Thursday, 3 May 2012

Blow Mr. Jackson / The Blues - Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers (Exclusive 244)



Recorded in Los Angeles in the second half of 1946. Released in June 1947. Personnel: Joe Darensbourg (clarinet); Little Willie Jackson (alto sax, baritone sax); James Jackson (tenor sax); Joe Liggins (piano, vocal); Frank Pasley (guitar); Red Callender (bass); Peppy Prince (drums)

Thanks to El Enmascarado and his ever growing mountain of shellac, we can enjoy listening to this 78 rpm disc by Joe Liggins.





“Blow Mr Jackson” was Joe’s big hit of 1947, following in the wake of “The Honeydripper” in 1945 and “I’ve Got A Right To Cry” and “Tanya” in 1946. Exclusive Records was the top selling R&B independent label in 1947 thanks in part to Joe’s record sales but mainly thanks to Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers who had two bigger hits with “New Orleans Blues” and “Merry Christmas Baby.”

Billboard, 16th August 1947
Exclusive was the 5th biggest R&B selling label of 1947, with the top four places being taken by major labels Decca, Capitol, Mercury and RCA Victor. Decca’s domination was largely due to the enormous popularity of Louis Jordan whose “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” / “Let The Good Times Roll” was the year’s top selling R&B record. Other big sellers for Louis in 1947 were “Boogie Woogie Blue Plate,” “Jack, You’re Dead,” “Texas And Pacific,” “Open The Door, Richard!” and “Early In The Mornin’”. Lionel Hampton and The Mills Brothers were also successful for Decca.

Capitol’s big selling artists were Julia Lee, Nellie Lutcher and Nat “King” Cole. Mercury’s R&B success was mostly due to Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s “Old Maid Boogie” / “Kidney Stew Blues” while RCA Victor had the Count Basie version of “Open The Door, Richard!” and “Hawk’s Boogie” by Erskine Hawkins to thank for their position as 4th top selling R&B label.

Major label dominance of R&B sales would come to an end in 1948 when King became the top selling label thanks to big sales for Bull Moose Jackson, Lonnie Johnson and Wynonie Harris.

Thanks once more to El Enmascarado for providing the opportunity to post this snapshot from the rapidly developing R&B scene of the late 1940s.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dig this one. Blow Mr Jackson was the hit, but The Blues sticks in my head like crazy. I can relate to the lyrics!

Across the Charts said...

Love those label scans - and I hadn't heard either of these before so thanks for opening my ears, Boogiewoody! Marie