01. The Fat Man - Fats Domino
02. Rootin' And Tootin' - Smiley Lewis
03. All That Wine Is Gone - Big Jay McNeely
04. Fats' Frenzy - Fats Domino
05. An Old Cow Hand From A Blues Band - Dave Bartholomew
06. Don't Cry Baby - Big Jay McNeely
01. Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans
02. '44' - Fats Domino
03. Shame, Shame, Shame - Smiley Lewis
04. Good News - Dave Bartholomew
05. I Don't Need You - James "Sugar Boy" Crawford
06. Don't Leave Me This Way - Fats Domino
A re-up for this short (but fine as wine) homemade comp of Imperial sides. The R&B All-Stars series only ever ran to two comps! I think this is the only post on Be Bop Wino which features some Fats Domino tracks. I must do something about that ...
01. Tell The Truth - The 5 Royales
02. I'll Go Crazy - James Brown & His Famous Flames
03. Driving Sideways - Freddy King
04. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong - Albert King
05. Over The Rainbow - The Checkers
06. Cherry Wine - Little Esther
01. I'm Tore Up - Billy Gayles
02. Goofy Dust Blues - Little Willie Littlefield
03. Tonk Game - Hank Marr
04. It Won't Be This Way Always - The King Pins
05. Teardrops On Your Letter - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
06. Need Your Love So Bad - Little Willie John
A blog follower has sent in this track with a request to identify the artist. Our fellow Be Bop Wino taped this track along with others from a radio show a number of years ago. He is in the process of converting a load of these old radio tracks to mp3 but can't find the artist for this one. He thought that it might have been The Dozier Brothers, but a listen on YouTube clearly demonstrates that their version of "St. Louis Blues" is different from this one.
It sounds like a 1950s R&B vocal group accompanied by a good sax player. The lead vocalist sounds maddeningly familiar but I can't place him. Can anyone out there identify this group?
Alternatively you can download the track from here:
01. Rockin' Is Our Bizness
02. Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie
03. Get Out Of The Car
04. Hi-Yo Silver
05. It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings
06. Plenty Of Money
07. Hadacol, That's All
08. Rockin' On Sunday Night
01. Go Go Go
02. Trapped In A Web Of Love
03. Long Distance Blues
04. Hey Little Girl
05. Bald Head
06. Poon Tang
07. The Moondog
08. Taxi Blues
The third and final instalment of our look at The Treniers. This 1983 Edsel LP gathers 16 sides recorded for Okeh (and Epic in the case of "Go! Go! Go!") between 1951 and 1955. The version of "Go! Go! Go!" on this LP is not the track The Treniers recorded in 1951 for their first release on Okeh, but is a version they recorded in 1955 for their Epic LP "Go! Go! Go! The Treniers On TV." For the re-recording The Treniers, who were normally backed by a small band led by Gene Gilbeaux on piano and featuring Don Hill on alto sax, were accompanied by a larger band led by Quincy Jones.
My one quibble about the tracks on this LP is that I wish the Gene Gilbeaux band had featured a tenor sax player to help fill out the sound, as Don Hill has so much to do in the way of providing sax accompaniment. That said, these Okeh sides are still good examples of early rock 'n' roll, especially the recordings released in 1952 which include the wild double whammy of "Hi-Yo Silver" / "Poontang", not to mention "It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings" and "Rockin' On Sunday Night." They closed out 1952 with a tribute to rock 'n' roll DJ Alan Freed, "The Moondog" (backed by "Poontang" which was making a second appearance on the B-Side of a Treniers disc).
Other great tracks on this LP include "Plenty Of Money" which is very similar to Jimmy Witherspoon's "Ain't Nobody's Business", and a couple of R&B covers - "Bald Head" by Roy Byrd and "Hey Little Girl" by The Larks. And let us also note the Bill Haley-penned "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie."
On many of these tracks "The Treniers" included not only twins Claude and Cliff, but also brothers Buddy and Milt. In 1953-54 Milt Trenier recorded some good rockin' tracks for RCA and its subsidiary Groove, including "You're Killing Me," "Squeeze Me," "Flip Our Wigs," and "Day Old Bread."
A particular point of note is the January / February 1955 release of "Get Out Of The Car" which was originally released under the title "Oh! Oh!" as you can see on this scan from Joan K:
It was reviewed under this title in the February 12th 1955 issue of Billboard, but there are scans on the web showing a single release of this track with the title "Get Out Of The Car." This was the title used when the track was included on the 1955 LP "The Treniers On TV" and on an accompanying EP. It may be that a decision to change the title was taken when in late February 1955 Flair issued a cover version by Richard Berry titled "Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car." Although the Flair issue gives composer credit to Berry, it is definitely a Claude and Cliff Trenier composition. In the liner notes to the Ace CD "Get Out Of The Car" Berry said that the record company gave him the composer credit without his prior knowledge.
The LP has excellent liner notes by Bill Millar (all hail!) and the tracklist includes record number, month and year of original release, thus relieving me from my usual trawl through the internet and books. There is one slip, though - "The Moondog" was not released in January 1952, but rather December 1952 - January 1953.
The Treniers final recording session for Columbia / Okeh / Epic took place in December 1955 and was followed by an April 1956 session for RCA subsidiary Vik. As was mentioned in the previous post, Trenier records weren't big sellers. Their strength lay in their dynamic stage act which rocked the halls, clubs and lounges of resorts such as Wildwood and Atlantic City and of course that resort non plus ultra, Las Vegas, where for decades the Treniers entertained desperate gamblers. As we shall see in an upcoming post they were the real progenitors of that type of rock 'n' roll which has been largely forgotten and which barely has a name, though the cognoscenti sometimes refer to it as "room rock 'n' roll" or "lounge rock 'n' roll." We could maybe call it "Dinner Jacket and Bow Tie Rock and Roll."
Whatever it was, The Treniers kept doing it decade after decade. Milt left the act in 1959 to open a lounge in Chicago where he continued to perform and where his brothers made periodic appearances. Nephew Skip Trenier joined the band and the boys kept on rockin'. They still kept on after Cliff died of cancer in 1983. Buddy retired, but Claude rocked ever onwards until November 2003 when he played his last Vegas gig a few weeks before he passed away.
Recommended reading - "Their God Wore Shades" in "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches.
The Treniers on CD:
From 1985 - a rare CD release on Jonas Bernholm's Dr Horse label. Includes Milt Trenier sides as well as Mercury, Okeh and Vik material by The Treniers.
From 2004 - nice digipack presentation with notes by Adam Komorowski. Mercury and Okeh material plus a couple from Milt Trenier and His Solid Six (Shorty Rogers band).
From 2010 - part of Bear Family Records' "Rock" series. 32 tracks and a 64 page booklet.
We rejoin the story of The Treniers with their recordings for Columbia R&B subsidiary Okeh for whom they started recording in May, 1951. The 7" EP (Extended Play) format appeared in 1951 when the boffins at RCA Victor found a way to extend the running time of a 45 rpm disc beyond five minutes and soon all the major companies started issuing 4 track "extended play" 7 inch 45 RPM records which, with their thick cardboard sleeves, resembled "mini-LPs."
This Epic (another Columbia subsidiary) EP was reviewed in the 2nd January, 1954 issue of Billboard, so its date of release is either January 1954 or perhaps even December 1953. Either way, it is probably the first "rock and roll" EP.
The tracks were originally released on Okeh singles as follows:
"Go! Go! Go!" was recorded at the first Okeh Treniers session on May 21st, 1951 and released on Okeh single 6804 in June 1951. The B-Side was a brilliant blues sung by Claude Trenier, "Plenty Of Money."
"Rocking On Sunday Night" and "This Is It" were both recorded on January 9th, 1952. "Rocking On Sunday Night" was released on Okeh 6904 (b/w "Cheatin' On Me") in September 1952. "This Is It" was released on Okeh 6984 (B-Side of "I'd Do Nothin' But Grieve") in July 1953.
"Rockin' Is Our Bizness" was recorded on October 22nd, 1952. It was released on Okeh 6960 (b/w "Sugar Doo") in April 1953. This track continues The Treniers connection to the Jimmie Lunceford band as it is an adaptation of Lunceford's 1935 hit "Rhythm Is Our Business."
Probable personnel on these sides is - Claude Trenier and Cliff Trenier (vocals) with Gene Gilbeaux (piano and direction); Don Hill (alto sax); Charles Drayton (bass); Henry "Tucker" Green (drums). It is likely that Buddy Trenier and Milt Trenier are also on vocals on some or all of the tracks.
Of all the Treniers Okeh singles, only "Go! Go! Go!" had a brush with the R&B charts. The reason is probably that it was impossible to capture the intensity of the Treniers live act on sound recordings. The sides on this EP feature lots of whoopin' and hollerin' which would be the point where The Treniers would launch into some athletic stage moves or other "business."
Fortunately there is film and television footage of the brothers' live act which you can easily find on YouTube. Perhaps the most intriguing clip is from "The Colgate Comedy Hour," a TV show hosted by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This clip dates from May 1954 and may well be the first performance of rock and roll on national television.
"Stick around, folks! We'll be back in the next post!"
Thanks to Joan K for the front cover scan and label shots. The back cover shot is from www.45cat.com via a Google image search. This post is a "reconstruction" of the original EP with the audio taken from various sources.
Personnel on tracks 1 - 10: The Trenier Twins : Claude Trenier, Cliff Trenier (vocals) acc by Gene Gilbeaux Orchestra : Don Hill (alto sax); William "Buddy" Collette (tenor sax); Gene Gilbeaux (piano); Bob Bain (guitar); Herman Washington (bass); Henry Green (drums)
"Buzz Buzz Buzz" and "Sure Had A Wonderful Time Last Night" were recorded in New York on May 15th, 1947. Released on Mercury 8045 in June 1947.
"I Miss You So," "Hey! Sister Lucy," "No Baby No!" and "Ain't She Mean" were recorded in New York on September 16th, 1947. "I Miss You So" / "Hey! Sister Lucy" released on Mercury 8058 in October 1947.
"Ooh, Look-A There Ain't She Pretty," "It's a Quiet Town In Crossbone County," "Convertible Cadillac," and "Sometimes I'm Happy" were recorded over two sessions in December 1947. Remaining Mercury releases were as follows:
"No Baby No!" / "Ooh, Look-A There Ain't She Pretty" Mercury 8071, January 1948.
"Ain't She Mean" / "It's a Quiet Town In Crossbone County" Mercury 8078, March 1948.
"Convertible Cadillac" / "Sometimes I'm Happy" Mercury 8089, June 1948.
Several sources list a November 1948 repressing of Mercury 8089 with "Convertible Cadillac" / "Near To Me" as the featured sides.
Personnel on "Why Did You Get So High, Shorty" and "Everybody Get Together": Claude Trenier, Cliff Trenier (vocals) acc by Gene Gilbeaux Orchestra: Don Hill (alto sax); unknown other horns, Gene Gilbeaux (piano); unknown (drums).
These sides were recorded in Los Angeles, circa January 1950 and released on London 17007 in March 1950. Release was credited to "The Treniers with Gene Gilbeaux And His Orchestra."
London was originally an outlet for UK Decca material in the US (Vera Lynn, George Formby, Edmundo Ros, Billy Cotton, etc), but also started issuing American pop, hillbilly and R&B recordings, with R&B records bearing a green label.
The Treniers! This post started out being a re-up of an LP of early 1950s Okeh sides by the group which was a big influence not only on Bill Haley but also on several other early rock 'n' roll acts (mostly originating from the Philadelphia area or upstate New York) such as Charlie Gracie, Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, and Jimmy Cavallo. As I started listening to The Treniers here at Radio Be Bop Wino, I realised I had the tracks to make up a little homemade compilation of pre-Okeh Treniers tracks, specifically their Mercury sides recorded in 1947 and their 1950 single on London.
So what he have here isn't the rockin' and rollin' Treniers but the Louis Jordan influenced jump blues combo which recorded under the moniker of "The Trenier Twins", with the exception of the final track on the collection, "Everybody Get Together" which, with its unruly bawlin' and squallin', foreshadows the rockers which The Treniers would start issuing on Okeh the following year.
Although several members of the rather large Trenier family were at one time or another members of the group, it was always about the identical twin brothers, Claude and Cliff. Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1919, the boys were encouraged to play musical instruments by their father, and when they enrolled at Alabama State College in 1940, their musical interests soon overshadowed their studies. Seriously, who would want to study to be a teacher when there is a chance to jump and jive to one's hearts content? Especially if the little band you form gets to share a bill with Louis Jordan. It was a no-brainer. While at college the boys made the acquaintance of two more musically inclined students who would go on to be a vital part of their later professional success - alto sax player Don Hill and pianist Gene Gilbeaux.
World War Two interrupted the jumpin' and jivin' as Claude was called up by Uncle Sam. Upon leaving the forces in 1944 he joined the Jimmie Lunceford band out on the West Coast. Soon twin brother Cliff was also a band member and in early 1945 the boys made their first recording as a duo with the Lunceford band - "Buzz Buzz Buzz" - which lay unreleased until 1949.
After leaving the Lunceford band, the boys split up, with Cliff returning to Mobile and Claude opting to stay on in Los Angeles to try his hand at a solo musical career. He had some success, obtaining residencies at various clubs, including the Club Alabam where he replaced Wynonie Harris, and also spots with various small groups including Big Jim Wynn's band with whom he recorded a second version of "Buzz Buzz Buzz" and "Ee-Bobaliba" in late 1945. In 1947 Claude persuaded Cliff to rejoin him out west and while working in San Francisco they met their old student compadre Gene Gilbeaux who was able to call Don Hill and the act which was at first known as The Trenier Twins with Gene Gilbeaux's Orchestra was formed.
The group was signed by Mercury Records for whom they recorded 5 singles between May and December 1947. A combination of the Petrillo recording ban and a punishing live schedule kept the Treniers out of the studio until early 1950 when they recorded a single for London Records - the Jordanesque "Why Did You Get So High Shorty?" and the first recorded indication that their jump blues sound was changing into proto rock and roll, "Everybody Get Together."
Above: The Treniers, 1950. In the background - Don Hill and Gene Gilbeaux.
The act was getting wilder with all sorts of fast paced dance and comedy routines mixed into the diet of rockin' music. It was around this time that Bill Haley, then leading a hick cowboy band called The Saddlemen, saw The Treniers in action at a club in Wildwood, New Jersey. What he saw impressed him mightily and helped him to decide to mix a little rhythm and blues into his act. Meanwhile outside the club there was a Philadelphia kid called Freddie Bell (or more likely at that time Ferdinando Dominick Bello) hanging around doing vacation jobs such as shoe shining. Freddie heard, and Freddie liked. The Treniers liked him back, they even nicknamed him "Ding-Dong." Sounds like a song ...
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Dedicated to REAL R&B, Rock'n'Roll, Blues and Jazz
This is a site dedicated to rockin' 1940s and 1950s music, ripped from vinyl. Some cuts are a bit on the rough side. If you're looking for audio perfection you're on the wrong site baby! If you like what you hear on this site please buy this kind of music. There are many reasonably priced reissues available from web dealers or perhaps from your local record shop, if it still exists. These reissues will be in far better sound quality than the vinyl rips on this site and they will usually have more up to date liner notes and info, so go out and splash a little cash now and again. Help keep those reissue labels going in these difficult times.
No in-print CDs will be posted here. In fact no CDs will be posted here. I will occasionally list recommended purchases to help you hear more from artists featured on the blog.
"The night is the corridor of history, not the history of famous people or great events, but that of the marginal, the ignored, the supressed, the unacknowledged; the history of vice, of error, of confusion, of fear, of want; the history of intoxication, of vainglory, of delusion, of dissipation, of delirium." Luc Sante - Low Life