Mon 27 Feb 2012
|Louisiana Red||Story Of Louisiana Red||Lowdown Back Porch Blues|
|Louisiana Red||Where Is My Friend?||Best of|
|Louisiana Red||Red's Dream||Best of|
|Bo Carter||Last Go Round||Bo Carter Vol. 2 193 -1934|
|Charlie Campbell||Goin' Away Blues||Alabama & The East Coast 1933-1937|
|Blind Blake||Poker Woman Blues||All The Published Sides|
|Lafayette Thomas||Old Memories||West Coast Guitar Killers|
|Jody Williams||What Kind of Gal Is That||Chess Blues Guitar: Two Decades of Killer Fretwork 1949-1969|
|Rosa Henderson||Chicago Policeman Blues||Rosa Henderson Vol. 4 1926-1931|
|Sippie Wallace||You Gonna Need My Help||Sippie Wallace Vol. 2 1925-1945|
|Bessie Smith||Careless Love||Complete Recordings, Vol. 4 (Frog)|
|Blind John Davis||Booze Drinking Benny||Blind John Davis Vol. 1 1938-1952|
|Blind John Davis||Anna Lou Breakdown||Blind John Davis Vol. 1 1938-1952|
|Jimmie Hudson||Rum River Blues||78|
|T-Bone Walker||Here In The Dark||The Complete Imperial Recordings: 1950-1954|
|Teddy Bunn||Jackson's Nook||Very Best Of 1937-1940|
|George & Ethel McCoy||Mary (Penitentiary)||Early In the Morning|
|Daddy Hotcakes||Corrine Corrina||The Blues In St. Louis - Daddy Hotcakes|
|Bessie Jones||Beggin' the Blues||Alan Lomax Blues Songbook|
|Mabel Hillery||How Long Has That Train Been Gone||45|
|Freddie Shayne||Lonesome Man Blues||Montana Taylor And Freddie Shayne 1929-1946|
|Freddie Shayne||Original Mr. Freddie Blues||Montana Taylor And Freddie Shayne 1929-1946|
|Willie (W.C.) Baker||Goin' Back Home Today||The Devil Is A Busy Man|
|Bee Houston||Ten Years To Life||45|
|Peg Leg Howell||Moanin' And Groanin' Blues||Atlanta Blues|
|Walter "Buddy Boy" Hawkins||How Come Mama Blues||William Harris & Buddy Boy Hawkins 1927 - 192|
|Dixieland Jug Blowers||If You Can't Make It Easy, Sweet Mama||Clifford Hayes And The Dixieland Jug Blowers|
|Louisiana Red||Too Poor To Die||Midnight Rambler|
|Louisiana Red||Sweet Blood Call||Midnight Rambler|
|Louisiana Red||Bring It On Home||Live At Montreux|
As I was putting the finishing touches on this week's show I received the news that Louisiana Red had passed. He died in Germany at the age of 79. By his own account he had a hard life as he announced in his haunting "The Story of Louisiana Red" which opens today's show: "Now this here's a sad one. It's about my life." He lost his parents early in life through multiple tragedies; his mother died of pneumonia a week after his birth, and his father was lynched by the Klu Klux Klan when he was five. Red began recording for Chess in 1949 (as Rocky Fuller). His early sides were heavily indebted to Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. He joined the Army and after his discharge, he played with John Lee Hooker in Detroit for almost two years in the late '50s, and continued through the '60s and '70s with recording sessions for Chess, Checker, Atlas, Glover, Roulette, L&R, and Tomato, among others. Louisiana Red moved to Hanover, Germany in 1981, and maintained a busy recording and performing schedule through the subsequent decades.
Red recorded prolifically through the years. Among his better efforts was the album The Lowdown Backporch Blues (1963) featuring striking topical numbers like the humorous "Red's Dream" and "Ride On Red, Ride On." The single "I'm Too Poor to Die" had minor chart success in 1964. We also feature two tracks from the out-of-print Midnight Rambler, a compilation of sessions cut for the Blue Labor label in 1975-1976. We play his update of "I'm Too Poor to Die" and the chilling "Sweet Blood Call:"
You may be thinkin’ ‘bout goin’ north, but your brains are stayin’ south"
Also on tap today are a trio of 1920's blues queens, a pair of songs apiece by piano men Blind John Davis and Freddie Shayne plus we spin a batch of great long out-of-print blues records. Rosa Henderson is the least known of today's featured blues queens. In 1963 Len Kunstadt tracked down Henderson and wrote a feature on her in Record Research: "She began her career about 1913 in her uncle's carnival show. She played tent and plantation shows all over the South with one long streak of 5 years in Texas. She sang nothing but the blues. During this period she married Slim Henderson, a great comedian and showman, and she became professionally, ROSA HENDERSON. Slim joined up with John Mason and from this association a troupe was born which included Rosa. They played the country from one end to the other. In the mid 20s the Mason Henderson troupe really began to hit big time with headline attraction bill¬ing in many of the larger theatres. Rosa also received star billing in some independent ventures. …From May 1927 through September 1927 Rosa Henderson was a top race blues recurring artist. She was on Victor, Vocalion, Ajax, Perfect, Pathe, Brunswick, Paramount, Emerson, Edison, Columbia, Banner, Domino, Regal, Oriole, English Oriole, Silvertone and others. Besides her own name she was Flora Dale on Domino; Mamie Harris and Josephine Thomas on Pathe and Perfect; Sally Ritz (her sister's name) on Banner; and probably Sarah Johnson and Gladys White on other labels….In 1927 Rosa was hitting her real stride as a single but just a year later Rosa quit in her prime due to the unexpected death of husband, Slim." She made her final recordings in 1931. From 1926 we spin her remarkably outspoken "Chicago Policeman Blues:"
Policemen in Chicago they can't police at all (2x)
They only wear their uniform, or blue just for a song (?)
Most every cop in town, black and white all have a grudge (2x)
If you don't know you better, then to say good morning judge
I've got the blues, Chicago policeman blues (2x)
They wouldn't give a pick (?) of you for Peter or Paul
They send you away for absolutely nothing at all
I've got the blues, Chicago policeman blues (3x)
I'm expressin' my opinion, just the way I feel
Pigs about the only things supposed to squeal
I've got the blues, Chicago policeman blues
We hear some fine piano blues from Blind John Davis and Freddie Shayne. From 1938 we spin Davis' jazzy brand of blues as heard on "Booze Drinking Benny" and "Anna Lou Breakdown" both featuring the electric guitar of George Barnes (one of the first Chicago musicians to record with an electric guitar). In 1973 Davis was interviewed by Melody Maker: "I started recording in 1937—Big Bill Broonzy was a friend of my Dad's and he fixed for me to play on one of his sessions 'Sweet William Blues' I think it was. That was for Vocalion or Columbia. …They all seemed to like my playing so I got to play on most of the sessions around at the time….I was top piano player for Lester Melrose's Wabash Music Company. …"I could play for anybody excepting Big Boy Crudup. I think no piano player in the world could play for him 'cos he plays so damn irregular. …In 1949 I made my first recordings under my own name— for MGM, that was. Before I had no desire to sing and the record producers told me I didn't sound Southern enough. They got me recording again in '51 — this time with George Barnes on guitar and Ransom Knowling playing bass. I cut a lot of records over in Europe with Big Bill Broonzy — but we wasn't paid for none of them. I kept copies of all my recordings, but my house burned out in 1955 and I lost everything!"
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.
From the out-of-print file we spin records by George and Ethel McCoy, Daddy Hotcakes, Bee Houston and Mabel Hillary. George and Ethel McCoy were a brother and sister guitar duo who lived in St. Louis. Their aunt was Memphis Minnie who taught Ethel first hand. They recorded the album Early In the Morning for the Adelphi label in 1969 and later saw some recordings out on the Swingmaster label.
George “Daddy Hotcakes” Montgomery was born in Georgia and came moved to St. Louis in 1918. He began singing the blues as a youngster and worked as an entertainer during the 1920’s. Sometime in the late 30’s he had an opportunity to record through blues artist and talent scout Charlie Jordan but the recording session fell through. He was still occasionally playing parties when Sam Charters recorded him in 1961. The Blues in St. Louis, Vol. 1: Daddy Hotcakes is his only recording.
|Read Liner Notes|
Bee Houston played in the backing bands of Little Willie John, Junior Parker, Bobby "Blue" Bland and others in the late '50s and early '60s. After a two-year army stint, Houston moved to the West Coast. He toured and recorded frequently with Big Mama Thornton in the '60s, and also accompanied several visiting blues players during West Coast visits. Houston recorded for Arhoolie in the '60s and '70s, and also made several festival appearances and club dates. Our selection, "Ten Years To Life", was issued as a 1970 single on the Joliet label (Joliet 203).
A member of The Georgia Sea Island Singers, Mable Hillery was less known than leaders, Big John Davis or Bessie Jones. Between 1961 and 1965 she toured the college circuit of campuses, coffee houses, church basements, and festivals, from Berkeley to Philadelphia, from the Ash Grove in Los Angeles to the Café à Go-Go in New York City. She toured Europe in the 60's and cut a session in London in 1968 for Transatlantic which was issued as It's So Hard To Be A Nigger on their budget Xtra label. Other scattered sides appeared on anthologies.
We also spin a track by fellow Georgia Sea Island singer Bessie Jones. Our cut, "Beggin' the Blues", was recorded by Alan Lomax. In the 1960s, with the assistance of Lomax, Bessie Jones, together with John Davis, Peter Davis, Mable Hillery, Emma Ramsey, and Henry Morrison, formed the Georgia Sea Island Singers and traveled to colleges and folk music venues throughout the country.