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
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!