Entries tagged with “Martee Bradley”.

Detroit Count Hastings Street Opera Pt 1Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
John Lee Hooker Miss Lorraine Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
John Lee Hooker Talkin BoogieDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
John Lee Hooker w/ Eddie Kirkland Pouring Down RainDetroit Special
Calvin Frazier Sweet Lucy (Drinking Woman78
T.J. FowlerGot Nobody To Tell My TroublesT.J. Fowler 1948-1958
Bobo JenkinsDemocrat BluesDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Bobo JenkinsBad Luck And TroubleDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
One String Sam Need a Hundred DollarsDetroit Blues Rarities Vol. 4: Hastings Street Blues Opera
Sylvester Cotton I'm Gone Blues Blues Sensation: Detroit Downhome Recordings 1948-1949
Detroit SlimNelly MaeDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Piano BillMilwaukee BluesDetroit Blues Rarities: Hastings Street Blues Opera Vol. 4
Baby Boy WarrenMy Special Friend Blues Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Baby Boy WarrenPlease Don't Think I'm Nosey Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Baby Boy WarrenNot Welcome Anymore Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Doctor RossThe Sunnyland Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Little Sonny I'll Love You Baby Until The Day I DieDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Eddie Burns Sittin' Here Wondering
Eddie Burns SuperstitionDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Eddie Burns Papa's Boogie Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
L.C. Green Hold Me In Your ArmsDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Sam Kelly Ramblin' Around Bues Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Walter MitchellPet Milk BluesDetroit Ghetto Blues 1948-1954
Robert RichardWig Wearing WomanDetroit Blues Rarities Vol. 1: Blues Guitar Killers
Elder R. Wilson Trouble EverywhereDetroit Blues Rarities Vol. 2: Harp Suckers
Eddie Kirkland & John Lee Hooker It's Time For Lovin' To Be DoneThe Complete John Lee Hooker

Show Notes:

My first eye-opener to Detroit Blues came after picking up the album Detroit Ghetto Blues 1948-1954 part of a fantastic series of regional anthologies issued on the Nighthawk label. Later on I picked up earlier anthologies like Detroit Blues: The Early 1950s on Blues Classics, Detroit Blues on Kent and Detroit Special on Atlantic. As Leroy Pierson wrote in the notes to the Nighthawk album: “Though never really a blues recording center, by the mid twenties Detroit boasted a sizable black community attracted from the South by auto industry employment. Some like Charlie Spand and Big Maceo traveled to Chicago to record, but it was not until the late forties that local bluesmen had a chance to record on their own ground. A number of small time entrepreneurs began mastering titles in their record shop basements either for lease to established companies or for release on their own obscure labels which more often than not, found their only distribution outlet on the upstairs counter. Most Detroit artists were destined for the same commercial failure that eventually overcame such operations as Staff, Sampson, JVB and Von.” John Lee Hooker was the only artists to achieve long-lasting commercial success. Success of course didn't necessarily equate to quality a case in point being the impressive output of Eddie Kirkland and Eddie Burns, both firmly in Hooker's orbit, who can be heard on some of his recordings, as well as waxing fine sides under their own names. There were others like Baby Boy Warren and Bobo Jenkins who's output should have garnered them greater fame, then there was a slew of of tough down-home bluesmen like Sylvester Cotton, L.C. Green, Walter Mitchell and Robert Richard and others as well as more uptown artists such as T.J. Fowler, Todd Rhodes and Calvin Frazier. Today's notes will cover some of the featured artists, others will be discussed in upcoming show notes. We'll be bouncing around non-chronologically between 1948 and 1962 with most of the recordings, not all, recorded in the Motor City.

In addition to the ones listed above, there have been many collections of Detroit blues over the years, and most recently the 3-CD set Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special an immaculately compiled set by blues historian Mike Rowe. The set was a big inspiration for this three-part series and many tracks will be featured over the course of the programs. The set features a terrific booklet filled with great photos and the track list is filled with iconic performances and some incredible rarities. Mike was also very gracious when I reached out to him at his London home and consented to sit down for a chat about Detroit blues, the results of which will be featured throughout this series of programs. Mike also sent me a batch of articles he wrote about the Detroit scene for Blues & Rhythm magazine.

Read Liner Notes

Like Beale Street in Memphis and Central Avenue in Los Angeles, Detroit too had a famous black strip. As Mike Rowe wrote: "…Paradise Valley, was three-quarters Black by day and, at night, became an integrated strip of bars, clubs, private clubs and restaurants which spelt Entertainment -that is music, prostitution and gambling." Clubs like The Palms, Club Harlem, the Corner Bar, Jake's, the Ace Bar, the Silver Grill, the Three Star Bar, The Flame, Sportee's Lounge and the Horseshoe Bar would host nationally renowned performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Billie Holliday and Duke Ellington. The blues was relegated to rougher bars, house parties and blind pigs.

The title of today's program comes from a song by the Detroit Count. The Detroit Count (Bob White) had recorded for Bluebird in 1942 but would find greater fame with his recording of the two-part “Hastings Street Opera" in 1948:

Forest and Hastings! Sunnie Wilson, longest bar in town.
That's the onlyst bar you can walk in when you get ready to buy a bottle of beer you have to walk a mile after you get in the joint
The Willis Theater! That's the only picture show in town; if you missed the picture fifty years ago you can see it right now.
Leland and Hastings! Leland Bar! That's the only bar in town where bartenders carry pistols.
Joe's Record Shop. He got everybody in there 'cept a T-bone steak

Sunnie Wilson, owner of Forest Club, recalled: “I had local pianists play for my customers in the lounge. A local character, pianist and signer, Detroit Count came in my place about every night. His 1948 piano-rap hit  “Hastings Street Opera” talked about me an all the people along the avenue.” Joe Von Battle recorded the song in his studio on Hastings Street and leased it to King Records. It became a local hit. The Count cut only eight other sides the same year none of which are well remembered.

John Lee Hooker was by far the greatest success to come out of Detroit, and like Lightnin' Hopkins and Jimmy Reed garnered a host of emulators, none of which achieved Hooker's fame. Hooker's discovery was either by Jack Brown of Fortune Records or Bernie Besman of Pan American and Sensation. The Fortune recording of “Miss Sadie Mae” and “609 Boogie” could have been his first  although Brown wouldn't issue them because Hooker had recorded for Besman at the same time; a standard practice for Hooker. At this time Hooker was playing the local bars in a band setting but in a stroke of genius Besman recorded him solo taking advantage of the full range of his exciting and and unpredictable guitar style. From this session came the immortal “Boogie Chillen” which became a huge success.

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Eddie Burns left home at 16 and, after a spell in Clarksdale, moved to Waterloo, Iowa then to Detroit in 1948. At a house party he met John Lee Hooker. Burns went along to a recording session with Hooker and played harmonica on "Miss Eloise" and "Burnin' Hell."  "Papa's Boogie," Eddie Burns' 1948 debut, is a harmonica/guitar duet recorded by Bernie Bessman and leased to the Holiday label which issued under the Slim Pickens pseudonym. Through the 50's he cut sides for JVB, Deluxe and Chess. He continued to cut scattered singles through the 60's.

Born in Alabama, Eddie Kirkland headed to Detroit in 1943. There he hooked up with John Lee Hooker five years later, recording with him for several firms as well as under his own name for RPM in 1952, King in 1953, and Fortune in 1959. In 1961-62 he cut his first album for Tru-Sound Records. Leaving Detroit for Macon, GA, in 1962, Kirkland signed on with Otis Redding as a sideman and show opener not long thereafter.

Baby Boy Warren (Robert Henry Warren) and his family moved to Memphis before he was one. His brothers Jack and Willie were good guitarists and  before he was ten Baby Boy himself showed aptitude. "When I was a little kid, the man I most admired was a midget fellow," he told Mike Leadbitter and Mike Rowe. "They called him Little Buddy Doyle. I got most of my style from  him." Warren would take a train to Helena, Arkansas to meet with the likes of Robert Lockwood, Willie Love, Peck Curris and Calvin Frazier ans also met Sonny Boy Williamson. Warren left for Detroit in 1944. He made his recording debut for Staff in 1949, cutting more sides for the label and Sampson in 1950 and in 1954 cut a session for JVB featuring Sonny Boy Williamson. His final sides came at the end of that year for Blue Lake and Drummond.


Blind Leroy GarnettChain 'Em DownBlues Images Vol. 14
Joe WilliamsMr. Devil BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Mobile StrugglersMemphis BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson Been To Kansas CityBarrelhouse & Rockin' Blues
Pete Johnson Kaycee FeelingMaster Of Blues and Boogie Woogie
Big Duke Henderson Beggin' And Pleadin'Barrelhouse & Rockin' Blues
Freddy ShayneOriginal Mr. Freddie BluesMontana Taylor & 'Freddy' Shayne 1929-1946
Freddy Shayne & Bertha 'Chippie' HillHow LongMontana Taylor & 'Freddy' Shayne 1929-1946
Charles Lacy Rampart Street BluesHollywood Blues
Martee BradleyNow I'll Have To Sing The BluesDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
L.C. Green Remember Way BackDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Big John WrencherNow Darlin' Harpin' on It
Black Ace Whiskey and WomenBlack Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand
Black Ace Golden SlipperBlack Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand
Eva Taylor Sara Martin Hesitation BluesSara Martin Vol. 1922-1923
Sam Collins Hesitation Blues Sam Collins 1927-1931
Jim Jackson Hesitation BluesJim Jackson Vol. 2 1928-1930
Smith Casey Hesitating BluesTwo White Horses Standin' In Line
Cootie Williams & Eddie Vinson Red BluesCootie Williams And His Orchestra 1941-1944
Eddie Vinson Kidney Stew Is FineKidney Stew Is Fine
Ishman Bracey Woman Woman BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Charley Patton I'm Going HomeBlues Images Vol. 14
Memphis Minnie I'm Talking About YouBlues Images Vol. 14
Muddy Waters Canary BirdThe Complete Aristocrat & Chess Singles
Leroy Foster Locked Out BoogieLeroy Foster 1948 - 1952
Ma Rainey Hellish RagMother Of The Blues
Mae Glover Shake It DaddyI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Madlyn Davis Winter BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 2
Blind Gussie NesbitPure ReligionWhen I Reach That Heavenly Shore
Boyd Rivers When I Cross OverYou Can't Make Me Doubt
Ruby Glaze Lonesome Day BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Blind Willie McTell Mama, Let Me Scoop For YouBest Of
Issac Youngblood & Herb Quinn Hesitating BluesSouth Mississippi Blues

Show Notes:

Our final mix show of the year as we cover a wide swath of blues history. On deck today are a whole batch of vintage blues from the the collection of John Tefteller, some excellent Detroit blues, several fine blues ladies as, a history of the "Hesitation Blues" as well as twin spins by Freddie Shayne, Eddie Vinson and the Black Ace.

Every year around this time collector John Tefteller, through his Blues Images imprint, publishes his Classic Blues Artwork Calendar with a companion CD that matches the artwork with the songs. The CD’s have also been one of the main places that newly discovered blues 78’s turn up. These year we get a pair of Big Bill Broonzy sides not heard since the original 78's were released. As usual sound quality is superb using a new restoration process first used last year. This year marks the 14th year of the calendar and CD's. Several years ago Tefteller uncovered a huge cache of Paramount promotional material. Paramount marketed their "race records", as they were called, to African-Americans, most notably in the pages of the Chicago Defender, the weekly African-American newspaper, and sent promotional material to record stores and distributors. Tefteller bought a huge cache of this artwork from a pair of journalists who rescued them from the rubbish heap some twenty years previously and has been reprinting the artwork in his annual calendars.

Freddie Shayne is a shadowy figure who spent his life working in Chicago. He first time on record was backing singer Priscilla Stewart on “Mr. Freddie Blues.” Shayne also made a very rare piano roll of this song. In 1935 Shayne recorded a solo record, “Original Mr. Freddie Blues b/w Lonesome Man Blues.” “Mr. Freddie Blues” became something of a boogie standard covered by many artists including Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Jimmy Blythe, Art Tatum and others. In the 40's he made some recordings for the Circle label where he also backed singer Bertha “Chippie” Hill.

During the 30's and 40's the Black Ace was well known, at least among black audiences, in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. He had a program that aired out of KFJZ, Fort Worth, Texas. 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. It was these sides that would later garner him notice among blues collectors and which led to a fleeting comeback. Comeback is probably not the right word as Turner had no interest in playing blues full time again although thankfully he was persuaded to record two sessions at his Fort Worth home in 1960 which were issued as The Black Ace on Arhoolie (reissued on CD as Black Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand which includes his 1937 sides plus a few other tracks that appeared on Arhoolie compilations). He was also captured on film for the 1962 documentary The Blues.

Read Liner Notes

"Hesitation Blues" is a popular song adapted from a traditional tune. One version was published by Billy Smythe, Scott Middleton, and Art Gillham and published in 1915. One of the first popular recordings was an instrumental version by the Victor Military Band, made on 15 September 1916. The same traditional tune was also arranged by W.C. Handy and published in 1915 as "Hesitating Blues". Handy's version shares the melody, but the lyrics are different. The son was popular among country and blues artists. Sara Marti and Eva Taylor recorded the song together in 1923, Sam Collins recorded it in 1927, Jim Jackson in 1930 and Smith Casey for the Library of Congress in 1939.  We close our show with one more version, this one done by Issac Youngblood and  Herb Quinn and recorded by David Evans in Tylertown, MS in 1966.

One of the things I've tried to do on this show is play a wide variety of blues, from commercial recordings to filed recordings, spotlighting all facets of the music from string bands jug bands, to piano blues and classic and down home woman singers who seem unjustly neglected. Today we we hear from some wonderful woman singers, some well known like Ma Rainey and Mephis Minnie, to the once famous who are now forgotten like Sara Martin, and Bertha "Chippie" Hill, to the obscure such as Madlyn Davis and Mae Glover. Rainey was right there when the blues was spreading through the country at the beginning of the 20th century. She began performing as a young teenager and became known as Ma Rainey after her marriage to Will Rainey, in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group, Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Comparatively speaking, she was bit late to recording, making her debut in 1923. We pin her "Hellish" rag cut in 1928.

Sara Marin was singing on the Vaudeville circuit by 1915 and made her debut for Okeh Records in 1922. She cut close to one hundred sides through 1928. We hear her on "Hesitation Blues" from 1923 a duet with Eva Taylor.Taylor also made her in 1922 but for the Black Swan label, cutting around seventy sides through 1932. In 1919 Bertha "Chippie" Hill was working as a dancer with Ethel Waters in New York and toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. She cut some two-dozen sides between 1925 and 1929 and made a brief comeback in the 1940's.

wnrcd5095Little is known of Mae Glover who or Madlyn Davis. Glove cut fourteen sides at two sessions; four for Gennet in 1929 and the rest for Champion in 1931. Her best sides are from the first session where she backed by guitarist John Byrd. The two turn in a driving, sexy performance on "I Ain't Givin' Nobody None" and "Shake It Daddy." Madlyn Davis made ten recordings in Chicago, for Paramount Records, with her first session taking place in June 1927. In October 1928, Davis had her final recording stint, with her backing musicians including Georgia Tom Dorsey on piano and Tampa Red on guitar.

We spin a couple of sides from Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special a terrific recent 3-CD collection of vintage Detroit blues recorded between the 1940's and 1960's. The set was compiled by blues scholar Mike Rowe and includes some unissued recordings unearthed from rare acetates and comes with an informative 48 page booklet with some truly great photos. One of the earliest show I aired for Big Road Blues was one on Detroit and I did a follow-up a couple of years ago. Despite that, this set has inspired me to do comprehensive series of shows on Detroit to be aired the beginning of next year.