|Rock Heart Johnson||Rock Heart Blues||RCA Downhome Blues Vol. 1|
|Rock Heart Johnson||Midnight Rambler||RCA Downhome Blues Vol. 1|
|Henry Clement||Late Hour Blues||Bluesin' By The Bayou: I'm Not Jiving|
|Clarence Garlow||I Feel Like Calling You||Bluesin' By The Bayou: I'm Not Jiving|
|Juke Boy Bonner||I'm Not Jiving||Bluesin' By The Bayou: I'm Not Jiving|
|Sonny Chestain||Po' Boy Long Way From Home||Fort Valley Blues 1941-1943|
|B.B. King||Long Nights||Here's One You Didn't Know About From the RPM & Kent Vaults|
|B.B. King||Strange Things||Treasures Untold|
|Kid Bailey||Rowdy Blues||Masters of the Delta Blues: Friends of Charlie Patton|
|Blind Willie McTell||Lay Some Flowers On My Grave||Best Of|
|Curley Weaver||Birmingham Gambler||Curly Weaver 1933-1935|
|Son Becky||Midnight Trouble Blues||San Antonio Blues 1937|
|Eddie Mack||Seven Days Blues||Eddie Mack 1947-1952|
|Dave Bartholomew||The Golden Rule||Dave Bartholomew 1950-1952|
|Luke Jones||Graveyard Blues||West Coast R&B 1947-1952|
|Frank Brown & The Ford Nelson Quintet||Still Lookin' For A Change||RCA Downhome Blues Vol. 1|
|Buster Bennett||Crazy Woman Blues||Buster Bennett 1945-1947|
|Willis Jackson||Howling At Midnight||Willis Jackson 1950-1954|
|Bo Weavil Jackson||Some Scream High Yellow||Guitar Wizards 1926-1935|
|Skip James||22-20 Blues||Juke Joint Saturday Night|
|Roosevelt Sykes||32-20 Blues||The Way I Feel: The Best Of Roosevelt Sykes And Lee Green|
|Robert Johnson||32-20 Blues||The Centennial Collection|
|Lightnin' Hopkins||Blues For Queen Elizabeth||The Rooster Crowed In England|
|Champion Jack Dupree||London Special||London Special|
|Big Joe Williams||This Old London Town||Don't Your Plums Look Mellow Hanging on Your Tree|
|John Lee Hooker||My Story||My Story|
|Eugene Rhodes||Working on the Levee||Talkin' About My Time|
|Southern Negro Quartette||Moanin' Groanin' Blues||The Earliest Negro Vocal Groups Vol. 3 1921-1924|
|Helen Gross||Undertaker's Blues||Jazz & Blues On Edison Vol. 1 1920-1929|
|Viola McCoy||Memphis Bound Jazz & Blues On Edison||Jazz & Blues On Edison Vol. 1 1920-1929|
|Rock Heart Johnson||Evilest Woman in Town||RCA Downhome Blues Vol. 1|
|Rock Heart Johnson||Black Spider||RCA Downhome Blues Vol. 1|
It's been awhile since we've done a mix show. Lots of interesting records on tap today including spinning the recorded output of Rock Heart Johnson, a trio of sides from Ace's recent Bluesin' By The Bayou collection, two from B.B. King from new collections, two sides from the LP Fort Valley Blues, a set devoted to the song "32-20 Blues", a set related to songs about bluesman singing about England and a pair of numbers recorded for the Edison label. The rest of the show is filled out with some great pre-war blues, a dose of jump blues and some excellent down-home blues.
We open and close the show with the complete output of singer and harp player James "Rock Heart" Johnson. Johnson was from Texas and came to work in L.A. during the immediate postwar years. He recorded four tracks in L.A. on July, 22nd 1952 backed by Maxwell Davis on tenor, Jeanne Jamerson on piano, Red Callender on bass and Buddy Harper on drums. He was a very appealing singer backed by a good combo with a sound that seems to hark back to the sound of a decade prior.
Bluesin' By The Bayou: I'm Not Jiving is the latest installment in a series of great collections of Louisiana blues issued by the Ace label. Baton Rouge was arguably the blues center of Louisiana and just about all of the artists featured in this compilation spent part of their lives there. Featured artists include Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, Slim Harpo and Silas Hogan who all honed their skills in its clubs and bars, although they traveled some 70 miles west to record at J.D. Miller’s studio in Crowley. Everything here emanated from Miller’s studio or from his close rival Eddie Shuler’s facility in Lake Charles. Back in the 70's the Flyright label mined much of the same material. With the assistance of Miller, Flyright launched a series called the The Legendary Jay Miller Sessions to issue this material. The series ran to over fifty volumes. Several years ago I did an entire show devoted to the series which can be heard here.
|Read Liner Notes|
We feature a pair of tracks from the long out-of-print album, Fort Valley Blues, released on the Flyright label in 1974. Fort Valley, the seat of Peach County, Georgia, lies about 20 miles southwest of Macon. Every spring the State College used to hold a music festival, and in 1940 the College's President, Horace Mann Bond, inspired by the singing in a rural church he had visited, decided to augment the festival with a folk music The Library of Congress got involved in 1941 when John Work started recording some of the performers with more recordings made in 1943.
B.B. King died at age the 89 on May 14, 2015 and since then there have been several posthumous releases. One is Ace"s Here's One You Didn't Know About From The RPM & Kent Vaults which includes over twenty sides issued for the first time. From that album we spotlight "Long Nights (The Feeling They Call the Blues)" a fine after hour blues. Then there's the incredible 17-CD limited edition set, The Complete Kent/RPM Recordings 1950 to 1965 issued on the Japanese P-Vine label. The box also comes with a vinyl LP titled Treasures Untold, with lots of rare BB King material and also comes with a Japanese edition of the book The Arrival of BB King by Charles Sawyer. I just got this behemoth so I've really haven't had a chance to dive in but thought I should play at least one track for today's show. From that set we spin the tough "Strange Things." More to come on future shows.
"I put in for my citizenship papers and I'm going back to London for sure. Because if the good Lord lets me live I'm not going back to the States no more …" sings Sonny Boy Williamson on I'm Trying To Make London My Home with a little help on guitar from Hubert Sumlin on a live 1964 recording recorded at the American Folk Blues Festival. Unfortunately Sonny Boy died the following year while back in the States on tour so didn't get to live in London full time, despite adopting the trademark two-tone, city gentleman's suit (complete with bowler hat, rolled umbrella and attache case full of harmonicas). That song was also the title of a show I did awhile back on blues recorded overseas. Sonny Boy wasn't the only one to sing about London and of course numerous bluesman got to visit Europe beginning with a trickle in the 50's and opening full throttle in the 60's. Today we hear Lightnin' Hopkins performing his "Blues For Queen Elizabeth", Champion Jack Dupree singing his "London Special" from an EP of the same name and Big Joe Williams delivering "This Old London Town."
"32-20 Blues" was recorded by Robert Johnson during his second recording session in San Antonio, Texas, on November 26, 1936. The title refers to .32-20 Winchester ammunition, which could be used in handguns as well as smaller rifles. The song is based on the Skip James 1931 song "22-20 Blues" which was done at the request of Paramount Records who wanted successful “gun blues” to cover Roosevelt Sykes’ "44 Blues" cut in 1929. Sykes cut a sequel to his own song, "32-20 Blues", in 1930 which also may have been a source for James' song. An earlier source for the song may have been Bo Weavil Jackson's "Some Scream High Yellow" recorded in 1926. The tune itself is also similar to many other blues songs like Cannons Jug Stompers' "Minglewood Blues" and Hambone Willie Newbern's "Roll And Tumble Blues."
Thomas Edison's pioneering Edison Records recorded seemingly everything under the sun between 1914 and 1929, including a host of vaudeville sketches, opera, and classical pieces, string bands, jazz dance bands, political speeches and blues. The company ceased making records in 1929, and packed up its catalog in boxes and stored them in an old warehouse until 1976, when Merritt Malvern began the process of transferring everything to archival tape. Most of this material has never been issued in any form, and Document Records in conjunction with the American Sound Archives has undertaken the task of issuing the best of it on CD. So far Document has issued two CD's worth of material. From those collections we play fine singers Viola McCoy, who made quite a number of records, and Helen Gross who cut around twenty sides for the Ajax label between 1924 and 1925.
I'm planning a few sax related shows in the upcoming months and one horn blower I'll be featuring is Buster Bennett who's "Crazy Woman Blues" we hear today. James Joseph "Buster" Bennett was a saxophonist and singer who has been almost completely neglected. He also played piano and string bass professionally during his career. He arrived in Chicago in the summer of 1938 and his last mention in the Chicago Defender came in April 1954. He appeared on twenty-eight recording sessions between 1938 and 1947. His career on record divides neatly into two phases; In the first part of his career he worked as a blues accompanist in the studios backing artists such as Monkey Joe, Big Bill Broonzy, Merline Johnson, Washboard Sam and Jimmie Gordon; during the second part, after being signed as a leader, he was presented as a gut-bucket instrumentalist and blues singer. The sides under his own name have been reissued on the Classics label as Buster Bennett 1945-1947.