|Joel Hopkins||Good Times Here, Better Down The Road||Joel & Lightnin' Hopkins|
|Joel Hopkins||I Ain't Gonna Roll For The Big Hat Man No More||Joel & Lightnin' Hopkins|
|Lightnin' Hokins||Look Out Settegast, Here Me And My Partner Come||Joel & Lightnin' Hopkins|
|Lightnin' Hokins||Whiskey, Whiskey||Joel & Lightnin' Hopkins|
|Snooks Eaglin||Give Me The Old Box-Car||Message From New Orleans|
|Snooks Eaglin||Every Day Blues||Message From New Orleans|
|James Brewer||I'm So Glad Good Whiskey's Back||Blues From Maxwell Street|
|Arvella Gray||Have Mercy Mister Percy||Blues From Maxwell Street|
|Daddy Stovepipe||Monkey and the Baboon||Blues From Maxwell Street|
|King David||Fanny Mae||Blues From Maxwell Street|
|The Black Ace||'Fore Day Creep||The Black Ace|
|The Black Ace||Your Legs' Too Little||The Black Ace|
|Buster Pickens||Jim Nappy||Buster Pickens|
|Buster Pickens||The Ma Grinder No. 2||Buster Pickens|
|Joe Carter||Treat Me The Way You Do||Mean & Evil Blues|
|Big John Wrencher||Special Rider Blues||Maxwell Street Alley Blues|
|Blind Joe Hill||Boogie In The Dark||Boogie In The Dark|
|Jimmy s & Little Walter||Little Store Blues (Take 1)||Chicago Boogie|
|Sleepy Johnny Estes||Harlem Hound||Chicago Boogie|
|Billy Branch||Hoochie Koochie Man||Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint|
|Kansas City Red||K.C. Red's In Town||Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint|
|Robert Richard||Motor City Blues||Banty Rooster Blues|
|Easy Baby||So Tired||Sweet Home Chicago Blues|
|Lyin' Joe Holley||So Cold in the U.S.A.||So Cold in the U.S.A.|
|Coy “Hot Shot” Love||Hot Shot Boogie||45|
|Boll Weevil Blues Trio||Things Ain't What They Used To Be||Southside Screamers! Chicago Blues 1948-1958|
|Dixie Boy & His Combo||One More Drink||Southside Screamers! Chicago Blues 1948-1958|
|Birmingham Jones||I'm Glad||Birmingham Jones / Kid Thomas: Blues! Harp! Boogie! 1957-1965|
|Wooddrow Adams||Seventh Son||Down South Blues 1949-1961|
|Little Sonny||I Hear My Woman Callin'||Harp Suckers: Detroit Harmonica Blues 1948|
|Elder R. Wilson||Better Get Ready||Harp Suckers: Detroit Harmonica Blues 1948|
|Read Liner Notes|
Just about all the artists featured on this program have passed, so it's not often I do tributes of that kind anymore. Lately the notable passings have been the early generation of blues historians, writers, scholars, label owners, producers and promoters who added immeasurably to our knowledge of the blues. We have lost several such men recently including Mack McCormick and Steve LaVere who I paid tribute to last year. This time out we pay tribute to two more, Tony Standish who passed December 17th of last year and belatedly, George Paulus who passed on November 14, 2014. I never had any interaction with either men, but their recordings on their respective labels were certainly and influence on me and have been featured on several past programs.
Standish ran the short-lived, but influential, Heritage label in the late 50's and early 60's. The label was groundbreaking in being one of the earliest reissues outfits, making available recordings by Papa Charlie Jackson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton among others. These recordings have been reissued countless times since and are not the ones we will feature today. Heritage was also groundbreaking in releasing some fantastic field recordings captured by Paul Oliver, Mack McCormick and Henry Oster and those are the recordings we will spin today.
George Paulus was a noted record collector who ran the Barrelhouse label from 1974 through the early 80's as well as it's successor, the St. George label which operated from the early 80's through the early 2000's and issued primarily modern blues and rockabilly. He also released a few bootlegs and one off labels that issued a single releases such as Delta Swing, African Folk Society, Floatin' Bridge and Negro Rhythm. All the labels had an emphasis on spotlighting unheralded Chicago and Detroit blues artists. Both Standish and Paulus were also writers (Standish was the assistant editor of Jazz Journal), not only writing the liner notes to their own releases, but contributing liners to others sets and articles in various periodicals. Some of their writings can be found at the bottom of today's show notes.
Heritage 1001, the first full-length album, was a self-titled split album between Joel Hopkins and Lightnin' Hopkins. The recordings were made by Mack McCormick in 1959 in Houston. Joel was Lightnin's older brother and first gave him a guitar. Joel traveled the south with tent shows and traveling caravans. Lightnin's other brother, John Henry also played guitar. The three were recorded together in Waxahatchie, TX in 1964. The results were issued on Arhoolie under the title Hopkins Brothers: Lightnin', Joel, & John Henry.
|Read Liner Notes|
After releasing a series of EP's devoted to reissuing artists like Papa Charlie Jackson, Memphis Minnie and Charlie Patton, Heritage issued new recordings by Snooks Eaglin; there was an EP titled Snooks Eaglin's New Orleans Blues with all these track appearing on the full-length album, Message From New Orleans. These were field recordings made by Harry Oster circa 1961 in New Orleans. As far as I know these recordings have never been reissued on LP or CD since.
Heritage 1004 was titled Blues From Maxwell Street. Back in 1960 Bjorn Englund, Donad R. Hill and John Steiner documented the blues on Maxwell street by recording some of the street's stalwarts including Arvella Gray, Daddy Stovepipe, King David and James Brewer. The sessions were organized by Paul Oliver who wrote the notes to the original album. The recordings were reissued a few years back on the Document label.
Heritage 1006 was titled The Black Ace with these sessions stemming from two sessions at his Fort Worth home in 1960.The recordings were subsequently issued on Arhoolie. The Ace's real name was Babe Kyro Lemon Turner. "I throwed the 'Lemon' away", he told Paul Oliver," and just used the initials of Babe Kyro – B.K. Turner." Back in the the 1930's and 40's he was well known, at least among black audiences, in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma for his regular slot on station KFJZ out of Fort Worth. He cut two sides for the ARC label in 1936 which were never issued but had better luck the following year cutting six sides for Decca in 1937 all of which were released.
In the summer of 1960 Paul Oliver came to the United States with the aid of a State Department grant and BBC field recorder to record blues. As Oliver's journey progressed west he teamed up with Chris Strachwitz and Mack McCormick who had been roaming around Texas looking for blues singers. The recording of Buster Pickens was a result of this collaboration. Pickens lone album for Heritage, the self-titled Buster Pickens, was recorded over several sessions in 1960 and 1961 and released in 1962. It was reissued on album by the Flyright label in 1977. Three years ago I persuaded Document Records to reissue the album (Edwin "Buster" Pickens: The 1959 to 1961) and I had the pleasure of writing the liner notes.
|Read Liner Notes|
George Paulus released the first two Barrelhouse albums in 1974: Washboard Willie's Whippin' That Board and Big John Wrencher's Maxwell Street Alley Blues. By the mid 1940's Wrencher had arrived in Chicago and was playing on Maxwell Street and at house parties with Jimmy Rogers, Claude "Blue Smitty" Smith and John Henry Barbee. In the 1950's he moved to Detroit. In 1958 Wrencher lost his left arm as a result of a car accident outside Memphis, Tennessee. By the early 1960's he had settled in Chicago, where he became a fixture on Maxwell Street Market. During the 1960's Wrencher recorded for the Testament label backing Robert Nighthawk, and as part of the Chicago String Band. In 1969 he was recorded by George Paulus and Dick Shurman, backed by guitarist Little Buddy Thomas and drummer Playboy Vinson, who formed his Maxwell Street band of the time resulting in his Barrelhouse debut.
One of the truly great unsung heroes of the Chicago club scene of the 1950's, Joe Carter was a slide-playing disciple of Elmore James. Arriving in Chicago by 1952 it was Muddy Waters who lent Carter the money to purchase his first electric guitar. Shortly thereafter, Joe started up his first group with guitarist Smokey Smothers and Lester Davenport on harmonica, quickly establishing himself as a club favorite throughout Chicago. Carter didn't end up being documented on record until he returned to active playing in the '70's, recording his lone solo album, Mean & Evil Blues, for Barrelhouse in 1976.
Robert Richard learned the guitar and the harmonica with his uncle. Like a lot of other southerners, came to work in the automobile industry in 1942. With his brother Howard he began playing the Hastings Street clubs. He recorded with Walter Mitchell and pianist Boogie Woogie Red in 1948, then as a sideman on many Detroit recording sessions, particularly with Bobo Jenkins. He waxed some sides under his name for Chess in Chicago but those titles were never issued. Richard gave up music but was rediscovered by George Paulus who recorded him in 1975 and 1977 for the album Banty Rooster.
Alex “Easy Baby” Randle was born in Memphis in 1934. Both his grandmother and uncle were harmonica players. Easy Baby began playing professionally around Memphis as a teenager while doing odd jobs. Playing in the gambling houses and juke joints he befriended Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton, Joe Hill Louis and others. In 1956 he moved to Chicago and throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's played all over the Windy City while working as a mechanic. Easy Baby’s first recording appeared on the anthology Low Blows: An Anthology of Chicago Harmonica Blues with another track appearing on the anthology Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint. His full-length debut was Sweet Home Chicago issued on Barrelhouse in 1977 (another full-length, Hot Water Cornbread and Alcohol, recorded for St. George in the late 90s, was never released).
|Read Liner Notes|
We featured a pair of tracks from the aforementioned Bring Me Another Half-A-Pint by the under-recorded Kansas City Red and early cut by Billy Branch. Also featured are some fine sides by little known artists such as Nate Armstrong, Sonny Boy McGhee and Earl Payton.
Blind Joe Hill was a one-man-band who recorded two albums under his own name: one on Barrelhouse (Boogie In The Dark) and one on the L+R label. Hill was part of the 1985 American Folk Blues Festival touring Europe.
There were two tantalizing albums that were titled with cover art completed by Robert Crumb but were never issued: Unknown Detroit Bluesmen Vol. 1 (BH-003) and Ain't No Stopper On My Faucet, Mama! Unknown Detroit Blues (BH-006).
Paulus had a massive record collection (currently up for auction) filled with rare pre-war and post-war blues. Some of these rarities were issued on Barrelhouse and St. George. In 1969 Paulus, who had been a regular customer at Maxwell Street Record and Radio for several years, bought the surviving lacquers from the Bernard Abrams and his family. He subsequently released all 14 sides on an LP on his Barrelhouse label (in 1974) as Chicago Boogie, then, in improved sound, on his St. George label (1983). In the 1990's, P-Vine licensed the material for release in Japan, leading to an LP and a CD. There were also four albums of rare Detroit blues and gospel form the vaults of record producer Joe Von Battle that were issued on Barrelhouse, St. George and P-Vine..
In 1977-78 Paulus issued four various artist compilations on four different labels: After Midnight: Chicago Blues 1952-1957 (Delta Swing), Down South Blues 1949-1961 (African Folk Society), Birmingham Jones/Kid Thomas Blues! Harp! Boogie! 1957-1965 (Floatin' Bridge) and Going To Chicago: Blues 1949-1957 (Negro Rhythm). In addition there were also some similar unofficial recordings Paulus issued including an unnamed and unnumbered LP of Muddy Waters rarities that became the basis of Vintage Muddy Waters issued on Sunnyland in 1970, an album of Baby Boy Warren's complete recordings (BBW 901) and a 45 by Coy "Hot Shot" Love recorded at Steve LaVere's Record Shop in Memphis in mid August 1973 ("Hot Shot Boogie, Foxchase Boogie b/w Freight Train Blues" issued as a 45 under the Mr. Bo Weevil imprint). One other record Paulus produced was by Lyin' Joe Holley in 1977 titled So Cold In The USA issued on the JSP label with four other tracks from the sessions appearing on the JSP anthology Piano Blues Legends.
-Standish, Tony. “Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.”Jazz Journal 11, no. 6 (Jun 1958): 1–5. -Standish, Tony. “Muddy Waters in London. Pt. 2.” Jazz Journal 12, no. 2 (Feb 1959): 3–6. -Standish, Tony. Speckled Red: The Dirty Dozen. Denmark: Storyville SLP-117, c1960; Denmark: Storyville SLP 4038, 1985. -Standish, Tony. “Champion Jack Dupree Talks to Tony Standish.” Jazz Journal 14, no. 4 (Apr 1961): 6–7, 40. -Paulus, George. “Motor City Blues & Boogie.”Blues Unlimited no. 85 (Oct 1971): 4–6. -Paulus, George. “Will Hairston: Hurricane of the Motor City.” Blues Unlimited no. 86 (Nov 1971): 21. -Paulus, George. Robert Richard: Banty Rooster Blues. USA: Barrelhouse BH-010, 1977. -Paulus, George. Blues Guitar Killers: Detroit 1950s. USA: Barrelhouse BH-012, 1977. -Paulus, George. Easy Baby and His Houserockers: Sweet Home Chicago. USA: Barrelhouse BH-013, 1978; Japan: P-Vine PCD-5206, 1997. -Paulus, George. Harp Suckers! Detroit Harmonica Blues 1948. USA: St. George STG-1002, 1983. -Paulus, George. Southside Screamers: Chicago, 1948–58. USA: St. George STG 1003, 1984. -Paulus, George. “Late Hours with Little Walter.” Blues & Rhythm no. 133 (Oct 1998): 10–12.
-Standish, Tony. “Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.”Jazz Journal 11, no. 6 (Jun 1958): 1–5.
-Standish, Tony. “Muddy Waters in London. Pt. 2.” Jazz Journal 12, no. 2 (Feb 1959): 3–6.
-Standish, Tony. Speckled Red: The Dirty Dozen. Denmark: Storyville SLP-117, c1960; Denmark: Storyville SLP 4038, 1985.
-Standish, Tony. “Champion Jack Dupree Talks to Tony Standish.” Jazz Journal 14, no. 4 (Apr 1961): 6–7, 40.
-Paulus, George. “Motor City Blues & Boogie.”Blues Unlimited no. 85 (Oct 1971): 4–6.
-Paulus, George. “Will Hairston: Hurricane of the Motor City.” Blues Unlimited no. 86 (Nov 1971): 21.
-Paulus, George. Robert Richard: Banty Rooster Blues. USA: Barrelhouse BH-010, 1977.
-Paulus, George. Blues Guitar Killers: Detroit 1950s. USA: Barrelhouse BH-012, 1977.
-Paulus, George. Easy Baby and His Houserockers: Sweet Home Chicago. USA: Barrelhouse BH-013, 1978; Japan: P-Vine PCD-5206, 1997.
-Paulus, George. Harp Suckers! Detroit Harmonica Blues 1948. USA: St. George STG-1002, 1983.
-Paulus, George. Southside Screamers: Chicago, 1948–58. USA: St. George STG 1003, 1984.
-Paulus, George. “Late Hours with Little Walter.” Blues & Rhythm no. 133 (Oct 1998): 10–12.