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Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Otis Blackwell - Singin' The Blues

Side A:
01. Daddy Rollin' Stone
02. Tears Tears Tears
03. On That Power Line
04. Don't Know How I Loved You
05. Go Away Mr. Blues
06. Ain't Got No Time
07. You Move Me Baby

Side B:
01. My Poor Broken Heart
02. Let The Daddy Hold You
03. You're My Love
04. I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart
05. I'm Coming Back Baby
06. My Josephine
07. I'm Travelin' On

O.K. folks, you got it! Rock 'n' Roll fans the wide world over have been demanding more Otis Blackwell tracks since I posted the Krazy Kat "Listen To Dr. Jive" compilation of Joe Davis sides which featured a couple of tracks by Otis - "Oh! What A Wonderful Time" and "Bartender Fill It Up Again."  The notes on the back of the LP referred to an earlier release on sister label Flyright of an Otis Blackwell LP called "Singin' The Blues," an LP which I never did buy back in the 1980s. Well I've managed to cobble together a "reconstruction" of that album by gathering the necessary music files from, ahem, certain sources, and downloading and slightly adapting the artwork from All hail

This 1981 Flyright LP was in fact a reissue of a 1957 release on Davis (JD-109) with the same title and same tracks but of course different artwork:

The download includes a bonus folder - the complete original LP artwork adapted from the heritage auctions website. Real R&B fanatics who prefer to present original artwork on their computer media player will therefore be in hog heaven.

Which brings us to Otis Blackwell himself. He is best known of course for the series of hit songs he penned for Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis among others - "Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up," "Return To Sender," "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless." He also wrote "Fever" under a pseudonym (to get round a contract he had with Joe Davis, according to some) and the Dee Clark hit "Hey Little Girl." But it's not these glorious achievements which concern us here, but rather the early years of Otis Blackwell's career when he was a blues singer scuffling round the clubs and dives of early '50's NYC. A win at an Apollo Theatre talent show brought him to the attention of record man Joe Davis who introduced him to RCA.

Otis Blackwell's style was unusual for an R&B singer of the time. His singing was obviously influenced by Roy Brown, Larry Darnell and the other emotional big blues belters of the day but the songs that he sang were often a synthesis of R&B, country and Latin which made his records on RCA and Joe Davis's Jay-Dee label sound ahead of their time. Indeed some of his records, backed by big, bold brassy arrangements featuring the best of NYC session men, sound like templates for the kind of sound that Elvis would record for RCA in 1956-57.

It has to be said though that Otis Blackwell's voice had its limitations and that he occasionally doesn't quite "get there" on some of his sides. His first two singles were recorded for RCA in October 1952, backed by a band which included "Floorshow" Culley on tenor sax and Budd Johnson on baritone sax. "Wake Up Fool" which was released in December 1952 was a hard rocker which could have sounded perfectly at home on an Elvis album in 1957. The follow up, "Fool That I Be" had a Latin rhythm which again anticipated the sound of the second half of the '50's.

The first session for Jay-Dee in September 1953 with a studio band which included Al Sears on tenor sax and drummer Panama Francis brought the moody classic "Daddy Rollin' Stone" and yes, every time I listen to it I can't help but imagine Elvis performing it. For the next three Joe Davis sessions (December 1953, and two in May 1954), Otis was ably backed by a band led by Lem Johnson. These tracks were mostly rather more conventional R&B, although "Ain't Got No Time" had a strong New Orleans influence. The final two tracks from these sessions were country style songs with "Nobody Met The Train" (not on this LP) being an out and out weeper of the type which comedian Billy Connolly once observed, would have "the blood running out of your record player."

In June, 1954, Otis recorded four sides for the RCA subsidiary Groove. One single was released, the A Side of which "Oh! What A Babe" was a gospel influenced rocker which had Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenor sax, Haywood Henry on baritone sax and Mickey Baker on guitar. Otis returned to Jay-Dee in March 1955 for his final four tracks for that company. The band again featured Sam Taylor, Haywood Henry and Mickey Baker and the dynamic Big Beat arrangements were by Leroy Kirkland. This session illustrates that Otis was definitely at his best on uptempo riffers ("Oh What A Wonderful Time" and "You Move Me Baby") or on the moody Latin-tinged numbers like "Let The Daddy Hold You," but the ballad style blues numbers such as "My Poor Broken Heart" were definitely a struggle.

From 1956 onwards Otis Blackwell's recording activities took a back seat to his much more lucrative songwriting. There were intermittent sessions from 1957 - 1962 with occasional singles coming out on Gale, Atlantic, Date, Cub and MGM.

Although many of his songs were collaborations (with Winfield Scott, Jack Hammer inter alia) and some of his songwriting credits were shared (ahem) with Elvis, Otis still made enough from his writing to enjoy a more than comfortable lifestyle. His obituary in the New York Times (May 9th, 2002) ended with a memorable quote - "I wrote my songs, I got my money and I boogied." What more could you ask for?

Fax On The Trax

"Daddy Rollin' Stone," "On That Power Line," "Don't Know How I Loved You" and "Tears! Tears! Tears!" were recorded in New York on September 22nd, 1953. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Al Sears (tenor sax); Frank Signorelli (piano); Tony Gottusso (guitar); Frank Carroll (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

"Daddy Rollin' Stone" / "Tears! Tears! Tears!" released on Jay-Dee 784 in October 1953. Reviewed in "Billboard" 24th October 1953: "Daddy Rollin' Stone - This one shows originality and is likely to gain favor with listeners."

"Don't Know How I Loved You" / "On That Power Line" released on Jay-Dee 791 in May 1954.

"I'm Travelin' On," "You're My Love," Go Away Mr. Blues" and "Bartender Fill It Up Again" recorded in New York on December 30th, 1953. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Bill Graham (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano, celeste on "Go Away Mr. Blues"); Arvell Shaw (bass); Cozy Cole (drums).

"Bartender, Fill It Up Again!" / "You're My Love" released on Jay-Dee 787 in January 1954. Reviewed in Billboard on 6th February 1954. "Bartender, Fill It Up Again! - Watch this one, it could be a real coin-grabber."

"I'm Comin' Back Baby" / "Go Away Mr. Blues" released on Jay-Dee 798 in March 1955.

"I'm Travelin' On" not released on single.

"My Josephine," "Ain't Got No Time" and "I'm Comin' Back Baby" recorded in New York on May 12th, 1954. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Dave McCrea (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano); Frank Carroll (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

"My Josephine" / "Ain't Got No Time" released on Jay-Dee 794 in October 1954. Of "My Josephine" Billboard said on 30th October 1954, "good performance, but Blackwell needs stronger material."

As already noted, "I'm Comin' Back Baby" was released with "Go Away Mr. Blues" on Jay-Dee 798 in March 1955.

"Nobody Met The Train" and "I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart" were recorded in New York on May 26th, 1954.

"Nobody Met The Train" / "I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart" released on Jay-Dee 792 in June 1954.

"My Poor Broken Heart," "Oh What A Wonderful Time," "You Move Me Baby" and "Let The Daddy Hold You" were recorded in New York on March 9th, 1955. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass); Specs Powell (drums); Leroy Kirkland (arranger).

"My Poor Broken Heart" / "You Move Me, Baby" released on Jay-Dee 802 in April 1955.

Above: The Cash Box, April 9th, 1955.

Note: "You Move Me Baby" b/w "Daddy Rollin' Stone" was released on Davis 455 in November 1956.

"Oh! What A Wonderful Time" / "Let The Daddy Hold You" released on Jay-Dee 808, probably in the second half of 1955. Jay-Dee 806 (The Goldentones) was released in July 1955, Jay-Dee 810 (The Scale-Tones) was released in February 1956, so the release date for Jay-Dee 808 must lie somewhere in between!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The Joan Selects Collection

There have been some requests for re-ups of volumes of Joan Selects. I have therefore updated the Joan Selects page where you can now find working links for Volumes 1 - 20 plus the "Doo Wop Christmas" volume. There are still a few volumes to add as Joan kindly compiled some additional "Encore Appearance" volumes plus "Joan Selects 2017". I hope to add those to the page soon. And then there is the short series "Joan Spins Again" to throw into the mix!

There has been a delay in posting during the last couple of weeks as the Dreaded Lurgie has laid your blogger low. I have arisen from my bed of pain to sort out the Joan Selects links and will now attempt to complete a post which has been in the pipeline for about 10 days. Be patient cats 'n' kittens!

The blog recently passed some kind of milestone when the total page views hit the 3,000,000 mark. I had no idea there were so many people with such good taste on this supposedly benighted planet. When the apocalypse arrives some of us at least will go down swingin'.

Back soon with more of the platters that matter.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Listen To Dr. Jive

Side 1:
01. Steady Grind - Warren Lucky
02. Will Ya Please? - Danny Taylor
03. Makeena - Danny Taylor
04. There's Nothin' Wrong With This World - Danny Taylor
05. Shoemaker Man - Danny Taylor
06. Bartender Fill It Up Again - Otis Blackwell
07. Oh! What A Wonderful Time - Otis Blackwell

Side 2:
01. Listen To Dr. Jive - Dean Barlow
02. I Got A Letter - Lem Johnson
03. It Takes Money, Honey - Lem Johnson
04. Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues - Lem Johnson
05. Tall Tall Women - Nat Foster
06. Dog House Blues - Nat Foster
07. Lonely Soldier Blues - Nat Foster

First time on the blog for this collection of R&B / Rock and Roll sides recorded by NYC label owner Joe Davis. There are comprehensive notes by Bruce Bastin who released collections of Joe Davis material on Krazy Kat during the 1980s.

Joe Davis was a pioneering NYC R&B label owner who founded Beacon in 1942 and had quick success with Savannah Churchill and The Five Red Caps. He kept Beacon going during the 1950s and also launched the Davis and Jay-Dee labels as well as recording material for MGM.

There is something ironic about the front cover picture of this LP as Dean Barlow's "Listen To Dr. Jive" was recorded as a theme for a rival of Alan Freed, Tommy "Dr Jive" Smalls whose afternoon R&B show on WWRL matched the Freed show in popularity, just as his onstage R&B concerts competed strongly with Freed's live reviews.

In common with many LPs in my collection, this one languished forgotten on the shelf but repeated listens in the last couple of weeks have led me to conclude that it's a cracking little compilation which deserves the attention of seasoned (and not so seasoned) fans of New York rhythm 'n' blues.

Fax On The Trax

Warren Lucky - "Steady Grind." Unreleased take of "Fish Bait" (Beacon 105). Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Danny "Run Joe" Taylor - "Will Ya Please" and "Shoemaker Man" were unreleased. "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With This World" / "Makeena" released on Davis 454 in October 1956. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

adapted from

Otis Blackwell - "Bartender, Fill It Up Again" / "You're My Love" was released on Jay-Dee 787 in late January 1954. Possible personnel - Otis Blackwell (vocal) with Lem Johnson (tenor sax); Bill Graham (baritone sax); Conrad Frederick (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass) Cozy Cole (drums). Recording date was possibly December 30th 1953.

"Oh ! What A Wonderful Time" / "Let The Daddy Hold You" released on Jay-Dee 808. Recorded on March 9th 1955. Personnel: Otis Blackwell (vocal); Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Ernest Hayes (piano); Mickey Baker (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass); Specs Powell (drums); Leroy Kirkland (arranger).

Dean Barlow - "Listen To Dr. Jive" was probably not released on a single. Recorded January 18th 1956. Personnel: Dean Barlow (vocal) with Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Haywood Henry (baritone sax); Howard Biggs (piano, arranger); Everett Barksdale (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass); Panama Francis (drums).

Lem Johnson - "I Got A Letter" / "It Takes Money, Honey" released on MGM 11467 in March 1953. "Eatin' And Sleepin' Blues" was released on MGM 11532 in July 1953. B Side of "Never Love Anybody Better Than You Do Yourself." Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Nat Foster - "Lonely Soldier Blues" / "Tall, Tall Woman" released on MGM 11445 in 1953. "Dog House Blues" was not released. Personnel and recording date as on LP cover.

Elsewhere On The Blog

Thunderbolt! Honkin' R&B Instrumentals 1952-1956 is a fine collection of sax sides recorded by Joe Davis. Warren Lucky, Al King, Haywood Henry and a collection of NYC's finest session men.

Vocal Group R&B From Joe Davis Volume One 1952-1953 early vocal group stuff from Joe Davis labels. The Crickets feature Dean Barlow as lead vocalist and the collection does not have THAT Blenders' track!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Leo Parker and Sax Gill - Back To Back Baritones

Side A:
01. Woody - Leo Parker
02. Rolling With Parker - Leo Parker
03. Leo Leaps In - take 2 ** - Leo Parker
04. Solitude ** - Leo Parker
05. Rolling With Parker * - Leo Parker
06. Leo Leaps In - take 1 ** - Leo Parker
07. Leo Leaps In - take 3 ** - Leo Parker

Side B:
01. Crisco Jump ** - Sax Gill
02. Dancer's Delight - Sax Gill
03. Shortning Bread ** - Sax Gill
04. Bull Frog Bounce * - Sax Gill
05. That's The Groovy Thing * - Sax Gill
06. Mel's Jump ** - Sax Gill
07. That's The Groovy Thing * - Sax Gill

* = unreleased take
** = unreleased title

Here's a blast from the past! This compilation of sides recorded by baritone sax men Leo Parker and Sax Gill for Gotham was on the original Be Bop Wino blog about 10 years ago but with incomplete cover scans. Situation remedied for this re-up - there are new cover and label scans to go with the sound files.

Dave Penny's notes on the back cover are very thorough so there's little for me to add, except some links to other posts on Be Bop Wino where you can find more music featuring Leo Parker.

Of the two featured artists on the LP Leo Parker is by far the better known, being a major figure in the development of be bop who recorded with many of the well known musicians of the time. Originally an alto sax player, Leo shifted to baritone while with that nursery for bop, the Billy Eckstine band. He was with Eckstine from 1944 - 1946. Also in 1946 he recorded with Tadd Dameron and Sarah Vaughan for Musicraft and had a spell with Dizzy Gillespie.

1947 - 1948 was a very prolific spell for Leo who recorded for Savoy under his own name and also for various labels in groups led by Illinois Jacquet, Gene Ammons, Sir Charles Thompson, Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson and Russell Jacquet.

In January 1947, Leo featured on an Illinois Jacquet session for Aladdin, soloing on "Jivin' With Jack The Bellboy." You can hear that track on this LP - "Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax" On the same LP Leo also solos on "For Truly" which was recorded in December 1947.

At the end of January 1947 Leo featured on a Fats Navarro Savoy session. In May and September he was with the Illinois Jacquet band for sessions on Apollo. During the summer of 1947 Leo was on a Sir Charles Thompson session for Apollo, featuring strongly on "Tunis In" and "Mad Lad." In September 1947 Leo was on a Gene Ammons Quintet session for Aladdin and on October 4th he recorded four tracks for Savoy under his own name - "El Sino," "Ineta," "Wild Leo" and "Leapin' Leo." The Savoy tracks are on this LP - "Gene Ammons - Red Top - The Savoy Sessions."

On December 11th 1947 Leo recorded three sides for Savoy with the Dexter Gordon Quintette - "Settin' The Pace," "So Easy" and "Dexter's Riff." These can be heard on the LP "Dexter Gordon Master Takes."

On December 19th 1947 Leo was with the Illinois Jacquet band for a Victor session. He solos on "Embroyo," "Mutton Leg" and "Symphony In Sid." These tracks are on the LP "King Jacquet."

In December 1947 Leo recorded sides for Savoy under his own name and also as part of a band led by J.J. Johnson. Leo was back for another Savoy session in March 1948. In May he was on a Russell Jacquet session for Sensation. You can hear two of these tracks on streaming audio on the post "Suede Jacket" / "Lion's Roar" which features two of the sides on a 78 rpm disc sent in by El Enmascarado.

You can also find these sides on the homemade compilation "Jump & Jive On 78 Volume 3."

In July 1950 Leo recorded for Prestige and in December of that year he recorded a session for Gotham as featured in this post! Only one single resulted from the Gotham session - "Woody" / "Rolling With Parker" (Gotham 262).

In July 1951 Leo recorded for Chess and in November of 1952 he cut a single for United - "Cool Leo" / "Leo's Boogie" (United 141) which you can find on the compilation LP "Screaming Saxophones Have A Ball."

Leo was back at Chess in August 1953. The effects of a long standing heroin addiction were badly affecting his career and his next session was not until July 1954 when he cut an LP with guitarist Bill Jennings for King - "Billy In The Lion's Den." In December of that year he recorded with Illinois Jacquet for Clef and then ill health took over, stopping his recording activity for nearly seven years.

In September and October of 1961 he had an all too brief comeback with Blue Note - recording two albums - "Let Me Tell You 'Bout It" and "Rollin' With Leo." The latter album was not released until 1980. He was scheduled to record a Blue Note LP with Dexter Gordon in early 1962 but in February of that year he died of a heart attack.

Sax Gill had three singles released on Gotham, but of the six sides, only one is on this LP in its original release take - "Dancer's Delight." The singles were -

"Drigo's Serenade" / "Bull Frog Bounce" (Gotham 192), released in September 1949.

"Snaperoo" / "Rhythm Fantasy" (Gotham 205), released in November 1949.

"Dancer's Delight" / "That's The Groovy Thing" (Gotham 217), released in January 1950.

For the Melvin "Sax" Gill story, read Dave Penny's notes on the cover of this LP.

If you follow all the links above you are now in a position to make up your own Leo Parker compilation. Have fun!

Leo Parker discographical information from

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Joe Turner and Pete Johnson - Jumpin' The Blues

Side 1:
01. Wine-O-Baby Boogie - Joe Turner
02. B & O Blues - Joe Turner
03. Rocket Boogie "88" Part 1 - Pete Johnson & His Orchestra
04. Old Piney Brown's Gone - Joe Turner
05. Baby, Won't You Marry Me - Joe Turner
06. Skid Row Boogie - Pete Johnson & His Orchestra

Side 2:
01. Christmas Date Boogie - Joe Turner
02. Radar Blues - Joe Turner
03. Tell Me Pretty Baby - Joe Turner
04. Rocket Boogie "88" Part 2 - Pete Johnson & His Orchestra
05. Trouble Boogie - Joe Turner
06. Half Tight Boogie - Pete Johnson & His Orchestra

When Big Joe Turner left Decca in 1944 having recorded a series of classic sides from November 1940 to October 1944, he couldn't have foreseen that he would spend nearly seven years hopping from label to label in the search for recording success. In 1945 and 1946 he was with National, in July 1947 he recorded a couple of sides for Imperial ("Ice Man Blues" and "Roll 'em Pete"). In November 1947 he recorded a version of "Around The Clock Blues" for Stag under the pseudonym Big Vernon and in the same month he had a session for Aladdin, and at the end of that month and in early December he had his final sessions for National.

At the end of 1947 he was recorded live at a Gene Norman promoted "Just Jazz" concert for RPM. The AFM recording ban brought a temporary halt to Joe's discographic wanderings, but when he resumed recording in June 1948, it was for yet another label, Jack Lauderdale's Down Beat which was renamed Swing Beat in October 1949 and then six months later Swing Time.

On June 28th, 1948, in Los Angeles, Joe Turner and his longtime collaborator, boogie pianist Pete Johnson, recorded eight sides for release on Down Beat. They were accompanied by what was essentially the Jay McShann band at that time. Personnel - Joe Turner (vocals) with: James Ross, Art Farmer (trumpets); Frank Sleet (alto sax); Pete Peterson (tenor sax); Milburn Newman (baritone sax); Pete Johnson (piano); unknown (guitar); Addison Farmer (bass) Robert Brady (drums).

Four singles were released from the session. Tracking down the original release dates of these singles has proved to be more difficult than usual and indeed there seems to be some contradiction in the information I found. For once I've failed to find label shots for all of the original discs, so I can't be sure of the original artist attribution on the first of these records. Anyway, here goes -

Down Beat 151 - Radar Blues / Trouble Blues presumably issued in 1948.

Down Beat 152 - Wine-O-Baby Boogie / B&O Blues - Joe Turner with orchestral accompaniment featuring Pete Johnson at the "88". This disc was reviewed in Billboard on 28th May 1949 and also featured in an ad in Billboard on 9th April 1949. The take of "B&O Blues" on this LP is probably a different take to the one issued on 78rpm single.

Down Beat 153 - Tell Me Pretty Baby / Christmas Date Boogie - Joe Turner's Orchestra with Pete Johnson at the "88". Release date unknown. Presumably before Christmas 1948. This disc was re-released on Swing Time 269 as "How D'Ya Want Your Rollin' Done" / "Christmas Date" in December 1951 and was credited to Joe Turner, with no mention of Pete Johnson.

Down Beat 154 - Baby Won't You Marry Me / Old Piney Brown's Gone - Joe Turner's Orchestra with Pete Johnson. "Old Piney Brown Is Gone" was number 10 in the Hot In New Orleans chart in The Cash Box magazine on October 9th, 1948. Either this disc was issued before Down Beat 152 or else "Wine-O-Baby Boogie" was issued earlier than the Billboard review and ad of 1949. It may be that all 4 Joe Turner discs were issued in the second half of 1948.

adapted from

In late 1948 or early 1949 (exact date unknown), Pete Johnson was back in the studio to record some sides for Down Beat, this time without Joe Turner but instead in the company of a group led by Maxwell Davis. Three singles were released from this session, two of which are on this LP. The missing single is Wrinkle House Boogie / Roadhouse Boogie (Swing Time 175).

Personnel - Jewell Grant (alto sax); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Pete Johnson (piano); Herman Mitchell (guitar); Ralph Hamilton (bass); Jesse Sailes (drums).

Down Beat 168 - Skid Row Boogie / Half Tight Boogie - Pete Johnson Sextette. Released in February 1949. The single was featured in Billboard ads on the 12th February and 9th April 1949. "Skid Row Boogie" was number 4 in The Cash Box magazine's "Hot In Other Cities" chart for Merion, Pennsylvania, on March 19th, 1949.

Billboard, 12th February 1949

adapted from

Swing Time 169 - Rocket Boogie "88" Part I / Rocket Boogie "88" Part II - Pete Johnson. Probable release in November 1950. Reviewed in the "Hot Jazz" section of Billboard, 11th November 1950.

adapted from

"Rocket Boogie 88 - Part I" and "Rocket Boogie 88 - Part II" are virtually identical on this LP. It's possible that the "Part - II" issued on the original 78rpm single was a different track.

Joe Turner's label hopping continued after his Down Beat session. In the second half of 1948 he had two Los Angeles sessions for MGM in which he was backed by much the same band which featured in Pete Johnson's Down Beat session. He recorded two sides for the small Coast label with the same musicians in October 1948.

After a barren recording period which lasted most of 1949, he cut sides for Houston label Freedom in December 1949 and early 1950. The 1949 session was with Connie Johnson's band which included Joe Houston, Lonnie Lyons and Goree Carter, while the early 1950 session was backed by the Pluma Davis Orchestra.

April 1950 found Joe in New Orleans recording for Imperial with Dave Bartholomew's band. Joe was then without a recording contract for a year until April 1951 when he was signed by Atlantic. And the rest is history ...

Elsewhere On The Blog

That's all on Joe Turner for the moment. Once I get round to buying a new turntable I'll be able to add another LP with sides from Big Joe's pre-Atlantic years.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Have No Fear, Big Joe Turner Is Here (2LP)

Side 1:
01. SK Blues, Part 1
02. SK Blues, Part 2
03. Johnson And Turner Blues
04. Johnson And Turner Blues - Master
05. Watch That Jive
06. Howlin' Winds
07. Low Down Dog

Side 2:
01. I Got My Discharge Papers
02. Miss Brown Blues
03. I'm Still In The Dark
04. My Gal's A Jockey
05. I Got Love For Sale
06. Sunday Morning Blues
07. Mad Blues
08. Playboy Blues (aka It's A Low Down Dirty Shame)

Side 3:
01. I'm Still In The Dark
02. Miss Brown Blues
03. Sally Zu-Zazz
04. Rock Of Gibraltar
05. Milk And Butter Blues
06. That's When It Really Hurts
07. I'm Sharp When I Hit The Coast
08. New Wee Baby Blues

Side 4:
01. Nobody In Mind
02. Lucille Lucille
03. Rocks In My Bed
04. Careless Love
05. Last Goodbye Blues
06. Whistle Stop Blues
07. Hollywood Bed
08. Howlin' Winds

An excellent 2LP set containing everything Joe Turner recorded for National between February 1945 and December 1947. The gatefold sleeve has an excellent essay on Joe's life prior to his signing for National as well as a review of the sides on this collection. Warning - this is a larger than usual download as both discs plus artwork are contained in the Zip file. Be prepared for 186 rockin' megabytes.

Joe Turner's long career took him from the clubs of prohibition Kansas City to the Spirituals To Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938 and onwards through the boogie woogie craze, the rise of R&B, and almost unbelievably when in his mid 40s to rock and roll. And when that turned to crap he simply went back to jazz and blues and kept ballin' and squallin' into the 1980s. Through it all he sounded much the same and quite a few of the songs were the same too. All that changed was the backing, and when he fetched up at Atlantic Records in 1951 he was given the best recording facilities and the best backing groups (usually produced and arranged by Jesse Stone), all of which brought him commercial success and a string of R&B hits.

The National sides, while not having the impact that his Atlantic sides would bring, were mostly very good indeed. The January 1946 sides featuring groups led by Wild Bill Moore are raucous but not as focused as the Atlantic material. If you're familiar with the Atlantic stuff and / or Joe's earlier oeuvre, quite a few of these tracks will sound familiar as earlier hits such as "Cherry Red, " "Careless Love" and "It's A Lowdown Dirty Shame" resurface, sometimes under new titles. And of course quite a few of Joe's songs consisted of familiar blues verses mixed into various concoctions. You know what you're going to get - and it's good. All killer, no filler!

Above: dapper Joe in 1944

Above: Joe's longtime collaborator Pete Johnson

Note - the Fax On The Trax section has the song titles as they were on the original releases on 78 rpm singles. Some titles on the LP track list are inaccurate. Joe Turner was never billed as "Big Joe Turner" on these releases. The actual artist attributions are also detailed below.

Fax On The Trax

Side 1, Tracks 1-5: S.K. Blues Part 1; S.K. Blues Part 2; Johnson And Turner Blues; Johnson And Turner Blues -master; Watch That Jive - recorded in NYC, February 2nd, 1945. Personnel: Joe Turner (vocals) with - Frank Newton (trumpet); Don Byas (tenor sax); Pete Johnson (piano); Leonard Ware (guitar); Al Hall (bass); Doc West (drums).

The second take of "Johnson And Turner Blues," labelled "master" on this collection is the released take (National 9011).

S.K Blues Part I / S.K. Blues Part II - Joe Turner with Pete Johnson's All Stars, released on National 9010, February, 1945.

Watch That Jive / Johnson & Turner Blues - Joe Turner with Pete Johnson's All Stars, released on National 9011, April, 1945

Side 1, Tracks 6 and 7: Howlin' Winds; Low Down Dog - recorded in Chicago, May 10th, 1945. Joe Turner with Dallas Bartley and his Small Town Boys. Personnel: Joe Turner (vocals) with - Bill Martin (trumpet); Flaps Dungee (alto sax); Josh Jackson (tenor sax); Pete Johnson (piano); unknown  (guitar); Dallas Bartley (bass); unknown (drums).

Howlin' Winds; Low Down Dog - not issued on singles.

Side 2, Tracks 1-5: I Got My Discharge Papers; Miss Brown Blues; I'm Still In The Dark; My Gal's A Jockey; I Got Love For Sale - recorded in Los Angeles, January 23rd, 1946. Personnel: Joe Turner (vocals) with - Warren Brocken (trumpet); Lloyd Harrison and Wild Bill Moore (tenor saxes); Al Williams (piano); Teddy Bunn (guitar); John "Shifty" Henry (bass); Alray Kidd (drums).

My Gal's A Jockey / I Got Love For Sale - Joe Turner with Bill Moore's Lucky Seven Band, released on National 4002, June 1946.

Rest of this session not released on singles.

Side 2, Tracks 6-8: Sunday Morning Blues; Mad Blues; Playboy Blues - recorded in Los Angeles, January 30th, 1946. Personnel - Joe Turner (vocals) with - Russell Jacquet (trumpet); Wild Bill Moore and Lou Simon (tenor saxes); Camille Howard (piano); Teddy Bunn (guitar); John "Shifty" Henry (bass); Walter Murden (drums).

Mad Blues / Sunday Morning Blues - Joe Turner with Bill Moore's Lucky Seven, released on National 4009, October 1946.

"Playboy Blues" was re-titled "It's A Lowdown Dirty Shame" and released on National 9099 b/w "Nobody In Mind" in January 1950.

Side 3, tracks 1-8 recorded in Chicago, tracks 1-4 (I'm Still In The Dark; Miss Brown BluesSally Zu-Zazz; Rock Of Gibraltar) recorded on October 11th 1946. Tracks 5-8 (Milk And Butter Blues; That's When It Really Hurts; I'm Sharp When I Hit The Coast; New Wee Baby Blues) recorded on October 12th 1946. Personnel on tracks 1-4: Joe Turner (vocals) with - Sonny Cohn (trumpet); Porter Kilbert or possibly Tab Smith (alto sax); probably Leon Washington (tenor sax); Albert Ammons (piano); Ike Perkins (guitar); Mickey Simms (bass); Theodore "Red" Saunders (drums).

Similar personnel on Side 3tracks 5-8, but Albert Ammons drops out, replaced by Rudy Martin (probably).

Miss Brown Blues / I'm Sharp When I Hit The Coast - Joe Turner And His Boogie Woogie Boys, released on National 4011, January 1947.

Rock O' Gibralter / Sally Zu-Zazz - Joe Turner And His Boogie Woogie Boys, released on National 4016, May 1947.

That's What Really Hurts / Whistle Stop Blues - Joe Turner and his Boogie-Woogie Boys, released on National 4017, April 1948.

Above: Billboard, April 1948

Hollywood Bed / New Oo-Wee Baby Blues - Joe Turner, released on National 9100 in February (?) 1950.

Still In The Dark / My Gal's A Jockey - Joe Turner, released on National 9106 in March 1950.

Side 4, Tracks 1-4 (Nobody In Mind; Lucille Lucille; Rocks In My Bed; Careless Love), recorded in Chicago on November 29th, 1947. Personnel: Joe Turner (vocals) with - Charles Gray (trumpet); Riley Hampton (alto sax); Otis Finch (tenor sax); Ellsworth Liggett (piano); Ike Perkins (guitar); Robert Moore (bass); James Adams (drums). 

Side 4, Tracks 5-8 (Last Goodbye Blues; Whistle Stop Blues; Hollywood Bed; Howlin' Winds) recorded in Chicago on December 9th, 1947. Personnel as November 29th session.

Lucille Lucille, Careless Love, and Last Goodbye Blues were not released on singles.

That's What Really Hurts / Whistle Stop Blues - Joe Turner and his Boogie-Woogie Boys, released on National 4017, April 1948.

It's A Lowdown Dirty Shame / Nobody In Mind - Joe Turner, released on National 9099, in January 1950.

Hollywood Bed / New Oo-Wee Baby Blues - Joe Turner, released on National 9100 in February (?) 1950.

Rocks In My Bed / Howlin' Winds - Joe Turner, released on National 9144 in April 1951.

The last Joe Turner release on National. By the time this ad ran he had signed to Atlantic

Elsewhere On The Blog

Joe Turner - Jumpin' Tonight is a Pathe Marconi collection of sides recorded for Aladdin in July and November 1947 and for Imperial in April 1950. Originally posted in October 2009.

Joe Turner - Jumpin' With Joe is a Charly collection of sides recorded for Atlantic from 1951 to 1958. Originally posted in October 2009.

More Joe Turner coming soon. Jump with joy!