Saturday, 26 March 2011

Well Oh Well / I Hate You - Tiny Bradshaw (King 4357)


"Well Oh Well" was recorded in Cincinnati on February 8th, 1950. "I Hate You" was recorded in Cincinnati on November 30th 1949. For personnel see below.






Call it synchronicity or coincidence or karma or fate or whatever, but there was your old Be Bop Wino wending his weary way home of a Friday afternoon after a hard week at the grindstone when a last minute decision to pop into one of Glasgow's few remaining second hand record shops resulted in the triumphant purchase of a used copy of the Proper 2CD Tiny Bradshaw set, "Breaking Up the House," for the very reasonable price of £4. OK, I already have most of the tracks on the second CD which deals with his first year or so at King Records, but I'm looking forward to listening to the first CD which goes way back to his first recordings for Decca in 1934.

And coincidentally I was already mulling over a post based around El Enmascarado's YouTube videos of "Well Oh Well" / "I Hate You" so it's time to pay another visit to that record room with its piles of 78 rpm shellac discs and its vintage Sparton radio / record player console.

So it's a big thank you to El Enmascarado for the label scans and rips from the original 78 rpm disc. The sound quality is surprisingly good and punchy considering that the record is well over 60 years old. As a bonus we have some scans of a 45 rpm EP supplied by Joan K. The downside is supplied by my interminable ramblings, so let's get to the point.

"Well Oh Well" was recorded in Cincinnnati on February 8th, 1950. Tiny Bradshaw had inked a pact with the King diskery in late 1949 and his hard blowing combo was ideally suited to the rise of rocking R&B which was elbowing aside the more subtle forms of jump blues at that time. Blaring sax histrionics were perpetrated by Rufus Gore and Orrington Hall, the dynamite rhythm section of Calvin "Eagle Eye" Shields (drums), Clarence Mack (bass), Leroy Harris (guitar) and Jimmy Robinson (piano) supplied the propulsive beat, the trumpet of Leslie Ayres is in there somewhere, and holding the whole thing together is a magnificent blues shouting vocal by the captain of the side, the leader of the pack, the great showman himself, Tiny Bradshaw.

"Well Oh Well" made it to number two in the R&B chart in May 1950 and has featured in just about every Bradshaw compilation since then. Let us pause to weep with pleasure over Joan's scans of a 1950s King EP which not only has "Well Oh Well," but presents other Bradshaw greats "Soft" (with Red Prysock), "Heavy Juice," (ditto) and future rock and roll classic "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" (more Red and a stonkingly good vocal from Tiny.)

All EP scans by Joan K

Thanks to El Enmascarado we can hear the B Side of "Well Oh Well" - "I Hate You" which hasn't been included in any Tiny Bradshaw compilation that I've come across. It's a nice little ballad which gives Tiny a chance to show a pleasant light singing voice which is very different form his usual blues bawling and squalling. "I Hate You" was recorded at Tiny's first session for King.

Mo' Tiny -

On the blog:

A Tribute To The Late Tiny Bradshaw, The Great Composer has a full account of his career.

Stomping Room Only is an excellent mix of blues shouting vocals and jazzy instros

Recommended purchases:

Breaking Up the House (Proper PVCD101) - the 2CD set charting his career from the big band days of the 1930s to the first year of his spell with King Records.

Heavy Juice - The King Recordings 1950-55 on Rev-Ola. Wild and wooly, jazzy and bluesy.

The EP Collection (See For Miles) is long out of print. If you see it going second hand, grab it. Twenty-nine King tracks from 1950 - 1955 in superlative sound quality.

Postscript: This post has been adapted from the original which featured videos from the now defunct Youtubeseventyeight channel. The 1930s Decca tracks on the Proper 2CD set turned out to be repetitive and not very good sub Cab Calloway stylings. The Savoy tracks were good, though. I just love "Take The Hands Off The Clock." It turned out that I already had a copy of that Proper set. Now I've got two. My memory ain't what it was.

4 comments:

SpreadinRhythm said...

Interminable ramblings?? Never! Writing at its best - not clichéd and always informative. Thanks yet again, Boogiewoody. And thanks also to El Enmascadero and Joan for the beautiful scans. Marie

Holly said...

Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful b-side!

The Hi de Ho Blog said...

Splendid post, as usual! Remember that Cab Calloway was billed in the thirties as "The Super Calloway"!

boogiewoody said...

I listened to the entire "Breaking Up The House" 2CD set yesterday. The first 8 tracks were recorded by Tiny for Decca in 1934. They are very Cab Calloway influenced.

By 1947 when he was recording for Savoy with a small group, Tiny's sound was very much R&B. His "Take The Hands Of The Clock" from the Savoy sides is a tremendous rocker, a definite tatse of what was to come on the King sides.