought quite a few titles in this series, including double LPs of Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Lowell Fulson, Bo Diddley, and Sonny Boy Williamson, and single LPs of Chuck Berry, Bobby Charles and Willie Mabon. PRT was the successor company to Pye, which had been issuing Chess material in the UK since 1961.

As the LP cover has no information on the tracks, I did a bit of burrowing around in the Bruyninckx Discography, various LP sleeves and CD booklets, and online: Billboard (via Google Books search),, and with horrendous consequences for my sanity. But here it is, the lowdown on the original single issues of these 24 tracks, plus details of who was (perhaps) playing on these recordings. I ain't gonna do this for every album I post!

The LP set was in decent condition, but there is a bit of "juddering" on the final track by Little Milton. Apologies! Please note that the track listed on the sleeve as "Reconsider Baby" by Lowell Fulson is in fact "I'm Glad You Reconsidered" by the same artist.

Track details for LP1:

Sweet Black Angel - Robert Nighthawk. Originally released as "Black Angel Blues" by The Nighthawks on Aristocrat 2301 (B side of Annie Lee Blues), November 1949. Recorded in Chicago on July 12th, 1949. Personnel: Robert Nighthawk (vocal, guitar); Ernest Lane (piano); Willie Dixon (bass).

Walkin' Blues - Muddy Waters. Originally released on Chess 1426 (B side of "Rollin' Stone"), June 1950. Recorded in Chicago, February 1950. Personnel: Muddy Waters (vocal, guitar); Ernest "Big" Crawford (bass).

Mad Man Blues - John Lee Hooker. Originally released on Chess 1462, May 1951. Credited to "John Lee Booker and his Guitar". Recorded in Detroit, 1950. Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocal, guitar).

Sad Hours - Little Walter. Originally released on Checker 764 (B side of "Mean Old World"), November 1952. Credited to Little Walter and his Night Caps. Recorded in Chicago, October 1952. Personnel: Little Walter (harmonica); Louis Myers and David Myers (guitars); Fred Below (drums).

Dust My Broom - Elmore James. Originally released as "She Just Won't Do Right" on Checker 777, July 1953. Recorded in Chicago, January 17th, 1953. Personnel: Elmore James (vocal, guitar); J.T. Brown (tenor sax); Johnny Jones (piano); possibly Ransom Knowling (bass); Odie Payne (drums).

Diggin' My Potatoes - Washboard Sam.  Originally released on Chess 1545 (B side of "Bright Eyes"), July 1953. Recorded in Chicago, April 1953. Personnel: Washboard Sam (vocal, washboard); Big Bill Broonzy (guitar); Ernest "Big" Crawford (bass).

Third Degree - Eddie Boyd. Originally released on Chess 1541, May 1953. Credited to "Eddie Boyd and his Chess Men." Recorded in Chicago, May 1953. Personnel: Eddie Boyd (vocal, piano); Little Sax Crowder (tenor sax); Lee Cooper (guitar), Willie Dixon (bass); Percy Walker (drums).

Mama Talk To Your Daughter - J.B. Lenoir. Originally released on Parrot 809, January 1955. Credited to J.B. Lenore. Recorded in Chicago, October 6th, 1954. Personnel: J.B. Lenoir (vocal, guitar); Lorenzo Smith (tenor sax); Joe Montgomery (piano); Al Galvin (drums).

I'm Ready - Muddy Waters. Originally released on Chess 1579, September 1954. Credited to "Muddy Waters and his Guitar." Recorded in Chicago, September 1st, 1954. Personnel: Muddy Waters (vocal); Little Walter (harmonica); Jimmy Rogers (guitar); Otis Spann (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

I'm Glad You Reconsidered - Lowell Fulson. Originally released on Checker 959, September 1960. Recorded in Los Angeles, June 2nd 1960. Personnel: Lowell Fulson (vocal, guitar); Earl Brown (alto sax); Louis Williams (tenor sax); Big Jim Wynn (baritone sax); Lloyd Glenn (piano); Billy Hadnott (bass); Robert "Snake" Sims (drums).

I'm A Man - Bo Diddley. Originally released on Checker 814 (B side of "Bo Diddley"), April 1955. Recorded in Chicago, March 2nd 1955. Personnel: Bo Diddley (vocal, guitar); Billy Boy Arnold (harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Clifton James (drums); Jerome Green (maracas).

Walkin' By Myself - Jimmy Rogers. Originally released on Chess 1643, January 1957. Recorded in Chicago, October 29th, 1956. Personnel: Jimmy Rogers (vocal, guitar); Walter Horton (harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Robert Jr. Lockwood (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); A.J. Gladney (drums).

Track details for LP2:

I Don't Know - Sonny Boy Williamson. Originally released on Checker 864 (B side of "Fattening Frogs For Snakes"), June 1957. Recorded in Chicago, February 8th 1957. Personnel: Sonny Boy Williamson (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Goin' Down Slow - Little Walter. Unissued Checker recording. Possibly recorded in Chicago, December 1959. Possible personnel: Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); George Hunter (drums). A different version of the same song (composed by St. Louis Jimmy Oden), retitled "I Had My Fun" and probably recorded in June 1957, was released by Little Walter on Checker 945, February 1960.

So Many Roads - Otis Rush. Originally released as "So Many Roads, So Many Trains" on Chess 1751, March 1960. Recorded in Chicago, January 1960. Personnel: Otis Rush (vocal, guitar); Bob Neely (tenor sax); Lafayette Leake (piano); Matt Murphy (electric bass); Willie Dixon (bass); Odie Payne Jr. (drums).

All Your Love - Otis Rush. Originally released on Chess LP 1538 "Door To Door" (Albert King and Otis Rush). Recorded at same session and with same personnel as "So Many Roads" January 1960. This is a re-recording of "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)" by Otis Rush & His Band, Cobra 5032, released July 1959.

I Got My Eyes On You - Buddy Guy. First released on Chess 1753, April 1960. Recorded in Chicago, March 2nd 1960. Personnel: Buddy Guy (vocal, guitar); Jarrett Gibson and Bob Neely (tenor saxes); Donald Hankins (baritone sax); Little Brother Montgomery (piano); Jack Myers (electric bass), Fred Below (drums).

The First Time I Met The Blues - Buddy Guy. B side of "I Got My Eyes On You" (Chess 1753). Recorded at the same session and with the same personnel.

The Sun Is Shining - Elmore James. Alternate take of Chess 1756 (B side of "I Can't Hold Out") which was released in May, 1960. Recorded in Chicago, April 14th, 1960. Personnel: Elmore James (vocal, guitar); J.T. Brown (tenor sax); Unknown (tenor sax); Little Johnny Jones (piano); Homesick James (guitar); Henry Harris (drums).

Stormy Monday Blues - Elmore James. Unreleased as a single. First released in 1968 on Blue Horizon LP "Tough" (Elmore James and John Brim). Recorded at the same session and with the same personnel as "The Sun Is Shining", April 14th, 1960.

Spoonful - Howlin' Wolf. First released on Chess 1762, July 1960. Recorded in Chicago, June 1960. Personnel: Howlin' Wolf (vocal); Otis Spann (piano); Hubert Sumlin and Freddy Robinson (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

The Red Rooster - Howlin' Wolf. First released on Chess 1804, October 1961. Recorded in Chicago, May 1961. Personnel: Howlin' Wolf (vocal, guitar); Johnny Jones (piano); Hubert Sumlin (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Sam Lay (drums).

Help Me - Sonny Boy Williamson. First released on Checker 1036, February 1963. Recorded in Chicago, January 11th, 1963. Personnel: Sonny Boy Williamson (vocal, harmonica); Lafayette Leake or Billy Emerson (organ); Matt Murphy (guitar); Milton Rector (bass); Al Duncan (drums).

Feel So Bad - Little Milton. First released as a single on Checker 1162, December 1966. Also released in December 1966 on Checker LP 3002 "Little Milton Sings Big Blues." Recorded in Chicago, June 3rd 1966. Personnel: Little Milton (vocal, guitar); Sonny Thompson (piano); Roosevelt Williams (electric bass), Maurice White or Ira Gates (drums).


Anonymous said...

hey thanks for these and for hunting down the recording info. I remember this series too from back in the day; the Little Walter collection was particularly good. great blog.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the nice comment! I'll root around in the vinyl cupboard and see if I can dig out the Little Walter set. In the meantime I'll re-up the "Confessin' The Blues" Little Walter LP - probably later (much later) today.

Steve Wise said...

As a tiny contribution - I found this album listed on a site selling vintage vinyl and they gave the year of release as 1981

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the extra bit of info Steve. Much appreciated.