|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Eyesight to the Blind||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Cool, Cool Blues||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Crazy About You Baby||Cool Cool Blues|
|Luther Huff||1951 Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Luther Huff||Bull Dog Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Elmore James||Dust My Broom||Cool Cool Blues|
|Willie Love||Vanity Dresser Boogie||Greenville Smokin|
|Clayton Love||Shufflin' With Love||Strange Kind Of Feelin'|
|Big Joe Williams||Delta Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Big Joe Williams||Whistling Pines||Delta Blues-1951|
|Big Joe Williams||Mama Don't Allow Me||Delta Blues-1951|
|Willie Love||Everybody's Fishing||Greenville Smokin|
|Willie Love||Take It Easy Baby||Greenville Smokin|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Mr. Down Child||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Come On Back Home||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Nine Below Zero||Cool Cool Blues|
|Big Joe Williams||Overhauling Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Big Joe Williams||Bad Heart Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Big Joe Williams||She Left Me A Mule||Delta Blues-1951|
|Willie Love||Nelson Street Blues||Clownin' With The World|
|Willie Love||Seventy Four Blues||Delta Blues-1951|
|Willie Love||21 Minutes To Nine||Delta Blues-1951|
|Arthur Crudup||Gotta Find My Baby||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sherman Johnson||Lost In Korea||Cool Cool Blues|
|Tiny Kennedy||Have You Heard About The Farmer's Daughter||Strange Kind of Feeling|
|Tiny Kennedy||Strange Kind Of Feeling||Strange Kind of Feeling|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||She Brought Life Back To The Dead||Cool Cool Blues|
|Sonny Boy Williamson II||Going In Your Direction||Cool Cool Blues|
|Jerry McCain||East Of The Sun||Cool Cool Blues|
|Jerry McCain||Stay Out Of Automobiles||Cool Cool Blues|
|Wally Mercer||If You Don't Mean Business||Cool Cool Blues|
Trumpet Records was the first record company in Mississippi to achieve national stature through its distribution, sales, radio airplay and promotion. Willard and Lillian McMurry launched the label from their retail store, the Record Mart, at 309 North Farish Street, in 1950, and later converted the back room into a recording studio. The first releases by Mississippi blues legends Sonny Boy Williamson II, Elmore James, and Willie Love appeared on Trumpet in 1951. “Dust My Broom” by Elmo (Elmore) James was the only Trumpet record to reach the national rhythm & blues charts of Billboard magazine (in April 1952), but other records by Williamson and Willie Love appeared on regional charts as far away as California and Colorado. Among other artists who recorded for Trumpet were bluesmen Jerry McCain, Big Joe Williams, Tiny Kennedy, Luther Huff, Arthur Crudup, Clayton Love, Wally Mercer, and Sherman Johnson; gospel groups such as the Southern Sons Quartette and the Blue Jay Gospel Singers; and country singers, including Lucky Joe Almond and Jimmy Swan.
The story has its roots in 1949, when McMurry and her husband purchased a hardware store on Farish Street, then a location on the boundary between the city's white and black business and entertainment districts. While taking inventory of the original stock and renovating the building, she discovered a stack of unsold records, including Wynonie Harris' recording of "All She Wants to Do Is Rock." Curious, Mrs. McMurry played it on the store's record player and became so inspired that she decided to record more music like it. "It was the most unusual, sincere and solid sound I'd ever heard", she recalled. In short order a record mogul was born and "for more than five years the blues and ballads, jumps and boogies flowed on" with McMurry always looking for that elusive hit.
McMurry probably didn't know it but the black music that so enthralled her was in abundance around Jackson and it's outlying areas and it wasn't long before word spread about the fledgling label bringing every would-be-star in the region to her door. After inaugurating the label with some gospel releases in 1950 it was 1951 when McMurry began recording blues in earnest. Her uncanny instincts led her to the elusive Sonny Boy Williamson who was already a celebrity in the delta, well known from his program King Biscuit Time which had aired on KFFA since 1941. Eventually Sonny Boy was tracked down and signed to an exclusive contract. This was a fortuitous start for the young label as not only did Sonny Boy become the label's number one hit maker (his first single "Eyesight To The Blind" was the label's first hit) he also brought along some of the delta's best talent. His first release, "Eyesight To The Blind" was recorded twice – fire destroyed stocks of the first pressing. The record sold well. A further nine sessions took place, Thee last in November 1954. There were twelve releases. One, "No Nights By Myself", was leased to Johnny Vincent's Ace label.
For more than three decades Sonny Boy, he was an itinerant musician, working as a solo act and in association with a host of other now-famous bluesmen, especially Sunnyland Slim, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf Burnett, and Robert Lockwood Jr. He traveled throughout the South, working carnivals and lumber camps as well as juke joints and street corners in Mississippi, Arkansas. In November 1941, Williamson began playing with Robert Lockwood Jr. on King Biscuit Time, where he starred on and off for more than twenty years. It was on this show, apparently, that he first unveiled his “Sonny Boy Williamson” moniker.
Among Sonny Boy's cohorts included pianist Willie Love and guitarists Elmore James and Joe Willie Wilkins all who would be involved in numerous sessions through the years. The raw, immediate sound these men laid down was "pungent with the whiff of the jukes" as Marc Ryan wrote in Trumpet Records: Diamonds On Farish Street. Willie Love is second in importance only to Sonny Boy in the label's fortunes cutting some tremendous sides that "captured perfectly the raucous mood of the jukes" before his untimely death in 1953. Elmore James would have a prickly relationship with Trumpet but did record his immortal "Dust My Broom" in 1951, his sole record for the label.
Sonny Boy Williamson, first encountered pianist Willie Love in Greenville, MS, in 1942. The duo played regularly on Nelson Street, the main drag of the Black section of Greenville. And it was Williamson who brought Love into the fold at Trumpet Records. He played piano on several of Sonny Boy Williamson's Trumpet sessions. Love cut three sessions as leader in 1951 and a final session in 1953. Love passed four months after this last session.
Elmore James began recording with Trumpet Records in nearby Jackson in January 1951, first as sideman to the second Sonny Boy Williamson and also to their mutual friend Wille Love and possibly others, then debuting as a session leader in August with "Dust My Broom". It was a surprise R&B hit in 1952 and turned James into a star. He then broke his recording contract with Trumpet Records to sign up with the Bihari Brothers through Ike Turner.
In late August 1952 Sony Boy arrived to the Record Mart with Arthur Crudup. Crudup was likely under contract with RCA so he was recorded under the pseudonym “Elmer James” a reference to Elmore James who scored big with “Dust My Broom” on the label but broke contract and never recorded a follow-up. Only one 78 by Crudup was issued.
Luther Huff and his and younger brother Percy learned how to play guitar from an older brother named Willie, and a cousin Donnee Howard. Soon they were playing at fish fries and picnics with their older relatives. Luther bought himself a mandolin in 1936 and taught himself how to play it. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in England, France & Belgium. After being discharged from the Army he moved to Detroit, MI. in 1947. Percy stayed in Jackson where he was employed as a taxicab driver. On a visit to Jackson in 1950, Luther ran across Sonny Boy Williamson, and told him he needed train fare to get back to Detroit. Sonny Boy hooked Luther and Percy up with Trumpet Records where they recorded four sides in January & February of 1951. Luther went back to Detroit, working at the Chrysler factory and later for Plymouth, giving little thought to playing any music. In 1968, The Brothers Huff, Luther, Percy and Willie were recorded by Adelphi but the recordings were never issued.
By the post-war era Big Joe Williams' style of music was something of an anachronism and opportunities to record, even for a wheeler-dealer like him, began to dry up. One exception was a single for Bullet, "Jivin'Woman b/w She's A Married Woman" waxed in 1949. But it was two years before he recorded again, this time for McMurry's Trumpet label. She got him in her studio twice during the autumn of 1951, when "Mama Don'tAllow Me", "Delta Blues", "Overhauling Blues", the poetic "Whistling Pines", "She Left Me A Mule" and "Bad Heart Blues" were cut.
Other artists featured today include Tiny Kennedy, Jerry McCain and Clayton Love. Kennedy made his debut with Jay McShann in 1949 and by 1951 singing with Tiny Bradshaw's band. Kennedy cut three songs for Trumpet on Oct. 22, 1951 backed by Elmore James, a four song session cut in 1952 and two numbers cut in1953 that remained unissued. McCain made his debut for Trumpet label in 1954, with "East of the Sun b/w Wine-O-Wine" with his brother, Walter McCain, playing drums on the sides. McCain's 1954 Trumpet encore yielded "Stay Out of Automobiles b/w "Love to Make Up." Pianist Clayton Love was a prominent member of Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm during the mid-'50s, making some of his finest records with the band. But Love made his first appearance as leader on Trumpet in 1951 with his own jump band, the Shufflers.