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vendredi 12 février 2016

TALL PAUL HANKINS/ Complete Recordings 1959-67

TALL PAUL HANKINS/ Complete Recordings

            La présence de Tall Paul Hankins dans notre dernier Chicago/ The Blues Today a engendré un certain intérêt parmi les lecteurs de ce blog, ce qui m'a poussé à faire davantage de recherches sur ce musicien jusqu'ici très peu documenté. Parallèlement, nos amis Benoit Blue Boy, Lex Jansen et particulièrement Steve Wisner nous ont fourni des copies des titres encore manquants et même un 45t de 1963 qui n'est pas présent dans l'excellente "Blues Discography".

            Paul Vernon Hankins est né le 20 mars 1937 à Fairhope, Alabama, une petite ville côtière non loin de Mobile. Il apprend la musique et en particulier le piano à la Baldwin County Training School et commence à jouer très jeune dans différents orchestres locaux. Paul gagne Chicago dans les années 1950, se marie avec une amie d'enfance Edith Lillian Parnell (1936-2010) et fonde une maison de disques tout en s'imposant avec son orchestre composé des frères Hudson comme un excellent pianiste de organiste aussi à l'aise dans le jazz, le blues que plus tard la Soul et le Funk. Durant les années 1960, il est fréquemment dans les studios, enregistrant comme sideman pour différents bluesmen comme Earl Hooker, Bobby Saxton, Freddy Robinson, Lillian Offit mais sous son nom plutôt comme un organiste dans la veine d'un Jimmy Smith.
Lassé de la vie trop trépidante et criminogène de Chicago, "Tall" Paul Hankins décide de regagner son Alabama natal avec sa famille désormais nombreuse au début des années 1970. Paul se tourne de plus en plus vers la religion et, avec les années, il utilise surtout son grand talent d'organiste auprès de son église, la Twin Beech AME Zion Church à Fairhope. Il décède le 18 décembre 2010.
            Tous détails supplémentaires sur la vie et la carrière de cet important musicien seront les bienvenus.
                                              Gérard HERZHAFT

            Keyboardist Tall Paul Hankins' presence in the last issue of our Chicago/ The Blues Yesterday series has stirred a quick and strong interest among readers of this blog who are essentially hard blues buffs! As our friends Benoit Blue Boy, Lex Jansen and particularly Steve Wisner provided the missing tracks and even an hitherto unknown 45t from 1963 (for the short lived Bill Tyson's label Ty-Do) it so finished to convince me to search more and deeper about this great musician who stayed largely undocumented insofar.
            Paul Vernon Hankins was born in Fairhope, Alabama, a small town of 15.000 on the Gulf Coast, not far from Mobile, on 20th March 1937. Paul started to learn the music and the piano while attending the Baldwin County Training School. As a teenager, he began to play in several local bands. To get more opportunities, Hankins came to Chicago during the late 1950's. He soon married Edith Lillian Parnell (1936-2010), a childhood friend. At ease whether playing blues, jazz, Soul and Funk, Paul Hankins displayed his great talents as a pianist and organist with many Chicago bands, in clubs and in studios. Forming his own band composed of good sidemen like the Hudson Brothers, Paul recorded a lot behind people like Earl Hooker, Bobby Saxton, Freddy Robinson or Lillian Offit and under his name, mostly as an organist in the Jimmy Smith's mould with a striking downhome touch.
            With a large family and tired of the hectic and sometimes dangerous Chicago life, "Tall" Paul Hankins decided to go back to his native Alabama during the early 70's. A religious man, he dedicated more and more his organ and piano playing to his Fairhope's Twin Beech AME Zion Church. He died in Fairhope on 18 December 2010.
            More details about the life and the music of this great musician would be most welcomed.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

Tall Paul Hankins, pno; Eddie C. Campbell, g; A.C. Reed, t-sax; Jack Myers, bs; Odie Payne, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1959
01. Teenage hop
02. I am in love again
Tall Paul Hankins, vcl/og; prob. Willie Hudson, g; band. Chicago, Ill. c. juillet 1963
03. The big ape
04. Organ Soul
Tall Paul Hankins, og; Willie Hudson, g/vcl on *; Bobby Hudson, bs; Joe Hudson, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1964
05. Joe's House Party I & II
06. Red Lips
07. It's you I'm going to miss*
Tall Paul Hankins, og; The Hot Peppers, band. Chicago, Ill. 1965
08. The Turnpike
09. Saint James Infirmary
10. A touch of the blues
11. Hot Spot
Tall Paul Hankins, og; band. Chicago, Ill. 1966
12. My Boogaloo
13. I did it
Tall Paul Hankins, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. c. 1967
14. Rock me baby
15. Soul searchin'

11 commentaires:

  1. Tall Paul Hankins/ Complete Recordings


    1. Thank you very much Gerard. This is an artist that is "looking for an album with good liner notes regarding his biography". Apart from "Red Lips" on Wolf 120.295 there is very little else available to buy.

  2. Gerard, thank you for this special compilation; i knew his name, but never heard a track until the Chicago compilation: and now you surprise me with a 15 track compilation! TYVM !!

  3. Merci Gerard, je ne connaissais cet artiste qu'a travers un ou deux morceaux sur des compil (Red Hot on Meat & Gravy from Bea & Baby). Cheers,

  4. Outstanding! with others I knew the name but hadn't heard the man's music until your recent Chicago comp, and now we have this. Many thanks.

  5. Merci beaucoup pour ce nouveau post , THANKS !

  6. Gerard

    Excellent compilation, as always. Appreciate it!

  7. Thank you Gerard much appreciated .

  8. No one seems to have mentioned it, but there is something I noted during my retagging of Chicago/The Blues/Yesterday! Vol. 16, and I thought there might be an error. But after seeing this compilation and downloading it to make sure, I really must ask this question:

    What exactly is the difference between "My Boogaloo" (track 12) and "I Did IT" (track 13) or is on a retitled version of the other?

    1. You're utterly right. The two tracks are the same. I didn't have the original 45 but get them from copies sent to me. So I can't for sure say if there is a mistake somewhere in the process or if the 45 have really two similar tracks with different titles (which was not so unusual on those cheap labels)??
      Anyway thank you for raising this question. Maybe someone could answer to it for sure?