|Mickey Champion & Jimmy Witherspoon||There Ain't Nothing Better||Bam a Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-19622|
|Mickey Champion||I'm A Woman||Bam a Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-19622|
|Mickey Champion||Good For Nothin' Man||Bam a Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-19622|
|Big Joe Turner||Nobody In My Mind||Have No Fear, Big Joe Turner Is Here|
|Washboard Sam||Bucket's Got A Hole||When The Sun Goes Down|
|J.B. Smith||Poor Boy||Old Rattler Can't Hold Me: Texas Prison Songs Vol. 2|
|Bessie Jones||John Henry||Get In Union|
|Will Slayden||Joe Turner||African-American Bajo Songs From West Tennessee|
|Little Brother Montgomery||Up The Country||Home Again, Chicago|
|Roosevelt Sykes||Music Is My Business||Music Is My Business|
|Lonesome Sundown||It's Not True||Bought Me A Ticket|
|Blue Charlie||Watch That Crow||Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou|
|Boogie Jake||Early In The Morning||Bluesin' By The Bayou|
|The Four Blazes||Women, Women||Mary Jo|
|Goree Carter||Back Home Blues||The Complete Recordings Vol. 1|
|Luke Jones & His Orchestra||Mama Oh Mama||No More Doggin' The RPM Records Story Vol. 1|
|King Perry & His Orchestra||Welcome Home Baby||No More Doggin' The RPM Records Story Vol. 1|
|Alberta Adams||Remember||Chess Blues|
|Alberta Adams||Messin' Around With The Blues||Men Are Like Street Cars...Women Blues Singers 1928-1969|
|Alberta Adams||Say Baby Say||T.J. Fowler 1948-53|
|Leroy Foster||Louella||Rough Treatment: The J.O.B. Records Story|
|Floyd Jones||Sweet Talkin' Woman||Masters Of Modern Blues Vol. 3|
|Johnny Shines||Two Trains Runnin'||Masters Of Modern Blues Vol.1|
|Otis Spann||My Home Is On The Delta||The Complete Candid Recordings|
|Lightnin' Hopkins||Another Fool In Town||Jake Head Boogie|
|Sweet Papa Stovepipe||All Birds Look Like Chicken To Me||Rare Paramount Blues 1926-1929|
|Sweet Papa Stovepipe||Mama's Angel Child||Rare Paramount Blues 1926-1929|
|McKinley Peebles & Bessie Jones||You Got to Reap Just What You Sow/Just a Little Talk with Jesus||Get In Union|
|Blind Lemon Jefferson||'Lectric Chair Blues||The Best Of Blind Lemon Jefferson|
|William Harris||Electric Chair Blues (Jefferson Country Blues)||Too Late, Too Late Blues Vol. 3|
|Mary Butler||Electrocuted Blues (Electric Chair Blues)||Bo Carter Vol. 1 1928-1931|
|Bessie Smith||Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair||The Complete Recordings (Frog)|
|Dinah Washington||Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair||Sings Bessie Smith|
For our final show of 2014 we have a diverse mix show spanning the 1920's through the 1970's and along the way we pay tribute to two blues ladies who recently passed; we end the year on a somber note with tributes to Detroit singer Alberta Adams and L.A. singer Mickey Champion. Also on deck today we spotlight tracks from a great recent collection of sides by singer Bessie Jones, we spin a batch of songs about the electric chair, some fine Chicago blues, a set of swamp blues, we also throw in some jump blues as well as some other odds and ends.
Detroit singer Alberta Adams died at the age of 97 on Christmas Day. Becoming a regular at clubs around Detroit in the 1940s, she eventually was discovered by Chess Records and cut several singles for the label in 1953 including "Messin' Around With The Blues b/w This Morning" and "Remember" and "No Good Man" the latter which was not released. She also briefly recorded with Berry Gordy's Thelma Records in 1962 cutting "I Got A Feeling b/w Without Your Love"and New Jersey's Savoy label where she cut “Say Baby Say” with T.J. Fowler's band in 1952. In the late 1990's and 2000's she record several albums.
Mickey Champion died last month at the age of 89. Discovered in L.A. by bandleader Johnny Otis, Champion recorded several impressive R&B sides in the 1950s and early '60s for West Coast-based labels including Aladdin, Dootone, Modern, RPM and King. The wife of bandleader Roy Milton until his death, Champion began recording again in 2000, releasing a pair of records on Tondef Records. In 2008 Ace Records issued her collected singles from the 1950's and 1960's under the title Bam a Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-1962.
While I like looking at year end lists of music every year I'm not sure I purchase enough new music or even reissues to make my own list. If I were to compile a list I would certainly include Get In Union released on Tompkins Square Records. The 2-CD set is a collection sides by Bessie Jackson featuring sides with the Georgia Sea Island Singers, combined with many previously unavailable performances captured by Alan Lomax between 1959 and 1966. Bessie Jones was one of the most popular performers on the 1960s and ’70s folk circuit, appearing-usually at the helm of the Georgia Sea Island Singers-at colleges, festivals, the Poor People’s March on Washington, and Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. lan Lomax first visited the Georgia Sea Island of St. Simons in June of 1935 with folklorist Mary Elizabeth Barnicle and author Zora Neale Hurston. There they met the Spiritual Singers Society of Coastal Georgia, as the group was then called, and recorded several hours of their songs and dances for the Library of Congress. Returning 25 years later, Lomax found that the Singers were still active, and had been enriched by the addition of Bessie Jones who possessed a enormous repertoire of black music. There's practically no blues on this collection but we do play Jones singing a fine rendition of "John Henry."
Also from the is collection we spin a track by an associate of Jones' named McKinley Peebles. Nothing is known about Alan Lomax’s meeting with Peebles, in New York City, in late 1961, in the midst of Alan’s sessions with Bessie Jones, although it’s presumed that they were introduced by Peebles’ friend and busking colleague, Reverend Gary Davis. Peebles was a native of Tide- water Virginia who had made a record for the Paramount label in 1926 under the name Sweet Papa Stovepipe.We play those sides as well today, "All Birds Look Like Chicken To Me b/w Mama's Angel Child." By the way Tompkins Square Records has been issuing some of the best reissues around including some tremendous gospel collections if your a fan of that music.
It appears the electric chair theme started the Bessie Smith's "Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair" recorded on March 3, 1927 and written by Fletcher Henderson. The following year several songs appeared using the theme: Blind Lemon Jefferson "'Lectric Chair Blues" (Feb. 1928), William Harris' "Electric Chair Blues (Jefferson Country Blues)" (Oct. 1928) Mary Butler's "Electrocuted Blues (Electric Chair Blues)" (Nov. 1928). Both Ruby Smith in 1938, the niece of Bessie, and Dinah Washington in 1958 covered Bessie's "Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair." Guitar Welch recorded "Electric Chair Blues" at Angola Prison in 1959.
Regionally we feature sets of Chicago blues artists and Louisiana artists. From Chicago we hear the lovely "Louella" by Leroy Foster. Between 1948 and 1952 Baby Face Leroy Foster waxed a handful absolutely terrific sides under his own name for a number fledgling Chicago labels aided by some of the windy city's best blues musicians. We also hear from Floyd Jones and Johnny Shines from sessions they did for Pete Welding's Testament label.
Down in Louisiana we spotlight Charlie (Charlie Morris) from Lake Charles who cut sessions for Jay Miller in 1957 and 1958 (many unreleased), Boogie Jake who also worked with Jay Miller and backed Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester as well as cutting a few singles and Lonesome Sundown, there most prolific of the bunch, who also got his start through Miller and waxed a stack of great swamp number for Excello between 1956 and 1964. I've been listening to quite a bit of swamp blues lately courtesy of Ace Records who in the last few years has issue a trio of great collections that I would highly recommend: Bluesin' By The Bayou, Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou: Rompin' & Stompin' and Bluesin' By The Bayou: Rough'n'Tough.