Sun 20 Oct 2013
|Richard "Rabbit" Brown||James Alley Blues||Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice|
|Richard "Rabbit" Brown||Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice||Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice
|Boogie Bill Webb||Bad Dog||Rural Blues Vol. 3|
|Boogie Bill Webb||Drinkin' And Stinkin'||Roosevelt Holts & Friends|
|Snooks Eaglin||Country Boy Down In New Orleans||Country Boy Down In New Orleans|
|Snooks Eaglin||Mama Don't You Tear My Clothes||Country Boy Down In New Orleans|
|Arzo Youngblood||Four Women Blues||Goin' Up The Country|
|Arzo Youngblood||Bye And Bye Blues||Goin' Up The Country|
|Babe Stovall||Woman Blues||Babe Stovall Story|
|Babe Stovall||I'm Gwine To New Orleans||Babe Stovall|
|Babe Stovall||The Ship Is At The Landing||The Old Ace|
|Newton Greer||Born Dead||Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King|
|Harmonica Williams & Little Freddie King||Baby Don't You Know||Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King|
|Richard "Rabbit" Brown||Sinking Of The Titanic||Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice|
|Richard "Rabbit" Brown||I'm Not Jealous||Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice|
|Boogie Bill Webb||Boogie||Rual Blues Vol. 3|
|Boogie Bill Webb||Big Road Blues||Living Country Blues USA – Introduction|
|Snooks Eaglin||Mailman Passed||Country Boy Down In New Orleans|
|Snooks Eaglin||Lonesome Road||I Bluskvarter Vol. 3|
|Arzo Youngblood||I Can't Be Successful||Living Country Blues USA – Introduction|
|Arzo Youngblood||Goin Up The Country||Living Country Blues:Vol. 7|
|Lemone Nash||New Orleans Blues||The Country Blues -Storyville Blues Anthology Vol.10|
|Edgar Blanchard & Papa Lightfoot||Creole Gal Blues||Down Home Blues Classics 1943-1953|
|Monroe Vincent AKA Polka Dot Slim||Ain't Broke, Ain't Hungry||Forest City Joe & Polka Dot Slim: Downhome Delta Harmonica|
|Pee Wee Hughes||Sugar Mama||Juke Joint Blues: Good Time Rhythm & Blues 1943 -1956|
|Pee Wee Hughes||I'm A Country Boy||Juke Joint Blues: Good Time Rhythm & Blues 1943 -1956|
|Babe Stovall||Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind||The Old Ace|
|Babe Stovall||Worried Blues||The Old Ace|
|Babe Stovall||See See Rider||South Mississippi Blues|
|Harmonica Williams & Little Freddie King||Highway 82||Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King|
|Little Freddy King||The King Special||Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King|
|Harmonica Williams & Little Freddie King||Juke Boy||Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King|
I had been toying around with the idea of this show for awhile and was finally inspired to put this together after reading Scott Baretta's article, "Downhome New Orleans Blues", a couple of months back in Living Blues magazine. New Orleans has always been a music city, and some would say jazz was its most significant invention, formed around the dawn of the twentieth century and passed on to the rest of America and the world thereafter. That being said, anyone who's listened o the early New Orleans jazz records knows that blues was the bedrock for many of the bands such as Oscar 'Papa' Celestin, Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Louis Dumaine, The Chicago Footwarmers, Freddie Keppard and Johnny Dodds among others.
Certainly before the war the blues not well documented on record outside of early performers like Richard "Rabbit" Brown, Lizzie Miles and Blu Lu Barker. Even in the 1940's the scene was dominated by jazz and dixieland bands like Kid Thomas, Billie and De De Pierce, George Lewis and John Handy. During the 1940's and into the 1950s a distinctly New Orleans approach to blues and R&B emerged. Usually piano-driven and backed by inventive rhythms that showed the marked influence of second-line marching and brass bands. While surrounding states like Mississippi, Texas had significant downhome blues scenes that's not the case with New Orleans. Today's show documents some of the few downhome New Orleans bluesmen who made records including the pre-war blues of Richard “Rabbit” Brown, and post-war sides by Snooks Eaglin, Boogie Bill Webb, Arzo Youngblood, Babe Stovall and others. Below is some background on today's featured performers.
Born circa 1880, Richard "Rabbit" Brown spent much of his life in New Orleans where he was reported to have worked as a street singer and singing boatman on Lake Ponchartrain. On March 11, 1927, Brown cut six sides for the recording pioneer Ralph Peer. Brown was a very much the songster and his recordings are an interesting mix of original blues, pop covers and event songs like his "Sinking Of The Titanic" and "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child." Brown passed away in 1937. It's been suggested that Brown also be he man behind Blind Willie Harris who cut "Does Jesus Care? b/w Where He Leads Me I Will Follow" for Victor in New Orleans in 1929. In the notes to Dust-To-Digital's Goodbye Babyblon box set the following is noted: "Two swallows don't make a summer either, but the resemblance of Willie Harris' voice and guitar to those of Richard 'Rabbit' Brown suggest the existence of a local shared troubadour style. The voice on this track and the accompanying side Does Jesus Care is strikingly similar to the 5 titles recorded by Brown in New Orleans in March 1927. This is B.W.H's only recording."
|Read Liner Notes|
Lemon Nash played with Richard "Rabbit" "Brown in the 1920's. Nash was one of the few musicians who remembered Brown. In an interview in 1959 he recalled that Brown made his money playing on the streets of New Orleans' sporting district. He was a regular at Mama Lou's on Lake Pontchartrain. If "business was slow and [Brown] need a ride home, he would turn in a false fire alarm." The firemen answered the call and found out it was only their friend, who sang to them as they went back to the station. "He knew all the firemen," Nash recalled, and they did not seem to mind the inconvenience. For Nash, Brown seems to have been a comic figure with little musical talent. He "played so badly, I had to let him go," Nash remembered. "He just hit the guitar and yell." Brown was "what you call a clown man." Nash was a veteran of many string bands of and cut a handful of sides in 1959 and 1960 including today's featured track "New Orleans Blues".
Born in 1907 in Tylertown, MS, Babe Stovall was the youngest of 11 children, most of them musicians. Stovall learned guitar when he was around eight years old, and was soon playing breakdowns, frolics, and parties in the area, even meeting and learning "Big Road Blues" from Tommy Johnson. He moved to Franklinton, LA, in the 1930's, and split his time between there and Tylertown for several years, picking up whatever work he could as a farmhand. In 1964 he moved to New Orleans, where he was "discovered" working as a street singer in the French Quarter. He recorded an LP for Verve in 1964, simply titled Babe Stovall (re-released on CD by Flyright in 1990), and did further sessions in 1966 (released on CD by Southern Sound as The Babe Stovall Story) and with Bob West in 1968 (which form the basis of The Old Ace: Mississippi Blues & Religious Songs, released on Arcola in 2003), and became active on the folk and blues college circuit, as well as holding down a house gig at the Dream Castle Bar in New Orleans. He passed in 1974.
Boogie Bill Webb was born in Jackson, Mississippi, his greatest influence was Tommy Johnson. He settled in New Orleans in 1952. Webb obtained a recording contract with Imperial Records, after his friendship with Fats Domino led to his introduction to Dave Bartholomew. In 1953 Webb released his debut single, "Bad Dog" and three other songs at this session. Frustrated by lack of recognition, Webb relocated to Chicago, where he worked in various factories. Webb returned to New Orleans in 1959 to work as a stevedore, performing music infrequently. However, in the late 60's he recorded several songs for the folklorist David Evans, which appeared on several anthologies. In the 1970's Webb began performing in Europe. Finally in 1989, with financial assistance from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Webb released his only full-length record, Drinkin' and Stinkin'. Webb died in New Orleans in August 1990, at the age of 66.
|Read Liner Notes|
Azo Youngblood was a pal of Boogie Bill Webb and learned guitar as a teenager from Tommy Johnson who married Youngblood's aunt. Youngblood was first recorded in 1966 by David Evans with songs appearing on the anthology Goin' Up The Country on Decca and other sides on the collection The Legacy Of Tommy Johnson. He was recorded a final time in 1980 by Axel Küstner and Siegfried Christmann with songs appearing on the Living Country Blues USA series of albums.
In 1947, at the age of 11, Snooks Eaglin won a talent contest organized by the radio station WNOE by playing "Twelfth Street Rag". Three years later, he dropped out of the school for the blind to become a professional musician. In 1952, Eaglin joined the Flamingos, a local seven-piece band started by Allen Toussaint.He stayed with The Flamingos for several until the mid-1950's. The first recordings under his own name came when Harry Oster, a folklorist from Louisiana State University, found him playing in the streets of New Orleans. Oster made recordings of Eaglin between 1958 and 1960 during seven sessions which later became records on various labels including Folkways, Folklyric, and Prestige/Bluesville. He started waxing R&B records for Imperial Records with the help of producer Dave Bartholomew in 1960 and stuck with the label through 1963. Eaglin's resurgence came with his signing to Black Top in the 80's where he cut a series of great records though the 90's.
We spotlight several cuts from the LP Harmonica Williams with Little Freddie King cut for the Ahura Mazda label in 1971. This is supposedly the first electric blues album recorded in New Orleans and marks the debut of Little Freddie King. It would take until 1995 before King made his full-length debut with Swamp Boogie. In addition to Williams and King there is a powerful version of J.B. Lenoir's "Born Dead" sung by Newton Greer. Greer was a local club owner and a blues singer who often worked with local groups.
A guitarist and band leader, Edgar Blanchard was a permanent feature of the New Orleans music scene from the 40s to the 60s. In 1947 he was in charge of the resident band at the Down Beat Club on Rampart Street, with Roy Brown as one of the vocalists. Blanchard’s most well-known band was the Gondoliers. Although he frequently played on sessions, Blanchard seldom recorded under his own name. "Creole Gal" is the only downhome song he recorded, this one featuring Papa Lightfoot on harmonica.
Monroe Vincent AKA Polka Dot Slim was born in Woodville, MS., and was influenced by the harmonica playing of Sonny Boy Williamson I. Vincent made his debut in 1956 recording a single for Excello as Vince Monroe. In 1957 he recorded over two dozen sides for the Zynn label but only released two recordings. Vincent returned to recording in 1965 and the following year waxing two singles for Instant & Apollo. Even after his recording career stalled, he remained a fixture on the New Orleans performing scene up until about 1976.
Nothing is known about Pee Wee Hughes. Hughes cut four sides for the Deluxe label in 1949 in New Orleans.