Sunday, 25 November 2012

Walkin’ The Chalk Line / Bradshaw Boogie – Tiny Bradshaw (King 4457)



“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” was recorded in Cincinnati on February 8th, 1950. Personnel : Tiny Bradshaw (lead vocal); Jimmy Robinson piano); Clarence Mack (bass); Calvin Shields (drums). Also present at the session, but sitting this track out, were Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Rufus Gore (tenor sax) and Leroy Harris (guitar).
“Bradshaw Boogie” was recorded in New York on January 16th, 1951. Personnel: Tiny Bradshaw (vocal); Leslie Ayres (trumpet); Andrew Penn (trombone); Orrington Hall (alto and baritone sax); Red Prysock (tenor sax); Jimmy Robinson (organ); Willie Gaddy (guitar); Eddie Smith (bass); Calvin Shields (drums).



King 4457 was released in mid-June 1951. The disc was reviewed in Billboard on June 30th. Of “Walkin’ The Chalk Line” Billboard said – “Bradshaw and male trio, backed by rhythm section only here, register with a hard-hitting little jingle with a recurring refrain.” And on “Bradshaw Boogie” the comment was: “Tiny and the boys come thru with one of their typical hard driving boogie blues novelties.”

“Walkin’ The Chalk Line” wasn’t a big seller despite being featured in the King / Federal / DeLuxe adverts in Billboard during July and August alongside Lucky Millinder’s “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sleep” by Earl Bostic, “Bloodshot Eyes” by Wynonie Harris, “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” by The Dominoes and Roy Brown’s “Wrong Woman Blues.”

Enough platters were sold to make King 4457 the 90th best-selling R&B record of 1951. The really big hits around the middle of the year included the aforementioned “I’m Waiting Just For You,” “Sixty Minute Man” and “Do Something For Me” plus “Don’t You Know I Love You” by The Clovers, “Chains Of Love” by Big Joe Turner, “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and “Too Young” by Nat King Cole.

The “Bradshaw Boogie” session marked Red Prysock’s recording debut with the band and his fiery, rabble rousing tenor sax solo really brings what could have been a formulaic side to life.


As always we have El Enmascarado to thank for yet another slice of R&B history from his growing stash of 78 rpm discs. The sound quality on these two rips is remarkable, considering that they originate from shellac that is over sixty years old. I’ve been listening to these sides on my new laptop (a necessary buy after my 11 year old Pentium 4 PC took its final, fatal crash) which I’ve hooked up to my hifi and they pack quite a wallop. Thank you, o masked one!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Odd-En-Dow / Dues In Blues - Gene Ammons And His Orchestra (Mercury 8080)



"Odd-En-Dow" was recorded on December 1st, 1947 and "Dues In Blues" was recorded on December 10th, 1947. Both sides were recorded in Chicago.

Personnel: Gail Brockman (trumpet); John "Raps" Dungee (alto and baritone sax); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); Junior Mance (piano); Gene Wright (bass); Ellis Bartree (drums)

Mercury 8080 was released in May 1948.





Billboard reviewed the disc in its Race Records section on May 8th, 1948. "Odd-En-Dow" was a "light bop riffer, with string of fair solo rides" while "Dues In Blues" received the slightly off hand comment: "instrumental with more bop touches."

Gene Ammons was the son of renowned boogie woogie piano man Albert Ammons. He played tenor sax in his school band, and got his first professional gig with the King Kolax band. His subsequent spell with Billy Eckstine's bop-leaning big band shot him to fame, most memorably on the searing tenor sax battle with Dexter Gordon, "Blowing The Blues Away." In 1947 he left the Eckstine outfit to start a solo recording career on Mercury. He had a hit with "Red Top" (Mercury 8048) and recorded a series of fiery bop sides for the label in 1947 and 1949 before signing for Chess for whom he had another big chart hit in 1950 with "My Foolish Heart." He had brief spells with Woody Herman and Count Basie before forming the legendary Gene Ammons - Sonny Stitt combo. But that may be another story for another post.

With many thanks to El Enmascarado  for ripping these sides from an original 78 rpm disc and for the label scans.