Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Groove Jumping!

Back in the early days of Be Bop Wino a post would occasionally appear with the introductory words “here’s one I posted on Rock Hall.” Unfortunately coinciding with the demise of the Rock Hall forum, here is an LP which I originally posted there way back in 2007 and subsequently never got round to posting on Be Bop Wino.

In the 1980s a series of LPs was issued by the Detour label in the UK. They were collections of sides originally issued on the Groove subsidiary of RCA Victor from 1954 to 1956. The sound quality on these Detour albums was top notch but they always seemed to be a little harder to find than the Ace, Charly and Mr R&B LPs which occupied the rockin’ record racks back then. This LP has always been a favourite of mine with its fourteen tracks of blastin’ New York rhythm ‘n’ blues. The Groove label may have been short lived and with one significant exception it failed to achieve chart success, but some mighty fine music was released by the diskery.

By the early 1950s the major record companies were losing ground in the R&B field to the independent labels which had been springing up since the mid 1940s. In 1952 the top five R&B labels were Atlantic, King, RPM, Specialty and Mercury with only the last being a major label. The rest of the top ten places were also occupied by independents with the exception of Okeh, a subsidiary label reactivated by Columbia in an attempt to combat the growing sales power of the independents. Decca came eighteenth in the R&B labels list and RCA Victor an even more catastrophic twenty-first.

In 1953 RCA Victor improved its R&B standing to twelfth best selling label thanks to a couple of biggies from dynamic vocal group The Du Droppers (“I Wanna Know” and “I Found Out.”) The stranglehold of the independents had tightened even further with Atlantic, Chess, King, Duke, Apollo, Aladdin, Herald, RPM, Jubilee, Specialty and Imperial occupying the top eleven places.

Probably somewhere around late 1953 RCA decided that they would make a stab at breaking into the R&B market in a bigger way by launching a new subsidiary label with the hep sounding name “Groove.” The launch was trailed in “Billboard” in early January 1954 and on the 8th February Groove issued its first sides – The Du Droppers with “Dead Broke” / “Speed King” and Big John Greer with “You’ll Never Be Mine” / “Bottle It Up And Go.” All of these sides had been recorded in December 1953.

In total 38 singles were issued before A&R man Danny Kessler resigned and Groove was put on temporary hiatus between late 1954 and March 1955 when the label was relaunched with Bob Rolontz as A&R man. A further 179 singles were issued before the label was finally wound up in December 1956. Ironically the end came just as “Love Is Strange” by Mickey and Sylvia was about to provide Groove with its only major hit.

It’s hard to put a finger on the reason for Groove’s lack of success. Backing was provided by the best of New York session musicians including Mickey “Guitar” Baker (who as Mickey of Mickey and Sylvia also provided the label’s only substantial hit), Sam “The Man” Taylor, King Curtis and Heywood Henry. A potentially fruitful session by established vocal group The Five Keys was wasted when they quickly moved to Capitol and their Groove sides remained in the can. The “lost” Five Keys session is featured on the Detour LP “The Best of Doo-wop Classics Volume 2.” Not all Groove releases were up to the standard of the sides on “Groove Jumping!” but there was plenty of good rockin’ R&B from the likes of Milt Trenier, Buddy Lucas, Larry Dale, The Du Droppers, Chris Powell, Big Al Sears and the king of low life philosophers, Mr Bear.

I seem to remember back in the old Rock Hall days that I tried to get a “Mr Bear for President” campaign going. He’d have told those bankers where to get off. Fans of R&B esoterica should note the presence of another Be Bop Wino hero on Mickey and Sylvia’s “No Good Lover”: Washboard Bill! Mr Bear and Washboard Bill on the same LP? There can be no higher recommendation!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/327220834/Groove_Jumping_.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=N7X0PD80

1. Ride And Roll / Sonny Terry
2. No Good Lover / Mickey & Sylvia
3. Strange Kind Of Feeling / Tiny Kennedy
4. Bottle It Up and Go / 'Big' John Greer
5. Boot 'Em Up / The Du Droppers
6. Talk That Talk / The Du Droppers
7. Lawdy Miss Mary / The Five Keys
8. Worried 'Bout You Baby / Roy 'Mr Guitar' Gaines
9. Dat Dat De Dum Dum / Roy 'Mr Guitar' Gaines
10. Radar / Mr Bear
11. How Come? / Mr. Bear
12. Dead Broke / The Du Droppers
13. Speed King / The Du Droppers
14. Smack Dab In The Middle / The Du Droppers

Recommended purchases:

The Westside label released two compilation CDs of Groove and RCA material in 1998: “Honkin’ ‘n’ Hollerin’” and “The Groove Story.” Both CDs are long out of print but you might find them at your local second hand CD dealer.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Joey & The Lexingtons, The Swinging Hearts and A Doo Wop Christmas (again)

We are now well into the traditional Be Bop Wino pre-Christmas panic. This is the bit where the blog collapses because your host throws himself into the annual round of present buying, desperately tacky parties, last minute Christmas card posting, visits to relatives, and with a bit of luck an occasional football match (Queen’s Park forever!) and with even more luck a rugby game or two (Glasgow v Edinburgh double header coming up.)

So here’s the first bit of business. Joan has kindly sent a better cut of Joey and The Lexingtons’ magnum opus “Tears From My Eyes” to replace the kinda slightly trashed version which appeared on “Joan Selects, Encore Appearance, Volume 1.”

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/323859857/Joey___The_Lexingtons_-_Tears_From_My_Eyes.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=HL1K3WO3

By popular request (that’s you, JJ!) here is the link to last year’s Christmas selection from Joan, “Joan Selects Volume 11 – A Doo Wop Christmas” –

https://rapidshare.com/files/329639692/Joan_Selects_Volume_11.rar


The original post has been transferred to the new Be Bop Wino Done Gone blog and can be seen in all its glory here:


Now a plea from Joan and me – does anyone know anything about The Swinging Hearts? They’re on track 35 of the latest Joan Selects with “How Can I Love You,” but Joan has no background info whatsoever. She can’t even dig out the original 45 as the record collection is currently in storage.

And that brings me to a brief look back at a rather eventful Be Bop Wino year. It could have been the end of the blog when the whole darned shootin’ match was booted into webular oblivion following a third strike and you’re out complaint. Luckily many of the posts were backed up in a private blog, so the Be Bop Wino show was soon back on the road again, although this time round in a strictly vinyl/cassette form.

There are still quite a few old posts to be revived. I intend doing new cover scans for them now that I’ve got the hang of stitching together complete LP covers. There are also some posts that weren’t backed up but I have the raw material to reconstitute them, so keep an eye open for some old favourites like Billy Wright and Hunter Hancock’s Midnight Matinee turning up again, although in a slightly rewritten form.

Of course I’ll be adding new posts too, and perhaps Joan could be persuaded to prolong her encore. I’ve said it before – Joan’s contributions, especially Joan Selects, have taken this blog to a level I simply could not have imagined when I started out back in 2007. There are several other occasional contributors who remain anonymous or totally pseudonymous and I thank them for their fine efforts which add so much to the blog. If any of you out there in rock and roll land wish to contribute vinyl rips of vintage R&B, rock and roll or jazz (1940s -50s) then please get in touch. Scans of vintage LP or EP sleeves are also very welcome.

I would like to thank everyone who has dropped by and taken the trouble to read Be Bop Wino’s humble offerings. I must give a special thank you to those of you who send in comments. I am very grateful to you for sharing your opinions, experiences and insights. Have a rockin’ good Christmas you naughty kids!

(Langside Monument, Glasgow, in the snow)

STOP PRESS - Since I started writing this post there have been developments in the world of rock and roll mp3 sharing. Several blogs have disappeared, some are changing their policy regarding uploading of CDs and others have cleared out old posts. The Rock Hall forum has also closed down. It looks like certain reissue companies have realised what was available on the web and have decided to crack down. These are worrying times for rockin’ bloggers, but here’s hoping that Be Bop Wino will still be around after Christmas to bring you more selections of honkin’, hootin’, bootin’ vinyl rips.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Joan Selects – Encore Appearance

A surprise Christmas present from Joan. We all thought that the “Joan Selects” series of compilations had finished, but by popular request here is a special encore appearance.

This time round Joan has been able to provide only a few label scans to accompany this cornucopia of vocal group vibes. The reason – the record collection is currently in storage. But that won’t get in the way of our enjoyment of this collection of rockers, pleaders, jivers and weepers. The mp3s have been ripped at bitrates from a low of 96 kbps to a mighty 320 kbps. Most are at around 128 kbps. The usual warning about clicks, pops, hissing and occasional distortion applies. But rough sound quality = real rock ‘n’ roll.

Thank you Joan, for coming out of retirement!

Recorded at various (lowish) bitrates. Password = greaseyspoon.

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/318667032/Joan_Selects_Encore_Appearance.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SSH5Q9Y8

1) The Spiedels - Dear Joan (Crosley 201, 1958)
2) The Gems - Talk About The Weather (Drexel 901, 1954)
3) The De-Vaurs - Boy In Mexico (Moon 105, 1959)
4) Ferris and the Wheels - He Was A Fortune Teller (United Artists 458, 1962)
5) The Whirlwinds – Heartbeat (Phillips 40139, 1967)
6) The Four Plaid Throats - My Inspiration (Mercury 70143, 1953?)
7) The Four Buddies - Ooh-Ow (Savoy 888, 1953)
8) The Valaquons – Teardrops (Laguna 102, 1964)
9) Mary Edwards & The Saxons - Oh! Oh! Mama (Meteor 5031, 1956)
10) Bo Diddley and the Carnations - Don't Let It Go (Checker LP1436, 1959)
11) Joey and the Lexingtons - Tears From My Eyes (Dunes 2029, 1962)
12) The Metrotones - Skitter Skatter (Reserve 116, 1954)
13) The Jets - Heaven Above Me (Gee 1020, 1956)
14) The Rhythm Masters - Until Now (Bennett, 1949)
15) The Roamers - I'll Never Get Over You (Savoy 1147, 1955)
16) The Videls - We Belong Together (Musicnote 117, 1963)
17) The Blue Dots - My Very Own (Hurricane 104, 1959)
18) The Marshall Brothers - Why Make A Fool Out Of Me (Savoy 873, 1952)
19) The Quarternotes - Hold Me Darling (Little Star 112, 1962)
20) The Crystals - My Heart's Desire (Apollo 462, 1954) (also known as The Opals)
21) The Mighty Dukes - Why Can't I Have You (Duke 104, 1952)
22) The Velvetones - Penalty of Love (D 1649, 1959)
23) The Daylighters - I Love The Life I Live
24) The Nic-Nacs - I Found Me A Sugar Daddy (RPM 313, 1949) (really The Robins)
25) The Mixers - Casanova (Bold 102, 1959)
26) The Velvet Angels – I’m in Love (Medieval 201)
27) The Dikes – Don’t Leave Me Poor (Federal 12249, 1955)
28) The Marvells - Did She Leave You (Magnet 1005, 1959)
29) The Empires - Sittin' On Top Of The World
30) The Twigs - Lover Boy (Hollywood 1026, 1954)
31) The Four Buddies - You Mean Everything To Me (Club 51 103, 1956)
32) The Riffs - Little Girl (Sunny 22, 1964)
33) The Impressors - Do You Love Her (Cub 9010, 1958)
34) The Lyrics - I'm In Love (Hy-Tone 111, 1958)
35) The Swinging Hearts - How Can I Love You (Six-Twenty, 1963)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Risky Blues





Side 1
1. Bullmoose Jackson - Big 10 Inch Record
2. The Swallows - It Ain't The Meat
3. The Midnighters - Annie Had A Baby
4. Wynonie Harris - Wasn't That Good?
5. The Checkers - Don't Stop Dan
6. Wynonie Harris - Lovin' Machine
7. Lucky Millinder - Silent George

Side 2
1. The Dominoes - 60 Minute Man
2. Robert Henry - Somethin's Gone Wrong With My Lovin' Machine
3. Jesse Powell and Fluffy Hunter - The Walkin' Blues
4. Wynonie Harris - Keep On Churnin'
5. Bullmoose Jackson - I Want A Bowlegged Woman
6. Todd Rhodes - Rocket 69
7. Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Mountain Oysters

Download from here:


Originally issued in 1971 as King KS 1133, this LP predated the similarly themed double album Gabe's Dirty Blues which is another collection of double entendre R&B from the King / Federal / DeLuxe group of labels.

One glance at the tracklist is all you need to get an idea of the salacious goings on contained in these tracks. But to the pure, all things are pure so you only have yourself to blame if you find anything risque or offensive in innocent 1940s /1950s titles such as "Big Ten Inch", "Keep On Churnin'", "It Ain't The Meat, It's The Motion" and "Rocket 69." It's all good clean fun I tells ya! My pussonal favourite is definitely "I Want A Bowlegged Woman." Something about bass fiddle playing, I think.

Joan has contributed a selection of salty scans and these are included in the download. A feast for the eyes.






Friday, 4 December 2009

Rock and Roll with Joe Houston re-up at higher bitrate



The anonymous donor who kindly ripped and sent in this LP which was posted in July 2008 has now re-ripped the album at a higher bitrate - 320 kbps. I have uploaded the new version in its full ultra-fi. New link is here:

http://www19.zippyshare.com/v/gYgbJ2HH/file.html


The original post with its tale of Tops Records, Joan K label scans, and a comment from Red Neckerson on the perils of drunken record buying is here:

Rock and Roll with Joe Houston (Tops L1518)

Thanks once again to our anonymous donor and to Joan for the folder of label scans.


1. Off Beat
2. Rock That Boogie
3. No Name Rock
4. Goofin'
5. Joe's Rock
6. Tall Gal Blues
7. All Night Long
8. Movin' And Groovin'
9. Corn Bread And Cabbage Greens
10. I Woke Up This Morning
11. Flying Home
12. Teen-Age Boogie

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Earl Bostic Blows a Fuse (CRB 1091)

Ah, Earl Bostic! The maestro of the alto sax whose rasping big-toned sax stylings shifted hundreds of thousands of singles, EPs and LPs throughout the 1950s. And not only in the US of A, as my uncle used to reminisce about dancing to a café juke box stacked with Bostic platters in the south side of Glasgow back in the ‘50s. The first time I heard the man himself was towards the end of the 1970s on his version of “Harlem Nocturne” which turned up on one of the Old King Gold LPs. It’s a masterpiece of moody sleaze which immediately transported me (in mind, if not in body) to an exotic strip club. If you’re looking for an instrumental record to set a mood or get the dancers a-swingin’ and a-swayin’ then you can’t go wrong with Bostic.


Vintage EP cover courtesy Joan K.

Like so many Be Bop Wino heroes, Earl Bostic came from a solid big band background, most notably with a 1943/44 Lionel Hampton line up that included fellow future R&B luminaries Joe Morris, Big Al Sears and Arnett Cobb. But back in the early to mid ‘40s Earl wasn’t only swingin’ with the big bands, he was also going along to those after hours jam sessions in NYC which were the birthplace of bebop.

In Ira Gitler’s book “Swing to Bop”, Allen Tinney remembered the sessions at Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, where Charlie Parker and Earl Bostic squared off against each other:

“And a guy named Earl Bostic used to come in and watch him [Charlie Parker]. You know it’s like gunslingers, and one night they hooked up. I don’t really know who won because it was too tremendous, but Bostic had been scouting him, and they really hooked up, and it was tremendous.”

In the same book Hal Singer talked about Sunday afternoon jam sessions at a club called The Heatwave:

“Then for the jam session Bird called ‘Cherokee.’ The two horns were Bird and Bostic. Both of them were great and they had a great feeling towards each other. There was a great admiration for each other’s drive and technique.”

Notwithstanding his ability to hold his own against the up and coming beboppers, Earl’s musical career followed the path of swing, jump, rhythm and blues and even pop, but his amazing technique which was widely acknowledged by fellow musicians such as Art Blakey and John Coltrane always meant that there was something in his work to interest jazz fans. At the height of his commercial success with King Records in the 1950s his bands included future jazz legends like Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Benny Golson.

In 1945 Bostic formed his own big band which included Don Byas and Tiny Grimes and cut a couple of discs for Majestic. In 1946 he signed with Gotham records which at that time was based in NYC and over the next two years he recorded a series of small group jump (occasionally very wild!) and swing sides, gaining success with “Away” and more notably “Temptation.”

Towards the end of 1948 he signed with the larger King Records. Within a couple of years he had moved away from the jump sound he favoured at Gotham and with the addition of Gene Redd on vibes had developed a fuller sound which brought a series of hits such as “Sleep,” “Moonglow” and the chart topper “Flamingo.” Single success lasted from 1951 through to 1954. The formula for this success was to take a swing standard and give it a danceable big beat treatment with a dash of echo included. Just the thing for the juke boxes!
From 1956 onwards Earl Bostic’s King recording sessions were aimed at the growing LP market and a veritable avalanche of big 12 inchers was released over the next few years with titles such as “Dance to the Best of Bostic,” “Earl Bostic For You,” Alto-Tude,” “Dance Time,” “Let’s Dance with Earl Bostic,” “Invitation to Dance from Earl Bostic,” “C’mon and Dance with Earl Bostic,” “Bostic Rocks,” “Alto Magic in Hi-Fi,” and “Bostic Showcase of Swingin’ Dance Hits.” There may be a theme to these titles. Some of these LPs are still available as King CDs with the original front cover art still in place. Below are a couple of examples I bought through Amazon marketplace.





The 1985 Charly LP I’ve posted here provides a 16 track overview of Bostic’s career from his 1940s Gotham and early King jump sides (with hissy sound quality), through his early 1950s big selling singles (much better sound quality) to his mid to late 1950’s dance LP sides.
Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/7vXqFeis/file.html


1. Night Train
2. 8.45 Stomp
3. That's The Groovy Thing
4. Special Delivery Stomp
5. Moonglow
6. Mambostic
7. Earl Blows A Fuse
8. Harlem Nocturne
9. Who Snuck The Wine In The Gravy?
10. Don't You Do It
11. Disc Jockey's Nightmare
12. Flamingo
13. Steam Whistle Jump
14. What! No Pearls
15. Tuxedo Junction
16. Seven Steps

Recommended purchases include the 4CD Properbox set "The Earl Bostic Story" which follows his career from his earliest sides for Gotham in 1946 to his King period in 1955. Rev-Ola have issued a CD, “Let’s Ball Tonight,” which has 28 Gotham and early King sides.



Collector’s corner. Proper had a good 2CD set called “Flamingo” which followed Bostic’s career from his Hampton days up until his 1951 sides for King. A good collection with excellent notes by Joop Visser. The See For Miles label had two Earl Bostic collections in their “EP Collection” series. Both are excellent, but the first volume is simply outstanding with every track a standout and all in superb sound quality. If you see this (or the other two out of print CDs) going secondhand at a reasonable price, then buy with confidence.