LATEST ADDITIONS  01/17/2017

MAGAZINES
UGLY THINGS 43

COMPACT DISCS
BILL BOYD

BILL CARLISLE
THE CARTER BROTHERS
THE DEL VIKINGS
SANDY DENNY
FLATT & SCRUGGS
THE FOUR TUNES
LEFTY FRIZZELL
SLIM GAILLARD
GENE & EDDIE
JOHN JACKSON
MAHALIA JACKSON
ETTA JAMES
LINDA JONES
GENE MCDANIELS

MISSISSIPPI FRED MCDOWELL
BUDDY MILLER
THE MIRACLES
ROY ORBISON
BUCK OWENS & THE BUCKAROOS
LITTLE ESTHER PHILLIPS
PLANXTY
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR
THE RAVENS
JIMMY RUSHING
DOUG SAHM/ THE SIR DOUGLAS BAND
SEIF SALIM SALEH & ABDULLAH AHMED
THE SOUL STIRRERS
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE
VARIOUS ARTISTS
JOE WERNER
CHUCK WILLIS & OTHERS
ARKANSAS "ARKIE" WOODCHOPPER

 

 
Since our Second Time Around listings are so popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them.To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added  asterisks (**) after these particular titles.
 

MAGAZINE

 

UGLY THINGS 43 ● BOOK $9.98
144 pages, highly recommended
Now is the winter of our discontent, but hey, it's also the 50th anniversary of some of the coolest Rock music ever. Nobody covers those heady years of 1966/ 1967 (plus the 10 or so years before and after 66) as well as Mike Stax and his team of musical mages at Ugly Things. This issue includes features on the So Cal garage psych band Things To Come, The Box Tops, glam mystery band Pandora, "San Francisco's only Rock & Roll band" Crime, the continuing chronicles of The Flamin' Groovies by Cyril Jordon, The Music Machine, Unnatural Axe, a tribute to the late great Billy Miller of Norton Records, and much more. As with every issue that they have put out, reading this issue I found out more about artists that I already dug, and probably more importantly, I found out a whole lot about cool acts that I knew little or nothing about. U.T. is still the standard all other music magazines should strive for. (JM)

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
BILL BOYD B.A.C.M. 512 Vol. 3 - When They Play Rural Rhythm ● CD $14.98 $10.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 049 and 362, this is the third CD from B.A.C.M. featuring one of the best and most prolific western swing bands - BIll Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers. The material here covers the period 1934 through 1950 with the majority being from the 1934-1938 period. Vocals are mostly by Bill or his brother Jim with great musical accompaniments from Walter Kirkes (banjo), Lefty Perkins (steel), Cecil Brower (fiddle), Marvin Montgomery (banjo), Zeke Campbell (guitar), Butch Gibson (clarinet), John Boyd (steel) and others. They perform a varied selection including blues, pop songs, western songs and more including Ridin' The Hump Back Mule/ St. Louis Blues (a particularly fine version)/ Jesse Blues/ Somebody's Been Using It/ Van Buren (a hot instrumental with great fiddle)/Annie Laurie Swing/ One Thing At A Time/ Bill Boyd Rag and more. A few tracks are a bit rough but, generally, sound quality is excellent and there are detailed notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
BILL BOYD: Ain't She Coming Out Tonight/ Alice Blue Gown/ An Old Watermill By A Waterfall/ Annie Laurie Swing/ Bill Boyd Rag (instr.)/ Black and Tan Rag (instr.)/ Broken Man/ Closed For Repairs/ Here Comes Pappy/ I'll Take You Back Again/ I'm In Love With You Honey/ I’m Jealous Of The Twinkle In Your Eye/ Jesse Blues/ My Baby Loves Me I Know/ Oh No She Don't/ One Thing At A Time/ Ridin' The Hump Back Mule/ Somebody's Been Using It/ Song Of The Waterfall/ St Louis Blues/ Van Buren (instr.)/ Weeping Blues aka Jeep’s Blues (instr.)/ When The Sun Sets On My Swiss Chalet/ When They Play Rural Rhythm/ Why Do You Punish Me/ Yes I do Yes I Do

 
BILL CARLISLE B.A.C.M. 034 Duvall County Blues** ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 58 mins, highly recommended
A fine fine collection by this superb singer and guitarist featuring 20 tracks recorded between 1933 and 1939. A varied selection - blues, sentimental songs, gospel songs and more. Includes solo sides as well as sides with his string band The Kentucky Boys. Includes Beneath The Weeping Willow Tree/ I Know What It Is To Be Lonesome/ Drifting Together/ Lost On Life's Sea/ Rattlesnake Daddy/ Little Wild Rose/ Penitentiary Blues/ I'm Heading For Home Sweet Home/ Roll On Old Troubles, Roll On/ Sugar Cane Mama, etc. (FS)
BILL CARLISLE: A Shack By The Side Of The Road/ Are You Going To Leave Me Lil/ Beneath The Weeping Willow Tree/ Cowgirl Jean/ Drifting Together/ Duvall County Blues/ I Done It Wrong/ I Dreamed I Searched Heaven For You/ I Know What It Is To Be Lonesome/ I'll Always Be Your Little Darling/ I'm Heading For Home Sweet Home/ If Jesus Should Come/ Little Wild Rose/ Lost On Life's Sea/ Penitentiary Blues/ Rattlesnake Daddy/ Roll On Old Troubles, Roll On/ Sugar Cane Mama/ The Girl I Left So Blue/ Why Did The Blue Skies Turn To Grey

 
THE CARTER BROTHERS Fuel 61467 The Essential Carter Brothers ● CD $14.98 $11.98
20 tracks, strongly recommended
This fine set features 20 tracks recorded by Roman, Albert and Jerry Carter for Jewel between 1965 and '69. The Carters from Garland, Alabama performed basic, no nonsense, electric blues with an occasional nod to soul, featuring the energetic lead vocals of Roman and the fine guitar of Albert with Jerry helping out on keyboards. Some of the cuts are just the trio while others feature horns. Most of the songs are originals by the group or by their original producer Duke Coleman including the title song which was an R&B hit. Jewel only issued six singles but this set also includes eight originally unissued cuts. There's not a whole lot of variety in the Carters' music but if you like your blues raw and intense and without any frills you'll enjoy this set. (FS)

 
THE DEL VIKINGS Jasmine 508 Cool Shake - The Very Best Of** ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
The Del Vikings' place in the history of Doo Wop is assured if only for two reasons: they were one of few successful integrated Doo Wop groups of the era, and second, they managed two huge chart hits (which more than most Doo Wop groups could claim). As significant as those two accomplishments are, they don't take away from the fact that the Del Vikings made some of the most tantalizing music of their time. Everyone knows Come Go With Me (1957) and Whispering Bells (even though it was cut by a splinter group that called itself the Dell-Vikings), but who could resist good time tracks like The Big Beat or romantic calling cards like Oh I Love You. This compilation covers mostly the group's stint on Mercury Records (1957 to 1959), but also contains some earlier tracks that were cut for Dot Records, including the two hits. Although, complicated band and record label politics, and greed destroyed the band, the Del Vikings live on through this excellent compilation. (GMC)
THE DEL VIKINGS: Bells/ Big Beat/ Can't Wait/ Come Along With Me/ Come Go With Me/ Cool Shake/ Don't Be a Fool/ Flat Tire/ Friendly Moon/ Heaven on Earth/ I'm Sittin' on Top of the World/ I'm Spinning/ Jitterbug Mary/ Meeting of the Eyes/ Nobody's Kisses But Yours/ Oh Baby/ Oh I Love You/ Oh Tonight/ Somewhere Over the Rainbow/ String Along/ Sunday Kind of Love/ That's Why/ There I Go/ Voodoo Man/ What You Have Done to Me/ When I Come Home/ Whispering Bells/ You Are Invitied

 
SANDY DENNY Island (UK) 536 735-0 I've Always Kept A Unicorn - The Acoustic Sandy Denny ● CD $22.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 145 mins, very highly recommended
I am a firm believer that the true test of an artist's talent is to strip their accompaniment down to the bare bones and see how they fare. In these days of lip-synching, vocal manipulation, and other music industry shenanigans, it is great to hear a truly great artist like Sandy Denny shine so brightly with just an acoustic guitar, piano, or other minimal backing. For Denny/ Fairport fans this is the collection that you have been waiting for. The bulk of the recordings here are demos, but Sandy Denny didn't just give 99« percent on her demos; they are powerful, and, more often than not, fully formed takes, most sounding perfectly suitable for a regular release. From her original 1967 acoustic recording of Who Knows Where The Time Goes with The Strawbs to the fantastic duet with Linda Thompson on the Everly Brothers' When Will I Be Loved from recently unearthed demos for the Bunch album, there is a lot to love here. There are 23 demo, live, radio, or acoustic master tracks of Sandy solo, an additional two tracks from the Bunch sessions, four demo or BBC Fotheringay tracks, and seven demo and two acoustic master Fairport Convention tracks, so pretty much every facet of her career is represented with wonderful recordings of many of her best songs. CD includes excellent liner notes from Mick Houghton, whose biography of Sandy Denny, also titled "I've Always Kept A Unicorn," is a great read as well. (JM)
THE BUNCH: Learning The Game (Demo)/ Love's Made A Fool Of You (Demo)/ When Will I Be Loved (Demo)/ SANDY DENNY: After Halloween (Manor Demo)/ Blackwaterside (Live On Marc Time/ 1975)/ Bushes And Briars (BBC Bob Harris Session)/ Full Moon (Demo)/ I'm A Dreamer (Second Demo)/ John The Gun (Live/ BBC In Concert)/ Late November (Live/ BBC One In Ten)/ Like An Old Fashioned Waltz (BBC John Peel Session)/ Milk And Honey/ Moments (Acoustic Version)/ Next Time Around (Live/ BBC In Concert)/ No End (Solo Piano Version)/ No More Sad Refrains (Live)/ One Way Donkey Ride (Acoustic Version)/ Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood (Demo)/ Solo (BBC John Peel Session)/ The King And Queen Of England (Home Demo/ Alternate Take)/ The Lady (Demo)/ The Music Weaver (Demo)/ The North Star Grassman And The Ravens (Live/ BBC In Concert)/ The Optimist (Demo)/ The Time It Gets Dark (Acoustic Demo)/ Wretched Wilbur (Demo)/ You Never Wanted Me/ Who Knows Where The Time Goes/ FAIRPORT CONVENTION: Autopsy (Demo)/ Fotheringay (Acoustic Version)/ Now And Then (Demo)/ One More Chance (Demo)/ Rising For The Moon (Demo)/ Sandy's Song (Take Away The Load)/ She Moves Through The Fair (Acoustic Version)/ What Is True? (Demo)/ FOTHERINGAY: The Lowlands Of Holland (Live/ BBC Folk On One)/ The Pond And The Stream (Studio Demo)/ Wild Mountain Thyme (Live/ BBC Sounds Of The 70's)/ Winter Winds (Studio Demo)

 
FLATT & SCRUGGS Columbia 92574 Foggy Mountain Gospel** ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 131 mins, highly recommended
From the start of their professional careers in Bill Monroe Bluegrass Boys, Sacred music was a important and consistent part of the repertoire and throughout their recording career as Flatt and Scruggs, they would record a vast number Sacred tunes. This collection covers a wide swath of their best work in this genre. Covering the spectrum from J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers Take Me In Your Lifeboat, to Tom T. Halls A Stone the Builders Refused, this is a fantastic collection that really tells the history of the music. The Bailes Brothers Give Mother a Crown, The Carter Familys I'm on My Way To Canaans Land and On The Rock Where Moses Stood, and Bill Carlisles Gone Home, are just a few of the fantastic covers, but Flatt and Scruggs were no slouches themselves. Under their own and with assumed names, they wrote dozens of great Sacred tunes as well, with tracks like He Took Your Place/ Brother, Im Getting Ready To Go, and Mother Prays Loud in her Sleep, among some of the best of them that are contained herein. This is an absolutely outstanding collection that will appeal to fans of the High Lonesome and the Spiritual alike. (JM)

 
THE FOUR TUNES Jasmine 553 Wrapped Up In A Dream, 1946-1958** ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine vocal group retrospective from Jasmine - this time devoted to the long lived and popular Four Tunes. The group were one of those transitional groups between the older pop stylings of groups like the Ink Spots and the more R&B inflected sound of groups like the Orioles. In fact the group had it's origins in the group formed by former Ink Spot, Deek Watson called The Brown Dots in 1945. The other members of the group (Pat Best, Jimmy Nabbie and Jimmy Gordon) wanted to go off on their own and replacing Deek Watson with Danny Owens signed to Manor Records as The Sentimentalists. Bandleader Tommy Dorsey claimed the rights to the name The Sentimentalists and so the group became The Four Tunes and over the next dozen years recorded more than 60 singles and this is the first in depth look at their career. The group only hit the charts twice with their rocking up tempo version of the Irving Berlin standard Marie in 1953 and with the Pat Best original ballad I Understand Just How You Feel in 1954. The latter became a pop hit in 1961 when recorded by The G-Clefs. Their repertoire included a mix of ballads and up tempo numbers and featured quite a few reworkings of pop standards but their style changed little over the years and their attempts to perform in a more contemporary style were unsuccsful and by the late 50s their recording career was at an end though they continued performing in cabaret. This is a fine retrospective with excellent sound and informative notes by Bopb Fisher. (FS)
THE FOUR TUNES: A Little On The Lonely Side/ All My Dreams/ At The Steamboat River Ball/ Ballad Of James Dean/ Brooklyn Bridge/ Careless Love/ Carry Me Back To The Lone Prairie/ Come What May/ Confess/ Cool Water/ Dancing With Tears In My Eyes/ Do Do Do It Again/ Don't Cry Darling/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Farway Places/ Good News/ Hold Me Closer/ I Close My Eyes/ I Found Love When I Found You/ I Gambled With Love/ I Gotta Go/ I Hope/ I Married An Angel/ I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/ I Understand/ I'll See You In My Dreams/ Karen Lynn/ Kentucky Babe/ L'amour Tourjours L'amour/ Let Me Go Lover/ Lets Give Love Another Chance/ Little Jane/ Lonesome/ Lonesome Road/ Marie/ May That Day Never Come/ My Buddy/ My Wild Irish Rose/ Old Fashioned Love/ Our Love/ Rock And Roll Call/ Sayonara/ Someday/ Sugar Lump/ Take My Lonely Heart/ The Greatest Feeling In The World/ The Greatest Song I Ever Heard/ The Last Round Up/ The Prisoners Song/ There Goes My Heart/ Three Little Chickens/ Time Out For Tears/ Tired Of Waiting/ Where Is My Love/ Wrapped Up In A Dream/ You Are My Love/ You're Heartless

 
LEFTY FRIZZELL Hoo Doo 263532 The One And Only, Plus Listen To Lefty ● CD $12.98
30 tracks, 77 mins, essential
We just recently reviewed a great re-issue of Lefty's "The One And Only," plus bonus tracks on the Southern Routes label. Now Hoo Doo have one upped them with not only a full re-issue of that classic album and his 1952 "Listen To Lefty" 10" album as well as 10 additional bonus tracks. If you picked up the Southern Routes set then you already half of these tracks, as 3 of the bonus tracks are the same. That leaves 15 tracks that give this compilation the edge. Not only are the bonus tracks all taken from rare singles from Lefty's 1950s heyday, but the 1952 "Listen To Lefty" album contains the original versions of so many of his greatest songs: If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time/ Always Late (With Your Kisses)/ I Love You A Thousand Ways, etc. all in a much more stripped down, Honky Tonk style that is superior to the later versions. Lefty Frizzell is certainly one of the best ever, and this represents much of his best work, so I really can't recommend this highly enough. (JM)
LEFTY FRIZZELL: Always Late/ Always Late [Original Version]/ Cigarettes And Coffee Blues/ Don't Stay Away/ Farther Than My Eyes Can See/ From An Angel To A Devil/ Heaven's Plan/ I Love You A Thousand Ways/ I Love You A Thousand Ways [Original Version]/ I Want To Be With You Always/ I Want To Be With You Always [Original Version]/ If You Can Spare The Time/ If You're Ever Lonely, Darling/ If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time/ If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time [Original Version]/ Is It Only That You're Lonely/ Look What Thoughts Will Do/ Mom And Dad's Waltz/ Mom And Dad's Waltz [Original Version]/ My Blues Will Pass/ My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ No One To Talk To/ Nobody Knows But Me/ Release Me/ Signed, Sealed And Delivered/ So What, Let It Rain/ The Long Black Veil/ The Torch Within My Heart/ Why Should I Be Lonely/ You're Humbuggin' Me

 
SLIM GAILLARD Sunset Blvd 7905 Searching For You - The Lost Singles of McVouty ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, 37 mins, strongly recommended
A short but sweet collection of sides recorded between 1958 and 1974 by the king of jive vocals - Slim Gaillard. These were originally issued on a selection of extremely rare singles - usually on labels run by Slim himself. You would normally expect to find Slim in our jazz section but most of these tracks have R&B band backing behind Slim's delightful vocal shenanigans. There are R&B remakes of classics from his repertoire Frim Fram Sauce/ Flat Foot Floogie and Cement Mixer Putti-Putti as well as newer songs in a similar vein - Baked Beans And A Bottle Of Beer/ Frank Rhoades Round/ Many Things and more. Sound quality is superb and the set comes with a 32 page booklet with notes by producer Zev Feldman, jazz archivist Tom Samuels who collected most of the singles as well as an interview with John Altman who was Slim's musical director in the 1980s (he also composed Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life used in "Monty Python's Life Of Brian"). There are also label shots of all the singles used. A delightful collection. (FS)

 
GENE & EDDIE Omnivore 176 True Enough: Gene & Eddie With Sir Joe at Ru-Jac ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
The tangled saga of R&B singers Gene Dorsett and Eddie Best, along with singer/songwriter Joe Quarterman (aka Sir Joe), and their 60's stint with the Ru-Jac imprint is well documented on this CD set. The liner notes tell the whole rather convoluted story, with an emphasis on the Washington D.C./Baltimore music, but, as they say, the proof is in the grooves. Gene & Eddie's You Don't Fool Me/ Let Me Go Easy, and It's So Hard, epitomize their debt to 50's vocal groups and doo wop, while the idiosyncratic style of Sir Joe - as demonstrated on If You Give Up Your Love/ Baby, I'd Drop Every Thing, and Every Day (I'll Be Needing You) - was perhaps a bit ahead of it's time; a bit too sophisticated for an audience used to the straightforward grooves and melodies of Stax and Motown. Neither G&E nor Quarterman made the big time, and all three returned to straight jobs in the 70's; however, all three have left a fine legacy of musical perseverance in the face of apathy. (GMC)

 
JOHN JACKSON Smithsonian Folkways 40181 Rappahannock Blues** ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
Wonderful collection of live performances by this superb Virginia songster drawn from recordings made between 1970 and 1997. A mix of blues, ragtime, gospel, country and even a version of the Tom T. Hall country hit The Year Clayton Delaney Died all beautifully sung with John's beautiful Virginia accent and featuring his magnificent guitar picking. Although most of the songs have been recorded by John elsewhere his performances never sound stale as his joy in performing is just so infectious - to hear him crack up when he introduces Candy Man is almost worth the price of admission. Other songs include Rocks & Gravel/ Truckin' Little Baby/ Nobody's Business (If I Do)/ John Jackson's Breakdown/ Brown's Ferry Blues/ You Ain't No Woman/ Diddy Wah Diddy/ Frankie And Johnny/ Step It Up Go and more. Soun quality is superb an 32 page booklet has biographical info on John and notes on all the songs. (FS)

 
MAHALIA JACKSON Shanachie 6066 Move On UP A Little Higher ● CD $17.98
20 tracks, essentia
 Shanachie doesn't release titles too often in their Sprit Feel series but when they do it's usually exceptional and this certainly fits into that category. Mahalia Jackson was one of the greatest of all gospel singer and this superb collection features 22 performances that are all previously unissued ranging from a 1946 radio appearance where she sounds a little tentative on her lovely rendition of Beams Of Heaven to her spectacular performance at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival where she performed some of her most beloved songs like Jesus Met The Woman At The Well/ Didn't It Rain/ In The Upper Room/ Move On Up A Little Higher and others. It also includes a fabulous Getting Happy In Chicago recorded live at a Chicago church in 1948 and 1955 recordings made at her home where she moans acapella rendition of Dr. Watts hymns she learned as a child - Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground/ Before This Time Another Year and Father I Stretch My Arms To Thee. Also from her home is a rehearsal of several songs where she is joined by black gospel pioneer Thomas Dorsey on piano. And there's lots more. Except as described above she is accompanied on piano by her long time accompanist Mildred Falls with organist Dickie Mitchell joining them on the Newport performances. Compiled by gospel expert Anthony Heilbut who provides extensive notes in the 20 page booklet which also includes some great and rare photos. (FS)

 
ETTA JAMES Soul Jam 600882 Something's Got A Hold Of Me - Complete 1960-162 Chess ● CD $12.98
27 tracks, 74 mins, essential
Etta James recorded a staggering amount of great material from 1960-62. If she only did these recording she would be a legend; thankfully, we had her for a few more decades and lots of great music as well. All of these Chess/Argo recordings are re-mastered and sounding as good as or better than I have heard them on CD. There are 27 highlights on this CD. Here's a list of just a few: Spoonful/ All I Could Do Is Cry/ My Dearest Darling/ At Last/ Seven Day Fool/ Something's Got A Hold On Me/ Pushover, and Stop The Wedding. You get all of the A & B sides that the labels put out. Packaging includes lots of great photos, solid notes, etc. (JM)
ETTA JAMES: All I Could Do Was Cry/ Anything To Say You're Mine/ At Last/ Don't Cry Baby/ Dream/ Fool That I Am/ Fools Rush In/ Girl Of My Dreams (Boy Of My Dreams)/ How Do You Speak To An Angel/ If I Can't Have You/ It's A Crying Shame/ It's Too Soon To Know/ Just Want To Make Love To You/ My Dearest Darling/ My Heart Cries/ Next Door To The Blues/ Pushover/ Seven Day Fool/ Something's Got A Hold On Me/ Spoonful/ Stop The Wedding/ Street Of Tears/ Sunday Kind Of Love/ Tough Mary/ Trust In Me/ Waiting For Charlie (To Come Home)/ Would It Make Any Difference To You

 
LINDA JONES Kent CDKEND 458 Precious: The Anthology, 1963-1972 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
Although Linda Jones had a major hit with Hypnotized in 1967, today she's remembered as a cult artist by Soul scholars and Northern Soul freaks. Kent has compiled a complete (it even contains her first side from 1963 as Linda Lane) picture of Jones' recording career for Atco, Blue Cat, Loma, Neptune, and Turbo where she had her last minor hit-a cover of Jerry Butler's For Your Precious Love - in 1972 before her untimely death. (NB, Real Gone covered some of this ground on The Complete Atco-Loma-Warner Brothers Recordings in 2014, but this is the first time her 70's work has been represented.) Boasting a singing style with heavy roots in the church, Jones sings the hell out of everything from early cuts like Take the Boy Out of the Country (1965) to mid period belters Give My Love a Try and What've I Done (to Make You Mad) (both 1967), and post-Warner Bros. material like I Do and Behold (both from 1972). Jones' career was on an upswing when she died, and there's no way to know if she would have continued scoring hits, but with this collection we can celebrate what we did get from an extraordinary vocalist. (GMC)

 
GENE MCDANIELS Jasmine 297 The Point Of No Return ● CD $15.98 $9.98
31 tracks, highly recommended
Continuing the story begun on the Jasmine release "Look To Your Heart - The Gene McDaniels Story 1959-1961" (Jasmine 188 - 2 CDs - $18.98), this CD focuses on McDaniels' pre-solo recordings with The Sultans and The Admirals, while also including B sides not on the earlier collection, and ten songs from his 1962 album, Tower of Strength. Recorded by Duke Records and produced by Johnny Otis, The Sultans didn't feature McDaniels on lead vocals, but they made some enchanting doo wop recordings, including Good Thing Baby/ I Cried My Heart Out, and Baby Don't Put Me Down. In 1955, the group changed names and labels - to The Admirals and King Records, respectively - and cut two more singles, the delightful Oh Yes and Close Your Eyes, before calling it a day. These early songs, along with Gene's later solo recordings, give us even more material to enjoy from an enduring R&B and Pop artist. (GMC)
THE ADMIRALS: Close Your Eyes/ Give Me Your Love/ Left With A Broken Heart/ Oh Yes/ GENE MCDANIELS: A Little Bit Of Soap/ Chapel Of Tears/ Come On Take A Chance (Take A Chance On Love)/ Don't Want To Cry/ Funny/ He's Got My Sympathy/ Once Before/ Point Of No Return/ Raindrops/ She's Come Back/ Somebody's Waiting/ Spanish Lace/ Tall Oak Tree/ The Secret/ Warmer Than A Whisper/ You Can Have Her/ Almost Lost My Mind/ He/ Merletti Spagnoli (Spanish Lace)/ THE SULTANS: Baby Don't Put Me Down/ Boppin' With The Mambo/ Good Thing Baby/ How Deep Is The Ocean/ I Cried My Heart Out/ If I Could Tell/ My Love Is So High/ What Makes Me Feel This Way

 
MISSISSIPPI FRED MCDOWELL Sunset Blvd 7906 Shake 'Em On Down - Live In NYC ● CD $21.98
Two CDs, 22 tracks, strongly recommended
The last recordings of the great Mississippi country bluesman recorded live at the Gaslight Club in New York City in November, 1971 - just eight months before his death from cancer. Although sick at this point Fred was still a compelling performer with powerful singing and stinging electric slide guitar accompanied by bass player Tom Pomposello who provides tasteful accompaniment. The music is mostly blues along with a few spirituals - mostly titles familiar from previous releases along with some lesser known titles and includes Shake 'Em On Down/ Mercy/ The Lovin' Blues/ Louise/ Jesus Is On The Mainline/ 61 HIghway/ I'm Crazy 'Bout You Baby/ Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl and more. 10 of these tracks were originally issued on an LP on Pomposello's Oblivion label and all the tracks were issued some years back on an elusive double CD on the Live Archive label. Recording quality is fine and booklet has informative notes by Bill Dahl. (FS)

 
BUDDY MILLER Hightone 8149 Midnight And Lonesome ● CD $16.98 $9.98
11 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended
Another winner from one of our favorite contemporary artists. Buddy's music neatly blends country, folk and rock and together with his excellent voice, brilliant guitar playing and memorable songs by himself and/or his wife Julie produces some unforgettable music. While this album is not as strong as some of his previous ones it is still an outstanding effort. Of the original songs the highlights include the title song - one of those mid tempo intense songs Buddy makes his own, the Cajun flavored Oh Faite Pitie D'Amour and the sensitive Que Creek - a song about the miners who were rescued after three days being trapped underground. There are several covers here including a tough treatment of the Everly Brothers Price Of Love and my favorite here Jesse Winchester's A Showman's Life - a superb song about the life of an entertainer that is given am insightful world weary treatment by Buddy with exquisite vocal harmonies from Emmylou Harris. (FS)

 
THE MIRACLES Jasmine 742 With Smokey Robinson - You Can Depend On Them, 1959-62 ● CD $18.98 $11.98
2 CD, 45 tracks, highly recommended
The Miracles with William "Smokey" Robinson on lead vocals became one of Berry Gordy's early successes with their third single, Shop Around, in 1960. From there, Gordy proceeded to issue three albums by the group (singles surrounded by classy filler-a Gordy trademark), which kept up their profile until they hit their stride in 1962 with You've Really Got a Hold On Me. This CD contains those first three LPs - "Hi We're the Miracles" (1961), "Cookin' With the Miracles" (1962), "I'll Try Something New" (1962) - and uncollected singles that were issued by End, Chess, and then Gordy's own Tamla label. Although, there are only two bona fide hits on this collection-the aforementioned Shop Around and You've Really Got a Hold On Me - there is much to enjoy here nonetheless. Smokey's glorious pipes soar on these songs, whether they be Robinson (alone and in collaboration with Gordy and others) originals like Who's Lovin' You/ Everybody's Got to Pay Some Dues/ What's So Good About Goodbye, and Way Over There or well chosen covers like Embraceable You. And the occasional lead turn by Claudette Rogers (at one time, Mrs. Smokey Robinson) is also worth the price of admission: He Don't Care About Me/ I've Been Good to You, and If Your Mother Only Knew. The bonus singles, by the Miracles and Ron and Bill (Smokey and fellow Miracle Ronald White), are also pretty nifty; check out Got a Job/ It/ Bad Girl, and I Need a Change for some classic R&B vocal group dynamics. The songs got more sophisticated (Ooh Baby Baby/ Tracks of My Tears) and more kinetic (Going to a Go-Go) but here's where the climb to the top began, and the journey is well worth your time. (GMC)
THE MIRACLES: 'Cause I Love You/ (I Need Some) Money/ (You Can) Depend On Me/ A Heart Like Mine/ A Love That Can Never Be/ After All/ Ain't It Baby/ All I Want (Is You)/ Bad Girl/ Broken Hearted/ Determination/ Don't Leave Me/ Embraceable You/ Everybody's Got To Pay Some Dues/ Got A Job/ Happy Landing/ He Don't Care About Me/ I Can't Believe/ I Cry/ I Love Your Baby/ I Need A Change/ I'll Try Something New/ I've Been Good To You/ I've Got You Under My Skin/ If Your Mother Only Knew/ Mama/ Mighty Good Lovin'/ Money (That's What I Want)/ My Mama Done Told Me/ On The Street Where You Live/ Shop Around/ Speak Low/ That's The Way I Feel/ The Feeling Is So Fine/ The Only One I Love/ This I Swear, I Promise/ Way Over There/ What's So Good About Goodbye/ Who's Lovin' You/ Won't You Take Me Back/ You Never Miss A Good Thing/ You Really Got A Hold On Me/ Your Love/ RON AND BILL: Don't Say Bye Bye/ It

 
ROY ORBISON Bear Family BCD 15916 Roy Rocks** ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
Collection of Roy's most rockin' sides including his Sun classics, his hard to find Jewel version of A Cat Called Domino, RCA sides and his more uptempo Monument which though not rockabilly show that Roy could still rock. Includes Ooby Dooby/ Sweet And Easy To Love/ Mean Little Mama/ Problem Child/ Almost Eighteen/ Up Town/ Dance/ Candy Man/ Working For The Man/ Nightlife and more. Includes 36 page booklet by Deke Dickerson with notes, photos and discography. (FS)
ROY ORBISON: Almost Eighteen/ Candy Man/ Cat Called Domino/ Chicken Hearted/ Claudette/ Dance/ Darkness/ Double Date/ Dream Baby/ Fool's Hall Of Fame/ Go! Go! Go!/ I Like Love/ Lana/ Let The Good Times Roll/ Mean Little Mama/ Mean Woman Blues/ Nightlife/ Oh Pretty Woman/ Ooby Dooby/ Problem Child/ Rock House/ Sunset/ Sweet And Easy To Love/ Today's Teardrops/ Up Town/ What'd I Say/ With The Bug/ Working For The Man/ You're Gonna Cry/ You're My Baby

 
BUCK OWENS & THE BUCKAROOS Omnivore 206 The Complete Capitol Singles, 1957-1966 ● CD $27.98
2 CDs, 56 tracks, 133 mins, very highly recommended
Here's a pleasant surprise: all of Buck and his Buckaroos classic Capitol singles in glorious mono, just the way Buck intended them. Buck Owens geared his recordings to being played on car radios, going so far as to check the final mixes by listening through a small single speaker, to make sure everything came out clear. So, to actually get all of these mono mixes brings back my own memories of listening to A.M. Country radio in the car or out in the garage with my dad on his little transistor radio. Most of these mono recordings are making their first legit appearance on CD. 1957-1966 were the most fertile years for Buck and his Buckaroos, so on this you get most of their hits, some of their misses, and all of their flips. Omnivore has done a fantastic job including full recording session info, lots of label and sleeve reproductions, as well as liner notes from not only Dwight Yoakam, but some from Buck himself that he must have done near his passing. Highlights include; Under Your Spell Again/ Above And Beyond/ Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)/ Foolin' Around/ Mental Cruelty (with Rose Maddox)/ Under The Influence Of Love/ Act Naturally/ My Heart Skips A Beat/ I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)/ I've Got A Tiger By The Tail/ Cryin' Time, etc. (JM)

 
LITTLE ESTHER PHILLIPS Jasmine 3006 Am I That Easy To Forget, 1950-1962 ● CD $15.98 $9.98
28 tracks 79 mins, very highly recommended
Esther Phillips was one of the greatest female R&B singers who had a life full of ups and downs - both commercially and emotionally and she died at the early age of 48. She joined the Johnny Otis group in 1949 at the age of 14 and made many recordings with them for Savoy. The Savoy recordings have been well represented on reissue so the bulk of the recordings here were the ones made for Federal in 1951 and '52. The CD starts with two of her biggest Savoy hits from 1950 - Double Crossing Blues and Mistrustin' Blues - both of these topping the R&B charts. Her Federal sides, curiously, failed to repeat her success at Savoy even though her sessions were produced by Johnny Otis and usually with members of the Otis Orchestra including Lorenzo Holden/ ts, Devonia Williams/ piano, Pete Lewis/ guitar and others and were consistently fine. This set includes 20 of the 30 recordings she made for Federal including such great sides as The Deacon Moves In recorded with Clyde McPhatter & The Dominoes, Ring A Ding Doo - a duet with Mel Walker which made it to #8 in the R&B charts, the fabulous mid-tempo Ramblin' Blues with its choice Ben Webster tenor break and the atmospheric Storm (blues) with thunder and rain sound effects. She duets with singer/ piano player Little Willie Littlefield on two tracks including the superb Turn Your Lamp Down Low. After leaving Federal she recorded for Decca and Savoy again (not included here) before signing for Warwick in 1960 where she did one session of four tracks - three of which are included here - and fine they are too. In 1962 she signed with Lennox where, no doubt inspired by the success of Ray Charles, she started recording country songs and doing a fabulous job on them including having big hits with her gorgeous renditions of Release Me and Am I That Easy To Forget which are the only Lennox sides here. It's a shame that Jasmine didn't make this a double and include more of her 50s recording and her early 60s country sides. Esther was so good that she really deserves a Bear Family style box. As the notes point out Easther has never made it to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame which only proves to me how silly the concept of musical Halls Of Fame is! (FS)

 
PLANXTY Universal 572 058-2 Between The Jigs And The Reels - A Retrospective ● CD $23.98
CD - 17 tracks, 79 mins/ DVD - 36 tracks, 163 mins, essential
A superb collection of studio and live performances of Ireland's greatest folk group. The camaraderie and musical passion expressed by these five masters when they played together has never been eclipsed. Christie Moore and Andy Irvine share vocal honors, while Liam O'Flynn, Donal Lunny, and Andy construct their intricate instrumental latticeworks of pipes, bouzoukis, guitars, and more. The group recorded three albums between 1972 and 1974, then disbanded and reformed in 1979 and recorded three more albums where they were joined by additional musicians including the great Matt Molloy on flute, Nollaig Casey fiddle and others. The CD is wonderful featuring a "best of" selected by the band members themselves - of course choosing a "best of" by Planxty is a no brainer - 17 tracks picked at random from their catalog would still be better than just about anything else out there! If you love Planxty you probably have most of these tracks but the CD includes two tracks originally issued on a two cassette set in 1980 that was withdrawn shortly after it was issued including Christy's exquisite rendition of Nancy Spain. The CD is great but the DVD is amazing featuring almost three hours of live performances recorded by the Irish Broadcasting Service RTE between 1972 and 1982. Here's your chance to see the band perform live renditions of classic songs like Raggle Taggle Gypsies/ The Good Ship Kangaroo/ The Jolly Beggar/ Little Musgrave/ As I Roved Out/ JOhnny Of Brady's Lea/ Arthur McBride/ You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure/ Thousands Are Sailing and more as well as many fabulous instrumentals sets. There are many great Irish folk groups but Planxty were simply ne plus ultra. This is the Irish folk release we Planxty fans have been waiting decades for! (FS) Note: The DVD is not region free so may not play on U.S. DVD players - however it should play on a computer DVD drive. Please enquire if you need additional information.
CD: True Love Knows No Season (Billy Gray)/ Pat Reilly/ S¡ Bheag, S¡ Mh¢r/ Follow Me Up To Carlow/ Baneasa's Green Glade-Mominsko Horo/ The Aconry Lasses-The Old Wheels Of The World-The Spike Island Lasses/ The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes/ Accidentals-Aragon Mill/ The Irish Marche/ The Rambling Si£ler/ The Well Below The Valley/ Junior Crehan's Favourite-Corney Is Coming (Reels)/ Roger O'Hehir/ Smeceno Horo/ The West Coast Of Clare/ Nancy Spain/ Timedance
DVD: The Blacksmith-Blacksmithereens/ Three Drunken Maidens-The Foxhunter's Reel/ When First Unto This Country/ Sweet Thames Flow Softly/ The Gold Ring (Jig)/ Hey! Sandy/ Kitty Gone A Milking-Music Of The Forge (Reels)/ Only Our Rivers Run Free/ Raggle Taggle Gypsy-Tabhair Dom Do L mh/ Three Drunken Maidens-The Foxhunter's Reel (Reprise)/ The Good Ship Kangaroo/ Ride A Mile-Hardiman The Fiddler-The Yellow Wattle (Jigs)/ The Hackler From Grouse Hall/ An Bonn n Bu¡-The West Wind (Reel)/ The Jolly Beggar/ Sally Brown/ Bean Ph id¡n-Rakish Paddy/ Little Musgrave/ East At Glendart-Brian O'Lynn-Pay The Reckoning (Double Jigs)/ The Lady On The Island-The Gatehouse Maid-The Virginia-Callaghan's (Reels)/ As I Roved Out/ Smeceno Horo/ Johnny Of Brady's Lea/ The Pullet-The Ladies' Pantalettes (Reels)/ I Pity The Poor Immigrant/ Arthur McBride/ True Love Knows No Season (Billy Gray)/ Timedance/ You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure/ The Good Ship Kangaroo/ T imse Im' Chodladh/ Thousands Are Sailing/ The Queen Of The Rushes-Paddy Fahy's (Jigs)/ Little Musgrave/ The Scholar-The Chattering Magpie-Lord McDonald's-The Virginia-Callaghan's (Reels)/ The Cliffs Of Dooneen

 
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR Orleans 2915 Live In Chicago ● CD $11.98
8 tracks, 29 mins, recommended with reservations
I am a bit torn about this release. Professor Longhair is in good form, and the sound is solid, but I really don't care for the Rock guitarist backing him up. It is that same guitarist, though, that preserved this recording, mixed it and made it available for release, and is a guy that has done a lot for New Orleans music over the years; I just wish that he had a better sound at this show and laid off the solos. This is a radio station recording from a 1976 performance at the University of Chicago Folk Festival. The relatively short set list highlights includes Big Chief/ Mess Around, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Professor Longhair / New Orleans die-hards will probably still want this want this, but I really can't recommend it past there. (JM)

 
THE RAVENS Jasmine 247 Featuring Jimmy Ricks - Bass Instincts, 1946-1955 ● CD $18.98 $11.98
Two CDs, 55 tracks, highly recommended
 A wide ranging retrospective of this great group from their earliest recordings for Hub in 1946 to their last sides for Jubilee in 1955. Led by the lead bass voice of Jimmy Ricks, The Ravens were one of the earliest & most influential of the doo-wop groups, the link between the Ink Spots & modern doo-wop. Their sublime version of White Christmas (heard here) was covered by both The Drifters & Elvis. Though they started on the Hub label in 1946, it was when they got Maithe Marshall on tenor & switched to National in 1947 that their success soared and they had hit after hit in the R&B charts, most included here, like Ol' Man River/ Send For Me If You Need Me/ Be On Your Merry Way/ I Don't Have To Ride No More and others. They were so sucessful that in 1948 King rereleased one of their Hub recordings Bye Bye Baby Blues and it climbed to #10 in the Charts. By 1950 the hits were drying up and the group had several personnell changes - lead tenor Maithe Marshall is gone, and Joe Van Loan is in his place - they moved to Columbia and made many fine recordings, though except for their cover of Louis Prima's which got to #25 in the pop charts, none were terribly sucessful. In 1951 they moved to Mercury where they updated their style with more emphasis on up tempo songs and a heavier rhythm and had their last hit in 1952 with the rocking Rock Me All Night Long. They stayed with Mercury until 1954 when they switched to Jubilee and released half a dozen excellent singles but by this time their style was considered dated and the group split with Ricks going on to have a solo career. Another splendid vocal group set from Jasmine with superb sound and informative notes. (FS)
THE RAVENS: Always/ Be On Your Merry Way/ Bye Bye Baby Blues/ Come A Little Closer/ Don't Look Now/ Don't Mention My Name/ Escortin' Or Courtin'/ Everything But You/ For You/ Gotta Find My Baby/ Green Eyes/ Happy Go Lucky Baby/ Hey Good Lookin'/ Honey/ Honey I Don't Want You/ I Don't Have To Ride No More/ I Get All My Lovin' On A Saturday Night/ I'll Be Back/ I'm Afraid Of You/ I'm Going To Paper My Walls/ I'm Gonna Take To The Road/ I've Been A Fool/ I've Got You Under My Skin/ It's Too Soon To Know/ Leave My Gal Alone/ Looking For My Baby/ Love Is No Dream/ Lullaby/ Mahzel (Means Good Luck)/ Midnight Blues/ My Baby's Gone/ My Sugar Is So Refined/ Oh Babe/ Ol' Man River/ On Chapel Hill/ Out In The Cold Again/ Out Of A Dream/ Ricky's Blues/ Rock Me All Night Long/ Rough Ridin'/ Send For Me If You Need Me/ She's Got To Go/ Silent Night/ Someday/ The Bells Of San Raquel/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ Walkin' My Blues Away/ Walkin' With The Blues/ White Christmas/ Who'll Be The Fool (From Now On)/ Why Did You Leave Me/ Without A Song/ Write Me A Letter/ Write Me One Sweet Letter/ You Foolish Thing

 
JIMMY RUSHING Phoenix 131519 Complete "Goin' To Chicago" And "Listen To The Blues" ● CD $12.98
17 tracks, 80 mins, strongly recommended
Jimmy Rushing became one of the pioneer blues shouters during his lengthy tenure with the Count Basie Orchestra and is cited as an influence on vocalists like Walter Brown, Gatemouth Moore Big Joe Turner and others. This fine set features recordings made in 1954 and '55, after he had left the Basie band and were originally issued on two LPs on Vanguard. The 17 tracks are mostly blues standards backup bands consisting of mostly Basie band alumni! With Buddy Tate/ts & leader, Freddie Greene/g, Pete Jhhnson/ p, Jo Jones/ d, Emmett Berry/ tp , Vic Dickenson/ tb and others. Songs include How Long/ Goin' To Chicago/ Leave Me/ Everyday I Have The Blues/ Rock And Roll/ Roll 'em Pete/ How Long, etc. Excellent sound quality and booklet has detailed notes by John Flanagan and full discographical data. (FS)

 
DOUG SAHM/ THE SIR DOUGLAS BAND BGO BGOCD 1259 Doug Sahm And Band/ Texas Tornado/ Groover's Paradise ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 21 tracks, 118 mins, highly recommended
This CD set is certainly a thing of beauty: three of Doug Sahm's best albums all from 1973/ 1974, together with high def audiophile recordings taken from the original masters. Music on these albums reflect Doug Sahm's eclectic tastes and deftness in so many styles from Tex-Mex to Country, Rock & Roll to Urban Blues, to borderline Lounge music on one track, and features the host of great players that seemed to gravitate to Sahm: Dr John, Flaco Jiminez, David Bromberg, Bob Dylan, Augie Meyers and other Sir Doug veterans, and so on. Highlights include (Is Anybody Going To) San Antone/ Dealer's Blues, a great take on Willie Nelson's Me And Paul, San Francisco F.M. Blues/ Texas Tornado/ Nitty Gritty/ Groover's Paradise/ For The Sake Of Rock 'N' Roll, and the blistering Tex-Mex instrumental La Cacahuata (Peanut). CD booklet includes reproductions of most of original album art, full recording session info, as well as a loving Doug Sahm bio. (JM)

 
SEIF SALIM SALEH & ABDULLAH AHMED Globestyle CDORBD 032 Taarab 1: The Music of Zanzibar** ● CD $18.98
14 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
Lovely, mostly instrumental taarab music from Zanzibar, an island off the east coast of Africa. Heavily influenced by Arabic music, this features Ahmed on ganoon - the plucked zither or kanun widespread throughout the Middle East, and Saleh on violin and oud. They play exquisite duets in classical Arabic style, but with rhythmic and harmonic touches that stamp the music as African, with a bit of "Scheherazade" thrown in. Long practiced in the art of taarab, their music flows dreamily along, aided on several tracks by the fine singing of Munira Said Mohammed. A fine production with pictures and extensive notes. (JM)

 
THE SOUL STIRRERS Acrobat 3169 The Singles Collection, 1950-1961 ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 54 tracks, 142 mins, essential
Here you get some of the best recorded work by one of the greatest of the Gospel groups. 1950 was a pivotal year for the Stirrers, whose history goes back to the 1920s. In 1950, they signed with Specialty Records; soon after, long time group leader Rebert Harris left, soon replaced by Sam Cooke, who would bring them to their highest highs; then Cooke left the group in the capable hands of Johnnie Taylor, while he went solo and also started a label. SAR Records that would be the new home for the Soul Stirrers. So, this collection starts off with some fine tracks with Harris still on lead, ten features the best of the Sam Cooke years, and then ends with fine tracks with Taylor in the lead. Johnnie Taylor definitely starts his Soul Stirrers career imitating Sam Cooke, but would soon develop his own style. Highlights include Peace In The Valley/ Jesus Gave Me Water/ Come Let's Go Back To God/ I'm So Glad/ Wonderful/ Were You There/ Wade In The Water/ Jesus Be A Fence Around Me, and many, many more. It is also fun to hear some of the later tracks with Sam Cooke where you have the Gospel original of songs that he would rework into secular hits. CD had great sound throughout, wonderful presentation, and certainly a must for Gospel fans. (JM)
THE SOUL STIRRERS: Any Day Now/ Be With Me Jesus/ Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord/ By And By Pt. 1/ By And By Pt. 2/ Come And Go To That Land/ Come, Let's Go Back To God/ End Of My Journey/ Faith And Grace/ Farther Along/ Feel Like My Time Ain't Long/ He Cares/ He'll Welcome Me (To My Home)/ He's Been A Shelter For Me/ He's My Friend Until The End/ How Far Am I From Canaan/ How Long/ I Have A Right To The Tree Of Life/ I'm A Pilgrim/ I'm Gonna Build On That Shore/ I'm Gonna Move In The Room With The Lord/ I'm So Glad (Trouble Don't Last Always)/ I'm Still Living On Mother's Prayer/ In A Few More Days/ In That Awful Hour/ It Won't Be Very Long/ Jesus Be A Fence Around Me/ Jesus Gave Me Water/ Jesus Paid The Debt/ Jesus, I'll Never Forget/ Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles/ Joy, Joy To My Soul/ Just Another Day/ Let Me Go Home/ Listen To The Angels/ Loved Ones Are Waiting/ Nearer To Thee/ One More River/ Out On A Hill/ Peace In The Valley/ Pilgrim Of Sorrow/ Sinner Run To Jesus/ Stand By Me Father/ The Lord Is My Shepherd/ The Lord Laid His Hands On Me/ The Love Of God/ Toiling On/ Touch The Hem Of His Garment/ Until Jesus Calls Me Home/ Until Then/ Wade In The Water/ Were You There'/ When The Gates Swing Open/ Wonderful

 
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE Jasmine 3044 London, 1958 ● CD $15.98 $9.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of sides recorded by this popular duo in London during their first tour of England in 1958. The tour was arranged by jazz trombonist Chris Barber who was a pioneer in introducing blues to Britain and seven of the tracks features members of Barber's group accompanying them and a fine job they do too - giving the performances a New Orleans feel on songs like Betty & Dupree/ This Little Light Of Mone/ Custard Pie and others. On eight sides they are accompanied by pianist Dave Lee who acquits himself admirably on songs like Brownie's Blues/ Just A Dream and a couple of risque numbers - Auto Mechanic Blues and Wholesale & Retail. The rest of the album is just Sonny & Brownie doing mostly old favorites (though new to the British public at that time) like Change The Lock On My Door/ Climbing On Top Of The Hill/ Woman's Lover Blues/ Southern Train/ Gone But Not Forgotten and others. At this time it was still early in their career playing to white audiences and the music here sounds fresh and exciting and shows what superb musicians they were. Later over-familiarity and a personal rift led to their performances sounding stale but not here. Compiled by Roger Dopson with notes by Groper Odson whose name just happens to be an anagram of Roger Dopson. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 442 Boppin' Tonight** ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 50 minutes, highly recommended
This fantastic collection features 22 rockabilly tunes from Eddie Shuler's Goldband Studio in Lake Charles, Louisiana, done between 1955 and 1960. Who better to start off with than the great Al Ferrier blasting away on 5 tunes including the title cut, Honey Baby/ No No Baby . Wild and rockin' 'billy music at its best, although I do have a quibble with the takes used here. Little Billy Earl isn't in the same league as Ferrier but he gets 5 tunes as well, really shining on Go Dan Tucker and I Never Had The Blues . Larry Hart isn't a very good singer but some of his tunes are interesting. Things pick up considerably with the last 6 tunes. Bill & Carroll sing a pair of good ones, Ray Vict rocks mightily on Bop Stop Rock , Jay Chevalier bops Cubano style on Castro Rock and Johnny Jano is dynamite on Mabel's Gone and High Voltage . This could've been essential with a little more effort on Ace's part, but it's darned close as it is. (AE)
BILL & CARROLL: Bluff City Rock/ Hold Me Baby/ JAY CHEVALIER: Castro Rock/ LITTLE BILLY EARL: Couple In The Car/ Go Dan Tucker/ Honey Baby-o/ I Never Had The Blues/ Who's Baby Are You/ AL FERRIER: Honey Baby/ Let's Go Bopping Tonight/ My Baby Done Gone Away/ No No Baby/ What Is That Thing Called Love/ LARRY HART: Coffins Have No Pockets/ Come On Baby/ Flashiest Classiest/ Freight Train/ I'm Just A Mender/ Never Run Out Of Love/ Oh Nellie/ JOHNNY JANO: High Voltage/ Mabel's Gone/ Oh Baby/ RAY VICT: Bop Stop Rock

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 661 Swamp Blues** ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
 Reissue of excellent two-LP set originally on the English Blue Horizon label and subsequently issued as two LPs on Excello. Produced by Mike Vernon in 1970 it features some of the best down home bluesmen from the Baton Rouge area. Whispering Smith and Silas Hogan had previously recorded for Excello, Clarence Edwards had done field recordings for Harry Oster, pianist/ singer Henry Gray had moved back to Louisiana from Chicago after years working with the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Junior Wells & Billy Boy Arnold and Arthur "Guitar" Kelly was an obscure but fine singer & guitarist very much in the vein of the great Lightnin' Slim. The first half the disc features these artists in a small band setting which frequently recreates the feel & spirit of the great Jay Miller recordings of ten years previously. The latter half are solo, mostly acoustic, performances and are also very fine - particularly Gray, Hogan and Edwards. Edwards's performances are so good that it's a mystery why he continued in osbcurity for another 15 years and died in 1993, not long after he started to finally get the recognition he deserved. Great sound and informative notes by Vernon about the artists and sessions. Although recorded only a few months after the Arhoolie sessions with the same artists the performances here seem much more spirited and alive. (FS)
CLARENCE EDWARDS: Cooling Board/ I Want Somebody/ Let Me Love You Baby/ Lonesome Bedroom Blues/ HENRY GRAY: Can't Last Too Long/ Gray's Bounce/ Showers Of Rain/ Worried Life Blues/ SILAS HOGAN: Dry Chemical Blues/ Hoo-doo Blues/ I Didn't Tell Her To Leave/ I Don't Know Why/ Just Give Me A Chance/ ARTHUR "GUITAR" KELLEY: How Can I Stay When All I Have Is Gone/ I Don't Know Why/ Number Ten At The Station And Number Twelve Is On The Road/ Somebody Stole My Baby And Gone/ WHISPERING SMITH: A Thousand Miles From Nowhere/ Baby, Please Don't Go/ Baton Rouge Breakdown/ Cold Black Mare/ Deep South Mose/ Looking The World Over/ Storm In Texas

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1010 The Leiber & Stoller Story, Volume 1 : Hard Times** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
The first of three volumes featuring the songs of the great rock 'n roll songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This volume features recordings made between 1951 and 1956 when the duo was starting to make a name for itself in Los Angeles writing songs for some of the great West Coast blues and R&B singers along with some country and pop. It includes their first compositions recorded by Jimmy Witherspoon and The Robins in 1951 and includes their creation of lyrics for the great jazz tune Flying Home sung here by Amos Milburn and the original 1952 recording of Kansas City (recorded as K.C. Loving) by Little Willie Littlefield which has now been recorded more than 500 times! There are lots of other great sides from the likes of Charles Brown, Roy Hawkins, Little ESther, Little Mickey Champion, Milt Trenier, Joe Liggins, The Honey Bears, Vicki Young, Freddie Bell & The Bellboys (doing their tame version of Hound Dog - why not Big Mama Thornton?), Ella Mae Morse, Larry Evans, The Drifters, Edith Piaf (doing a great French version of Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots originally recorded by The Cheers) and more. Sound quality is superb and set includes 16 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes. (FS)
FREDDIE BELL & THE BELL BOYS: Hound Dog/ CHARLES BROWN: Hard Times/ JACK CARDWELL: Whadaya Want/ LITTLE MICKEY CHAMPION: Lovin' Jim/ THE CHEERS: Bazoom (i Need Your Lovin')/ THE DRIFTERS: Ruby Baby/ THE DU DROPPERS: Bam Balam/ LARRY EVANS: What About Me/ ROY HAWKINS: Gloom And Misery All Around/ SAM "HIGHPOCKETS" HENDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (VOCAL: JERR: Too Bad Sweet Mama/ THE HONEY BEARS: It's A Miracle/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON: Nosey Joe/ ETTA JAMES: Tears Of Joy/ JOE LIGGINS: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah/ LITTLE ESTHER: Mainliner/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Kansas City (aka Kc Lovin')/ FRANKIE MARSHALL: If It's The Last Thing I Do/ AMOS MILBURN: Flying Home/ ELLA MAE MORSE: Down In Mexico/ BOBBY NUNN & THE ROBBINS: That's What The Good Book Says (alt)/ EDITH PIAF: L'homme A La Moto (black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots)/ THE ROBINS: Ten Days In Jail/ BIG MAMA THORNTON: I Smell A Rat/ MILT TRENIER: Squeeze Me/ WILLY & RUTH: Come A Little Bit Closer/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Real Ugly Woman/ VICKI YOUNG: Riot In Cell Block #9/ YOUNG JESSIE: Hot Dog

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 542 TNT Hillbilly Label, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, recommended
A collection of sides made in the early 50s for Bill Tanner's San Antonio based TNT label. Many of the tracks are pretty pedestrian but there are a few real gems - half the tracks by Jacoby Brothers are superb examples of old timey brotherd duets including the superb and humorous Bicycle Wreck. The two tracks by Eddie Noack are superb though they've been out before and Randy KIng is a very fine honky tonk singer. The rest of the tracks includes sides by Red Baker, Lucky Hill & The Rolling Stones, The Davis Sisters (not the duo with Skeeter Davis), Easy Adams & The Texas Top Hands, Ted Filmore and Red River Dave. Booklet has brief notes on the artists by Phil TRicker. (FS)
EASY ADAMS & THE TEXAS TOP HANDS: I Had Someone Else Before I Had You/ The New Bandera Waltz/ RED BAKER: Caucus With Your Conscience/ Tear Stained Letterr/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: For Old Times Sake/ Richochet/ TED FILMORE: I’m Goin’ Home/ What’s The Use (For Me To Go On Cryin’)/ LUCKY HILL WITH THE ROLLING STONES: I’m The One/ I’m Wondering/ The Life Of Love/ This Thing Called Love/ THE JACOBY BROTHERS: Bicycle Wreck/ Cannonball/ Doubtful Heart/ Food Plan Boogie/ I Can’t Tell That Lie To My Heart/ I Gave My Love A Cherry/ There’s No Use To Go Wrong/ Warmed Over Love/ RANDY KING & THE WESTERNAIRES: Crazy As A Loon/ Tied And Bound/ EDDIE NOACK: How Does It Feel To Be The Winner/ Too Hot To Handle/ RED RIVER DAVE & THE DAVIS SISTERS: Midnight Mare/ Truck Driver’s Special

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 544 Early California Cowboys & Hillbillies, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
Complementing B.A.C.M. 300 this is another collection of California cowboy and hillbilly music recorded before the 1940s when the music became so much more prominent in California. 26 tracks recorded between 1930 and 1937 by Stuart Hamblen & His Coverd Wagon Jubilee, The Happy Ranch Boys (from film soundtrack), Bill Simmons & His California Cowboys, Cactus Mac, Jack Ross with The Ranch Boys and others. With extensive notes from Kevin Coffy.
CACTUS MAC WITH STUART HAMBLEN’S COVERED: The Crocodile/ STUART HAMBLEN & HIS COVERED WAGON JUBILEE: By The Sleepy Rio Grande/ Goin’ Back To Texas/ Little Joe The Wrangler/ Take Me Back To Colorado/ The Old Black Mountain Trail/ The Old Cow Has Spots/ When The Works All Done This Fall/ THE HAPPY RANCH BOYS: Just A Rollin’ Stone/ Opening/ Poor Jack/ The Old Tobacco Box/ Waggoner/ DUDE MARTIN & HIS NEVADA NITE HERDERS: Dying Cowboy (The Streets Of Laredo)/ Hand Me Down My Walkin’ Cane/ Moonlight On The Prairie/ Sweet Betsy From Pike/ The Big Corral/ The High Toned Dance/ THE ROLLING STONES (JIMMY ADAMS & BUD JAMISO: Down By The Old Rio Grande/ Mountain Angel/ JACK ROSS WITH THE RANCH BOYS: Giddy Up Napoleon/ Strawberry Roan/ The Monkey And The Frog/ The Old Back Steer/ To Morrow/ BILL SIMMONS: Take Me Back To Old Montana/ Wild Roses/ My California Home/ Rocky Mountain Blues/ "ROWDY" CECIL WRIGHT: The Strawberry Roan, Part 1/ The Strawberry Roan, Part 2

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 142 Texas Tornados - Rock 'n' Roll FRom The Lone Star State ● CD $18.98 $9.98
2 CD's, 1 hour 43 min., 50 tracks, highly recommended Full of red-blooded rock and roll from the early days, when amplified guitars roamed the earth searching for teenagers, this atmospherically disturbing collection does everything right. Some of the tracks are by well knowns such as Roy Orbison (You're My Baby), The Crickets (I'm Lookin' For Someone To Love), but the compilers shy away from most-often reissued cuts. Some of the selections are by lesser knows or regionally knowns, including Doug Bragg (If I Find My Dream Girl), Dave Edge (Wham Bam!), Tom Tall (Stack-A-Records), and more. Record labels represented include Sarge, D, Starday,Lin, Sun, Major, Crest, Imperial, TNT, Dixie, Kliff, Westport, and many others. Performances range from guys trying to sound like Johnny Cash to guys just this side of out of control, with nearly everything very good or better. All this and the kind of booklet notes a collector can appreciate, full of information about each act and song with pictures of each 45 rpm label. Nice. With so many cool rock and roll acts, it's a wonder that the state of Texas only received one star. (JC)
CHARLIE ADAMS: Cattin' Around/ MILTON ALLEN: Don't Bug Me Baby/ BIG BOPPER: White Lightning/ HARMON BOAZEMAN: No Love In You/ DOUG BRAGG: If I Find My Dream Girl/ RAY CAMPI: Catapillar/ JOHNNY CARROLL: Wild Wild Women/ THE CRICKETS: I'm Lookin' For Someone To Love/ Rock Me My Baby/ MAC CURTIS: Grandaddy's Rockin'/ If I Had Me A Woman/ LINK DAVIS: Cockroach/ RONNIE DAWSON: Rockin' Bones/ JIMMY DEE: Rock-Tick-Tock/ EDDY DUGOSH: Strange Kinda Feeling/ DAVE EDGE: Wham Bam/ SONNY FISHER: Rockin' Daddy/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: You're Humbuggin' Me/ BILLY GRAY: Tennessee Toddy/ BENNIE HESS: Wild Hog Hop/ BASH HOFNER: Rockin' And A-Bopin'/ JOHNNY HORTON: I'm Coming Home/ JIMMIE & JOHNNY: I Can't Find The Door Knob/ THUMPER JONES: How Come It/ SID KING & THE FIVE STRINGS: Purr, Kitty, Purr/ Sag, Drag And Fall/ SLEEPY LABEFF: I'm Through/ TRINI LOPEZ: Yes You Do/ BOB LUMAN: Stranger Than Fiction/ Whenever You're Ready/ BILL MACK: Play My Boogie/ BUDDY MILLER: Teen Twist/ CECIL MOORE: (I Lost My) Little Baby/ MOON MULLICAN: Moon's Rock/ ROY ORBISON: You're My Baby/ JOE POOVEY: Move Around/ ROYCE PORTER: Lookin'/ Yes I Do/ JETT POWERS: Go, Girl, Go/ VERN PULLENS: Mama Don't Allow No Boppin'/ DAVID RAY: Jitterbugging Baby/ JAPE RICHARDSON: Crazy Blues/ DOUG SAHM: Crazy Daisy/ DONALD SIMPSON: Save Me Your Love/ ANDY STARR: Rockin', Rollin' Stone/ THE STRIKES: If You Can't Rock Me/ GENE SUMMERS: Straight Skirt/ TOM TALL: Stack-A-Records/ ALVIS WAYNE: Sleep, Rock-A-Roll Rock-A-Baby/ LEW WILLIAMS: Centipede

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Globestyle CDORBD 077 Saba Saba! Recorded In Mozambique** ● CD $18.98
12 tracks, 59 min., essential
Two Mozambique bands are featured here, in alternating order. Recordings from this war-torn coastal country are scarce - Globestyle has done their usual great job there, and promises more to come. The first band (odd-numbered tracks) is led by Mil-Quinhento "1500", an energetic performer on pankwe zither who loves hyperactive tempos and unique "beep-bop" vocal responses. The second, Conjunto Nimala De Lalauah, is the family band of accordionist Nimala Carlos. Theirs is a more traditional blend of regional singing styles and colonial music. Both are quartets with three percussionists providing vocal layering; the conjuntos' differences complement each other beautifully. (MB)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Grammercy 384 Roots of Jazz Scat Vocals ● CD $11.98
19 tracks, highly recommended
A delightful collection of jazz recorded between 1927 and 1934 full of upbeat dance numbers where nonsense syllables are sung like a solo instrument. Scat singing predates recorded jazz but was first popularized by Louis Armstrong in the mid 1920s and fittingly Armstrong opens this collection with his great rendition of Sweet Sue, Just You from 1933. THe great Cab Calloway was a master of scat singing and is featured here with two numbers including Zaz Zuh Zaz which has an uncanny resemblance to his more famous Minnie The Moocher. The 1934 recording of Junk Man by The Spirits of Rhythm features scatting from Leo Watson who is considered to be one of the greatest of all scat singers. Andy KIrk & His Twelve Clouds off Joy not only has a great scat vocal from Harry Lawson but hot jazz fiddle from Claude Williams. Other artists include Blanche Calloway & Her Joy Boys, The Washboard Rhythm Kings, Blue Steele & His Orchestra, Joel Shaq & His Orchestra, Taylor's Dixie Orchestra, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra and others. Sound quality is excellent. There are no notes but insert has full discographical information. (FS)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG & HIS ORCHESTRA: Sweet Sue, Just You/ BLANCHE CALLOWAY & HER JOY BOYS: Just a Crazy Song (Hi-Hi-Hi)/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA: Zaz Zuh Zaz/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCHESTRA: St. Louis Blues/ DOC COOK & HIS 14 DOCTORS OF SYNCOPATION: Willie the Weeper/ DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA: Sloppy Joe/ EARL HINES & HIS ORCHESTRA: Have You Ever Felt That Way?/ Sister Kate/ ANDY KIRK & HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY: Blue Clarinet Stomp/ WINGY MANONE & HIS ORCHESTRA: Shake That Thing/ MCKINNEY'S COTTON PICKERS: You're Driving Me Crazy/ BENNY MOTEN'S KANSAS CITY ORCH.: Get Low Down Blues/ JIMMIE NOONE'S APEX CLUB ORCHESTRA: Let's Sow a Wild Oat/ JOEL SHAW & HIS ORCHESTRA: The Scat Song/ SLIM & SLAM: Tutti Frutti/ THE SPIRITS OF RHYTHM: Junk Man/ BLUE STEELE & HIS ORCHESTRA: All Muggled Up/ TAYLOR'S DIXIE ORCHESTRA: Everybody Loves My Baby/ THE WASHBOARD RHYTHM KINGS: Every Man for Himself

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Grammercy 398 Cocaine Blues: Vintage Songs About Cocaine & Heroin ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
If you don't already have a good collection of old Blues, Jazz, and Folk recordings about doing drugs (smokin' the reefer, kicking the gong, riding the rails, etc.,) then this is a fine collection to start with. If you do have a couple along those lines (and there have been many over the years, including an earlier release of this title,) then there probably won't be much here that you don't already have. No new re-mastering has been done, so yours will probably sound as good as these. The usual suspects (in this case, sometimes literally) are here: several great tracks by Cab Calloway, the sublime That Cat Is High by the Ink Spots, Cocaine by powerfully named Dick Justice, Take A Whiff On Me by Leadbelly, and of course Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine? by Harry "The Hipster" Gibson. Lots of other great songs by the likes of: The Memphis Jug Band, Charley Jordon, Woody Guthrie, Louis Armstrong, Slim & Slam, Victory Spivey, and many more. Fantastic cover art is taken from one of the great movie posters for "The Cocaine Fiends" (aka "The Pace That Kills") from 1935. (JM)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG & HIS ORCHESTRA: Kickin' The Gong Around/ LUCILLE BOGAN: Baking Powder Blues/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA: Kickin' The Gong Around/ Minnie The Moocher (Rare 1933 Alternate Take)/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCHESTRA: The Ghost Of Smokey Joe/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Junker Blues/ ELLA FITZGERALD WITH CHICK WEBB: Wacky Dust/ HARRY "THE HIPSTER" GIBSON: Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?/ WOODY GUTHRIE: Cocaine Blues/ THE INK SPOTS: That Cat Is High/ CHARLEY JORDAN: Just A Spoonful/ DICK JUSTICE: Cocaine/ LEADBELLY: Take A Whiff On Me/ CARL MARTIN: That New Kind Of Stuff/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Cocaine Habit Blues/ JOSIE MILES: Pipe Dream Blues/ MILLS BLUE RHYTHM BAND: Kokey Joe/ Minnie The Moocher's Wedding Day/ SLIM & SLAM: Chinatown, My Chinatown/ Tuttie Frutti/ THE SPIRITS OF RHYTHM: Junk Man/ VICTORIA SPIVEY: Dope Head Blues/ GEORGE VAN DUSEN: The Yodelling Chinaman/ CLARENCE WILLIAMS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Jerry The Junker

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Halcyon 157 The Famous "Blackbyrds" Revues ● CD $19.98
19 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
"Blackbirds" Revues were quite popular for many years, and one of the only ways African American performers could play Broadway, or anywhere in New York outside of Harlem in the days of segregation. So, it is no surprise that many of the great African American artists of the day would appear in these revues. This fantastic collection starts in 1926 with The Plantation Orchestra directed by Johnny Dunn, then covers the next seven years of productions, featuring stellar performances from Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Ethel Waters, The Mills Brothers, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway, and many more. Sound quality is superb throughout, the Mills Brothers tracks especially ring out clear and beautifully, amazing with the age of these tracks. CD includes excellent notes that go further into more detail of the revues than I have space for here. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Honest Jon's 61 London Is The Place For Me, Vol. 5 & 6 ● CD $23.98
2 CDs, 39 tracks, 109 mins, highly recommended
This is the newest in the re-issue series of these great compilations of "The Music of Young Black London." Honest John's has been pairing up two volumes at a time with wonderful packaging, liner notes, beautiful photos, label reproductions, etc. If you didn't catch these originally and are a fan of world music, then they are a must. All of the volumes so far have been packed full of fantastic music, with fantastic sound, throughout. Highlights include: the percussion workout of Dizzy Reece's The Escape, King Timothy's Jiu Jitsu Calypso, Lord Beginner's Joe Louis Calypso, Mambo Contempo by Ginger Johnson," The Quavers' tribute to Lord Kitchner Kitch, many fine tracks by Lord Kitchner himself, plus much more great Calypso, Highlife, Mento, Jazz, etc. from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. (JM)
MONA BAPTISTE: Tabu/ GEORGE BROWNE: Calypso Mambo/ THE CARIBBEAN SWING BAND: Jordhu/ FITZROY COLEMAN QUINTET: Uncle Joe/ ERIC HAYDEN: Belly Lick/ GINGER JOHNSON: Mambo Contempo/ TONY JOHNSON: Marilyn Monroe Calypso/ Me Donkey Want Water/ SHAKE KEANE: Trumpet Highlife/ KING TIMOTHY: Football Calypso/ Jiu Jitsu Calypso/ LORD BEGINNER: The Dollar and the Pound/ The Joe Louis Calypso/ LORD INVADER: Goodwood Park/ LORD KITCHENER: Cricket Umpires/ Jamaica Turkey/ Kitch's Mambo Calypso/ My Wife Went Away with Yankee/ Romance on the Queen Mary/ MIGHTY TERROR: Patricia Gone with Millicent/ The Queen Is In/ Women Police in England/ RUPERT NURSE'S CALYPSO BAND: Calypso Rhythm Dance/ Song of Joy/ BUDDY PIPP'S HIGHLIFERS: Cuban Nightingale/ Ghana Special/ Positive Action/ Prospero/ Sway/ THE QUAVERS: Kitch/ DIZZY REECE: The Escape/ TEJAN-SIE WITH THE WEST AFRICAN RHYTHM B: King Jimmy Foo Foo/ MIGHTY TERROR: Life in Britain/ LILI VERONA: Big Instrument/ THE WEST AFRICAN RHYTHM BROTHERS: Asikoloto/ Jekafo Ju Agbawo/ Nigeria Odowoyin/ Ominira/ THE WEST AFRICAN SWING STARS: My Sorrow

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Imperial 5001 Imperial Records - The R&B Years, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Lew Chudd founded the legendary Imperial label in 1946 and started issuing Mexican music and then hillbilly and in August, 1947 started issuing which was inaugurated with local Los Angeles band Dick Lewis & His Harlem Rhythm Boys whose first record Hurricane Boogie and Texas Boogie is featured here and over the next couple of years issued a steady stream of urban blues by mostly local artists until the success of Fats Domino in 1950 led to them doing a lot of recording in New Orleans. Previous reissues of Imperial R&B have tended to concentrate on the down home sound or on their extensive repertoire of New Orleans recordings so this collection is particularly welcome with many tracks new to CD. In addition to the Lewis cuts the set features recordings by the brilliant pianist Leon "Poison" Gardner and his band with various vocalists including Fat Man Hamilton, Alton Redd and Gardner himself. Charlie "Boogie Woogie" Davis is, unsurprisingly, also a piano player and he also leads a fine band on his seven cuts and the set is rounded out with five cuts from King Porter & His Orch. The band led by trumpeter Jake Porter included Lloyd Glenn on piano and Gene Phillips on guitar and various vocalists. The music is consistently fine - the bands are all tightly integrated pros. Most of the tracks are uptempo - often boogie with hot piano and the occasional sax solo. Sound quality is superb and the booklet has what little discographical details are known - in most cases only the leader and vocalist. (FS)
CHARLIE "BOOGIE WOOGIE" DAVIS & HIS ORCH.: Going To L.A./ How I Miss Old Memphis Tenn./ I Know What It's All About/ Old Time Blues/ Rainin' Blues/ San Quentin Bait/ The Traffic Is Terrific/ POISON GARDNER & HIS ALL STARS: Big Leg Mama Blues/ Camp Meetin'/ Lenox Avenue Boogie/ Mean Old World/ Mobile Boogie/ Square Dance Boogie/ You're My Baby To-Night/ FAT MAN HAMILTON WITH POISON GARDNER & HIS ALL S: House Rent Blues/ So Many Women/ Workingman's Blues/ DICK LEWIS & HIS HARLEM RHYTHM BOYS: Hurricane Boogie/ Texas Boogie/ KING PORTER & HIS ORCH.: Bumps Boogie/ Goodbye Doretha/ Hey! Little Brownie/ Should Have Rationed Myself/ That Early Morning Boogie

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Indigo 2114 Gonna Take My Rap - Post War Chicago Blues, 1945-49 ● CD $12.98 $8.98
22 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of Chicago blues from the period 1946 through 1949 - a transitional period when the new sound of Muddy Waters and his contemporaries was starting to take over. As this collection shows, though, the "old timers" like Sonny Boy Williamson, Jazz Gillum, Memphis Minnie and Tampa Red were making music that was, in its own way,just as exciting as that of the newcomers - the title song by Jazz Gillum and Sonny Boy's Elevator Woman are particularly fine examples. This set also includes tracks by some fine but obscure artists who recorded very little commercially - James "Beale Street" Clark, John Sellers, Willie "Long Time" Smith and Pete Franklin. There are also early sides by two artists who were to make more of a name for themselves in the late 40s and 50s - Sunnyland Slim (recording as 'Dr Clayton's Buddy') and Eddie Boyd. Sound is generally excellent. (FS)
EDDIE BOYD: I Had To Let Her Go/ JAMES "BEALE ST." CLARK CLARK: Come To Me Baby (What Evil Have I Done)/ JAMES "BEALE ST." CLARK: You Can't Make The Grade/ DR. CLAYTON: Broke And Hungry/ Farwell Little Girl/ PETE FRANKLIN: Casey Brown Blues/ Down Behind The Rise/ BILL "JAZZ" GILLUM: Gonna Take My Rap/ Hand Reader Blues/ Signifying Woman/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Mean Mistreater Blues/ True Love/ JOHN SELLERS: Let Me Be Your Sidetrack/ WILLIE "LONG TIME" SMITH: Due Respects To You/ Flying Cloud Boogie/ TAMPA RED: Come On If You're Coming/ I'll Find My Way/ It's A Brand New Boogey/ Please Try To See It My May/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Elevator Woman/ GM And O blues/ Sonny Boy's Jump

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 254 Doo Wop Across America - R&B Vocal Groups In New Orlean ● CD $18.98 $11.98
A particularly nice entry in this series featuring vocal groups and R&B singers from New Orleans. Many tracks have that distinctive New Orleans R&B sound. Two CDs with 67 (!) tracks including sides by The Hawks, The Spiders, The Sha Wees, Sugar Boy & His Can Cutters, James (Sugar Boy) Crawford and The Barons.
CHUCK CARBO & THE SPIDERS: A-1 In My Heart/ Dear Mary/ Don't Pity Me/ How I Feel/ JAMES (SUGAR BOY) CRAWFORD: Barons/ Boom Boom/ Cryin' For My Baby/ Eternally Yours/ I Don't Need You/ It's Over/ My Dream My Love/ My Secret/ Once In A Lifetime/ Searching For You/ Shake The Dice/ She's Gotta Wobble When She Walks/ She's The One/ So Long, My Darling/ You Gave Me Love/ THE HAWKS: All Women Are The Same/ Candy Girl/ Good News/ I Can't See For Lookin'/ I Yi/ It Ain't That Way/ It's Too Late Now/ Joe The Grinder/ She Is All Right/ That's What You Are/ These Blues/ Why Oh Why/ BIG BOY MYLES & THE SHA WEEZ: Hickory Dickory Dock/ Just To Hold My Hand/ That Girl I Married/ Who's Been Fooling You/ THE SHA WEEZ: Early Sunday Morning/ Feeling Sad/ No One To Love Me/ You Made Me Love You/ THE SPIDERS: (3x7=21)/ (True) You Don't Love Me/ Am I The One/ Bells In My Heart/ For A Thrill/ Goodbye/ Honey Bee/ I Didn't Want To Do It/ I'll Stop Crying/ I'm Searchin'/ I'm Slipping In/ Is It True (A Little Bird Told Me)/ Lost And Bewildered (Slowly Losing My Mind)/ Mmm Mmm Baby (Hey Baby)/ She Keeps Me Wondering/ Sukey, Sukey, Sukey/ Tears Begin To Flow/ That's Enough/ That's My Desire/ That's The Way To Win My Heart/ The Real Thing/ Witchcraft/ You're The One/ You're The One/ SUGAR BOY & HIS CANE CUTTERS: Jock-A-Mo/ No More Heartache/ Oo Wee Sugar/ Overboard/ What's Wrong

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 034 Mighty Instrumentals R&B Style 1960 ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, recommended A colllection of blues and R&B instrumentals issued in 1960 including sides by Don & Dewey, The Jim Conley Combo, Roy Montrell (the exciting Mudd), Willie Wright & His Sparkles (the hot two part Bloodhound), Curley Hamner & The Cooper Bros., Jimmy LIggins, Ike Turner, Chuck Berry (some of fine slide work on Surfin' Steel), George "Harmonica" Smith, Lloyd Glenn, James Rivers, Clifton Chenier and others. Although there are some great tracks here there are also a fair number of relatively tepid offerings - Preston Epps string drenched Bongo In The Congo is not my idea of "mighty." This would have been much better as single CD with the best tracks. Set comes with nice booklet with notes, photos and label shots. (FS)
JIMMY BECK: Arabian Blues/ CHUCK BERRY: Surfin' Steel/ JAMES BOOKER: Cool Turkey/ SKIPPY BROOKS: Dim Lights/ B. BROWN: Candied Yams/ CLIFTON CHENIER: Rockin' Accordion/ HENRY CLEMENT: Trojan's Walla/ JIM CONLEY: Nite-Lite Slop/ JOHNNY COPELAND: Late Hours/ DAVEY CORTEZ: Hurricane/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Twinky/ BO DIDDLEY: Shank/ The Twister/ BILL DOGGETT: Buttered Popcorn/ Hully Gully Twist/ DON AND DEWEY: Jump Awhile/ MONTE EASTER: Weekend Blues/ PRESTON EPPS: Bongo In The Congo/ LOWELL FULSON: Low Society/ LLOYD GLENN: The Shakedown/ GRANT GREEN: Space Flight/ BUDDY GUY: Gully Hully/ CURLEY HAMNER: Piano Tuner/ SLIM HARPO: Snoopin' Around/ SHAKEY JAKE HARRIS: Jake's Cha Cha/ HENRY HAYES: Spring Fever/ EARL HOOKER: Dynamite/ HOOKER & WELLS: Universal Rock/ WILLIS JACKSON: Blue Gator/ ELMORE JAMES: She Done Move/ GUS JENKINS: Tricky Too/ B.B. KING: Goin' South/ Power House/ CLIFFORD KING: Chicken Shack Boogie/ FREDDIE KING: San-Ho-Zay/ KID KING: Shaggy Dog/ JIMMY LIGGINS: Last Round/ LITTLE VINCENT: Honk Honk Honk (Pt. 1)/ Honk Honk Honk (Pt. 2)/ JERRY MCCAIN: Rough Stuff/ ROY MONTRELL: Mudd/ JIMMY OLIVER: Slim Jim (Pt. 1)/ BILL PARKER: Boogie Bayou Shuffle/ ROBERT PARKER: Walkin'/ GOOGIE RENE: The Slide (Pt. 2)/ JAMES RIVERS: The Blue Eagle (Pt. 1)/ The Blue Eagle (Pt. 2)/ GEORGE HARMONICA SMITH: Loose Screws/ AL TOUSAN: Chico/ IKE TURNER: Doublemint/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: The Goat/ WILLIE WRIGHT: Bloodhound (Pt. 1)/ Bloodhound (Pt. 2)/ YOUNG GUITAR RED: Red Hot Red

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 37 Mighty Instrumentals R&B Style 1959 ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 59 tracks, strongly recommended
An excellent collection of blues and R&B instrumentals from 1959. There's a fair number of familiar titles but enough obscurities to keep the serious collector happy. It opens with the great Let's GO Smitty from West Coast singer/ piano player Floyd Dixon though Floyd is nowhere to be heard - this is a hot workout for guitarist Johnny "Guitar Watson." This is followed by more great guitar from Bo Diddley on Mumblin' Guitar and Chicago session guitarist provides some hot guitar on Rock Alley which, I believe, might be making its first appearance on CD. We also have fine piano led instrumentals from Gus Jenkins, Sam Price and Memphis Slim and jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams does the excellent R&B flavored Chunk-A-Lunk-Jug. Of course there is hot sax too from Herb Hardesty, King Curtis, Cliff Davis and others as well as some harmonica instrumentals from Buster Brown, LIttle Boy, George Smith and more. Other artists include Tommy Ridgley, Paul Gayten, Nat Kendrick, Mac Rebennac (the hot Storm Warning with Diddleyesque guitar from Mac and hot sax from Lee Allen), The Bim Bam Boos (the original Can't Sit Down which was later overdubbed with shouts and issued under bassist Phil Upchurch's name), Erne Freeman, Gene Redd, Doc Starkes, Gatemouth Brown, Royal Earl, Jimmy Nolen, Jerry McCain, Louis Brooks and more. Sound quality is superb and booklet has brief notes on many of the artists along with photos and label shots. (FS)
SPOT BARNETT: Boney Shuffle/ LEFTY BATES: E N A/ Rock Alley/ CHUCK BERRY: Blue On Blue/ THE BIM BAM BOOS: Can't Sit Down/ LOUIS BROOKS: Rollin' Home/ BUSTER BROWN: The Madison Shuffle/ GATEMOUTH BROWN: Swingin' The Gate/ JAMES BROWN: Mashed Potatoes/ THE CARTER BROS: Pacoima Stomp/ Voodoo Cha Cha/ COZY COLE: Cozy's Mambo/ KING CURTIS: Soul Groove (Pt. 1)/ Soul Groove (Pt. 2)/ CLIFF DAVIS: Let It Roll (Pt. 1)/ Let It Roll (Pt. 2)/ GARLAND DAVIS: Sweet Meats/ BO DIDDLEY: Diddling/ Mumblin' Guitar/ FLOYD DIXON: Let's Go Smitty/ BILL DOGGETT: Backwards (Pt. 1)/ Backwards (Pt. 2)/ ERNIE FREEMAN: Live It Up/ Night Sounds/ PAUL GAYTEN: Hot Cross Buns/ The Hunch/ THE GONDOLIERS: Knocked Out/ HERB HARDESTY: Beatin' And Blowin'/ Perdido Street/ HARMONICA GEORGE: Sputnik Music/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Wolf In The Mood/ ELMORE JAMES: Bobby's Rock/ GUS JENKINS: Cutting Out/ Spanky/ BUDDY JOHNSON: Down Yonder/ NAT KENDRICK: Mashed Potatoes (Pt. 2)/ LITTLE BOYD: Harmonica Rock/ JERRY "BOOGIE" MCCAIN: Steady/ MEMPHIS SLIM: Steppin' Out/ Slim's Thing/ NICK & THE JAGUARS: Cool And Crazy/ JIMMY NOLEN: Blues After Hours/ Swingin' Peter Gunn (Pt. 1)/ Swingin' Peter Gunn (Pt. 2)/ SAM PRICE: Boogie Cha Cha/ SAMMY PRICE: Honky Tonk Caboose/ MAC REBENNACK: Storm Warning/ GENE REDD: Zeen Beat/ TOMMY RIDGLEY: Real Gone Jam/ ROYAL EARL: Royal Earl Shuffle/ Talkin' Guitar (Pt. 2)/ DOC STARKES: Night Ridin'/ Talk To Me Baby/ THE SWINGING EARLS: Yum Yum/ IKE TURNER: Ho Ho/ CLEAR WATERS: A-Minor Cha-Cha (Eddie)/ WALTER J. WESTBROOK: Midnight Jump/ MARY LOU WILLIAMS: Chunk-A-Lunk Jug (Pt. 1)/ Chunk-A-Lunk Jug (Pt. 2)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 38 Mighty Instrumentals R&B Style 1961 ● CD $17.98
Another fine collection of blues & R&B instrumentals - this time from 1961. Two CDs with 59 tracks including the familiar and obscure with sides by Freddy King, Earl Hooker, The Mar-Keys, Ike Turner, THe Red Tops, B.B. King, Bill Elliot Combo, Hank Marr, Eldee Young, Spot Barnett, Johnny Otis, Jimmy Reed, Big Bo Thomas, Herbie Mann, The Parkays, Ace Holder, Jump Jackson and many more. Usual high production quality.
ALBERT & CHARLES: Weird/ SPOT BARNETT: Black Cherry/ BIG WALTER: Watusi Freeze (Pt. 1)/ Watusi Freeze (Pt. 2)/ REGGIE BOYD: Nothing But Good/ JAMES BROWN: Cross Firing/ THE CHURCH STREET FIVE: Night With Daddy G (Pt. 1)/ Night With Daddy G (Pt. 2)/ CLEANHEAD COOTSIE: Freddy The Freeloader/ DADDY GOODLOE: Jamil (Pt. 1)/ Jamil (Pt. 2)/ BO DIDDLEY: Congo/ BILL DOGGETT: You Can't Sit Down (Pt. 1)/ You Can't Sit Down (Pt. 2)/ JACK DUPREE: Rattlesnake Boogie/ BILL ELLIOT COMBO: Slow Freight (Pt. 1)/ Slow Freight (Pt. 2)/ JIMMY FORREST: Night Walk/ DAVE HAMILTON: Cooter Bug/ HERB HARDESTY: The Chicken Twist/ HAZE HART: Red River Shuffle/ ACE HOLDER: Lonesome Harmonica/ EARL HOOKER: Rockin' Wild/ Rockin' With The Kid/ LONG JOHN HUNTER: El Paso Rock/ JUMP JACKSON: Midnight Shuffle/ RENALDO JACKSON: Congolese Tip/ GUS JENKINS: Off The Road/ NAT KENDRICK: Showdown/ ALBERT KING: Dyna Flow/ This Morning/ B.B. KING: Don't Touch/ Mashing The Popeye/ FREDDIE KING: Sen-Sa-Shun/ The Stumble/ MAGIC SAM: Do The Camel Walk/ HERBIE MANN: Comin' Home Baby/ Why Don't You Do Right/ THE MAR-KEYS: Sack O' Woe/ HANK MARR: Ram Bunk Shush/ The Push/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: The Squat/ JOHNNY OTIS: Let's Rock/ THE PARKAYS: Get It/ THE POOR BOYS: Wash Board/ MAC REBENNACK: Feedbag/ Good Times/ THE RED TOPS: Caravan/ JIMMY REED: Blue Carnegie/ GOOGIE RENé: Rowdy Dowdy/ FREDDY ROBINSON: The Hawk/ ELLIOTT SHAVERS: Way Down Home Blues/ BIG BO THOMAS: Big Bo's Twist/ SONNY THOMPSON: Hangout (Pt. 1)/ Hangout (Pt. 2)/ AL TOUSAN: Moo Moo/ IKE TURNER: Trackdown Twist/ PHIL UPCHURCH: Cha Cha Cha Blues/ ELDEE YOUNG: Truly

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rounder 6030 Conjunto! Texas-Mexican Border Music, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98 $8.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
Third volume in Rounder's excellent (now deleted) four-volume series collecting recent Conjunto records licensed from small labels such as Freddie, Del Bravo, Joey and House of Falcon. Like the first two volumes, it's hard to stand still when listening to this folk music which is intended for dancing. Conjunto utilizes accordion, bajo sexto (a 12-string Mexican guitar), bass and drums. Featured artists include Los Tremendos Gavilanes, Los Dos Gilbertos, Tony de la Rosa and Valerio Longoria, in addition to the better known Flaco Jimenez, Santiago Jimenez and Steve Jordan. (RS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Secret Stash 353 M-Pac! The One-Derful Collection ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, highly recommended
In 1962, M-Pac became the second of a total of six labels started by brothers George and Ernie Leaner. During the five years of the label's existence, it managed to release an impressive list of blues and hard soul sides from the likes of Harold Burrage, Willie Parker, and, released through first imprint One-Derful!, Dorothy Prince, and Benny Turner. Parker's I Live the Life I Love, Prince's Every Night, and Burrage's Things Ain't What They Used To Be (Since You've Been Gone) are typical of the label's singles. Although, not surprisingly, it's the unreleased stuff that's the real gold: The Ringleaders' All of My Life and I'd Like to Win You Over, Parker's Let Me Make it Up to You and So Glad, and Big Daddy Simpson's Lonely Man, for example. Hits were thin on the ground for M-Pac!, but it wasn't for lack of quality recordings, as this collection will attest. Bonus points for the extensive liner notes. (GMC)
THE ACCENTS: Do You Need a Good Man/ New Girl/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Bad Situation (Previously Unreleased)/ Got to Find a Way (Extended Version)/ Mountain of Soul (Previously Unreleased)/ Things Ain't What They Used to Be/ BOBBY DAVIS: Damper Down/ MAURICE DOLLISON & THE TURNKEYS: The Earth Worm, Pt. 1/ STACY JOHNSON: Don't Try to Fool Me/ I Stand Alone/ WILLIE PARKER: I Live the Life I Love/ Let Me Make It up to You (Previously Unreleased)/ Never in a Million Years (Previously Unreleased)/ So Glad (Previously Unreleased)/ DOROTHY PRINCE: Every Night/ Hey Mister/ THE RINGLEADERS: All of My Life (Previously Unreleased)/ Baby, What Has Happened/ I'd Like to Win You Over (Previously Unreleased)/ Let's Start Over/ BIG DADDY SIMPSON: Lonely Man (Previously Unreleased)/ ANDREW TIBBS: Change of Heart (Previously Unreleased)/ BENNY TURNER: Angel (Previously Unreleased)/ Come Back Home

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40137 Classic Southern Gospel From Smithsonian Folkways** ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 61 min., essential
For reasons unknown, the Folkways label, as run by Moe Asch, avoided the Southern gospel quartets, so this collection "focuses on bluegrass-gospel and country-gospel by family groups, in a genre often categorized as country-gospel music." So says compiler, annotator, and producer Kip Lornell, an ethnomusicologist well known for his research in the field of black gospel quartet singing and blues. His notes in the 24 page booklet make this already excellent collection of southern gospel indispensable. Most of the tracks were, unsurprisingly, recorded in the 1950s and 1960s, but the older traditions find admirable representation in the likes of The Old Harp Singers Of Eastern Tennessee performing the spine chilling Wonderous Love (from 1951, the earliest recording here), Red Allen's reading of the 19th century Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb, Bill Monroe And The Bluegrass Boys' version of the Carter Family's I'm Working On A Building, and The Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists' 1993 performance of I'm Going To A City, which is "lined out" by Brother Mike Halcomb and has its musical roots in 16th century England. Other performances include Hazel And Alice, Doc Watson, Jean Richie, The Poplin Family, Ernest Stoneman, The A. L. Phipps Family, Kilby Snow, and others. Half the tracks here have not been available on CD before. (JC)
RED ALLEN: Are You Washed in the Blood/ THE ALLEN BROTHERS: Shake Hands With Mother Again/ CLARENCE ASHLEY, DOC WATSON & OTHERS: Amazing Grace/ DOCK BOGGS: No Disappointment in Heaven/ THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN: I Am a Pilgrim/ Walking in Jerusalem (Just Like John)/ THE DEBUSK-WEAVER FAMILY: Glory to the Lamb/ HAZEL AND ALICE: Gabriel's Call/ THE INDIAN BOTTOM ASSOCIATION OF OLD REGULAR: I'm Going to a City/ THE LILLY BROTHERS: Sinner, You'd Better Get Ready/ BILL MONROE & DOC WATSON: What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul!/ BILL MONROE & THE BLUEGRASS BOYS: I'm Working on A Building/ BILL MONROE, THE BLUEGRASS BOYS: When He Reached Down His Hand for Me/ TOM MORGAN: Old Country Church/ THE OLD HARP SINGERS OF EASTERN TENNESSEE: Wondrous Love/ THE A.L. PHIPPS FAMILY: Away Over in the Promised Land/ THE POPLIN FAMILY: River of Jordan/ KILBY SNOW: No Tears in Heaven/ THE STANCER QUARTET: He Said, If You Love Me, Feed My Sheep/ EARNEST STONEMAN: Hallelujah Side/ THE WATSON FAMILY: The Lost Soul/ HARRY & JEANIE WEST: What Are They Doing in Heaven Today!

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Vanguard 77016 Nashville At Newport** ● CD $17.98
31 tracks, strongly recommended
A remarkable collection featuring recordings of country artists at the famed Newport Folk Festival between 1963. and 1968. The music is a mix of contemporary country (for the time) and old tmey and bluegrass. A real treat are the only available recordings of guitarist Ike Everly - father of The Everly Brothers and an influential musician on fellow Kentuckians including Merle Travis. The great Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys with Bashful Brother Oswald on Dobro are featured on six of his his best known songs and tunes and Johnny Cash is featured with his Tennessee Two in 1964 on eight songs drawing on his Sun and Columbia recordings and including a version of Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice. Other fine artists include Arthur Smith with Sam & Kirk McGee, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Mother Maybelle Carter (a lovely rendition of Cannonball Blues), Jimmy Driftwood and Hazel & Alice (with a fine bluegrass band including a very young David Grisman on mandolin) . Compiled by Mary Katherine Aldin who also provides the excellent notes. (FS)

 
JOE WERNER B.A.C.M. 543 Early Cajun Artist ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Joe Werner was an excellent singer who recorded Cajun music and Cajun influenced country music for Bluebird and Decca in 1937 and '38. Although not a Cajun himself he lived in the Cajun part of Louisiana and was married to a Cajun woman so his affinity for the music is not surprising. He first recorded two songs in English in February 1937 accompanied by the great Hackberry Ramblers that was issued as by The Riverside Ramblers. One side was his reworking of an old song Wondering that became a hit and has been recorded by many artists over the years. His subsequent recordings for Decca and Bluebird features him accompanied by some excellent Cajun musicians like fiddlers Wayne Perry and Doc Guidry and guitarist Julius Lamprez (later known as Papa Cairo). His material is a mix of English and Cajun French songs and in addition to vocals Joe would also occasionally take a whistling solo or play harmonica. The music here is immensely appealing and entertaining including a couple of attempts at follow ups to Wondering. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes from Kevin Coffy. (FS)
JOE WERNER: Answer To Wondering/ Dreaming/ Je Suis Seul Encore (I’m Alone Again)/ Just Thinking/ La One Step A Moujeane/ La Valse A N’oncle Knute (Uncle Knute’s Waltz)/ Le Vieux Arbe De Pin (They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree)/ Les Poules Paus Pas (Chickens Don’t Lay)/ Me And My Pal Of New Orleans/ Memory Of Mother/ My Girl Polly/ My Lover In Dreams/ Poor Boy Bb-B 7691/ Rang Tang Bully/ She‘s A Leather Neck Gal/ Si Tu Voudroit Marriez Avec Moi (Marry Me)/ Stay In Your Own Backyard/ Two Step A Chachin (Asa’s Two-step)/ Un Lettre A Ma Belle/ Under The Old China Tree/ Under The Spell Of Your Love/ Valley Rose/ Vingt Et Un Ans (Twenty One Years)/ Wishing/ Wondering

 
CHUCK WILLIS & OTHERS Jasmine 3075 The Songs Of Chuck Willis: From The Bottom Of My Heart ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, very highly recommended
Chuck Willis was one of the pioneers of R&B/Rock 'n' Roll, although he's not as heralded as Ray Charles or Hank Ballard, partly because he died at age 30 in 1958. Willis racked up a good number of hits as both Blues shouter and balladeer, with his two biggest being the definitive version of C.C. RiderMy Story/ I Rule My House/ Going to the River/ You're Still My Baby/ I Feel So Bad/ It's Too Late, and Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes. But perhaps the key to Willis' legacy lies in his prowess as a songwriter; it's his songwriting skills that are paid tribute to on the second disc (the first being devoted to Willis the singer) with versions of I Feel So Bad cut by Elvis Presley, It's Too Late cut by Buddy Holly & the Crickets and Charlie Rich, My Story delivered by Lula Reed, and What Am I Living For sung by Ernest Tubb. And these are just a few examples of the diverse number of artists who cut his songs; and the range is staggering, with Pop, R&B, doo wop, Country, and rockabilly performers all taking a crack at Willis' wares. And while this collection of Chuck Willis work isn't definitive, it does give a good insight into what made him so important to the early days of Rock 'n' Roll and the salad days of R&B. (GMC)
THE ADMIRALS: Close Your Eyes/ LAVERN BAKER & THE GLIDERS: Of Course I Do/ RUTH BROWN: Don't Deceive Me/ Oh What A Dream/ The Door Is Still Open/ THE CADILLACS: Sugar, Sugar/ THE CARDINALS: The Door Is Still Open/ JIMMY CLANTON: C.C. Rider/ THE CLOVERS: From The Bottom Of My Heart/ THE FIVE KEYS: Close Your Eyes/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Peace And Love/ EYDIE GORME & STEVE LAWRENCE: (Close Your Eyes) Take A Deep Breath/ RONNIE HAWKINS: Southern Love/ BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS: It's Too Late/ BOBBY MARCHAN: You're Still My Baby (Part 1)/ You're Still My Baby (Part 2)/ PATTI PAGE: Search My Heart/ ELVIS PRESLEY: I Feel So Bad/ LULA REED: My Story/ CHARLIE RICH: It's Too Late/ Juanita/ THE SKYLINERS: The Door Is Still Open/ VINCE TAYLOR & HIS PLAYBOYS: Whatcha' Gonna Do (Southern Love)/ JOE TEX: Cut It Out/ ERNEST TUBB: What Am I Living For/ CHUCK WILLIS: Betty And Dupree/ C. C. Rider/ Caldonia/ Come On Home/ Don't Deceive Me/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Going To The River/ Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes/ I Feel So Bad/ I Rule My House/ It's Too Late/ It's Too Late, Baby/ Juanita/ Kansas City Woman/ Keep A-Driving/ Lawdy Miss Mary/ Loud Mouth Lucy/ My Life/ My Story/ Thunder And Lightning/ What Am I Living For?/ Whatcha' Gonna Do When Your Baby Leaves You/ You'll Be My Love/ You're Still My Baby

 
ARKANSAS "ARKIE" WOODCHOPPER B.A.C.M. 028 Old Time Songs & Square Dances** ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Obscure but very fine performer recorded in 1931 and 1941. The earlier recordings are particularly fine featuring Arkie accompanied only by his own fine guitar work on a varied collection of old time songs including The Little Green Valley/ Frankie & Johnny (a particularly nice version with some different lyrics)/ If Brother Jack Were Here/ I'm A Texas Cowboy/ Little Ah Sid (a very peculiar song)/ When It's Time, My Sweet Angeline/ Sweet Sunny South/ The Habit, etc. Arkie was a very fine and melodic singer and guitarist and several track feature some fine yodelling. The last six songs from 1941 are less interesting featuring Arkie doing the calls for a a square dance group performing tunes like Sally Goodwin/ Waking Up Town/ Wagoner, etc. - good but nothing special. A few of the earlier tracks are from worn 78s but in general the sound is excellent. (FS)
ARKANSAS "ARKIE" WOODCHOPPER: A Hard Luck Guy/ Cowboy Jack/ Frankie & Albert/ I'm A Texas Cowboy/ If Brother Jack Were Here/ If I Could Only Blot Out The Past/ Light Foot Bill/ Little Ah Sid/ My Love Is But A Lassie O/ Old & Only In The Way/ Sally Goodwin/ Soldier's Joy/ Sweet Evalina/ Sweet Sunny South/ Take Me Back To Colorado/ The Habit/ The Little Green Valley/ Wagoner/ Walking Up Town/ When It's Harvest Time, My Sweet Angeline/ Zeb Turney's Gal

 

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