Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Joan Selects - Volume 15 – Joan’s A Rockin’ Little Angel

The second volume of rockabilly / rock ‘n’ roll in Joan’s series of vintage vinyl rips contains a mixture of the obscure and the well known. I am delighted to see Carl Perkins’ “Dixie Fried” included. This paean to booze and a certain razor wielding good old boy was the record that made me realize that rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t just music for love struck teenagers. I like to think that real rock ‘n’ roll is for adults as it often concerns itself with what some people may call the seamier aspects of life. But enough of my musings, let’s go over to Joan for a few pointers as to what’s in store on this excellent selection:

Joan Selects, Volume 15 - Joan returns to basic rock and roll for these 35 selections. Among the noteworthy high points is an early Roy Orbison when he was under contract to Sam Phillip's Sun Records company. Also under contract to Sun at the same time, were Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis - what an unbelievable stable of talent, not to mention a whole raft of second echelon artists of outstanding abilities.

Janis Martin was billed as the female Elvis, and was under contact to RCA Victor at the same time as Elvis, and there are pictures circulating of Janis and Elvis together. One of Janis' singles interestingly, was her remake of Roy Orbison's “Ooby Dooby”. Janis was one of a precious few female rockers from the 1950's. Another is represented here on volume 15 - the legendary Wanda Jackson, with her "I Gotta Know”, an interesting hybrid combining rock-a-billy and country.

Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones struck the charts with a huge teen hit, "Black Slacks". "Boppin' Rock Boogie" was their follow up, and in all respects as much of a rocker too. Several cuts (3 to be exact) are by one of the giants of rock-a-billy, Carl Perkins, including Dixie Fried, by special request to our estimable blog host Boogiewood. In this collector's opinion, "Put Your Cat Clothes On" is one of the great 1950's rock anthems. From 1950 and on New York City's Crest Label, comes a favorite - by Cliff Martin and his Cliff Dwellers - "I Heard the Juke Box Playing", which evokes images of another and more innocent (in some ways) and simpler time, just at the start of the rock and roll era.

An oft proclaimed Elvis imitator, Ral Donner, is represented here with his biggest hit for George Goldner's Gone record label, "You Don't Know What You Got (Until You Lose It)" - Donner had one other top forty hit, "The Girl Of My Best Friend". There was enough by Donner to compile an album for the Gone label.

Ripped from vinyl at bit rates mostly around 128 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

30 label shots in glorious bebopwinocolor are included. Thanks for another great collection, Joan.
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01 Roy Orbison - Rockhouse - Sun 251
02 Janis Martin -Will You Willyum - RCA Victor 47-6491
03 John D Loudermilk - Language Of Love - RCA Victor 47-7938
04 The Roclking Chairs - A Kiss Is A Kiss - Recorte 45-402
05 Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones - Boppin Rock Boogie - ABC-Paramount 45-9837
06 Jack Scott and the Chantones - Leroy - Carlton 462
07 Joe Therrian & the Rockets - Hey Babe! Let's Go Downtown - Brunswick 9-55005
08 The Dusters - Rock' At The Hop - Cupid 5003
09 Wanda Jackson - I Gotta Know - Capitol 3485
10 The Rock-A-Teens - Woo-Hoo - Roulette R-4192
11 Jimmy Edwards - Love Bug Crawl - Mercury 71209x45 (10.2.57)
12 Jimmie Dee and the Offbeats - Henrietta - Dot 45-15664
13 Bobby Vee and the Shadows - Suzie Baby - Liberty F-55208
14 The El-Derocks - Hound Dog Blues - Sapphire 1004
15 Carl Perkins - Dixie Fried - Sun 249
16 Ronnie Self - Bop-A-Lena - Columbia 4-41101
17 Bill Parsons - The All American Boy - Fraternity F-835
18 Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids - Party Doll - Roulette R-4002
19 Link Wray and the Raymen - Rumble - Cadence 1347
20 Blue Knights - Who Me - J and J 100-B
21 Roy Orbison - Domino - Sun Album cut only
22 Robin Luke - Susie Darling - Dot 45-15781
23 Terry Noland - Hypnotized - Brunswick 55010
24 Gene Pitney - (I Wanna) Love My Life Away - Musicor MU 1002
25 Cliff Martin & his Cliff Dwellers - I Heard The Juke Box Playing - Crest 45-503
26 Carl Perkins - Put Your Cat Clothes On - Sun Album cut only
27 Sherry Davis - Just A Little Bit -
28 Ray Campi - Loretta
29 Rusty York - Sugaree - Chess 1730
30 Carl Perkins - Tennessee - Sun Album cut only
31 Benny Joy - I'm Gonna Move -
32 Ral Donner - You Don't Know What You've Got - Gone 5108
33 Ray Smith - Rockin' Little Angel - Judd 1016
34 Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Lotta Lovin' - Capitol F3763
35 Jack Huddle - Starlight - Kapp DJK-207X

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Sil Austin Plays Pretty For The People










This is a 1987 reissue on Polygram of an LP which was originally released on Mercury (MG-20424) in 1959. Recorded in one session in New York City in February 1959, this album of sentimental ballads with orchestral and vocal chorus accompaniment represented a change of sound for R&B tenor sax man Sil Austin. This may not be to the taste of those of you who lapped up his booting tenor on "Everything's Shakin'" and on the Tiny Bradshaw compilations, but it certainly attracted attention at the time it was originally released – enough to persuade Mercury to issue more albums in the same vein, and to propel “Danny Boy” into the pop charts.

It’s time for a confession from this fan of honkin’ tenor sax – “Danny Boy” chokes me up every time I listen to it. The string accompaniment is relatively restrained and Sil Austin puts in a ballad performance that is for the ages. So download, and if you have tears to shed, be prepared to shed them as you listen to “Danny Boy”.

The original 1959 release of this album had twelve tracks with the running order as follows:

SIDE-A

A-1 Danny Boy
A-2 Sweet Slumber
A-3 Summertime
A-4 I'll Walk Alone
A-5 My Foolish Heart
A-6 Call Me

SIDE-B
B-1 Ruby
B-2 I Can't Get Started
B-3 My Mother's Eyes
B-4 Prisoner Of Love
B-5 It's The Talk Of The Town
B-6 Stardust

This re-release has only ten tracks in the following order:

1. Danny Boy
2. Prisoner Of Love
3. Summertime
4. I Can't Get Started With You
5. My Foolish Heart
6. Call Me
7. Ruby
8. My Mother's Eyes
9. Sweet Slumber
10. It's The Talk Of The Town

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Joan Selects, Volume 14 - Rarities and Collectables

So fine, so rare. And it’s over to Joan for some words of wisdom on these discs:

Joan Selects Volume 14 is a return to group harmony sides. In this set is an early Little Richard as he fronted the Duces of Rhythm for Don Robie's Peacock record label, for "Ain't That Good News". This is one of four singles Little Richard (Richard Penniman) cut for Robie, one additional in the Duces of Rhythm and two as single artist Little Richard Penniman.

"The Mystery Man" by Scotty Mann and the Masters evokes comparisons to all of the "Sixty Minute Man" ilk of songs of the early 1950's and was also recorded for Don Robie's Houston based Peacock record company. Robie also issued many R&B andBlues sides on the Peacock subsidiary Duke, including Johnny Ace and Bobby Bland.

Hot Dog Dooley Wah by the Pyramids on the Shell marque is actually the "B" side of a fair sized hit for the Pyramids, a song called "Ankle Bracelet".

One of my favorite Doo-Wop harmony sings is in this set, on the Chess label, a song called "Show Me the Way" by the Five Notes. Recorded in 1955. The Five Notes (the Notes) later showed up on the Josie record label with a lovely ballad called "You Are So Beautiful", Josie 784.

The Rocketeers recorded "They Turned The Party Out at Bessie's House" for the small Los Angeles record label, MJC in 1958. Previously, the Rocketeers recorded "Hey Rube" for the Los Angeles based Modern label in 1955 (see Joan Selects Volume 2, cut 22). The Five Blue Note's "You Gotta Go, Baby" was recorded for the Chance label subsidiary, Sabre (#108) in 1954 and was one of two by this very high quality/tight harmony Chicago group for the Sabre marque , the other is "My Gal Is Gone" on Sabre 103.

The Littlebeats was Mercury Records attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers success, by featuring a pre-adolescent lead. A listen to the Five Blind Boys of Montana with their "Brother Bill" will give great credence to the link between gospel harmonies and Doo-Wop. This one is in all aspects except subject matter a gospel recording. This was issued in the 1970's on one of the West coast oldies reissue labels.

Thank you so much, Joan – for the rips, the label art and the info.

Ripped from vinyl. Password = greaseyspoon

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01- The Twilighters - Please Tell Me You Are Mine - Marshall 702
02 - Scotty Mann and the Masters - The Mystery Man - Peacock 5-1665
03 - The Duces Of Rhythm - Ain't That Good News - Peacock 5-1616
04 - The Sounds - Anything For You - Modern 45x981
05 - The Playboys - So Good - Tetra 4447
06 - The Keynotes - Really Wish You Were Here - Apollo 493
07 - The Chanters - I Love You - Combo 92
08 - The Pyramids - Hot Dog Dooley Wah - Shell 45-711
09 - The Five Notes - Show Me The Way - Chess 1614
10 - The Performers - I'll Make You Understand - Tip Top 402
11 - The Royals - Fifth Street Blues - Federal 12088 (1952)
12 - The Five Crowns - Good Luck Darlin' - Old Town 777 (Unreleased)
13 - The Neons - My Chickadee - Tetra 4449
14 - The Quotations - Imagination - Verve VK 10245
15 - The Orlandos - Cloudburst - Cindy C-3006
16 - The Five Echoes - Why, Oh Why - Sabre 111
17 - The Ramblers - Come On Back - Trumpet 102
18 - Miriam Grate and the Dovers - Devil You May Be - New Horizon 501
19 - The Rocketeers - They Turned the Party Out At Bessie's House - M.J.C. 50T-45
20 - The Dappers - Bop Bop Bu - Rainbow 45-373
21 - The Five Blue Notes - You Gotta To Go, Baby - Sabre 108
22 - The Versatiles - Lundee Dundee - Ro-Cal 1002A
23 - The Quinns - Oh Starlight -Cyclone 111
24 - The Five Chances - California - Atomic 2494
25 - The Little Beats - Someone For Me - Mercury 71155
26 - The Five Blind Boys of Montana - Brother Bill - Vintage Records 1000
27 - The Wheels - My Hearts Desire - Premium 405-45
28 - The Whispers - Are You Sorry - Gotham G-7-312
29 - The Ideals - Knee Socks - Checker 920
30 - The Packards - Ladise - Pla-Bac P.B. 1068

Friday, 13 February 2009

Joe Liggins - The Honeydripper

1945 was a transitional year in R&B history. Big band records and releases on the major labels still featured prominently on the charts, but independent labels were starting to make inroads. The top selling R&B record of the year was Joe Liggins’ “The Honeydripper” on Leon René’s Exclusive label. The success of this record embodied several trends that would dominate R&B in the next few years: the rise of small jump bands in the wake of the success of Louis Jordan (the year’s top selling R&B artist); the challenge of new independent labels to the dominance of the major labels; and the development of Los Angeles as a major R&B recording centre.

Joe Liggins was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma in 1915. His family emigrated to San Diego, California in 1932. For much of the 1930’s Joe played trumpet and wrote arrangements for a variety of local bands in the San Diego area, but in 1939 he moved to Los Angeles to further his musical career. He played in a quartet with Illinois Jacquet and then with the bands of Cee Pee Johnson and Sammy Franklin. The latter band featured Joe’s composition “The Honeydripper” in its stage act. When Franklin refused to finance a recording of “The Honeydripper”, Joe formed his own small group, The Honeydrippers, with himself on piano, “Little” Willie Jackson and James Jackson on saxes, and Eddie Davis on bass.

By now “The Honeydripper” was a 15 minute long riffer which closed the Liggins’ band’s act every night. Leon René, owner of Exclusive and Excelsior Records heard it, liked it and got the band into the studio in April 1945. The number was released as a two parter and by the end of 1946 had shifted an estimated two million units and inspired a string of cover versions by artists including Roosevelt Sykes, Cab Calloway and Jimmie Lunceford. Two other big hits were also recorded at that session: “Left A Good Deal In Mobile” on which the band backed Duke Ellington vocalist Herb Jeffries, and “I Got A Right To Cry” which was another hit for Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers.

Released in 1988, this Mr R&B LP was the second Joe Liggins compilation on that label. The music is a mix of instrumental shuffles, some of Joe’s more romantic song compositions, a bit of jive, and in “Yvette” and “Lonesome Guitar” a couple of instrumentals that sound like background music from a film noir. These sides were recorded for Exclusive between 1945 and 1949.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

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1. The Honeydripper Part 1
2. The Honeydripper Part 2
3. Left A Good Deal In Mobile (v – Herb Jeffries)
4. Key Jam
5. How Come
6. Apple Of My Eye
7. Doddle-Do-Da-Deet
8. Yvette
9. Drippers' Boogie Part 1
10. Drippers' Boogie Part 2
11. Lonesome Guitar
12. You Ain't Goin' To Heaven No How
13. Three O'Clock Jump Part 1
14. Three O'Clock Jump Part 2
15. Some Of These Days
16. Ruth

Monday, 9 February 2009

Joan Selects - Volume 13 – Joan’s Got The Blues, Again!

And boy, are we glad that Joan’s got the blues again, because that means we get to listen to another selection of 45s and 78s from her incredible collection.

Without any further ado it’s over to Joan for comments on some of the selections:
"From Dinah Washington's racy double-entendre "TV is the Thing This Year" to John Lee Hooker's remake for the Fortune Records subsidiary Hi-Q of his obscure1950 "609 Boogie", this second collection of blues should have plenty to suit all. Calvin Boze sings of Los Angeles in 1950 in his Angel City Blues. Wynonie Harris' amazing "Stormy Night Blues" backed by an unaccredited doo-wop group is actually the B side of "Good Morning Mr. Judge" recorded for King Records in 1950. This particular cut is from my original 78 King recording.

“Good Jax Boogie” by The Dave Bartholomew Band, recorded in 1950, was originally a radio advertisement for New Orleans Jax Beer, brewed by the Jackson Brewery. Ervin "Big-Boy" Groves continues his comedic musical monologues (Listen to “I Got A New Car”, on the earlier Joan Selects Blues volume) with his "You Can't Beat The Horses".

"You're an Old Lady" by Sonny Boy Williamson is another dub from one of my original RCA Victor 78s, and features an all star backing group consisting of: Tampa Red, Big Maceo and Chick Saunders. This blues collection contains raw country blues and ranges to sophisticated uptown urban inner city blues, and represents some of theblues recordings I enjoy most listening to."


Ripped from vinyl and shellac.

Download from here:

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01 Dinah Washington - TV Is The Thing This Year - Mercury 70214x45
02 Calvin Boze - Angel City Blues - Aladdin 45-3055B
03 Mercy Dee Walton - One Room Country Shack - Specialty XSP-458
04 Wynonie Harris - Stormy Night Blues - King 4378 (1950)
05 Arbee Stidham - Please Let It Be Me - ABCO G107
06 Gene Phillips - Rock Bottom
07 Henry Thomas - Bull Doze Blues
08 Champion Jack Dupree - That's My Pa - King 45-4827
09 Elmore James - Strange Kinda Feeling - Flair 45x1022
10 Lightnin’ Slim - Tom Cat Blues - Excello 45-2173
11 Dave Bartholomew - Good Jax Boogie - Jax 1-2 (1950)
12 Bobby Tuggle - The $64,000 Question - Checker 823
13 Jimmy Witherspoon - Ain't Nobody's Business -
14 Roscoe Gordon - Booted - RPM 344x45
15 Smokey Hogg - Little School Girl - Modern 20-704A
16 Big Boy Groves - You Can't Beat The Horses
17 Robert Petway - Catfish Blues
18 Bukka White - The Panama Limited
19 Edna McGriff - Heavenly Father - Jubilee 45-5073
20 Sonny Boy Williamson - You're An Old Lady
21 Jimmie Nelson and the Peter Rabbit Trio - T-99 Blues - RPM 325
22 John Lee Hooker - 609 Boogie (Re-issue/Re-Record) - Hi-Q 5018
23 J.B. Hutto and the Hawks - Combination Boogie - Chance 1155
24 Eddie'Cleanhead' Vinson - Cherry Red
25 Joe Hill Louis - Hydramatic Woman -Big Town 401 (1954)
26 H-Bomb Ferguson - Bookie's Blues -
27 Big Walter and his Thunderbirds - Pack, Fair & Square - Peacock 5-1666
28 Snooky Pryor - Crosstown Blues - Parrot 807
29 Clarence Garlow-New Bon Ton Roulay - Aladdin 3179
30 King Pleasure - Moody's Mood For Love - Prestige 45-924

Friday, 6 February 2009

Jack McVea & His All Stars - New Deal




We continue our occasional look at the jump blues bands of the 1940s with this Mr R&B LP of tenor sax man and bandleader Jack McVea.

The sleeve notes by Jim Dawson provide an excellent overview of Jack’s career and the background to the tracks on this compilation, which includes the first ever track recorded by the band, backing the sultry Betty Roché on “Rainy Day Blues” in 1944. The tracks are the standard mix of ballads, novelties, blues and boogies, in other words the staple fare of the 1940s jump blues scene. Along with Roy Milton and Joe Liggins, Jack McVea was a pioneer of West Coast jump blues. Like so many of the musicians in these bands he was a veteran of the big band scene, particularly with the Lionel Hampton band between 1940 and 1943. In the interview with Jim Dawson, Jack maintains that it wasn’t just economics that caused the demise of the big bands, it was also down to the more spontaneous nature of the music generated by the small groups who were developing R&B. This collection is a fine insight into a period of rapid change in swing, jazz and R&B.

There is a fair amount of surface noise present on most of the tracks.

Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps.

Download from here:

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1. My Business Is C.O.D. (v – Estelle Edson)
2. Play It Over
3. Rainy Day Blues (v- Betty Roché)
4. F Minor Boogie
5. It Never Should Have Been This Way (v- Rabon Tarrant)
6. Jack's Boogie
7. Baby Make Up Your Mind (v – Estelle Edson)
8. Butch (v – Arthur Duncan)
9. Two Timin' Baby Boogie
10. Evening (v – Arthur Duncan)
11. Fish For Supper (v – Rabon Tarrant)
12. New Deal
13. Naggin' Woman Blues (v – Rabon Tarrant)
14. You Can Come Back Home (v – Gene Phillips)
15. Tatoe Pie
16. Carlos (v – Rabon Tarrant and Sammy Yates)