R&B honkers classic LP has been given an additional link.
Friday, 25 July 2014
R&B honkers classic LP has been given an additional link.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
I have had requests for new links to albums which I thought I had lost when my old PC went up in smoke but the good news is that today I found a folder on a back up disc with most of the material which I had given up on.
So here are the covers of the first 3 albums to receive new links. Click on the "Updated Links" page to download and also to go to the original posts where you can get the lowdown on these fine slabs of vinyl!
Use 'em or lose 'em! The links will expire if not used for 30 days. Keep checking the new page for further new links.
Sunday, 20 July 2014
1 Honky Tonk
2 Speak Easy
3 Blues For Two
4 Oh Yes
5 Oh Marie
2 Intermission Riff
3 You Feel It
4 Rockin' Time
5 Sweet Sue
Ripped from vinyl at 128 kbps.
Download from here (no password):
Many thanks to El Enmascarado who salvaged this 1957 Crown LP for an eye watering outlay of 50 cents. As you can see from the above scans the cover was rather trashed, especially the back which made me feel nauseous every time I looked at it. I've included a cleaned up version in the download but I'm afraid my limited graphic skills don't run to reinstating the damaged front cover. The disc itself was in pretty good condition so the sound quality on these mp3s is fine, with just an occasional thump and click.
As for the content, there are similarities with the Bill Ramal LP "Screamin' Saxes" which I posted back in December 2012. Both albums feature a veteran former swing era big band tenor sax player attempting to appeal to the teen market. On "Screamin' Saxes" it was Georgie Auld who honked away gamely on a series of R&B cover versions, including "Honky Tonk" which is also on "Teen Age Dance Party."
Sicilian born Vido Musso was well into his 40s when he cut this LP for the Bihari owned Crown budget label. In the mid 1930s he had joined the Benny Goodman band and was on their recording of "Sing, Sing, Sing." He had spells in the bands of Gene Krupa, Harry James and Woody Herman among others, and after the war he had a successful stay with the Stan Kenton band.
|Vido Musso on sax with Benny Goodman and Big Sid Catlett.|
William Gottlieb collection, Library of Congress
"Teen Age Dance Party" was released in 1957 on Crown which was by that time the Bihari's budget label. Cynics might say that this is a fine example of exploitation, an attempt to leap aboard the current rock and roll craze, and they would be right. We've had a few examples of "exploitation" LPs on the blog before, such as the aforementioned "Screamin' Saxes" and "rock and roll" albums attributed to "Hen Gates" which turned out to be recycled Freddie Mitchell and Lockjaw Davis tracks. And of course there was the Crown LP of "twist" tunes by Jimmy McCracklin which had nothing whatsoever to do with the dance craze but turned out to be an excellent blues album.
Ace Records in the UK own the Modern masters and they have released a CD which includes just about all of Vido's recordings for Modern/ RPM / Crown. Ace CDCHD1035 uses the artwork of the original "The Swingin'st" LP.
Saturday, 12 July 2014
|From: Swing City - Newark Nightlife, 1925-50|
Recorded in New York, July 6th, 1944. Personnel: Miss Rhapsody (vocal) with Reuben Cole's Orchestra : Emmett Berry (trumpet); Walter "Foots" Thomas (tenor sax); Reuben "June" Cole (piano); Harold Underhill (guitar); Billy Taylor (bass); Cozy Cole (drums).
Miss Rhapsody, real name Viola Wells, was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1902. She was already a veteran performer when she recorded three sessions for Savoy in 1944 - 1945. Like many of the artists that Savoy were picking up on at this time she was a regular fixture on the New York club scene, especially at Kelly's Stable on 52nd Street where she performed with Art Tatum, Benny Carter and Billy Daniels. She also appeared in Washington DC, Cleveland and Detroit, appearing with such prominenti as Coleman Hawkins and Nat "King" Cole. Despite regular radio broadcasts and several triumphant appearances at the Apollo (her signature tune, "Brown Gal" being a special favourite of audiences), her Savoy discs are the only records she issued at this successful time in her long career.
We are lucky that "Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50" by Barbara J. Kukla (Rutgers University Press, 2002) includes a chapter on the fascinating life and career of Miss Rhapsody. We are even luckier that this particular chapter can be read on Google Books - just click on the link and you can read about her falling out with Ida Cox, her 14 month stay in Kansas City back in the mid 1930s when it was a wild and wide open city where jazz and swing and blues and boogie were blasting away in the all night joints, her comeback in the 1960s and 1970s, including tours to Europe and more recordings, and movingly, her struggle to overcome the partial loss of a leg and her determination to keep performing almost right up to her death in her beloved Newark in 1984.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
|William Gottlieb Collection - Library of Congress|
Recorded in New York City on June 14th, 1944. Personnel: Hot Lips Page (trumpet, vocals); Floyd "Horsecollar" Williams (alto saxophone); Don Byas, George Johnson (tenor saxophones); Clyde Hart (piano;) John Simmons (bass); Sidney Catlett (drums)
A great jazz trumpeter and blues singer, Oran "Hot Lips" Page was born in Dallas, Texas in 1908. As a young man he was part of classic blues singer Ma Rainey's backing band. In the late 1920s - mid 1930s he was in the Kansas City band scene, playing with Walter Page's Blue Devils, Bennie Moten and Count Basie. He left the Basie outfit before it broke big, for a solo career which somehow never fulfilled its potential. Although he spent some time with the Artie Shaw big band, Hot Lips' forte was working with small groups in the New York jazz scene and taking part in after hours jam sessions at venues like Minton's Playhouse.
Savoy Records, founded in 1942, recorded many artists who featured in the small bands which were part of the NYC jazz club scene. An advert in Billboard from the 4th November 1944 lists releases on Savoy by Pete Brown, Tiny Grimes, Don Byas, Ben Webster, Cozy Cole, Johnny Guarnieri and Miss Rhapsody. On the same page, the "Harlem Hit Parade" was topped by "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You" by the King Cole Trio, with other notable discs being "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" by Lionel Hampton, "Cherry Red Blues" and "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" by Cootie Williams, "I Wonder" by Cecil Gant, and "No One Else Will Do" by The Five Red Caps. Small independent labels occupied 6 of the 10 positions, having taken advantage of the major labels losing ground due to a musicians' strike which started in 1942 but rumbled on into 1944 with majors RCA and Columbia holding out to the last.
Hot Lips Page's background of Kansas City jazz, small group Harlem jump and blues shouting meant that most of his subsequent recordings were in the R&B field although he did make several tours to Europe as a jazz musician. His career ended prematurely in 1954 with his early death due to the hard work and hard living commensurate with the life of a jazz musician.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Recorded in Detroit, October 4th, 1947. Personnel: Howard McGhee (trumpet); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); Leo Parker (baritone sax); Junior Mance (piano); Gene Wright (bass); Chuck Williams (drums).
The disc was reviewed in the Billboard issue of December 13th, 1947. Of "Wild Leo" Billboard said: "Showcase for the bary horn of Leo Parker with boppish backgrounds." As for "El Sino": "Medium tempoed be-bop riffer with top notch Parker bary, Navarro trumpet solos." The trumpet player was in fact Howard McGhee, but Fats Navarro performs on a track further down this post.
The Leo Parker platter was reviewed in the "Hot Jazz" section. On the same page were reviews under the heading "Race" which was the term used by Billboard at the time for what would later (from June 1949 onwards) be called "Rhythm and Blues" in the trade journal. The platter in this section which caught my eye was the Bull Moose Jackson release on King 4181, "I Love You, Yes I Do" / "Sneaky Pete":
Recorded in New York City, August 1947. Personnel, largely unknown, except Bull Moose Jackson (vocals, tenor sax). This disc went on to become the fourth largest rhythm seller of 1948, behind "Tomorrow Night" by Lonnie Johnson, "King Size Papa" by Julia Lee and "Long Gone, parts 1 and 2" by Sonny Thompson. Bull Moose was the top selling rhythm artist of 1948, easily outselling Louis Jordan thanks to big hits like "I Love You, Yes I Do", "All My Love Belongs To You", "I Can't Go On Without You" and "Love Me Tonight".
Many Bull Moose discs featured a ballad on one side and a jump tune on the other side. Collections of his material which were released from the 1980s onwards tended to feature the latter, often featuring "lee-rics" such as "Big Ten Inch" and "I Want A Bow Legged Woman." His ballads were generally consigned to the dustbin of musical history. However, I managed to resurrect "I Love You, Yes I Do" from a 1979 "Old King Gold" LP, hence the dodgy sound quality despite some TLC on my conversion software.
Continuing my Billboard search on Leo Parker, I came across this Savoy advert in the issue of 20th November, 1948:
Baritone sax man Paul Williams' "Waxie Maxie" was also a good seller, although his "Thirty-Five Thirty" was an even bigger success. Other sax instros on Savoy that year included "September Song" by Don Byas and two from Wild Bill Moore: "Bubbles" and "We're Gonna Rock." Other labels were in on the sax action too - King / Gotham with "Temptation" by Earl Bostic, and Atlantic with "Blue Harlem" and "Midnight Special" by the Tiny Grimes band featuring Red Prysock.
Enough from me, it's time to rock and bop to four of the tracks from the above advert: "Waxie Maxie" by Paul Williams; "Spinal" by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and his Be-Boppers (with Fats Navarro); "Cornbread" by Hal Singer; and "Barbados" by Charlie Parker.
Thursday, 12 June 2014
This is an alternate take of the B side of RPM 431, the A side being "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" aka "Don't Touch Me Baby."
Both sides were recorded in Los Angeles in January 1955. Johnny "Guitar" Watson (guitar, vocals) was accompanied by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra featuring James Parr (trumpet); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Big Jim Wynn (baritone sax); Willard McDaniel (piano); Billy Hadnott (bass); Jesse Price (drums). Just about all of these names will be familiar to long time followers of this blog.
The reason I chose this particular track as the headline of this post is that the title sums up the reason why I haven't posted since last September. I can only apologise to everyone for dropping out of sight for so long. Ever increasing pressure of work has kept me away from blogging. On top of that (or perhaps because of that) I lost my enthusiasm for music - months went by during which I listened to no music at all. Every evening I was coming home from work and finding myself too tired to do anything much other than fall asleep in front of the TV. Not a good situation to be in.
Faced with this dilemma - working or enjoying a reasonable quality of life - there was only one thing to do. Yes, you've guessed it - give up work. I'll be retiring from drudgery in a few months time (end of August) and so I'll be able to devote time to keeping Be Bop Wino up and running.
The good news is that during the first half of my absence I ripped a bunch of vinyl discs to mp3, including the tracks on this post, and so there is a stockpile of material to post.
The bad news concerns Rapidshare. I was able to maintain a large back catalogue of links by taking out a Rapidshare premium account which cost around £8 per month. Unfortunately Rapidshare have decided to increase the cost to around £50 per month which is a total rip off, so many of these links will die as I refuse to stump up that amount of cash. If anyone has any advice on alternative file sharing sites, please get in touch.
Anyway, back to Johnny "Guitar" Watson. In late 1952 he made his recording debut on piano and vocals on the Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones single "Pachuko Hop" / "Motor Head Baby" (Combo 12) and I've featured these tracks on the playlist below. In 1953, billed as "Young John Watson", he was signed by Ralph Bass for Federal where he recorded the astonishing "Space Guitar" in amongst pretty standard R&B fare which included a re-recording of "Motor Head Baby."
In 1955 he was signed to the Bihari Brothers' RPM label. I've included a further 3 tracks from his RPM output on the playlist, all recorded around 1955 in Los Angeles. The RPM sides are all alternate takes to the original released versions - "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" (RPM 431), "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" (RPM 436) and "She Moves Me" (RPM 471). "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" was originally recorded by Earl King. Johnny's cover version was his most successful release on RPM.
Here's a short playlist of some of Johnny's RPM work - all alternate takes to the released versions, plus Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones on Combo. Fans of swing and jump will recognise the "Pachuko Hop" riff - it's Lucky Millinder's "Apollo Jump."
Sunday, 29 September 2013
His peak years are well covered by 3 Chronological Roy Brown CDs on the Classics label:
Saturday, 21 September 2013
Here’s a cracking little collection released on UK Ace in 1985. There’s enough jumpin’ and jivin’ and bluesin’ chantoosin’ and weepin’ and cryin’ to keep any R&B fan happy. Not only do you get a tight jump combo, you also get star vocalists Margie Day and Tommy Brown and bootin’ tenor sax from Noble “Thin Man” Watts. You have probably concluded that I quite like this LP.
A few months before signing with Dot, the Griffin Brothers band had been augmented by singer Margaret Hoffler, another native of Norfolk, who had moved to New York in the mid 1940s to pursue a singing career and had performed vocal duties with a group called “Four Bars And a Melody”.
In 1947 they had released a single “Near You” / “It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream” on Savoy. The platter had been mercilessly panned in a Billboard review, with Margaret’s song stylings receiving some especially cutting remarks – “thin and listless”, “straining uncomfortably in her chant.” As you can hear on the featured LP Margaret would prove to be a dynamic and earthy blues singer when she recorded with the Griffin Brothers.
The band’s first release “Street Walkin’ Daddy” / “Riffin’ With Griffin” sold well, and their next release, with both sides featuring Margie, “Little Red Rooster” / “Blues All Alone”, was a bigger hit, reaching number 5 in the R&B charts in 1951.
In early 1951, the Griffin Brothers recruited Atlanta based blues singer Tommy Brown as another vocalist. Brown had recorded some raucous sides for Savoy in January 1951, including “Atlanta Boogie” which featured a chorus of “Let’s rock and roll till the break of day.” It’s possible that the backing band on the session was the Griffin Brothers outfit, but this has never been confirmed.
The band recorded a cover version of Dave Bartholomew’s “Tra La La” with Tommy on vocals, achieving another R&B top ten hit in the summer of 1951 and then gained even more success with a Margie Day double sider, “Pretty Baby” / ”Stubborn As A Mule” which reached number 10 in the R&B charts.
Tommy Brown’s “Weepin’ And Cryin’” which was released late in 1951 became the band’s biggest chart hit, reaching number 3 but by then Brown was already in the process of leaving, having been called up for military service after which he pursued a solo career.
Margie Day left the band in August 1952, toured and recorded with Paul Williams on Dot and Decca, and made further R&B and jazz recordings on various labels, eventually returning to Norfolk where she organised a community project to help children wishing to develop careers in the performing arts.
The Griffin Brothers Orchestra continued to record for Dot into 1954 when the band split with Buddy joining Chess Records.
Sleevenotes to “Riffin’ With The Griffin Brothers Orchestra” by Ray Topping
Notes to Acrobat CD “The Griffin Brothers: Blues With A Beat” by Dave Penny
Article on Margie Day in “Dancing On The Edge” Vol 1 No 3 by ‘Fessa John Hook
Ripped from vinyl @ 320 kbps. No password.
Download from here:
1. Little Red Rooster – vocal: Margie Day (December 1950, Dot 1019)
Sunday, 8 September 2013
1. Lowdown Baby
2. Jump Everybody Jump
3. You're My Darling
4. Ghost Train
5. I Hope You're Satisfied
6. Pack Up All Your Rags
7. Midnight Grinder
8. Can't Stop My Crying
2. Love Fever Blues
3. That's What Makes My Baby Fat
4. I Had A Notion
5. Who's Gonna Cry For Me
6. Take Your Time
7. Crazy Mixed Up World
8. Going Going Gone
This 26 track CD came out on Acrobat in 2003. It features lots of the early jazzy sides with Johnny Griffin plus some of the later R&B material. Still available on Amazon.
And lastly Johnny Griffin’s debut album for Blue Note is a monster. Get hip and get it!