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Sunday 29 October 2017

Old King Gold Volume 3

Side One:
01. Have Mercy Baby - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
02. Let Them Talk - Little Willie John
03. Let's Go Let's Go - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
04. Guess Who - Ivory Joe Hunter
05. This Little Girl Of Mine - The Hurricanes
06. Soft - Tiny Bradshaw

Side Two:
01. Hearts Of Stone - Otis Williams & The Charms
02. I Love You, Yes I Do - Bull Moose Jackson
03. Think - The "5" Royales
04. Tomorrow Night - Lonnie Johnson
05. Over The Rainbow - The Checkers
06. Tonk Game - Hank Marr

The Old King Gold LP series from the mid 1970's was my introduction to the world of "real R&B." The tracks were an ear opener as up until then I had assumed that "blues" and "R&B" were synonymous and yet here were tracks that seemed to belong to the worlds of rock 'n' roll, pop and jazz. A far cry indeed from the guitar and harmonica dominated Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter whose records occupied the blues section on my one record shelf back then (just along from The Doors, Steppenwolf, The Grateful Dead and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac).

I bought five of the series over a period of some months after finding them in the rock and roll section of HMV in Union Street, Glasgow. They were very cheap, being cut outs with holes punched through the thick cardboard covers and no inner sleeves to protect the records. Just what was needed to add even more surface noise to the tracks which seemed to have been mastered from scratched old records or decaying acetates and master tapes.

The sound quality is poor on quite a few of these cuts, though some are surprisingly good. It's not my fading sound system that has come up with muffled versions of "Let's Go, Let's Go" (there's one "Let's Go" missing here) and "Have Mercy Baby." And yes, there really is a fragment missing from "This Little Girl Of Mine." That's the way the record is. I have managed to edit out most of the grosser clicks and pops which were acquired when these records were the soundtrack to many a drunken night back in the '70's and '80's.

So no added research into the history of these tracks. You get 'em just the way I got 'em. A pathway into the then undiscovered (for me) world of Little Willie John, Hank Ballard, Billy Ward (I didn't know that was Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal) and Tiny Bradshaw. Other discs in the series revealed the magic of Wynonie Harris, Roy Brown, Big Jay McNeely and many other (at that time) unsung heroes of R&B. More volooms to come on Be Bop Wino!


Billy K said...

This is a fantastic series.

boogiewoody said...

Cheers Billy. It demands attention, as the wine buffs say. Having a problem with ripping Volume 7, part of which is so trashed as to be unlistenable. I shall return to the fray ...

phipps11 said...

I discovered this series back in the day as well. It was a great way to get started on the King catalogue. -- Jon

Bob Mac said...

Thanks for this BW. I just checked my master lists and I only had Vol 2. So now have 2 & 3, and looking forward to getting every volume in this series if you post them all. Thanks again for all the great music you provide us with.

BTW: seems like all the recent Zippy dramas have settled down now. I haven't seen any disappearing links for some time now, nor have I heard of anyone having problems.

boogiewoody said...

I've only got 5 of them Bob. Twilightzone used to have all 10 quite a few years ago. I never did get round to downloading them unfortunately. Fingers crossed re Zippyshare.

philo said...

This was my introduction as well. Each was a $1 apiece, cut out holes on covers and no inner sleeves. At first I only bought the ones I knew some of the songs on that other artists had covered. Finally bought all ten over the course of a month. Every time I hear Johnny Guitar Watson's "Cuttin' In" I think of those records.

philo said...

All 10 of mine are scattered in storage. If someone doesn't post them I'll dig them out and rip what remains. Like you posted though they maybe a little rough.

boogiewoody said...

Hi philo - only $1 apiece! I think they cost 99 pence over here. Like you I started by buying a volume which contained some names I'd heard of - Volume 4 with Otis Redding and Freddie King. I've got volumes 2,3,4,6 and 7. Thanks for the offer of possible rips. The next volume to be posted is beyond rough ...


B_B said...

Thanks in advance, for this CLASSIC series (IF you do so graciously share them!)

…Having a problem with Volume 7. . .trashed . . .

Was gonna say . . . . (before I read all the Comments, & saw the offers that have come pouring in . . .) one can try the “Reconsturct” thing, and make up one’s own “compilation” if the songs/MP3s/what-have-you are available “elsewhere” in the sure to be MONSTROUSLY huge BBW Archives Piles of Files. . .

I know, I know . . . MORE work!

Meantime, this is a bit of fun, “recollecting” the old KING stuff & how one first stumbled upon R&B manna. I bet this was MY first KING thing . . . I mean as far as LPs go (man, go), that is . . . I think I had dug up (& dug!) a 78 of “HAVE MERCY BABY” as my first “DISCovery” back when . . .)

(And I think’s it’s made an appearance --- or two? --- here on BBW before . . .):

“Gabe’s Dirty Blues”:

I was trying as best I could at the time to find the ORIGINAL King “raunch” ElPee, “Risky Blues”:

OK, enuff o’ my babble!

B-b-ut wait! It actually RAINED (Yeah, OK, just a WEE bit!) this AM here in “Sunny So Cal!” Horrors!!!