Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tiny Bradshaw LPs and those mighty 78s



It seems fitting to post the new links to 2 Tiny Bradshaw LPs as three of our recently featured tenor sax men had spells in his band - Red Prysock, Sil Austin and Noble Watts.

The main post on Tiny is about the King LP "A Tribute To The Late Tiny Bradshaw, The Great Composer." This magnificent post which is guaranteed to treble your brainpower, increase your vocabulary tenfold and transform you into the hippest character in your neighbourhood (if you aren't already) can be found here:

http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/tribute-to-late-tiny-bradshaw-great_03.html

Not only do you get a fantastic LP to download, you also get biographical details and a pile of scans of labels and EP covers from Joan.

For those of you with a short attention span or who are already at the top of the hipness scale, the new download link for "The Great Composer" is:

http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/3222786/file.html

The Krazy Kat LP "Stomping Room Only" can be found at:

http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/tiny-bradshaw-stomping-room-only.html

There is some duplication of tracks with "The Great Composer" but there are enough dynamite extras such as "T-99" and "Walk That Mess" to make it well worth your while downloading both albums.

The new download link for "Stomping Room Only" is:

http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/49375238/file.html

We mustn't forget 3 superb 78s that El Emascarado ripped and sent in. These posts are well worth investigating for the streaming audio, label shots, and insights of El Enmascarado ( a real musician as well as failed Mexican wrestler). These posts can be found at:

Well Oh Well / I Hate You











http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/well-oh-well-tiny-bradshaw.html

South of the Orient / Later











http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/south-of-orient-later-tiny-bradshaw-his.html

Walkin' The Chalk Line / Bradshaw Boogie










http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/walkin-chalk-line-bradshaw-boogie-tiny.html

These tracks were featured in the downloadable series "Jump & Jive On 78".

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sil Austin LPs



Okay groovers, 3 LPs by Sil Austin have been re-upped, plus I've added "Slow Walk Rock" which originally appeared on the Schadenfreudian Therapy blog some years back. For that album I've brightened up the cover scans and re-tagged the mp3s.

Normally I only post my own rips or donated rips, but in this case as Schadenfreudian Therapy is no longer with us, I have succumbed to temptation. Many thanks to Baikinange for originally uploading this monstrously good LP.

The main Sil Austin post on which you will find both these LPs is here:


You will find an outline of Sil's career, download links, plus updated artwork for "Everything's Shakin'". Here are the new download links if you don't wish to read the original post although I strongly recommend that you do as it will transform you from a hopeless square into a stylish, suave and knowledgeable hepcat.



In 1959 Sil recorded an album of ballads with string and vocal chorus accompaniment. "Sil Austin Plays Pretty For The People" was quite a departure from his previous full-on rock 'n' roll LPs. A track from the album, "Danny Boy," was a pop hit for Sil thus justifying the new approach. You will find a link to a reissued and truncated version of the LP on this post:


I have updated the artwork to go with this album. Again, for those who have no wish to descend into the depths of the world of Be Bop Wino, here is the new download link:


Sil Austin Plays Pretty For The People Again -

This 1967 follow up to "Sil Austin Plays Pretty For The People" was donated by Oracle, who ran a cool retro/jazz/lounge/latin blog called Portal Of Groove which is sadly no longer with us. The front cover, which appears to be populated by refugees from "Yellow Submarine", jars somewhat with the 1940s / 50s look of Be Bop Wino but Sil still looks pretty cool.

The original post is here:


The download link is here:


Many thanks to Oracle.

Coming soon - more Big Apple sax blast with Freddie Mitchell, Buddy Lucas and Jesse Powell. PLUS Tiny Bradshaw - the band which featured Red Prysock, Sil Austin and Noble Watts, although not all at the same time!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Bongo Blues / Dee's Boogie - Dee Williams Sextette (Savoy 684)





Recorded in Los Angeles, on February 18th, 1949. Released on February 29th, 1949.

Personnel: John Anderson (trumpet); Gene Montgomery (tenor sax); Richard Brown (baritone sax); Devonia "Dee" Williams (piano); Charles "Chuck" Norris (guitar); Morris Edwards (bass); Roy Porter (drums).

Devonia Williams was for many years the pianist in the Johnny Otis band. In 1949 she recorded some sides under her own name - "Bongo Blues" / "Dee's Boogie" was released as by the "Dee Williams Sextette" and "Midnite Creep" / " Double Trouble Hop" (Savoy 716) was released as by "The California Playboys."

"Bongo Blues" sold well. Billboard rated it highly: "Smart amalgam of Cu-bop and Harlem Jump, with the inevitable honk tenor to insure (sic) commercial potential." "Dee's Boogie" wasn't rated so highly: "Formula romper in the loose wig manner: pounding rhythm, one-note tenor solos with answering riffs."

The above line up is a good example of how musicians in 1940s Los Angeles could shuttle back and forth between jazz and R&B gigs. Gene Montgomery and Roy Porter were both members of the Howard McGhee band which in 1946 also featured Charlie Parker and Sonny Criss.


"Blow, Gene, Blow" is an unreleased track from the Dee Williams session which gives us a chance to hear Gene Montgomery  stretching out a bit. He can also be heard on "What Is This Thing Called Love" which was recorded at the same 1947 Elks Hall jam session which gave us "The Hunt" in which Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon squared off against each other. On "What Is This Thing Called Love" tenor sax duties are carried out by Gene Montgomery and Wild Bill Moore. Yep, the Wild Bill Moore of "We're Gonna Rock" fame.

Anyway, here's the Dee Williams Sextette with "Blow, Gene, Blow":



Coming soon on Be Bop Wino: more NYC rocking R&B sax from Sil Austin, Buddy Lucas and Jesse Powell, a very weird 78 rpm disc by Tadd Dameron's Big Ten, courtesy El Enmascarado, and an all day drinking session with The Clovers, with input from Joan. Also in the pipeline - just what is the truth behind The Twist? And There's Good News Tonight > There's Good Blues Tonight > There's Good Rockin' Tonight. Plus whatever else takes my fancy!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Red Prysock LPs

On with the Big Beat honkfest! In this post we feature updates to previous Red Prysock posts, especially the revamped "Cryin' My Heart Out" Saxophonograph LP. For a little bit of fun I thought I'd come up with a new front cover which is more "in period" as it utilizes a 1940s photo of Red with Tiny Grimes in New York. The real cover and label artwork is below.

The original (improved) "Cryin' My Heart Out" post is here:






Download "Cryin' My Heart Out" from here:


An anonymous donor sent in "The Big Sound Of Red Prysock" which is a 1964 LP on the budget Forum Circle label. The original post is here: 




I can't find any discographical information on this release but having listened to it earlier today I can say that "Castle Rock" is one of the best honk tracks I've ever heard.

Download "The Big Sound Of Red Prysock" from here:


Back in 2010, Jeff sent in a copy of the Sil Austin v Red Prysock sax duel LP, "Battle Royal." You can read the original post with comments from Jeff here:






Download "Battle Royal" from here:


Coming soon - more New York honk with Sil Austin, Buddy Lucas and Freddie Mitchell.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Dance The Rock & Roll (Atlantic LP 8013)



Side 1
1. Willis Jackson - Gator's Groove
2. Chuck Calhoun - Hey Tiger
3. Tommy Ridgley - Jam Up
4. Arnett Cobb - Flying Home Mambo
5. Joe Morris - Wow!
6. Arnett Cobb - Mr Pogo
7. Frank Culley - Gone After Hours

Side 2
1. Arnett Cobb - Light Like That
2. Joe Morris - Weasel Walk
3. Frank Culley - Culley Flower
4. Willis Jackson - Rock! Rock! Rock!
5. Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist
6. Chuck Calhoun - Barrel House
7. Tiny Grimes - Midnight Special

LP cover from the PopBopRockTilUDrop blog.

LP originally released in 1958

Download from:


Ah yes, there's nothing like a bit of rock 'n' roll exploitation to bring in the money, and here's as fine an example as any, although with a lot more class than budget label "Hen Gates" albums. Atlantic Records, despite being the premier R&B label in the land, wasn't above recycling its back catalogue under a slightly misleading cover. They even had a Ray Charles twist album, and to describe the tracks on "Dance The Rock & Roll" as, well, rock 'n' roll, was surely stretching things a bit.

That said, from a 21st century perspective this is a fine collection of R&B sax tracks. They date from 1948 through to 1955. No doubt some of them could be considered to be genuine rock 'n' roll or as near as dammit, but Tiny Grimes, Joe Morris and Frank Culley surely don't come under that description. Fifty six years later, however, arguing over which tracks can be described as R&B, rock 'n' roll, or even jazz just doesn't seem to matter any more. It's a cracking collection of New York Big Beat Honk with, as well as the credited artists, Hal Singer, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Red Prysock, Lee Allen (on temporary transfer from New Orleans) and Johnny Griffin on board. "Chuck Calhoun" is the pseudonym of Jesse Stone who was very much the creator of the backbeat based Atlantic sound of the 1950s.

This is a reconstruction of the original LP. Twelve of the fourteen tracks are from the "Atlantic Honkers" double LP set. The exceptions are the Tiny Grimes and Tommy Ridgley tracks which are from the first two volumes of the double LP series "Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947 - 1974." The cover is from the admirable PopBopRockTilUDrop blog. It is probably the worst designed LP cover in the entire history of recorded music, but don't let that put you off. Download this latest episode of the Big Beat Honkfest and play loud, loud, loud!

The tracks:

1. Willis Jackson - Gator's Groove
2. Chuck Calhoun - Hey Tiger
3. Tommy Ridgley - Jam Up
4. Arnett Cobb - Flying Home Mambo
5. Joe Morris - Wow!
6. Arnett Cobb - Mr Pogo
7. Frank Culley - Gone After Hours
8. Arnett Cobb - Light Like That
9. Joe Morris - Weasel Walk
10. Frank Culley - Culley Flower
11. Willis Jackson - Rock! Rock! Rock!
12. Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist
13. Chuck Calhoun - Barrel House
14. Tiny Grimes - Midnight Special

Recording details:

Willis Jackson (tenor sax) - "Gator's Groove" and "Rock! Rock! Rock!" recorded in NYC on May 23rd, 1952. Rest of personnel unknown. "Rock! Rock! Rock!" originally released on Atlantic 976. "Gator's Groove" originally issued on Atlantic 975.

Chuck Calhoun and his Atlantic All-Stars - "Hey Tiger" and "Barrel House" recorded in NYC on 24th June, 1955. Personnel: Jesse Stone, aka "Chuck Calhoun" (leader, arranger); Hal Singer, Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor saxes); Mickey Baker (guitar), rest unknown. Both sides originally released on Atlantic 1120.

Tommy Ridgley - "Jam Up" recorded in NYC, August 8th 1954. Personnel: Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); rest unknown. Originally released on Atlantic 1039.

Arnett Cobb - "Mr Pogo" recorded NYC, 19th April, 1954. Personnel: Ed Lewis (trumpet); Al Grey (trombone); Arnett Cobb (tenor sax); Charlie Ferguson (tenor and baritone saxes); George Rhodes (piano); Walter Buchanan (bass); Al Walker (drums); Bill Sanford (arranger). Originally released on Atlantic 1042.
"Light Like That" and "Flying Home Mambo" recorded in NYC on January 19th, 1955. Personnel same as for "Mr Pogo". Both sides originally released on Atlantic 1056.

Joe Morris - "Wow!" recorded in NYC on September 19th, 1948. "Weasel Walk" recorded in NYC on December 22nd, 1948. Personnel on both tracks:  Joe Morris (trumpet); Matthew Gee (trombone); Johnny Griffin (tenor sax); Bill McLemore (baritone sax); Elmo Hope (piano); Percy Heath (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums). Both sides originally released on Atlantic 870.

Frank Culley - "Hop 'n' Twist" (aka "Fish Tail") recorded in NYC, September 1949. Personnel: Frank Culley (tenor sax); Harry Van Walls (piano); rest unknown. Originally released on Atlantic 902.
"Gone After Hours" recorded in NYC, August 12th, 1950. Personnel as for "Hop 'n' Twist." Originally released on Atlantic 922.
"Culley Flower" recorded in NYC on 27th February, 1951. Personnel: Wallace Wilson (trumpet); Walter "Phatz" Morris (trombone); Frank Culley (tenor sax); Randy Weston (piano); Count Edmondson (bass); Connie Kay (drums). Originally released on Atlantic 935.

Tiny Grimes - "Midnight Special" (aka "See See Rider") recorded in Cleveland on May 1st, 1948. Personnel: The Tiny Grimes Quintet -  Red Prysock (tenor sax); Jimmy Saunders (piano); Tiny Grimes (guitar), Ike Isaacs (bass); Jerry Potter (drums). Originally released on Atlantic 865 (B side of "Annie Laurie"). 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Al King, Warren Lucky and Haywood Henry - Thunderbolt!





                         

Side A
1. Warren Lucky - Paradise Rock
2. Warren Lucky - Thunderbolt
3. Warren Lucky - Paradise Roll
4. Warren Lucky - Fish Bait
5. Al King - Jay Bird
6. Al King - Melancholy Horn
7. Al King - Strollin' Out

Side B
1. Al King - Flyin' With The King
2. Al King - A King Is Blue
3. Al King - Big Wind
4. Al King - Royal Crown Blues
5. Haywood Henry - Sweet Georgia Brown
6. Al King - Easy Ridin'
7. Al King - Joy Ride

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from:

http://www18.zippyshare.com/v/8676344/file.html

This is a re-up of an LP I posted back in March 2008. I've added new front and back cover scans along with label scans. Back when I originally posted this album I hadn't worked out how to scan a complete LP cover so here, very belatedly, is a properly reproduced set of covers.

I recently reread the John A. Jackson biography of Alan Freed, "Big Beat Heat" which is one of my favourite R&B / rock 'n' roll books. It has rekindled my interest in the sax driven band sound that Freed used for his live rock 'n' roll shows, starting with Paul Williams at the infamous Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland in 1952. Later he had the Buddy Johnson band and even the Count Basie band provide accompaniment for his theater and studio shows. He also organised his own Alan Freed Big Rock 'n' Roll band in which at various times prominent New York based sax players such as Freddie Mitchell, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Buddy Lucas, Red Prysock and Big Al Sears served.

So fired up by all this Big Beat sax action, I'll be embarking on a series of posts of the finest NYC rockin' instrumental sounds of the mid 1950s. The bad news is that most of them are re-ups, but there will be new stuff mixed in there too. Re-ups will all feature upgraded cover and label scans and revised tagging so that they can be downloaded straight to your rockin' media player.

There is of course another reason for so many recent re-ups. Although existing Rapidshare links on the blog still appear to be working, I don't expect this to last much longer. After a drastic and mistaken change to their pricing policy which now includes the cessation of its free upload service, I expect that Rapidshare will soon disappear. I am therefore trying to transfer stuff over to zippyshare and I am also taking the opportunity to upgrade posts from the early days of the blog.

This LP features rockin' sax instros from the Joe Davis group of labels. I've added information I've found on the the release of these sides along with some Billboard reviews I found online. These reviews tend to be pretty unflattering, but the music contained herein is still more than worthy of your rockin' attention. Depend upon it, honk fans!

The tracks:

1. Warren Lucky - Paradise Rock
2. Warren Lucky - Thunderbolt
3. Warren Lucky - Paradise Roll
4. Warren Lucky - Fish Bait
5. Al King - Jay Bird
6. Al King - Melancholy Horn
7. Al King - Strollin' Out
8. Al King - Flyin' With The King
9. Al King - A King Is Blue
10. Al King - Big Wind
11. Al King - Royal Crown Blues
12. Haywood Henry - Sweet Georgia Brown
13. Al King - Easy Ridin'
14. Al King - Joy Ride

Session Details:

8. Al King - Flyin' With The King
9. Al King - A King Is Blue
10. Al King - Big Wind
11. Al King - Royal Crown Blues

Recorded as by Al (Tenor Sax) King and His Royal Crowns, NYC, December 4th 1952.
Personnel: Al King (tenor sax); Harry Van Walls (piano); Johnny Saunders (guitar); Thomas Barney (bass); Ernie Heyward (drums)

Big Wind / Royal Crown Blues released on MGM 11430, January / February 1953

Flyin' With The King / A King Is Blue released on MGM 11508, June 1953
"Okay instrumental honker of wider musical than commercial interest." / "More of the same stuff, tho this is a slow mood blues." - Billboard

5. Al King - Jay Bird
6. Al King - Melancholy Horn
7. Al King - Strollin' Out
13. Al King - Easy Ridin'
14. Al King - Joy Ride

Recorded as by Al King and His Kingsmen, NYC, February 15th 1956
Personnel: Al King (tenor sax); Solomon Moore (baritone sax); James Sigler (piano / organ); Eddie McFadden (guitar); Thomas Barney (bass); Francisco De Silva (drums)

Joy Ride / Melancholy Horn released on Davis 448, June 1956
"An instrumental side with tenor sax setting a mad pace for the band. The blowing, for all its sound and fury has no clear aim. Even as dance music it is poorly conceived." / "Tenor and baritone saxes kick a simple riff back and forth without seeming to know what to do with it. The basic idea is repetitious and unimaginative." - Billboard (ouch!)

Remainder of this session unreleased.

1. Warren Lucky - Paradise Rock
2. Warren Lucky - Thunderbolt
3. Warren Lucky - Paradise Roll
4. Warren Lucky - Fish Bait

Recorded as by Warren (Tenor Sax) Luckey and Combo, NYC March 3rd 1955
Personnel: Warren Lucky (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Peck Morrison (bass); Specs Bailey (drums)

Paradise Rock / Paradise Roll released on Jay-Dee 809, March 1956
Thunderbolt / Fish Bait released on Beacon 105, ? 1955

12. Haywood Henry - Sweet Georgia Brown

Recorded NYC July 7th 1955
Personnel: Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Al Williams (piano); Everett Barksdale (guitar); Bill Pemberton (bass); Bobby Donaldson (drums)

Sweet Georgia Brown / Tenderly released on Hudco, 1955.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Around The Clock Battle - Wynonie Harris v Big Vernon



Philo 103, recorded in Los Angeles in July, 1945.

Personnel: Wynonie "Mr Blues" Harris (vocal) accompanied by Johnny Otis' All Stars - Teddy Edwards (tenor sax); Lee Jones (piano); Stan Morgan (guitar); Bob Kesterton (bass); Johnny Otis (drums). Also at session but not audible on these sides - Howard McGhee (trumpet).



Stag 508, recorded in San Francisco in November, 1947.

Personnel: "Big Vernon" (Joe Turner) vocals; Pete Johnson (piano).

In our previous post we looked at the possible origins of "Around The Clock" in Trixie Smith's "My Man Rocks Me" from 1922. The Wynonie Harris two parter on Philo (soon to become Aladdin Records) kicked off a series of cover versions by Jimmy Rushing (with Johnny Otis), Numa Lee Davis (with Russell Jacquet), Willie Bryant, Pearl Traylor (with Howard McGhee) and "Big Vernon" who was Big Joe Turner going under a pseudonym.

"Well, sometimes I think I will,
 Yes, and sometimes I think I won't,
 Sometimes I think I will,
 Yes, and sometimes I think I won't,
 Sometimes I believe I do,
 And then again I believe I don't."

This introduction to the Wynonie version will be familiar to rock and roll fans - Chuck Berry used it in his recording of "Reelin' And Rockin'" which I guess is a continuation of the "Around The Clock" theme, only with the activity described now being dancing at the teen hop. Times and audiences had changed by 1958.

So to our battle of the blues - Wynonie v Big Vernon. Who is the winner? Wynonie with his jazz band backing or Joe with just his old cohort Pete Johnson bangin' the boogie on the keyboard? You decide!

Okay, I can't resist getting back to Chuck, so here is "Reelin' And Rockin'" recorded at the end of 1957, with Lafayette Leake on piano, Willie Dixon on bass and Fred Below on drums. The target audience is now high school hop teenagers and not the drunken reprobates who constituted Wynonie's record buying public. But Chuck being Chuck he manages to work in a sly

"I looked at my watch, and to my surprise,
 I was dancin' with a woman that was twice my size"

In 1972 Mr Berry recorded a live version at a gig in England. This time "Reelin' And Rockin'" was restored to the pantheon of "Around The Clock" as Chuck tore through a no holds barred description of a sexual marathon of truly staggering proportions. Here's the 1957 version suitable for the kids, ripped from a vinyl copy of the "One Dozen Berrys" LP:



It's half a century and a world away from Trixie Smith ...

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Jimmy's Round The Clock Blues / Harlem Nocturne - Jimmy Rushing with Johnny Otis his Drums & his Orchestra (Excelsior JR 142)

William Gottlieb collection, Library of Congress


Recorded in Los Angeles, September 13th, 1945. Released November 1945.

Personnel: Johnny Otis, his Drums & his Orchestra : John "Teddy" Buckner, Billy Jones, Loyal Walker, Harry Parr Jones (trumpets); Henry Coker, Eli Robinson, John Pettigrew, Jasper "Jap" Jones (trombones); Rene Bloch, Bob Harris (alto saxes); Paul Quinichette, James Von Streeter (tenor saxes); Leon Beck (baritone sax); Bill Doggett (piano); Bernie Cobbs (guitar); Curtis Counce (bass); Johnny Otis (drums); Jimmy Rushing (vocal on "Jimmy's Round The Clock Blues").

"I looked at the clock, and the clock struck one,
 I said, 'now, daddy, ain't we got fun?'
 Oh, he was rockin' me with one steady roll."

"I looked at the clock, and the clock struck six,
 I said, 'daddy, you know I like those tricks!'
 'Cause he was rockin' me with one steady roll."

"I looked at the clock, and the clock struck ten,
 I said, ... 'glory, amen!'
My man was rockin' me with one steady roll."

Thus sang Trixie Smith on "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)" back in 1922. The tale of round the clock lovin' (although with a mere three bouts, for sex hadn't really got going in the 1920s) lived on. There was a good cover version by Jimmy Noone's Apex Club Orchestra in 1929 even though the instrumental breaks left only enough time for two rounds as the looming Great Depression presaged a new wave of puritanism. In the previous year while they were still the Roaring Twenties, Mr. Noone had regaled the public with a filthy version of "It's Tight Like That" with lots more words and less musical doodlin'.

Fast forward to Los Angeles in 1945, to the Club Alabam where the musical aggregation in residence was a big band led by drummer Johnny Otis. Also in residence at the same club at the same time was blues shouter Wynonie Harris, late of the Lucky Millinder Orchestra with whom he had recorded a record that was about to become very big, "Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well." But even though success with Lucky was just around the corner, Wynonie decided that big band life couldn't satisfy his ambitions and so he struck out on his own and headed west to the land of sunshine and booming nightlife.

Part of his club act was an extended double entendre song based on the premise of "My Man Rocks Me", i.e. an hour by hour account of whatever gets you going. For his first solo record he recorded a two part version of "Around The Clock" for Philo in July of 1945. Backing him on the record were the "Johnny Otis All Stars" who weren't the Johnny Otis Orchestra, but were in fact the Howard McGhee band with Johnny on drums.

The record caught enough action to kick off a steady stream of cover versions over the following years, including one by Big Joe Turner and another by the Howard McGhee band featuring Pearl Traylor. One of the first cover versions was by Johnny Otis, this time with his own band and featuring Count Basie's vocalist Jimmy Rushing. The B side was an arrangement of "Harlem Nocturne" which with its slow, throbbing drumbeat and the wailing alto sax of Rene Bloch, managed to be far more suggestive than the A side ditty. So much so, that it became the compulsory soundtrack of thousands of strip joints and clip joints from Soho to Shanghai.

The Rushing version of "Around The Clock" with added instrumental sleaze on the B side sold well enough to send the Otis ork on a nationwide tour in 1946. The days of the big bands were drawing to a close, and at the end of 1947 Johnny had to slim his band down to a small group.

In our next suggestive post - Wynonie "Mr Blues" Harris goes round the clock.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Don't The Moon Look Lonesome?


Detail from "The Trysting Tree" by John Atkinson Grimshaw


One for autumn. "Sent For You Yesterday" recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra in 1938. Vocal by the great Jimmy Rushing.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Howlin' Winds / Rocks In My Bed (National 9144) - Joe Turner





Released April 1951. "Rocks In My Bed" recorded in Chicago, November 29th, 1947. "Howlin' Winds" recorded in Chicago, December 9th, 1947.

Personnel: Joe Turner (vocal), accompanied by: Charles Gray (trumpet); Riley Hampton (alto sax); Otis Finch (tenor sax); Robert Moore (piano); Ike Perkins (guitar); Ellsworth Liggett (bass); James Adams (drums). Meade Lux Lewis replaces Moore on piano on "Howlin' Winds."

"Howlin' Winds" was the last track recorded by Big Joe Turner for National. It was a rerecording of a track he'd originally laid down for that label back in 1945 (that version was never released as a single). After his last session for National, Big Joe spent a few years label hopping from Modern to Swing Time to MGM to Freedom to Imperial before finally landing at Atlantic in 1951 where his flagging career would be revived in a spectacular manner.

National continued to release Big Joe Turner disks right through to 1951, with "Howlin' Winds" being their last Turner release in April of that year. The disk was reviewed in Billboard on the 28th of April. "Howlin' Winds" was deemed to be a "fine mood blues by Turner with first-rate jazz combo backing" while "Rocks In My Bed" was hailed as "one of Turner's standout blues jobs; could make a dent."

It was indeed a rousing release but by the time the review was written, Big Joe had already recorded his first session for Atlantic on April 19th. On the 19th May Billboard reviewed Big Joe's first Atlantic release - "After My Laughter Came Tears" / "Chains Of Love" - which entered the national R&B chart at number ten on the 30th June. It would spend six months on the chart, peaking at number two, and was followed by a series of further hits for Big Joe - "Sweet Sixteen", "Honey Hush", "TV Mama" and "Shake, Rattle And Roll."

And what of the fine "Howlin' Winds" and "Rocks In My Bed"? No chart action, although National did make a gesture on 9th June with this rather low key Billboard advert:


I'm sure Big Joe wasn't particularly worried as thanks to Atlantic he was on his way to being restored to his rightful position as King of the Blues Shouters.