Let's mark the recent passing of Chuck Berry with this 1980s reissue of his 1960 LP "Rockin' At The Hops." His own compositions "Let It Rock," "I Got To Find My Baby," and "Bye Bye Johnny" are classics but what I especially like about this album are the revivals of older 1940s blues and boogie material which demonstrate where Chuck's personal tastes lay. So enjoy Big Maceo's "Worried Life Blues," The Will Bradley Trio's "Down The Road A Piece," Johnny Moore and the Three Blazers' "Driftin' Blues," and Jay McShann and Walter Brown's "Confessin' The Blues." Cool renditions from the Chuckster.
Too Pooped To Pop, Betty Jean, Childhood Sweetheart, Broken Arrow, Let It Rock were recorded in Chicago on July 29th, 1959. Personnel: Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) with L.C. Davis (tenor sax); Johnny Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums); The Ecuadors (vocal group)
Bye Bye Johnny, Worried Life Blues, I Got To Find My Baby, Driftin' Blues were recorded in Chicago on February 12th, 1960. Personnel: Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar); L.C. Davis (tenor sax); unknown other saxes; Johnny Johnson (piano); Matt Murphy (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Eddie Hardy (drums); unknown vocal group
Down The Road A Piece, Confessin' The Blues, Mad Lad were recorded in Chicago on April 12th, 1960. Personnel same as on February 12th 1960 session.
This LP was originally released as Chess LP 1448 in July 1960.
Single releases of tracks:
Childhood Sweetheart / Broken Arrow, Chess 1737, September 1959
Let It Rock / Too Pooped To Pop ("Casey"), Chess 1747, January 1960
Bye Bye Johnny / Worried Life Blues, Chess 1754, May 1960
I Got To Find My Baby / Mad Lad, Chess 1763, August 1960
A collection of Memphis Slim tracks recorded for Vee-Jay in 1958-59. Twelve of the sixteen tracks were originally released on the 1959 Vee-Jay LP "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" which despite its title, is not a live album but consists entirely of studio tracks recorded with a hard rocking combo featuring the great Matt Murphy on guitar and a sock-it-to-'em sax section.
The Gate Of Horn was a Chicago folk club and one is inevitably led to the conclusion that Vee-Jay were hoping to sell the album to the growing "folk blues" market rather than the R&B crowd. Yet the music contained therein couldn't have been further from the idea of "authentic" folk blues, being in fact thoroughly modern rockin' rhythm and blues, just like the two Vee-Jay singles Memphis Slim released in 1958, which are also featured on this Charly LP.
The sixteen sides on this LP probably represent the last R&B recordings of Memphis Slim as he decided to follow the the best road to a long and happy career for a veteran bluesman - record for labels like "Folkways", play venues and festivals aimed at the student / folkie crowd, move to Europe, tour and record for decades more and finally get seen by Boogie Woody at a blues festival in Dundee in the mid 1980s where he was nothing short of brilliant. What's more he was apparently accompanied by a statuesque blonde lady who became the subject of speculation in the comments on my previous Memphis Slim post.
The story behind the tracks -
"Stroll On Little Girl," "Guitar Cha Cha," "What's The Matter" and "This Time I'm Through" were recorded in Chicago on the 8th January 1958. Personnel on these tracks was: Memphis Slim (piano, vocal); John Calvin (alto sax); Matt Murphy (guitar); Sam Chatman (bass); Billie Stepney (drums)
The sides were released on two Vee-Jay singles as follows:
Stroll On Little Girl / Guitar Cha Cha Cha, by Memphis Slim and His House Rockers on Vee-Jay 271, released probably February (?) 1958. Yes, that's three "Cha's."
What's The Matter / This Time I'm Through by Memphis Slim & His House Rockers on Vee-Jay 294, released probably November (?) 1958.
All other sides on this LP were recorded in Chicago on the 18th August 1959 and released on the Vee-Jay LP "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" (VJLP 1012) in October 1959.
Personnel on VJLP 1012: Memphis Slim (piano, vocal); Alex Atkins (alto sax); John Calvin, Ernest Cotton (tenor saxes); Matt Murphy (guitar); Sam Chatman (bass); Billie Stepney (drums)
The original track order on "Memphis Slim At The Gate Of Horn" was:
1. The Come Back
2. Steppin' Out
3. Blue And Lonesome
4. Rockin' The Blues
5. Slim's Blues
6. Gotta Find My Baby
1. Messin' Around
2. Wish Me Well
3. My Gal Keeps Me Crying
4. Lend Me Your Love
5. Sassy Mae
6. Mother Earth
Elsewhere on the blog:
Messin' Around With The Blues (Volume 1) - 12 sides recorded for Miracle and Hy-Tone in 1946-47 and subsequently bought in by King Records. Post is here:
Look out for this CD in the second hand browser of your local music emporium:
The exact same collection as the "Rockin' The Blues" LP only in much better sound quality compared to the rather dodgy mp3s I ripped from my vinyl. These Charly Blues Masterworks CDs often turn up in "used Blues CDs" bins or in charity shops - this one is well worth purchasing.
One scratched LP bought second hand many years ago, probably from the sadly-no-more "Lost In Music" emporium in Glasgow's West End. I never listened to it all that much but lately I've been listening to little else. Digitizing this album has got me right back into the music of Ray Charles, specifically the sides he recorded for Atlantic between 1952 and 1959, sides which revolutionized the sound of R&B and paved the way for soul music.
Ray's earliest sides, recorded for Swing Time and Down Beat, were heavily influenced by Nat "King" Cole and Charles Brown. The move to Atlantic gave him the opportunity to really come into his own. At first, recording under the supervision of Jesse Stone and accompanied by top NYC session men such as Freddie Mitchell, Lloyd Trotman and Mickey Baker, his sides were still well within the R&B mainstream of the time, albeit with a much improved sound.
Ray had ideas of his own ( he detested the Willie Mabon influenced "It Should've Been Me") and in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 1954, he unveiled a new sound to Atlantic honchos Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler when he and his new hard boppin' band played the gospel influenced "I Got A Woman." The shadow of gospel music loomed over most of the R&B that Ray subsequently recorded for Atlantic, whether the source material was original gospel songs, or blues or just songs that sounded as though they were rooted in the church.
All of it was performed with sanctified intensity in a fusion of holy roller vocals from Ray, passionate call and response backing vocals from The Cookies and of course that band featuring horn men like Don Wilkerson and Dave "Fathead" Newman. The selection of tracks on this LP is an excellent illustration of how R&B music was taken in a new direction by Ray Charles and his musicians. The detailed sleeve notes by Cliff White are well worth perusing.
The story behind the tracks, mac!
"Mess Around," "It Should've Been Me," and "Losing Hand" were recorded in New York City on May 17th, 1953.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Pinky Williams and Freddie Mitchell (tenor saxes); Dave McRae (baritone sax); Mickey Baker (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass); Connie Kay (drums);
Mess Around / Funny (But I Still Love You), Atlantic 999, June 1953
It Should've Been Me / Sinner's Prayer, Atlantic 1021, February 1954
Losing Hand / Don't You Know, Atlantic 1037, July 1954
"Greenbacks" and "I've Got A Woman" were recorded in Atlanta on November 18th, 1954.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Charles Whitley (trumpets); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Dave Newman (baritone sax); Wesley Jackson (guitar); Jimmy Bell (bass); Glenn Brooks (drums)
I've Got A Woman / Come Back, Atlantic 1050, December 1954
Blackjack / Greenbacks, Atlantic 1076, October 1955
"This Little Girl Of Mine" was recorded in Miami on April 23rd, 1955.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Riley Webb (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax, baritone sax); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Roosevelt Sheffield (bass); William Peeples (drums)
A Fool For You / This Little Girl Of Mine, Atlantic 1063, June 1955
"Hallelujah I Love Her So" and "Drown In My Own Tears" were recorded in New York City on November 30th, 1955.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with Joe Bridgewater and Joshua Willis (trumpets); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Cecil Payne (baritone sax); Paul West (bass); Panama Francis (drums) with The Cookies (vocal group) on "Drown In My Own Tears"
Drown In My Own Tears / Mary Ann, Atlantic 1085, February 1956
Hallelujah I Love Her So / What Would I Do Without You, Atlantic 1096, May 1956
"Leave My Woman Alone" and "Lonely Avenue" were recorded in New York City on May 16th, 1956.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with Joe Bridgewater and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax;) Roosevelt Sheffield (bass); William Peeples (drums); The Cookies (vocal group)
Lonely Avenue / Leave My Woman Alone, Atlantic 1108, September 1956
"That's Enough" and "Talkin' 'Bout You" were recorded in New York City on May 26th and May 28th 1957 respectively.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Ricky Harper (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (b) William Peeples (d) with The Raelettes aka The Raylettes aka The Cookies (vocal group)
That's Enough / Tell Me How Do You Feel, Atlantic 2022, March 1959
Talkin' 'Bout You / What Kind Of Man Are You, Atlantic 1172, January 1958
"You Be My Baby" was recorded in New York City on February 20th, 1958.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and Lee Harper (trumpets) Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Richie Goldberg (drums) with The Raelets (The Cookies) (vocal group)
My Bonnie / You Be My Baby, Atlantic 1196, August 1958
"(Night Time Is) The Right Time" was recorded in New York City on October 28th, 1958.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and Lee Harper (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Hank "Bennie" Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Richie Goldberg (drums); The Raylettes (vocal group) feat. Marjorie Hendricks (vocal)
(Night Time Is) The Right Time / Tell All The World About You, Atlantic 2010, December 1958
"Tell The Truth" was recorded live in Atlanta on May 28th, 1959.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Hank Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Teagle Fleming (drums); The Raelettes (vocal group)
"Tell The Truth" released on Atlantic LP 8039 "Ray Charles In Person" in May 1960. Also on single Atlantic 2068 Tell The Truth / Sweet Sixteen Bars, July 1960.
"What'd I Say" was recorded in New York City on February 18th, 1959.
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax, tenor sax); Bennie "Hank" Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Milt Turner (drums); The Raelettes (vocal group)
What'd I Say (part 1) / What'd I Say (part 2), Atlantic 2031, June 1959.
Some recommended CDs:
I bought all of the above for £5 each in Fopp over the last few years. Ray's Atlantic output should still be easy to find at budget prices.
Ray Charles: Man and Music by Michael Lydon. This is the cover from the original 1998 hardback edition (yep, bought in Fopp for £5!). An updated paperback edition from 2004 is available from the marketplace dealers of a certain mega gigantic online shopping website. Yeah, Amazon.
01. Teeth & Tongue Will Get You Hung - The Five Keys
02. When Will My Troubles End (take B) - The Five Keys
03. Lawdy Miss Mary - The Five Keys
04. I'll Follow You - The Five Keys
05. Let Me Know Tonight - The Nitecaps
06. Oh, You Sweet Girl - The Nitecaps
07. In Each Corner Of My Heart - The Nitecaps
08. Sweet Thing - The Nitecaps
01. Be My Girl - The Nitecaps
02. Tough Mama - The Nitecaps
03. A Kiss and A Vow - The Nitecaps
04. Bamboo Rock & Roll - The Nitecaps
05. You're Gonna Be Sorry - The Nitecaps
06. You May Not Know - The Nitecaps
07. Snap Crackle & Pop - The Nitecaps
08. When Will My Troubles End (take A) - The Five Keys
And this post concludes our vocal group season here on Be Bop Wino. Thanks to Joan K for a new edition of "Joan Selects" and don't worry, doowop fans, more group LPs will pop up from time to time! Doo wah Doo wah!
01. Up On The Mountain - The Magnificents
02. Down Off The Mountain - The Magnificents
03. You Ain't Ready - The Flamingos
04. Crazy Over You - The Kool Gents
05. Feeling Alright - The Hi Lighters
06. Stop - The Lyrics
07. Get Lost - The Rhythm Aces
08. Tears On My Pillow - The Eldorados
09. Caddy Bo - The Magnificents
01. Blues In The Letter - The Flamingos
02. Secret Love - The Moonglows
03. For All We Know - The Orioles
04. Ozeta - The Magnificents
05. Hurry Home Baby - The Flamingos
06. The Lonely One - Sherrif & The Ravels
07. Now That It's Over - The Falcons
08. I Was Wrong - The Moonglows
09. Hello Dear - The Hi Lighters
"Dancin' & Romancin'" could have been titled "Jump Children Volume 2" as it is a further set of vocal group tracks from Vee-Jay, including masters originally recorded for Chance. This compilation has a larger selection of groups but as we look at the original release details of these tracks, let's start with the three groups which featured on "Jump Children" - The Flamingos, The Moonglows and The Orioles.
As is usual with vocal group posts, much of the info below is gleaned from Marv Goldberg's site and I have provided links to his pages on some of the groups featured in this comp. This time round I had to dig a little deeper to find info on some of the obscurer groups and tracks on what is an excellent mix of rockers and smoochers. Sources credited at the foot of the post.
The Flamingos -
You Ain't Ready - Chance 1149, October 1953
Blues In A Letter - Chance 1162, October 1954
Hurry Home Baby - Chance 1140, June 1953
The Moonglows -
Secret Love - Chance 1152, February 1954
I Was Wrong - Chance 1156, May 1954
The Orioles -
For All We Know - Vee-Jay 228, November 1956
The Magnificents -
Up On The Mountain - Vee-Jay 183, April 1956
Off The Mountain - Vee-Jay 235, February 1957
Caddy Bo - Vee-Jay 208, September 1956
Ozeta - Vee-Jay 281, May 1958 - this side actually recorded by The 5 Wonders and released as by The Magnificents
The Kool Gents -
Crazy Over You - unreleased Vee-Jay recording, November 1955
The El Dorados -
Tears On My Pillow - Vee-Jay 250, July 1957
The Lyrics / The Falcons were the same group, recording as The Lyrics on Vee-Jay and as The Falcons on Vee-Jay subsidiary label Falcon. The Falcon label had its name changed to Abner following a lawsuit brought by an already existing Falcon label from Texas.
The Lyrics -
Why Don't You Stop - Vee-Jay 285, May / June 1958 (territorial tip in The Cash Box August 1958)
The Falcons -
Now That It's Over - Falcon 1006, October 1957
The Hi-Liters -
Feeling Alright This Morning - unreleased Vee-Jay track, 1956
Hello Dear - Vee Jay 184, May 1956
01. Jump Children (Vooit Vooit) - The Flamingos
02. Real Gone Mama - The Moonglows
03. Live It Up - The Orioles
04. Cross Over The Bridge - The Flamingos
05. Baby Please - The Moonglows
06. Fools Will Be Fools - The Orioles
07. Golden Teardrops - The Flamingos
08. Ooh Rockin' Daddy - The Moonglows
01. I Just Got Lucky - The Orioles
02. My Gal - The Moonglows
03. Someday, Someway - The Flamingos
04. Happy 'Till The Letter - The Orioles
05. 219 Train - The Moonglows
06. Carried Away - The Flamingos
07. Never Leave Me Baby - The Orioles
08. Whistle My Love - The Moonglows
Charly issued a number of doowop LPs back in the 1980s, utilizing masters owned by the Chicago based Vee-Jay label. This collection gathers together sides recorded by The Flamingos and The Moonglows at an early stage in their respective careers, and adds sides recorded for Vee-Jay by The Orioles who were at that time at a rather late stage in their career.
The Flamingos and Moonglows sides were recorded for the small Chicago independent label Chance Records in 1953 and 1954. Chance was founded in 1950 by pressing plant owner and record distributor Art Sheridan. In 1952 he was joined by accountant Ewart Abner Jr but despite good recording activity in 1953 to early 1954 the label was gradually wound down, ceasing to record new material in February 1954 and closing down before the end of that year. Both Sheridan and Abner became part of the Vee-Jay setup, taking Chance masters with them to the latter company.
Fax on the trax, Jack, with original release details:
The Flamingos -
Jump Children (Vooit, Vooit) - Chance 1162, October 1954
Cross Over The Bridge - Chance 1154, March 1954
Golden Teardrops - Chance 1145, September 1953
Someday, Someway - Chance 1133, March 1953
Carried Away - Chance 1145, September 1953
The Moonglows -
Real Gone Mama - Chance 1152, February 1954
Baby Please - Chance 1147, October 1953
Ooh Rocking Daddy - Chance 1156, May 1954
My Gal - Chance 1161, September 1954
219 Train - Chance 1161, September 1954
Whistle My Love - Chance 1147, October 1953
Note - Instrumental accompaniment on the Chance singles of The Flamingos and The Moonglows was by The Red Holloway Orchestra.
The Flamingos went on to be a successful act on Checker and End, while The Moonglows achieved success on Chess / Checker.
By way of contrast, the third group on this compilation were very much past their peak as a recording act when they cut sides for Vee-Jay. The Orioles were a pioneering R&B vocal group which helped to pave the way for the rise of the early '50's group phenomenon with their massive 1948 hit on Jubilee, "It's Too Soon To Know." By the time the Vee-Jay sides were recorded in 1956 the original Orioles group had broken up and a new line-up had been recruited to back ever present lead singer Sonny Til.
The Orioles -
Live It Up - Vee-Jay, VJLP 1021 "Teen Delights", 1960
Fools Will Be Fools - unreleased Vee-Jay master, October 1956
I Just Got Lucky - Vee-Jay 196, May 1956
Happy Till The Letter - Vee-Jay 196, May 1956
Never Leave Me Baby - Vee-Jay 228, November 1956
Your Marv Goldberg links for the full stories of these groups:
The Spaniels out of Gary, Indiana, were one of the classiest of the 1950s R&B vocal groups and their lead tenor Pookie Hudson was one of the greatest of the group vocalists of that era. Their big, BIG hit was "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite" which reached number 5 in the national R&B chart in the summer of 1954 although most of the pop sales action was taken by a cover version by The McGuire Sisters which reached number 7 while The Spaniels' original version only made it to number 24 pop.
Their first release "Baby It's You" / "Bounce" (May 1953) reached number 10 in the R&B chart and was only the second single released by the new Vee-Jay label. The first disc on Vee-Jay was Jimmy Reed's "High And Lonesome." The success of "Baby It's You" necessitated a re-release on the Chance label which was better able to cope with the unexpected demand.
The Spaniels' next national hit was the monster "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite" in the summer of 1954. "You Painted Pictures" reached number 13 R&B in October 1955. The Spaniels' fourth national R&B hit was with "Everyone's Laughing" / "I. O. U" which reached number 13 in July 1957.
This collection, "Stormy Weather," was the second Spaniels comp released by Charly back in the 1980s. It has one hit track, "You Painted Pictures," and some unissued material. It may not be the creme de la creme of The Spaniels' Vee-Jay output, but almost all of the material is very strong. Personal favourites are the rocking "Baby Sweets," the romantic "One Hundred Years From Today" and, of course, "Red Sails In The Sunset" which was unreleased but, heck, it's one of my favourite songs ever, and any rendition by any artist of this classic just gets me - right there.
Unfortunately I never did buy Charly's first Spaniels comp, "Great Googley Moo!", a failure which I now deeply regret. Oh for a time machine.
As ever when it comes to vocal group history, you can find the full story of The Spaniels on Marv Goldberg's site, complete with the tale of how they missed out on "The Twist."
Your link to Marv Goldberg's article on The Spaniels:
Fax on the trax, with titles as per original release:
01. Lovey Dovey Baby - unreleased Vee-Jay recording, June 1958
02. These Three Words - Vee-Jay 328, September 1959
03. People Will Say We're In Love - Vee-Jay 342, December 1959
04. I'll Be Waiting - unreleased Vee-Jay recording, August 1959
05. Stormy Weather - Vee-Jay 290, July 1958
06. Here Is Why I Love You - Vee-Jay 290, July 1958
07. Baby Come Along With Me - Vee-Jay 202, July 1956
08. I. O. U. - Vee-Jay 246, March 1957
09. Bounce - Vee-Jay 101, May 1953 and Chance 1141, June 1953
10. Red Sails In The Sunset - unreleased Vee-Jay recording, August 1959
11. Please Don't Tease - Vee-Jay 229, December 1956
12. You Painted Pictures - Vee-Jay 154, August 1955
13. Baby Sweets - Vee-Jay LP 1024 "The Spaniels". June 1960.
14. One Hundred Years From Today - Vee-Jay 328, September 1959
15. A Stranger In Love - unreleased Vee-Jay recording, October 1958
16. Let's Make Up - Vee-Jay 116, September 1954
On with the doo-wop! Chicago group The Flamingos were one of the big names of the genre with several hits on the R&B charts from 1953 onwards and even a couple of entries in the pop charts in 1959-60, their biggest hit being "I Only Have Eyes For You" which reached number 11 pop in June 1959. Other R&B chart sellers were "I'll Be Home" and "Lovers Never Say Goodbye." Sadly for The Flamingos their classic "I'll Be Home" lost out to a version by Pat Boone when it came to pop chart action with Boone's disc reaching number 4 in the pop chart in February 1956.
The Flamingos first recordings were on the Chance label with 6 discs being issued between March 1953 and October 1954. By the time of their last issue on Chance ("Blues In A Letter" / "Jump Children") they had already moved to the Parrot label which issued 3 Flamingos singles between August 1954 and January 1955. In March 1955 The Flamingos started recording for Chess subsidiary Checker and recorded their last session for that company in August 1956. Between April 1957 and May 1958 they recorded for Decca which did little to promote their material.
The group's next move to George Goldner's End label proved to be more successful, both from an artistic and a commercial viewpoint. with a more pop leaning sound generating good sales, especially on "I Only Have Eyes For You."
This collection consists of tracks recorded for Parrot (the masters were purchased by Chess) and Checker. Posts in the near future will feature some of their Chance recordings.
Original release details -
01. I'll Be Home - Checker 830, January 1956
02. I Really Don't Want To Know - Parrot 811, December 1954
03. Dream Of a Lifetime - Checker 915, January 1959
04. Ko Ko Mo - Parrot 812, January 1955
05. Whispering Stars - Checker 915, January 1959
06. On My Merry Way - Parrot 808, August 1954
07. The Vow - Checker 846, August 1956
08. Would I Be Crying - Checker 853, November 1956
09. A Kiss From Your Lips - Checker 837, April 1956
10. Shilly Dilly - Checker 846, August 1956
11. Stolen Love - Checker LP 1433, February 1959
12. Chickie Um Bah - Checker LP 1433, February 1959
13. Nobody's Love - Checker LP 1433, February 1959
14. Chicka Boom (That's My Baby) - Checker 815, April 1955
15. If I Could Love You - unreleased Parrot master, July 1954
16. I Found A New Baby - unreleased Parrot master, November 1954
Two different versions of "Dream Of A Lifetime" were recorded by The Flamingos. The first was released on Parrot 808 in August 1954. The version on this LP was released on Checker 915 in January 1959.
Checker LP 1433, "The Flamingos" was released in February 1959. It was re-released with the same cover in 1967 as Checker LP 3005, with an electronically recreated stereo version released as Checker LPS 3005:
Scan from Joan k
For the full Flamingos story click on the Marv Goldberg link:
A good compilation of early 1950s vocal group sides recorded in New York by Joe Davis, either for leasing to MGM or for release on his own Jay-Dee label. As is usual with vocal group posts I'll be providing links to Marv Goldberg's site where you can read up on the background of some of the groups on this record.
Joe Davis was a pioneer of R&B in New York, founding one of the earliest NYC indie labels, Beacon, in 1942. His biggest artists at that time were The Five Red Caps and Savannah Churchill. The 1950s vocal group sides on this LP are very different from the emerging doo-wop sound. They seem to be more rooted in the sound of the jive groups of the late 1930s and 1940s and it's strange to think that they are contemporary with the sounds of The Dominoes, The Clovers and The Five Keys.
Surface noise is audible on some tracks as this LP was not in the best of condition.
Release details of the tracks:
The Crickets -
"Milk And Gin" originally released on MGM 11428 in February 1953: "You're Mine" / "Milk And Gin".
"Fine As Wine" originally released on Jay-Dee 781 in September 1953: "I'm Not The One You Love" / "Fine As Wine."
The Blenders -
"If That's The Way You Want It Baby" originally released on MGM 11488 in May 1953: "I Don't Miss You Anymore" / "If That's The Way You Want It Baby".
"Please Take Me Back" originally released on MGM 11531 in July 1953: "Please Take Me Back" / "Isn't It A Shame?"
"You'll Never Be Mine Again" / "Don't Play Around With Love" originally released as Jay-Dee 780 in August 1953.
"Kansas Kapers" originally released on Davis 441 in September 1955. "Somebody's Lyin'" / "Kansas Kapers" by The Millionaires.
The Five Barons -
"Fine as Wine" was cut in 1952 as a one-sided promotional disc (Beacon 9144), probably with a view to pitching the song which was later recorded by The Crickets in May 1953. This is the only known recording by The Five Barons.
Eddie Carter Quartet -
"Don't Turn Your Back On Me" / "Eat 'Em Up" was originally released on MGM 11405 in January 1953.
The Sparrows -
"Why Did You Leave Me" was originally released on Jay-Dee 783 in November 1953. "Tell My Baby" / "Why Did You Leave Me".
"Hey!" was originally released on Jay-Dee 790 in February 1954. "Hey!" / "I'll Be Lovin' You."
"I'm Gonna Do That Woman In" and "I'm Gonna Hold My Baby Tight" were not released in the 1950s.
"I'm Gonna Hold My Baby Tight" was first released on this LP.
"I'm Gonna Do That Woman In" (a charming call to domestic abuse) was released as the B Side of a bootleg single on Kelway 101 in 1971. The A Side was the notorious "Don't Fuck Around With Love" by The Blenders - a naughty version of "Don't Play Around With Love" which Joe Davis recorded as a novelty promo item for deejays.
"Don't Fuck Around With Love" has reared its head on various bootleg singles over the years possibly most memorably as one side of the single on X Rated Records which also featured the amazingly filthy "Rotten Cocksuckers Ball" by The Clovers. In comparison with that effort, The Blenders' opus is very tame indeed as it is basically just "Don't Play Around With Love" with one word substituted.
Anecdote time - in June of 2015 I was on a drunken weekend trip to Munich in the company of ex work colleagues. Having tried to drink the Hofbräuhaus dry during Saturday afternoon and then having stopped off at a beer stall in the Viktualienmarkt for a few more for the road, we piled into a couple of taxis to make our way to the West End. I was astonished to hear the strains of "Don't Fuck Around With Love" on the taxi driver's sound system. Turned out he was a fellow vintage R&B fan. It was a real "hands across the sea" moment. I hope he found his way to this blog ...
Bruce Bastin's sleeve notes on this LP are very comprehensive. He wrote a biography of Joe Davis which originally appeared under the title "Never Sell A Copyright" and then in a revised form as "The Melody Man: Joe Davis & The New York Music Scene 1916 - 1978." Copies are available on a certain well known Marketplace website at a pretty high price.
Further listening - "Fine as Wine" CD on Flyright (Fly CD 30) has 20 Joe Davis vocal group tracks including The Mellows, The Crickets, The Sparrows, Dean Barlow, The Scale-Tones and The Goldentones. It's interesting to contrast the sides recorded by Davis in 1954-1956 with the '52-'53 sides on the posted LP as the later sides are much more "rock and roll" in style. CD issued in the 1980s and probably hard to find nowadays.
If you own the copyright of any music posted here and wish to have it removed from the blog, please contact me at the above email address and it will be removed forthwith.
Dedicated to REAL R&B, Rock'n'Roll, Blues and Jazz
This is a site dedicated to rockin' 1940s and 1950s music, ripped from vinyl. Some cuts are a bit on the rough side. If you're looking for audio perfection you're on the wrong site baby! If you like what you hear on this site please buy this kind of music. There are many reasonably priced reissues available from web dealers or perhaps from your local record shop, if it still exists. These reissues will be in far better sound quality than the vinyl rips on this site and they will usually have more up to date liner notes and info, so go out and splash a little cash now and again. Help keep those reissue labels going in these difficult times.
No in-print CDs will be posted here. In fact no CDs will be posted here. I will occasionally list recommended purchases to help you hear more from artists featured on the blog.
"The night is the corridor of history, not the history of famous people or great events, but that of the marginal, the ignored, the supressed, the unacknowledged; the history of vice, of error, of confusion, of fear, of want; the history of intoxication, of vainglory, of delusion, of dissipation, of delirium." Luc Sante - Low Life