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.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Piano Red In Concert

Side 1:
01. Wrong Yo-Yo
02. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
03. Umph-Umph-Umph
04. Got You On My Mind
05. Fattenin' Frogs For Snakes
06. Rockin' With Red

Side 2:
01. Jump Man Jump
02. Do She Love Me
03. Real Good Thing
04. Pay It No Mind
05. Six O'Clock Bounce
06. Please Tell Me Baby
07. Jumpin' With Daddy
08. Goodbye

A rather beat up second hand copy of a repro (or bootleg if you prefer) issue of an LP which was originally released in July 1956 on Groove as LG-1002, along with two EPs (both titled "Piano Red In Concert") which between them featured 8 of the tracks on this album.

The LP title is slightly misleading as only Side 1 was recorded live in March 1956 at the Magnolia Ballroom in Atlanta. The tracks on Side 2 were recorded at two sessions in Nashville in the Spring of 1955, with five out of the eight being issued on single while the remaining three tracks made their debut on this album.

I love this ragged but right 12-inch helping of raucous honky tonk piano, shouted blues, real down in the alley gutbucket sax honking, and if you listen carefully, some tasty guitar. And yes I know this is getting slightly repetitive but when I bought the LP second hand through mail order about 5 years ago, I wasn't very impressed with it. The sound quality was rather indistinct on the studio tracks on Side 2 and there were quite a few clicks and pops so I'm delighted to report that it scrubs up very well on mp3, although there is still some surface noise.

The music? Well, Piano Red sounds like he could have been thumping the ivories in a Wild West Saloon in the 1870s, or perhaps in a New Orleans bordello around 1905, or maybe even in a Chicago speakeasy in the Roaring 20s, so what the heck is he doing producing wild R&B in the 1950s? His is an unusual background when you look at the rest of his R&B contemporaries of the time. He was born Willie Lee Perryman in Hampton, a small town 30 miles from Atlanta in 1911. Both he and his elder brother Rufus were albino. Rufus carved out a successful career as a blues pianist under the name "Speckled Red," a reference to his skin colour.

Willie followed in his brother's footsteps in the 1930s but didn't have the same success. Although he took part in a recording session for Vocalion in 1936 along with Blind Willie McTell his sides weren't released. "Piano Red" as Willie was now known gave up being a full time professional musician and went to work as an upholsterer. He kept playing gigs at small local joints at weekends and in 1950 he was "spotted" at one of these by Atlanta record shop owner John Young who tipped off the local RCA Victor distributor who in turn alerted the company and a recording session was arranged for the 25th July 1950 in Atlanta.

When Piano Red's first single "Rockin' With Red" / "Red's Boogie" came out in late 1950 it was a double sided hit, becoming the 25th best selling R&B record of 1951. More hits followed - "Right String But The Wrong Yo-Yo," "Just Right Bounce" and "Layin' The Boogie" all charted in 1951, making Piano Red the 9th best selling R&B artist of that year.

Although the chart hits dried up, he continued to be a big live attraction and his records on RCA and its subsidiary Groove had a good following. What was surprising was that he had considerable appeal with a younger audience, both white and black, despite the fact that his style was rooted in the pre-war era. Perhaps the explanation for this lies in the mix of material he performed - the double entendre of  the likes of "Rockin' With Red"and "Wrong Yo-Yo" was mixed in with rockers like "Jump, Man, Jump," sentimental standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and even country hits such as Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'." This was backed up by raucous R&B bands, perhaps the best being the one on this record, the "Blow Top" Lynn band out of Atlanta.

Piano Red was dropped by RCA / Groove in 1958 and his career seemed to have finally reached the end but there was another comeback in the first half of the 1960's with a new name, a new band and a new sound. This time Willie Perryman was Doctor Feelgood who along with his Interns recorded for Columbia and Okeh from 1961 - 1966. And when that was played out,well there were plenty more albums to record and jazz and blues festivals to play, both in Europe and America. In fact his last recording was in late 1984, about 10 months before he passed away in July 1985.

EP covers courtesy Joan K

Fax On The Piano Poundin' Trax

Side 1, tracks 1-6 recorded live at the Magnolia Ballroom, Atlanta, Georgia on March 5th, 1956. Personnel: Willie Lee Perryman (Piano Red) vocal / piano with - John Peek (trumpet); Clyde "Blow Top" Lynn (tenor sax); Wesley Jackson (guitar); Kid Miller (bass); Put Jackson (drums). Also present was Bertha Colbert (vocal) who duetted with Piano Red on "I'm Nobody's Fool" (not included on this LP). 

Side 2.

"Pay It No Mind",  "Jump Man Jump"  and "Do She Love Me" were recorded in Nashville on February 14th, 1955. Personnel: Piano Red (vocal, piano) with Clyde "Blow Top" Lynn (tenor sax); Wesley Jackson (guitar); George "Kid" Miller (bass); James "Put" Jackson (drums).

Pay It No Mind / Jump Man Jump - released on Groove 4G-0101 in March 1955.

Do She Love Me - first released on this LP and EP EGA 6 (Piano Red In Concert).

"Real Good Thing", "Six O'Clock Bounce", "Please Tell Me Baby", "Jumpin' With Daddy," and "Goodbye" aka "Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye" were recorded in Nashville on July 25th, 1955. Personnel - same as February 14th, 1955 session, add The Four Students (vocal group) on "Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye."

Six O' Clock Bounce / Goodbye - released on Groove 4G-0118 in August 1955.

She Knocks Me Out / Jumpin' With Daddy - released on Groove 4G-0136 in January 1956.

Real Good Thing; Please Tell Me Baby - first released on this LP. "Real Good Thing" also released on EP EGA 6 (Piano Red In Concert). "Please Tell Me Baby" also released on EP EGA 7 (Piano Red In Concert).

I'm off to Amsterdam this weekend so the next blog post will be around the middle of next week. Keep a rockin'! Tot ziens!

Monday 18 June 2018

Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers

Side 1:
01. Pink Champagne
02. I've Got A Right To Cry
03. The Honeydripper
04. Rhythm In The Barnyard Part 1
05. Little Joe's Boogie
06. So Alone
07. Rain, Rain, Rain

Side 2:
01. Boogie Woogie Lou
02. Tanya
03. Dripper's Boogie
04. Freight Train Blues
05. The Big Dipper
06. Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice
07. Do You Love Me Pretty Baby?

Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers (Zippy)

A 1980s compilation of some of the sides Joe Liggins recorded for Specialty between 1950 and 1954. The Joe Liggins story has already been outlined on previous posts of his 1940s Exclusive sides compiled on the Jukebox Lil LPs "The Honey Dripper" and "Darktown Strutters Ball."

This collection includes some of the Specialty re-recordings of Joe's Exclusive hits - "The Honeydripper" (his big 1945 hit), "I've Got A Right To Cry" and "Tanya" which were both originally hits in 1946, plus "Dripper's Boogie," another 1946 side.

However it was Joe's new material which provided a short series of big sellers on Specialty. "Pink Champagne" was the top selling R&B record of 1950. "Little Joe's Boogie" was a hit in 1951 along with a side not on this compilation, "Frankie Lee." Compared to the 1940s sides, the tracks on this LP are punchier, with the regular Honeydrippers lineup being augmented by sax players such as Maxwell Davis and Floyd Turnham. This is good California jump with extra zing!

Fax on the Jumpin' Trax

Pink Champagne recorded in Los Angeles on January 20th, 1950. Personnel: Joe Liggins (vocal , piano), with Willie Jackson (alto and baritone saxes); James Jackson and Maxwell Davis (tenor saxes); Frank Pasley (guitar); Eddie A. Davis (bass); Peppy Prince (drums).

Rhythm In The Barnyard Part 1; I've Got A Right To Cry - recorded in Los Angeles on April 13th, 1950. Personnel as above.

The Honeydripper - recorded in Los Angeles on April 24th, 1950. Personnel as above except Floyd Turnham replaces Maxwell Davis on tenor sax.

Little Joe's Boogie - recorded in Los Angeles on October 1st, 1950. Personnel as above.

So Alone - recorded in Los Angeles on June 28th, 1951. Personnel:  Joe Liggins (vocal, piano) with: Willie Jackson (alto and baritone saxes); James Jackson (tenor sax); William Woodman (tenor sax); Floyd Turnham (sax, clarinet); Harold Grant (guitar); William Cooper (bass); Nathaniel McFay (drums).

Boogie Woogie Lou; Rain, Rain, Rain - recorded in Los Angeles on October 11th, 1951. Personnel: Joe Liggins (vocal, piano) with: Floyd Turnham (sax, clarinet); Maxwell Davis and William Woodman (tenor saxes); Harold Grant (guitar); William Cooper (bass); Nathaniel McFay (drums); Candy Rivers (vocal) on "Rain, Rain, Rain".

Tanya; Dripper's Boogie - recorded in Los Angeles on March 20th, 1952. Personnel: Joe Liggins (vocal, piano) with: Willie Jackson (alto and baritone saxes); William Woodman (tenor sax); Floyd Turnham (sax, clarinet); Harold Grant (guitar); William Cooper (bass); Nathaniel McFay (drums).

Freight Train Blues - recorded in Los Angeles on December 10th, 1952. Personnel: as above but add Dell (Christine) St. John (vocal). 

The Big Dipper; Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice - recorded in Los Angeles on July 8th, 1953. Personnel: Joe Liggins (vocal, piano) with: Jewell Grant (alto sax); Ewell "Bo" Rhambo and William Woodman (tenor saxes); Floyd Turnham (clarinet, sax); Harold Grant (guitar); Red Callender (bass); Nathaniel McFay (drums).

Do You Love Me Pretty Baby? - recorded in Los Angeles on March 12th, 1954. Personnel: Joe Liggins (vocal, piano); with: Lawrence E. Lofton (trombone); Floyd Turnham (tenor sax); Harold Grant (guitar); Theodore Shirley (bass); Earl Carter (drums).

The Releases:

Pink Champagne / Sentimental Lover - released on Specialty 355 in April 1950.

I've Got A Right To Cry / The Honeydripper - released on Specialty 338 in June 1950.

Rhythm In The Barnyard Part 1 / Rhythm In The Barnyard Part II - released on Specialty 368 in July 1950.

Little Joe's Boogie / Daddy On My Mind - released on Specialty 379 in December 1950. 

Oh How I Miss You / So Alone - released on Specialty 413 in October 1951.

Boogie Woogie Lou / Rain, Rain, Rain - released on Specialty 426 in March 1952.

Tanya / Dripper's Boogie - released on Specialty 430 in April 1952.

Freight Train Blues / Blues For Tanya - released on Specialty 453 in January 1953.

The Big Dipper / Everyone's Down On Me - released on Specialty 474 in September 1953.

Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice / Do You Love Me Pretty Baby? - released on Specialty 529 in August 1954.

Elsewhere On The Blog

El Enmascarado 78 rpm rips:

Friday 15 June 2018

Joan Selects Volume 23 - "The Talking Bridge"

01. There Goes The Boy - The Ly-Dells
02. The Wind - Nolan Strong & The Diablos
03. Doctor Baby - The Five Dollars
04. Late Rising Moon - Earl Curry And The Blenders
05. Moments Like This - The Baltineers
06. Sindy (Aka Cindy) - The Cobras
07. True Love Gone - The Enchanters
08. Love Me My Darling - The Sharps
09. No One To Love Me - The (Chapaka) Sha-Weez
10. It'll Be Easy - The Sultans
11. Carolyn - The Five Kids
12. These Four Letters - The El Pollos
13. Counting My Teardrops - The Jayhawks
14. I Do Believe - The Crystals
15. Glory Of Love - The Velvetones
16. Are You Lonesome Tonight - Elvis Presley
17. Ten Commandments Of Love - Harvey & The Moonglows
18. Bring Back Your Love (To Me) - The Smoothtones
19. My Love And Your Love - The Spinners
20. Letter To A School Girl - The Delacardos
21. The Lonely Telephone - The Quintones
22. Just For You And I - The Supremes
23. Please Come Home - The Five Embers
24. Love Call - The Ebonaires
25. The Letter - The Medallions
26. Memories Of El Monte - The Penguins
27. The Wind - The Jesters
28. A Lonely Island - Peter Pete & The Lovers
29. There Goes - The Enchanters
30. I Found My Love - The Velvetones
31. I Understand - The G-Clefs
32. The Drunkard - The Thrillers
33. When You Love - Cliff Butler And His Doves
34. A Prayer At Gettysburg - The Velvitones
35. A Letter To An Angel - The Five Shillings
36. Promise Me - The Tempos
37. Teen Prayer - The Velveteens
38. When You Come To The End Of The Day - The Ink Spots

It's a welcome return to the blog for Joan as she gives us this compilation which showcases the phenomenon of the "talking bridge" in vocal group harmony records. Quite a few of these tracks have featured already in some of Joan's compilations (especially Encore Appearance Volume 2) but doo wop fans will appreciate this carefully collated treasure trove where they can indulge their weakness for heartfelt spoken pleas to their hearts' content. Some of these talking bridges may be intended to be taken seriously, while others are perhaps more tongue in cheek (I'm thinking of "The Glory Of Love" by The Velvetones as an example of the latter).

There's plenty to appreciate here. Nolan Strong & The Diablos ethereal "The Wind," Elvis' immortal "the world's a stage" rap on "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and perhaps my favourite, the genuinely moving "Memories Of El Monte" by The Penguins, a 1963 Frank Zappa / Ray Collins composition which beautifully evokes an already fast disappearing world. And that isn't even scraping the surface of this collection.

There is a folder of label shots included in the download and a track list (reproduced on the post) with release details. Bitrates vary and there is surface noise on many of the tracks, but as I always say, "baby that IS rock and roll!"

Over to Joan:

This new release of Joan Selects (volume 23) is a collection of group harmony songs primarily from the heyday of group harmony, 1950-1962. The theme here with all these songs is that each features what has been called the "talking bridge", first used by the Ink Spots with Orville "Hoppy" Jones providing the spoken or talking bridge in the 1930's and 1940's, wherein one of the verses, or a poem or a love letter is recited by a member of the group over the background harmony. The Ink Spots are represented (appropriately) with their 1954 opus - "When You Come To The End Of the Day" released on King Records.

Elvis Presley is included because his talking bridge closely resembles the talking bridge from The Velvetones "Glory Of Love". The selection presented here by The Penguins "Memories of El Monte" was written by Frank Zappa. Also it is fun to note that with the Harvey and the Moonglows "Ten Commandments Of Love" that there are less than ten commandments recited in the song. Lead vocalist of The Shaweez (Chapaka Shaweez) was James "Sugarboy" Crawford of New Orleans.

01 The Ly-Dells - "There Goes The Boy" - Released On: Pam P-103 Release date: 1961 
02 The Diablos - "The Wind" - Released On: Fortune 511 Release date: 1954
03 The Five Dollars - "Doctor Baby" - Released On: Fortune 821 Release date: 1955
04 The Blenders (Earl Curry) - "Late Rising Moon" - Released On: R and B RB-1304 Release date: 1954
05 The Baltineers - "Moments Like This" - Released On: Teenage 1000 Release date: 1956
06 The Cobras - "Sindy" - Released On: Modern 45x964 Release date: 1955
07 The Enchanters - "True Love Gone" - Released On: Coral 9-61736 Release date: 1956
08 The Sharps - "Love Me My Darling" - Released On: 2 Mikes 2M-101A Release date: 1954
09 The Sha-Weez - "No One To Love Me" - Released On: Aladdin 45-3170 Release date: 1952
10 The Sultans - "It'll Be Easy" - Released On: Tilt 45-782-V Release date: 1961
11 The Five Kids - "Carolyn" - Released On: Maxwell 101 A Release date: 1955
12 The El Pollos - "These Four Letters" - Released On: Studio St.999 Release date: 1958
13 The Jayhawks - "Counting My Teardrops" - Released On: Flash CR-105-A Release date: 10/1955
14 The Crystals - "I Do Believe" - Released On: Aladdin 45-3355 Release date: 1957
15 The Velvetones - "The Glory Of Love" - Released On: Aladdin 45-3372 Release date: 1957
16 Elvis Presley - "Are You Lonesome Tonight" - Released On: RCA 47-7810 Release date: 1960
17 Harvey and the Moonglows - "Ten Commandments of Love" - Released On: Chess 1705 Release date: 1958
18 The Smoothtones - "Bring Back Your Love (To Me)" - Released On: Jem 412-45 Release date: 1955 
19 The Spinners - "My Love and Your Love" - Released On: Rhythm 125 Release date: 1958
20 The Delacardos - "Letter To A School Girl" - Released On: Elgey 1001 Release date: 1959
21 The Quintones - "The Lonely Telephone" - Released On: Jordan 45-1601-B Release date: 1955 
22 The Supremes - "Just For You and I" - Released On: Ace 534 Release date: 1957
23 The Five Embers - "Please Come Home" - Released On: Gem 224-X45 Release date: 1954
24 The Ebonaires - "Love Call" - Released On: Lena L-1001 Release date: 1959
25 The Medallions (Vernon Green) - "The Letter" - Released On: Dootone 347-B--45 Release date: 1954
26 The Penguins - "Memories Of El Monte" - Released On: Original Sound OS-27 Release date: 1963
27 The Jesters - "The Wind" - Released On: Winley 242-A Release date: 1960
28 The Lovers - "A Lonely Island" - Released On: Derby 1030 Release date: 1960
29 The Enchanters - "There Goes" - Released On: Coral 9-61832 Release date: 7/1957
30 The Velvetones - "I Found My Love" - Released On: Aladdin 45-3391 Release date: 1957
31 The G-Cleffs -  "I Understand"  Released on Terrace 45-7500 Release date: 1961
32 The Thrillers - "The Drunkard" - Released on Big Town 45-109 Release date: 8/1953
33 The Doves (Cliff Butler) - "When You Love" - Released on States S-123 Release date: 1953
34 The Velvitones - "A Prayer At Gettysburg" - Released on Milmart 113 x 45 Release date: 1959
35 The Five Schillings - "A Letter To An Angel" - Released on Decca 9-30722 Release date: 1958
36 The Tempos - "Promise Me" - Released on Rhythm 121 Release date: 1958
37 The Velveteens - "Teen Prayer" - Released on Stark ST 102 Release date: 1961
38 The Ink Spots - "When You Come To The End Of The Day" - Released On: King 45--1425 Release date: 1954

Just a few of the label shots included in the download:

With many, many thanks to Joan K.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Rhythm & Rock - The Best Of Chess / Checker / Cadet

Side 1:
01. Hi-Heel Sneakers - Tommy Tucker
02. Ain't Got No Home - Clarence Henry
03. Suzie Q - Dale Hawkins
04. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
05. Rocket "88" - Jackie Brenston
06. Wang Dang Doodle - Ko Ko Taylor
07. Rinky Dink - Dave "Baby" Cortez

Side 2:
01. School Day - Chuck Berry
02. The Walk - Jimmy McCracklin
03. Nothin' Shakin' - Eddie Fontaine
04. Sugaree - Rusty York
05. Mumblin' Guitar - Bo Diddley
06. Long Tall Shorty - Tommy Tucker
07. My Babe - Little Walter

Great googa mooga! What is this Thing called Rock and Roll? Chess Records knew, that's for sure. Take some rockin' rhythm 'n' blues, add a helping of rockabilly, and garnish with a hint of Chicago Blues and you got it, baby, you got it! Ring ring goes the bell, so quit mumblin', put on your hi-heel sneakers, jump into your Rocket "88" while me and my babe wang dang doodle all night long.

This is one of the best "rock 'n' roll" compilations I've ever heard. A lean, mean, all killer-no-filler 14 track collection from the vaults of Chess, Checker and Argo (but no Cadet, despite the title). Once more it's a tale of a record that I haven't listened to for decades turning out to be a gem. It's been on repeat play on my laptop through my amp for the last four or five days much to my rockin' delight.

This post marks the introduction of my new turntable, so no more dodgy wobbly rips. Yay for direct drive! Es lebe Direktantrieb! Vive  l'entraĆ®nement direct!

Here's some CD covers relevant to"Rhythm & Rock" direct from my shelves.

Those hi-heel sneakers (look closely) just get me every time. To finish up, here's the recording session and original release details of the tracks.

Fax On The Rockin' Trax, Baby!

Tommy Tucker -

Hi-Heel Sneakers - recorded in New York on 27th November, 1963. Personnel: Tommy Tucker (vocal, organ) with: Weldon "Dean" Young (guitar); Brenda Jones (electric bass); Johnny Williams (drums).

Hi-Heel Sneakers / I Don't Want 'Cha, by Tommy Tucker, released on Checker 1067 in January 1964.

Long Tall Shorty - recorded in New York on February 26th, 1964. Personnel: Tommy Tucker (vocal, organ) with: Eddie Williams (trumpet); Solomon Hall (tenor sax); Paul Williams (baritone sax); Jimmy Oliver (guitar); James Smith (electric bass); Shep Shepherd (drums).

Long Tall Shorty / Mo' Shorty (Instrumental), by Tommy Tucker, released on Checker 1075 in April 1964.

Clarence Henry -

Ain't Got No Home - recorded in New Orleans, September 1956. Personnel: Clarence Henry (vocal) with: Edgar "Big Boy" Myles (trombone); Lee Allen, Eddie Smith (saxes); Paul Gayten (piano); Walter Nelson (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Eugene Jones (drums).

Ain't Got No Home / Troubles, Troubles, by Clarence Henry "Frog Man," released on Argo 5259 in October 1956.

Dale Hawkins -

Suzie Q - recorded in Shreveport, 14th February, 1957. Personnel: Dale Hawkins (vocal, guitar) with: James Burton (guitar); James "Sonny" Trammell (bass), Francis Ronald "Ronnie" Lewis (drums).

Suzie-Q / Don't Treat Me This Way, by Dale Hawkins, released on Checker 863 in May 1957.

Bo Diddley -

Bo Diddley - recorded in Chicago, 2nd March, 1955. Personnel: Bo Diddley (vocal, guitar); with: Clifton James or Frank Kirkland (drums); Jerome Green (maracas).

Bo Diddley / I'm A Man, by Bo Diddley,  released on Checker 814 in April 1955.

Mumblin' Guitar - recorded in Chicago, spring 1959. Personnel: Bo Diddley (vocal, guitar) with: Clifton James (drums); Jerome Green (maracas).

Released on Checker LP 2974, "Have Guitar, Will Travel" in December, 1959.

Jackie Brenston -

Rocket 88 - recorded in Memphis, 5th March, 1951. Personnel: Jackie Brenston (vocal, baritone sax) with: Raymond Hill (tenor sax); Ike Turner (piano); Willie Kizart (guitar); Jesse Knight (bass); Willie Sims (drums).

Rocket "88" / Come Back Where You Belong, by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, released on Chess 1458 in April, 1951.

Ko Ko Taylor -

Wang Dang Doodle - recorded in Chicago, 7th December, 1965. Personnel: Ko Ko Taylor (vocal) with: Gene Barge (tenor sax); Donald Hankins (baritone sax); Lafayette Leake (piano); Buddy Guy, Johnny "Twist" Williams (guitars); Jack Myers (electric bass); Fred Below (drums); Willie Dixon (background vocal).

Wang Dang Doodle / Blues Heaven, by Ko Ko Taylor, released on Checker 1135 in March, 1966.

Dave "Baby" Cortez -

Rinky Dink - recorded in New York, 1962. Personnel: Dave "Baby" Cortez (organ) with: Joe Richardson and Jimmy Spruill (guitars); plus unknown guitar, tenor sax, electric bass, drums.

Rinky-Dink / Getting Right, by Dave Baby Cortez released on Julia 452 in 1962. Re-released on Chess 1829 in June 1962 as Rinky Dink / Getting Right, by Baby Cortez.

Chuck Berry -

School Day - recorded in Chicago on 21st January, 1957. Personnel: Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with: Johnny Johnson (piano); Hubert Sumlin (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell) / Deep Feeling released on Chess 1653 in March, 1957.

Jimmy McCracklin -

The Walk - recorded in Chicago in December 1957. Personnel: Jimmy McCracklin (vocal, piano) with: Johnny Parker, Willie Cowart (tenor saxes); Lafayette Thomas (guitar); unknown (bass); Ray Cotton (drums).

The Walk / I'm To Blame, by Jimmy McCracklin And His Band, released on Checker 885 in January 1958.

Eddie Fontaine -

Nothin' Shakin' - recorded in New York in 1958. Personnel: Eddie Fontaine (vocal) with: George Barnes (guitar); unknown (guitar); Eddie O'Connor (bass); Cozy Cole (drums).

Nothin' Shakin' / Don't Ya Know, by Eddie Fontaine, released on Argo 5309 in July 1958.

Rusty York -

Sugaree - recorded in Cincinnati (King Studio) in 1959. Personnel: Rusty York (vocal, guitar) with: Jimmy Risch (tenor sax); John Bower (piano); Bill Lanham (bass); Jim "Rick Sticks" Lundy (drums).

Sugaree / Red Rooster, by Rusty York was released on P.J. 45-100 in 1959. Re-released on Chess 1730 in June 1959.

Little Walter -

My Babe - recorded in Chicago on 25th January, 1955. Personnel: Little Walter (vocal, harmonica) with: Robert Jr. Lockwood and Leonard Caston (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

My Babe / Thunder Bird, by Little Walter And His Dukes, released on Checker 811 in February 1955.

Sunday 10 June 2018

Bobby Charles - Chess Masters

Side 1:
01. Watch It Sprocket
02. Yea Yea Baby
03. Don't You Know I Love You
04. Good Loving
05. I'd Like To Know
06. Ain't Got No Home
07. Time Will Tell
08. Take It Easy Greasy
09. You Can Suit Yourself

Side 2:
01. Later Alligator
02. On Bended Knee
03. I'll Turn Square For You
04. No More (I Ain't Gonna Love You No More)
05. Put Your Arms Around Me Honey
06. Lonely Street
07. Mr Moon
08. One Eyed Jack
09. Hey Good Looking

Another revival of an LP originally posted in 2010 and as usual there are new cover and label scans and added information. New material will appear soon on the blog as I have finally purchased a new turntable.

Robert Charles Guidry was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, on 21st February 1938. His earliest musical influences were country and cajun, but he veered towards R&B when he heard Fats Domino on the radio. His songwriting abilities overshadowed his performing abilities, although his slightly flat laconic vocal delivery set the tone for a style which was to become known as swamp pop. One of his early compositions "Later Alligator" went down a storm at his gigs with backing band The Cardinals, so much so that a Crowley record store owner contacted Leonard Chess who signed Charles on the strength of hearing him sing over the telephone.

Bobby's first session for Chess (backed by The Cardinals) took place in New Orleans in October 1955 with "Later Alligator,"along with the ballad "On Bended Knee" as B-Side, being issued in November 1955. The A-Side, which was based on a Guitar Slim number "Later For You Baby," quickly attracted the attention of major record company Decca who had Bill Haley record a version in December 1955. "See You Later Alligator" as the Haley version was titled, stormed the pop charts in January 1956, completely eclipsing the Charles original.

Bobby Charles continued to record for Chess until May, 1958, then for Imperial from July 1958 to November 1960, then a brief return to Chess in March 1961. He had a total of seven singles released on Chess, none of which sold much despite being mostly well crafted R&B /Rock and Roll with strong backing by top New Orleans musicians under the supervision of Paul Gayten. However, it was as a songwriter that Bobby Charles had most impact, writing classic hits for other artists such as "Walking To New Orleans," (Fats Domino) "Before I Grow Too Old," (Tommy McLain) and "But I Do" (Clarence Henry). He continued to write, perform and record into the 21st century and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007. He died on the 14th January, 2010.

This Chess Masters compilation from 1977 has the "rough and ready" feel that many other issues in the series also had. The choice of tracks is slightly odd as Bobby Charles had a total of 14 sides released on Chess singles yet some have been omitted in favour of previously unreleased tracks. A false start is included on "Bended Knee" which seems rather superfluous. The sound quality on some tracks is also a little muddy or distorted but in spite of the drawbacks this is an entertaining and enjoyable collection, with its unruly feel providing a certain attraction.

Full details of the tracks are listed below.

01. Watch It Sprocket - unissued
02. Yea Yea Baby - Chess 1670
03. Don't You Know I Love You - Chess 1617
04. Good Loving - unissued
05. I'd Like To Know - unissued
06. Ain't Got No Home - unissued
07. Time Will Tell - Chess 1628
08. Take It Easy Greasy - Chess 1628
09. You Can Suit Yourself - Chess 1658
10. Later Alligator - Chess 1609
11. On Bended Knee (+ false start) - Chess 1609
12. I'll Turn Square For You - unissued
13. No More (I Ain't Gonna Love You No More) - Chess 1658
14. Put Your Arms Around Me Honey - Chess 1647
15. Lonely Street - unissued
16. Mr Moon - unissued
17. One Eyed Jack - Chess 1670
18. Hey Good Looking - unissued

Bobby Charles singles on Chess with release dates. Titles in italics are not on this compilation. Information from and

Chess 1609 - Later Alligator / On Bended Knee - November 1955
Chess 1617 - Why Did You Leave / Don't You Know I Love You - March 1956
Chess 1628 - Time Will Tell / Take It Easy Greasy - July 1956
Chess 1638 - Laura Lee / No Use Knocking - October 1956
Chess 1647 - Why Can't You / Put Your Arms Around Me Honey - January 1957
Chess 1658 - No More (I Ain't Gonna Love You No More) / You Can Suit Yourself - May 1957
Chess 1670 - One Eyed Jack / Yea Yea Baby - September 1957

The sessions:

Later Alligator; On Bended Knee; recorded in New Orleans in October 1955. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with The Cardinals - Harry Simontaux, Raoul Prado, Carlo Marino (saxes); Ed LeBlanc (piano); Larry Guidry (guitar); unknown (bass); Kenneth Theriot (drums).

Watch It Sprocket; Don't You Know I Love You; recorded in Chicago in January 1956. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with: Harold Ashby (tenor sax); Harold Burrage (piano); Jody Williams (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Billy Stepney (drums).

Ain't Got No Home; Time Will Tell; Take It Easy Greasy; recorded in New Orleans in March 1956. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with: Lee Allen (tenor sax); Red Tyler (baritone sax); Edward Frank (piano); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

You Can Suit Yourself recorded in New Orleans on 28th August 1956. Personnel same as March 1956 session.

Put Your Arms Around Me Honey; Lonely Street; Mr. Moon; I'll Turn Square For You; I Ain't Gonna Do It No More; recorded in New Orleans in December 1956. Personnel: same as on March and August 1956 sessions. Baritone sax out on I Ain't Gonna Do It No More.

One Eyed Jack; Yea Yea Baby; recorded in New Orleans circa June 1957. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with unknown instrumental accompaniment and vocal group.

Good Loving recorded in New Orleans circa May 1958. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with: James Rivers (tenor sax); Red Tyler (baritone sax); Warren Myles (piano); Edgar Blanchard,
Justin Adams (guitars); Placide Adams (bass); Walter Lastie (drums).

Hey, Good Looking; I'd Like To Know - recorded probably in Chicago, March 1961. Personnel: Bobby Charles (vocal) with unknown sax, piano, guitar, bass and drums. Unknown vocal group on "I'd Like To Know."

Monday 4 June 2018

The Best Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues

Side A:
01. Loud Mouth Annie - Myles & Dupont
02. Rhythmatic Rhythm - Charles "Hungry" Williams
03. Jock-A-Mo - Sugar Boy and his Cane Cutters
04. Mardi Gras Mambo - The Hawketts
05. I'm A Country Boy - Clarence Henry
06. Flatfoot Sam - Oscar Wills
07. Ding Dong Darling - Allen Brooks
08. Lawdy Mama - Edgar Blanchard

Side B:
01. What Can I Do - Robert Green
02. The Joke - Reggie Hall
03. Walk That Walk - Eddie Bo
04. I Cried all The Way Home - Charles "Hungry" Williams
05. Foolish Woman - Allen Brooks
06. Oh-Oh - Eddie Bo
07. This Should Go On Forever - Rod Bernard
08. Needing Your Love - Bobby Blanque
09. Baby Please - Clifton Chenier

The Best Of New Orleans R&B (Zippy)

This collection was last posted on the blog on the 24th February 2010. This re-up includes completely new art work, a slight volume boost and new information on the tracks. This improved re-post seemed to be a natural follow on to the previous Paul Gayten post, as he arranged and played on some of these sides.

I always had mixed feelings about this 1984 collection. Sure, there were a few stone classics on it, "Jock-A-Mo," "Flatfoot Sam," "Mardi Gras Mambo," but there were nine previously unissued tracks and the track list on the back cover was a typographical mess, and slightly misleading.

I corrected a couple of things the first time I posted this LP, but that post still contained a few inaccuracies, so it was back to the books and the web for me so that here and now, in the Year of Our Lord 2018, we may all contemplate the updated info on these tracks. If that's your bag. Or maybe you just wanna get straight to listening to what turns out to be a very strong collection of fine New Orleans R&B. For all I know I may be just writing this for myself or howling at the moon, but on we go!

First thing to note is that I've altered the titles and artist attributions of the tracks so that they more accurately reflect the original single releases. While doing this, I came across a few tales, so in no particular order, here's the deal:

First track, second side, "What Can I Do" was wrongly attributed to Charles Williams. It is in fact by Robert Green, the original drummer in the Paul Gayten band.

Small labels found that when one of their discs started to sell well, they lacked the production and distribution facilities to meet demand, so they would arrange leasing deals with bigger labels to maximize sales potential. There are three examples on this collection.

"Flat Foot Sam" was recorded for the Clif label out of Shreveport by Oscar Wills under his stage name T.V. Slim (he was a TV repairman in "real" life). When the record began selling heavily in the Dallas, Shreveport and New Orleans areas, a deal was cut with Chess for national distribution and the record was issued on Checker 870 in July 1957.

However Leonard Chess thought that the record would perform even better if it were recut with a sax backing. T.V. Slim went into a New Orleans studio where he recorded a new version with the Paul Gayten band. This second version was released on Argo 5277 in August 1957, this time credited to Oscar Wills. This is the version which is on this LP. Over the years the Oscar Wills / Paul Gayten version has appeared on various compilations credited to T.V. Slim. Same guy, different name, same song, different sound.

"The Joke" by Reggie Hall was originally issued by the small and short lived Rip label in New Orleans in January 1962. It sold so well that a deal was agreed with Chess who issued it on Chess 1816 in March 1962.

It was a similar story with Rod Bernard's "This Should Go On Forever." Recorded at J.D. Miller's studio in Crowley, Louisiana, it was first released on the Jin label of Ville Platte in October 1958 as by Rod Bernard and The Twisters. Jin owner Floyd Soileau couldn't meet the demand for the disc, so leased it to Chess who issued it on Argo 5327 in February 1959. "This Should Go On Forever" became a top twenty pop hit on the Billboard and Cash Box charts, which would have been impossible without the Chess deal.

In the previous posting of this collection I pointed out that a track which was unreleased back in the 1950's, Eddie Bo's "Walk That Walk" had become well known in the 21st Century through its use as background music in a television advert for Fiat Spirito di Punto. There was a single issued in the UK on "Chess" (Chess 1703) of "Walk That Walk" but this was a "repro" (which isn't strictly true, as there was no such original issue) released in 2011.

There are full details on all the tracks below, although the line up on Rod Bernard's "This Should Go On Forever" has escaped me. Swamp pop is slightly out of my comfort zone at the moment.

I hope you enjoy this compilation as much as I'm doing right now on repeat play.


01. Loud Mouth Annie - Myles & Dupont (Argo 5326, February 1959)
02. Rhythmatic Rhythm - Charles "Hungry" Williams (unreleased)
03. Jock-A-Mo - Sugar Boy and his Cane Cutters (Checker 787, March 1954)
04. Mardi Gras Mambo - The Hawketts (Chess 1591, February 1955)
05. I'm A Country Boy - Clarence Henry (Argo 5266, March 1957)
06. Flatfoot Sam - Oscar Wills (Argo 5277, August 1957)
07. Ding Dong Darling - Allen Brooks (unreleased)
08. Lawdy Mama - Edgar Blanchard unreleased)
09. What Can I Do - Robert Green (unreleased)
10. The Joke - Reggie Hall (Rip 154, January 1962)
11. Walk That Walk - Eddie Bo (unreleased)
12. I Cried all The Way Home - Charles "Hungry" Williams (unreleased)
13. Foolish Woman - Allen Brooks (unreleased)
14. Oh-Oh - Eddie Bo (Chess 1698, July 1958)
15. This Should Go On Forever - Rod Bernard (Jin 105, October 1958)
16. Needing Your Love - Bobby Blanque (unreleased)
17. Baby Please - Clifton Chenier (unreleased)


Myles & Dupont - Loudmouth Annie. Recorded in New Orleans circa June 1958. Personnel: Edgar Myles and August "Dimes" Dupont (vocals) with James Rivers and Robert Parker (saxes); Warren Myles (piano); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Roland Cook (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

B-Side of "Heaven Or Heartbreak" released on Argo 5326, February 1959.

Charles "Hungry" Williams - Rhythmatic Rhythm; I Cried All The Way Home. Recorded in New Orleans circa June 1958. Personnel: Charles "Hungry" Williams (vocal,drums) with James Rivers and Robert Parker (saxes); Warren Myles (piano); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Roland Cook (bass); unknown vocal group.

First released on this LP.

Sugarboy Crawford - Jock-A-Mo. Recorded in New Orleans in December 1953. Personnel: James Crawford (vocal,piano) with "Big Boy" Myles (trombone); Alfred Bernard and Davis Lastie (saxes); Snooks Eaglin (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Eric Warner (drums) Slim "Sylvester" Saunders (vocal).

First released on Checker 787, Jock-A-Mo / You You You by Sugar Boy and his Cane Cutters, March 1954.

Label shot from Joan K

The Hawketts - Mardi Gras Mambo. Recorded in New Orleans in January 1955. Personnel: Israel Bell and August Fleuri (trumpets); Carroll Joseph (trombone); George Davis (alto sax); Morris Bechamin (tenor sax); Art Neville (vocal, piano); Alfred August (guitar); John Boudreaux (drums).

First released on Chess 1591 in February 1955, b/w Your Time's Up.

adapted from

Clarence Henry - I'm A Country Boy. Recorded in New Orleans in September 1956. Personnel: Clarence Henry (vocal) with Edgar "Big Boy" Myles (trombone); Lee Allen and  Eddie Smith (saxes); Paul Gayten (piano); Walter Nelson (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Eugene Jones (drums).

First released on Argo 5266 B-Side of "Lonely Tramp" in March 1957.

T.V. Slim - Flatfoot Sam. Recorded in New Orleans circa June 1957. Personnel: Oscar Wills (aka T.V. Slim) (vocal, guitar) with The Paul Gayten Orchestra: Robert Parker (tenor sax); Red Tyler (baritone sax); Paul Gayten (piano); Justin Adams (guitar); Frank Fields (bass) Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

This version of "Flatfoot Sam" was released on Argo 5277 in August 1957. Credited to Oscar Wills with the Paul Gayten Orchestra. It was the B-Side of "Nervous Boogie" by the Paul Gayten Orchestra.

A different version of "Flatfoot Sam" b/w "Darling Remember" was released on Checker 870 in July 1957. Both sides credited to T.V. Slim and His Heartbreakers. This was the original version which was recorded in Shreveport and initially released on Clif 103 b/w "Darling Remember."

adapted from - this is the version on the LP

Allen Brooks - Ding Dong Darling; Foolish Woman. Recorded in New Orleans circa June 1958. Personnel: Allen Brooks (vocal) with James Rivers and Robert Parker (saxes); Warren Myles (piano); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Roland Cook (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums); unknown vocal group.

Both sides first released on this LP.

Edgar Blanchard - Lawdy Mama. Recorded in New Orleans circa February 1958. Personnel: Edgar Blanchard (vocal, guitar) with unknown saxes, piano, guitar, bass, drums, vocal group.

First released on this LP.

Robert Green - What Can I Do. Recorded in New Orleans in 1957. Personnel: Robert Green (vocal, drums); Paul Gayten (piano); unknown saxes, guitar and bass.

First released on this LP but wrongly attributed to Charles "Hungry" Williams.

Reggie Hall - The Joke. Recorded in New Orleans in January 1962 for Rip Records. Personnel: Reggie Hall (vocal, piano) with unknown instrumental accompaniment and vocal group.

First released in January 1962 b/w "You Can Think What You Want" on Rip 154. This was the first release on the short lived New Orleans label (owned by Rippo Roberts). As the disc sold so well, Chess leased it and released it in March 1962 as Chess 1816.

Eddie Bo - Walk That Walk; Oh Oh.

Walk That Walk was recorded in New Orleans on 25th June 1957. Personnel: Eddie Bo (vocal, piano) with: unknown tenor sax; Justin Adams (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

First released on this LP.

Oh-Oh was recorded in New Orleans circa May 1958. Personnel: Eddie Bo (vocal, piano) with: Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Roland Cook (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

First released in July 1958, B-Side of "My Dearest Darling" on Chess 1698.

Rod Bernard - This Should Go On Forever. Recorded at the J.D Miller Studio, Crowley, Louisiana, 1958.

First released on Jin 105 in October 1958 - "This Should Go On Forever" / "Pardon, Mr. Gordon" by Rod Bernard and The Twisters.

Re-released on Argo 5327 in February 1959. Credited to Rod Bernard.

Label shot from Joan K

Bobby Blanquet - Needing Your Love. Recorded in New Orleans on June 15th, 1955. Personnel (possibly): Bobby Blanque (vocal) with: Paul Gayten (piano); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); Ernest McLean (guitar); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums); unknown vocal group.

First released on this LP.

Baby Please - Clifton Chenier. Recorded in Los Angeles, late 1956. Personnel: Clifton Chenier (vocal, accordion) with: Lionel Prevo and B.G. Jones (saxes); James Jones (piano); Phillip Walker (guitar); Francis or Louis Candy (bass); Wilson Semien (drums).

First released on this LP.



Bruyninckx discography

John Broven: Rhythm & Blues In New Orleans, Pelican, 1983

Shane K. Bernard: Swamp Pop - Cajun And Creole Rhythm And Blues, University Press of Mississippi, 1996. and

Liner notes for the Ace CD "Red River Blues" (CD CHD 725) by Ray Topping.

You may also like:

Joan Selects Volume 18 - Joan's New Orleans Jazz Fest Special

- 33 big 'uns! Loadsa New Orleans rhythm.

Saturday 2 June 2018

Paul Gayten & Annie Laurie - Creole Gal

Side 1:
01. Your Hands Ain't Clean - Paul Gayten
02. True - Paul Gayten
03. Peter Blue And Jasper Too - Paul Gayten
04. I Still Love You - Paul Gayten
05. One Sweet Letter From You - Annie Laurie
06. Hey, Little Girl - Paul Gayten
07. Annie's Blues - Annie Laurie
08. Gayten's Nightmare - Paul Gayten

Side 2:
01. Creole Gal - Paul Gayten
02. My Rough And Ready Man - Annie Laurie
03. You Ought To Know - Paul Gayten
04. Cuttin' Out - Annie Laurie
05. I Ain't Gonna Let You In - Annie Laurie & Paul Gayten
06. Broadway's On Fire - Broadway Bill
07. Goodnight Irene - Paul Gayten
08. Cow Cow Blues - Paul Gayten
09. Nervous Boogie - Paul Gayten

Time for a revival of this fab Route 66 comp of Paul Gayten and Annie Laurie sides recorded mainly for the DeLuxe and Regal labels from 1947 to 1950. It's no exaggeration to say that New Orleans R&B starts here for Paul Gayten's "True" was the first Crescent City R&B recording to hit the national charts back in 1947. Nowadays we tend to think that the wildly successful New Orleans brand of R&B was launched by Fats Domino or maybe by Professor Longhair or even by Roy Brown. Nope, Paul Gayten was there first.

Early Days

Pianist, singer, bandleader, songwriter, producer and arranger Paul Gayten was born on January 29th 1920. Most sources give his place of birth as Kentwood, Louisiana, but in John Broven's sleevenotes to this LP which are based on a 1975 interview, Paul was clear that he was actually born in New Orleans. His extended family were natives of Kentwood and he lived there for part or perhaps all of his childhood. They were a musical family - his uncles, aunts, and his mother all played piano and Paul played from the age of twelve. His mother's brother was the blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery and their father, Harper Montgomery, played violin and ran juke joints.

According to a Blues Heaven online article, Harper Montgomery along with other family members relocated from Kentwood to Norfield, Mississippi, during the 1920's. Among the family members who made the move were Paul Gayten's parents, so we may assume that young Paul was along too. Harper, who had been running a juke joint in Kentwood, made the move to Norfield in order to work in the lumber industry. When the Norfield sawmill closed down, members of the Montgomery family relocated to Canton, Mississippi.

Sometime afterwards, members of the family moved to Jackson, Mississippi. Little Brother Montgomery had a small swing style band based there from around 1932 to 1939. Known as The Southland Troubadours and also The Collegiate Ramblers, they toured extensively in the Mid West and the South. The band broadcast regularly on local radio stations but were never recorded. In the mid 1930's  Little Brother Montgomery recorded sides for Vocalion, Decca and Bluebird either as a solo or with minimal accompaniment, usually a guitarist and extra vocalist.

According to John Broven's sleeve notes, Paul Gayten moved to Jackson in 1934 where he stayed with a "godfather" who owned a nightclub there. Perhaps this was Harper Montgomery. Paul started gigging in the club then had a spell with the Doc Parmley band for a year in 1935. Doc Parmley was the trumpet player in Little Brother Montgomery's band which he finally took over in 1939, so perhaps Paul's spell with the band was as a temporary replacement for his uncle who may have been busy with his recording activities. Paul also played with another Jackson based band, that of Don Dunbar and also toured with the Royal American Shows and then Silas Green.

Founded in 1923, The Royal American Shows (The World's Largest Midway) was a travelling carnival which toured the U.S.A. and Canada for most of the 20th Century, lasting until 1997. Silas Green From New Orleans was another long lived travelling attraction, being an African American owned tent show which toured the Southern States from 1904 to 1957 (although there are reports of them still operating as late as 1962).

Above: the Silas Green band assembles outside the tent in 1937

After leaving the Silas Green show in 1938, Paul returned to Jackson where he put together a band of his own (Paul Gayten's Sizzling Six) which included local sax man and future be bop star Teddy Edwards. In 1940 Paul was drafted into the forces, spending the war at Biloxi Army Airforce base where he led the base band. After the war, having met and married a New Orleans girl, he relocated to the Crescent City.

New Orleans, DeLuxe and Regal

On arrival in New Orleans Paul Gayten organised a trio which had Edgar Blanchard on guitar, George Pryor on bass and Robert Green on drums. A residency was secured at the Club Robin Hood and when Jules and David Braun, the owners of DeLuxe Records of Linden, New Jersey, came looking for New Orleans acts in early 1947, the Paul Gayten band was quickly signed up and the first recording session took place in January. The first Gayten record, "True" was a hit and around this time a female vocalist, Annie Laurie was added to the band. Her DeLuxe recording with the Gayten band of "Since I Fell For You" was an even bigger hit than "True."

Billboard, October 25th, 1947

The Gayten band had further success with "Hey Little Girl" in early 1948. As well as being on their own issues, and on those of Annie Laurie, the group also appeared on sides by Chubby Newsom and Eddie Gorman. In 1947-48 DeLuxe had a virtual monopoly on New Orleans talent, putting out discs by Smiley Lewis, Dave Bartholomew, and biggest of them all, Roy Brown. A double blow weakened the company in late 1947 and early 1948 when a fire in their pressing plant destroyed a large number of masters in November 1947, and the AFM recording ban followed at the beginning of 1948.

The company was rescued from financial ruin by the purchase of 51% of its shares by Syd Nathan of King Records. The relationship between Nathan and DeLuxe proved to be stormy and it ended with a complete takeover by King in mid 1949. Roy Brown transferred to King while the Braun brothers along with new partner Fred Mendelsohn set up a new label in New Jersey, Regal Records. The Gayten band along with Annie Laurie and new male vocalist Larry Darnell signed for the new label.

Back at the beginning of 1949 the Gayten band had expanded from a trio to a more substantial outfit which included trumpeter Wallace Davenport and tenor sax player Lee Allen. The move to Regal brought more chart success with Annie Laurie hitting with "Cuttin' Out" in late 1949 and two Gayten / Laurie duets selling well in 1950 - "I'll Never Be Free" and "I Ain't Gonna Let You In." However the biggest successes for the Gayten outfit were fronted by Larry Darnell - "For You My Love" (written by Gayten) and "I'll Get Along Somehow."

The Cash Box December 17th 1949

In 1991 the Regal recordings of Paul Gayten and Annie Laurie (but not Larry Darnell) were compiled by Billy Vera on a CD originally released on Specialty in the U.S and Ace in the U.K., "Regal Records In New Orleans." Sadly this collection is now out of print.

In mid-1951 Regal Records fell victim to financial problems. Paul Gayten, Annie Laurie and Larry Darnell's contracts were taken up by the newly reactivated OKeh label which had been set up as the R&B subsidiary of Columbia Records.

OKeh And Chess

Paul Gayten's first session for OKeh was on October 31st 1951, with Annie Laurie and Larry Darnell having their first OKeh sessions in November 1951. Neither of the two vocalists ever recorded with Paul for OKeh, as they were backed by bands under the direction of Howard Biggs and Leroy Kirkland. The sleeve notes on this LP record Paul's dissatisfaction at OKeh but there were a couple of good sellers in "They All Ask For You (Down At The Zoo)" in the autumn of 1952, and "Cow Cow Blues" (especially in Los Angeles and New Orleans) in the autumn of 1953.

Paul's last OKeh session was in November 1953. In 1954 he joined Chess Records as a producer, songwriter and talent scout. He also recorded for the label intermittently between 1954 and 1959, with his records being released on Chess subsidiaries Checker, Argo and Anna. Some of these mainly instrumental records did have limited success - "The Hunch," "Nervous Boogie" and "Windy" with the last named just about scraping into The Hot Hundred. South African and U.K. fans may recognize the tune of "Windy" as "Tom Hark" which was a big hit for SA group Elias And His Zigzag Jive Flutes. This original version reached number two in the UK charts in April 1958 and a rowdy vocal version by The Piranhas charted in the UK in 1980.

Among the records Paul produced at Chess were "Later Alligator" by Bobby Charles, "But I Do" (which he co-wrote with Eddie Bo) and "Ain't Got No Home," by Clarence "Frogman" Henry, and "Flat Foot Sam" by T.V. Slim. When Chess opened an office in Los Angeles, Paul was put in charge and he moved to LA where he spent the rest of his life. He worked for Chess until 1969, then started his own label, Pzzaz. Unfortunately the label only lasted a few years and when it went under, Paul retired from the music business. He died in LA on the 26th March 1991 from heart failure.

In 1989 Billy Vera compiled a collection of Paul Gayten's Chess sides, entitled "Paul Gayten: Chess King Of New Orleans." It appeared firstly as a 10 track LP and then as a 12 track CD. Both versions are long out of print.

Fax On The Trax

"True" and "Your Hands Ain't Clean" recorded in New Orleans in January 1947. Personnel: Paul Gayten (vocal, piano); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Warren Stanley (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"True" / "Your Hands Ain't Clean" released on DeLuxe 1063 in March 1947. Reviewed in Billboard, July 1947. Number 5 in the Billboard Juke Box Race Records chart, October 18th, 1947.

"I Still Love You" - recorded in New Orleans in August / September 1947. Personnel: Annie Laurie (vocal); acc by Paul Gayten and his Trio: Paul Gayten (piano); Jack Scott (guitar); George H. Pryor (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"Ghost Of A Chance" / "I Still Love You" released on DeLuxe 1106 in October 1947. A Side credited to Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten & His Trio. B Side credited to Paul Gayten & His Trio with Annie Laurie.

"Peter Blue & Jasper Too" recorded in New Orleans in September 1947. Personnel: Paul Gayten (vocal, piano) with Jack Scott (guitar); George Pryor (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"Peter Blue & Jasper Too" / "In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down" by Paul Gayten & His Trio released on DeLuxe 1118 in March 1948.

Cash Box March 20th 1948

"One Sweet Letter From You" recorded in New Orleans in November 1947. Personnel: Annie Laurie (vocal); with Paul Gayten (piano); Jack Scott (guitar); George H. Pryor (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"I Love You Yes I Do" / "One Sweet Letter From You" by Annie Laurie and the Paul Gayten Trio released on DeLuxe 1131 in January 1948.

label shots adapted from

"Hey Little Girl" recorded in New Orleans in November 1947. Personnel: Paul Gayten (vocal, piano); Jack Scott (guitar); George H. Pryor (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"I Love You, Yes I Do" / "Hey, Little Girl" by Paul Gayten And His Trio released on DeLuxe 1138 in January 1948.

Confusion reigns here. There was a release on DeLuxe 1170 in March / April 1948 with "Hey, Little Girl" on the A Side and "One Sweet Letter From You" (Annie Laurie) on the B Side. We shall move swiftly on to 1949.

"Annie's Blues" was recorded in New York (?) in January 1949. Personnel: Annie Laurie (vocal); with Paul Gayten and Band: Wallace Davenport (trumpet); unknown trombone, alto sax; Lee Allen (tenor sax); Paul Gayten (piano); Peter "Chuck" Badie (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"Waiting For You" / "Annie's Blues" released in January / February 1949 on DeLuxe 1211, then Deluxe 3211. "Annie's Blues" was number 6 in the "Hot In New Orleans" chart in The Cash Box, February 26th, 1949.
Billboard 5th March, 1949

"Gayten's Nightmare" and "Creole Gal" recorded in New Orleans, February 1949. Personnel: Paul Gayten (vocal, piano); with Wallace Davenport (trumpet); unknown trombone, alto sax; Lee Allen (tenor sax); Peter "Chuck" Badie (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"Hard To Go Through Life Alone" / "Gayten's Nightmare" issued on DeLuxe 1210 and 3210, probably February / March 1949. "Gayten's Nightmare" number 9 in Hot In Other Cities" Atlanta chart, 23rd April 1949.

"Can't Help Lovin' That Gal" / "Creole Gal" issued on DeLuxe 1215, 3215 in first half of 1949.

The above was the last Paul Gayten session for DeLuxe which was bought over by King Records. A successor company to DeLuxe called Regal was set up and Paul Gayten and Annie Laurie started recording for the new label in August / September 1949.

"My Rough And Ready Man" and "Cuttin' Out" were recorded in New Orleans in early September 1949. Personnel: Annie Laurie (vocal) with Wallace Davenport (trumpet); Frank Campbell (alto sax); Buddy Tate (tenor sax); Cecil Payne (baritone sax); Paul Gayten (piano); Jack Scott (guitar); George H. Pryor (bass); Robert Green (drums).

"Cuttin' Out" / "My Rough And Ready Man" released on Regal 3235 in October 1949. Annie Laurie with the Paul Gayten Orchestra.

"You Ought To Know" was recorded in New Orleans in early September 1949. Personnel: Paul Gayten (vocal,p) withTaft Jordan (trumpet); Eddie Barefield (alto sax); Buddy Tate (tenor sax); Cecil Payne (baritone sax); unknown guitar and bass; Denzil Best (drums).

"I'll Never Be Free" / "You Ought To Know" released on Regal 3258 in March 1950. Side A by Annie Laurie, Paul Gayten and His Orchestra. Side B by Paul Gayten and His Orchestra.

"Broadway's On Fire" was recorded in New Orleans in February 1950. Personnel: "Broadway Bill" Cook (vocal) with Paul Gayten (piano); unknown tenor sax, guitar, bass; Sam Woodyard (drums).

"Broadway's On Fire" by Broadway Bill with Paul Gayten and orchestra / "Bellboy Boogie" by Paul Gayten and orchestra released on Regal 3255 in March (?) 1950.

adapted from

"I Ain't Gonna Let You In" was recorded in New Orleans in February 1950. Personnel: Annie Laurie (vocal) with Paul Gayten (vocal, piano); John Hunt (trumpet); "Chippy" Outcalt (trombone); Eddie Barefield (alto sax); Ray Abrams (tenor sax); Aaron Bell (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums); Howard Biggs (arranger).

"I Ain't Gonna Let You In" / "I Need Your Love" released on Regal 3273, May / June (?) 1950. "I Ain't Gonna Let You In" credited to Annie Laurie - Paul Gayten with the Paul Gayten Orchestra.

Cash Box, 22nd July 1950

"Goodnight Irene" recorded in New York in early August 1950. Personnel: Paul Gayten and his Orchestra: Wallace Davenport (trumpet); Eddie Barefield (alto sax); Hank Mobley (tenor sax); Frank Campbell (baritone sax) Paul Gayten (vocal, piano); Larry Goines (bass); unknown (drums); The Coleman Brothers (vocal group).

"Goodnight Irene" / "Ooh La La" released on Regal 3281 in August / September 1950.

"Cow Cow Blues" recorded in New Orleans on May 4th, 1953. Personnel: Paul Gayten (piano) with unknown (bass, drums).

"Cow Cow Blues" / "Ooh-Boo" by Paul Gayten and his Orchestra released on Okeh 6982 in June 1953.

adapted from

"Nervous Boogie" recorded in New Orleans in March 1957. Personnel: Paul Gayten (piano) with Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler {baritone sax); Edgar Blanchard (guitar); Roland Cook or Frank Field (bass); Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).

"Nervous Boogie" by Paul Gayten and his Band / "Flatfoot Sam" by Oscar Wills with Paul Gayten Orch. released on Argo 5277 in August 1957.


Billy Vera became friends with Paul Gayten in 1979. He wrote the liner notes for the two CDs he compiled - "Regal Records In New Orleans" and "Chess King Of New Orleans." He also wrote an article "Remembering Paul Gayten" for Blues And Rhythm Magazine (number 202 - September 2005).

John Broven wrote the notes for this LP "Creole Gal" and also covered Paul Gayten in his book "Rhythm & Blues In New Orleans."

Other sources - Bruyninckx discography, "Big Band Jazz" by Albert McCarthy, Big Al Pavlow's The R&B Book,,, Billboard, The Cash Box,

Recommended purchase -

Probably the only CD which is still available is the El Toro compilation "Ain't Nothin' Happenin' - Cool Jump Blues 1947 - 1957." 30 tracks spanning Paul Gayten's career including sides by Annie Laurie and Larry Darnell. Doesn't quite include every biggie, but it's your best bet for digging up some cool Gayten.