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Thursday, 15 July 2021

"Bad Boy Of Rock 'n' Roll" by LARRY WILLIAMS – US Specialty Recordings from 1957 to 1960 Including Previously Unreleased And His Singles Issued on London American in the UK – Musicians include John 'Plas' Johnson with Jesse James Jones on Tenor Saxophones, Jewell Grant on Baritone Sax, Willard McDaniel on Piano, Rene Hall and Irving Ashby on Guitars with Art Neville of The Neville Brothers (February 1999 UK Ace/Specialty CD Compilation of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...




This Review Along With over 200 Others Is Available in my
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites

"MANNISH BOY" 
BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, DOO WOP, ROOTS
RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL ON CD 
Exceptional CD Reissues and Remasters 

Thousands of E-Pages
All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

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"...You Make Me Dizzy Miss Lizzy...The Way You Rock 'n' Roll..."

You can only begin to imagine the mental liberation the hugely clued-in young Beatles must have felt in their Liverpudlian bones when they first heard the Rock 'n' Roll joy of Larry Williams. Those London American UK 45s – sailor-imported Specialty Records US originals jumping off a precious turntable in a mate’s house - yellow labels spinning around - pumping out the raucous naughty sound of  "Boney Maronie", "Bad Boy" and "Just Because". Wow!

I dare say (and likened to that other showboat of the Specialty label Little Richard) - Larry Williams must have come across as one of the original wild children of 50ts Rock 'n' Roll. Certainly this CD compilation from England's Ace Records captures that daring-do as song after song sings of the Heeby Jeebies, Peaches and Cream and Hootchy-Koo (before he even gets to making love underneath the apple tree). Lots to document, so let's have at the "Short Fat Fannies" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzies"...

UK released 1 February 1999 - "Bad Boy Of Rock 'n' Roll" by LARRY WILLIAMS on Ace/Specialty Records CDCHD 709 (Barcode 029667170925) is a 24-track CD compilation of 1957 to 1960 Remasters that plays out as follows (53:52 minutes): 

1. Short Fat Fannie 
2. High School Dance 
Tracks 1 and 2 are the A&B-sides of a May 1957 US 45-single on Specialty 608 - also his debut UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLN 8472 in August 1957  

3. Bony Maronie 
4. You Bug Me Baby 
Tracks 3 and 4 are the A&B-sides of an October 1957 US 45-single on Specialty 615 - also his second UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8532 in January 1958  

5. Dizzy Miss Lizzy 
6. Slow Down 
Tracks 5 and 6 are the A&B-sides of a February 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 626 - also his third UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8604 in April 1958

7. She Said "Yeah" 
8. Bad Boy 
(Tracks 7 and 8 are the A&B-sides of a January 1959 US 45-single on Specialty 658 - also his fourth UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8844 in April 1959)

9. Let Me Tell You Baby 
10. Just Because 
(Tracks 10 and 9 are the A&B-sides of his US debut 45-single on Specialty 597 in February 1957 – note running order)

11. Hootchy-Koo 
12. The Dummy 
13. Peaches And Cream 
Tracks 11 & 12 are the A&B-sides of a June 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 634 
Track 13 is the A-side only of a September 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 647 
No UK issue 45s for Tracks 11, 12 and 13, however "Peaches and Cream", "Hootchy-Koo" and "The Dummy" did turn up on the 4-track "Larry Williams" EP in the UK on London REU 1213 issued May 1959. The missing track is "I Was A Fool" - B-side of the US 45 for "Peaches And Cream" but not on this CD

14. Little School Girl 
Track 14 is the B-side of "Ting-A-Ling", a February 1960 US 45-single on Specialty 682 - no UK issue

15. Hey Now, Hey Now - PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

16. Marie Marie - First Issued 1986 in the USA on the LP compilation "Unreleased Larry Williams", Specialty SP 2158

17. Took A Trip (Take 9) - PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

18. Jelly Belly Nellie - First Issued 1986 in the USA on the LP compilation "Unreleased Larry Williams", Specialty SP 2158

19. Oh Baby (Take 10) – PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 
20. Heeby Jeebies (Take 3) – PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

21. Hocus Pocus – first issued on the 1990 US CD Compilation "Bad Boy", Specialty SPCD 7002 as part of "The Legends Of Specialty" Series

22. Steal A Little Kiss 
23. I Can't Stop Lovin' You 
Tracks 22 and 23 are the A&B-sides of his eight US 45-single on Specialty 665 in April 1959 – also his fifth UK 45-single with the same tracks on London HLU 8911 in January 1960

24. Give Me Love 
Track 24 is the B-side of "Teardrops", October 1959 US 45-single on Specialty 677
NOTES: 
Tracks 15, 17, 19 and 20 are PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 
All Tracks in MONO and transferred from original analogue master tapes 

Larry Williams on Piano and all Lead Vocals, John 'Plas' Johnson with Jesse James Jones on Tenor Saxophones, Jewell Grant on Baritone Sax, Willard McDaniel on Piano, Rene Hall and Irving Ashby on Guitars, Ted Brinson and Ralph Hamilton on Bass with Earl Palmer and Edward J. Hall on Drums. Other notable players included Lee Allen and Norman Rich on Tenor Saxophones, Art Neville of the Neville Brothers on Piano with Roy Montrell on Guitar and Richard Payne on Bass. 

Releases by Larry Williams was about party-music and the short but highly informational liner notes provided by STUART COLMAN in the 8-page booklet gets this across with tearful admiration and gusto. There is even a repro of the so-rare UK 78" for "Bony Maroney" on London American Recordings HL-U 8532. Sat next to that are session-notes from the Cosimo Recording Studios in New Orleans where Art Rupe (leading light at Specialty Records) sent Larry to work with a young Art Neville of The Neville Brothers. Presentation-wise - for sure 1999's Ace CDCHD 709 could have done with more photos and memorabilia repros (if it was re-done in 2021, it would be) - but there's enough to be getting on it. 

And the DUNCAN COWELL remasters from original analogue tapes rowdies up proceedings very nicely indeed. These tunes are party time and although the original-recordings aren't admittedly Audiophile by any stretch of your Supertramp imagination, they will rock the proverbial joint in your nightclub/living room just the same. Rough 'n' ready around the cauliflower ears, just like John, Paul, George and Ringo liked them...

The hits are here "Short Fat Fannie" and "Bony Maroney" - but how cool is it to hear "Just Because" and know why John Lennon recorded it for his 'Rock 'n' Roll' album project of 1975. Then there are those forgotten B-sides like "You Bug Me Baby" and of course "Bad Boy" - a tune the Fabs covered and loved. As you listen too to "Slow Down" and even that unreleased cut "Took A Trip" - your hear his R&B influence reaching out over the decades and why those British 45s on the London American label are worth so much dosh. 

"You make me dizzy Miss Lizzy...the way you Rock 'n' Roll...you make me dizzy Miss Lizzy...when you do the stroll..." - Larry Williams sang all those decades ago. And both the Bad Boy and his jivin' troupe of hip-shakin' ladies are doing so still...

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

"Rockin' The Groove" by VARIOUS ARTISTS – 1954 to 1957 45-singles on Groove Records of the USA Including 15 Previously Unreleased Tracks – Featured Artists Include George Benson, Roy Gaines, Beverly Wright, Clayton Love, Sonny Brooks, The Du Droppers, Frank Brunson, Zilla Mays, Maymie Watts, Paul Williams, Johnny Bird Orchestra, Buddy Lucas, The Avalons, The Four Students who later became The Cues and more – Featuring Session Musicians include Budd Johnson, Sam 'The Man' Taylor, King Curtis, Jimmy Brown, Band Leader Jesse Stone and more (February 2016 GERMANY Bear Family CD Compilation of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...






This Review Along With over 200 Others Is Available in my
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites

"MANNISH BOY" 
BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, DOO WOP, ROOTS
RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL ON CD 
Exceptional CD Reissues and Remasters 

Thousands of E-Pages
All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

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"...Shout, Holler & Scream..."

If you'll forgive the nasally challenged agricultural pun - obscure doesn't always mean manure. 

An ill-fated and commercially unsuccessful label identity begun in February 1954 as a vehicle for RCA Victor - Groove Records of the USA was devoted exclusively to the Rhythm & Blues market of big-shouters, vocal group crooners and gravel-voiced belters trying to entice cash out of the newly emerging youth and teen markets. Legendary keyboard roller Piano Red (aka Dr. Feelgood) saw his first album appear on Groove in 1956. They also signed a then budding talent in the 11-year Jazz guitarist George Benson (he's featured on this CD with two Previously Unissued sides recorded in April 1954) and even persuaded the legendary 30s and 40s band-leader and all-round front man hero Louis Jordan to come on board at one point. 

But their big moment came with the huge hit "Love Is Strange" from Mickey & Sylvia - an R&B chart-topper in 1957 where the November 1956-issued Groove 4G-0175 also dented the Pop lists by peaking at No. 11 (that famous hit is allocated to another CD compilation Bear have issued around Groove - see also my separate review for "Groovin' The Blues" on Bear Family BCD 17411). RCA would eventually wrap up the Groove Records label by the year's end of 1957 due to lack of other successes. 

Collectors will know that Groove was touched upon in the 80s and 90s by largely vinyl-reissuing companies, but this time we get the mighty Bear Family of West Germany giving it a professional stab - those good old reissue bricklayers laying on a trowl-like 35-slices of Rhythm 'n' Blues and Rock 'n' Roll onto one jam-packed CD clocking in at an eye-watering total playing time of just over 87-minutes (15 are Previously Unissued). 

Amidst the recording sessions that all took place in New York, the top quality players contain some great names - McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar, Ernest Hayes and Freddie Johnson on Piano, Sam 'The Man' Taylor, Budd Johnson and John 'Plas' Johnson on Tenor Saxophone with The Four Students on Backing Vocals (all four guys Ollie Jones, Abel DeCosta, Edward 'Eddie' Barnes and Winfield Scott would become The Cues, amuch loved Vocal Group on Capitol). Others include Jimmy Brown on Trumpet and the mighty King Curtis on Sax - while the quite giant that was Jesse Stone was Band Leader on several occasions. There's a lot of Big Foot Mammas, Humpty Dumpty types and Alabama Sues to get through, so onto the details...

Released February 2016 in Germany - "Rockin' The Groove" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Bear Family BCD 17412 (Barcode 5397102174124) is a 35-Track CD Compilation of Groove Records tracks between 1954 and 1957 (Fifteen Previously Unissued) that plays out as follows (87:06 minutes):

1. Charmaine - FRANK BRUNSON (November 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0173, A-side - for B-side "I Believe In You", see Track 26 - both feature Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone)

2. Mattie Bee - EMMETT HOBSON (October 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0124, A-side - see also Track 24 for B-side "Where Is Joe?")

3. Right Now - ZILLA MAYS (November 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-127, B-side to "Come Back To Me")

4. Big Foot Mama - PAUL WILLIAMS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, February 1954 recording featuring Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Lead Tenor Saxophone with McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar and Jimmy Brown on Trumpet and Vocals)

5. Hoodoo - ROY GAINES (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, February 1956 recording featuring King Curtis on Tenor Sax)

6. Shout, Holler & Scream - GEORGE BENSON (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, April 1954 recording featuring Wally Richardson on Guitar with Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone)

7. Blackboard Rock – BEVERLY WRIGHT (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, March 1956 recording featuring John 'Plas' Johnson on Tenor Saxophone with The Students on Backing Vocals)

8. Bye Bye Baby – CLAYTON LOVE ORCHESTRA (August 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0162, A-side)

9. Champ Ale - SONNY BROOKS (July 1954, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0027, A-side - features Johnny Moore on Guitar/Band Leader)

10. The Last Laugh Will Be On You - JOHNNY BIRD ORCHESTRA with Mr. Blue on Lead Vocals (May 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0155, B-side to "22 Minutes" - for A-side see Track 21)

11. Run A' Long - LIL McKENZIE with The Four Students (August 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0113, A-side)

12. I'm Trapped - BUDDY LUCAS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, October 1953 recording featuring Wally Richardson on Guitar)

13. She's Mine - BIG CONNIE (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, April 1956 recording)

14. Break It Up - CHRIS POWELL & THE BLUE FLAMES (May 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0105, B-side of "Love Ya Like Crazy" - for A-side see Track 27)

15. Quicksand - MAYMIE WATTS (March 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0103, A-side – featuring The Four Students on Backing Vocals)

16. My Head Goes Round - OSCAR BLACK (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, August 1956 recording featuring Little Willie John on Bass)

17. Good-Bye Little Girl - CHRIS POWELL & THE BLUE FLAMES (November 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0128, A-side)

18. The Thrill Is Gone - LITTLE TOMMY BROWN (March 1956, Groove 4G-0143, A-side - featuring McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar, Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone, Ernest Hayes on Piano and The Four Students on Backing Vocals)

19. Grab That Thing And Run - SAM 'Highpockets' HENDERSON and His Jumpers (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, April 1954 Instrumental recording featuring Ernie Freeman on Piano, Bud Shank on Saxophone with Shorty Rogers on Trombone/Band Leader)

20. I Gotta Know - BEATRICE READING (February 1954, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0004, A-side - featuring McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar, Al Williams on Piano, Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Saxophone with Jesse Stone as Band Leader)

21. 22 Minutes - JOHNNY BIRD ORCHESTRA with Lillian Childs on Lead Vocals (May 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0155, A-side - for B-side "The Last Laugh Will Be On You" with Mr. Blue on Lead Vocals see Track 10)

22. That's All I Need - THE DU-DROPPERS (from the 1955 US 4-Track EP "Tops In Rhythm & Blues" on Groove G EP EGA-5, Track 1, Side 1 - featuring Ernest Hayes on Piano with Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone)

23. Doo Ba Dee – MAYMIE WATTS (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED, March 1955 recording featuring The Four Students on Backing Vocals)

24. Where Is Joe? – EMMETT HOBSON (October 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0124, B-side of "Mattie Bee" - see also Track 2 for A-side)

25. Shake Till I'm Shook - BEVERLY WRIGHT (May 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0153, A-side - featuring John 'Plas' Johnson on Tenor Saxophone with The Students on Backing Vocals)

26. I Believe In You - FRANK BRUNSON (November 1956, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0173, B-side of "Charmaine" for A-side see Track 1 - both feature Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone)

27. Love Ya Like Crazy - CHRIS POWELL & THE BLUE FLAMES (May 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0105, A-side - for B-side "Break It Up" see Track 14)

28. Alabama Sue - ROY GAINES (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, February 1956 recording featuring King Curtis on Tenor Saxophone)

29. Oh! Sweetness - THE AVALONS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, January 1956 recording featuring McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar with King Curtis on Tenor Saxophone and Jesse Stone as Band Leader)

30. Since You Went Away - ZILLA MAYS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, October 1955 recording featuring McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar, Ernest Hayes on Piano, Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone with The Four Students on Backing Vocals)

31. Crime Doesn't Pay - THE CORONETS (September 1955, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0114, B-side of "I Love You More")

32. Women Are The Root Of All Evil - PAUL WILLIAMS (April 1954, US 45-single on Groove 4G-0014, A-side - featuring McHouston 'Mickey' Baker on Guitar, Freddie Johnson on Piano, Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Tenor Saxophone with Jimmy Brown on Trumpet and Backing Vocals)

33. A Little Boy's Dream - GEORGE BENSON (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, same details as Track 6)

34. Humpty Dumpty - PAUL WILLIAMS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, same details as Track 32)

35. Wheel Of Time - MAYMIE WATTS (PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED, same details as Tracks 15 and 23)

Tracks 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 16, 19, 23, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34 and 35 are PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED (15 in total)

A 62-page feature-packed booklet sits attached to the inner card digipak – the legendary R&B historian and chronicler BILL DAHL pouring on the deep-level info on many names few will know. Dahl breaks it down Artist-by-Artist – biogs on people like Zilla Mays, Frank Brunson and Roy 'Guitar' Gaines alongside bands like The Coronets, The Avalons and probably the label's most famous group - The Du Droppers. It's a typically classy affair from Bear Family and the MARCUS HEUMANN Remasters are clear and kicking. A delight to look at, hold and listen too. 

Much of the unreleased stuff stayed in the can for fairly obvious reasons – both the George Benson cuts contain embarrassingly strained vocals from the young lad badly trying to sound older and failing. But then you get a fabulous dancing instrumental in the shape of "Grab That Thing And Run" from Sam 'Highpockets' Henderson which would set any dancefloor alight then or now. That's followed by the fun and sexy "I Gotta Know" where a blossoming 18 year-old Beatrice Reading wants Mama to explain why all the boys are whistling when she walks by – are their intentions pure like the ice-cream Sundays they keep promising they'll give her if she stops being an angel come next Saturday night. "Love Ya Like Crazy” is a great shuffler from Chris Powell – our poor boy walking in circles – and without her loving – he's gonna blow his stack. 

Lillian Childs gets her lead vocal moment on "22 Minutes" – the Johnny Bird Orchestra bouncing away in the background as she explains that it's only a short journey to her baby's fine hugging and kissing. The Discography doesn't know who the backing vocal group is behind Lillian Childs, but those bop-do-wop vocal punches sure sounds like Ollie Jones of The Four Students who would later become The Cues – a vocal joy in my books. Maymie Watts gives us her best lusty Ruth Brown as she bends her saucy words on "Doo Ba Dee" – happy as she can be because she is in love – Budd Johnson on the Saxophone stamping home the shuffle. Another great bopper is Beverly Wright telling us she's gonna nab herself a he-man that will shed her weary Blues and make her "Shake Till I'm Shook" (good on you girl). 

And on the fun goes – and there's a lot of it too. Beautifully presented, stomping audio, unusual titles that deserve their day in the sun. And while you can hear why Groove Records didn't do it chart-wise (not enough killer hooks like their rivals in Aladdin, Chess, Atlantic and Specialty) - "Rockin' The Groove" does what it says on the digital tin. Give it a whirl and smile at the glorious cover artwork...

"The Complete Imperial Recordings, 1950-1954" by T-BONE WALKER (September 1991 US EMI Records USA 2CD Compilation of Ron McMaster Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...




This Review Along With over 200 Others Is Available in my
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites

"MANNISH BOY" 
BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, DOO WOP, ROOTS
RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL ON CD 
Exceptional CD Reissues and Remasters 

Thousands of E-Pages
All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

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"...Strollin' With Bone... "

"...I'm too lazy to work and too nervous to steal..." or how about 
"...It's a coldblooded world when a man has to pawn his shoes..." 

Poor T-Bone Walker, always having it hard with the ladies (if you know what I'm saying). 

It may be old (in July 2021, September 1991 is almost 30 years ago and therefore ancient in the digital domain), but if you'll forgive the loose lips sinks ships gaudy line of chatter-patter, "The Complete Imperial Recordings, 1950-1954" is a solid gold one nonetheless. 

The grandfather guitar-playing template for most all of modern-day Blues - T-Bone Walker's tunes were always fun too - a self-deprecating wry social commentator where (guess what) - it always appeared to be her fault - with our hero (oddly enough) blemish-less in the aforementioned shenanigans. As you no doubt catch from the lyrics to "Too Lazy" and "Alimony Blues" quoted above, T-Bone was also an uncannily good wordsmith - like say Chuck Berry was to 50ts Rock 'n' Roll. 

Jammed with Fifty-two tracks in great audio (given their vintage and rarity) - T-Bone Walker was also an accomplished 40 year-old Blues and R 'n' B man in the early 50ts zipping up and down the fretboard of his big daddy of a guitar. There's a whole mess of hustle to be documenting, so let's have at the evil-hearted gals and their cruel-cruel alimony blues...

US released 10 September 1991 - "The Complete Imperial Recordings, 1950- 1954" by T-BONE WALKER on EMI Records USA CDP-7-96737-2 (Barcode 762185124628) is a 52-Track 2CD Compilation of Remasters in the EMI Blues Series that plays out as follows:

CD1: 70:18 minutes, 26 Tracks 
1. Glamour Girl 
2. Strollin' With Bone 
3. The Sun Went Down 
4. You Don't Love Me 
5. Travellin' Home 
6. The Hustle Is On (78 RPM Version)
7. Baby Broke My Heart (78 RPM Version) 
8. Evil Hearted Woman (Alternate Take)
9. I Walked Away 
10. No Reason 
11. Look Me In The Eye (78 RPM Version) 
12. Too Lazy (Alternate Take) 
13. Alimony Blues 
14. Life Is Too Short 
15. You Don't Understand (Alternative) 
16. Welcome Blues (Hey Pretty Baby) 
17. I Get So Weary 
18. You Just Wanted To Use Me
19. Tell Me What's The Reason 
20. I'm About To Lose My Mind  
21. Cold, Cold Feeling 
22. News For My Baby 
23. Get These Blues Off Me 
24. I Got The Blues Again
25. Through With Women 
26. Street Walking Woman

CD2: 68:48 minutes, 26 Tracks
1. Blues Is A Woman 
2. I Got The Blues 
3. Here In The Dark
4. Blue Mood 
5. Every Time 
6. I Miss You Baby 
7. Lollie Lou 
8. Party Girl 
9. Love Is Just A Gamble (No Horns) 
10. High Society 
11. Long Distance Blues 
12. Got No Use For You 
13. I'm Still In Love With You 
14. Railroad Station Blues 
15. Vida Lee (No Horns)
16. My Baby Is Now On My Mind 
17. Doin' Time 
18. Bye Bye Baby 
19. When The Sun Goes Down 
20. Pony Tail 
21. Wanderin' Heart 
22. I'll Always Be In Love With You 
23. I'll Understand 
24. Hard Way 
25. Teen Age Baby 
26. Strugglin' Blues 

Part of the 'EMI Blues Series', the 16-page booklet inside the fat double jewel-case has informative, affectionate and detailed liner notes by PETE WELDING followed by track-by-track session details. His swinging band consisted of Eddie Hutcherson on Trumpet, Edward Hale on Alto Saxophone, Eddie Davis on Tenor Saxophone, Jim Wynn on Tenor and Baritone Saxophones, Zell Kindred on Piano, Buddy Woodson on Bass with Robert Sims on Drums. Other musicians included Wilard McDaniel on Piano, Oscar Lee Bradley and Robert Sims on Rhythm Guitars with T-Bone handling all Lead Guitar and Vocals. That famous shot of him doing his showman-acrobatics by playing the guitar behind his head is synonymous with T-Bone Walker and of course influenced so many Rock Musicians that followed including the big guy - Jimi Hendrix. 

Throughout the songs - most being slow Blues punctuated with dancing R&B shufflers - his guitar playing is that of a more sophisticated B.B. King and the Disc Transfers by RON McMASTER at Capitol Recording Studios brings this out. The first ten to twenty sides feature controlled clicks and pops from those uber-rare 1950 and 1951 Imperial 78s but thereafter, the transfers and Audio is impressively clean. By the time you get down to "Through With Women" on Disc 1 - your speakers are filled with guitar-flicking piano-rolling horn-moaning Blues where the gals are (of course) entirely to blame for T-Bone's woes (the good book says so you know). His "Street Walking Woman" is filled with great fun tales of a gal with a fifth shot of whiskey and a jug full of wine and she don't stop drivin' the boys wild even when the sun goes down.

The kind of artist who deserves a 5CD Bear Family 12" x 12" all-consuming monster hardback book tome Box Set – but if you want your stroll with T-Bone Walker – then settle-in with this early exemplary 2CD anthology. Just know that love is a gamble and she (evil-hearted and gin sozzled) has loaded the dice in her double-dealin' favour (don't they all)...

Thursday, 8 July 2021

"Pay Day Jump: Later Sessions" by ROY BROWN and His Mighty Mighty Men - 1949 and 1950 Recordings on 78"s with Eight Previously Unreleased (March 2015 UK Ace Records CD Compilation of Remasters - Part of The King & DeLuxe Acetate Series) - A Review by Mark Barry...




This Review Along With over 200 Others Is Available in my
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites

"MANNISH BOY" 
BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, DOO WOP, ROOTS
RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL ON CD 
Exceptional CD Reissues and Remasters 

Thousands of E-Pages
All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

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"…Mighty, Mighty Man…"

I'm not surprised that Ace is trumpeting the sound quality of this CD. When they began shipping the De-Luxe and King Acetates in the 00's from Nashville to North London for sound engineering - Alec Paolo and Tony Rounce apparently unearthed what the Braun Brothers (founders of the labels) had said had been destroyed in a fire - a bunch of pristine Acetates for Roy Brown's 1949 and 1950 string of Rocking and Blues R'n'B 78's on De-Luxe. I say this because Duncan Cowell's remastering here is utterly exceptional - crisp, clear, full of life and presence (barely any clicks). You'd swear you were in the presence of master tapes and not precious one-off studio acetates.

They've even declared on the back of the CD that these digital remasters are now re-entered into Copyright (most unreleased in the USA) and the icing on the cake is that eight of these babies are Previously Unreleased (with the remainder in best-ever sound quality). Roy Brown fans are going to flip for this stuff. Here are the Big Shouter details...

UK released March 2015 - "Pay Day Jump - Later Sessions" by ROY BROWN on Ace Records CDTOP 1423 (Barcode 029667063524) is a CD compilation that's part of The King & Deluxe Acetate Series and pans out as follows (67:44 minutes):

Title (Recording Date, Release Year and American 78" Catalogue Number)

1. Boogie At Midnight (recorded 20 Sep 1949, 1949 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3300 AA)

2. The Blues Got Me Again (recorded 20 Sep 1949, 1949 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3300 A)

3. I Feel That Young Man's Rhythm (recorded 20 Sep 1949, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3302 AA)

4. End Of My Journey (recorded 20 Sep 1949, 1950 USA 78" De-Luxe 3302 A)

5. Butcher Pete (Part 1) (recorded 2 Nov 1949, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3301 AA)

6. Butcher Pete (Part 2) (recorded 2 Nov 1949), 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3301 A)

7. Special Kind Of Treatment (recorded 2 Nov 1949, Matrix No D 1506-2, Previously Unreleased)

8. Pay Day Jump (Wine, Women And Song (Take 1) (recorded 2 Nov 1949, Matrix No D 1507-1, Previously Unreleased)

9. Cadillac Baby (recorded 19 April 1950, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3308 A)

10. Hard Luck Blues (recorded 19 April 1950, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3308 AA)

11. New Rebecca (recorded 19 April 1950, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3304 A)

12. Sweet Peach (recorded 19 April 1950, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3312 AA - see also 15)

13. Love Don't Love Nobody (recorded 15 May 1950, USA 78" on De-Luxe 3306 A)

14. Dreaming Blues (recorded 15 May 1950, USA 78" on De-Luxe 3306 AA)

15. Good Man Blues (recorded 19 April 1950, 1950 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3312 A - see also 13)

16. Too Much Lovin' Ain't No Good (recorded 15 May 1950, first released 1985 on the UK LP compilation "Boogie At Midnight" on Charly CRB 1093)

17. China Blues (recorded January 1949, Matrix D 894-2, Previously Unreleased)

18. Fanny Brown's Wedding Day (recorded January 1949, matrix D 872-4, Previously Unreleased)

19. Judgement Day Blues (recorded January 1949, USA 78" on De-Luxe 3212 B - see also 21)

20. Special Lesson No. 1 Take 3 (Remake) (recorded January 1949, Matrix D 880-3 - Previously Unreleased)

21. Rockin' At Midnight (recorded January 1949, USA 78" on De-Luxe 3212 A - see also 19)

22. Miss Fanny Brown (recorded January 1949, 1949 USA 78" on De-Luxe 3128 B - remake)

23. Mighty, Mighty Man (Take 3) (recorded January 1949, previously unreleased Take 3 of USA 1949 De-Luxe 3128 A - remake)

24. Pay Day Jump (Wine, Women And Song) (Take 2) (recorded 19 April 1950, Matrix D 1507-2, Previously Unreleased)

NOTES: Tracks 1-18, 20 & 24 credited to ROY BROWN & His Mighty-Mighty Men
Tracks 19 and 21, 22 and 23 credited to ROY BROWN With His Mighty-Mighty Men
Tracks 7, 8, 11, 17, 18, 20, 23 and 24 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (2015)

The 12-page booklet is festooned with lovely repros of those precious De-Luxe American 78s, three King/De-Luxe American Trade Magazine Adverts and classy black and white publicity photos of Roy Brown. Long-standing archivist and writer TONY ROUNCE (has handled hundreds of reissues) has done the liner notes that go as far as breaking down each matrix number allocated and which song was recorded at what session (it's properly detailed and hugely informative). But it's the DUNCAN COWELL remasters that blow you away (Cowell did almost all of the exceptional Blue Horizon CD reissues in 2006, 2007 and 2008 - I've reviewed most of them). Notoriously rough - these minted Acetates have been given a gorgeous going over - and fans will be lapping this up.

The music is good-time Forties & Fifties R'n'B - usually a dancing shouter on the A about girls and drinking and being naughty in the bushes with a Bluesy miserable song of woe on the flipside. It opens with a wonderful we're gonna "Boogie At Midnight" bopper - "you get the bottle...I'll get the chicks...we're gonna get together and have some natural kicks..." It's impossible not to want cut a rug listening to this. The lyrics on stuff like "I Feel That Young Man's Rhythm" and especially "Butcher Pete" doesn't leave much to the imagination - incredibly juicy words where Pete's been doing single women, married women and old maids and all (he's a busy boy is Pete). As you can imagine this stuff is great fun.

The first Previously Unreleased cut is "Special Kind Of Treatment" where our poorly sexpot "went down to my doctor...lately I ain't been feeling fine..." - Roy tells the worried practitioner. He adds that "I need a special kind of treatment...and I hope I'm understood..." I think "Cadillac Baby" is what the poor boy needs - "How that woman loves to ride...she loves her rolling...loves to ball a jack..." - that's what fidgetty Roy needs. Another unreleased winner with great Saxophone work is "China Blues" where Elvina writes to her man that she's "...way out here in China" (not that Elvina conveniently rhymes with China you understand). And on it goes to his signature "Mighty, Mighty Man" where Roy modestly hollers "WELLLL! I'm a mighty, mighty man - I'm young and in my prime!" 

So all in all fabulous stuff and yet another winner from Ace. "...I see five on Friday...five on Saturday too...better put my rock in the Hall of Fame..." - Roy Brown cheerfully boasts on the fruity "I Feel That Young Man's Rhythm".

Should your rhythm stick need stirring - my advice is to get this saucy piece of reissue genius in 'your' socket right quick...Daddy-O!

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

"The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956" by ELMORE JAMES & HIS BROOMDUSTERS (Originally June 1994 UK Ace Records/Vanguard 3CD Long Box Set of Remasters – Reissued August 2007 UK Vanguard/Ace Records 3CD Set in a Jewel Case with Same Tracks) - A Review by Mark Barry...





This Review Along With over 200 Others Is Available in my
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites

"MANNISH BOY" 
BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, DOO WOP, ROOTS
RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL ON CD 
Exceptional CD Reissues and Remasters 

Thousands of E-Pages
All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

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"…Dusted Off His Blues…"

When the vinyl album "The Best Of Elmore James" first appeared in February 1965 in the UK on Sue Records ILP 918 priced at 29/11d - certain white English boys (chaps from Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin) grabbed it, listened to the 'loud electric slide blues guitar' of this Delta son and quietly shat their Carnaby St. pants.

"Dust My Broom" is one of those tunes/riffs that has literally altered history - a game-changer that's been copied and modified to buggery ever since it's first appearance back in Mississippi in the 1930's. Lyrically the words "dust my broom" (which reputedly date back to the 17th Century and mean "leave home quickly") were first mentioned by Carl Rafferty in 1933 and Kokomo Arnold in 1934. 

But it was the legendary slide player ROBERT JOHNSON who finally put the words into a song title when he cut "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" on Vocalion 03475 in 1937. Elmore James met the great man sometime in late 1937 (a year before Johnson died) and adapted the song to his own emerging style - electrified guitar slashed by a bottleneck slide. Elmore James' version (credited to Elmo James) first appeared as a 78" in late 1951 on Trumpet Records 146 with an uncredited Sonny Boy Williamson playing harmonica (it's pictured on Page 8 of the book) - and history was made. 

But quite apart from 'that' famous riff - this 3CD (reissue) set makes a strong case for Elmore Leroy James as being way more than a one-song wonder. Here are the early-in-the-morning details...

"The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956" by ELMORE JAMES & HIS BROOMDUSTERS originally appeared as an American 71-track 3CD set in long-box form in June 1994. This is the August 2007 Ace Records double jewel-case UK reissue (same tracks and annotated booklet) on Ace Records ABOXCD 4 (Barcode 029667000420) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 "Canton Crusade" - 62:28 minutes:
1. Dust My Broom (1951 USA 78" on Trumpet 146, A)
2. Please Find My Baby (Version 1) (1969 USA LP "Anthology Of A Blues Legend" on Kent LP 9001)
3. Hawaiian Boogie (Version 1) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
4. Please Find My Baby (Version 2) (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1022, A)
5. Hand In Hand (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1031, A)
6. Long Tall Woman (Previously Unreleased Until 1993 Box Set)
7. Rock My Baby Right (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1048, B-side of "Dark And Dreary")
8. One More Drink (Take 1) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
9. My Baby's Gone (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
10. One More Drink (Take 2) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
11. Lost Woman Blues (aka "Please Find My Baby (Version 3)") (Previously Unreleased Until 1993 Box Set)
12. I Believe (1953 USA 7" single on Meteor 5000, A)
13. I Held My Baby Last Night (1953 USA 7" single on Meteor 5000, B-side of "I Believe")
14. Baby What's Wrong (1953 USA 7" single on Meteor 5003, A)
15. Sinful Woman (1953 USA 7" single on Meteor 5003, B-side of "Baby What's Wrong")
16. Round House Boogie (1953 USA 7" single on Meteor 5001, A - reissued on Meteor 5024 in 1955 as "Sax Symphonic Boogie" with the B called "Flaming Blues" - see 19)
17. Dumb Woman Blues (1954 USA 7" single on Meteor 5016, B-side of "Sax-Ony Boogie")
18. Sax-Ony Boogie (1954 USA 7" single on Meteor 5016, A)
19. Kickin' The Blues Around (first issued as "Kickin' The Blues Around" in 1953 on the USA 7" single Meteor 5001 - reissued as "Flaming Blues" in 1955 on the USA 7" single Meteor 5024)
20. I May Be Wrong (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1010, A)
21. Sweet Little Woman (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1010, B

Disc 2 - "Broomdusting In Chicago" - 70:35 minutes:
1. Early In The Morning (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1011, A)
2. Can't Stop Lovin' (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1014, A)
3. Hawaiian Boogie (Version 2) (1953 recording on the 1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
4. Make A Little Love (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1014, B-side of "Can't Stop Lovin'")
5. My Best Friend (Take 1) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
6. Make My Dreams Come True (Take 2) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
7. Make My Dreams Come True (Take 3)
8. Make My Dreams Come True (Take 4) - 3 and 4 Previously Unreleased until 1993
9. Make My Dreams Come True (Take 7) (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1031, B-side of "Hand In Hand")
10. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 1) - previously unreleased until 1993
11. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 2) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
12. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 3) - previously unreleased until 1993
13. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 4) - previously unreleased until 1993
14. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 5) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
15. Strange Kinda Feeling (Take 6) (1953 USA 7" single on Flair 1022, B-side of "Please Find My Baby")
16. Dark And Dreary (Take 1) - previously unreleased until 1993
17. Dark And Dreary (Take 2) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
18. Dark And Dreary (Take 4) (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1048, A)
19. Quarter Past Nine (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
20. Where Can My Baby Be (Take 1) - previously unreleased until 1993
21. Where Can My Baby Be (Take 8) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
22. Where Can My Baby Be (Take 9) (1969 USA LP "Anthology Of A Blues Legend" on Kent LP 9001)
23. Please Come Back To Me (Sho' Nuff I Do) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
24. Session Talk & False Start/Sho' Nuff I Do - previously unreleased until 1993
25. Sho' Nuff I Do (Alternate Take) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
26. Sho' Nuff I Do (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1039, A)
27. 1839 Blues (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1039, B-side of "Sho' Nuff I Do")
28. I Got A Strange Baby (1969 USA LP "Anthology Of A Blues Legend" on Kent LP 9001)
29. Canton, Mississippi Breakdown (1969 USA LP "Anthology Of A Blues Legend" on Kent LP 9001)

Disc 3 - "Culver City To The Crescent City" - 58:22 minutes:
1. Standing At The Crossroads (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1057, B-side of "Sunny Land")
2. Late Hours At Midnight (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1062, A)
3. Happy Home (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1069, A)
4. Sunny Land (1954 USA 7" single on Flair 1057, A)
5. The Way You Treat Me (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1062, B-side of "Late Hours At Midnight")
6. No Love In My Heart (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1069, B-side of "Happy Home")
7. Dust My Blues (Take 3) (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1074, A)
8. I Was A Fool (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1074, B-side of "Dust My Blues")
9. Blues Before Sunrise (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1079, A)
10. Good Bye (Baby) (Take 1) (1955 USA 7" single on Flair 1079, B-side of "Blues Before Sunrise")
11. So Mean To Me (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
12. So Mean To Me (Take 3) (1969 USA LP "Anthology Of A Blues Legend" on Kent LP 9001)
13. So Mean To Me (Take 4) (1987 UK LP "Let's Cut It: The Very Best Of Elmore James" on Ace Records CH 192)
14. Chat & False Start To "Wild About You Baby" - Previously unreleased until 1993
15. Wild About You (1956 USA 7" single on Modern 983, A)
16. Wild About You Baby (1965 USA LP "Original Folk Blues" on Kent KLP-5022)
17. Elmo's Shuffle (Instrumental) (Take 3) (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
18. Elmo's Shuffle (Take 4) (1983 UK LP "King Of The Slide Guitar" on Ace Records CH 68)
19. Elmo's Shuffle (Take 5) - Previously Unreleased Until 1993
20. Long Tall Woman (1970 USA LP "The Resurrection Of Elmore James" on Kent LP 9010)
21. Long Tall Woman (1956 USA 7" single on Modern 983, B-side of "Wild About You")

The 40-page CD-sized booklet opens with pages of track credits but the superbly detailed RAY TOPPING liner notes begin properly on Page 6 and finish on Page 31 with a Discography that follows. Inbetween the text are black and white and colour photos of EJ and various support bands, reproductions of those rare Meteor, Modern, Trumpet and Flair American labels, trade adverts, label calling cards, photos of Joe Bihari (Modern Records) and even a copy of his birth certificate from 27 January 1918.

Topping disentangles the messy mastertapes situation surrounding so much of EJ's recorded legacy - admitting that a few titles are dubbed from clean 78"s because masters are either lost or destroyed (Modern cannibalised their tapes in the 60's). Given all that - the BOB JONES remasters are a revelation for what is notoriously badly recorded material. I've heard CDs of EJ's material that a few shades short of unlistenable - not the case here. It's rough for sure in places - but it is at least real.

After the crackly start of "Dust My Broom" - you get to track 2 "Please Find My Baby" - and suddenly there it is - 'that' electric sound. It's an immediate gritty ballsy and visceral kick in the teeth and you can hear 'everybody' who was influenced by his style - from Fleetwood Mac right on through to Johnny Winter and George Thorogood. His great raspy vocal comes shining through on the lonesome "Long Tall Woman" while Ike Turner's piano so compliments "Rock My Baby First". The production values improve on "Baby What's Wrong" (recorded Nov 1952 in Chicago) with J T Brown on Saxophone and Johnny Jones on Piano. James is just about audible on the fabulous R'n'B boogies of "Sweet Little Woman" and "I May Be Wrong" by Little Johnny Jones & The Chicago Hound Dogs - sounding not unlike some long lost rocking masterpiece. Elmore's rocking rearrangement of Robert Johnson's "I Believe" (also known as I Believe (My Time Ain't Long)") was Fleetwood's Mac's UK debut single on Blue Horizon in November 1967 (miscredited to Jeremy Spencer) - and practically defined their first album sound.

Johnny Jones once again provides tasty piano fills for "Can't Stop Lovin'" while the whole band whips up a storm for the instrumental "Hawaiian Boogie" which features those trademark licks on his as JT Brown blasts away on a Sax. The growth of "Make My Dreams Come True" (Take 7 is the master) and "Strange Kinda Feeling" (Take 6 is the master) are documented through several aborted/truncated takes - the band finding their groove. And the properly Bluesy "Please Come Back To Me" features Ike Turner on Guitar with Raymond Hill on Tenor Sax. And we return to Robert Johnson for "Standing At The Crossroads" where James puts in a hugely confident vocal against a brassy backdrop. Back to that slasher style for "Dust My Blues" which is one my faves on here.

Given what's gone before - the audio on here is years ahead of what we've had to put up with before - even if it is a bit rough around the gills. But in some respects isn't that what made Elmore James so electrifying in the first place...

Artwork for the original Long Box 

INDEX - Entries and Artist Posts in Alphabetical Order