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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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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Memphis Slim - Rockin' The Blues

Side One:
01. Gotta Find My Baby
02. The Comeback
03. Messin' Around
04. Sassy Mae
05. Lend Me Your Love
06. Guitar Cha Cha
07. Stroll On Little Girl
08. Rockin' The House

Side Two:
01. Wish Me Well
02. Blue And Lonesome
03. My Gal Keeps Me Crying
04. Slim's Blues
05. Steppin' Out
06. Mother Earth
07. What's The Matter
08. This Time I'm Through

Download from here:

Or here:

Rockin' The Blues (Mega)

A collection of Memphis Slim tracks recorded for Vee-Jay in 1958-59. Twelve of the sixteen tracks were originally released on the 1959 Vee-Jay LP "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" which despite its title, is not a live album but consists entirely of studio tracks recorded with a hard rocking combo featuring the great Matt Murphy on guitar and a sock-it-to-'em sax section.

The Gate Of Horn was a Chicago folk club and one is inevitably led to the conclusion that Vee-Jay were hoping to sell the album to the growing "folk blues" market rather than the R&B crowd. Yet the music contained therein couldn't have been further from the idea of  "authentic" folk blues, being in fact thoroughly modern rockin' rhythm and blues, just like the two Vee-Jay singles Memphis Slim released in 1958, which are also featured on this Charly LP.

The sixteen sides on this LP probably represent the last R&B recordings of Memphis Slim as he decided to follow the the best road to a long and happy career  for a veteran bluesman - record for labels like "Folkways", play venues and festivals aimed at the student / folkie crowd, move to Europe, tour and record for decades more and finally get seen by Boogie Woody at a blues festival in Dundee in the mid 1980s where he was nothing short of brilliant. What's more he was apparently accompanied by a statuesque blonde lady who became the subject of speculation in the comments on my previous Memphis Slim post.

The story behind the tracks -

"Stroll On Little Girl," "Guitar Cha Cha," "What's The Matter" and "This Time I'm Through" were recorded in Chicago on the 8th January 1958. Personnel on these tracks was: Memphis Slim (piano, vocal); John Calvin (alto sax); Matt Murphy (guitar); Sam Chatman (bass); Billie Stepney (drums)

The sides were released on two Vee-Jay singles as follows:

Stroll On Little Girl / Guitar Cha Cha Cha, by Memphis Slim and His House Rockers on Vee-Jay 271, released probably February (?) 1958. Yes, that's three "Cha's."

What's The Matter / This Time I'm Through by Memphis Slim & His House Rockers on Vee-Jay 294, released probably November (?) 1958.

All other sides on this LP were recorded in Chicago on the 18th August 1959 and released on the Vee-Jay LP "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" (VJLP 1012) in October 1959.

Personnel on VJLP 1012: Memphis Slim (piano, vocal); Alex Atkins (alto sax); John Calvin, Ernest Cotton (tenor saxes); Matt Murphy (guitar); Sam Chatman (bass); Billie Stepney (drums)

The original track order on "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" was:

Side 1:
1. The Come Back
2. Steppin' Out
3. Blue And Lonesome
4. Rockin' The Blues
5. Slim's Blues
6. Gotta Find My Baby

Side 2:
1. Messin' Around
2. Wish Me Well
3. My Gal Keeps Me Crying
4. Lend Me Your Love
5. Sassy Mae
6. Mother Earth

Elsewhere on the blog:

Messin' Around With The Blues (Volume 1) - 12 sides recorded for Miracle and Hy-Tone in 1946-47 and subsequently bought in by King Records. Post is here:

download 2LP set from here:

or here:

Volume 2 featuring sides by Little Willie Littlefield and Pete "Guitar" Lewis was posted separately here:

Look out for this CD in the second hand browser of your local music emporium:

The exact same collection as the "Rockin' The Blues" LP only in much better sound quality compared to the rather dodgy mp3s I ripped from my vinyl. These Charly Blues Masterworks CDs often turn up in "used Blues CDs" bins or in charity shops - this one is well worth purchasing.