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.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Freddy King - Lula Reed - Sonny Thompson - Boy-Girl-Boy

Side 1:
01. Do The President Twist - Lula Reed & Freddy King
02. I Got A Notion - Lula Reed
03. Know What You're Doing - Lula Reed
04. You Can't Hide - Lula Reed & Freddy King
05. What Makes You So Cold - Lula Reed
06. Puddentane - Lula Reed

Side 2:
01. (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me - Lula Reed & Freddy King
02. I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much) - Lula Reed
03. Waste No More Tears - Lula Reed
04. It's Easy, Child - Lula Reed & Freddy King
05. I Know - Lula Reed
06. Why Don't You Come On Home - Lula Reed

I've "reconstructed" this LP using artwork from, and a record sales site (I've forgotten which one) and sound files ripped from my collection.

King LP 777, resplendent in astonishingly tacky artwork, was issued in September 1962. Although Freddy King is billed first, this is really a Lula Reed album. We saw in the previous post "I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone" that Lula started recording for King as vocalist with the Sonny Thompson band in 1951. Her last session for King was in August 1956, then she recorded sides for release on the Chess subsidiary label Argo during 1958-59.

In 1961 she was back with Sonny Thompson at King and during January and March of that year they recorded sides which were released on the King subsidiary label Federal. In February 1962 Lula and Sonny teamed up with guitarist / singer Freddy King for some sides which were also released on Federal. Full details of the original releases and recording sessions of the tracks on this LP are given below.

The tracks on this LP consist of 2 from Lula's earlier stay at King ("Why Don't You Come On Home" and "Waste No More Tears" from 1955/56); 6 tracks from her 1961 Federal sessions, and 4 tracks from her 1962 sessions with Freddy King. It's noticeable that Lula's style changed in the early 60s recordings as she utilised a raunchier, more earthy delivery which packed a fair old punch into "Puddentane" and was equally effective on more plaintive songs like the wonderful "I Know."

The sessions with Freddy King were Lula's last for King / Federal. In September 1962 she started recording for Ray Charles' Tangerine label (perhaps he remembered her original version of "I'll Drown In My Tears" which he adapted as "I'll Drown In My Own Tears"). After 2 more sessions for Tangerine in May and June 1963, Lula retired from recording. That was it. No more records from one of the best female R&B vocalists of the 1950s / early 60s. She had gone back to her church roots, renounced the secular for the sacred, and was lost to the world of R&B and Soul Music. Truly a gain for the Lord but a loss for the worldly.

Fax on the Traxxxx

King LP 777 (Boy-Girl-Boy) was released in September 1962.

Original single release details:

Why Don't You Come On Home / I'm Giving All My Love - King 4811 - July 1955

Every Second / Waste No More Tears - King 4996 - December 1956

I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much) / I Know - Federal 12407 - February 1961

I Got A Notion / Puddentane - Federal 12416 - May 1961

You Gotta Have That Green / Know What You're Doing - Federal 12426 - September 1961

On the next 4 Federal issues Lula Reed was credited as "Lulu Reed."
 Ain't No Cotton Pickin' Chicken (Gonna Break This Chicken Heart Of Mine) / What Makes You So Cold - Federal 12440 - December 1961

*Do The President Twist / Your Love Keeps A-Working On Me - Federal 12457 - March 1962. B Side credited to "Lulu Reed."

*(Let Your Love) Watch Over Me / *You Can't Hide - Federal 12471 - July 1962

*It's Easy Child / Say Hey Pretty Baby - Federal 12477 - November 1962. B Side credited to "Lulu Reed."

* = "Lulu Reed & Freddy King"

The recording sessions:

Why Don't You Come On Home - Lula Reed (vocal) with Jewell Grant (alto sax); David Brooks (tenor sax); Tommy Purkson (baritone sax); Sonny Thompson (piano); Clarence Kenner (guitar); Albert Winston (bass); Albert Bartee (drums).
Los Angeles, March 29th, 1955

Waste No More Tears - Lula Reed (vocal) with Tommy Purkson (alto sax); David Brooks, Raymond Felder (tenor saxes); Alexander Nelson (baritone sax); Sonny Thompson (piano); Thomas Palmer (guitar); Albert Winston (bass); Robert Boswell (drums).
Cincinnati, August 21st, 1956

Know What You're Doing; What Makes You Feel So Cold; I Got A Notion - Lula Reed (vocal) with Osborne Whitfield (tenor sax); Sonny Thompson (piano); Freddie Jordan, Lawrence Frazier (guitars); Bill Willis (bass); Phillip Paul (drums).
Cincinnati, January 19th, 1961

Puddentane recorded in Cincinnati on March 19th, 1961 with same line up as January 19th.

I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much) and I Know recorded in Cincinnati on March 20th, 1961 with same line up as on previous 2 sessions.

Do The President Twist; (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me; You Can't Hide; It's Easy Child - Lula Reed and Freddy King (vocals) with Gene Redd, Clifford Scott (saxes); Sonny Thompson (piano); Fred Jordan (guitar); Bill Willis (bass); Phillip Paul (drums).
Cincinnati, February 7th-8th, 1962.

Monday 17 December 2018

Lula Reed - I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone

Side 1:
01. Sick and Tired
02. Jealous Love
03. Watch Dog
04. Your Key Don't Fit No More
05. Going Back To Mexico
06. Bump On A Log
07. Three Men
08. Sample Man

Side 2:
01. Troubles On Your Mind
02. The Wild Stage Of Life
03. Ain't It A Shame
04. Without Love (Ain't It A Shame)
05. I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone
06. Why Don't You Come On Home
07. I'll Upset You Baby
08. Caught Me When My Love Was Down

I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone (Zippy)

Here's a rather terrific compilation of Lula Reed sides from her first spell with King Records which lasted from the end of 1951 to August 1956.

Lula was of course the vocalist with Sonny Thompson's band, having won the spot after auditioning against 50 competitors. Her first recording session with the band in December 1951 resulted in 2 big R&B hits - "I'll Drown In My Tears" (# 5 in July 1952) and "Let's Call It A Day" (#9 one month later). Both of these discs were credited to Sonny Thompson, but Lula was credited on subsequent releases although backing was still by the Thompson band. One of the most enjoyable features of this LP is the quality of that backing band, especially Sonny Thompson on piano, David Brooks on tenor sax and Clarence Kenner on guitar.

Full session details are listed on the LP back cover, so I have only added the release dates of the singles and also noted in italics the sides on these singles which do not feature on this LP.

Original release of tracks on this comp

King 4649 - Don't Make Me Love You / Going Back To Mexico - August 1953

King 4688 - Watch Dog / Your Key Don't Fit It No More - December 1953

King 4703 - Troubles On Your Mind / Bump On A Log - March 1954

King 4726 - I'll Upset You Baby / Wonderful Love - July 1954

King 4748 - Sick And Tired / Jealous Love - October 1954

King 4767 - I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone / Rock Love - January 1955

King 4796 - Without Love (Ain't It A Shame) / Caught Me When My Love Was Down - May 1955

King 4811 - Why Don't You Come On Home / I'm Giving All My Love - July 1955

King 4969 - Sample Man / Three Men - October 1956

Ain't It A Shame and The Wild Stage Of Life were first issued on this LP.

Also on the blog:

More Lula and Sonny in the next post!

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Rosco Gordon - No More Doggin'

Side 1:
01. Just A Little Bit
02. That's What You Do To Me
03. No More Doggin'
04. Goin' Home (Tomorrow)
05. A Fool In Love
06. Dapper Dan
07. I'm Locked Up
08. Surely I Love You

Side 2:
01. Every Night In The Week
02. What I Wouldn't Do
03. Let 'Em Try
04. Sit Right Here
05. My Chick
06. Jelly, Jelly, Jelly
07. New Orleans, La

A good collection which contains just about everything Rosco Gordon recorded for Vee-Jay between 1959 and 1961. Only 8 of these sides were released on singles, so this disc includes 7 previously unreleased sides but it's all good stuff. These are much more polished productions than the material contained in the earlier post "The Legendary Sun Performers: Rosco Gordon", with Rosco stepping back from piano playing and being accompanied by rockin' bands (some great sax breaks) and even vocal groups.

The first Vee-Jay single, a re-recording of his 1952 RPM hit "No More Doggin'" didn't sell much, but his second release "Just A Little Bit" was a hit which reached number 2 in the R&B chart and also entered the Hot 100 pop chart. Unfortunately Rosco's remaining two Vee-Jay singles failed to repeat this success and his final session for the label in 1961 remained unreleased.

Rosco, who was now based in New York City, recorded for ABC-Paramount in 1962/63 and for Old Town in 1964. He was accompanied on some records by his second wife Barbara and although they were occupied in the dry cleaning business, they would occasionally record into the 1970s for small NYC labels and their own Bab-Roc label. If you search in YouTube on "Rosco and Barbara" you can find some of their sides which were in the soul style.

In the early 1980s he was "rediscovered" and appeared at the Memphis Blues Festival in '82, toured in Europe and cut a live album for UK label JSP. Following the early death of his wife in 1984 he devoted more time to his musical career. Shortly before his own death in 2002 he was part of a live tribute to Sam Phillips at the WC Handy Awards show in Memphis, appearing in a band featuring fellow Memphis Recording Sevice alumni B.B. King, Ike Turner and Little Milton Campbell.

This concert and other scenes featuring Rosco were prominent in the film "The Road To Memphis" directed by Richard Pearce as part of the "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" series. I absolutely recommend that you get hold of a copy!

Fax on the Rockin' Trax

Vee-Jay released 4 Rosco Gordon singles as follows:

VJ 316 - No More Doggin' / A Fool In Love - May 1959

VJ 332 - Just A Little Bit / Goin' Home - November 1959. This single reached number 2 in the R&B chart in February 1960 and reached number 64 in the Hot 100.

VJ 348 - Surely I Love You / What You Do To Me - June 1960

VJ 385 - Let 'Em Try / What I Wouldn't Do - May 1961

All tracks on this LP were recorded in Chicago as follows -

No More Doggin', Goin' Home (Tomorrow), A Fool In Love - recorded on April 21st, 1959. Personnel: Rosco Gordon (vocal) with: Earl Washington (piano); Lefty Bates and Classie Ballou (guitars); Quinn Wilson (bass); Al Duncan (drums).

Just A Little Bit, What You Do To Me - recorded on September 16th, 1959. Personnel as above but add Cliff Davis (tenor sax) and McKinley Easton (batione sax), also Classie Ballou (guitar) not present.

Dapper Dan, I'm Locked Up - recorded on March 16th, 1960. Personnel as on April 21st, 1959 session.

Surely I Love You - recorded on April 13th, 1960. Personnel as on March 16th session but add vocal group - The Spaniels.

Two sessions were held on unknown dates in 1961. Rosco was accompanied by an unknown lineup which included trumpet, tenor and baritone saxes, 2 guitars, bass, piano, drums and on the first session a vocal group. It's possible that the musicians included Red Holloway (tenor sax), James Moore (guitar) and Chico Chism (drums).

1st session - What I Wouldn't Do, Every Night In The Week, Let 'Em Try.

2nd session - Sit Right Here, My Chick, Jelly, Jelly, Jelly, New Orleans, La.

Above: crossover action for Rosco Gordon and Dee Clark - Billboard ad in March 1960.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Lightnin' Slim - Rooster Blues

Side 1:
01. Rooster Blues
02. Long Leanie Mama
03. My Starter Won't Work
04. GI Slim
05. Lightnin's Troubles
06. Bed Bug Blues
Side 2:
01. Hoo-Doo Blues
02. It's Mighty Crazy
03. Sweet Little Woman
04. Tom Cat Blues
05. Feelin' Awful Blues
06. I'm Leavin' You Baby

A big thank you to Marv for sending in this reconstructed version of an Excello Lightnin' Slim LP which was originally released in April 1960. The collection consists of 6 singles which were released on the Nashville based Excello label in 1958 - 1960. All of these sides were recorded at Jay Miller's studio in Crowley, Louisiana, and featured Lazy Lester on harmonica. It's basic Louisiana swamp blues with echo drenched productions by the smallest of groups: Lightnin' Slim on vocals / guitar and Lazy Lester on harmonica, accompanied by various drummers / percussionists. Session details are listed below.

Lightnin' Slim's real name was Otis Hicks. He was born in Missouri in 1913, so when he recorded these sides he was already on the mature side. He first recorded in 1954 with Wild Bill Phillips on harmonica. Other harp players he worked with during the succeeding couple of years included Schoolboy Cleve and Slim Harpo. He was joined by Lazy Lester in late 1956 in a partnership which would last into the 1960s. Both Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester went on to have successful careers under their own names, with Slim Harpo in particular outshining his mentor as he eventually became the embodiment of the swamp blues sound for many blues fans.

As an aside, Lazy Lester is one of the few original US blues musicians I have seen perform in the flesh. Twice in fact, both times at the Edinburgh Blues Festival back in the 1990s when it was held in the Caledonian Brewery in Slateford Road. On both occasions Lazy Lester had sampled rather too much of the brewery's excellent products before taking to the stage, which led to rather erratic performances.

Above: from Blues and Rhythm Magazine, I think.

Fax On The Trax

The 12 tracks on this LP were originally released on single as follows:

01. Rooster Blues - Excello 45-2169 A - November 1959
02. Long Leanie Mama - Excello 45-2142 B - August 1958
03. My Starter Won't Work - Excello 45-2142 A - August 1958
04. G.I. Slim - Lightnin' Slim - Excello 45-2169 B - November 1959
05. Lightnin's Troubles - Excello 45-2160 B - July 1959
06. Bed Bug Blues - Excello 45-2173 B - March 1960
07. Hoo-Doo Blues - Excello 45-2131 A - January 1958
08. It's Mighty Crazy - Excello 45-2131 B - January 1958
09. Sweet Little Woman - Excello 45-2160 A - July 1959
10. Tom Cat Blues - Excello 45-2173 A - March 1960
11. Feelin' Awful Blue - Excello 45-2150 B - February 1959
12. I'm Leavin' You Baby - Excello 45-2150 A - February 1959

Feelin' Awful Blue; Lightnin's Troubles recorded in Crowley, Louisiana in late 1956. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with: Lazy Lester (harmonica); Clarence "Jockey" Etienne (drums).

Hoo Doo Blues; It's Mighty Crazy; Bed Bug Blues recorded in Crowley, Louisiana on June 10th 1957. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with Lazy Lester (harmonica); possibly Roosevelt Samples (drums); probably Vince Monroe (percussion).

Tom Cat Blues recorded in Crowley, Louisiana in May 1958. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with Lazy Lester (harmonica); possibly Roosevelt Samples (drums).

My Starter Won't Work; Long Leanie Mama recorded in Crowley, Louisiana in 1958. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with Lazy Lester (harmonica); unknown drums and percussion.

I'm Leavin' You Baby; Sweet Little Woman recorded in Crowley, Louisiana in January 1959. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with Lazy Lester (harmonica); Vince Monroe (drums).

Rooster Blues; G.I. Slim recorded in Crowley, Louisiana in September 1959. Personnel: Lightnin' Slim (vocal, guitar) with Lazy Lester (harmonica); Kenneth "Sam" Sample (drums).

CD Heaven

Ace (UK) used to release CDs of Excello material back in the 1990s. I have a couple of their Lightnin' Slim releases -

Ace CDCHD 616

Ace CDCHD 587

Both of the above are worth picking up if you should come across them in the second hand browsers. I did notice that "Nothin' But The Devil" was going for some ridiculously inflated price on Amazon. Anyone who pays that amount of money for a CD must be insane! Look around and you'll find 'em for good prices.

Inevitably public domain company Jasmine has a 2CD set of Lightnin's A and B sides out, and the "Rooster Blues" LP has been re-released on vinyl. I haven't bought any of the recent blues vinyl reissues (usually by public domain companies) so I can't comment on the quality of these discs.

Thanks again to Marv for providing these rips and for steering me towards a neglected part of my collection.

This post concludes the Be Bop Wino Blues Tour! An eclectic mix of R&B, Jazz, Swing, Rock 'n' Roll, and yes, more Blues, coming up in future posts ... stay tuned.

Friday 7 December 2018

The Legendary Sun Performers: Rosco Gordon

Side 1:
01. Let's Get High
02. Real Pretty Mama
03. T-Model Boogie
04. Dr. Blues
05. Just Love Me Baby
06. Love With Me Baby
07. Bop With Me Baby
08. Decorate The Counter (No. 1)

Side 2:
01. Decorate The Counter (No. 2)
02. Love For You Baby
03. That's What You Do To Me
04. Tired Of Living
05. If You Don't Love Me Baby
06. Dream On Baby
07. Do The Bop
08. Sally Jo

We're still hanging around the Sun Studio in Memphis on the Be Bop Wino blues tour with this rather disorderly LP of bits and bobs from Rosco Gordon's two spells with Sam Phillips - the first being in the early '50s when Sam was recording blues sides for leasing to RPM and Chess (and thereby hangs a tale), and the second spell being in the mid-to-late '50s when Rosco teamed up with Sam again, this time to record for Sun.

Only three sides in this collection were released on singles back in the 1950s, all from Rosco's time with Sun Records. Not included here is Rosco's best known side for Sun, "The Chicken (Dance With You)" and plenty more Sun releases / recordings aren't featured. The early 1950s tracks recorded for the Memphis Recording Service are a bit of a ragbag, consisting of sides which weren't sold on to the RPM and Chess labels, and which must have therefore remained in the can until this LP. Included are a rehearsal / demo of "Decorate The Counter" and the rather strange / eccentric "Dr. Blues" with a vocal by "Dr Blues" Maxwell.

Rosco's early career was affected by Sam Phillip's decision to direct material towards Chess in Chicago at a time when RPM / Modern in LA were under the impression that they had the rights to the sides he was recording. In March 1951 Sam recorded Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm and sent "Rocket 88" to Chess who released it under sax player Jackie Brenston's name. In June 1951 it reached number 1 in the R&B chart and went on to become the second best selling R&B single of the year.

Meanwhile Rosco's first sides were released through RPM, including the hit "Saddled The Cow (And Milked The Horse)" which reached number 9 in the R&B chart in September 1951. Rosco's next hit was "Booted" which Sam sent to Chess. The record was a number 1 R&B hit in early 1952 and by now the Bihari brothers, owners of RPM / Modern, were more than a little miffed. They found themselves in dispute with Chess over sides recorded by Rosco Gordon and Howlin' Wolf in Memphis. The upshot was that Rosco's sides would be released on RPM while Chess got Howlin' Wolf.

RPM had Rosco's next big hit, "No More Doggin'" which reached number 2 in the R&B charts in the spring of 1952. Problem solved? Everybody happy? Nope, for just to complicate matters even more Rosco started recording for new Memphis diskery Duke Records. The upshot was that Rosco Gordon sides were recorded and released by both RPM and Duke through the rest of 1952. In 1953-54 Rosco's records appeared on Duke which was by then a Houston based label having been taken over by Don Robey. See post on Bobby Bland for details of the takeover.

In June 1955 Rosco started recording for Sam Phillips' Sun label with the first issue being "Just Love Me Baby" / "Weeping Blues" (Sun 227) in September of that year.  Further Sun issues (with occasional simultaneous issue on Sam's Flip label) were: "The Chicken (Dance With You)" / "Love For You Baby" (Sun 237) in December 1955, "Shoobie Oobie" / "Cheese And Crackers" (Sun 257) in December 1956, and "Sally Jo" / "Torro" (Sun 305) in September 1958. There were also a couple of releases on Duke in the first half of 1957 just to keep the label-hopping pot boiling.

Rosco's last Sun session took place in July 1958 ("Sally Jo") and he didn't record again until April 1959 when he kicked off a series of sessions for Vee-Jay which lasted until 1961. But that is for another blog post!

Fax On Da Trax

T Model Boogie, Dr. Blues, - recorded on December 4th, 1951 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (piano, vocal on "T Model Boogie") with: Willie Sims (sax); Willie Wilkes (sax); John Murry Daley (drums). Dr. Blues Maxwell vocal on "Dr. Blues." Both sides first released on this LP.

Decorate The Counter (1 - demo)Decorate The Counter (2), Dream On Baby, If You Don't Love Me Baby - recorded on January 23rd, 1952 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (piano, vocal) with: Willie Wilkes (tenor sax); Richard Sanders (baritone sax); John Murry Daley (drums). All first released on this LP.

Love For You Baby, That's What You Do To Me, Let's Get High, - possibly recorded in February 1955 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (piano, vocal) with: Billy Duncan, Charles Taylor (alto saxes); Willie Wilkes (tenor sax); Richard Sanders (baritone sax); Foree Wells (guitar); Tuff Green (bass); John Murry Daley (drums). The Chicken (Dance With You) / "Love For You Baby" released on Sun 237 and Flip 237 in December 1955. "That's What You Do To Me" and "Let's Get High" first released on this LP. "Let's Get High" released on single Sun 801 along with "Bop With Me Baby." This is probably a 1970s/80s bootleg.

Just Love Me Baby, Tired Of Living, - recorded on June 9th, 1955 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (piano, vocal) with: Harvey Simmons (tenor sax); Richard Sanders (baritone sax); Pat Hare (guitar); Tuff Green (bass); Jeff Grayer (drums). "Just Love Me Baby" / Weeping Blues released on Sun 227, September 1955 and on Flip 227, October 1955. "Tired Of Living" first released on this LP.

Love With Me Baby, Bop With Me Baby, Do The Bop, - probably also recorded at the June 9th 1955 session. Personnel as above. Three sides first released on this LP. "Bop With Me Baby" / "Let's Get High" also released on a single Sun 801 - probably a 1970s/80s bootleg.

Real Pretty Mama - recorded on October 26th, 1956 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (piano, vocal) with: Lionel Prevost (tenor sax); James K. Jones (baritone sax); Phillip Walker (guitar); Louis Willy Candy
(bass); Joe W. Payne (drums). First released on this LP.

Sally Jo, - recorded in July 1957 in Memphis. Rosco Gordon (vocal) with Freddy Tavares (guitar) and unknown bass and drums. "Sally Jo" / Torro released on Sun 305 in September 1958.

CD Heaven

I have 2 Rosco Gordon CDs in my collection, both of which I can recommend:

"Bootin': The Best Of The RPM Years" (Ace CDCHD 694). Exactly what it says on the title. Includes an RPM issue of "Booted" which failed to make any headway against the Chess hit release. 24 loose as a goose tracks.

"Rosco's Rhythm" (Charly SNAP 222 CD) is basically a complete collection of his sides recorded for Sun plus the Memphis Recording Service sides which weren't released on RPM or Chess. The collection is bookended with the Chess release of "Booted" and Rosco's best known Vee-Jay side "Just A Little Bit." 30 shufflemongous tracks.

There are comprehensive 2CD sets on both Jasmine and JSP which may be worth investigating.