Blind Leroy GarnettChain 'Em DownBlues Images Vol. 14
Joe WilliamsMr. Devil BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Mobile StrugglersMemphis BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson Been To Kansas CityBarrelhouse & Rockin' Blues
Pete Johnson Kaycee FeelingMaster Of Blues and Boogie Woogie
Big Duke Henderson Beggin' And Pleadin'Barrelhouse & Rockin' Blues
Freddy ShayneOriginal Mr. Freddie BluesMontana Taylor & 'Freddy' Shayne 1929-1946
Freddy Shayne & Bertha 'Chippie' HillHow LongMontana Taylor & 'Freddy' Shayne 1929-1946
Charles Lacy Rampart Street BluesHollywood Blues
Martee BradleyNow I'll Have To Sing The BluesDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
L.C. Green Remember Way BackDown Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special
Big John WrencherNow Darlin' Harpin' on It
Black Ace Whiskey and WomenBlack Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand
Black Ace Golden SlipperBlack Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand
Eva Taylor Sara Martin Hesitation BluesSara Martin Vol. 1922-1923
Sam Collins Hesitation Blues Sam Collins 1927-1931
Jim Jackson Hesitation BluesJim Jackson Vol. 2 1928-1930
Smith Casey Hesitating BluesTwo White Horses Standin' In Line
Cootie Williams & Eddie Vinson Red BluesCootie Williams And His Orchestra 1941-1944
Eddie Vinson Kidney Stew Is FineKidney Stew Is Fine
Ishman Bracey Woman Woman BluesBlues Images Vol. 14
Charley Patton I'm Going HomeBlues Images Vol. 14
Memphis Minnie I'm Talking About YouBlues Images Vol. 14
Muddy Waters Canary BirdThe Complete Aristocrat & Chess Singles
Leroy Foster Locked Out BoogieLeroy Foster 1948 - 1952
Ma Rainey Hellish RagMother Of The Blues
Mae Glover Shake It DaddyI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Madlyn Davis Winter BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 2
Blind Gussie NesbitPure ReligionWhen I Reach That Heavenly Shore
Boyd Rivers When I Cross OverYou Can't Make Me Doubt
Ruby Glaze Lonesome Day BluesI Can't Be Satisfied Vol. 1
Blind Willie McTell Mama, Let Me Scoop For YouBest Of
Issac Youngblood & Herb Quinn Hesitating BluesSouth Mississippi Blues

Show Notes:

Our final mix show of the year as we cover a wide swath of blues history. On deck today are a whole batch of vintage blues from the the collection of John Tefteller, some excellent Detroit blues, several fine blues ladies as, a history of the "Hesitation Blues" as well as twin spins by Freddie Shayne, Eddie Vinson and the Black Ace.

Every year around this time collector John Tefteller, through his Blues Images imprint, publishes his Classic Blues Artwork Calendar with a companion CD that matches the artwork with the songs. The CD’s have also been one of the main places that newly discovered blues 78’s turn up. These year we get a pair of Big Bill Broonzy sides not heard since the original 78's were released. As usual sound quality is superb using a new restoration process first used last year. This year marks the 14th year of the calendar and CD's. Several years ago Tefteller uncovered a huge cache of Paramount promotional material. Paramount marketed their "race records", as they were called, to African-Americans, most notably in the pages of the Chicago Defender, the weekly African-American newspaper, and sent promotional material to record stores and distributors. Tefteller bought a huge cache of this artwork from a pair of journalists who rescued them from the rubbish heap some twenty years previously and has been reprinting the artwork in his annual calendars.

Freddie Shayne is a shadowy figure who spent his life working in Chicago. He first time on record was backing singer Priscilla Stewart on “Mr. Freddie Blues.” Shayne also made a very rare piano roll of this song. In 1935 Shayne recorded a solo record, “Original Mr. Freddie Blues b/w Lonesome Man Blues.” “Mr. Freddie Blues” became something of a boogie standard covered by many artists including Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Jimmy Blythe, Art Tatum and others. In the 40's he made some recordings for the Circle label where he also backed singer Bertha “Chippie” Hill.

During the 30's and 40's the Black Ace was well known, at least among black audiences, in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. He had a program that aired out of KFJZ, Fort Worth, Texas. He cut two sides for the ARC label in 1936 which were never issued but had better luck the following year cutting six sides for Decca in 1937 all of which were released. It was these sides that would later garner him notice among blues collectors and which led to a fleeting comeback. Comeback is probably not the right word as Turner had no interest in playing blues full time again although thankfully he was persuaded to record two sessions at his Fort Worth home in 1960 which were issued as The Black Ace on Arhoolie (reissued on CD as Black Ace: I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand which includes his 1937 sides plus a few other tracks that appeared on Arhoolie compilations). He was also captured on film for the 1962 documentary The Blues.

Read Liner Notes

"Hesitation Blues" is a popular song adapted from a traditional tune. One version was published by Billy Smythe, Scott Middleton, and Art Gillham and published in 1915. One of the first popular recordings was an instrumental version by the Victor Military Band, made on 15 September 1916. The same traditional tune was also arranged by W.C. Handy and published in 1915 as "Hesitating Blues". Handy's version shares the melody, but the lyrics are different. The son was popular among country and blues artists. Sara Marti and Eva Taylor recorded the song together in 1923, Sam Collins recorded it in 1927, Jim Jackson in 1930 and Smith Casey for the Library of Congress in 1939.  We close our show with one more version, this one done by Issac Youngblood and  Herb Quinn and recorded by David Evans in Tylertown, MS in 1966.

One of the things I've tried to do on this show is play a wide variety of blues, from commercial recordings to filed recordings, spotlighting all facets of the music from string bands jug bands, to piano blues and classic and down home woman singers who seem unjustly neglected. Today we we hear from some wonderful woman singers, some well known like Ma Rainey and Mephis Minnie, to the once famous who are now forgotten like Sara Martin, and Bertha "Chippie" Hill, to the obscure such as Madlyn Davis and Mae Glover. Rainey was right there when the blues was spreading through the country at the beginning of the 20th century. She began performing as a young teenager and became known as Ma Rainey after her marriage to Will Rainey, in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group, Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Comparatively speaking, she was bit late to recording, making her debut in 1923. We pin her "Hellish" rag cut in 1928.

Sara Marin was singing on the Vaudeville circuit by 1915 and made her debut for Okeh Records in 1922. She cut close to one hundred sides through 1928. We hear her on "Hesitation Blues" from 1923 a duet with Eva Taylor.Taylor also made her in 1922 but for the Black Swan label, cutting around seventy sides through 1932. In 1919 Bertha "Chippie" Hill was working as a dancer with Ethel Waters in New York and toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. She cut some two-dozen sides between 1925 and 1929 and made a brief comeback in the 1940's.

wnrcd5095Little is known of Mae Glover who or Madlyn Davis. Glove cut fourteen sides at two sessions; four for Gennet in 1929 and the rest for Champion in 1931. Her best sides are from the first session where she backed by guitarist John Byrd. The two turn in a driving, sexy performance on "I Ain't Givin' Nobody None" and "Shake It Daddy." Madlyn Davis made ten recordings in Chicago, for Paramount Records, with her first session taking place in June 1927. In October 1928, Davis had her final recording stint, with her backing musicians including Georgia Tom Dorsey on piano and Tampa Red on guitar.

We spin a couple of sides from Down Home Blues Detroit: Detroit Special a terrific recent 3-CD collection of vintage Detroit blues recorded between the 1940's and 1960's. The set was compiled by blues scholar Mike Rowe and includes some unissued recordings unearthed from rare acetates and comes with an informative 48 page booklet with some truly great photos. One of the earliest show I aired for Big Road Blues was one on Detroit and I did a follow-up a couple of years ago. Despite that, this set has inspired me to do comprehensive series of shows on Detroit to be aired the beginning of next year.


Thunder SmithSanta-Fe Blues Texas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
Thunder SmithLow Down Dirty Ways Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
Thunder SmithCan't Do Like You Used To Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
L.C. WilliamsStrike BluesTexas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
L.C. WilliamsYou'll Never Miss the WaterTexas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
L.C. WilliamsFannie MaeLightnin' Special Vol. 2
Manny NicholsWalking Talking BluesDown Home Blues Classics: Texas
Manny NicholsNo One to Love MeDown Home Blues Classics: Texas
Manny NicholsForgive Me Down Home Blues Classics: Texas
Ernest Lewis In My Girlish DaysDown Home Blues Classics: Texas
Ernest Lewis West Coast Blues Down Home Blues Classics: Texas
Ernest Lewis No More Lovin' Down Home Blues Classics: Texas
Little Son WillisSkin And BoneLightnin' Special Vol. 2
Little Son WillisNothing But The Blues Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
Little Son WillisBad Luck And Trouble Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
Thunder Smith Big Stars Are Falling Texas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
Thunder SmithCruel Hearted Woman Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
Thunder SmithLittle Mama Boogie Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
L.C. WilliamsThe Lazy JLightnin' Special Vol. 2
L.C. WilliamsHole in the WallTexas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
L.C. WilliamsBoogie All the Time Texas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
Luther StonehamJanuary 11, 1949 BluesDown Home Blues Classics: Texas
Luther StonehamSittin' Here Wonderin' Down Home Blues Classics: Texas
James TisdomWinehead swingHollywood Blues
James TisdomThrow This Dog A Bone Down Home Blues Classics: Texas
J.D. EdwardsPlayboy BluesLightnin' Special Vol. 2
J.D. EdwardsHobo Lightnin' Special Vol. 2
Perry Cain All The Way From TexasTexas Blues (Bill Quinn's Gold Star Recordings)
Andy ThomasAngel ChildDown Home Blues Classics: Texas
Andy ThomasI Love My BabyTexas Country Blues 1948-1951
Sunny JamesPlease Mam Forgive Me Texas Country Blues 1948-1951
Sunny JamesExcuse Me Baby Texas Country Blues 1948-1951
Thunder SmithL.A. BluesCalifornia Blues 1940-1948
L.C. Williams Don't Like To Travel The Mercury Blues & Rhythm Story

Show Notes:

Big Stars Are FallingToday's show s a belated sequel to a series of shows we aired several years back spotlighting some fine West Coast artists that I wanted to feature in more depth. All of today's artists are from Texas, cutting sides for the myriad labels that popped up in Texas and California in the immediate port-war era. All of today's sides were recorded between 1946 and 1953 for small  labels that loom large in blues history such as Gold Star, Freedom, Elko, Swingtime  and Sittin' In With as well as bigger outfits like Aladdin, Imperial and Mercury. The shadow of Lightnin' Hokpkins looms large over these artists, both in style and association, although none garnered the success that Lightnin' would. Hopkins' makes appearances  on sides by Thunder Smith and L.C. Williams. In addition to recording on some of the same labels, some of today's artists intermingled musically such as guitarist Luther Stoneham who can be heard on records by Thunder Smith, Andy Thomas and Sunny James, Thunder Smith who also backed the latter two artists and Ernest Lewis who worked with Little Son Willis. Other artists featured today include Manny Nichols, Ernest Lewis, Little Son Willis, James Tisdom, J.D. Edwards and Perry Cain.

Married to a dentist, Lola Ann Cullum was instrumental in giving Lightning Hopkins his first opportunity as a recording artist for Aladdin Records. Born in Waimer, Texas,she was always interested in blues and knew a good thing when she saw it, in Lightning's case working on Dowling Street with singer Texas Alexander. The plan was to take the pair to Los Angeles, along with pianist Wilson' Thunder' Smith, to record for Aladdin. In the event, Mrs Cullum became wary of Texas Alexander and just took the other two west to California. There, it was she who christened Smith 'Thunder' for the loudness of his playing and Hopkins 'Lightning' for his proficiency as a guitarist her mind, Smith would be the star but turned out otherwise.

Thunder Smith plays piano behind Hopkins on his first two sessions for Aladdin in 1946 and 1947, never achieving the success that Hopkins did. Hopkins backed Smith on a four song session for Aladdin in 1946 with Smith cutting one session apiece in 1947 for Gold Star and in 1948 for Down Town. He reportedly died in Houston in 1965.

Luther Stoneham was born in Phelps, TX. on September 28, 1913. Relocating to Houston later he backed pianist Wilson "Thunder" Smith in 1947 for Gold Star Records. The next year he backed Andrew "Andy" Thomas & Sunny James on recordings and returned again as a sideman to Thunder Smith on discs for Down Town where he assumed the pseudonym of "Rockie". 1949 saw his last tracks as a sideman, playing on twJanuary 11, 1949 Blueso sides with Thomas on the tiny Swing With The Stars label, where he was billed as Luther Stoner. In 1951, he waxed three sides for Mercury under his own name, with one being unissued. Stoneham passed away in Houston on February 25, 1973.

L.C. Williams was a singer/tap dancer who also occasionally drummed behind Hopkins. He arrived in Houston in 1945 and was one of the many characters who hung around in Lightning’s orbit sitting on stoops drinking beer and wine, shooting the breeze with passers-by. He made his first record in 1947 for with Hopkins on piano and guitar. Hopkins plays guitar on a four-song session for Gold Star in 1948 with Williams making some final sides for Eddie’s and Freedom between 1948-1950. He died in Houston of TB in 1960.

Sometime in 1949, Manny Nichols cut just one session at Houston's ACA studios, initially for the tiny FBC label, located in Rosenberg, Texas, some fifty miles south-west of Houston. In the event,only "Walking Talking Blues" and "Tall Skinny Mama Blues" were released, although an acetate of "Walkin' Blues" and "Forgive Me Baby" also survived. The other four titles were sold to Imperial, who subsequently released them as two singles. Nichols was located in the 1970s, living on a farm in Victoria, Texas; a photograph appeared on an Arhoolie album cover but if he was interviewed at the time, nothing has appeared in print.

Ernest Lewis cut nine sides between 1949-1953 for several small labels, first in Texas and then in California. He also may have recorded as West Texas Slim. He backed Little Son Willis on two of his recordings.

Malcolm Willis was a blues singer and pianist from Fort Worth, TX. At sometime in his youth he made the trek to California to join the West Coast blues scene. He cut his first disc for J.R. Fullbright's Elko label in Los Angeles, CA. in 1951. In 1952 and 1953 he recorded eight more numbers for the Swingtime label billed as Little Son Willis. Willis owns a strong debt to the popular Doctor Clayton.

James Tisdom was born in Texas c. 1912. He seemed to live most of his life moving around from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande valley. Tisdom never saw the inside of a Dallas or Houston recording studio, but he did travel to California to record three 78's. In 1950 he cut another single in San Benito, TX. for Original. The recordings were believed to be forever lost until a copy turned up four decades later. Tisdom also made recordings for Ideal in South Texas in 1951, but they were shelved since the label specialized in Hispanic music. The acetates were found in the 1990's by Arhoolie Records. Tisdom was known to have been residing and farming in Goliad, TX. in 1967.

GI Feel So Gooduitarist and singer Perry Cain was born in Waverly, TX in 1925 and was very active in the Houston blues scene during the late 1940's and 1950's, recording a number of singles in which pianist Buster Pickens shines throughout. During the 1960's, Perry was a noted DJ at KCOH's Houston. He died 24 April 1975 at his Houston's home.

Andrew Thomas may or not have been from Houston. He recorded two 78's for Bill Quinn's Gold Star label billed as Andy Thomas in 1948 and 1949. Later in '49 Quinn recorded two more songs by him, but instead of issuing them on his label, he leased the sides to a record label in Paris, Texas. Thomas was never heard from again.

Little is known about Sunny James, who was around 18 years old at the time of his first recordings in 1948. He had one follow up 78 for Sittin' In With in 1951, recording as Jesse James. He is believed to have died sometime in the early to mid 1950's. He is not to be confused with Jesse James who recorded for Decca in the 1930's.


Mozelle Alderson w/ Judson BrownTight WhoopieThe Piano Blues Vol. 5
Madelyn James w/ Judson BrownLong Time BluesMemphis Blues 1927-1938
Blind Roosevelt Graves & Brother w/ Will EzellCrazy About My BabyBlind Roosevelt Graves 1929-1936
Blind Roosevelt Graves & Brother w/ Will EzellBustin' The JugBlind Roosevelt Graves 1929-1936
Georgia Tom w/ Bob Call Billie The GrinderGeorgia Tom Vol.1 1928-1930
James ''Boodle It'' Wiggins w/ Bob CallEvil Woman BluesJuke Joint Saturday Night
James ''Boodle It'' Wiggins w/ Bob CallKeep A Knockin' An You Can't Get InThe Frog Blues & Jazz Annual No. 1
Mary Johnson w/ Judson Brown Three Months Ago BluesMary Johnson 1929-1936
Mary Johnson w/ Judson Brown Morning Sun BluesMary Johnson 1929-1936
Margaret Thornton w/ Blind James BeckTexas Bound Blues Barrelhouse Mamas
Margaret Thornton w/ Blind James BeckJockey Blues Barrelhouse Mamas
Mozelle Alderson w/ Blind James BeckState Street SpecialPiano Blues Vol. 9
Lil Johnson w/ Freddie ShayneHottest Gal In Town Lil Johnson Vol. 2 1936-1937
Freddie ''Redd'' Nicholson w/ Freddie ShayneTee Rolller's RubBoogie Woogie & Barrelhouse Piano Vol. 1 1928-1932
Priscilla Stewart w/ Freddie ShayneSwitch It Miss Mitchell Priscilla Stewart 1924-1928
Priscilla Stewart w/ Clarence Johnson Walking And Talking Blues Priscilla Stewart 1924-1928
Edna Hicks w/ Clarence JohnsonWalking And Talking Blues Edna Hicks Vol. 1 1923
Monette Moore w/ Clarence Johnson Sugar BluesMonette Moore Vol. 1 1923-1924
John Oscar w/ poss. Eddie MillerWhoopee Mama BluesChicago Piano 1929-1936
John Oscar w/ poss. Eddie MillerMama Don't Allow No Easy Riders HereChicago Piano 1929-1936
Billie McKenzie w/ Eddie Miller I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water Female Chicago Blues 1936-1947
Mary Johnson w/ Henry Brown Peepin' At The Risin' SunMary Johnson 1929-1936
Mary Johnson w/ Henry Brown Black Man BluesMary Johnson 1929-1936
Mary Johnson w/ Henry Brown Deceitful Woman BluesMary Johnson 1929-1936
Jenny Pope w/ Judson Brown Bull Frog BluesMemphis Blues Vol. 4 1929-1953
Charlie "Bozo" Nickerson w/ Judson Brown What's the Matter Now?, Pt. 3 Piano Discoveries: Newly Found Titles & Alternate Takes
Elzadie Robinson w/ Will Ezell 2.16 Blues Elzadie Robinson Vol. 1 1926-1928
Lucille Bogan w/ Will Ezell Nice and Kind Blues Lucille Bogan Vol. 1 1923-1929
Robert Peeples w/ Henry Brown Fat Greasy BabyTwenty First. St. Stomp
Peetie Wheatstraw & His Blue Blowers w/ Henry BrownThrow Me In The AlleyFolks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!
Charlie McFadden w/ Eddie MilleHarvest Moon BluesTwenty First. St. Stomp
Charlie McFadden w/ Eddie MilleWeak-Eyed Blues Down On The Levee

Show Notes:

Throw Me In The AlleyToday's show is part four in a series of shows spotlighting well known and obscure superb session musicians who backed blues artists in the pre-war era. Today we feature some terrific pianists, the best known being Henry Brown a fine St. Louis pianist who recorded in the pre-war and post-war eras. The rest are less well known: there's Will Ezell who recorded and acted as a talent scout for Paramount records, the others more obscure including Bob Call, Judson Brown, Clarence Johnson, Blind James Beck and Freddie Shayne.

In A Left Hand Like God: A Study of Boogie-Woogie Peter Silvester wrote: "Henry Brown was a living model for the qualities most apparent in the St. Louis boogie-woogie style. He employed an economic left hand of single notes or sparse chords for slow numbers and a rumbustious walking bass for faster ones." Brown learned to play the piano from the "professors" of the notorious Deep Morgan section of St. Louis. One of them went by the name of "Blackmouth," another was named Joe (or Tom) Cross. As Brown remembered him, "he was a real old time blues player and he'd stomp ‘em down to the bricks." "Deep Morgan Blues" was one of his signature pieces. By the age of sixteen Brown had acquired enough technique to be able to play the buffet flats in the 1920's and was soon in regular demand there. He was able to make enough money to survive, allowing him the sleep during the day and play all night. Brown worked clubs such as the Blue Flame Club, the 9-0-5 Club, Jim's Place and Katy Red's, from the twenties into the 30's

Brown recorded for Brunswick with Ike Rogers and Mary Johnson in 1929, for Paramount in ‘29 and ‘30, behind singer Alice Moore in 1929 and 1934 as well as backing others such singers as Jimmy Oden, Bessie Mae Smith and others. Brown served in the army in the early 40's, then formed his own quartet to work occasional local gigs in St. Louis area from the 50's, and worked the Becky Thatcher riverboat in 1965. In addition to his pre-war recordings, he was recorded by Paul Oliver in 1960 (Henry Browm Blues, 77 Records and reissued on CD by Southland), by Sam Charters with Edith Johnson in 1961 (The Blues in St. Louis Vol. 2: Henry Brown and Edith Johnson), cut some sides for the Euphonic label in the 50's (some appear on the Delmark reissue Biddle Street Barrelhousin') and some final sides for Adelphi in 1969.

Born in Texas, pianist Will Ezell played in the jukes around Shreveport before moving to Detroit and Chicago. He was a frequent accompanist for Paramount Records and even took Paramount’s star, Blind Lemon Jefferson's body back to Texas for burial. Ezell cut sixteen sides for the label between 1927 and 1929 and backed artists such as Lucille Bogan, Elzadie Robinson, Bertha Henderson and others. In 1929 he backed Blind Roosevelt Graves and his brother on several songs and they returned the favor playing on some of his sides.

Keep A-Knockin' an You Can't Get InBob Call cut one song "31 Blues" recorded in 1929, the flip of the 78 was by Speckled Red. Call also backed Georgia Tom, Elzadie Robisnon and James "Boodle It" Wiggins. Virtually nothing is known about Wiggins who cut eight sides at three sessions for the Paramount label between 1928 and 1929. Paramount placed two ads in the Chicago Defender on November 30, 1928. There were also two sessions on Nov. 13 and 14th 1928 that resulted in six unissued sides. Writer Mike Rowe wrote: "Call raises other questions; can the pianist of '31 Blues' be the same Bob Call after a gap of eighteen years crops up as a band pianist on records by Arbee Stidham, Big Bill, Jazz Gillum, Robert Nighthawk and who under his own name made a couple of jump blues? It would seem so. Call was known to have gone to school to learn to read music, presumably to expand his musical potential, and moreover the age seems right; his photograph from 1958 shows a man well into his fifties. Bob Call was shrewd enough to realize a change in style was necessary – those that wouldn't change retired or disappeared, and left as few traces as when they arrived.

Freddie Shayne is a shadowy figure who spent his life working in Chicago. He first time on record was backing singer Priscilla Stewart on “Mr. Freddie Blues.” Shayne also made a very rare piano roll of this song. In 1935 Shayne recorded a solo record, “Original Mr. Freddie Blues b/w Lonesome Man Blues.” “Mr. Freddie Blues” became something of a boogie standard covered by many artists including Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Jimmy Blythe, Art Tatum and others. In the 40's he made some recordings for the Circle label where he also backed singer Bertha “Chippie” Hill.

Clarence "Jelly" Johnson became an in-demand piano roll performer, cutting many performances in Chicago during the mid to late 1920's fory the Capitol Music Roll Company and issued as nickelodeon piano rolls. Johnson never cut any 78's under his own name but did back several singers including Edna Hicks, Sara Martin, Lizzie Miles, Monette Moore and others. Recently Delmark records release Low Down Papa, a collection of twenty of Johnson's piano rolls.

Johns Oscar cut a handful of sides for Decca and Brunswick between 1929 and 1931. He was and associate of singer Sam Theard and may have been the pianist for Oscar's Chicago Swingers and the Banks Chesterfield Orchestra. There is uncertainty if Eddie Miller or Cow Davenport plays on "Mama Don't Allow." Eddie Miller may play on some other sides by Oscar. Miller cut eights sides under his own name at sessions in 1929, an unissued 78 in 1936 and final sides in 1936. Miller backed Merline Johnson, Charles Pertum, Lizzie Washington, Ma Rainey and others.

Judson Brown made one solo recording, sharing the B-side of his only 78 with Freddie "Redd" Nicholson. He also backed several singers including Mozelle Anderson, Madelyn James, Charlie "Bozo" Nickerson, Jeny Pope and Mary Johnson.

Margaret Thornton cut one great 78 for Black Patti backed by great pianist Blind James Beck, "Texas Bound Blues b/w Jockey Blues." Nothing is known of Beck who also backed singer Mozelle Alderson.

It's worth singling out a few of today's singers inlcuding Mary Johnson, Priscilla Stewart and Charlie McFadden. Mary Johnson of St. Louis (sometimes billed as "Signifying Mary") made her debut in 1929, cutting just shy of two dozen songs. She achieved modest success and never recorded again after 1936 despite living until 1983. She recorded 8 selections in 1929, 6 sides in 1930, two in 1932, four in 1934, and two final numbers in 1936. All of the 1929 sides feature the fine piano of Henry Brown and trombonist Ike Rogers on five of the eight sides.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Priscilla Stewart doesn’t seem to have come from a stage background since no mention can be found of her appearing in stage revues of the time.  As Alan Balfour wrote in the notes to Document's collected CD of her recordings: "Stewart’s recording career was brief and unspectacular and although she may not have been in the same league as many of her famous contemporaries, somebody at Paramount thought it worth the company’s time and investment to record her. That being the case she certainly deserves the belated recognition that this release will hopefully bring."

Charlie McFadden was a singer based out of St. Louis. Henry Townsend knew him and said that he could play piano a little bit, but preferred that someone else played it on his recordings. Roosevelt Sykes was the usual pianist, even though Eddie Miller and Aaron "Pinetop" Sparks made a couple of appearances, each. He cut two-dozen sides between 1929 and 1937.



I's been a wild ride but the elections are finally over. I'll be off the air this week but in lieu of a new show, here's a relevant one that first aired Nov. 23, 3008 when Obama was first elected. The show also aired 45 year after Kennedy's assassination and there are several blues and gospel songs addressing his passing. You can find the the original playlist and show notes here.


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