Saturday, 26 February 2011

Little Girl Don't Cry / Moosey - Bull Moose Jackson and his Buffalo Bearcats (King 4288)


Both sides were recorded in St Louis in February 1949.

Personnel: Benjamin "Bull Moose" Jackson (vocal / tenor sax), Harold "Money" Johnson (trumpet), Eugene "Heads" Adams (alto sax), Frank Wess (tenor sax), Ted "Snooky" Hulbert (baritone sax), Billy Mann (piano), Franklin Skeete (bass), Les Erskine (drums).






It's time once more to pay a visit to El Enmascarados' record room where he slaves over that vintage Sparton radio / phono console and a heap of R&B seventy-eights. And of course this post also constitutes a sneak preview of an upcoming LP on Be Bop Wino - can anyone work out what that 12 incher is going to be?

My thanks to the mysterious masked one who has taken time out from his wrestling commitments south of the border to send in rips from shellac and label shots of Bull Moose Jackson's big 1949 hit "Little Girl Don't Cry" b/w "Moosey." This disc is an example of the two sides of Bull Moose - on one side the balladeer and on the other the sax blowin' leader of a jumpin' combo. It was the ballads which provided Bull Moose with his biggest hits. He was the top selling R&B artist of 1948 thanks to sentimental songs like "All My Love Belongs To You" and "I Love You, Yes I Do."

The A side of the disc featured here, "Little Girl Don't Cry" was the ninth top selling R&B record of 1949, but personally I've always preferred the B-side which is a storming little instrumental called "Moosey." You can also hear it on an LP which will soon be appearing on the blog, so keep tuning in for more Bull Moose.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Joe Lutcher - Joe Joe Jump





Side 1
1. No Name Boogie
2. Strato Cruiser
3. Be-Bop Blues
4. Mojo Jump
5. How Fine Can You Be
6. Shuffle Boogie (aka Shuffle Woogie)
7. Sunday Blues
8. Joe Joe Jump

Side 2
1. Lucy Lindy Boogie
2. Hit The Block
3. Sauterne Special
4. I Knew You When
5. Bagdad Bebop
6. Watch It Gate
7. Walk Into My Heart
8. Toodle-Oo

One day in early 1957, sinful rock and roll superstar Little Richard was relaxing at his LA home when redemption, in the shape of Brother Wilbur Gulley of the Church of God of the Ten Commandments, came a knockin’ at the front door. Burned out by recording, touring, and indulging in acts of wild excess that would have had the Emperor Caligula himself howling in protest, Little Richard was receptive to the message carried by the good Brother who put him in touch with a musician who had given up show business in order to preach the word of the Lord. That musician was Joe Lutcher, the leader of a jump band which had had several hit records back in the late 1940s.

Perhaps Joe was merely pushing at a half open door, for religion had always been a big influence on Little Richard. The result of the conversations between the two men was that the Wild Man of Rock and Roll walked off an Australian tour, returned to the States, gave one farewell concert, reneged on his contract with Specialty Records, dumped the pancake makeup, had his pompadour cut, and took to preaching across the country with the Little Richard Evangelistic Team which Joe helped organise.

Of course in time Little Richard returned to the path of rock and roll, beginning with a 1962 tour of the UK on a bill which included Sam Cooke, Jet Harris and Sounds Incorporated. There would be decades more of outrageous stage performances and wild swings between the sacred and the profane, which is a constant theme in rock and roll and rhythm and blues. One only has to think of the pressure undergone by numerous R&B and soul singers who crossed over from gospel music. And then there’s Jerry Lee Lewis, but he’s a whole blog in himself.

Little Richard remains a superstar to this day, but his recording career never recovered from Joe’s conversion job. The series of wild, wild, wild recordings made for Specialty between 1955 and 1957 was never again equalled and blame for this crime against rock and roll is generally laid at the feet of Joe Lutcher. But what about Joe’s own musical career, which by happenstance kicked off with the selfsame Specialty label back in the years before rock and roll was invented by Pat Boone?

Joe Lutcher was born in 1919 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was part of a large musical family which included his elder sister, pianist / vocalist Nellie, who went on to have a very successful career with Capitol records in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Nellie moved to California in the mid 1930s to follow her dream and in 1941 Joe packed his saxophone and followed big sis out to the coast. The war and service in the Navy interrupted his musical progress, but once Hitler and Tojo had been defeated, Joe returned to LA, formed a small jump band for a gig at the Café Society, and naturally named his group the Society Cats. In early 1947 he recorded four sides for Specialty Records – “Rockin’ Boogie,” “Blues For Sale,” “Society Boogie,” and “Traffic Song.” There was chart success with “Rockin’ Boogie” but Joe was soon on the move again.

Around the time Joe signed up with Specialty, Nellie was starting her successful career with Capitol. In August 1947 Joe joined his sister on the label and recorded sixteen sides in four sessions between the end of August and the end of November 1947, which finally brings us to the LP featured in this post.

Of the Capitol recordings, only “Shuffle Woogie” was a chart hit, but this is a very fine collection of first rate jump music. It’s the standard musical mix of the small jump bands which were dominating the LA music scene at the time – hepcat vocalisations such as “Hit The Block” and “Toodle-Oo,” jazzy instrumentals like “Strato-Cruiser,” the hit “Shuffle Woogie,” “Watch It Gate,” and “Bagdad Bebop,” boogies, shuffles and the obligatory weepy ballad in “Walk Into My Heart.”

So on these cold winter nights when the rain starts raining and the snow starts snowing and you reach out and turn on your radio, lookout Jack, these are the jumpin’ sounds you’d want to hear!

Joe’s final Capitol session came not long before the AFM recording ban and it was 1949 before he was back in a recording studio, but this time he was working for Modern Records. He stayed with them until mid-1950 with his most notable sides being “Mardi Gras,” a return to his Louisiana roots which was covered by Professor Longhair among others, a good cover of “Rag Mop,” and a rocking juke box tribute entitled “Rock-Ola.” After Modern, Joe’s recording career nosedived. He may have cut some sides for Masters Music in 1950. He released a single for Peacock, “I’m Cuttin’ Out” / “Give Me My Hadacol” which he cut in Houston in late 1950 as he headed home to Lake Charles, and he signed for Derby in 1951 without releasing anything.

In 1953 he gave up secular music when he joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church and four years later he was guiding Little Richard towards the path of righteousness, which is where we came in with Brother Gulley’s knock on the door. Joe Lutcher went to his reward in October 2006.

Sources:

Charles White – The Life and Times of Little Richard: the Quasar of Rock.

Dave Penny – Joe Lutcher Biography in “This Is My Story” on the BlackCat Rockabilly site:

http://www.rockabilly.nl/references/messages/joe_lutcher.htm

The Bruyninckx Discography


Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/TBN3A3sX/file.html

1. No Name Boogie (Capitol 40101, November 21, 1947)
2. Strato Cruiser (Capitol 40052, August 29, 1947)
3. Be-Bop Blues (Capitol 40071, October 22, 1947)
4. Mojo Jump (Capitol 15109, October 22, 1947)
5. How Fine Can You Be (Capitol 15109, October 22, 1947)
6. Shuffle Boogie aka Shuffle Woogie (Capitol 40071, August 29, 1947)
7. Sunday Blues (Capitol 40052, August 29, 1947)
8. Joe Joe Jump (Capitol 15297, November 28, 1947)
9. Lucy Lindy Boogie (Capitol 15361, August 29, 1947)
10. Hit The Block (Capitol 40101, November 21, 1947)
11. Sauterne Special (Capitol 15361, November 21, 1947)
12. I Knew You When (Capitol 70053, November 21, 1947)
13. Bagdad Bebop (Capitol 15170, October 22, 1947)
14. Watch It Gate (Capitol 70053, November 28, 1947)
15. Walk Into My Heart (Capitol 15297, November 28, 1947)
16. Toodle-Oo (Capitol 15170, November 28, 1947)

All sides recorded in Los Angeles.

Elsewhere on the blog  –

Click here!
Strato-Cruiser - a co-post with tubeseventyeight

Click here!
Sunday Blues - another co-post with El Enmascarado and his tubeseventyeight1 Youtube channel. 

Recommended purchases:

The Chronological Joe Lutcher 1947 from the Classics Blues and Rhythm series has the complete Specialty and Capitol recordings:


Jumpin’ At The Mardi Gras (Ace CDCHD 753) has the complete Modern recordings:


Joe’s Specialty recordings also turn up on two excellent Ace compilations:

Specialty Legends of Boogie-Woogie (Ace CDCHD 422):


Specialty Legends of Jump Blues Volume One (Ace CDCHD 573):

The second of these Ace CDs – “Legends of Jump Blues” is a killer diller with sides by Roy Milton, Buddy Banks, Joe Liggins, Jimmy Liggins, Frank Motley, Big Jim Wynn and others. It’s a great introduction to West Coast Jump Blues.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Blow Wynn Blow / J.W. Bop - Jim Wynn and his Orchestra (Supreme 1509)




Many thanks to El Emascarado for the new improved rips from this 78 rpm disc by Big Jim Wynn. Hope you dig the superior sound quality! Please click on the LP cover below to link to a previous post with biographical details of the man himself.


The personnel on "Blow Wynn Blow" and "J.W. Bop" was as follows:
Jim Wynn - baritone sax on "Blow Wynn Blow" and tenor sax on "J.W. Bop, Eddie Preston - trumpet, Eddie Hale - alto sax, Pete Peterson or Freddie Simon or Eddie Davis - tenor sax, Zel Kindred - piano, Shifty Henry - bass, Robert 'Snake' Sims - drums.

The tracks were recorded in November 1948. Both are good romping instrumentals which sit smack dab in the middle of what I like to call the Be Bop Wino zone - honkingly good R&B veering towards jazz.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Joe Liggins & his Honeydrippers - Darktown Strutters Ball





Side 1
1. Miss Betty's Blues
2. Got Your Love In My Heart (Herb Jefferies)
3. Caravan
4. I Know My Love Is True
5. Got A Right To Cry
6. Walkin'
7. Tanya
8. Sugar Lump

Side 2
1. The Darktown Strutters Ball
2. Downhome Blues
3. Breaking My Heart
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
5. The Blues
6. Loosiana
7. Spooks Holiday
8. Daddy On My Mind

Way back in the blog we had a look at the early part of Joe’s career and in particular at the impact of his 1945 hit “The Honeydripper.” The LP featured on this post was the first of the two Joe Liggins compilations issued by Jukebox Lil back in the 1980s. It includes the follow up hit to “The Honeydripper” – “Got A Right To Cry.” Other R&B chart hits included here are “Tanya,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and “Darktown Strutters Ball,” all recorded for Exclusive, a label for which Joe had a total of 10 hits between 1945 and 1948.

In 1949 Exclusive closed down as they were unable to convert their operation to accommodate the new 45 rpm format. In January 1950 Joe and the Honeydrippers started recording for Specialty, the label for which his brother Jimmy was already recording. Joe’s first session for his new label produced the biggest R&B hit of 1950 – “Pink Champagne.” There were further hits on Specialty including “Frankie Lee” and “Little Joe’s Boogie,” both in 1951, with Joe’s flow of hits finally drying up in 1952 with “Cryin’ Over You.”

Joe left Specialty in 1954, moving to Mercury where he recorded a session which failed to arouse public interest. From then on Joe’s recording career was intermittent, his next session being for Aladdin in 1957 with no further recordings until 1962 when he returned briefly to Mercury. In 1965 he cut a few sides for his brother Jimmy’s Duplex and J & J labels, then four years later he recorded an album for Johnny Otis’ Blues Spectrum label. Joe reformed the Honeydrippers for occasional live gigs, and in the 1980s as interest in jump blues revived, the band started making appearances at the major jazz and blues festivals, bringing the sound of the 1940s to a new generation of fans. The final curtain came down on a long and distinguished career when Joe died in July 1987.

Two of my favourite Joe Liggins sides are here – “Miss Betty’s Blues” and “Walkin’.” Both feature that relaxed shuffle rhythm coupled with appealing melodies which was the trademark of the best of Joe’s music.

Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps.

Download from here:

http://www93.zippyshare.com/v/4QZ4uLXs/file.html


1. Miss Betty's Blues (1946, Exclusive 213)
2. Got Your Love In My Heart (Herb Jefferies, April 20, 1945)
3. Caravan (April 20, 1945, Exclusive 216)
4. I Know My Love Is True (1946, Exclusive 212)
5. Got A Right To Cry (April 20, 1945, Exclusive 210)
6. Walkin' (late 1946, Exclusive, 242)
7. Tanya (July 8, 1946, Exclusive 231)
8. Sugar Lump (April 20, 1945, Exclusive 219)
9. The Darktown Strutters Ball (1947, Exclusive 49X)
10. Downhome Blues (1947, Exclusive 250)
11. Breaking My Heart (July 8, 1946, Exclusive 231)
12. Sweet Georgia Brown (1947, Exclusive 271)
13. The Blues (late 1946, Exclusive, 244)
14. Loosiana (1948, Exclusive 132X)
15. Spooks Holiday (1947, Exclusive, 49X)
16. Daddy On My Mind (April 24, 1950, Specialty 379)

Further listening:

Elsewhere on the blog - "The Honeydripper"  - the complete LP.


"Miss Betty's Blues" with the story of the origin of this track, streamed audio of the vinyl rip and YouTube videos of El Enmascarado's original 78 rpm. This includes the other side of the disc - "Lover's Lament."


Drippers' Boogie Parts 1 & 2 - streamed audio plus YouTube videos from El Enmascarado's channel of both sides of the original 78 rpm disc.


The Classics series covers Joe's career from 1946 - 1952 in 3 CDs. Look 'em up on Amazon.co.uk.


Also of interest is the Ace CD "Jazz Me Blues" by Joe's sax player Little Willie Jackson, backed by the Honeydrippers including Joe on piano. This is a set of sides recorded for Modern in 1947. I guess it almost qualifies as a "moonlighting" sesssion as the band were under contract to Exclusive at the time.