Albert Macon & Robert Thomas Someday Baby Blues and Boogie from Alabama
Albert Macon & Robert Thomas Don't Nothing Hurt But My Back And Side Blues and Boogie from Alabama
Good Rockin' Charles I Wish I Had Somebody American Blues Legends 1979
Eddie Guitar Burns Bury Me Back In The USA American Blues Legends 1975
Billy “The Kid” Emerson Buzzard Luck American Blues Legends 1979
Lottie Merle Howlin' In The Moonlight 45
Lincoln Jackson Big Fat Mama Old Country Blues
William Floyd Every Time I Need You Baby Southern Comfort Country
Jim Bledsoe Old River BluesJuke Joint Blues 2
Ernest Lewis You've Got good Business
Lovey Williams Going Away BluesBothered All The Time
Big Boy Knox Blue Man Blues San Antonio Blues 1937
Tricky Sam Stavin' ChainTexas Field Recordings 1934 -1939
Little Hat JonesCross the Water BluesTexas Blues: Early Blues Masters from the Lone Star State
Sonny Rhodes The Highway Is Like A Woman Blue Bay - Anthology of Bay Area Blues
Hi Tide Harris Never Will Forget Your Love Blue Bay - Anthology of Bay Area Blues
Big Boy Henry My Ten Women Strut His Stuff
Big Boy Henry Stop Hanging Around Strut His Stuff
Big Walter Nothing But The Blues Nothing But the Blues
Otis Spann I'm AccusedUp In The Queen's Pad
Big Joe Duskin Storm In Texas San Francisco Blues Festival Vol.2
Little Sylvia & Hot Lips Page Chocolate Candy Blues Hot Lips Page 1950-1953
Hot Lips Page Pacifying Blues Hot Lips Page 1950-1953
Blind Lemon Jefferson Prison Cell BluesThe Best There Ever Was
Blind Willie McTellMama, 'Taint Long Fo' DayThe Early Years
Frank Stokes Frank Stokes' DreamThe Best Of
Larry Dale Larry's Joint
John and Sylvia Embry I'm Hurtin'After Work
James "Guitar Slim" Stephens Your Close Friend Eigth-Hand Sets & Holy Steps
Elester Anderson Out On The Farm Eigth-Hand Sets & Holy Steps
Algia Mae Honey Babe Eigth-Hand Sets & Holy Steps

Show Notes:

Lots of vinyl on today's mix show. Today we hear twin spins from out-of-print records by Albert Macon & Robert Thomas, Big Boy Henry, a set of field recordings by Begnt Olsson and a set by Glen Hinson, plus some fine recordings of more contemporary blues from the 70's and some excellent piano records by Otis Spann and Big Walter (The thunderbird). And as always, plenty of fine pre-war blues recordings.

Read Liner Notes

We play some superb field recordings that I haven't featured before. We open up with the duo Albert Macon & Robert Thomas. Macon, born in 1920 in Society Hill, played a type of music he called "boogie and blues," which he learned from his father, Buster Macon, at house parties and frolics in the rural Macon County community. Macon began teaching Robert Thomas to play blues guitar when Thomas, who was nine years younger than Macon, was about 15 years old. For over 40 years the two men played music together at fish fries, parties and festivals in Georgia. Macon and Thomas recorded Blues and Boogie from Alabama, on the Dutch Swingmaster label, with other tracks appearing on anthologies.

My friend  Axel Küstner is a big admirer of Begnt Olsson and its prompted me to dig a bit deeper into the recordings he captured. Olsson taped some supreb field recordings in Tennessee and Alabama between 1969 and 1974. He was also a very good writer as the liner notes he wrote prove and also authored the classic  Memphis Blues and Jug Bands which was published in 1970 by Studio Vista and now long out-of-print. His life's work, Memphis Blues, was slated to be published by Routledge in 2008 but with Olsson's passing in January of that year it looks like the book has been permanently shelved. Olsson first came to the United States in 1969, first to Chicago and then to Memphis were he made some recordings. Olsson was back in 1971, where he made recordings in Memphis and Alabama. He recorded several talented artists including Lum Guffin (his album Walking Victrola was issued on Flyright), Lattie Murrell and Perry Tillis among others. In addition to the Lum Guffin record, Olsson's recordings have been issued on three compilations on the Flyright label. Some of these recordings appear on the CD On the Road – Country Blues 1969-1974. Several years back Birdman Records purchased Olsson's entire library of recordings. So far the label has issued two releases: Old Country Blues Vol. 1 and Bishop Perry Tillis: Too Close. In 2010 the Sutro Park label issued a vinyl album titled Wolf's At The Door: Lost Recordings From The Spirits Of The South which inlcuded some unreleased recordings by Olsson. I’ll be featuring more of Olsson’s recordings on an upcoming show.

We wrap up the program with a set of field recordings from the album Eigth-Hand Sets & Holy Steps. This album is a document of black folk music from the North Carolina region and recorded in in that state in the 1970's by folklorist Glen Hinson. As the notes state, Hinson "packed up portable tape-recording gear and traveled the state; front porches, living rooms and church sanctuaries served as recording studio." Today we  feature superb performances by under-recorded blues artists James "Guitar Slim" Stephens, Elester Anderson and Alga Mae Hnton. See below for a scan of the booklet that accompanies this collection.

Jumping up to the 70's and 80's we spin some more out-of-print records on the Big Bear and Razor labels. The American Blues Legends tour of 1973, 1975 and 1979 was put on by Big Bear Records  and included Homesick James, Snooky Pryor, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, Lester Davenport, Eddie C. Campbell, Good Rockin' Charles, Nolan Stuck, Chico Chism, Tommy Tucker, Billy Boy Arnold, Eddie Burns and others. This tour spanned a number of weeks and hit many countries in Europe.  Today we spin tracks from the 1975 and 1979 tours and the albums that resulted. There is also an album form the 1973 tour that I believe has been issued on CD.

Sylvia Embry began playing piano as a child and sang in church choirs, moving to Memphis at the age of 19. In the 60s she settled in Chicago, where she met and married blues guitarist Johnny Embry, who taught her to play bass guitar. In the 70s she worked for several years with Lefty Dizz. She shared the credit with her husband on a 45 for Razor Records and the album After Work (1980) on the same label, was part of Alligator Records’ Living Chicago Blues project, and had an album released under the name Blues Queen Sylvia on the German L&R label. Living Blues magazine reported in 1985 that she had turned her back on blues and was playing gospel music. She passed in 1992.

We spin a trio of terrific piano tracks by Otis Spann, Big Walter (The Thuderbird) and Big Joe Duskin. To my mind Otis Spann was the finest ofthe post-war piano players and he left behind an outstanding recorded legacy despite passing at the age of forty in 1970. I finally tracked down one of the more elusive Spann recordings, Up In The Queen's Pad, issued on Victoria Spivey's Spivey label which was recorded at her Brooklyn apartment in 1969. Now Spivey recordings are always quirky affairs, production values are decidedly low-fi and the albums have that slapped togther look. All that applies here but Spann is in great form and ably back by guitarist Sammy Lawhorn and ond of course Spivey herself.  The two clearly were fond of each other which comes through not only on this recording but on the others he did for the label which include both volumes of Bluesmen of the Muddy Waters Chicago Blues Band and the Everlasting Blues vs. Otis Spann album

Also from the out-of-print bin Big Walter Price's "Nothing But The Blues" which comes from the album Houston Ghetto Blues on Flyright. This is a tremendous talking blues number recorded privatley in a Houston club. "Storm In Texas" is Big Joe Duskin's fine rendition of "Texas Flood" and comes from the album San Francisco Blues Festival Vol.2.

I should also mention a couple of tracks we spin by the great Hot Lips Page. Page was of the great swing trumpeters in addition to being a talented blues vocalist, Hot Lips Page's premature passing left a large hole in the jazz world. Page gained early experience in the 1920's performing in Texas, playing in Ma Rainey's backup band. He was with Walter Page's Blue Devils during 1928-1931, and then joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City. Page freelanced in Kansas City and in 1936 was one of the stars in Count Basie's orchestra but, shortly before Basie was discovered, Joe Glaser signed Hot Lips as a solo artist. He died in 1954 at the age of 36. Today's recordings are from 1950 and  inlude one featuring Little Sylvia, "Chocolate Candy Blues", which are her first recordings.she was 14 at the time and like Little Esther, sounded wise beyond her years. . She would soon garner big success when she teamed up With Mickey Baker as Mickey & Sylvia.