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mercredi 29 août 2018

TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 7



TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 7

           
Pour ce 7ème opus de notre série Texas blues, mettons les projecteurs sur trois obscurs artistes texans qui nous laissent malgré tout des œuvres enregistrées intéressantes.

            Calvin "Loudmouth" Johnson chantait dans les juke joints autour de Houston durant la fin des années 50 et les années 1960. Il semble avoir dirigé un petit orchestre qui comprenait le guitariste D.C. Bender (cf Texas blues/ Vol. 6) avec lequel il a enregistré un 45t autoproduit en 1964 qu'il vendait durant ses concerts.
            Calvin est découvert par le producteur texan Roy Ames vers 1965 alors qu'il vivait de sa petite échoppe de ferrailleur. Ames l'enregistre à plusieurs reprises, notamment en 1967, une première séance avec ce qui est son orchestre régulier. Mais le résultat est si catastrophique que Ames décide de reprendre tout, fait venir son protégé d'alors Johnny Winter (qu'il avait aussi découvert et promu) plus des musiciens aguerris et, durant trois jours, enregistre dans ce contexte 14 titres chantés par Calvin Loudmouth Johnson. Lien on your body (Mortgage on your soul) paraît en 45t et connaît un certain succès local, se vendant à plusieurs milliers d'exemplaires. On retrouve Johnson la décennie suivante dans les bars de Houston, chantant et jouant de la basse au sein d'un groupe de blues local, The Ministers of Sinisters qui comprend l'harmoniciste Mike Wesolowsky et le batteur Russ Wilson. On ne connaît ni les dates de naissance ni de décès éventuel (et probable) de ce chanteur texan intéressant.

            On ne connaît guère de choses du batteur et chanteur Silver (John) Cooks, le frère du bassiste Don Cooks, sauf qu'il a enregistré avec Edgar Blanchard et Papa Lightfoot. C'est d'ailleurs avec eux (et l'excellent Tommy Ridgley au piano) qu'il a gravé son seul 45t en tant que leader.

            Le chanteur Jesse Lockett était très présent dans les clubs du Third Ward de Houston durant les années 1940 durant lesquelles il a enregistré quatre 45t, révélant un blues shouter convaincant. Il avait cependant en 1939 déjà enregistré un fragment de titre pour John Lomax alors qu'il purgeait une peine de prison au pénitencier de Brazorias, un excellent country blues dans lequel il joue de la guitare et chante dans le plus pur style texan. Le journal "The Houston Informer" le signale en juillet 1943 jouant au Lincoln Theatre ("Jesse Lockett, the blues shouter and composer, has returned to the Lincoln Theatre stage show after filling an engagement at the exclusive ofay nitery on the outskirts of town. Returning on the zoom, Lockett has knocked up some more of his low down numbers and (is) really blowing his tops."). Et son dernier 45t, paru en janvier 1949, est également chroniqué dans le même journal par John Thompson avec des phrases assez élogieuses: “Jesse Lockett, hefty blues singer, who is a native Houstonian, has returned to the city from California, where he went to cut a few records. Jesse is still doing the blues and his latest, which should get somewhere, is 'Run Little Rabbit Run' (sic ). A catchy tune with lots of blues tempo it still has a bit of be-bop. Have him sing it when you see him.” 
Plus loin dans la même chronique; John Thompson note la présence de l'orchestre de Will Rowland qui accompagne Lockett:
“Listen to the traveling band of Will Rowland, who came to Houston via Beaumont from Los Angeles. A seven piece combo, the band did jump a little but not in the class of recent small bands heard here. One of those fine girls (of the Jane Russell type). Elsie Jones, entertained with the group.
            On ne sait pas ce qu'est ensuite devenu Jesse Lockett. Nous avons réussi à regrouper presque la totalité de son œuvre enregistrée (à l'exception du seul Blacker the berry).
            Tous nos remerciements pour leur aide à Cesare Malagodi, l'excellent blog Wired for Sound ainsi que le regretté Roy C. Ames avec lequel j'ai eu une longue correspondance durant les années 1970.
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft

            This 7th Opus of our Texas Blues series brings to the fore three quite obscure Texas bluesmen who, nevertheless, leave us some quite interesting records.
           
            Calvin "Loudmouth" Johnson was singing in the Houston area juke joints during the late 1950's and 60's. He seems to have lead a small band with guitarist D.C. Bender (cf Texas blues/ Vol. 6) with whom he recorded a self produced 45 which he was selling from the bandstand.
            Calvin was "discovered" by producer Roy Ames around 1965 while he was mostly making a living from scrap dealing. Ames recorded him several times, particularly in 1967, first a session with his own band of friends. But the results were so awful that Roy decided to start back the whole affair, this time with his own protégé (and also discovery) Johnny Winter plus some good local musicians during a three days session that gave an excellent reworking of Lien on your body (Mortgage on your soul) that became soon a small local hit. The following years, Johnson is reported singing and playing bass at Houston venues with a group named The Ministers of Sinisters with Mike "Wezo" Wesolowsky at the harmonica and Russ Wilson on the drums... We unfortunately don't know when Calvin was born and when he (probably) died and where he was buried.

            Drummer (and singer) Silver (John) Cooks, probably the brother of bassist Don Cooks, is just a name, possibly from New Orleans. He has recorded behind Edgar Blanchard and Papa Lightfoot and under his name only one excellent single.

            Houston singer Jesse Lockett was playing regularly in the clubs of Houston's Third Ward during the 1940's, even issuing four 45s that shows a very convincing Texas blues belter. He had previously recorded half a track (unfortunately cut short by probably technical problems) in 1939 for John Lomax while he was serving a prison sentence at the Brazorias Penitentiary. The track is an excellent country blues where Jesse plays an unmistakable Texas guitar style. Local newspaper The Houston Informer wrote on July 31, 1943, that "Jesse Lockett, the blues shouter and composer, has returned to the Lincoln Theatre stage show after filling an engagement at the exclusive ofay nitery on the outskirts of town. Returning on the zoom, Lockett has knocked up some more of his low down numbers and (is) really blowing his tops.". And his last single, issued in January 1949, is also reported in the same paper by columnist  John "Sid" Thompson with some laudatory comments: “Jesse Lockett, hefty blues singer, who is a native Houstonian, has returned to the city from California, where he went to cut a few records. Jesse is still doing the blues and his latest, which should get somewhere, is 'Run Little Rabbit Run' (sic ). A catchy tune with lots of blues tempo it still has a bit of be-bop. Have him sing it when you see him.” Elsewhere in the column, Sid notes the presence of an out-of-town band, Will Rowland, but doesn't specify that they were the backing band on "Rabbit": “Listen to the traveling band of Will Rowland, who came to Houston via Beaumont from Los Angeles. A seven piece combo, the band did jump a little but not in the class of recent small bands heard here. One of those fine girls (of the Jane Russell type). Elsie Jones, entertained with the group.”
            We have unfortunately no idea of the whereabouts of Jesse Lockett who seems to have vanished during the early 50's. We have been able to gather all his recordings minus one title (Blacker the berry).
            A lot of thanks to Cesare Malagodi, the excellent blog about Texas records labels Wired for Sound and the late Roy C. Ames with whom we had quite a long correspondance during the 1970's.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT



TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 7
CALVIN "LOUDMOUTH" JOHNSON, vcl/g; D. C. Bender, g; bs; dms. Houston, Tx. March 1964
01. Lien on your body 1964
02. Unsatisfied mind 1964
Calvin "Loudmouth" Johnson, vcl/g/hca; band. Houston, Tx. 23 June 1965
03. Lost you baby
Calvin "Loudmouth" Johnson, vcl/g/hca; Johnny Winter, g; band. Houston, Tx. 17 May 1967
04. Lien on your body (Mortgage on your soul)
05. Unsatisfied mind 1967
06. Late on blues
07. They call me Loudmouth
08. Once I had a woman
09. Take my choice
10. Unwelcome in your town
11. Gangster of love
12. Alone in my bedroom
13. Hootchie Cootchie man
14. Moth Balls
15. She's mine
16. Rock me baby
17. Down and out
SILVER COOKS (John Cooks), vcl/dms; Papa Lightfoot, hca; Tommy Ridgley, pno; Edgar Blanchard, g; Don Cooks, bs. Houston, Tx. 1949
18. Coming back home
19. Mr Ticket Agent
JESSE LOCKETT, vcl/g. Brazoria, Tx. 16 April 1939
20. Worry blues
Jesse Lockett, vcl; Earl Sims, a-sax; Jimmy Moorman, tpt; Doc Jones, t-sax; Laurence Robinson, pno; C. Lechugo, bs; Felix Gross, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1946
21. Hole in the wall
22. Mellow hour blues
23. Boogie woogie mama (prob. alt. take to Hole in the wall)
Blacker the berry
Jesse Lockett, vcl; Will Rowland, a-sax; band. Houston, Tx. January 1949
24. Reefer blues
25. Don't lose your mind
26. Run rabbit run
27. Cold blooded woman



vendredi 24 août 2018

NEW LINKS

NEW LINKS/ NOUVEAUX LIENS


Pour répondre à des demandes, voici de nouveaux liens pour certains articles. Téléchargez les tant que c'est possible si vous êtes intéressés car certains liens disparaissent souvent aussi vite qu'ils sont mis en ligne

To fill some requests, here are new links for some previous posts. Download them as soon as you can if you're interested for quite often the links are oddly deleted as soon as they are posted!











ET N'OUBLIEZ PAS QUE LES COÛTS DE CE BLOG SONT UNIQUEMENT FINANCES PAR LA VENTE DE MES OUVRAGES. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ SON EXISTENCE, MES OUVRAGES SONT TOUS EN VENTE SUR AMAZON (cf ci-joint)

AND DON'T FORGET THAT THE COSTS OF THAT BLOG ARE ONLY PARTIALLY COVERED BY THE SALES OF MY OWN BOOKS. IF YOU WISH TO SEE THIS BLOG CONTINUE, MY BOOKS ARE ALL ON SALE ON AMAZON (cf ATTACHED LINKS)

lundi 13 août 2018

PINEY BROWN




PINEY BROWN


            Moins connu que Big Joe Turner ou Wynonie Harris, ses modèles, Piney Brown n'en est pas moins un blues shouter de talent et qui a enregistré une oeuvre conséquente s'étendant sur cinq décennies!
            Colombus Perry naît le 20 janvier 1922 à Birmingham, la plus grande ville de l'Alabama. Elevé par sa mère qui faisait des ménages, vivant en milieu urbain, Colombus commence à chanter dans un groupe de Gospel The Young Blue Jays tout en fréquentant les spectacles de Vaudeville et les Tent shows avec assiduité. C'est une des vedettes de ce circuit alors si populaire, Shepherd Sam, qui lui apprend le mêtier, à danser, chanter, bonimenter, faire des acrobaties.
            Après divers jobs, Colombus s'installe brièvement à Kansas City où il a l'occasion de voir les blues shouters et les musiciens de la ville en action. Il gagne ensuite Baltimore en 1940 où il danse et chante dans différents cabarets du grand port et réussit à remplacer au pied levé Wynonie Harris, malade, dont il connaît par coeur le répertoire au Royal Theatre, accompagné de l'orchestre de Lucky Millinder.
            En 1946, il forme un duo de chant et de danse avec Estelle Young. Elle se fait appeler Caldonia (en hommage au tube de Louis Jordan). Lui prend alors le nom de Piney Brown, un hit de Big Joe Turner d'après le nom d'un barman bien connu de Kansas City.
            Le duo connaît un certain succès et Piney Brown tourne alors à travers tout les Etats Unis, à l'affiche avec Billy Eckstine, Gatemouth Brown, Percy Mayfield, Lester Young et même.... Big Joe Turner qui le reçoit d'abord fraîchement à cause de son nom de scène!
           
C'est en 1947 que Piney Brown fait ses débuts en studio grâce au pianiste Sonny Thompson qu'il a justement rencontré en tournée. Ce disque donne la possibilité à Brown de signer un contrat avec le prestigieux label Apollo de New York (de Bess Berman). My baby's gone effleure les Hit Parades de R&B et permet à Piney Brown de se produire à l'Apollo Theatre de Harlem, dans les principaux night clubs du pays (comme le Cotton Club) et d'effectuer une fructueuse tournée dans les bases militaires américaines, accompagné de l'orchestre d'Illinois Jacquet. Les années suivantes, Brown est constamment en studio, enregistrant pour Sittin' In With, Atlas, Prestige, Jubilee, Mad et King dont il devient aussi un compositeur maison. C'est dans ce cadre qu'il signe Popcorn, le célèbre succès de James Brown.
            Après avoir essayé de diriger un club à Kansas City (et avoir fini une balle perdue dans le dos!), Piney Brown retourne à Birmingham pour s'occuper de sa mère souffrante. Il y enregistre pour le label Heart et aide la carrière de Jerry Mc Cain.
            En 1964, Piney se marie et s'installe définitivement à Dayton dans l'Ohio où il se produit régulièrement au club The Village et à la base militaire voisine de l'US Air Force, tout en enregistrant pour le petit label local, Deep Groove. Le Rhythm & Blues n'ayant plus guère la faveur des jeunes Noirs, Piney favorise de plus en plus dans sa musique la Soul et le Funk, copie James Brown avec Everything but you avant d'enregistrer une longue séance pour le label 77 de John Richbourg à Nashville, accompagné d'un orchestre de Country Music!
            Lorsque Delmark réédite ses séances Jubilee, Piney Brown contacte le label pour ses droits d'auteur et est ainsi signalé aux amateurs de blues. Après que la revue britannique Juke Blues lui ait consacré un long article/interview, Piney Brown tourne en Europe, enregistre deux albums en 2004-2005, doit en faire un troisième pour Delmark. Mais il décède avant de réaliser ce projet le 5 février 2009 à Dayton.
            Nous avons ici regroupé presque la totalité des enregistrements de Piney Brown effectués entre 1947 et 1959 plus une sélection de ses titres les plus blues de la décennie suivante.
            Merci à Jollyjumper, Uncle Gil et Steve Wisner pour leur aide déterminante. Et merci aussi à Brian Baumgatner pour son article paru dans Juke Blues 48 que nous avons beaucoup utilisé pour cet article.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Less famous than Big Joe Turner or Wynonie Harris, his favorites, Piney Brown is anayway a gifted blue shouter who recorded a long string of singles and CDs, spanning a career of five decades!
            Colombus Perry was born on 20 January 1922 in Birmingham, Alabama. Raised by his mother who was a housekeeper, the young boy started to sing in a Gospel group The Young Blue Jays while attending a lot of Vaudeville and Tent Shows. There he met the famous Vaudeville artist Shepherd Sam who taught him how to dance, sing, tell tales, acrobatics...
            At the end of the 1930's, Colombus tried his luck in Kansas City with no success but he had there the opportunity to watch and meet many of the blues and jazz acts of the time. He then went to Baltimore around 1940, singing and dancing in several night clubs of this big harbor. He even replaced at the Royal Theatre and backed by the Lucky Millinder Orchestra, an ill Wynonie Harris from who he knew all the songs!
            In 1946, he formed a singing and dancing duo with Estelle Young. Estelle took the stage name of Caldonia (cashing on Louis Jordan's hit) and Colombus Perry became Piney Brown, the title of a smash hit by Big Joe Turner about a famous Kansas City bartender! The duo enjoyed some success and Piney Brown started to tour across the USA with several shows, sharing the bill with Billy Eckstine, Gatemouth Brown, Percy Mayfield, Lester Young and even a very suspicious (at first) Big Joe Turner! Thanks to Sonny Thompson, Piney made his recording debut in 1947 for Miracle, enough to be invited to make a session the next year at New York for the prestigious Apollo label of Bess Berman. My baby's gone enjoyed some success and Piney appeared at many famous clubs and venues like the Apollo Theatre, the Cotton Club, while embarking of several tours of US Military bases. He was also regularly on the studios, recording for Sittin' In With, Atlas, Jubilee, Mad and King which also hired him as a composer. While at King, Piney Brown gave the hit Popcorn to James Brown!
            After an unsuccesful attempt to own a night club in Kansas City (and a bullett in his back!), Piney had to come back to Birmingham to help his aging mother. Then he recorded for the Heart label and helped launch Jerry McCain career. In 1964, Piney finally settled down permanently in Dayton (Ohio) where he married, singing at local clubs (The Village) or US Air Force bases while still recording for the small Dayton label, Deep Groove in a style more and more leaning towards Soul and Funk (Everything but you). During the late 1960's Piney also recorded several sessions for John Richbourg's 77 label in Nashville, backed by a young Country band.
            When Delmark reissued his Jubilee tracks, Piney contacted the Chicago label for his royalties. Delmark spread the news among blues buffs around the world and after a lengthy article and interview on the british Juke Blues magazine, Piney embarked himself on several tours of Europe, recording two CDs in 2004-2005. Another album was programmed for Delmark but Piney Brown died before on 5 February 2009 in Dayton.
            We have here gathered almost all the recordings made by this important blues shouter between 1947 and 1959 plus a selection of his most bluesy tracks that he recorded in the 60's.
            A lot of thanks to Jollyjumper, Uncle Gil and Steve Wisner for their great help. And a particular thanks to Brian Baumgartner whose Juke Blues n°48's article has been strongly used here!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT



Piney Brown (Colombus Perry), vcl; Eddie Chamblee, t-sax; Sonny Thompson, pno; g; bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. 25 October 1947
01. That's right, little girl
Piney Brown, vcl; band. New York City, November 1948
02. Down and out blues
03. Gloomy monday blues
04. Mourning blues
05. Piney Brown boogie
Piney Brown, vcl; band. New York City, January 1950
06. How about rockin' with me?
07. Why do I cry over you?
08. That's right baby
09. Lovin' gal blues
Piney Brown, vcl; Abe Baker, bs; band. New York City, 1951
10. You bring out the wolf in me
11. Don't pass me by
12. Battle with the bottle
13. 3D loving
Piney Brown, vcl; Blue Flashes, band. New York City, 1952
14. You made me this way
15. Talking about you
16. Have mercy
17. Kokimo
Piney Brown, vcl; Ed Swanston, pno; band. New York City, January 1953
18. Ooh I want my baby
19. My heart is aching baby
The stuff is here
So afraid of losing you
Piney Brown, vcl; Sidney Grant, t-sax; tb; Champion Jack Dupree, pno; Mickey Baker, g; Cedric Wallace, bs; John Taylor, dms. New York City, 7 April 1953
20. Whispering blues
21. Walk a block and fall
Piney Brown, vcl; Madman Jones, t-sax; Lefty Bates, g; band. Chicago, Ill. 1959
22. Sugar in my tea
23. My love
Piney Brown, vcl; band. Dayton, Oh. 1961
24. I'm travelling
25. Life is funny
Piney Brown, vcl; band. Dayton, Oh. 1966
26. Everything but you
I'm tired of running   (Thanks to Steve Wisner for sharing this rare track)
Piney Brown, vcl; band. Nashville, Tn. 1969
27. Bring it on home
28. Baby don't do it
29. One of these days
30. Nashville wimmin'