LATEST ADDITIONS  05/13/2017

AMERICAN EPIC
AMERICAN EPIC The Companion Book
AMERICAN EPIC - The Collection
AMERICAN EPIC - The Soundtrack

BOOKS & MAGAZINES
Frog Blues & Jazz Annual #5

Ugly Things #44

DVD
VARIOUS ARTISTS


COMPACT DISCS
TEXAS ALEXANDER

HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS
BUNNY BERIGAN
BLIND BLAKE
BUSTER BROWN
THE CHANTELS
THE CLOVERS
WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER
THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS
TOMMY EDWARDS

CAROL FRAN & CLARENCE HOLLIMON
JIMMY HEAP & THE MELODY MASTERS
LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS
ALBERTA HUNTER
THE IMPRESSIONS
THE INK SPOTS
LOUIS JORDAN
KITTY KALLEN
KHEVRISA
LA SQUADRA
MAJOR LANCE
MANCE LIPSCOMB
FREDDIE NORTH
RAY PRICE
MARTY ROBBINS
SKYLARK
EDDIE SOUTH
KASSA TESSEMA
VARIOUS ARTISTS
FATS WALLER
LARRY WILLIAMS
WINGS OVER JORDAN

 

 
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.
 

AMERICAN EPIC

 
Regular customers of Roots & Rhythm will have seen my mention of the TV series American Epic a few times - primarily in regard to the CDs associated with the most recent Blues Calendars put out by John Tefteller. Originally intended to come out in 2015 it is now finally going to appear this year.

AMERICAN EPIC is a series of documentaries by filmmakers Bernard MacMahon and Alison McGurty exploring the early days of recording of vernacular music following the development of electrical recording in 1925, in particular focusing on the recording trips made by the record companies of the day to record rural musicians. They interviewed family and friends of the musicians and of the personnel involved in the scouting and recording itself. In the ten years the project developed they turned up many rare photos, film clips and other memorabilia that had not been published before. With the help of audio wiazrd Nick Bergh they were able to reconstruct one of the original recording machines used - a development that helped in coming wih a new technique for transferring old 78s to digital which combined with the latest devlopments in digital technology allowed for restoration of old recordings with a striking new level of fidelity.

For those of you with a local PBS station the series will be broadcast on May 16th, 23rd and 30th and 9:00 pm with a fourth episode fopllowing featuring new artists recording old songs using the original recording machine.

We now have in stock the book complementing the series as well as a remarkable five CD set with 100 recordings remastered using the new process. Coming in June will be a DVD set of the series as well as a CD of the new recordings.
 

AMERICAN EPIC The Companion Book To The TV Series by Bernard Macmahon and Alison McGourty with Elijah Wald ● BOOK $27.98
Hardback, 280 pages, very highly recommended
Counts as 11 CDs for shipping purposes.
This is the book to accompany the TV series (this is not the same as the book that's packaged with the CD set). It was compiled by directors of the series Bernard MacMahon and Alison McGourty with the assistance of renowned roots music writer Elijah Wald. It tells the story of the recording trips made by record companies in the 1920s and 30s to rural communities to record the vernacular musicians for popular release in the marketplace of records for fans of hillbilly, blues, and other styles of music. As is clear from first listen, there were treasures out there to record. Each chapter features commentary by MacMahon and McGourty interspersed with old and new interview material. For instance the chapter on Will Shade includes comments by Shade from a 1960 interview by Paul Oliver along with more recent comments by Charlie Musselwhite who knew and played with Shade and the chapter on the Carter Family includes old interview material with Sara and Maybelle as well as newer interviews with A.P.'s grandson and niece. This approach works very well and gives a sense of immediacy to what is being said. The first chapter discusses the recording trips themself and most of the rest is devoted to individual artists - in addition to Shade and the Carters there are chapters on Elder J.E. Burch, Charley Patton, Joseph Kekuku, The Breaux Family and more. The book ends with a chapter about the reconstruction of a vintage Western Electric recording machine by audio wizard Nick Bergh and the sessions involving new musicians singing the old songs with the original technology which comprises the fourth episode in the PBS series. The book is liberally illustrated with photos - including many not published before - Son House with his girlfriend in 1929, Dick Justice being baptized, Will Shade and Dewey Corley playing on a Mississippi riverboat (in color!), Lydia Mendoza at a 1934 recording session with Ralph Peer and many more as well as advertisements and other memorabilia including two pages of notes by Ralph Peer on a 1930 recording session where he recorded Bukka White, Memphis Minnie, Kaiser Clifton and others. An indispensible companion to the PBS series and the five CD collection. One disappointment is the lack of an index. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony 509969 American Epic - The Collection ● CD $64.98
Five CDs bound in 100 page hardback book, 100 tracks, essential and then some
Counts as seven regular CDs for shipping.
Well the CD set is finally here and it's as good as I had hoped - maybe even better. Original recordings on 78 or metal masters were transferred to digital using the same kind of machine that was originally built to record them and then carefully polished to perfection by painstaking remastering in the digital domain by the best engineers in the business resulting in recordings that have a breathtaking level of clarity and presence that puts you in the studio while the performances are being recorded. I have compared these remastered versions to previously remastered ones, and while some of the remastering in the past decade comes close to this quality, once you go to 20th century mastering the improvement is dramatic and when you compare it to the mastering on Document CDs it's almost like listening to a different performance. Then there is the music itself featuring some of the very best blues, old time country, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Native American, Hawaiian, cowboy and gospel songs from the mid 20s through late 30s. A small sampling of artists will give you an idea of what awaits you - Clarence Ashley, The Memphis Jug Band, The Bentley Boys, Garfield Akers, The Carter Family, Julius Daniels, Rev. J.M. Gates, Cleoma Breaux with Joseph Falcon, Nelstone's Hawaiians, Cuarteto Flores, Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Hopi Indian Chanters, Ernest Stoneman, Lane Hardin, Ma Rainey, Geeshie Wiley, Willie Brown, Dick Justice, Robert Johnson, Amede Ardoin & Dennis McGee, Richard "Rabbit" Brown, Washington Phillips and many, many others. But wait, there's more. The 100 page hardback book printed on glossy paper has an introduction and a commentary on every performance - often by people associated with the recording or the artist along with a photo of the artist or a picture of the record label and full song lyrics (along with translations for songs not in English). It includes many previously unpublished photos. This can be thought of as the Harry Smith anthology for the 21st century and while it does duplicate some songs from that collection the sound here is superior. Like that collection I'm sure this will provide an inspiration for a new generation of young performers. A magnificent production in every way. (FS) 
GARFIELD AKERS: Cottonfield Blues (Part 2)/ ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Rocky Road/ THE ALOHA SERENADERS FEATURING SOL K. BRIGHT: Tomi Tomi/ AMEDE ARDOIN & DENNIS MCGEE: Les Blues De Voyage (Travel Bl/ CLARENCE ASHLEY: The Coo-Coo Bird/ BARBECUE BOB: Chocolate To The Bone/ ANDREW AND JIM BAXTER: K. C. Railroad Blues/ THE BEALE STREET SHEIKS: Its A Good Thing (Frank Stokes & Dan/ THE BENTLEY BOYS: Down On Pennys Farm/ BIG CHIEF HENRYS INDIAN STRING BAND: The Indian Tom Tom/ BLIND BLAKE AND CHARLIE SPAND: Hastings Street/ DOCK BOGGS: Country Blues/ AMEDE, OPHY & CLEOMA BREAUX: Ma Blonde Est Partie/ CLEOMA BREAUX FT.JOSEPH FALCON & OPHY BREAUX: Prenez Courage/ BIG BILL BROONZY: Long Tall Mama/ RICHARD "RABBIT" BROWN: James Alley Blues/ WILLIE BROWN: Future Blues/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM & MEMPHIS MINNIE: New Orleans Stop Time/ ELDER J.E. BURCH: My Heart Keeps Singing/ BURNETT AND RUTHERFORD: Ladies On The Steamboat/ CANNONS JUG STOMPERS: Walk Right In/ GUTY CARDENAS Y LENCHO: Coconito/ THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Peg And Awl/ THE CARTER FAMILY: Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: Im Gonna Cross The River Of Jordan Some Of These Days/ SAM COLLINS: Lonesome Road Blues/ CUARTETO FLORES: Cecilia/ JULIUS DANIELS: Ninety-Nine Year Blues/ BLIND GARY DAVIS: I Am The Light Of The World/ BLIND WILLIE DAVIS: Trust In God And Do The Right/ MATTIE DELANEY: Tallahatchie River Blues/ DILLY AND HIS DILL PICKLES: Pickin Off Peanuts/ THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS: Banjoreno/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Someday Baby Blues/ JOSEPH FALCON: Allons A Lafayette/ FRENCHYS STRING BAND: Sunshine Special/ COLUMBUS FRUGE: Bayou Teche Waltz/ REV. J.M. GATES: Deaths Black Train Is Coming/ THE GOLDEN MELODY BOYS: Gonna Have Lasses In The Morning/ ROOSEVELT GRAVES & BROTHER: Woke Up This Morning (With My M/ MIKE HANAPI AND ILIMA ISLANDERS: Hilo Hula (Hilo Hanakahi)/ LANE HARDIN: Hard Time Blues/ EDDIE HEAD AND HIS FAMILY: Down On Me/ SOL HOOPII AND HIS NOVELTY QUARTETTE: E Mama Ea/ HOPI INDIAN SINGERS: Chant Of The Eagle Dance/ SON HOUSE: My Black Mama, Parts 1 & 2/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT: Louis Collins/ FRANK HUTCHISON: Stackalee/ JIM JACKSON: Old Dog Blue/ SKIP JAMES: Cypress Grove Blues/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: See That My Graves Kept Clean/ BANJO JOE: 3 Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground/ ROBERT JOHNSON: Cross Road Blues/ TOMMY JOHNSON: Cool Drink Of Water Blues/ EARL JOHNSON & HIS CLODHOPPERS: I Get My Whiskey From Rocki/ DICK JUSTICE: Henry Lee/ ALFRED G. KARNES: I Am Bound For The Promised Land/ BUELL KAZEE: Faded Coat Of Blue/ DELMA LACHNEY & BLIND UNCLE GASPARD: La Danseuse (The Dance/ LEAD BELLY: Mr. Tom Hughes Town/ LOS BORINQUENOS: La Coquetera/ BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD: I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground/ UNCLE DAVE MACON & HIS FRUIT-JAR DRINKERS: Sail Away Ladies/ LOS MADRUGADORES: Corrido De Joaquin Murrieta Parts 1 And 2/ THE MASSEY FAMILY: Brown Skin Gal (Down The Lane)/ REV. F.W. MCGEE: Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: Mamma, Taint Long Fo Day/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: On The Road Again/ LYDIA MENDOZA: Mal Hombre/ EMMETT MILLER: Lovesick Blues/ HOYT MING AND HIS PEP STEPPERS: Indian War Whoop/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Sittin On Top Of The World/ BERTHMOST MONTET AND JOSWELL DUPUIS: Je Me Suis En Alle/ WILLIAM MOORE: Old Country Rock/ NELSTONES HAWAIIANS: Just Because/ J.P. NESTER: Train On The Island/ CHARLEY PATTON: Down The Dirt Road Blues/ WASHINGTON PHILLIPS: Denomination Blues (Parts 1 & 2)/ CHARLIE POOLE & NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS: If The River Was W/ PRINCE ALBERT HUNTS TEXAS RAMBLERS: Blues In A Bottle/ MA RAINEY: Prove It On Me Blues/ DON RICHARDSON: Arkansas Traveler/ A.C. (ECK) ROBERTSON: Sallie Gooden/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Waiting For A Train/ UNCLE BUNT STEPHENS: Sail Away Lady/ FRANK STOKES: Taint Nobody Business If I Do (Part 1)/ ERNEST STONEMAN: The Wreck Of The 97/ THE STRIPLING BROTHERS: The Lost Child/ THE TENNEVA RAMBLERS: Darling Where Have You Been So Long?/ HENRY THOMAS "RAGTIME TEXAS": Bull Doze Blues/ TRUETT AND GEORGE: Ghost Dance/ TWO POOR BOYS: John Henry Blues/ WILLIE WALKER: Dupree Blues/ WEEMS STRING BAND: Greenback Dollar/ WHISTLERS JUG BAND: Foldin Bed/ WASHINGTON WHITE: The Panama Limited/ GEESHIE WILEY: Last Kind Words Blues/ ROBERT WILKINS: Old Jim Kinnanes/ THE WILLIAMSON BROTHERS & CURRY: Im Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony 512898 American Epic - The Soundtrack ● CD $13.98
15 tracks, highly recommended with reservations
This is a frustrating release - titled "The Soundtrack" it features only a fraction of the recordings featured in the series. Why only 15 tracks? The only reason I can see is that they are putting out the identical tracks on an LP (Sony 543099 - $21.98). Why should they be identical - only the great Gods who run Sony can answer that. Most frustrating is that of the 15 tracks here, 11 are on the five CD set "The Collection" and five are not and since those four (Frankie by Mississippi John Hurt, Cocaine Habit Blues by Hattie Hart, Up Above My Head by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jole Blon by The Breaux Brothers) are such great performances and have such great sound many serious roots music lovers will grit their teeth and buy it. It appears that this CD is compiled by the directors of the series who one would hope would have more consideration but, I guess not. (FS)
BIG CHIEF HENRY'S INDIAN STRING BAND: The Indian Tom Tom/ THE BREAUX BROTHERS WITH LOUIS MICHOT: Jole Blon/ SOL K. BRIGHT WITH THE ALOHA SERENADERS: Tomi/ THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Peg and Awl/ THE CARTER FAMILY: Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow/ JOSEPH FALCON: Allons a Lafayette/ HATTIE HART & THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Cocaine Habit Blues/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT: Frankie/ FRANK HUTCHISON: Stackalee/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: On the Road Again/ LYDIA MENDOZA: Mal Hombre/ CHARLEY PATTON: Down the Dirt Road Blues/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Waiting for a Train/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Up Above My Head/ THE WILLIAMSON BROTHERS & CURRY: Gonne Die with My Hammer in My Hand

 

BOOKS & MAGAZINES

 
Frog Blues & Jazz Annual #5: The Musicians, The Records & The Music Of The 78 Era ● BOOK $57.98
Due next week. The latest volume in this great series of paper bound books printed on glossy paper is their biggest and (probably) best yet. 216 pages full of original research on jazz and blues from the 78 rpm era - copiously illustrated with over 350 beautifully reproduced photographs, vintage advertising and other illustrations - many not seen since the 78rpm era. This volume includes articles on Boyd Atkins, the Atlanta field recordings of 1923-27, from "Kokomo" to "Sweet Home Chicago," Scrapper Blackwell & Leroy Carr, Paramount talent scout Harry Charles, Brownie McGee, Bix Beiderbecke, DeFord Bailey, Eddie Lang, Oscar Woods, Emmet Hardy and much, much more including an early interview with Son House by David Evans. The book comes with a 26 tracks CD featuring rare jazz and blues recordings by artists featured in the text. Counts as seven CDs for shipping purposes.

 
Ugly Things 44 ● BOOK $9.98
144 pages, highly recommended
Counts as four CDs for shipping.
Now available. Man, this magazine is so great that I am even reading an in depth article on Jan & Dean, featuring a new interview with Dean Torrence; I can't stand Jan & Dean, yet still it's totally interesting. This might just be the most diverse issue of Ugly Things that I have seen yet. There are features on Australian shock rocker Geoff Crozier, Swedish R&B hippies Sooner Or Later, L.A. punker Tony Kinman from The Dils, and Rank & File, New York Garage Rock with Johnny Farfisa & the Individuals, and of course some Flamin' Groovies, and Pretty Things. Though my favorite article this issue has to be the one on drumming mystery man Eddie Hoh who played on all kinds of records in the 1960s by the Monkees, the Mamas & the Papas, MFQ, and many others before he disappeared. All of that fun plus the usual ton of reviews of vinyl & cds, DVDs, books, etc. Dig it! (JM)

 

DVD

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Vestapol 13095 Chicago Blues** ● DVD $22.98
50 mins, color, highly recommended A 1970 movie by English filmmaker Harley Cokliss featuring music by Chicago blues makers and a look at the life and environment of African-Americans in the Chicago out of which blues comes. Includes music by Muddy Waters, Johnnie Lewis (wonderful country blues), Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Floyd Jones (a beautiful acoustic version of his Stockyard Blues), and J.B. Hutto. Includes interviews with most of the performers as well as political and community figures in Chicago and some moving visuals of black life in Chicago. Occasionally a little pompous and pretentious, it is, nevertheless an interesting, entertaining and very rewarding documentary. (FS)

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
 
TEXAS ALEXANDER JSP JSPCD 77203 Texas Alexander and His Circle ● CD $28.98
Due next week. Alger "Texas" Alexander was country blues singer whose vocals seem to be strongly rooted in the older field holler tradition. He recorded a total of 68s sides - most of them between 1927 and 1934 and these are featured in their entirety on the first three CDs. Since Alexander did not play an instrument he was recorded accompanied by a variety of great musicians including guitarist Lonnie Johnson who's sophisticated guitar stylings might seem at odds with Alexander's more primitive style but actually works beautifully. He is also accompanied by Texas rural blues artists like Little Hat Jones and Willie Reed whose complete recordings are also featured here along with other pre-war and postwar Texas country blues artists.
TEXAS ALEXANDER: 'Frisco Train Blues/ Awful Moaning Blues Pt 1/ Awful Moaning Blues Pt 2/ Bantam Rooster Blues/ Bantam Rooster Blues Take B/ Bell Cow Blues/ Blue Devil Blues/ Blues In My Mind/ Boe Hog Blues/ Bottoms Blues/ Broken Yo Yo/ Corn-bread Blues/ Cross Roads/ Days Is Lonesome/ Death Bed Blues/ Deceitful Blues/ Deep Blue Sea Blues/ Don't You Wish Your Baby Was Built Up Like Mine/ Double Crossing Blues/ Easy Rider Blues/ Evil Woman Blues/ Farm Hand Blues/ Frost Texas Tornado Blues/ Gold Tooth Blues/ Good Feelin' Blues/ I Am Calling Blues/ Johnny Behrens Blues/ Justice Blues/ Katy Crossing Blues/ Last Stage Blues/ Levee Camp Moan Blues/ Lonesome Blues/ Lonesome Valley Blues/ Long Lonesome Day Blues/ Mama's Bad Luck Child/ Mama, I Heard You Brought It Right Back Home/ Mistreatin' Woman/ Ninety Eight Degrees Tk B/ Ninety-Eight Degree Blues Tk A/ No More Woman Blues/ Normangee Blues/ One Morning Blues/ Peaceful Blues/ Penitentiary Moan Blues/ Polo Blues/ Prairie Dog Hole Blues/ Range In My Kitchen Blues/ Rolling And Stumbling Blues/ Rolling Mill Blues/ Sabine River Blues/ Section Gang Blues/ Seen Better Days/ She's So Fair/ Sittin' On A Log/ Someday, Baby, Your Troubles Is Gonna Be Like Mine/ St. Louis Fair Blues/ Stealing To Her Man/ Tell Me Woman Blues/ Texas Special/ Texas Troublesome Blues/ The Risin' Sun/ Thirty Day Blues/ Water Bound Blues/ West Texas Blues/ When You Get To Thinking/ Work Ox Blues/ Worried Blues/ Yellow Girl Blues/ JOHNNY BECK (THE BLIND BOY): Locked In Jail Blues/ You've Gotta Lay Down Mama/ LANE HARDIN: Cartey Blues/ Hard Time Blues/ Rhythm Saved The World/ SAM 'SUITCASE' JOHNSON: Sam's Boogie/ Sam's Comin' Home/ 'BO' JONES: Back Door Blues/ Leavenworth Prison Blues/ COLEY JONES: Army Mule In No Man's Land/ Drunkard's Special/ The Elder's He's My Man/ Traveling Man/ LITTLE HAT JONES: Bye Bye Baby Blues/ Cherry Street Blues/ Corpus Blues/ Cross The Water Blues/ Hurry Blues/ Kentucky Blues/ Little Hat Blues/ New Two Sixteen Blues/ Rolled From Side To Side Blues/ Two String Blues/ WILLIE REED: All Worn Out And Dry Blues/ Dreaming Blues/ Goin' Back To My Baby/ Leavin' Home/ Some Low Down Groundhog Blues/ Texas Blues

 
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS One Day 315 The Very Best Of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters ● CD $11.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 130 mins, recommended
Listening to these two CDs, I am struck by two things; 1- that Chubby Checker borrowed a whole lot more from Hand Ballard that just The Twist and 2 - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters can get a bit monotonous when you try and listen to 50 of their tracks in a row. All of their great hits are here: Work With Me, Annie/ Sexy Ways/ The Hoochie Coochie Coo/ Finger Poppin' Time/ Annie Had A Baby/ Lets Go, Lets Go, Lets Go, and many more great lesser known songs. So there is certainly a lot of good stuff here, but it is maybe just a bit too long; this would be highly recommended if it was just the best 30 tracks out of these 50. If you don't have a Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, then this is a good affordable start. (JM)
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: After School/ Annie Had A Baby/ Annie s Aunt Fannie/ Baby Please/ Come On And Get It/ Crazy Loving (Stay With Me)/ Cute Little Ways/ Deep Blue Sea/ Do You Know How To Twist/ Do You Remember/ Don t Say Your Last Goodye/ Excuse Me (I Think I ve Got )/ Finger Poppin Time/ Get It (The Royals)/ Henry s Got Flat Feet (Can t Dance )/ I Feel That-A-Way/ I Got A Mind To Leave You/ I Want To Thank You (From The)/ I ll Be Home Someday/ I m So Crazy About You/ It s Love Baby/ Kansas City/ Keep On Dancing/ Let s Go Again (Where We Went)/ Let s Go, Let s Go, Let s Go/ Looka Here/ Moonrise/ Nothing But Good/ Oo-Wow-Oo-Wee/ Ooh Ooh Baby/ Sexy Ways/ Sugaree/ Switchie Witchie Titchie/ Teardrops On Your Letter/ That Woman/ The Coffee Grind/ The Continental Walk/ The Float/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo/ The Switch-A-Roo/ The Twist/ Tore Up Over You/ Waiting/ We ll Never Meet Again/ What Is This I See/ What s Your Name/ Whatsoever You Do/ Work With Me, Annie/ You Ain t Nothing But Fine/ Young Lady

 
BUNNY BERIGAN JSP JSPCD 976 Selected Sides, 1931-1938 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, strongly recommended
This appears to be a slightly condensed version of JSP 917 which was deleted some years ago. This set provides a selection of tracks recorded between 1931 and 1937 providing a retrospective of this important and ill fated swing trumpeter who was strongly influenced by Louis Armstrong. The material ranges from his early work as a sideman to recordings with his own band. The set includes tracks with Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, The Boswell Sisters, Eddie Lang, Artie Shaw, Lee Wiley, Eddie Condon, Gene Krupa, Joe Venuti and others. Sound quality is superb and there are brief notes and full discographical information. (FS)

 
BLIND BLAKE JSP 7714 All The Published Sides ● CD $28.98 $21.98
5 CDs, 110 tracks, essential
Since 1991, when Document issued a four volume series of Blind Blake recordings, a further 10 alternate takes have been released on another six Document CDs. This reissue brings all this material together in an attractive box set with notes by Drew Kent under the heading "The Vanished Bluesman". Certainly little is known about Blind Blake other than that he originated from Florida and may have died there shortly after his last recordings. What is beyond doubt is that he was one of the most accomplished of the pre-war guitarists, a talented composer and an amazingly consistent performer during his six years as a Paramount star. Blake did not have the most expressive of singing voices, but somehow his relaxed delivery leaves more room to appreciate his marvelous guitar. Capable of accurate fingerpicking at lightning speed, he had a creative genius to match his technical skills, often executing brilliant arrangements most blues guitarists couldn't even have attempted. The variety of musical settings here include Southern Rag and Police Dog Blues which provide a showcase for his fingerpicking and thumb bass work, a memorable session with clarinetist Johnny Dodds, superb accompaniments to female singers like Leola B. Wilson, minstrel/medicine show songs, piano/guitar duets of the highest quality and somber, reflective blues. (If this were not enough, anybody who can come up with a song title like Rumblin' and Ramblin' Boa Constrictor Blues just has to be a bit special.) Sound quality is excellent. Most of the crackles, clicks and pops in the originals have been removed, and while some of the more worn discs are still pretty rough, sound quality generally shows a marked improvement over the Document reissues. This means that great performances which were quite noisy on Document such as Detroit Bound Blues with its lovely double time passages can now be fully enjoyed. The speed of the JSP transfers also appears to be more accurate on tracks like Ice Man Blues.. My only quibble concerns Rope Stretchin' Blues a skillfully constructed two part blues about a condemned man contemplating his execution, which is dismissed as "maudlin stuff" in Mr.Kent's otherwise informative booklet notes. Certainly the sequencing of this song doesn't help its appreciation. While presenting tracks in strict chronological order as they are here is usually the best way to enjoy pre-war blues, the recording chronology means that we get Part Two, followed by Part One (alternate take) and finally the issued Part One. I wish JSP had been brave enough to sequence the issued takes in their proper order, but apart from this (and Mr. Kent's lapse of taste) this reissue is an absolute delight. (DPR)

 
BUSTER BROWN Jasmine 3048 I'm Going But I'll Be Back, 1959-1962 ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Georgia-born Buster Brown is best remembered for his 1960 hit Fannie Mae, which features his blistering harmonica to great effect. This collection covers all of his commercial recordings - the 22 he cut for Fire Records between 1959 and 1961, and four he cut for Gwenn Records in 1962-as well as six bonus sides by B. Brown and His Rockin' Mcvouts, which was once thought to be Brown but was the brainchild of Danny Robinson, the brother of Fire's owner Bobby. Over the course of these songs Brown parlays his harmonica prowess and his serviceable singing voice into some delightful recordings, whether instrumentals The Madison Shuffle and Don't Dog Your Woman or vocal songs like Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby/ I Got the Blues When it Rains, and Sugar Babe. As for the B. Brown tracks, they are certainly not Buster but there's no getting away from the quality of Hardworking Man (with hot guitar by Jimmy Spruill) Candied YamsRockin' With B. All 'n' all, this is a fine overview of an unsung Blues/R&B legend. (GMC)

 
THE CHANTELS Jasmine 206 Maybe - Their Greatest Recordings** ● CD $14.98
31 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Formed in the Bronx in 1956, the Chantels, discovered by singer/ writer/ producer Richard Barrett, were one of the first "girl groups" and cut one of the definitive songs of that genre, Maybe. Unusual for the time, the group's lead singer, classically trained Arlene Smith, also wrote several of the group's songs including Maybe. Recording for End Records, the group also had lesser hits with He's Gone/ Every Night (I Pray) and I Love You So. In 1959 Barrett teamed up with the group for one single and the group had another hit with the beautiful Summer's Love. After End dropped them in 1959, Smith went solo and the group soldiered on managing hits with Look in My Eyes and Well I Told You in 1961. This compilation contains the Smith era recordings and the post-Smith Look in My Eyes. This superb collection features the group's two End LPs "We Are The Chantels" (1958) and "There's Our Song Again" (1961) along with Gone and Carlton singles featuring all their hits for these labels. Arlene Smith was one of the best vocalists of the girl group era - listen to her phrasing on Whoever You Are. (FS/ GMC)

 
THE CLOVERS Jasmine 576 The Feelin' Is Good** ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 60 tracks, 159 mins, essential
Most extensive ever collection devoted to the 50s recordings of one of the greatest and most popular doo-wop groups of the era. The group was very versatile with the core group boasting 3 singers who could all sing lead plus the fine guitar of Bill Harris. Harold "Hal" Lucas formed the group in the late 40's and in 1951 they signed on with Atlantic. The Clovers had the first crack at all the hippest songs and also were fortunate to be backed up by the finest sessionmen of the time like Floorshow Culley, Harry Van Walls, Gatortail Jackson, Mickey "Guitar" Baker, etc. This set opens with their first two sides recorded for the Rainbow label in 1950 after which they were picked up by Atlantic and the set includes all their singles recorded for the label which included 22 R&B chart hits over the next five years - three of them reaching No. 1. Includes such all time classics Fool, Fool, Fool/ Ting A Ling/ Good LOvin/ Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash/ Blue Velvet/ Hey Doll Baby and many others. After being dropped by Atlantic in 1958 they joined their manager's Poplar label where they recorded a couple of singles and a hard to find LP where they did great soulful renditions of standards like The Good Old Summertime/ Pennies From Heaven/ My Mother's Eyes and others and this set includes all their Poplar singles and the set ends with their 1959 United Artists recording of Love Potion No. 9 which returned them to the charts for the first time in three years. Sound quality is excellent and their are brief, informative notes by Bob Fisher. Indispensible for doo-wop lovers! (FS)
THE CLOVERS: All About You/ Alrighty Oh Sweetie/ Baby Baby Oh My Darling/ Blue Velvet/ Bring Me Love/ Comin' On/ Crawlin'/ Devil Or Angel/ Don't You Know I Love You/ Down In The Alley/ Feeling Is Good, The/ Fool Fool Fool/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Good Lovin'/ Good Old Summertime, The/ Gossip Wheel, The/ Here Comes Romance/ Here Goes A Fool/ Hey Doll Baby/ Hey Miss Fannie/ I Confess/ I Got My Eyes On You/ I Played The Fool/ I'm A Lonely Fool/ I-I-I Love You/ Idaho/ If I Could Be Loved By You/ If You Love Me (Why Don't You Tell Me So)/ In The Middle Of The Night/ In The Morning Time/ Jamaica Farewell/ Kentucky Babe/ Little Mama/ Love Bug/ Love Love Love/ Love Potion No.9/ Lovey Dovey/ My Mother's Eyes/ Needless/ Nip Sip/ One Mint Julep/ Pennies From Heaven/ Please Come On To Me/ Rock And Roll Tango/ Skylark/ So Young/ That Old Black Magic/ There's No Tomorrow/ Ting A Ling/ To Each His Own/ Vaya Con Dios/ What Is This Thing Called Love/ When You Come Back To Me/ Wishing For Your Love/ Wonder Where My Baby's Gone/ Yes It's You/ Yes Sir That's My Baby/ You Good Looking Woman/ Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash/ Your Tender Lips

 
WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER B.A.C.M. 154 On The Banks Of The River** ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of old time singing and playing by this superb duo recorded between 1949 and 1955. The incredible Wilma Lee Cooper takes most of the leads with her emotion drenched soulful vocals joined by husband Stoney on fiddle and harmony vocals. They are usually accompanied by Dobro, mandolin, bass and acoustic guitar though their version of Hank Snow's Golden Rocket (a rare solo by Stoney) features some hot electric guitar. There are two all time country gospel classics Thirty Pieces Of Silver and Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill plus lots of great secular songs like No One Now/ Faded Love (a stunning version of the Bob Wills favorite)/ All On Account Of You/ You Tried To Ruin My name/ Bamboozled/ Just A While/ This Crazy, Crazy World, and more. Traditional country doesn't get much better than this. (FS)
WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER: All On Account Of You/ Bamboozled/ Can You Forget/ Each Season Changes You/ Faded Love/ Golden Rocket/ How It Hurts To Cry Alone/ I Cried Again/ I've Been Cheated Too/ Just A While/ Moonlight On West Virginia/ No One Now/ On The Banks Of The River/ Stoney (Are You Mad At Your Gal)/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ The White Rose/ Thirty Pieces Of Silver/ This Crazy, Crazy World/ Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill/ We Make A Lovely Couple/ You Can't Feel The Way I Do/ You Tried To Ruin My Name

 
THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS Frog DGF 6 Louisville Stomp** ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
The Dixieland Jug Blowers featuring the violin of Clifford hayes, jug of earl McDonald, banjo & guitar of Cal Smith and others was probably the jazziest of all the jug bands and this wonderful CD featuring all 19 tunes the band recorded between December 1926 and June 1927 plus 6 alternate takes. The music is consistently delightful and creative. Mostly instrumental with occasional vocals from fine blueswoman Elizabeth Washington, alto saxist Lockwood Lewis and a group vocal on Boodle-Am Shake. One session features the great jazz clarinetist Johnny Dodds. Superb sound thanks to John R.T. Davies and informative notes from Ron Geesin. (FS)

 
TOMMY EDWARDS Acrobat 3192 The Tommy Edwards Singles Collection, 1951-1962 ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, highly recommended
R&B in the 50's was always considered the antithesis of the mainstream Pop churned out by the likes of Pat Boone, Patti Page, and Rosemary Clooney; it was rarely thought of as sophisticated. However, occasionally along would come a Black singer who could play in the Pop backyard and compete on a level with their white counterparts; Columbia Records had Johnny Mathis, Capitol Records had Nat King Cole, and MGM Records had Tommy Edwards. This set collects most of Edwards' A and B sides cut for MGM between '51 and '62, including both versions of his immortal classics It's All in the Game/ The Morning Side of the Mountain, and Please Mr. Sun, from '51 and '58, as well as the hits You Win Again/ Now and Then, There's a Fool Such As I/ Love is All We Need, and I Really Don't Want to Know. An accomplished vocalist, Edwards was equally comfortable with Pop, Jazz, and Country (he even cut a Country album before Ray Charles did) and this compilation, with its' extensive liner notes and recording session info, shows him at his best. NB the first three tracks on Disc One have less than perfect sound quality, probably due to worn 78s used. (GMC)
TOMMY EDWARDS: (New In) The Ways of Love/ A Friend of Johnny's/ All Over Again/ Baby, Baby, Baby/ Baby, Let Me Take You Dreaming/ Blue Heartaches/ Christmas Is For Children/ Don't Fence Me In/ Forgive Me/ Honestly and Truly/ I Have That Kind of Heart/ I Looked at Heaven/ I Really Don't Want To Know/ I'm Building Castles Again/ I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/ I've Been There/ If You Would Love Me Again/ It's All in the Game/ It's All in the Game (new version)/ It's Christmas Once Again/ It's Not The End of Everything/ It's Only The Good Times/ Linger in My Arms/ Love Is A Child/ Love Is All We Need/ Mr. Music Man/ My Girl/ My Melancholy Baby/ My Ship/ My Sweetheart/ Now and Then, There's A Fool Such As I/ Once There Lived A Fool/ Please Love Me Forever/ Please, Mr. Sun/ Please, Mr. Sun (new version)/ Secret Love/ Sinner and Saint/ So Little Time/ Tables Are Turning/ Take These Chains From My Heart/ Teardrop on a Rose/ That's All/ That's The Way With Love/ The Golden Chain/ The Morning Side of the Mountain/ The Morning Side of the Mountain (new version)/ Vaya Con Dios/ Wall of Ice/ We're Not Children Anymore/ Welcome to My Heart/ You Walk By/ You Win Again

 
CAROL FRAN & CLARENCE HOLLIMON Black Top 1100 See There! ● CD $15.98 $7.98
12 tracks, 53 mins, recommended
The second album on Black Top by this husband/ wife duo is another fine collection of mostly blues and R&B. Carol is an excellent, soulful and strong voiced singer and Clarence is a truly exceptional guitar player. He is fleet fingered without being flashy and his playing is full of inventive ideas - his instrumental Blabs is a real showcase for his dazzling technique. The material is a mixture of new originals plus some covers and a remake of Carol's 50s hit I Miss You So. The pop ballads and soul songs don't come off quite as well as the R&B and blues tunes but most of this disc is excellent. (FS)

 
JIMMY HEAP & THE MELODY MASTERS B.A.C.M. 556 The Wild Side of Life ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, strongly recommended
Guitarist Jimmie Heap led a fine Texas honky tonk band which featured fiddler Houston "Perk" Williams who did most of the vocals, steel guitarist Cecil R. "Butterball" Harris, pianist Arlie A. Carter and others while Heap himself was featured on lead guitar. This collection features his recordings cut for the Imperial label between 1949 and 1951 - a fine and varied collection of songs - mostly co-written by Heap - That's My Baby/ You Were Meant To Ruin My Dreams/ Snakes In MY Boots/ I've Got A Cause To Be Lonesome/ Ethy In My Gas Takn, No Girl In My Arms and others. Heap was the first artist to record The Wild Side Of Life though Hank Thompson's 1952 cover was the big hit. A fine collection with excellent sound and informative notes by Phil Tricker. Heap's later Capitol recordings are available on Bear Family 15617 ("Release Me" - $22.98). (FS)
JIMMY HEAP & THE MELODY MASTERS: A Million Tears/ Bermuda Grass Waltz (Instr.)/ Butter Ball Bounce (Instr.)/ Carbon Copy/ Don't Steal My Dreams/ Drop In The Bucket/ Ethyl In My Gas Tank No Girl In My Arms/ Haunted Hungry Heart/ Honk Your Horn/ Honky Tonkin' Woman/ I Hope You're Satisfied/ I've Got A Cause To Be Lonesome/ If Mama Was Here/ If Tomorrow Could Be Yesterday/ It's One Thing To Forgive, Another To Forget/ Mean Old Blues/ Morning, Noon And Night/ My Heart's Turned To Stone/ Snakes In My Boots/ Sunset Sends Sorrow/ That's My Baby/ That's That/ The Woods Are Full Of Them/ There's A Broken Pane In The Window Of My Heart/ Today Tonight And Tomorrow/ When They Operated On Papa, They Opened Mama's Male/ Wild Side Of Life/ You Were Meant To Ruin My Dreams

 
LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS Klondike 5062 Live In Denver ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
The King of Texas country blues in fine fettle recorded live in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Ebbets Field club in Denver in April, 1974. Typical of Lightnin' at the time, most of the songs are improvised around familiar songs from his repertoire so you may have heard the song before but the way he goes about the performance is different. He does a couple of blues standards - Key To The Highway and One Room Country Shack (listed as "70 Miles From Nowhere") but they all come out as pure Lightnin.' One particularly nice feature of this set is hearing Lightnin' rap with the audience - sometimes between the songs, sometimes while he's playing one of his instrumental boogies - he talks about his life and loves, his musical prowess, other musicians and more - he even mentions Richard Nixon a couple of times (the Watergate scandal had recently broken) and talks about ants going to school. This may not be Lightnin' at the peak of his powers but is a thoroughly enjoyable set. (FS)

 
ALBERTA HUNTER Acrobat 7112 The Alberta Hunter Collection, 1921-1940 ● CD $23.98
Four CDs, 94 tracks, strongly recommended
An excellent retrospective of this fine and popular female blues singer and songwriterwho retired from performing in the 1940s but was rediscovered in the 1970s and had a new and impressive career when she was in her eighties! The firest disc begins with her first recording with her 1921 recording of How Long, Sweet Daddy, How Long and includes contains 3 of her most famous compositions Down Hearted Blues (covered 7 months later by Bessie Smith), Chirping The Blues (covered by Viola McCoy, Mary Straine and Lena Wilson), and You Shall Reap Just What You Sow - three songs she would re-record on her first 1977 Columbia comeback album. It also includes 2 more songs that Bessie Smith would cover, Lovie Austin's Bleeding Hearted Blues and Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness (If I do), both recorded with the all-white Original Memphis Five, a first for an African-Americian singer at the time. The second disc covers recordings from 1923 through '25 and includes more fine songs including her original compositions Mistreated Blues and Experience Blues as well as a couple of sessions in 1924 for Gennett accompanied by The Red Onion Jazz Babies which included Louis Armstrong and Sidney and were issued under the name of Josephine Beatty as she was under contract to Paramount at the time. Soon after she switched to OKeh Records wher she stayed a year cutting more fine sides with Perry Bradford's Mean Four, Clarence Williams and others. She switched to Victor n 1927 where she cuts sides with pianist Mike Jackson and three sides with Fats Waller on pipe organ. Alberta had a significant following in Great Britain which she had first visited in a revue in 1917 and in 1934 she recorded a session in England with the popular dance band of Jack Jackson with most of the material being pretty much straight pop. Between 1935 and 1940 she recorded for ARC, Decca and Bluebird with a mix of pop, jazz and blues including remakes of her classic Downhearted Blues and Chrpin' The Blues and a fine cover of Billie Holiday's Fine and Mellow. Alberta's earlier sides were recorded for Paramount which arre notorious for their inferior sound quality - particularly on worn 78s and several of the 78s here sound very worn and can be tough going. Sound quality on the tracks from other labels is excellent and the 20 page booklet has informative notes on Alberta's career as well as full discographical details.
ALBERTA HUNTER: 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do/ A Lonely Singing Fool/ A Master Man With A Master Mind/ After All These Years/ Aggravatin' Papa (Don't You Try To Two-Time Me)/ Be Still My Heart/ Beale Street Blues/ Bleeding Hearted Blues/ Boogie-Woogie Swing/ Bring Back The Joys/ Bring It With You When You Come/ Cake Walkin' Babies From Home/ Chirpin' The Blues/ Come On Home/ Daddy Blues/ Don't Forget To Mess Around/ Don't Pan Me (Don't Talk About Me)/ Don't Want It All/ Double Crossin' Papa/ Down South Blues/ Downhearted Blues/ Driftin' Tide/ Early Every Morn'/ Empty Cellar Blues/ Everybody Does It Now/ Everybody Loves My Baby/ Everybody Mess Around/ Experience Blues/ Fine And Mellow/ Gimme All The Love You Got/ Gonna Have You - Ain't Gonna Leave You Alone/ He's A Darned Good Man (To Have Hanging Around)/ He's Got A Punch Like Joe Louis/ Heebie Jeebies/ How Long, Sweet Daddy, How Long/ I Travel Alone/ I Won't Let You Down/ I'll Forgive You 'Cause I Love You/ I'll See You Go/ I'm Down Right Now But I Won't Be Down Always/ I'm Going Away/ I'm Going Away Just To Wear You Off My Mind/ I'm Going To See My Ma/ I'm Gonna Lose Myself 'Way Down In Louisville/ I'm Hard To Satisfy/ I'm Tired Blues/ If The Rest Of The World Don't Want You (Go Back To Your Mother And Dad)/ If You Want To Keep Your Daddy Home/ Jazzin' Baby Blues/ Lonesome Monday Morning Blues/ Long May We Love/ Loveless Love/ Maybe Someday/ Michigan Water Blues/ Miss Anna Brown/ Miss Otis Regrets (She's Unable To Lunch Today)/ Mistreated Blues/ My Castle's Rockin'/ My Old Daddy's Got A Brand-New Way To Love/ My Particular Man/ Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning/ Old Fashioned Love/ Sad 'N' Lonely Blues [Lonely Blues]/ Second Hand Man/ Send Me A Man/ Someday Sweetheart/ Someone Else Will Take Your Place/ Soon/ Stars Fell On Alabama/ Stingaree Blues/ Sugar/ Take That Thing Away/ Take Your Big Hands Off/ Texas Moaner Blues/ The Love I Have For You/ Two Cigarettes In The Dark/ Two Little Flies On A Lump Of Sugar/ Vamping Brown/ Wasn't It Nice '/ What Shall I Do '/ Where The Mountains Meet The Sea/ Why Did You Pick Me Up When I Was Down, Why Didn't You Let Me Lay'/ Yelpin' The Blues/ You Can Have My Man (If He Comes To See You Too)/ You Can Take My Man But You Can't Keep Him Long/ You Can't Do What My Last Man Did/ You Can't Have It All/ You Can't Tell The Difference After Dark/ You For Me, Me For You/ You Shall Reap What You Sow/ Your Jelly Roll Is Good

 
THE IMPRESSIONS Kent CDKEND 170 ABC Rarities** ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 73 min., highly recommended
With the death of Curtis Lee Mayfield II (1942-1999), we lost one of the most important singer-songwriters of the postwar II era. He was very unique, right down to his gentle (self-taught) guitar playing. As a solo artist, and as a member of The Impressions, he placed sides on the Billboard R&B charts - and that's not counting his production and songwriting credits. This set is the final in a 5 CD series bringing together his complete ABC-Paramount recordings as leader of The Impressions (1961-1968) (except for as yet to be issued live 1966 Club Chicago set). Except for the 12 tracks that made up 1969 "The Versatile Impressions" album, all the rest are being (re-)issued for the first time since the 45rpm/album release, with 7 of them being previously unissued. The 1961-1962 'quintet' sides Can't You See, Love Is A Mystery (with Arthur Brooks on lead) and the unissued Emotions (Won't You Let Me Cry) will appeal to all you quartet fans. Arranged by NY-born (Le)Roy Glover (Jr.) (1933-1995), these early sides have always been some of my favorite 60s doo-wop sides. The rest of the CD is made up of John W. Pate arrangements, and include the stellar ant-war song Don't Cry My Love, the unissued Thanks To You (with Sam Gooden on lead), a clever vocal arrangement of the Nat Adderley-Jon Hendricks composition Sermonette, and Man Oh Man (I Want To Go Back). An essential CD for those who have the previous 4 releases, and it includes an excellent 1961-1968 Impressions discography. (EL)

 
THE INK SPOTS Jasmine 6-4 The Golden Age Of The Ink Spots** ● CD $39.98
Four CD, 101 tracks, essential
The most comprehensive reissue of this immensely popular and influential vocal group featuring recordings made between 1935 and 1950. Initially featuring the lead of Jerry Daniels he was replaced in 1936 by high tenor Bill Kenny who was to be the distinctive lead voice of the group through to 1952. Kenny was joined by bass singer Orville "Hoppy" Jones plus Charlie Fuqua and Ivory "Deek" Watson. Their style was to provide the template for the doo-wop groups that started emerging in the 40s and early 50s. This set includes all their most popular ballads and jump songs as well as all seven duets they did with Ella Fitzgerald. Their earlier sides were a mix of ballads and jazzy jump tunes and achieved only modest popularity but when they recorded the ballad If I Didn't Care they hit it big and future recordings were to be dominated by ballads, often with the immediately recognizable guitar intro by Fuqua and the bass vocal bridge of "Hoppy" Jones. From here This set includes most their most popular sides (several of them topping the charts) including If I Didn't Care/ Address Unknown/ My Prayer (the Platters' 1956 hit version of the song is closely patterned on the Ink Spots version)/ Maybe/ We Three/ Do I Worry/ I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Cow Cow Boogie (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall/ The Gypsy/ To each His Own and many more. Excellent sound and 12 page booklet with notes by Geoff Milne. (FS)
THE INK SPOTS: 'tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do/ A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening/ Address Unknown/ Alabama Barbecue/ Always/ As You Desire Me/ Bewildered/ Bless You/ Brown Gal/ Christopher Columbus/ Coquette/ Cow-cow Boogie (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Do I Worry?/ Don' Get Around Much Any More/ Don't Ever Break A Promise/ Don't Let Old Age Creep Upon You/ Driftwood/ Ev'ry Night About This Time/ Foo-gee/ Give Her My Love/ Hey Doc!/ Home Is Where The Heart Is/ I Cover The Waterfront/ I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire/ I Get The Blues When It Rains/ I Still Feel The Same About You (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ I Wish You The Best Of Everything/ I'd Climb The Highest Mountain/ I'll Get By/ I'll Make Up For Everything/ I'll Never Smile Again Until I Smile At You/ I'm Beginning To See The Light (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ I'm Gonna Turn Off The Teardrops/ I'm Making Believe (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ I'm Still Without A Sweetheart ('cause I'm Still In Love With You)/ I'm Through/ I've Got A Bone To Pick With You/ If I Didn't Care/ Information Please/ Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ It's A Sin To Tell A Lie/ It's All Over But The Crying/ It's Funny To Everyone But Me/ Java Jive/ Just For Me/ Keep Away From My Doorstep/ Keep Cool, Fool/ Knock-kneed Sal (on The Mourner's Bench)/ Let's Call The Whole Thing Off/ Little Small Town Girl (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Maybe/ Memories Of You/ Mine, All Mine My, My/ My Greatest Mistake/ My Prayer/ No Orchids For My Lady/ Nothing'/ Oh! Red/ Old Joe's Hittin' The Jug/ Please Take A Letter, Miss Brown/ Pork Chops And Gravy/ Prisoner Of Love/ Puttin' And Takin'/ Ring, Telephone, Ring/ Shout, Brother, Shout/ Sincerely Yours/ Slap That Bass/ So Sorry/ Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat/ Stompin' At The Savoy/ Stop Pretending/ Street Of Dreams/ Swing High, Swing Low/ That Cat Is High/ That's The Way It Is (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ That's When Your Heartaches Begin/ That's Where I Came In/ The Best Things In Life Are Free/ The Gipsy/ The Sweetest Dream/ This Is Worth Fighting For/ Thoughtless/ To Each His Own/ To Remind Me Of You/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ We Three (my Echo, My Shadow And Me)/ What Can I Do?/ What Good Would It Do?/ When The Sun Goes Down/ When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano/ Whispering Grass (don't Tell The Trees)/ Who Wouldn't Love You?/ Whoa, Babe!/ With Plenty Of Money And You/ Yes, Suh!/ Can You Look Me In The Eyes?/ You Breaking My Heart All Over Again/ You Bring Me Down/ You Were Only Fooling (while I Was Falling In Love)/ You're Breaking My Heart/ Your Feet's Too Big

 
LOUIS JORDAN Collector's Choice Music 661 V-Disc Recordings ● CD $11.98 $7.98
14 tracks, 34 min., strongly recommended
The V-Discs (V for Victory) were 12" 78s pressed between 1942 and '48 for armed forces use, and have since become collector's rarities. The cuts here feature all of Louis's V-Disc recordings made in Los Angeles and New York between 1943 and 1945 with the exception of a few unissued and, presumably, lost recordings. Louis & his Tympani Five are in top form on this collection of jazz, jive and jump cuts some that he had also recorded commercially for Decca. Includes Hey Now, let's Live/ The End Of My Worry/ Deacon Jones/ bahama Joe/ Outskirts Of Town/ Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, etc. (FS)

 
KITTY KALLEN Acrobat 3146 The Kitty Kallen Collection, 1939-1962 ● CD $16.98 $11.98
Two CD set with 51 tracks by this popular vocalist sho started her career in the swing era and continued through the rock 'n' roll era, having numerous hits along the way. It starts with her debut recording of A Table In The Corner recorded with Jack Teagarden & His Orch. in 1939 and ends with her 1962 recording of My Coloring Book which was her last chart hit. It also includes her recording of Little Things Mean A Lot which was a number 1 hit on both sides of the Atlanic plus When They Ask About You/ I'm Beginning To See The Light/ I'll Buy That Dream/ It's Been A LOng, Long Time/ The Aba Daba Honeymoon/ In The Chapel In The Moonlight/ If I Give My Heart To You and more.

 
KHEVRISA Smithsonian Folkways 40486 European Klezmer Music ● CD $15.98 $9.98
Lovely, all instrumental, collection featuring the first modern studio recording of the klezmer music of Europe with the original European instrumentation - first violin, cimbal (hammered dulcimer), sekund (contra fiddle) and bowed bass. Half of the compositions here have nevere been recorded before and the music features compositions by some of the great klezmer composers of the 19th century.

 
LA SQUADRA Buda 4746521 In Scio Ton - Trallalero, Polyphonie de Genes ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, essential
Trallalero music - once heard, is never forgotten. It developed in the port city of Genoa in Liguria, Italy - probably in the late 19th century - and the great folk collector, Alan lOmax, who first recorded the music in 1953, was, as he said some years later totally "blown away" by the music and referred to the performers he recorded as "the most perfect choristers in Western Europe." Trallalero is a polyphonic music style performed by from five to 12 men - usually with four soloists (contralto, tenor, baritone and a vocal guitar style) along with a group of basses. The interweaving of the voices is truly haunting and spine chilling. When Lomax recorded the music the style was dying out but, since then, there has been a revival in the music and a number of groups (squadre) have formed over the years with La Squadra being the most popular - formed in the 1990s it is a group of eight men and they have performed regularly thoughout Europe and this is their fifth album and is a beauty. Drawing on traditional trallalero repertoire along with other compositions adaptd to the style they produce vocal music of unique beauty bordering on the transcendent. This gorgeous album includes a booklet with notes in Italian, French and English which explains trallero much better than I can though no explanation is really necesarry - just listen and you too will be "blown away" (FS)

 
MAJOR LANCE RPM Retro 988 Ain't No Soul (In These Old Shoes) ● CD $22.98
2 CD, 53 tracks, very highly recommended
A noted singer on the Chicago R&B scene during the 60's, Major Lance had two memorable singles in The Monkey Time and Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um in 1963 and 1964, respectively. This collection concentrates on Lance's most fruitful period - when he was signed to Carl Davis' revived OKeh label between 1962 and 1968. With Davis producing, Johnny Pate arranging and Curtis Mayfield writing, Lance became famous for a distinctive brand of R&B that was Latin music influenced; a horn-based sound with lilting melodies that are aptly demonstrated on covers like Pride and Joy/ Hitchhike, and Just One Look and Mayfield originals such as Soldierboy (not the Shirelles hit)/Keep on Loving You/ Little Young Lover/ That's What Mama Say/ Think Nothing About It, and of course the hits Monkey Time and Um, Um, Um... Disc One and the first part of Disc Two feature the Mayfield/ Davis/ Pate team up to I Just Can't Help It, when Mayfield opted to spend more time on his group the Impressions. Business continued for a while with Van McCoy taking on songwriting duties (Everybody Loves a Good Time), but eventually Lance was passed around to producers Billy Sherrill and Ted Cooper. Sherrill and Cooper didn't create a sound for Lance as distinctive as Mayfield, Davis and Pate had, but they did produce some very fine tracks: Investigate and It's the Beat by Sherrill and Ain't No Soul (In Those Old Shoes)/ I/ You Don't Want Me No More, and Wait Till I Get You In My Arms (another Van McCoy contribution) from Cooper. Although Lance never again achieved the chart highs of his two crossover hits, this collection proves that he continued making quality recordings through his OKeh tenure. (GMC)

 
MANCE LIPSCOMB Arhoolie 398 You Got To Reap What You Sow - Texas Songster Vol. 2** ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, 78 mins, essential
Mance Lipscomb was one of the greatest musical discoveries of the 60s - a wonderful singer and guitarist with an extensive repertoire that encompassed not only blues but rags, dance tunes, pop songs, spirituals, childrens songs and more. This wonderful collection of 24 songs was all recorded in one afternoon in May 1964 - most in one take! The material is varied including old blues favorites (Come Back Baby/ Bumble Bee), regionally popular blues (Charlie James/ Hattie Green, the powerful Tom Moore Blues about a Washington county land owner and the exquisite Willie Poor Boy), popular and jazz songs (Long Way To Tipperary / You Rascal You) which become completely new songs in Mance's hands, instrumental pieces (Spanish Flang Dang/ Boogie In "A") and more. A couple of tracks feature some lovely slide guitar including a version of the topical ballad The Titanic and Joe Turner Killed A Man. He also sings a surprising unaccompanied version of the Anglo-American traditional ballad Lord Thomas. There are a lot more musical treasures featured here. Sound quality is superb and there are fine notes by Chris Strachwitz who discovered Mance and recorded the selection here. (FS)
MANCE LIPSCOMB: Boogie In A/ Bumble Bee/ Charlie James/ Cocaine Done Killed My Baby/ Come Back Baby/ Hattie Green/ I Looked Down The Road And I Wondered/ If I Miss The Train/ Joe Turner Killed A Man/ Long Way To Tipperary/ Lord Thomas/ Mama, Don't Dog Me/ Missouri Waltz/ Police Station Blues/ Sentimental Blues/ Silver City/ So Different Blues/ Spanish Flang Dang/ Tall Angel At The Bar/ The Titanic/ Tom Moore Blues/ Willie Poor Boy/ You Got To Reap What You Sow/ You Rascal You

 
FREDDIE NORTH Kent CDTOP 464 What Are You Doing To Me - The Complete A-Bet Recording ● CD $19.98
23 tracks, recommended
Boasting a similar voice and style to Jerry Butler, Freddie North was a some-time recording artist (when he wasn't doing promotion and press for Nashville's Nashboro record and distribution company) who got the chance to cut sides when Nashboro created the A-Bet imprint as vehicle for productions by local hotshot, Bob Holmes. This set contains everything he released on A-Bet between 1967 and 1970, as well as product released after 1972, and some unreleased work from both periods. Once one gets past North's vocal resemblance to Butler, there are things to enjoy in these songs: the funky Love To Hate, the bluesy Thank That Woman/ I Loved Another Woman (all produced by North), Oh Lord, What Are You Doing to Me/ I Have a Dream, and A Long Hard Road (all produced and mostly written by Holmes). In sum, this is minor, but entertaining soul from another forgotten performer who deserves to be remembered by fans of the genre. (GMC)

 
RAY PRICE Acrobat 9051 The Complete Singles A&Bs, 1950-1962 ● CD $19.98
Three CDs, 77 tracks, very highly recommended
One of the greatest honky-tonk singers until he turned to lush pop arrangements in the 1960s, Ray Price was one of the legends of country music. Just as comfortable singing ballads or western swing or up tempo rockers, Price could do it all. His first 78 recorded for Bullet is fairly dull but once he got to Columbia in 1951 he got better and better before selling out to the pop market with Danny Boy, recorded in 1966 with a full orchestra. So what we have here are Ray Price's best recordings. Price's 1951-1954 Columbia sides were strongly influenced by Hank Williams and several of the sessions find him backed by Hank's band The Drifting Cowboys. He finally came into his own in 1954 by forming the Cherokee Cowboys and adding a strong Bob Wills-derived dance beat to his music. From then on it was one honky tonk classic after another including many of the honky tonk "shuffle" ballads that still influence today's traditional singers. Many songs have become country standards - Crazy Arms/ I'll Be There/ My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You (the definitive version)/ Release Me/ City Lights are among the greatest honky tonk recordings. Also here are his hit versions of You Done Me Wrong (a song he and George Jones wrote), Don Gibson's Wasted Words, Lefty Frizzell's If You're Ever Lonely, Darling, Mel Tillis's Heart over Mind and much more. The most extensive retrospective of this great artist when he was still great. Excellent sound, informative notes and full discographical info. A must for honky tonk country fans. (FS)
RAY PRICE: A Man Called Peter/ Big Shoes/ Call The Lord And He'll Be There/ City Lights/ Cold Shoulder/ Crazy Arms/ Curtain In The Window/ Don't Do This To Me/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/ Heart Aching Blues/ Heart Over Mind/ Heartaches By The Number/ Here We Are Again/ Hey La La/ I Can't Escape From You/ I Can't Go Home Like This/ I Can't Run Away From Myself/ I Could Love You More/ I Don't Want It On My Conscience/ I Know I'll Never Win Your Love Again/ I Lost The Only Love I Knew/ I Love You So Much I Let You Go/ I Made A Mistake And I'm Sorry/ I Saw My Castles Fall Today/ I Wish I Could Fall In Love Today/ I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)/ I'll Be There When You Get Lonely/ I'm Alone Because I Love You/ I'm Walkin' Slow/ I've Got A New Heartache/ I've Got To Hurry, Hurry, Hurry/ I've Just Destroyed The World/ If You Don't Somebody Else Will/ If You're Ever Lonely, Darling/ Invitation To The Blues/ It's All Your Fault/ Jealous Lies/ Kissing Your Picture/ Leave Her Alone/ Let Me Talk To You/ Much Too Young To Die/ My Old Scrapbook/ My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You/ Oh Yes Darling/ One Broken Heart/ One More Time/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Pride/ Release Me/ Run Boy/ Same Old Me/ Soft Rain/ Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes/ Talk To Your Heart/ That's What I Get For Loving You/ That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome/ The Price For Loving You/ The Road Of No Return/ The Twenty-Fourth Hour/ Under Your Spell Again/ Until Death Do Us Part/ Walk Me To The Door/ Wall Of Tears/ Wasted Words/ Weary Blues/ What If He Don't Love You/ Who Stole That Train/ Who'll Be The First/ Won't You Please Be Mine/ Wrong Side Of Town/ You Always Get By/ You Done Me Wrong/ You Never Will Be True/ You Took Her Off My Hands/ You Weren't Ashamed To Kiss Me/ You're Under Arrest/ You've Got My Troubles Now/ Your Wedding Corsage

 
MARTY ROBBINS Jasmine 3652 Devil Woman, 1961-1962 ● CD $17.98
2 CDs, 59 tracks, 155 mins, recommended
This is a whole lot of Marty Robbins for your buck. You get four full albums plus 11 bonus singles tracks, from what I can tell his entire recorded output for 1961-62. The albums included are "Just a Little Sentimental," "Marty After Midnight," "Portrait of Marty," and "Devil Woman," all released on Columbia Records. The first two albums are mostly in his pop crooner mode, with covers of Unchained Melody/ Misty/ Pennies From Heaven, and the like, so not much there that I enjoyed, but if you like that style of Marty Robbins, then there is a lot there for you. For me, the Marty Robbins magic always lied mostly in his western/ adventure songs, which the later two LPs and the singles tracks have in spades. Highlights include Devil Woman/ Jimmy Martinez/ Ghost Train, the moody You Told Me So which also features some cool organ, The Bend In The River/ Lolean, the Jazzy I Walk Alone, and The Wine Flowed Freely. (JM)

 
SKYLARK Claddagh 57 Light And Shade ● CD $18.98 $10.98
14 tracks, 48 min., strongly recommended
A quartet of seasoned Irish trad pros, Skylark deliver a wonderfully satisfying set of hopping, lilting, bouncy tunes and traditional songs. The tunes are driven by De Danann veteran Mairtin O'Connor's jet-propelled accordion and Gerry O'Connor's fiery fiddling. The songs feature Len Graham on vocals. Len is an excellent singer with a warm and engaging style. The music is mostly Irish, with a bit of French-Canadian, American, and Scottish expertly woven in. The songs are mostly slowish ballads like The Factory Girl and The Boys of Mullaghbawn, the exception being Little Pack of Tailors, a marvelous nonsense song that jumps in and out of Wind That Shakes the Barley. Don't be surprised if every pub band is playing this song. (DC)

 
EDDIE SOUTH Frog DGF 36 Black Gypsy** ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
A most welcome compilation featuring all extant titles recorded by great pioneering black violinist Eddie South - "The Black Gypsy" - under his leadership for Victor, French Gramaphone and ARC between 1927 and 1934. It includes 6 previously unissued alternate takes and four unissued tunes drawn from immaculate test pressings. South is featured with various groups including pianist Henry Crowder, guitarist Mike Mckendrick, clarinetist Clifford King, banjo player Everett Barksdale, pianist Antonio Spaulding, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Jimmy Bertrand and others. Many of the tracks feature vocals - sometimes by South and sometimes other band members. Most of this is not really jazz but there is certainly fine and, at times, hot playing. Sound quality is courtesy of John R.T. Davies and there are extensive notes by Anthony Barnett, author of the Eddie South bio-discography. (FS)

 
KASSA TESSEMA Buda 860257 Ethiopiques 29: Mastawesha ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
I don't really know anything about Ethiopian music, but I know what I like, and I like this. The Ethiopiques series of CDs reissue music that was released in Ethiopia during the 1960s and 1970s by Ethiopian and Eritrean artists. This CD compiles Kassa Tessema's only two LPs, from 1972 and 1976 respectively, one before and one after his 1973 death, both printed in very small quantities. I don't think Kassa Tessema was known much outside of Ethiopia in his time, but he certainly has a lovely style. The songs here feature minimal accompaniment pairing stringed instruments (I'm sorry I don't know exactly what they are) and light percussion, with Kassa Tessema's sad and beautiful singing. Often Tessema feels like a African Nick Drake. Though the lyrics are not in English, the liner notes refer to them as often self deprecating and lovelorn, so there you go. This is fantastic stuff, I'm glad I went a little outside of my comfort zone to check it out. If this sounds interesting to you and you are into vinyl, in 2014 the French label Heavenly Sweetness did a re-issue of Tessema's first album that looks great (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1009 Welcome To The Club ● CD $18.98 $14.98
Complementing Ace 717 this is a second excellent collection of Chicago blues, R&B and early soul from the vaults of King/ Federal Records. Most sides were produced by Sonny THompson who plays piano or organ on most cuts. Including sides by Willie Wright & the Sparklers (9 fine sides, mostly previously unissued), Lee "Shot" Williams (4 tracks including the original recording of Welcome To The CLub which was later covered with great success by Little Milton), Syl Johnson (6), Eddy Clearwater (2), Jesse Anderson (2) and Danny Overbea (1).
JESSE ANDERSON: How Long Has It Been/ You'd Better Think Twice/ EDDY CLEARWATER: I Was Gone/ Twist Like This/ SYL JOHNSON: (she's So Fine) I Just Gotta Make Her Mine/ I Resign From Your Love/ I Wanna Know/ I've Got To Find My Baby/ Little Sally Walker/ Well Oh Well/ DANNY OVERBEA: I'm Tired Of Being Tossed Around/ LEE "SHOT" WILLIAMS: Don't Misuse My Love/ I'm Tore Up/ When You Move, You Lose/ You're Welcome To The Club/ WILLIE WRIGHT & THE SPARKLERS: Bloodhound/ Gibble Gobble/ Got A Feelin'/ Hard Times/ I Want To Love You/ I'm Gonna Leave You Baby And I'm Goin' Away To Stay/ Slowly Losing My Mind/ Sufferin' In Mind/ What Will I Say

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 3185 The Hit Songs Of Felice & Boudlaux Bryant ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 54 tracks, 130 mins, highly recommended
Here is a fantastic collection covering the work of the first couple of songwriting: Felice & Boudleaux Bryant. Mostly known for all of the great Everly Brothers hits they wrote - Bye Bye Love/ Wake Up Little Susie/ All I Have to Do Is Dream/ Bird Dog/ Problems/ Devoted To You/ Take a Message to Mary, and Poor Jenny, (now that is a streak!) All of those Everly hits are here, plus a few other great Everley Bros. tracks that weren't hits, but there is a lot more to the Bryant's story than that. Felice & Boudleaux Bryant have supposedly written "6000 songs, with over 1000 recordings, which have sold over 200 million copies." This collection doesn't quite cover all of that, but you do basically get their first decade that they were really getting their songs recorded, 1952-1962, with the first song that they got recorded, a 1949 Little Jimmy Dickens version of Country Boy thrown in. Highlights on this collection include Hey Joe by Kitty Wells, Midnight by Red Foley, Tryin' to Forget the Blues by Porter Wagoner, Hey Sheriff by Rusty & Doug, and many more. There are a couple of clunkers on here - Tony Bennett is not a good match for the Bryants style at all, and The King Brothers version of Wake Up Little Susie is just plain awful - but they don't dampen the mood of the collection, there are too many great tracks here. Thorough liner notes tell a fuller story of Felice & Boudleaux, though somebody really should write a book about them. (JM)
EDDY ARNOLD: Christmas Can't Be Far Away/ How's the World Treating You/ I've Been Thinking/ The Richest Man (In the World)/ TONY BENNETT: Have a Good Time/ THE BROWNS: Teen Ex/ ALMA COGAN: Willie Can/ WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER: Johnny, My Love (Grandma's Diary)/ JIM DALE: Crazy Dream/ SKEETER DAVIS: My Last Date (With You)/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: Country Boy/ Out Behind the Barn/ THE EASY RIDERS: Tina/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: All I Have to Do Is Dream/ Always It's You/ Bird Dog/ Brand New Heartache/ Bye Bye Love/ Devoted to You/ Like Strangers/ Love of My Life/ Poor Jenny/ Problems/ Take a Message to Mary/ Wake Up Little Susie/ RED FOLEY: Midnight/ DON GIBSON: So How Come (No One Loves Me)/ BUDDY HOLLY: Raining in My Heart/ JONI JAMES: My Last Date with You/ THE KALIN TWINS: Sweet Sugar Lips/ FRANKIE LAINE: Hawk-Eye/ BOB LUMAN: Let's Think About Living/ Why, Why, Bye, Bye/ BOB MOORE: Mexico/ RICKY NELSON: I'm Not Afraid/ WEBB PIERCE: Bye, Bye Love/ JIM REEVES: Blue Boy/ RUSTY & DOUG: Hey Sheriff/ CARL SMITH: Back Up Buddy/ Hey Joe!/ It's a Lovely, Lovely World/ Just Wait 'Til I Get You Alone/ Orchids Mean Goodbye/ Our Honeymoon/ JIMMY SWEENEY: She Wears My Ring/ ERNEST TUBB: Somebody's Stolen My Honey/ PORTER WAGONER: Tryin' to Forget the Blues/ KITTY WELLS: Hey Joe/ I'd Rather Stay Home

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 554 Hot Guitars Vol. 1 - Early Country & Hillbilly Jazz ● CD $14.98
34 tracks, highly recommended
The first volume in a series exploaring the work some of the great country guitarists. This first volume covers the period 1930 through 1943 and shows the influence of jazz on the music. It opens with two lovely blues instruments performed by Buster and Jack who were members of Jack Cawley's Oklahoma Ridge Runners - the two tracks here sound like they could just as easily be by African-American musicians. Herb Kratoska was one of the little known virtuosos of early country guitar and is heard on five tracks with the Texas Rangers - tree from 1935 and two from 1943 - the latter includes Boogie Woogie which predates the more familiar Porky Freeman and Arthur Smith versions. Curley Hoag is another unheralded pioneer and is heard accompanying Rudy Sooter and Gene Autry - the latter including the unforgettable As Long As I've Got My Horse which includes lines like "There Ain't No Woman Gonna Break My Heart/ As Long As I've Got My Horse" - isn't there a law against that! Les Paul is probably the most familiar name here and is here with his Trio on four songs from 1939 with Jimmy Atkins (Chet's older brother) on vocals and acoustic guitar - I'm not to crazy about Jimmy's vocals but Les makes up for it with splendid guitar work. One of Les's mentors and a pioneer in using an electric guitar was Joe Wolverton who is featured on eight tracks from 1940 radio transcriptions singing and playing some great electric guitar. Being the egotist he was Les never gave Wolverton the credit he deserved. There are more fine contributions from Harold Maus, Shorty Carson, Leroy "Slim" Johnson and others. Sound quality is excellent and Kevin Coffey provides his usual well resarched notes. (FS)
HARRY ADAMS: 12th St Rag/ GENE AUTRY WITH CURLEY HOAG & KARL FARR: As Long As I've Got My Horse/ Dude Ranch Cowhands/ BUSTER & JACK: Guitar Duet Blues (Cross Tie Blues)/ Slow Guitar Blues (Pouring Down Blues)/ SHORTY CARSON & SHUG FISHER: Shorty & Shugís Guitar Blues/ THE CRAZY WATER GANG WITH JULIAN ATKINS & DO: Dream Train/ THE CRAZY WATER GANG WITH JULIAN ATKINS GUIT: Milenburg Joys/ THE CRAZY WATER GANG WITH JULIAN ATKINS & DO: Red Wing/ SKEETER HUBBARD & CHARLIE QUIRK: Guitar Instr./ LEROY "SLIM" JOHNSON: Guitar Rag/ Rhythm In E/ Syncopated Swing/ Texas Sand/ HAROLD MAUS: Guitar March/ Guitar Medley/ LES PAUL TRIO: Goodbye Lover Goodbye/ Out Of Nowhere/ Swannee River/ Where Is Love/ RUDY SOOTER WITH CURLEY HOAG: The Old Spinning Wheel/ THE TEXAS RANGERS WITH HERB KRATOSKA: April Kisses/ Boogie Woogie/ Guitar Blues/ O Solo Mio/ San/ JOE WOLVERTON & HIS BOYS: Alice Ben Bolt/ Carry Me Back To Old Virginny/ Come Back To Erin/ Genevieve/ I'll Take You Home Kathleen/ Loves Old Sweet Song/ My Darling Clementine/ Wait For The Wagon

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 555 The Bluebird Label, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 270 this is another superb collection of old time country issued on Victor's Bluebird susbsidiary in the 1930s. Most of the sides here were recorded between 1935 and 1940 along with a couple of earlier Victor tracks from 1929 that were reissued on Bluebird. The Carlisle Brothers (Bill and Cliff) are strongly represented. Bill has four solo numbers ranging from the sentimental I'll Be All Smiles Love to raucous and raunchy Bell Clappin' Mama as well as a couple of tracks with brother Louis and one with brother Cliff. Cliff is featured on three cuts featuring his splendid vocals and slide guitar. Norwood Yew is a fine western flavored vocalist with some excellent yodeling. The Raley Brothers are strongly influenced by Jimmie Rodgers on their two tracks and are accompanied by fine slide guitar. I've always liked the mournful sound of Johnny Barfield who is featured here on a cover of Rex Griffin's Everybody's Trying To Be MY Baby which 17 years later was given a great rockabilly treatment by Carl Perkins. Barfield is also featured on Boogie Woogie, which in spite of its title is actually a great slow blues about a dance. Other artists include Chester Allen & Campbell, Peg Moreland, The Arthur Smith Trio and others - all excellent. Sound quality is excellent and Kevin Coffey provides the informative notes. (FS)
CHESTER ALLEN & CAMPBELL: Booze Drinkin' Daddy/ Railroad Blues/ JOHNNY BARFIELD: Boogie Woogie/ Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby/ THE BROWN BROTHERS: My Mother And Dear old Dad/ Son Please Come Home/ BILL CARLISLE: Bell Clappin' Mama/ Feet Don't Fail Me/ I'll Be All Smiles Love/ Still There's Still A Spark Of Love Pt. 2/ BILL & LOUIS CARLISLE: Blue Arizona Moon/ Bye Bye My Love/ CLIFF CARLISLE: A Little Bit Of Lovin' From You/ It Takes An Old Hen To Deliver The Goods/ When I Feel Froggie I'm Gonna Hop/ THE CARLISLE BROTHERS: When The Old Cow Went Dry/ WILF CARTER: You Are My Sunshine/ BLIND JACK MATHIS: Are You Tired Of Me Darling/ PEG MORELAND: Cowboy Jack/ THE RALEY BROTHERS: Chicken Roost Blues/ I Want A Woman/ ARTHUR SMITH TRIO: Dickson County Blues No. 2/ Straw Breakdown/ NORWOOD TEW: Carolina Yodeling Rambler/ Sailor Man Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Hi Horse 19001 Blue 88s: Unreleased Piano Blues Gems, 1938-1942 ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 48 mins, highly recommended
Here's a pleasant surprise - a collection of mostly previously unissued piano blues recorded for Columbia and OKeh between 1939 and 1942. Star of the show is the great Roosevelt Sykes who first recorded in 1929 and was to be a regular visitor for the next 50 years. He is represented on 12 tracks - only two originally issued. His tracks come from two sessions held in November 1941 and April 1942 - on the first he is accompanied by bassist Alfred Elkins and on the second they are joined by an unknown electric guitar who plays with an effective tremolo - possibly the first time tremolo was used on record. His songs are a mix of straight ahead blues, jivey songs and a couple of topical songs - Training Camp Blues and The World Is Upside Down. There are two tracks from the superb, if underrated, Curtis Jones including his terrific Levee Side Blues which is one of the highlights here. There are two fine tracks by Poor Boy Burke which is actually St. Louis Jimmy who was under contract to Victor at the time and one by the excellent Willie "Boodle It" Right with the great Josh Altheimer on piano. Sound quality is excellent and the 20 page booklet has outstanding notes from Mark Humphrey and transcriptions of all the lyrics. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77135 Powerhouse Gospel** ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, almost five hour, essential
Another fantastic collection of gospel compiled by the indefatigable gospel expert Opal Louis Nations featuring 100 superb performances recorded between 1946 and 1959. The emphasis here is on recordings made for independent labels and while there are sides from some of the bigger indepndents like Vee-Jay, Nashboro and Dooto the labels here are mostly small operations like Bronze, Bowman, Hi-Hat, Glory, Avant and others. Just as the labels are obscure so are the performers - many local artists who only recorded a handful of sides but in those handful of sides produced some magnificent performances. The first three discs predominantly features gospel quartets and includes some outstanding performances from groups like The Pilgrim Singers, Silvertone Quartet, Kansas City Soul Revivers, Deacon Tom Foger & The Camp Meeting Choir (a phenomenal acapella performance), Spiritual Five and others. There are also a couple of solo sides from Sister Rosa Shaw, Evangelist Sister Winnn (with some wonderfully funky guitar by Jesse Thomas) and Sister Bessie Griffin. The fourth disc features preachers and their congregations featuring both sermons and singing and including several incredibly moving examples of "lining out" as well as ferocious sermons from the likes of Rev. Arthur Caruthers, Rev G.W. Killens & The Mt. Calvary Congregation, Deacon Leroy Shinault and others. This is a truly superb collection, almost all of it appearing on CD for the first time. Sound quality is generally excellent and there was only room in the notes to discuss the importance of independent labels and provide profiles of many of the labels. An indispensible collection of lovers of black gospel. (FS)
SISTER LUCILE BARBEE & DR. MORGAN BABB: Call Him By His Name/ MARGARET BARNES: Savior Don't You Pass Me By/ ELDER CHARLES D. BECK: Rock And Roll Sermon, Pts. 1 & 2/ THE BLAIR GOSPEL SINGERS: I've Been Moaning In The Valley So Long/ THE BLIND WONDERS OF WASHINGTON DC: Night Prayer/ ELDER BENJAMIN H. BROADIE: John Saw The Number/ Prayer #1/ Prayer For All/ REV. ARTHUR CARUTHERS: Good Man In A Bad Fix (A Sermonette)/ I Know For Myself I've Been Changed/ REV. C.C. "THE 'TRAVELING SHOES' MAN" CHAPMAN: On My Way, Pts. 1 & 2/ HAZEL CHAPMAN & THE GOLDEN HARMONIZERS: I'm Going To Die With A Staff In My Hand/ LITTLE JOE COOK & EVENING STAR QUARTET: I'm A Witness/ REV. ROBERT CRENSHAW: I Love The Lord/ I Wonder Will We Meet Again/ REV. H.B. CRUM & THE GOLDEN KEYS: Do You Know Me Thomas/ I Wanna Be Ready/ So Much To Thank Jesus For/ REV. R.A. DANIELS: I'm A Soldier/ ETHEL DAVENPORT & THE ETHEL DAVENPORT SINGERS: Heavenly Express/ Steal Away And Pray/ SISTER BERNICE DOBSON & THE CAMP MEETING CHOIR: If I Can Just Make It In/ THE DREXALL SINGERS: Jesus Said Live Holy/ THE EVENING STAR QUARTET: Lord Take My Hand/ THE FLYING CLOUDS OF DETROIT: When They Ring Those Golden Bells/ DEACON TOM FOGER & THE CAMP MEETING CHOIR: Working On The Building/ REV. C.L. FRANKLIN: Eagle Stirreth Her Nest (Closing Section)/ I'll Go, Pts. 1 & 2/ REV. M. LARRY FRANKLIN: Little Baby Of Bethlehem, Pts. 1 & 2/ THE FRIENDLY BROTHERS: Need Jesus On My Journey/ THE GOSPEL SILHOUETTES: Rock In A Weary Land/ Tell It To Jesus/ THE GOSPEL TRAVELERS: Praying Time/ BESSIE GRIFFIN & THE SOUTHERN REVIVALISTS: I'm Thinking Of The Lord/ SISTER BESSIE GRIFFIN WITH BROWNIE MCGHEE: Heaven's Radio/ THE HARMONY FOUR SINGERS: Leaning Independent/ Testimony/ IDA HAYES & THE MELLO-TONES: How Many Souls/ THE HEAVENLY GATES: All Right Now/ THE HIGHTOWER BROTHERS: He That Believeth In Me/ THE JACKSON GOSPEL SINGERS: I Can't Walk This Highway/ REV. H.R. JELKS: It Rained 40 Days And 40 Nights, Pts. 1 & 2/ Why Complain/ THE JOYFUL TRAVELERS: Lord Lift Me Up/ THE KANSAS CITY SOUL REVIVERS: I Don't Need No One Else/ Jesus Came At Midnight/ REV. G.W. KILLENS & MT. CALVARY CONGREGATION: Fighting For Jesus/ Great God Almighty/ Same Man/ THE KINDLY SHEPHERDS: Climbing Higher Mountains/ How I Love Jesus/ NELLIE LYNN & THE SONS OF HARMONY: If Jesus Had To Pray/ THE MACEDONIANS: I'll Never More Pass This Way/ MCCAULEY SPIRITUAL SINGERS: Jesus Said Live Holy/ THE MCCAULEY SPIRITUAL SINGERS: Jesus Gave Me Water/ THE MELLO-AIRES OF ROCHESTER: Take Your Burdens There/ THE MIGHTY GOSPEL GIANTS: There'll Be A Perfect Day/ THE NATIONAL CLOUDS OF JOY: Somebody Touched Me/ OLLIE NIGHTINGALE & THE DIXIE NIGHTINGALES: Living For My Jesus/ THE NORFLEET BROTHERS: Draw Me Nearer/ None But The Righteous/ THE NOVA-TONES: Down Here/ SISTER ELIZABETH PHILLIPS & THE PILGRIM SINGERS: In The Kingdom With The Lord/ THE PILGRIM SINGERS: Glory Land The/ Night Was Dark/ REV. WILLIAM M. RIMSON: Believe On Me ("Jesus Said It")/ THE RISING SUN GOSPEL SINGERS: Prodigal Son, The/ THE SAINTS OF GLORY: Jesus Knows/ Perfect Stranger/ THE SEVEN MELODY MEN: Mother Pray For Me/ SISTER ROSA SHAW: He Rolled The Stone Away/ DEACON LEROY SHINAULT: Lord, I Cannot Live In Sin (A Lining Hymn With Congregation In Chicago)/ THE SILVERTONE QUARTET: It's Gonna Rain/ Stand By Me/ Storm Of Life/ THE SKYLIGHT SINGERS: Certainly Lord/ I Need Thee/ THE SOUL SATISFIERS OF PHILADELPHIA: I'm His And He's Mine/ Run On Home And Live With God/ THE SOUTHERN ECHOES: On My Way To See Jesus/ THE SOUTHWINDS: They Call Me Crazy/ THE SPIRITUAL FIVE: I Don't Have To Worry/ I'll Carry My Burden/ I've Been Born Again/ THE SPIRITUAL FOUR: Waiting/ THE SPIRITUAL HARMONIZERS: I'm Your Servant Lord/ Wait On The Lord/ THE SPIRITUAL KINGS: A Letter To Jesus/ THE SPIRITUAL WONDERS: You Got To Move/ THE SPIRITUALAIRES OF COLUMBIA: Last Mile Of The Way/ Lay This Body Down/ THE SUPREME ANGELS: Seven Seals/ THE TOMMIETTES GOSPEL SINGERS: Have You Been Through The Water/ THW TRENTON SINGERS: I Shall Know Him, Pt. 2/ UNIDENTIFIED QUARTET: I Look Back Down The Road And Wonder/ One More Working Day/ Ship Of Zion/ THE VERSATILE ACAPELLA CHORAL GROUP OF CHICA: You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley/ DOUG WILLIAMS & THE MELLO-TONES: Send Me/ EVANGELIST SISTER ROSETTA WINN: Building On The Good Shore

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 112 Sweet Sound Of Success** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, strongly recommended
28 sweet soul ravers from the vaults of Scepter/Wand . The price of admission is worth it just for the last tracks, Timmy Shaw's Gonna Send You Back To Georgia, perhaps better known by The Animals' cover as Gonna Send You Back To Walker, & Lenny Miles' classic Don't Believe Him Donna, where Lenny sings of his undying love for Donna while the girl background singers chant "Don't believe him/ He's lying"!. But the other tracks are no slouches either, including Theola Kilgore's The Love Of My Man later covered by Delaney & Bonnie, Bessie Banks (of Go Now fame) Do It Now, Jackie Ross's great The World's In A Hell Of A Shape, more greats by such greats as Maxine Brown, Chuck Jackson, The Esquires, Tammy Montgomery (better known as Tammy Terrell), & L.C.Cooke. (GM)
BESSIE BANKS: Do It Now/ BIG MAYBELLE: The Same Old Story/ MAXINE BROWN: Ask Me/ One Step At A Time/ CANDY AND THE KISSES: Keep On Searchin'/ JUDY CLAY: Lonely People Do Foolish Things/ L.C. COOKE: Half A Man/ THE DIPLOMATS: There's Still Tomorrow/ NELLA DODDS: Come See About Me/ Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers/ THE ESQUIRES: You've Got The Power/ FREDDIE HUGHES: He's No Good/ TOMMY HUNT: The Door Is Open/ CHUCK JACKSON: Hand It Over/ Look Over Your Shoulder/ Baby Take Me/ Can't Let You Out Of My Sight/ THEOLA KILGORE: The Love Of My Man/ LENNY MILES: Don't Believe Him Donna/ Invisible/ TAMMY MONTGOMERY: It's Mine/ BROOKS O'DELL: If I Had You/ ROSCOE ROBINSON: How Much Pressure/ That's Enough/ JACKIE ROSS: The Whole World's In A Hell Of A Shape/ TIMMY SHAW: Gonna Send You Back To Georgia/ If I Catch You/ THE SHIRELLES: Don't Say Goodnight And Mean Goodbye

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 463 Bob Holmes' Nashville Soul ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Nashville has long been known as the Country music capital of the world, but what's less known is that Nashville has produced its' share of viable R&B, soul and jazz. And at the center of Nashville's Black music scene during the 60's and 70's was producer/songwriter/arranger Bob Holmes. This set showcases Holmes' work between 1965 and 1980 as producer and/or songwriter and arranger for labels A-Bet, Ref-O-Ree, Volt, and Dial among others. Highlights include The Hytones' Runaway Girl, Sandra King's Leave it Up to the Boys, Peggy Gaines' Sweet Way of Living, Freddie North's Don't Make Me Look So Bad (also included on Kent's compilation of North's material, Kent 464), Eddie Frierson's You Never Had it So Good, Bill Brandon's The Streets Got My Lady, Joe Tex's Under Your Powerful Love, Gene Allison's Somebody Somewhere, Slim Harpo's Tip On In, Part 1, and Roscoe Shelton's I Can't Love Nobody But You. As a sample of Holmes' labors and as a collection of Nashville R&B, this compilation is first rate indeed. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS MGM 11401 MGM Records, The R&B Years - Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
More fine label oriented urban blues and R&B - this one features recordings made for the MGM label between 1944 and 1953 - much of it not previously on CD. The most familiar names here are Milt Buckner (who would become a major jazz organist) with a fine piano boogie accompanied by a large band, Bullmoose Jackson and the always superb Joe Turner. Other artists include saxophonist/ bandleader Bill Gaither (not the pre war blues singer) with his band The Madcaps who also accompany the fine blues singer Iona Wade, Paula Watson, The Blues Chasers (a fine instrumental group with Taft Jordan and Sam Taylor), The Ebonaires, The 5 Red Caps, Beulah Bryant, Peach Tree Logan with His Riverboat Four and others. Excellent sound and booklet has full discographical date but no other information. (FS)
THE 5 RED CAPS: Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night/ THE BLUES CHASERS: Birmingham Special/ BEULAH BRYANT: He's Got Plenty On The Ball/ MILTON BUCKNER & HIS ORCH.: Milt's Boogie/ TOM"SHY GUY" DOUGLAS: Raid On Cedar Street/ THE EBONAIRES: Bye Bye, Bye Bye/ Come In Mr. Blues/ BILL GAITHER & HIS MADCAPS: Bouncin' With Bill/ Introducing Mr. Gaither/ Lonesome Baby Blues/ That's The Corkscrew/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON & HIS ORCH.: Miss Lucy/ LEM JOHNSON: It Takes Money, Honey/ HERB KENNY & THE ROCKETS: I Don't Care (As Long As You Care For Me)/ PEACH TREE LOGAN WITH HIS RIVERBOAT FOUR: Heap Sees And Few Knows/ That's All Brother, That's All/ JOAN SHAW WITH LUTHER HENDERSON ORCH.: Walking With The Blues/ THE THREE FLAMES WITH MILT BUCKNER ORCH.: Chewing Gum Mama/ Suffer/ JOE TURNER: Moody Baby/ VIOLA WATKINS: I Wonder Why/ PAULA WATSON & ORCH.: I Love To Ride/ TEDDY WILLIAMS & ORCH.: Bar And Grill Blues/ IVY WILLIS: Hen Pecked Papa

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS MGM 11402 MGM Records, The R&B Years - Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine collection of obscure sides from the MGM label. Returning from the first volume are Bullmoose Jackson, Joe Turner, Ivy Willis and some others. New to this volume are The Birmingham Boogie Boys (a fine instrumental group led by female pianist VIola Watkins with fine guitar from Jimmy Shirley), Hattie Noel (the witty Grandma's Boogie), Nat Foster, Baby Dee (a particularly fine vocalist accompanied by the Leroy Kirkland Orch.), Jimmy Newsome (superb low down blues with tough guitar), Claude Cloud & His Orch (a fine band led by Sam "The Man" Taylor with a tough vocal by Dolores Ware and fine guitar by Mickey Baker) and more. (FS)
THE 5 RED CAPS: Sugar Lips/ BABY DEE WITH LEROY KIRKLAND ORCH.: Don't Live Like That No More/ Hold The Light For Me/ THE BIRMINGHAM BOOGIE BOYS: Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Nite/ MILLIE BOSMAN: Dream Street/ You Ain't Had No Blues/ CLAUDE CLOUD & HIS ORCH.: Beginner's Mambo/ If I Can Live To See The Day/ NAT FOSTER: Lonely Soldier Blues/ Tall, Tall Woman/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON & HIS ORCH.: Keep Your Big Mouth Shut/ Memphis Gal/ LEM JOHNSON: I Got A Letter/ BILLY MOORE QUARTET: Here It Is, Come And Get It/ JIMMY NEWSOME: Do That Thing/ My Little Child/ HATTIE NOEL: Grandma's Boogie/ SAM (THE MAN) TAYLOR & HIS ORCH.: Hit The Road/ Taylor Made/ MAMIE (MISS GOOD BLUES) THOMAS WITH LEROY KIRKLAND ORCH.: Use What I'm Usin'/ JOE TURNER: Mardi Gras Boogie/ PAULA WATSON: Chick-Chick-Chick-A-Dee/ IVY WILLIS: Boogie Woogie Jive/ You Turned Your Back On Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Real Gone 256 The Vee Jay Records Story ● CD $15.98
4 CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
To a certain stripe of music fan, the Vee Jay label is remembered as being the first record company to issue Beatles records in the U.S. before Capitol (the American arm of EMI, their British label) picked up the bands' Stateside option. But there was more to Vee Jay than The Battle of the Bands: The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons; Vee Jay was a very respected R&B/Blues label during its time. Founded in Chicago in 1953 by Vivian Carter and James Bracken (the V and J), the label managed to rack up an impressive roster of Blues (Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Pee Wee Crayton), Doo Wop (The Spaniels, The Dells, The Moonglows, The El Dorados), vocal groups (The Impressions, The Five Royals), solo singers (Jerry Butler, Dee Clark, Donnie Elbert, Gene Chandler, Gene Allison), Jazz (Eddie Harris), and the occasional female singer (Camille Howard, Christine Kittrell) and girl group (The Pearlettes). Even the label's toe dip into rock 'n' roll is represented by the mighty Four Seasons. With the tracks spanning from 1953 to 1962 and covering many of the company's greatest hits--The Spaniels' Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight, Hooker's Boom Boom, Reed's Honest I Do, Clark's Raindrops, The El Dorados' At My Front Door, The Dells' Oh What a Night, The Impressions (w/Jerry Butler) For Your Precious Love and Butler solo with Make it Easy On Yourself, and Chandlers' Duke of Earl, to name but a few-the collection is a good overview of Vee Jay's golden first decade. There are also a number of obscurities to appeal to the diehard collector by The Rhythm Aces, Morris Pejoe, Dillard Crume (mistakenly listed as Dillard Croon!), The Lyrics, Mickey Tillman, Ray Whitley and others. Docked a notch for no liner notes. (GMC)
THE "5" ROYALES: Help Me Somebody/ Much In Need/ DONNIE ALBERT: Half As Old/ GENE ALLISON: Have Faith/ Why Do You Treat Me So Cold/ You Can Make It If You Try/ BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Rockinitis/ LARRY BIRDSONG: Iím Pleading Just For You/ Oh Oh My Darling/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Crying For My Baby/ JERRY BUTLER: He Will Break Your Heart/ Make It Easy On Yourself/ For Your Precious Love/ THE CAPERS: Early One Morning/ LEONARD CARBO: Pigtails And Blue Jeans/ GENE CHANDLER: Duke Of Earl/ Kissiní In The Kitchen/ You Threw A Lucky Punch/ DEE CLARK: Nobody But You/ Raindrops/ Youíre Telling Our Secrets/ THE CO-HEARTS: Cry Baby/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: The Telephone Is Ringing/ DILLARD CROOM JR. & THE CROOM BROTHERS: Itís Youi Love/ HAL DAVIS: What Do You Mean To Me/ THE DELEGATES: The Convention/ THE DELLS: Dreams Of Contentment/ Dry Your Eyes/ Iím Calling/ Oh What A Nite/ Pain In My Heart/ Swinginí Teens/ Tell The World/ Why Do You Have To Go/ THE DELTONES: A Lovers Prayer/ Iím Coming Home/ LEE DIAMOND: Mama Loochie/ THE DUKAYS: Nite Owl/ THE DUKE OF EARL: Walk On With The Duke/ THE EL DORADOS: At My Front Door/ I Began To Realize/ Little Miss Love/ My Loving Baby/ DONNIE ELBERT: Will You Ever Be Mine/ BILLY "THE KID" EMERSON: The Pleasure Is All Mine/ THE FIVE ECHOS: Foolís Prayer/ I Really Do/ Soldier Boy/ WADE FLEMONS: Whatís Happening/ Here I Stand/ THE FOUR SEASON: Big Girls Donít Cry/ Sherry/ THE GOLDENRODS: Wish I Was Back In School/ ROSCO GORDON: Just A Little Bit/ ROSCOE GORDON: Surely I Love You/ EDDIE HARRIS: Exodus/ THE HI-LITERS: Bobby Sox Baby/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Boom Boom/ CAMILLE HOWARD: Rock Ďn Roll Mama/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Say That You Love Me/ PRESTON JACKSON & THE RHYTHM ACES: Be Mine/ ELMORE JAMES & THE BROOMDUSTERS: It Hurts Me Too/ CHRISTINE KITTRELL: Iím A Woman/ THE KOOL GENTS: This Is The Night/ You Know/ THE LYRICS: Come On Home/ THE MAGNIFICENTS: Donít Leave Me/ Down Off The Mountain/ Hiccup/ Letís Do The Cha Cha/ Up On The Mountain/ THE MOONGLOWS: Real Gone Mama/ THE ORIOLES: Sugar Girl/ I Just Got Lucky/ BOBBY PARKER: Blues Get Off My Shoulder/ THE PEARLETTES: Duchess Of Earl/ MORRIS PEJOE: Hurt My Feelings/ EARL PHILLIPS: Oop De Oop/ THE PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Judgement Day/ JIMMY REED: Baby What You Want Me To Do/ Big Boss Man/ Good Lover/ High And Lonesome/ Honest I Do/ Iíll Change My Style/ Letís Get Together/ You Donít Have To Go/ THE RHYTHM ACES: I Wonder Why/ THE SHERIFFS & THE RAVELS: Shombalor/ THE SPANIELS: False Love/ Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite/ Please Donít Tease/ Since I Fell For You/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: Uncloudy Day/ THE TABS: Dance All By Myself/ EDDIE TAYLOR: Bigtown Playboy/ MICKEY TILLMAN: Dear Mom And Dad/ THE TWINETTES: Let The People Talk/ RAY WHITLEY: A Love We Can Have And Hold

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie 6064 When Gospel Was Gospel** ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, 74 min., essential
What we have here is the best of all possible gospel worlds. The producer and booklet noter is Anthony Heilbut, author of "The Gospel Sound: Good News And Bad Times", the single finest book on the subject, period. Heilbut has also selected some of the most important recordings from the finest performers on record, including Mahalia Jackson, The Spirit Of Memphis, The Davis Sisters, The Sensational Nightengales, The Soul Stirrers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to name a few. But instead of merely compiling hits, Heilbut choses powerful and significant works (from 1946-63) and explains their relevance to gospel music and music in general. Eight tracks are previously unreleased, including Brother Joe May's Mercy Lord and The Swan Silvertones' Thank You Jesus and I Have A Friend, all three from 1954. A superb offering. (JC)
QUEEN C. ANDERSON: I Never Heard Of A City-these Are They/ ROBERT ANDERSON: Jesus/ THE ANGELIC GOSPEL SINGERS & DIXIE HUMMINGBI: Standing On The Highway/ PROFESSOR ALEX BRADFORD: Leak In The Building/ J. ROBERT BRADLEY: Amazing Grace/ DOROTHY LOVE COATES & THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: Dot's Testimony/ You Better Run/ MADAME EDNA GALLMON COOKE & THE RADIO FOUR: Walk Through The Valley/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Jesus Steps Right In/ Too Close To Heaven/ PROFESSOR J. EARLE HINES: Look For Me In Heaven/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Mahalia Moans/ Power Of The Holy Ghost/ THE ROBERTA MARTIN SINGERS: The Old Ship Of Zion/ Yield Not To Temptation/ BROTHER JOE MAY: Mercy Lord/ You're Gonna Need Him/ THE SENSATIONAL NIGHTINGALES: How About You/ Sinner Man/ THE SOUL STIRRERS: His Eye Is On The Sparrow/ The Lord Will Make A Way/ SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS QUARTET: Here Am I Send Me/ THE SWAN SILVERTONES: Thank You Jesus-i Have A Friend/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE & MARIE KNIGHT: Beams Of Heaven/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE & THE DEPENDABLE BOYS: Little Boy, How Old Are You/ CLARA WARD & THE WARD SINGERS: Leave It There/ Time Is Winding Up/ MARION WILLIAMS: Traveling Shoes

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40218 Classic English and Scottish Ballads ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 72 mins, very highly recommended
Between the 1860s and the end of his life (1896) the beloved Professor of English at Harvard University, Francis James Child researched examples of the anicient narrative-song tradition which were called ballads. His researches revealed that these ballads were known throughout the English speaking world and some of them in non English parts of the world. He organized them into songs with similar stories and published a set of five large volumes (the fifth published after his death) featuring all the different versions he had found of 305 of these "popular ballads" which subsequently became known as the Child ballads and which are still sung to the present day. This CD presents versions of 21 of these ballads and with the exception of Ewan McColl's terrific version of THomas The Rhymer are performed by American performers - both traditional singer and revivalists and the performances are consistently superb including Lord Thomas and Fair Ellnder (Child 73) by Mike Seeger, Mathie Groves (Child 8) by Dillard Chandler, Lady Margaret (Child 74) by Pege Seeger, Three Nights Drunk (Child 274) by E.C. & Orna Ball, Gallis Pole (Child 95) by Lead Belly, The House Carpenter (Child 243) by Dorothy Rorick (a fabulous previously unissued recording), The Farmer's Curst Wife (Child 278) by Horton Barker and more. About half the tracks are appearing on CD for the first time. Includes a splendid 40 page booklet with outstanding notes by Jeff PLace including a discussion of each song. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40226 Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 28 tracks, 104 mins, very highly recommended
One of my first thoughts upon listening to this collection was that I was happy that there are a bunch of quality Folk performers that I was experiencing for the first time, and that they were doing Woody Guthrie's songs justice. Players and singers like Kristin Anderson, Carl Allen, Al James, Ben Hunter, Joe Seamons, Martha Scanlan, the group Timberbound, and many others were fresh to my ears, and were joined by fine performers that I already knew like Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, David Grisman, Michael Hurley, etc. On top of the performances, this is an important Folk/ American music release due to the fact this is the first time all 26 of Woody Guthrie's Northwest Songs have been recorded and released in one set. 9 of which Woody himself never officially recorded. Great songs like Eleckatricity For All/ Lumber Is King, and Grand Coulee Powder Monkey, make their recorded debut here, along with Woody's well loved classics such as Pastures of Plenty/ Hard Travelin'/ Columbia Talkin' Blues, and Roll On Columbia, Roll On. In 1941 Woody was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA,) to write songs to accompany a documentary on the Columbia River and the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. Once there, Guthrie was so inspired by the project and the beauty of the area, he composed a wealth of songs, by far more than needed for the movie. This CD is Smithsonian Folkways at its best, with a thick booklet full of liner notes featuring deep research and fantastic rare photos. So, come with me back to a time in America when the government paid Folk singers to chronicle big public works projects, and the results of both improved society--what a novel idea. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 50001 Songs Of The Old Regular Baptists - Lined Out Hymnody ● CD $15.98 $8.98
11 tracks, 61mins, highly recommended
Not a new release, but now available at a lower price. This is a fantastic and fascinating collection of rural religious music, beautifully sung a cappella, in call and response and group singing. This music is as eerie as it is lovely, and although it isn't something that you would necessarily listen to all the way through each time, this will certainly be a CD that you would revisit time and time again. Stirring versions of religious standards as well as obscurities like Streets Of Gold/ Attend Young Friends/ O! When Shall I See Jesus, and A Poor Wayfaring Stranger. Like all the best field recordings, you also get some recorded quotes from many of the singers. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stag-O-Lee 093 Buzzsaw Cuts 1 & 2 ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Another one those varied collections of rock 'n' roll and rocking R&B inspired by disc jockeys on the London club scene - the unifying theme is that all must be suitable for dancing and we have a fine selection here. About half these cuts haven't been on CD before and most of th rest were on now out of print collections. Almost half of the tracks here are instrumentals highlighted by sides by The Rumbers, Eugene Blacknell & His Slavonics, Gabriel & The Anges (the great middle Eastern flavored Hey!), The Egyptians, Ray Vernon & The Raymen (the fabulous Big City After Dark featuring the fret burning guitar work of brother Link Wray), The Pharoahs (the wild Green Werewolf complete with howls and screams - ready for Halloween), and more. On the vocal side we have Billy Garner (a soulful variation on the blues standard Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl), The Canjoes featuring Joe Louis Johnson (the hot Ray Charles inspired Dance The Boomerang), Sammy Fitzhugh, Bunker Hugh (the wild Red Ridin' Hood & The Wolf), The Gimicks (the bizarre, mostly instrumental, Sneaky Snail), Charlie Daniels (yes that Charlie Daniels wih th egimmicky rocker Robot Romp) and more. Excellent sound and booklet has brief notes on each track. (FS)

 
FATS WALLER JSP JSPCD 928 The Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2: Handful Of Keys** ● CD $28.98
4 CD box set, 101 tracks, 5 Hours 15 mins, highly recommended
Subtitled "Pianist, Songwriter, Entertainer, Innovator," this set covers recordings from 1929-1934, wherein Thomas "Fats" Waller proves he was a master of these descriptors. Easily taken for granted with his bubbly and entertaining personality and accessible style, it's easy to forget what a true artist Waller was and what a great and long lasting contribution he made to jazz. This set puts it all into perspective, from deft/bristling keyboard runs to energetic, often-satiric vocals. Waller, a brilliant stride pianist, dabbles with New Orleans Hot, Boogie and "Chicago" styles of jazz, turning it into a style uniquely his own. Hard to imagine there was a Great Depression on when these tracks were recorded (leading to Waller only releasing two sides in 1930); the songs are upbeat, light-hearted, and joyous - very representative of a man that lived life to its fullest. Beautifully compiled and with very nice sound, the only thing this fantastic set is lacking are notes that are worthy of the music and the effort that went into putting this together. Five hours plus of music and you still want more. (RB)
FATS WALLER: A Porterís Love Song To A Chambermaid/ A Shine On Your Shoes-Louisiana Hayride/ After Youíve Gone/ Ainít Misbehaviní/ Arkansas Blues/ Armful Oí Sweetness/ Baby, Oh! Where Can You Be?/ Baby, Oh! Where Can You Be?/ Baby, Oh! Where Can You Be?/ Baby, Oh! Where Can You Be?/ Believe It, Beloved/ Big Business: Part 1/ Big Business: Part 2/ Breakiní The Ice/ Chances Are/ China Boy/ Dallas Blues/ Do Me A Favor/ Donít Let It Bother You/ Dragginí My Heart Around/ Dream Man/ Egyptian-Ella/ Gee, Ainít I Good To You?/ Georgia May/ Girls Like You Were Meant For Boys Like Me/ Gladyse/ Gladyse/ Goiní About/ Goiní About/ Handful Of Keys/ Harlem Fuss/ Have A Little Dream On Me/ Honeysuckle Rose/ How Can You Face Me?/ I Got The Ritz From The One I Love/ I Need Someone Like You/ I Wish I Were Twins/ I Wish I Were Twins/ I Would Do Anything For You/ I Would Do Anything For You/ If It Isnít Love/ Iíd Love It/ Iím Crazy ĎBout My Baby/ Iím Crazy ĎBout My Baby/ Iím Growing Fonder Of You/ Iím Sorry Dear/ Iíve Got A Feeling Iím Falling/ Iíve Got A Feeling Iím Falling/ Iíve Got a Feeling Iím Falling/ Letís Pretend Thereís A Moon/ Lies/ Lookiní For Another Sweetie/ Lookiní Good But Feeliní Bad/ Love Me Or Leave Me/ Love Me Or Leave Me/ Mandy/ Mean Old Bed Bug Blues/ Mean Old Bed Bug Blues/ Miss Hannah/ My Fate Is In Your Hands/ My Fate Is In Your Hands/ My Feelinís Are Hurt/ Numb Fumbliní/ Peggy/ Plain Dirt/ Ridiní But Walkiní/ Royal Garden Blues/ Serenade For A Wealthy Widow/ Six Or Seven Times/ Smashing Thirds/ St Louis Blues/ Sweet Savannah Sue/ Sweetie Pie/ Tanglefoot/ Tanglefoot/ Thatís All/ Thatís How I Feel Today/ Thatís What I Like About You/ The Minor Drag/ The Way I Feel Today/ Then Iíll Be Tired Of You/ Tiger Rag/ Turn On The Heat/ Valentine Stomp/ Valentine Stomp/ Waiting At The End Of The Road/ Waiting At The End Of The Road/ Waiting At The End of The Road/ Waitiní At The End Of The Road/ When Iím Alone/ Where Ever Thereís A Will/ Wherever Thereís A Will, Baby/ Wonít You Get Off It, Please?/ Yellow Dog Blues/ Yellow Dog Blues/ Yes Suh!/ Yes Suh!/ You Donít Understand/ You Rascal You/ Youíre Not The Only Oyster In The Stew/ Youíve Got To Be Modernistic

 
LARRY WILLIAMS Ace CDCH2 1021 At His Finest - The Specialty Rock 'n' Roll Years ● CD $24.98 $18.98
2 CDs, 47 tracks, highly recommended
New Orleans born Larry Wiliams is from the hard-driving "upsetting" school of R&B whose fellow classmates include Little Richard & Robert Parker. The first disc features 22 sides issued on singles and LPs including all his great hits like Short Fat Fannie/ Bony Moronie (an extended version with additional whistling on the outro)/ Dizzy Miss Lizzie and Slow Down. The second disc features 25 unissued songs and alternate takes, 18 never released on CD before - often featuring lyric changes and different instrumental breaks! It also includes studio chatter. These recordings cut in Los Angeles and New Orleansin 1957 and '58 feature a virtual who's who of great session men including Lee Allen, Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson, Irving Ashby, Roy Montrell, Harold Battiste, Frank Fields, Rene Hall and others. Includes 20 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes by Stuart Coleman. Black rock 'n' roll at its finest. (FS)
LARRY WILLIAMS: Baby's Crazy (Take 11)/ Baby's Crazy Aka Marie Marie (Take 19)/ Bad Boy/ Bad Boy (Junior Behave Yourself) (Take 5)/ Bad Boy (Junior Cha Cha Cha) (Take 6)/ Bony Moronie/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Extended Version Of Specialty 626)/ Dummy/ Dummy (Take 1)/ Evidently You Don't Love Me (Let The Four Winds Blow) (Take 1)/ Give Me Love/ Heeby Jeebies (Take 17)/ Heeby Jeebies (Take 4)/ Hey Now, Hey Now (Aka Jockomo)/ High School Dance/ Hocus Pocus (Take 12)/ Hootchy-Koo/ I Can't Stop Lovin' You/ I Was A Fool To Let You Go/ I Was A Fool To Let You Go (Take 5)/ Iko Iko (Jockomo) (Take 2)/ Jelly Belly Nellie (Take 2)/ Just Because/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Take 2)/ Let Me Tell You Baby/ Little School Girl/ Little School Girl (Take 1)/ Love Charms (Take 4)/ Make A Little Love (Take 1)/ Oh Baby (Take 1)/ Peaches & Cream/ Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu (Ft Art Neville)/ She Said, Yeah/ Short Fat Fannie/ Short Fat Fannie (Take 1)/ Should I Laugh Or Should I Cry (Take 1)/ Slow Down/ Slow Down (Take 4)/ Slow Down (Take 7 & 8 (Incomplete)/ Steal A Little Kiss/ Teardrops/ Ting-A-Ling/ Took A Trip (Take 10)/ You Bug Me Baby/ Yo Bug Me, Baby (Take 1)/ Zing Zing (Take 3)

 
WINGS OVER JORDAN Gospel Friend 1505 Trying To Get Ready ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
We somehow missed this release when it first came out in 2008 and thanks to one of our customers for enquiring about it. The group originally consisted of 19 members, male & female, and was formed by Reverend Glynn T. Settle in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935 (or 1937, depending on your source) and consisted of amateur performers - housewives, stenographers, porters and laborers. Shortly after their formation Settle was able to get them a spot on radio station WGAR and by 1940 were heard on 107 radio stations throughout the USA and were picked up by the BBC and rebroadcast throughout Europe. At times the group featured up to 35 members though the recordings here sound like the smaller group. The recordings here are drawn from commercial recordings and radio transcriptions made between 1941 and 1953. Settle was a worker for racial equality and his programs usually featured a brief talk by a distinguished African-American on how the races could live in harmony. The songs are mostly traditional gospel songs andspirituals performed in a fairly formal way but the harmonies are beautiful and the music is hauntingly melodic. Some of the tracks feature brief spoken introductions by Setttle. The songs here include Walk Together Children/ I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray/ Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/ I Just Got Over/ Trampin'/ When You Come Out Of The Wilderness/ Until I Found The Lord/ Where Shall I Be When The First TRumpet Sounds and more. Sound quality is superb and the 16 page booklet has in depth notes by Per Notini and a track by track discussion of each song. LOvely and moving music. (FS)

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