Sun 22 Nov 2015
|Clifton Chenier||Yesterday (I Lost My Best Friend)||Zodico Blues and Boogie|
|Dewey Corley||Last Night||On The Road Again|
|Kansas City Kitty||Double Trouble||Kansas City Kitty 1930-1934|
|Famous Hokum Boys||You Can't Get Enough Of That Stuff||The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2|
|Harum Scarum||Come On In (Ain't Nobody Here)||Blues Images Vol. 9|
|Scrapper Blackwell||Nobody Knows When You're Down And Out||Mr. Scrapper's Blues|
|Joe Callicott||Great Long Ways From Home||The 1968 Memphis Country Blues Festival|
|Henry Johnson||Sittin' Down Thinkin'||Carolina Country Blues|
|Lane Hardin||Cartey Blues||Blues Images Vol. 9|
|Wright Holmes||Drove From Home Blues||Alley Special|
|Smoky Babe||Talkin' Baby||The Country Blues|
|Willie Nix||Riding in the Moonlight||Sun Records The Blues Years 1950-1958|
|Blind Leroy Garnett||Frisco Bound||The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2|
|Buddy Boy Hawkins||Snatch It And Grab It||Buddy Boy Hawkins And His Buddies|
|Carolina Peanut Boys||You Got Me Rollin'||Vintage Mandolin Music|
|Geechie Smith||The Kaycee Kid||Swinging Small Combos Kansas City Style Vol. 2|
|Jo Jo Adams||Jo-Jo's Troubles||Jo-Jo Adams 1946-1953|
|Lavarda Durst||I Cried||Houston Might Be Heaven Vol. 1|
|Big Joe Turner||Just A Travelin' Man||Big Joe Turner: Classic Hits 1938-1952|
|Kid Prince Moore||South Bound Blues||Kid Prince Moore 1936-1938|
|Willie Harris||West Side Blues||Favorite Country Blues Guitar: Piano Duets 1929-1937|
|Sylvester Weaver||Bottleneck Blues||Bottleneck Blues Guitar Classics 1926-1937|
|D.C. Bender||Woke Up This Morning||In The Alley: The Story of Ivory Records|
|Mabel Franklin w/ D.C. Bender||Unhappy Woman||Stompin' Vol. 9|
|Bill Gaither||Rocky Mountain Blues||Bill Gaither Vol. 2 1936-1938|
|Lightnin' Hopkins||Rocky Mountain||The Complete Prestige / Bluesville Recordings|
|Big Chief Ellis||Rocky Mountain Blues||Big Chief Ellis|
|Jaybird Coleman||Mistreatin' Mama||Stuff That Dreams are Made Of|
|Sonny Boy Williamson||Mattie Mae Blues||The Original Sonny Boy Williamson Vol. 2|
|Alex||Prison Blues||Prison Songs Vol. 1: Murderous Home|
|Little Son Willis||Baby Come Back Home||Down Home Blues Classics: California & The West Coast 1948 -1954|
|Thunder Smith||West Coast Blues||Unfinished Boogie: Western Blues Piano 1946-1952|
The last few weeks we've featured a pair of interesting interviews with another one ready to air shortly. We pause with the interviews this week with an interesting mix show today. On deck today are some fine hokum blues from a group of famous bluesmen who recorded under several different names, we have a couple of sets devoted to well known blues numbers, we play a couple of tracks featuring underrated guitarist D.C. Bender, we hear from some fine blues crooners and are usual mix of down-home and pre-war blues.
We play a set of hokum blues by the groups the Famous Hokum Boys, Harun Scarum and a song credited to Kansas City Kitty. The Famous Hokum Boys "You Can't Get Enough Of That Stuff" is a typical good time hokum piece.The group was a loose-knit aggregation of blues singers that included Georgia Tom, Tampa Red, and Big Bill Broonzy. The Harum Scarums included Big Bill Broonzy, Georgia Tom Dorsey and Jane Lucas on vocals. This record was issued on Paramount in 1931 but no known copies of the Paramount record have been found. The record was issued by two other companies, Crown and Varsity which used the Paramount master. As record collector John Tefteller said: "I’ve had the ad for a long time, but there was no copy on Paramount anywhere I could find,” he said. “This last year, somebody said, 'Why aren’t you using that,' and I said, ‘Yeah, find me that record.’”"Double Trouble" is a fine straight blues numbers sporting some excellent piano work from most likely Eddie Morgan.
While the music is fairly straightforward, unraveling who Kansas City Kitty and who Jane Lucas were is much more complicated. Researcher/writer Howard Rye attempted to make sense of it all. "The only certainty about "Kansas City Kitty" is that she never existed. The pseudonym was applied by Vocalion in 1930/31 to a singer or singers who recorded mainly hokum material in duets with Georgia Tom Dorsey. In 1934, the name was re-used by Victor's Bluebird subsidiary for a solo vocal session with different accompaniment. … In the early 1960s and again in the mid-1970s, Thomas A. Dorsey, who should have known, if anyone still did, whose identity was concealed by 'Kansas City Kitty', told interviewers she was Mozelle Alderson. He also stated that Jane Lucas, who made a number of similar records in 1930 for Gennett's Champion label, was the same singer. As it is generally conceded that the singer who recorded in the same idiom earlier in 1930 for the American Record Company's labels as 'Hannah May' is the same person as Gennett's Jane Lucas, these would also be by Mozelle Alderson. …The Vocalion file cards for Kansas City Kitty's unissued session of 21 January 1931 (which are in the CBS filing) name the singer as Mozelle Alderson. Aurally, it seems quite possible that all the 1930/31 recordings by 'Kansas City Kitty', 'Hannah May' and 'Jane Lucas' are by the same singer and their style is consistent with Mozelle Alderson's 1930 recordings. …The Victor files and composer credits are said by Blues and Gospel Records 1902-1943 to 'tend to confirm' (whatever that means!) that Kansas City Kitty's real name was Thelma Holmes. This identification was given as a fact in a 1961 article by Paul Oliver (Jazz Monthly, November 1961) but no source is stated."
We spin a trio of 'Rocky Mountain Blues" songs. The oft covered “Rocky Mountain Blues” was first recorded by Bill Gaither in 1937. The song must have been popular as he recorded “New Rocky Mountain Blues” in 1939. The theme has been recorded many times over the years including versions by Lightnin' Hopkins (he cut the song in 1947 for Aladdin and again in the 60's for Prestige) , Champion Jack Dupree, Pete Franklin, Big Chief Ellis and others.
We also feature two songs based on Little Walter's classic "Last Night" which he cut in 1954. Walter told an English journalist "I made 'Last Night' after my best friend Henry Strong got killed …he was my best friend, so I made 'Last Night' as a tribute to him." The song was recorded a month after strong was stabbed to death by a jealous girlfriend . Strong was supposed to take the harmonica chair in Muddy Waters band but that ended up being filled by George "Harmonica" Smith. From 1995 we Clifton Chenier's "Yesterday (I Lost My Best Friend)" from 1955 and Dewey Corley's "Last Night" in 1972.
|D.C. Bender, source: Blues Unlimited 148/149 (Winter 1987)|
D.C. Bender used Houston as his base in the 1940's , playing alongside Lightnin’ Hopkins, Smokey Hogg, Wright Holmes and Luther Stoneham. He recorded for the Gold Star label as DC Washington in 1948, and, five years later, accompanied Big Son Tillis on a session recorded in Los Angeles for the Elko label. He did not record again until he backed Mabel Franklin on a single in 1964. The same year he also backed singer Calvin Johnson. By that time he had joined drummer Ivory Lee Semien’s band, with who he recorded a version of ‘Boogie Chillen’ in 1967 for Semien’s Ivory label. Other songs from that session were unissued. In 1967 he also backed singer Big H Williams on on record. Bender died in Houston in 1982.
Speaking of the aforementioned Wright Holmes, we play his "Drove From Home Blues" today. Holmes was based in Houston from 1930, by which time he was already a blues singer and guitarist, working in clubs on Dowling Street. His first recordings in 1947 for Gold Star were not issued because the producer felt he sounded too much like Lightnin’ Hopkins. Later that year others sides were issued by Miltone and Gotham. In all he only left three songs behind.
A couple of weeks back I interviewed Bill Greensmith. In the preface to Blues Unlimited: Essential Interviews from the Original Blues Magazine he wrote: "The Chicago R&B and jump music scene of the 1940s and '50s happily coexisted alongside the more celebrated and familiar down-home amplified style of Muddy Waters. Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter. …In 1974 Mike Leadbitter, in a column titled 'Chicago Flipside', was one of the first people to bemoan the fact that these artists, the clubs they performed in, and the companies who were recording them were largely undocumented." One of these artists was Jo Jo Adams heard today on the fine "Jo-Jo's Troubles." Adams was once quite a celebrity in the 1940s and 1950s Chicago music and entertainment circle. He was comedian/singer/dancer/emcee and leader of a successful revue. He first recorded in 1946 for the Melody Lane Record Shop label become Hy-Tone Records and the two Adams releases were reissued on the new label. During the summer of 1946, Adams was in Los Angeles, recording for Aladdin Records with the Maxwell Davis All Stars. By the end of the year, he was back in Chicago recording for Hy-Tone. In 1947 and 48, he recorded a sessions for Aristocrat Records with Tom Archia's All Stars. In 1952 he cut six sides for Chance Records and his last known release was issued the following year on Al Benson's Parrot label. His complete recordings have been collected on the Classics label.