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 May 2020

Panama Francis All-Stars 1949

Side 1:
01) Jitterbug Jump (unreleased)
02) Honey Blues - Gotham 243
03) The Crackerjack - Gotham 225
04) Panama's Jump (unreleased title)
05) Peach Tree Shuffle - Gotham 225
06) Satchel Shuffle - Gotham 214
07) Pussycats At Midnight - Gotham 214
08) Out Of Nowhere (unreleased take)

Side 2:
01) Jitterbug Jump (unreleased take)
02) Honey Blues (unreleased take)
03) The Crackerjack (unreleased take)
04) Panama's Jump (unreleased title)
05) Satchel Shuffle (unreleased take)
06) Out Of Nowhere (unreleased take)
07) Scrambled Eggs - Gotham 243

This LP was originally posted back in 2008 but the post remained "unre-upped" after the first takedown of the blog so here it is with all new complete artwork and a little bit of additional incomplete information on the first release of the tracks.

The notes on the back cover are very comprehensive and are a must read on the background of Panama Francis. Anyway here's what I wrote on the original post _

This Krazy Kat LP (KK 813) from 1987 collects tracks recorded by drummer Panama Francis and a small band for Gotham Records over two sessions in 1949. Panama Francis had played in the bands of Roy Eldridge, Lucky Millinder and Cab Calloway. A small unit of the Lucky Millinder group recorded for Queen (King subsidiary) under the name of Panama Francis and his Miamians while Millinder was under contract to Decca (other Millinder sessions were recorded for Queen by a group led by Bullmoose Jackson). Panama led his own group for a short time before joining the Willie Bryant band and then moving on to the Cab Calloway outfit.

It was while he was with Calloway that he recorded his first session for Gotham in 1948, leading a small group of musicians from the Calloway band under the name of the Panama Francis All-Stars. In the 1949 New York City sessions featured here, Panama led a different group of musicians which probably had Danny Turner on soprano, alto and baritone saxes, George Kelly on tenor sax, Doc Bagby on piano and Herb Gordy on bass.

The music is that mixture of jazz and early R&B which is the very stuff of the bebopwino blog. Only six of these sides were ever released, on 3 Gotham singles. The final track, “Scrambled Eggs”, is a real oddity. It is a take of “Jitterbug Jump” with loads of added echo and dubbed on sax and organ. To my ears it sounds ghastly, while the original undubbed track is a fine piece of sax-led proto-R&B.

Panama Francis, of course, went on to become one of the top session musicians in New York, playing on many R&B and Rock’n’Roll hit recordings.

Original Releases:

Satchel Shuffle / Pussy Cats At Midnight - Panama Francis and His All Stars - Gotham 214 - 1950

The Crackerjack / Peach Tree Shuffle - Panama Francis and Orchestra - Gotham 225 - July 1950

Billboard 1st July 1950

Scrambled Eggs / Honey Blues - Panama Francis All-Stars - Gotham 243 - 1950

You can listen to "Stompin' With Panama" which was recorded for Gotham with musicians from the Cab Calloway band in 1948 or early 1949 on the Internet Archive here:

Mucho rockin' rhythm to come on Be Bop Wino!


Bob Mac said...

Many thanks for this BW, he was certainly one of the biggest names in blues/R&B drumming.

la musica e vita said...

There was a Krazy Kat Record Label? I'd collect that just for the label!
What's the story about that?

boogiewoody said...

Yes, Krazy Kat and Flyright were UK reissue labels run by Interstate Music.

Here is a link to a discography of Krazy Kat -

And here is a link to Flyright -

There are some Krazy Kat and Flyright LPs on this blog.