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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.


Bob Mac said...

Thanks for this BW. I'm pretty sure I have everything available by Roscoe that was recorded at Sun & RPM, but I'm not sure what I have from Vee-Jay sessions, so I'm glad to get this one.

boogiewoody said...

Cheers Bob. I don't have Rosco's Duke sides, which is a bit of a shame!


Daddy Cool said...

Bob, thanks for this one.
On “Surely I Love You” the personnel named [Colston-Moore-Simmons] were musicians on the session - The Spaniels provided the vocal backing.
The location of the last two sessions is not known but we can be pretty certain that it wasn’t VJ’s studio or Universal – I do have a date for the second though.
I’m very curious as to where you got the possible musicians [Holloway–Moore–Chism] from as two of of them fit with a theory of mine re. location of those last sessions.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Daddy Cool

Bruyninckx lists the possible musicians but quotes the sleevenotes of this LP as the scource. Would the possible location be Shreveport?


Daddy Cool said...

It’s favourite at the moment – I’m sure I have stereo cuts filed that I want to listen to when(if?) I find them.
A favour – if you have “SCREAMING SAXOPHONES -Vol.1 HAVE A BALL” (Swingtime ST 1002 (85)) – could you feature it sometime – I’m after the Joe Houston tracks. Thanks.

boogiewoody said...

Ask and you shall receive, Daddy Cool -

re-upped in January 2018!

Thanks for the info on the vocal group behind Rosco. According to the sleevenotes he was resident in Shreveport for a while and Chico Chism and James Moore were recruited to his road band in that city.


Bob Mac said...

BW: I already have SCREAMING SAXOPHONES Vol.1 but if you have others in the series I for one would greatly appreciate copies.

Bob Mac said...

BW: Re Rosco's Duke sides, I just had a look, seems he didn't record much for Duke, and as far as I can see, all - or at least most - of the Duke sides are on the 2 CD Rosco Gordon - Just A Little Bit Plus - All The Singles As & Bs (1951-1961) which I have. Just let me know if you need a copy and I'll dig it out.

boogiewoody said...

Hi Bob - sorry for delay. I don't have any more volumes of "Screaming Saxophones" in fact I don't know if any others actually came out. I would be most grateful if you could get a copy of Rosco's Singles CD to me!

Many Thanks


Daddy Cool said...

Thanks for the link - somehow missed that one.
Rosco is a bit of enigma with quite long gaps in recordings at times plus delays in release of masters.
If Jasmine have it right there should be 16 issued sides. There are four or more still unissued.

boogiewoody said...

Cheers Daddy Cool. According to Bruyninckx 4 unreleased sides are - Del Ray Lover, Walking, plus 2 earlier versions of Let 'Em Try and New Orleans La.


carlos said...

Como siempre gracias por tú enorme esfuerzo eh información. Saludos.