01) Blues In My Heart - Miss Rhapsody
02) Sugar - Miss Rhapsody
03) Downhearted Blues - Miss Rhapsody
04) Sweet Man - Miss Rhapsody
05) He May Be Your Man - Miss Rhapsody
06) The Night Before Judgement Day - Miss Rhapsody
07) I Fell For You - Miss Rhapsody
01) Salty Papa - Albinia Jones
02) Evil Gal Blues - Albinia Jones
03) Albinia's Blues - Albinia Jones
04) What's The Matter With Me* - Albinia Jones
05) Walkin' And Talkin' Blues - Linda Hopkins
06) Sad And Lonely - Linda Hopkins
07) Me And Dirty Blues - Linda Hopkins
08) Baby Please Come Home - Linda Hopkins
* - originally released as "Don't You Wear No Black"
01) Longing In My Heart - Little Esther
02) You Can Bet Your Life I Do - Little Esther
03) T'ain't What You Say - Little Esther
04) If It's News To You - Little Esther
05) It's So Good - Little Esther
06) Do You Ever Think Of Me - Little Esther
07) Oo Papa Do - Little Esther
01) Pitiful - Big Maybelle
02) There I Said It Again - Big Maybelle
03) So Long - Big Maybelle
04) Tell Me Who - Big Maybelle
05) Ramblin' Blues - Big Maybelle
06) A Little Bird - Big Maybelle
07) Blues Early Early - Big Maybelle
08) A Good Man Is Hard To Find - Big Maybelle
* Note - the first upload links had "Salty Papa" and "Evil Gal Blues" by Albinia Jones wrongly tagged (see Daddy Cool's comment). I have corrected the tagging, and re-upped the whole 2LP set. There are now new links above with which you can download "Ladies Sing The Blues (Version 2)" with the correct tagging. - BW
** Further update - we're now on Version 3 as I have adjusted the filenames of the two tracks slightly! And that's enough of that ... :D
The 15 volume Savoy Roots of Rock'n'Roll series has been collected on several other blogs, specifically on "Don't Ask Me I Don't Know"
and on "Blues, Blues, Blues."
Quite a few of the volumes were uploaded to Be Bop Wino many years ago but the posts disappeared in various takedowns plus my cover scans were so poor that I didn't repost!
Reassembling the 15 volumes has been a collaborative effort among various bloggers and commenters with the last major "hole" being filled by "Blues, Blues, Blues" - the 2 volumes of "Ladies Sing The Blues" available as Flac downloads.
While that was happening a generous donor sent in both sets to Be Bop Wino in the form of 4 CD-Rs which arrived through the post! And thereby hangs a tale.
Our kind donor is Steve Barrow who transferred both LP sets to digital format using an audio CD burner and then sent the resulting CD-Rs, plus a CD of sleeve photos through the post to myself. The cover photos aren't scans but digital photographs. Covers include front, back and gatefold insides. I've ripped mp3s @ 320 kbps from the CD-Rs and the results are posted here after a few weeks' work (and delay).
As for the music, both albums are excellent listening and how I wish I'd bought them back when they were much easier to find. And so to "Ladies Sing The Blues (Roots of Rock 'n' Roll Vol.5) -
I'm not going into an in-depth examination of each of the featured artists as their careers are covered in the sleevenotes by Sheldon Harris as are the recording details. However I've done my usual digging around to add the original release details of the tracks on this album. The music ranges from the "classic blues" influenced Miss Rhapsody (Viola Wells) and the similar Albinia Jones to the mid-to-late-1950s rockin' R&B of Little Esther and Big Maybelle.
Many of the Federal recordings were also with the Johnny Otis band going under other names (e.g. Earle Warren, Preston Love) as they were contracted to Mercury then Peacock. On Esther's return to Savoy in 1956 she was backed by such notable musicians as Hal Singer, Warren Lucky and Mickey "Guitar" Baker. Her second and final session for Savoy came in 1959 and backing probably included Sam "The Man" Taylor and Mickey Baker.
It seems pretty certain that the gap between recording sessions was due to Esther's drug problem. Marvin Goldberg has written an article on the "Little Esther" phase of her career before she re-emerged as Esther Phillips. You can find it here (and it is well worth the read) -
As for the other artists - Big Maybelle was already an established hitmaker with OKeh / Columbia when she arrived at Savoy. Her biggest hit for her new label was "Candy" which isn't on either volume of "Ladies Sing The Blues" but can be found on the first album of the series - "The Roots of Rock'N Roll." On this collection Big Maybelle (who had her own drug issues) is in fine bawlin' and squallin' form. "Ramblin' Blues" and "Blues, Early Early" (originally a two parter but here presented as one continuous track) are knock 'em dead blues performances.
As for the earlier wartime tracks of Miss Rhapsody and Albinia Jones (for National), it's all good! And the Linda Hopkins tracks from the early 50s fill in the chronological gap. There's more Albinia Jones and Big Maybelle in Volume 2 which will be coming up real soon. Hang on in there, blues fans!
Sweet Man / Downhearted Blues - Miss Rhapsody with Reuben Cole's Orchestra - Savoy 534 - released in April 1945.
Blues In My Heart / Sugar - Miss Rhapsody with Reuben Cole's Orchestra - Savoy 536 - released in April 1945.
Night Before Judgement Day / We're Sisters Under The Skin - Miss Rhapsody and Orchestra (tenor sax solo Eddie Davis) - Savoy 565 - released 1945?
He May Be Your Man / I Fell For You - Viola Wells - Savoy 5532 - released in January 1947.
Billboard 5th April 1947
Evil Gal Blues / Don't You Wear No Black - Albinia Jones with Don Byas' Swing Seven - National 9012 - released in May 1945.
Salty Papa Blues / Albinia's Blues - Albinia Jones with Don Byas' Swing Seven - National 9013 - released in May 1945.
Billboard 19th May 1945
Walkin' And Talkin' Blues / Sad And Lonely - Linda Hopkins - Savoy 834 - released in February 1952.
Me And Dirty Blues / Baby Please Come Home - first released on this LP, Savoy SJL 2233.
T'Ain't Watcha Say It's Watcha Do / You Can Bet Your Life - Little Esther - Savoy 1193 - released in May 1956.
Longing In My Heart / If It's News To You - Little Esther - Savoy 1516 - released in July 1957.
It's So Good / Do You Ever Think Of Me - Little Esther - Savoy 1563 - released in March 1959.
Oo Papa Do - first released on this LP.
Billboard 16th June 1956
Mean To Me / Tell Me Who - Big Maybelle - Savoy 1500 - released in September 1956.
So Long / Ring Dang Dilly - Big Maybelle - Savoy 1527 - released in December 1957.
Blues, Early Early (Part 1) / Blues, Early Early (Part 2) - Big Maybelle - Savoy 1536 - released in May 1958.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find / Pitiful - Big Maybelle - Savoy 1572 - released in July 1959.
Ramblin' Blues; There I've Said It Again - first released on Savoy LP MG 14011: Blues, Candy And Big Maybelle, in 1958.
A Little Bird Told Me - first released on this LP.
Billboard 10th November, 1956
With many thanks to Steve Barrow.