Be Bop Wino Pages

Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Recent Re-Ups!

Hotcha hotcha, baby! It's the Club DeLisa! Where a young LaVern Baker started performing as Little Miss Sharecropper back in the late 1940's, only that ain't LaVern. I hope. Whoever it may be, just don't try that at home folks.

I get regular requests to replace dead links, so here's an update on the latest new links. Since I moved over to high speed broadband it's relatively easy for me to re-up albums, so if you come across a dead link just post a comment with your request, or use the email address.

OK here's the updates -

Joe Joe Jump- great collection of Joe Lutcher Capitol sides.


Hot Doggett - organ / sax / guitar combo coolness


Leapin' With Lionel - big band boogie 'n' swing


Thunderbolt! Joe Davis sax sides


Julian Dash, Al Sears, Eddie Chamblee, Ben Webster sax stylings


Gene Ammons and Leo Parker Savoy and United sides


More new stuff on the way - if I can overcome writer's block.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Otis Blackwell On RCA And Groove

01. Wake Up Fool
02. Please Help Me Find My Way Home
03. Fool That I Be
04. Number 000
05. Oh! What a Babe
06. Here Am I
07. O-O-O-Oh!
08. I Face This World Alone

As a follow up to the previous post of Otis Blackwell's sides recorded for Joe Davis between September 1953 and April 1955, here's a little homemade compilation of the sides he recorded for RCA Victor in October 1952 and for the Groove subsidiary of RCA in June 1954. The bit rates are variable which reflects the "cobbled together" nature of this collection, but that shouldn't spoil your listening pleasure too much.

Tracks 1-4 were recorded in New York on October 22nd 1952. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with: Sammy Watkins (trumpet); Frank "Floorshow" Culley (tenor sax); Budd Johnson (baritone sax); Freddy Redd (piano); Rene Hall and Napoleon Allen (guitars); Gene Smith (bass); Roland Jefferson (drums).

Wake Up Fool / Please Help Me Find My Way Home - released on RCA Victor 20-5069 in December 1952.

Fool That I Be / Number 000 - released on RCA Victor 20-5225 in March 1953.

adapted from

Tracks 5-8 were recorded in New York on June 24th 1954. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with: Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Fred Washington (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass) Martin Wilson (drums).

Oh! What A Babe / Here Am I - released on Groove 4G-0034 in September 1954.

O-O-O-Oh! and I Face This World Alone were not released.

As a sort of aside, I came across a vivid short portrait of Otis Blackwell's early days as a blues singer in what is one of the best music books I have read in the last few years - "Lonely Avenue - The Unlikely Life And Times Of Doc Pomus" by Alex Halberstadt (Jonathan Cape, 2007). The book and the related film "AKA Doc Pomus" were discussed below the line in the comments section of the post "Joe Turner and Pete Johnson - Jumpin' The Blues."

The Pismotality blog has an in-depth review of both the film and book (plus other relevant books) here:

Warning - once you find yourself on Pismotality you may not escape for many hours such is the quality of writing. It's happened to me on numerous occasions.

Monday 21 May 2018

Otis Blackwell - Singin' The Blues

Side A:
01. Daddy Rollin' Stone
02. Tears Tears Tears
03. On That Power Line
04. Don't Know How I Loved You
05. Go Away Mr. Blues
06. Ain't Got No Time
07. You Move Me Baby

Side B:
01. My Poor Broken Heart
02. Let The Daddy Hold You
03. You're My Love
04. I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart
05. I'm Coming Back Baby
06. My Josephine
07. I'm Travelin' On

O.K. folks, you got it! Rock 'n' Roll fans the wide world over have been demanding more Otis Blackwell tracks since I posted the Krazy Kat "Listen To Dr. Jive" compilation of Joe Davis sides which featured a couple of tracks by Otis - "Oh! What A Wonderful Time" and "Bartender Fill It Up Again."  The notes on the back of the LP referred to an earlier release on sister label Flyright of an Otis Blackwell LP called "Singin' The Blues," an LP which I never did buy back in the 1980s. Well I've managed to cobble together a "reconstruction" of that album by gathering the necessary music files from, ahem, certain sources, and downloading and slightly adapting the artwork from All hail

This 1981 Flyright LP was in fact a reissue of a 1957 release on Davis (JD-109) with the same title and same tracks but of course different artwork:

The download includes a bonus folder - the complete original LP artwork adapted from the heritage auctions website. Real R&B fanatics who prefer to present original artwork on their computer media player will therefore be in hog heaven.

Which brings us to Otis Blackwell himself. He is best known of course for the series of hit songs he penned for Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis among others - "Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up," "Return To Sender," "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless." He also wrote "Fever" under a pseudonym (to get round a contract he had with Joe Davis, according to some) and the Dee Clark hit "Hey Little Girl." But it's not these glorious achievements which concern us here, but rather the early years of Otis Blackwell's career when he was a blues singer scuffling round the clubs and dives of early '50's NYC. A win at an Apollo Theatre talent show brought him to the attention of record man Joe Davis who introduced him to RCA.

Otis Blackwell's style was unusual for an R&B singer of the time. His singing was obviously influenced by Roy Brown, Larry Darnell and the other emotional big blues belters of the day but the songs that he sang were often a synthesis of R&B, country and Latin which made his records on RCA and Joe Davis's Jay-Dee label sound ahead of their time. Indeed some of his records, backed by big, bold brassy arrangements featuring the best of NYC session men, sound like templates for the kind of sound that Elvis would record for RCA in 1956-57.

It has to be said though that Otis Blackwell's voice had its limitations and that he occasionally doesn't quite "get there" on some of his sides. His first two singles were recorded for RCA in October 1952, backed by a band which included "Floorshow" Culley on tenor sax and Budd Johnson on baritone sax. "Wake Up Fool" which was released in December 1952 was a hard rocker which could have sounded perfectly at home on an Elvis album in 1957. The follow up, "Fool That I Be" had a Latin rhythm which again anticipated the sound of the second half of the '50's.

The first session for Jay-Dee in September 1953 with a studio band which included Al Sears on tenor sax and drummer Panama Francis brought the moody classic "Daddy Rollin' Stone" and yes, every time I listen to it I can't help but imagine Elvis performing it. For the next three Joe Davis sessions (December 1953, and two in May 1954), Otis was ably backed by a band led by Lem Johnson. These tracks were mostly rather more conventional R&B, although "Ain't Got No Time" had a strong New Orleans influence. The final two tracks from these sessions were country style songs with "Nobody Met The Train" (not on this LP) being an out and out weeper of the type which comedian Billy Connolly once observed, would have "the blood running out of your record player."

In June, 1954, Otis recorded four sides for the RCA subsidiary Groove. One single was released, the A Side of which "Oh! What A Babe" was a gospel influenced rocker which had Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenor sax, Haywood Henry on baritone sax and Mickey Baker on guitar. Otis returned to Jay-Dee in March 1955 for his final four tracks for that company. The band again featured Sam Taylor, Haywood Henry and Mickey Baker and the dynamic Big Beat arrangements were by Leroy Kirkland. This session illustrates that Otis was definitely at his best on uptempo riffers ("Oh What A Wonderful Time" and "You Move Me Baby") or on the moody Latin-tinged numbers like "Let The Daddy Hold You," but the ballad style blues numbers such as "My Poor Broken Heart" were definitely a struggle.

From 1956 onwards Otis Blackwell's recording activities took a back seat to his much more lucrative songwriting. There were intermittent sessions from 1957 - 1962 with occasional singles coming out on Gale, Atlantic, Date, Cub and MGM.

Although many of his songs were collaborations (with Winfield Scott, Jack Hammer inter alia) and some of his songwriting credits were shared (ahem) with Elvis, Otis still made enough from his writing to enjoy a more than comfortable lifestyle. His obituary in the New York Times (May 9th, 2002) ended with a memorable quote - "I wrote my songs, I got my money and I boogied." What more could you ask for?

Fax On The Trax

"Daddy Rollin' Stone," "On That Power Line," "Don't Know How I Loved You" and "Tears! Tears! Tears!" were recorded in New York on September 22nd, 1953. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Al Sears (tenor sax); Frank Signorelli (piano); Tony Gottusso (guitar); Frank Carroll (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

"Daddy Rollin' Stone" / "Tears! Tears! Tears!" released on Jay-Dee 784 in October 1953. Reviewed in "Billboard" 24th October 1953: "Daddy Rollin' Stone - This one shows originality and is likely to gain favor with listeners."

"Don't Know How I Loved You" / "On That Power Line" released on Jay-Dee 791 in May 1954.

"I'm Travelin' On," "You're My Love," Go Away Mr. Blues" and "Bartender Fill It Up Again" recorded in New York on December 30th, 1953. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Bill Graham (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano, celeste on "Go Away Mr. Blues"); Arvell Shaw (bass); Cozy Cole (drums).

"Bartender, Fill It Up Again!" / "You're My Love" released on Jay-Dee 787 in January 1954. Reviewed in Billboard on 6th February 1954. "Bartender, Fill It Up Again! - Watch this one, it could be a real coin-grabber."

"I'm Comin' Back Baby" / "Go Away Mr. Blues" released on Jay-Dee 798 in March 1955.

"I'm Travelin' On" not released on single.

"My Josephine," "Ain't Got No Time" and "I'm Comin' Back Baby" recorded in New York on May 12th, 1954. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Dave McCrea (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano); Frank Carroll (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

"My Josephine" / "Ain't Got No Time" released on Jay-Dee 794 in October 1954. Of "My Josephine" Billboard said on 30th October 1954, "good performance, but Blackwell needs stronger material."

As already noted, "I'm Comin' Back Baby" was released with "Go Away Mr. Blues" on Jay-Dee 798 in March 1955.

"Nobody Met The Train" and "I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart" were recorded in New York on May 26th, 1954.

"Nobody Met The Train" / "I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart" released on Jay-Dee 792 in June 1954.

"My Poor Broken Heart," "Oh What A Wonderful Time," "You Move Me Baby" and "Let The Daddy Hold You" were recorded in New York on March 9th, 1955. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass); Specs Powell (drums); Leroy Kirkland (arranger).

"My Poor Broken Heart" / "You Move Me, Baby" released on Jay-Dee 802 in April 1955.

Above: The Cash Box, April 9th, 1955.

Note: "You Move Me Baby" b/w "Daddy Rollin' Stone" was released on Davis 455 in November 1956.

"Oh! What A Wonderful Time" / "Let The Daddy Hold You" released on Jay-Dee 808, probably in the second half of 1955. Jay-Dee 806 (The Goldentones) was released in July 1955, Jay-Dee 810 (The Scale-Tones) was released in February 1956, so the release date for Jay-Dee 808 must lie somewhere in between!

Saturday 12 May 2018

The Joan Selects Collection

There have been some requests for re-ups of volumes of Joan Selects. I have therefore updated the Joan Selects page where you can now find working links for Volumes 1 - 20 plus the "Doo Wop Christmas" volume. There are still a few volumes to add as Joan kindly compiled some additional "Encore Appearance" volumes plus "Joan Selects 2017". I hope to add those to the page soon. And then there is the short series "Joan Spins Again" to throw into the mix!

There has been a delay in posting during the last couple of weeks as the Dreaded Lurgie has laid your blogger low. I have arisen from my bed of pain to sort out the Joan Selects links and will now attempt to complete a post which has been in the pipeline for about 10 days. Be patient cats 'n' kittens!

The blog recently passed some kind of milestone when the total page views hit the 3,000,000 mark. I had no idea there were so many people with such good taste on this supposedly benighted planet. When the apocalypse arrives some of us at least will go down swingin'.

Back soon with more of the platters that matter.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Listen To Dr. Jive

Side 1:
01. Steady Grind - Warren Lucky
02. Will Ya Please? - Danny Taylor
03. Makeena - Danny Taylor
04. There's Nothin' Wrong With This World - Danny Taylor
05. Shoemaker Man - Danny Taylor
06. Bartender Fill It Up Again - Otis Blackwell
07. Oh! What A Wonderful Time - Otis Blackwell

Side 2:
01. Listen To Dr. Jive - Dean Barlow
02. I Got A Letter - Lem Johnson
03. It Takes Money, Honey - Lem Johnson
04. Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues - Lem Johnson
05. Tall Tall Women - Nat Foster
06. Dog House Blues - Nat Foster
07. Lonely Soldier Blues - Nat Foster

First time on the blog for this collection of R&B / Rock and Roll sides recorded by NYC label owner Joe Davis. There are comprehensive notes by Bruce Bastin who released collections of Joe Davis material on Krazy Kat during the 1980s.

Joe Davis was a pioneering NYC R&B label owner who founded Beacon in 1942 and had quick success with Savannah Churchill and The Five Red Caps. He kept Beacon going during the 1950s and also launched the Davis and Jay-Dee labels as well as recording material for MGM.

There is something ironic about the front cover picture of this LP as Dean Barlow's "Listen To Dr. Jive" was recorded as a theme for a rival of Alan Freed, Tommy "Dr Jive" Smalls whose afternoon R&B show on WWRL matched the Freed show in popularity, just as his onstage R&B concerts competed strongly with Freed's live reviews.

In common with many LPs in my collection, this one languished forgotten on the shelf but repeated listens in the last couple of weeks have led me to conclude that it's a cracking little compilation which deserves the attention of seasoned (and not so seasoned) fans of New York rhythm 'n' blues.

Fax On The Trax

Warren Lucky - "Steady Grind." Unreleased take of "Fish Bait" (Beacon 105). Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Danny "Run Joe" Taylor - "Will Ya Please" and "Shoemaker Man" were unreleased. "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With This World" / "Makeena" released on Davis 454 in October 1956. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

adapted from

Otis Blackwell - "Bartender, Fill It Up Again" / "You're My Love" was released on Jay-Dee 787 in late January 1954. Possible personnel - Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Bill Graham (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass) Cozy Cole (drums). Recording date was possibly December 30th 1953.

"Oh ! What A Wonderful Time" / "Let The Daddy Hold You" released on Jay-Dee 808. Recorded on March 9th 1955. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal); Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass); Specs Powell (drums); Leroy Kirkland (arranger).

Dean Barlow - "Listen To Dr. Jive" was probably not released on a single. Recorded January 18th 1956. Personnel: Dean Barlow (vocal) with Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Howard Biggs (piano, arranger); Everett Barksdale (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

Lem Johnson - "I Got A Letter" / "It Takes Money, Honey" released on MGM 11467 in March 1953. "Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues" was released on MGM 11532 in July 1953. B Side of "Never Love Anybody Better Than You Do Yourself." Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Nat Foster - "Lonely Soldier Blues" / "Tall, Tall Woman" released on MGM 11445 in 1953. "Dog House Blues" was not released. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Elsewhere On The Blog

Thunderbolt! Honkin' R&B Instrumentals 1952-1956 is a fine collection of sax sides recorded by Joe Davis. Warren Lucky, Al King, Haywood Henry and a collection of NYC's finest session men.

Vocal Group R&B From Joe Davis Volume One 1952-1953 early vocal group stuff from Joe Davis labels. The Crickets feature Dean Barlow as lead vocalist and the collection does not have THAT Blenders' track!