Sun 4 Mar 2012
|Walter Bradford||Reward For My Baby||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Walter Bradford||Love For My Baby||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Walter Bradford||Lucy Done Moved||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Rosco Gordon||We're All Loaded (Whiskey Made Me Drunk)||Let's Get High|
|Rosco Gordon||Just In From Texas||Let's Get High|
|Big Memphis Ma Rainey||Call Me Anything, But Call Me||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Big Memphis Ma Rainey||Baby, No, No!||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Little Junior Parker||Sittin', Drinkin' And Thinkin'||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
|Little Junior Parker||Please Baby Blues||Mystery Train|
|Hot Shot Love||Wolf Call Boogie ||Memphis Blues: Important Postwar Blues|
|Kenneth Banks||High||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Billy Love||Hart's Bread Boogie||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
|Little Junior Parker||Dirty Friend Blues||The Duke Recordings Vol. 2|
|Little Junior Parker||Can't Understand||The Duke Recordings Vol. 2|
|Pat Hare||Bonus Pay (Ain't Gonna Be That Way)||Memphis Aggressive Guitars Vol. 1|
|Muddy Waters||I Won't Go On||The Complete Chess Recordings|
|Muddy Waters||Meanest Woman||The Complete Chess Recordings|
|Muddy Waters||Good News||The Complete Chess Recordings|
|Little Junior Parker||Backtracking||The Duke Recordings Vol. 2|
|Little Junior Parker||I Wanna Ramble||Little Junior Parker 1952-1955|
|Muddy Waters||She's Into Something||The Complete Chess Recordings|
|Muddy Waters||When I Get to Thinking||The Complete Chess Recordings|
|James Cotton||Cotton Crop Blues||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
|James Cotton||Hold Me In Your Arms||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
|James Cotton||Straighten Up, Baby||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
|Junior Parker||That's Allright||The Duke Recordings Vol. 1|
|Bobby "Blue" Bland||Farther Up The Road||The Duke Recordings Vol. One|
|Muddy Waters||I've Got My Brand On You||Muddy Waters at Newport 1960|
|Muddy Waters||Hey Hey||The Songs of "Big Bill" Broonzy|
|Muddy Waters||Tell Me Baby||The Songs of "Big Bill" Broonzy|
|Pat Hare||I'm Gonna Murder My Baby (Cheatin' And Lyin' Blues)||Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950 - 1958|
In past shows we've featured great session guitarists like Larry Dale and Lafayette Thomas who spent most of their time out of the spotlight, making their presence known backing others. In that vein we shine the light on guitarist Pat Hare. Hare's aggressive, distorted guitar graced records in the 50's by up and coming Memphis artists like Rosco Gordon, Little Junior Parker, James Cotton, Bobby Bland as well as some fine lesser known artists. In the latter half of the 50's he was a member of the Muddy Waters band and his guitar work can be heard on several sessions and albums from this period. Hare cut just two sides under his own which were not issued until decades later.
Pat Hare was born Auburn Hare, December 20, 1930 in Cherry Valley, Arkansas. In 1940, the family moved to a farm near Parkin, Arkansas, and around the same time young Auburn, whose grandmother nicknamed him Pat, started playing guitar. In his teens he took lessons from Joe Willie Wilkins who played in Sonny Boy Williamson's band, appearing on Sonny Boy's King Biscuit Flour radio show. He also fell in with Howlin' Wolf, and played in Wolf's band on weekends around the Forrest City/West Memphis area while still in his teens. Howlin' Wolf used Hare for his own radio show that broadcast from West Memphis' KWEM, and Hare also appeared on the radio with James Cotton, Willie Nix, Joe Hill Louis and later on Memphis' all black WDIA playing behind his cousin Walter Bradford. It was around this period, on Christmas day 1949, five days after his nineteenth birthday, that Hare married a 13-year-old- girl and set up house in West Memphis.
Pat Hare made his recording debut backing up Bradford on a session held at Sam Phillips' Sun Studio in the spring of 1952. The record, "Dreary Nights b/w Nuthin' But The Blues” (Sun 176) is so rare that no one has actually ever seen a copy. Following his first session with Bradford, was a four-song June 14, 1952 date with Bradford with one track, "Lucy Done Moved", featuring the vocals of L.C. Hubert.
Hare had left Howlin' Wolf's band (or more likely, was fired) in 1952, and it was then he joined up with Little Junior Parker's band, staying with them until April of '53. Hare can be heard on eight sides of Parker's cut between 1954 and 1957. When not touring, he would return to the family farm, and play around Memphis working with various musicians including Johnny Ace, Rosco Gordon, Ike Turner, and James Cotton whose band became his most regular gig of the time. He also became the favorite session guitarist of producer Sam Phillips who had just opened his studio on the corner of Union and Marshall in Memphis.Phillips told Robert Palmer that Hare "had a Fender amp and a pretty good guitar. His pickup was powerful and I think he had a mismatch of impedance. It was a little more than his amp could stand, but it felt good." Colin Escott wrote, in his history of the Sun label: "Hare became a fairly regular fixture at the studio, and his trademark sound – coarse, distorted, marked by aggressive fills and a fondness for playing them under the vocal lines – became something of an early Sun trademark as well." Among he artists he backed from Sun were Big Memphis Ma Rainey, James Cotton, Coy "Hot Shot" Love, Kenneth Banks and Billy Love.
At the age of 14 Willie Mae Glover AKA Big Memphis Ma Rainey ran away from home and joined a traveling medicine show operated by a man named Jim Hayden. She gave up performing in medicine shows in 1928 and settled in Memphis where she began performing in Vaudevillian productions. During these years, she performed with various itinerant blues musicians passing through the city. She befriended B. B. King during his early years and used to take care of him by cooking for him and she would frequently meet with him at local hamburger joints after performances. She cut two sides, "Call Me Anything, But Call Me b/w Baby, No, No!", for Sun in 1953.
At Sun Records Hare appeared on early James Cotton singles, among the best ever issued under Cotton's name,“My Baby b/w Straighten Up Baby” (Sun 199) and “Cotton Crop Blues b/w Hold Me In Your Arms” (Sun 206).
Coy "Hot Shot" Love lived on Gayoso Street in Memphis, an itinerant musician and sometime sign-painter who got his one moment of glory in the recording studio on January 8, 1954, when he entered Sam Phillips' Sun Studios to record "Wolf Call Boogie" b/w "Harmonica Jam," backed by Mose Vinson at the piano, Pat Hare on guitar, Kenneth Banks on bass, and Houston Stokes on the drums. Love did cut one more 45 recorded by George Paulus of Barrelhouse Records at Steve LaVere's Shop in Memphis in mid August 1973. The songs are "Hot Shot Boogie", "Foxchase Boogie" and "Freight Train Blues" and issued under the Mr. Bo Weevil imprint.
Kenneth Banks cut two sides, "High b/w Blue Man", for Sun in 1954. Both these songs were recorded twice at separate session (on January 8, 1954 and January 11, 1954 with Ike Turner's band) both times feature Hare on guitar. Both sessions went unissued. Banks was a bass player who can be heard on sessions by Coy "Hot Shot" Love, James Cotton.
Billy Love did some session work for Sam Phillips, backing Walter Horton, Rufus Thomas and Willie Nix, before he got the chance to cut his own record as a singer-pianist. He did some sessions for Sun in 1951 and on January 19, 1954 Love returned to the Sun studio with a new band and cut five titles. One more session was recorded at the Sun studio, resulting in "Blues Leave Me Alone" and the promotional record "Hart's Bread Boogie" for the Hart's bakery in Memphis, both featuring Hare on guitar.
Hare is the listed guitarist on two songs by Clifton White cut for Sun in December 1953 with Billy Love, Kenneth Banks, Harvey Simmons and Houston Stokes. These songs were never issued. Hare is also on the unissued Sun June 1953 Sun number, "You Can't Love Two" backing Billy Gayles.
In addition to Sun, Hare was involved in several sessions with Duke Records, a label with Memphis roots. Duke Records was started in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1952 by David James Mattis (WDIA program director and DJ) and Bill Fitzgerald, owners of Tri-State Recording Company. After forming a partnership with Mattis in the summer of 1952, Don Robey (founder of Houston's Peacock Records) took control of Duke. Both labels then headquartered at his Bronze Peacock club at 2809 Erastus Street in Houston.
Junior Parker was at the center of a lawsuit in late 1955 against Don Robey and Duke Records. Sun Records charged that Robey induced Parker to break an exclusive contract with Sun to go to Duke and filed for damages. The judge ruled in favor of Sun Records and Robey was liable for unspecified damages to be paid to Sun. We hear Hare today backing Parker on several Duke sides: "Dirty Friend Blues, "Can't Understand", "Sittin', Drinkin' And Thinkin", "Please Baby Blues", "Backtracking", "I Wanna Ramble" and "That's Allright."
Hare also appears on sides by Rosco Gordon and Bobby "Blue" Bland cut for Duke. Hare plays on Bobby "Blue" Bland's hit Further Up The Road (Duke 170) where his guitar is featured prominently. Hare went back on the road with Bland until he fired him sometime in 1957. Hare backs Gordon on a couple of sessions for Duke as well as on several sides cut for RPM and Modern.
In The Blues Discography 1943-1970 Hare is listed as possibly being the guitarist on a five-song Johnny Ace session cut for Duke in 1954. I've listened to these sides and I'm not convinced Hare is the guitarist.
Blues Unlimited: Little Jr. Parker, standing (far left), Bobby "Blue" Bland,
kneeling (far left), Pat Hare, standing (far right). South Carolina, 1952.
In May of '54, Sam Phillips decided to record Pat Hare under his own name. James Cotton was scheduled to play harmonica on the session but the two got into a fist fight that day, and Cotton disappeared. Instead, Hare is backed up by Israel Franklin on bass and Billy Love on piano on the two tunes. The first is a tough reading of Dr. Clayton's “Cheatin' & Lyin' Blues”, retitled on the tape box “I'm Gonna Murder My Baby” and “Bonus Pay” which is actually a cover of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson's “Ain't Gonna Be That Way.” Phillips chose not to release Hare's disc which would not be heard until it slipped out on a bootleg on the Redita label in 1976, and later appeared on Charley Records' Sun Blues Box in the eighties. “I'm Gonna Murder My Baby” was a chilling, prophetic performance:
She used to have a mind to stay at home
At night she goes out and stays out all night long
I'm gonna murder my baby
(Spoken: she just doin' wrong, I can't stand it no more, judge, she just ain't no good.
I'm gonna do something to that woman, that's the reason I come to see you…)
She don't do nothing but cheat and lie
In 1957, James Cotton, who had joined Muddy Waters' band, brought Hare to Chicago to replace Jimmy Rogers. Hare became a regular member of the Muddy Waters band, appearing on the legendary Live at Newport album and numerous sessions backing Muddy between 1956 and 1960. At Newport 1960 showcases Muddy Waters live at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island on July 3. Muddy's band, minus Waters, also backed John Lee Hooker on the same date at Newport on five numbers.
He's also the guitarist on the album Muddy Waters Sings "Big Bill" from 1960 a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy who passed two years prior. Muddy would undoubtedly get Broonzy's approval. "Oh yeah, Muddy is a real singer for the Blues," Big Bill was heard to say early on in Muddy Waters' career. Full of confidence after a Best Of compilation released on the Chess label in 1959 and his legendary appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, Muddy set down his heartfelt tribute to Broonzy. The band features: James Cotton, hca, Otis Spann, p; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephens, b; Francis Clay, dr. Hare did not get along with Leonard Chess and was not featured much on the Chess discs although his playing shines on a number of cuts. His trademark distorted sonic attack is replaced by a cleaner, low volume sound. Probably at Leonard Chess' insistence, trying to make him sound more like Jimmy Rogers who favored a more twangy sound.
|Pat Hare (right) with James Cotton, 1959|
By accounts Hare was mild when sober but drunk became violent and aggressive. Shortly after 1960 he was fired from Muddy's band for being drunk once too often. In '63 Hare returned to the family farm in Parkin,Arkansas and it was there that former Muddy Waters sidemen Mojo Buford and Jojo Williams tracked him down. They were starting a new band in Minneapolis and brought Harenorth to play with them. Soon they were gigging at Mattie's Bar-B-Q in South Minneapolis. On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 15, 1963 Hare spent the afternoon drinking wine with well known blues drummer S. P. Leary.Hare at the time was living with a married woman named Aggie Winje. Pat called a friend of Aggie's named Pat Morrow who drove him to a third friend's house where he drank a half pint of gin. When Hare got home he took a couple of potshots at Aggie. They continued to fight, soon, more shots were heard and the police were called. Officer James E. Hendricks, armed with a shotgun headed to Hare's apartment and was heard to say "Give me the gun", followed by three shots. When Office Langaard, a few steps behind his partner arrived to see Hendricks on the floor and Hare pointing a pistol at him. Aggie was on the couch with two bullet holes in her. Langaard shot Pat Hare twice and called for back up. Officer Hendricks died en route to the hospital and Aggie would die on January 22, 1964. The trial, held February 14, 1964 lasted all of one day and Pat Hare was found guilty of first degree murder of Officer Hendricks while at the same time pleading guilty to third degree murder in the case of Aggie Winje's shooting. He was sentenced to life in prison and was sent off to Stillwater State Prison
In prison Hare joined AA and quit drinking, he played in the prison band, Sounds Incarcerated, playing jazz, country, blues, and rock ' n 'roll to fellow inmates and later the band was allowed to travel outside the prison, appearing at public events, concerts, hospitals, and other venues. He was often allowed to leave the prison to perform music, even appearing with Muddy Waters at a local concert where Muddy was opening for Eric Clapton. He was filmed in 1980 for a local Minnesota TV show called PM Magazine, and was about to be given a medical pardon when he succumbed to cancer on September 26, 1980. By the time of his death, the ironic story of Pat Hare and "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" had entered blues folklore. There was an interview with him, done in prison, that appeared in Living Blues magazine, and later a long feature about him in Juke Blues.