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mardi 31 juillet 2018



            Ce 6ème volume de notre série sur le Texas blues est consacré à deux musiciens fort différents, le premier représentant bien ce R&B Texan qui s'est développé durant les années de guerre et qui a été extrêmement populaire auprès des Noirs durant une bonne décennie; le deuxième le down home blues texan qui, lui, venu des pionniers du genre, perdurera longtemps dans les années 1960.

            Joe Fritz, surnommé "Papoose", sans doute pour des origines indiennes, est né à Houston le 13 novembre 1924 et a fait une carrière de saxophoniste alto et tenor et de chanteur au sein de son propre orchestre, très typique du R&B texan. On ne connaît que peu sa vie, bien qu'il ait accompagné en tournée et en studio des artistes de renom comme Junior Parker, Albert Collins ou
Huey Smith! Fritz a substantiellement enregistré sous son nom pour Modern, Sittin' In With, Peacock et pour Jet Stream jusqu'à la fin des années 60. A notre connaissance, il n'a jamais été interviewé et on connaît le lieu et la date de son décès (12 juin 1983 à Houston) par le fait qu'il était un vétéran de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale! Quoi qu'il en soit, nous proposons ici presque toute son œuvre, quelques titres manquants encore malgré nos efforts.

            D.C. Bender (en fait Dick C. Bendy) est au contraire très profondément ancré dans le blues profond du Texas qui s'est développé dans les années 1920-30. Né à Urbana le 19 juin 1924 dans une famille de métayers, D.C. apprend la guitare avec un voisin bluesman Hardy Gibson et très jeune gagne sa vie en chantant dans les juke joints du Texas et de Louisiane ou dans les rues de Houston, rencontrant et partageant la scène avec Luther Stoneham, Smokey Hogg, Wright Holmes et surtout son cousin Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins. C'est Hopkins qui le présente au producteur Bill Quinn en 1949, ce qui lui permet d'enregistrer deux titres seul à la guitare sous le surnom de D.C. Washington (!). Les années suivantes, Bender s'associe avec un autre bluesman local Big Son Tillis. Le duo part tenter sa chance à Los Angeles où ils enregistrent une superbe séance pour le label Elko de J.R. Fullbright en 1953. De retour à Houston, D.C. Bender rejoint le groupe du batteur Ivory Lee Semien (qui comprend le guitariste Big H. Williams) avec lequel il grave une dernière séance en 1967. Il décède le 11 août 1982 à Houston.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            This 6th opus of our Texas blues series brings two artists representing two very different styles of Texas blues.
            Joe Fritz, nicknamed "Papoose" probably for some Native American origins (?) was born in Houston 13th November 1924 and made quite a long career playing the saxophone and sometimes singing in front of his own band, very typical of the then very popular Texas R&B. His whereabouts and life are little known although he had followed on the road and in studios big Texas blues names like Junior Parker, Huey Smith and Albert Collins. Fritz has also recorded more than twenty tracks under his own name for Modern, Sittin' In With, Peacock or Jet Stream from 1950 to the late 1960's. To my knowledge, he unfortunately has never been interviewed and we know the place and the date of his death (12 June 1983 in Houston) thanks to him being a WWII veteran! Whatever, we have tried to gather all his recordings but, despite our efforts, a few are still missing.
On the other hand, D.C. Bender (in fact Dick C. Bendy) is deeply rooted in the down home Texas blues tradition harking back to the 1920's and Blind Lemon, Texas Alexander or Little Hat Jones. Born at Urbana 19th June 1924 from a sharecropping family, D.C. learned guitar thanks to a neighbor bluesman Hardy Gibson. At a very young age, he left the farm and made a living playing in the Texas/Louisiana juke joints or in the streets of cities like Houston, meeting and playing with other local bluesmen like Luther Stoneham, Smokey Hogg, Wright Holmes or, chiefly, with his cousin Sam Lightnin' Hopkins. This is Hopkins who brought D.C. to producer Bill Quinn who recorded him as a solo artist in 1949 under the moniker of D.C. Washington! The following years, Bender teamed with another deep local bluesman Big Son Tillis and the two tried their luck as far as Los Angeles where they recorded a first rate session for J.R. Fullbright's Elko label in 1953. Unfortunately, those records went nowhere and D.C. came back to Houston, joining drummer Ivory Lee Semien's band with whom he waxed a last session in 1967. D.C. Bender died in Houston 11th August 1982.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

Volume 6
JOE "PAPOOSE" FRITZ, vcl/a-sax; t-sax; band. Houston, Tx. March 1950
01. Wrong doing woman
02. If I be lucky
03. Better wake up baby
04. Real fine girl
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; Willie Johnson, pno; Goree Carter, g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. September 1950
05. Please get me off your mind
06. I love you my darling
07. I'm so sorry
08. Bad bad women blues
09. I've tried not to love you
10. Lady Bear boogie
Cool cool baby blues
I do love you
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; Goree Carter, g; Connie Mc Booker, pno; Bill Harvey, t-sax; band. Houston, Tx. December 1950
11. Please my darling
12. They were right
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; Bill Harvey, t-sax; Goree Carter, g; band. Houston, Tx. January 1951
13. Make her see things my way
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; band. Houston, Tx. February 1951
14. Summer's coming on
15. I'm not suspicious but
If I didn't love you so
In misery
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; Geno Washington, pno; James Von Streeter, t-sax; Devonia Williams, pno; Pete Lewis, g; Albert Winston, bs; Leard Bell, dms. Houston, Tx. October 1953
16. Honey honey
17. The woman I love
Joe "Papoose" Fritz, vcl/a-sax; band. Houston, Tx. 1966
18. Good doctor, sweet soul
19. Aww she's a stepper
20. I'm a stepper
D.C. BENDER, vcl/g. Houston, Tx. 10 June 1949
21. Rebop boogie
22. Happy home blues
D.C. Bender, vcl/g; Big Son Tillis, g. Los Angeles, Ca. 1953
My baby wrote me a letter
23. I'm going upstairs
24. Cold blues
D.C. Bender, vcl/g; Earl Gilliam, og; Big H. Williams, g; Ivory Lee Semien, dms. Houston, Tx. June 1967
25. Boogie Children
26. Woke up this morning
D.C. Bender, g; Big Houston Williams, bs; Ivory Lee Semien, dms. Houston, Tx. 16 juillet 1967
27. D.C.'s freeze up

17 commentaires:

  1. TEXAS BLUES Vol. 6


  2. Great Job (as usual). Thank you again for this follow up on Texas blues. Much appreciated.

  3. Hello Gérard,
    It seems OK.
    Really Thanks a lot for your post. It is always interesting to read information you are providing on these two bluesmen.
    Definitively you blog is a must in the universe of the blogs dedicated to this musical category.
    Again Thanks a lot

  4. Thank you very much Gerard. I found some gems I did not have. I had a quick look to see if I have any of the missing titles but no luck.

  5. incredible...great texas blues history lesson

  6. Very nice, many thanks Gerard, always good to get another comp of rare Texas blues.

  7. I have had some time now to listen to the recordings and I particularly like the Joe Fritz tracks - great music.

  8. Another great one from this fabulous serie from the most instructive blog about the Blues!
    Bill Harvey & Orchestra are the backing band for" Corelle " and " If I did'nt love you so " as it can be seen on the Peacock label

  9. Many thanks Gerard for another wonderful comp.

  10. Unfortunately, MediaFire set Permission Denied. Are there any chance to build new link, for example on the Zippyshare service? Thank you.

    1. ??? No problem for me. The links work fine. Try again and shun Internet Exporer as a browser. By the way, nowadays, problems with links are numerous whether on Zippy (they regularly delete files without any warning nor explanation), Mediafire (at least they warn me when they are doing that), Mega or whatsoever.... Seems like the future of blogs like this are greatly in jeopardy

  11. Thank you Gerard. Nowday link works for me too. I always used Firefox as a browser, without any problems before my first attempting to download TEXAS BLUES Volume 6.

  12. Hello Gerard, I have been researching Joe Fritz and it seems that you have produced the only album of his records. Alas I appear to be 2 years too late. I have managed to find 12 titles but r=the rest alludes me. If at all possible could you please re-up.
    Regards, Bob

    1. I've been able to restore the links! Just grab it while it lasts because I really can't swear it will be there for too long!


  13. Thank you so much Gerard. Much appreciated. My blog is very eclectic but lately I have posted blues and jazz artists.