|Jimmy And Mama Yancey||Monkey Woman Blues||Chicago Blues Piano Vol. 1|
|Otis Spann||It Must Have Been The Devil||Genesis: Beginnings Of Rock Vol. 3|
|Al Winter||Boogie 88||Hollywood Boogie: Obscure Piano Blues & Boogie Woogie From Los Angeles|
|Mable Hillery||Lonesome Road||It's So Hard To Be A Nigger|
|Mable Hillery||Mr. President||It's So Hard To Be A Nigger|
|Jimmy Witherspoon||Big Family Blues||1950s R&B From Dolphin's Vol. 2; Toast Of The Coast|
|Tony Allen||You're A Mean And Evil Woman||1950s R&B From Dolphin's Vol. 1; On With The Jive|
|Lucille Bogan and Papa Charlie Jackson||Jim Tampa Blues||Papa Charlie Done Sung That Song|
|Laura Dukes||Bricks In My Pillow||Tennessee Blues Vol. 1|
|Elmore James||Strange Angels||Something Inside Of Me|
|Wild Jimmy Spruill||Hard Grind||Scratchin': Wild Jimmy Spruill Story|
|Guitar Gable||Long Way from Home||Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou: Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies|
|Pee Wee Crayton||Rockin the Blues||Texas Blues Jumpin' In Los Angeles: The Modern Music Sessions 1948-51|
|John Lee Hooker||I Don't Be Welcome Here||The Complete1948-51 Vol. 3|
|Blind Joe Hill||Highway 13||First Chance|
|Jimmy Reed||I'm Just Trying To Cop A Plea||Soulin'|
|Tampa Red||I Still Got California On My Mind||The Bluebird Recordings 1934-1936|
|Lane Hardin||California Desert Blues||Blues Images Vol. 9|
|Jesse Thomas||Gonna Move to California||Jesse Thomas 1948-1958|
|Lawyer Houston||Out In California||Lightning Hopkins: Lightning Special Vol. 2|
|Howlin' Wolf||California Boogie||Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters|
|Johnny Woods||So Many Cold Mornings||So Many Cold Mornings|
|John Tinsley||Cotton Picking Blues||Country Blues Roots Revisted|
|Walter Davis||Strange Land Blues||Walter Davis 1930-1932|
|Roy Hawkins||Strange Land||Bad Luck Is Falling|
|Roger (Burn Down) Garnett||Lighthouse Blues||The Frog Blues And Jazz Annual No. 1|
|Dorothy Everetts||Macon Blues||The Frog Blues And Jazz Annual No. 1|
|Irene Wiley||Bo Hog Blues||The Frog Blues And Jazz Annual No. 1|
|Jimmy Rushing||Somebody's Spoiling These Women||Blues & Gospel Kings Vol. 4|
|Read Liner Notes|
A wide ranging mix show today including songs a pair of sides by singer Mabel Hillery, sets of piano blues, some heavy duty guitar slingers, a pair of sets revolving around specific lyrical themes, music from the vaults of King Records and west coast record man John Dolphin and a batch of outstanding early pre-war blues sides.
Shortly after the death of folklorist Tary Owens on September 21, 2003, Brad Buchholz, wrote that, “Tary Owens devoted most of his life to music, though only rarely to his own. The greater mission, to Owens, was to champion the music of forgotten or unsung Texas bluesmen—to put their songs on records, to place them on a stage, to encourage a larger public to celebrate their artistry.” Owens operated the Catfish and Spindletop labels issuing some fine recordings of neglected Texas artists. We spotlight two tracks from Texas Piano Professors by little recorded piano men Dr. Hepcat, Grey Ghost and Erbie Bowser. I want to thank Gerrit Robs for making this album available to me.
We spin a trio of tracks from the Frog Blues And Jazz Annual No. 1, which I recently picked up along with the second and third issues. The magazine does a great job filling the hole left by the late lamented 78 Quarterly. The Annuals are something between a magazine and a softbound book, roughly 8.5 inches by 11.75 inches with 178 pages. They are edited (and contributed to) by Paul Swinton, owner of Great Britain’s Frog Records, one of the premier prewar jazz and jazz/blues reissue record companies. Each Annual comes with a companion CD featuring 26 cuts that reflect the articles in the Annual. Most of the blues tracks have appeared on other collections, but Roger Garnett's marvelous "Lighthouse Blues" (recorded for the Library of Congress in 1939) and Irene Wiley's fantastic "Bo Hog Blues" (with a probable late 1940's recording date) have not been issued before. We also spin Dorothy Everetts terrific "Macon Blues" from her lone 1928 78 record.
A member of The Georgia Sea Island Singers (she joined in 1961), Mable Hillery was less known than leader, Big John Davis or Bessie Jones, who also had her own performing career. Between 1961 and 1965 she toured the college circuit of campuses, coffee houses, church basements, and festivals, from Berkeley to Philadelphia, from the Ash Grove in Los Angeles to the Café à Go-Go in New York City. Hillery was very active in civil rights issues during the 60's. In 1968, after touring in England, where she did TV and concert dates, Hillery made a her only album for the record label Xtra, It's So Hard To Be A Nigger, which has never been issued on CD. This is a wonderful record and Hillery was a tremendously expressive singer. The acapella title track sounds like a lost field recording by the Lomax's or Lawrence Gellert. A few other sides by her appear on various anthologies. She died at the age of 46 in 1976.
We spin several songs with lyrical themes including several revolving around "California" and several using the title "Strange Land." In 1936 Robert Johnson famously sang the lines "But I'm cryin' hey baby, Honey don't you want to go/Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago." This line always seemed a bit confusing too me but I think many blues singers viewed California as an idyllic, almost mystical place far from the Jim Crow south. From 1934 we spin Tampa Red's jaunty "I Still Got California On My Mind", Lane Hardin's "California Desert Blues" ("When I reach old Los Angeles, Californy, you oughta heard me jump and shout"), Jesse Thomas' "Gonna Move to California", Howlin' Wolf's "California Boogie" and "Out In California" by Lawyer Houston:
Well I'm going out on Central
Going to get me a room at the hotel Dunbar
And then I'm going out to Hollywood to become a movie star
"Way out in California, that's where I long to be" sings Walter Davis in "Strange Land Blues." Roy Hawkins cut the doomy "Strange Land" in 1948 and updated it 1961.
We spin three tracks from the series Blues & Gospel Kings which spotlight early blues and gospel from King records. There are four volumes in the series spanning the years 1945 through 1952. Founded by Syd Nathan in 1943, King Records was one of the most influential independent labels of the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of the latter decade, it had become the nation's sixth largest record company. The label originally specialized in country music and." King advertised, "If it's a King, It's a Hillbilly – If it's a Hillbilly, it's a King." The company also had a "race records" label, Queen Records (which was melded into the King label within a year or two) and most notably (starting in 1950) Federal Records which launched the singing career of James Brown. In the 1950s, this side of the business outpaced the hillbilly recordings.
We also feature tracks from west coast record man John Dolphin and King Records. The legendary John Dolphin, also known as Lovin’ John, was one of the first and most well respected, black business man who made his way in the music business of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Dolphin first entered the music business as a retailer where in 1948, when he opened Dolphin’s of Hollywood, a record store on Vernon Avenue that would stay open 24 hours a day.The store featured deejays broadcasting on the local station of KRKD, in front of the huge, glass window. In 1950, John Dolphin mounted his own label, Recorded In Hollywood, eventually selling the label to Decca. Dolphin launched follow-up labels including Lucky, Money and Cash. In 1958 Dolphin was shot and killed by a disgruntled songwriter. The Ace label has issued two volumes of recordings made by Dolphin: On With The Jive! 1950s R&B From Dolphin's Of Hollywood Vol. 1 and Toast Of The Coast: 1950s R&B From Dolphin's Of Hollywood Vol. 2.
|Read Liner Notes|
We play a set of guitar heavy hitters today, most from some recent reissues. The track by Wild Jimmy Spruill comes from a great 2-CD set, Scratchin’: The Wild Jimmy Spruill Story. After arriving in New York in 1955 Spruill went on to play guitar on a staggering number of records notably for Bobby and Danny Robinson’s group of labels, including Fire, Fury, Enjoy, Everlast and Vim. He also cut some terrific sides under his own name. Our Pee wee Crayton cut comes from Texas Blues Jumpin' In Los Angeles: The Modern Music Sessions 1948-51, the third CD on the Ace label of Crayton's Modern sides. "Long Way From Home" by Guitar Gable comes from another recent Ace reissue, Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou: Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies the tenth volume in the “By The Bayou” series, pulling sides from the vaults of J.D. Miller’s Crowley studio.