Nombre total de pages vues

samedi 21 septembre 2019

TEXAS BLUES Vol. 8/ Willie Johnson Plus

TEXAS BLUES Vol. 8/ Willie Johnson +

Houston, Tx. Eldorado Ball Room c. 1960
Thanks to our generous friends Mike G. & Mike K. from Australia, we now may post 5 very very rare Willie Johnson's tracks that fill most of the gaps in his discography:

Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; The Groovy Five, band. San Antonio, Tx. October 1949
Lost baby
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; Third Ward Sir-Cats, band. Houston, Tx. janvier 1951
Sad and blue
Rocket 88
So happy

Tears come falling down

Thanks again, guys!

lundi 16 septembre 2019



This eighth volume of our Texas blues series is focused on three pianists, this instrument having been most important on all traditional Texas blues.
            I haven't been able to grab much about singer and pianist Melvin Daniels who seems to have been quite active in the Dallas/Fort Worth area during the early 50's. He is only mentioned in blues magazines and books for having sheltered a young King Curtis in his band. Curtis is present on the six nice titles recorded in 1953 by Daniels and those are - if I'm right - his very first recording tracks even with one instrumental (Tenor in the sky) where he is leading the band.
            Lavada Durst is a well known DJ, pianist and singer (and even baseball commentator!) from Austin and he has been very well documented in blues
magazines and books and he has even been the subject of an excellent Austin University's thesis by Peter Okie Weiss! Durst was born in Austin on January 9th 1913. He learned the piano at an early age while hearing and meeting many local blues pianists like Robert Shaw or Baby Dotson. Lavada became "Dr Hepcat" a well loved DJ on KVET radio in Austin between 1948 and 1963, drawing strong audiences with his choice of top R&B and jazz records of the era as well as his jiving between records, public service announcements and commercials. Despite being quite famous locally, Lavada Durst recorded only six tracks, all in 1949 for Uptown and then Peacock, his composition Hattie Green being a small local hit. After going into religion and playing only Gospel music, Durst resumed his blues career during the late 1970's, recording several excellent sessions. He died on October 31st 1995 in his hometown.
            Last but not least, Willie Johnson (not to be confused with the others Willie Johnson, guitarists from Mississippi and Memphis) was a prolific piano player around Houston and San Antonio during the 1940's-50's. He recorded quite extensively as an accompanist of many Texas blues and R&B stalwarts and under his own name (Willie or Bill Johnson) or under group names (Groovy Five, Groovy Trio, Third Ward Sir-Cats!). Surprisingly, almost nothing is known about him and - as far as I know - he has not been the subject of any article in blues magazines! I have been able to gather many of his recordings but too many are still missing and if anyone who would own those quite rare and hard to find tracks would like to share, a .mp3 copy would be appreciated.
            Thanks a lot to Alan Govenar, Jeff and Carlos Rodriguez for their help.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Volume 8
MELVIN DANIELS, vcl/pno; King Curtis, t-sax; Vonzell Tucker, t-sax; Orion Villette, b-sax; Webster Armstrong, g; Henry Dodds, bs; Vernon Lewis, dms. Fort Worth, Tx. 1953
01. I'll be there
02. Boogie in the moonlight
03. If you don't want my loving
04. Hey hey little girl
05. No more crying on my pillow
06. Tenor in the sky
LAVADA DURST (as Dr Hepcat), vcl/pno. Austin, Tx. February 1949
07. Hattie Green (Uptown)
08. Hepcat's boogie
Lavada Durst (as Cool Papa Smith), vcl/pno; band. Austin, Tx. May 1949
09. You better change your ways woman
10. Christmas blues
Lavada Durst, vcl/pno; Wilmer Snakesnider, a-sax; band. Houston, Tx. December 1949
11. Hattie Green (Peacock)
12. I cried all night
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; bs; dms. Los Angeles, Ca. April 1949
Square bear
Fat daddy blues
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; bs; dms. San Antonio, Tx. May 1949
13. Squeeze my baby
14. Too late baby
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; The Groovy Five, band. San Antonio, Tx. October 1949
Lost baby
Wrong love blues
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 16 May 1950
15. Sampson Street boogie
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; Henry Hayes, t-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Goree Carter, g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. June 1950
16. Boogie in blues
17. Weeping little woman
18. Got the boogie woogie blues (vcl: Hubert Robinson)
19. That boy's boogie
20. Shout it out (vcl: Slim Reese)
Willie Johnson (as Bill Johnson), vcl/pno; prob. same band. Houston, Tx. October 1950
21. Bill's boogie
22. Worried blues
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; Third Ward Sir-Cats, band. Houston, Tx. janvier 1951
Sad and blues
Rocket 88
So happy
Tears come falling down
Willie Johnson, vcl on *; Thelma Johnson, vcls; Lee Allen, t-sax; Salvador Doucette, pno; Ernest Mc Lean, g; Frank Fields, bs; Earl Palmer, dms. New Orleans, La. 18 December 1952
23. Here comes my baby
24. Sometimes I wonder why*
25. Love me till dawn
26. Don't tell mama
Willie Johnson, vcl/pno; band. New Orleans, La. 1954
27. Say baby
28. That night

mardi 10 septembre 2019

SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON/ Live Recordings (Re-post)

Live Sessions

Si les enregistrements en studio pour Trumpet, Chess ou Storyville de Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) qui regorgent de chefs d'œuvre et sont devenus des classiques du Chicago blues, sont aisément disponibles sous diverses formes, les enregistrements en concert ou dans des radios effectués par cet immense bluesman demeurent plus confidentielles et disséminées sur de nombreux albums, souvent très difficiles à se procurer aujourd'hui.
            Nous avons essayé de regrouper tous ces enregistrements "live", l'immense majorité ayant été effectuée en Europe (seul un programme radiophonique en studio à Helena provient des Etats Unis). Evidemment, à l'exception des concerts qui proviennent de l'American Folk Blues Festival dans lesquels Sonny Boy est accompagné de superbes musiciens comme M.T. Murphy, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Memphis Slim etc... les autres sont beaucoup moins musicalement réussis. Derrière Sonny Boy, nombre de très jeunes musiciens anglais qui sont alors au tout début de leur carrière font plus montre d'enthousiasme que d'empathie réelle avec leur leader d'un soir. Mais Sonny Boy est Sonny Boy et dès qu'il chante, parle, susurre, souffle dans son harmonica, claque des doigts, l'instant est magique. Et finalement ces enregistrements, souvent réalisés dans des conditions précaires et qui, parfois, n'étaient même pas destinés à être publiés, constituent un apport très intéressant à l'œuvre du maestro.
            Sauf erreur, tout ce que Sonny Boy a enregistré live dans les années 1963-65 se trouve ici. A l'exception de six titres provenant d'une séance privée que je n'ai pas inclus.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT
Les Rolls Royce des Harmonicas sont ici

            If the studio recordings for Trumpet, Chess or Storyville made by Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) are full of blues masterpieces and are still easily available today, his live recordings (made in concerts or for radio programmes) are much more confidential and scattered on too many albums, very often hard to get. And some that you'll find here are also hitherto unissued.
            We have tried to gather all those live recordings, essentially captured in Europe (with one exception coming from Helena, Arkansas). Of course, with the strong exception of the American Folk Blues Festivals' concerts where Sonny Boy is backed by great American fellow bluesmen (M.T. Murphy, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Memphis Slim etc...), the others are much less musically successful. Behind the great bluesman, many very young British musicians who are at the very beginning of their careers display more enthusiasm than real empathy to their revered one night leader. But Sonny Boy is Sonny Boy and as soon as he sings, talks, groans, whispers, blows his harp, snaps his fingers... the moment becomes just magical! And finally those recordings, very often made in very precarious and technically rough conditions - several were not even aimed to be issued! - are anyway a very rewarding addition to the maestro's complete works.
            Unless I'm mistaken, everything Sonny Boy has recorded live between 1963-65 (nothing was done before, the track on the Argo's Folk Festival album was in fact a studio recording with handclaps added!) is gathered here. With one missing exception, six titles coming from a private recording that I've not included.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT


The Rolls Royces of the harmonica are here

mercredi 4 septembre 2019



This third opus of our "Ladies sing the blues" series, focused on little known female singers, gathers - contrarily to the two previous volumes which were focused on one blueswoman - three of those ladies who recorded during the immediate postwar years in a jazz/R&B idiom.
            Singer pianist/accordionist Christine Chatman has recorded under her name and as an accompanist or the featured vocalist for many R&B bands: Hank Ballard's Midnighters; Peppy Prince Orchestra; Jack Mc Vea's Combo; Percy Mayfield... and even The Platters (all their 1954 sessions). Sometimes confused with Memphis Slim's French wife Christine (!), she has no relationship with Peter Chatman (Memphis Slim). Her life and whereabouts have been first documented by blues researchers Dan Kochakian and Dave Penny (cf Blues & Rhythm Magazine 224), drawing the attention of Christine's nephew, contemporary drummer Rich Coleman who added a lot of new infos about his quite legendary aunt in Blues & Rhythm 326. We have gathered here the wonderful 15 tracks she recorded as a lead singer.
            I must confess I have no info at all about jazz/R&B vocalist Geraldine Carter who seems to have recorded only those four 1947 tracks (?) as the featured vocalist of the Lloyd Glenn's band. She is certainly not the most expressive female singer of those years but the backing band with Lloyd and guitarist Gene Phillips is first rate and she finally delivers four very nice tracks.
Torch singer Jeanne De Metz is only a little bit well documented (thanks to Robert L. Campbell, Robert Pruter and Armin Büttner). She was the singer of saxophonist Johnny Alston's band which was quite popular during the immediate postwar years in Los Angeles' clubs. Jeanne even appeared on The Spotlighter (a local magazine) in 1944 (with the picture herein) that predicted her to be "this lady, in a year or so, will definitely make the top of the ladder"... Which unfortunately never happened. Here are all the tracks she waxed with Alston and his band with the great Walter Fleming on the 88s. plus the band instrumentals from the same sessions.
            Every additional info (or music?) by those quite obscure artists will be greatly appreciated.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

CHRISTINE CHATMAN, vcl/pno; Reginald Adams, tpt; Ralph Bowden, tb; Bill Moore, t-sax; Roger Jones, bs; Horace Washington, dms. New York City, 6 April1944
01. Naptown boogie
02. Bootin' the boogie I
03. Bootin' the boogie II
04. The boogie woogie girl
05. Hurry Hurry (vcl: Big Maybelle)
Christine Chatman, vcl/pno; Gene Ammons, t-sax; Leo Blevins, g; Leroy Jackson, bs; Wesley Landers, dms. Chicago, Ill. 28 February 1949
06. Hey Mr Freddy
07. When your hair turns to silver
08. Do you really mean it?
Christine Chatman, vcl/pno; Little Willie Jackson, t-sax; Peppy Prince, dms; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1953
09. All by myself
10. Wino's lament
11. Run gal run
12. Ain't nothing shaking
Christine Chatman, vcl/pno; Charles Thomas, t-sax; Warren Mc Owens, bs; Peppy Prince, dms; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1954
13. The Honky Tonky
Christine Chatman, vcl/pno; Jack Porter, tpt; Jack Mc Vea, t-sax; William Woodman, t-sax; Gene Phillips, g; Reginald Jones, bs; Rudy Pitts, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1955
14. Hoo doo you baby
15. Oh, how the geese did fly
GERALDINE CARTER, vcl; Lloyd Glenn, pno; Gene Phillips, g; Jake Porter, tpt; Marshall Royal, a-sax; Gene Parker, t-sax; At Edwards, bs; Bill Streets, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 24-26 December 1947
16. Advice to a fool
17. That other woman's gotta go
18. Stranger
19. Texas man
JEANNE DE METZ, vcl; Johnny Alston, t-sax; ; Jack Wilson, tpt; Jack Lake, t-sax/clt; Walter Fleming, pno; Charles Cook, g; Addison Farmer, bs; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. May-June 1946
20. Everything will be all right
21. Brooklyn jump
22. Ecstasy
23. I'm feeling fine
24. Mr Fine
25. Calypso daddy
26. Red light
Jeanne De Metz, vcl; Johnny Alston, t-sax; a-sax; b-sax; Walter Fleming, pno; Charles Cook, g; Addison Farmer, bs; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1947
27. Sam the boogie woogie man
28. Weary blues
29. I found a new baby

samedi 31 août 2019

LOS ANGELES BLUES Vol. 1 & 2 (new links)

LOS ANGELES BLUES Volume 1 & 2(New Links)

Cf Texte (cf text and discography):


cf Texte (see text) and discography:


dimanche 18 août 2019

FENTON ROBINSON Blues Guitar Masters 8

Volume 8

Malgré son immense réputation auprès des fans de blues du monde entier, Fenton Robinson est rarement cité parmi les bluesmen majeurs. Alors que son œuvre, presque toujours excellente voire remarquable, en fait un des plus accomplis des chanteurs/guitaristes du blues "moderne".
            Né le 23 septembre 1935 à Minter City, dans le Mississippi, au sein d'une famille de métayers miséreux, essentiellement élevé par sa mère, il doit quitter l'école très jeune pour aider aux travaux des champs. C'est un voisin, le guitariste Sammy Hampton, qui lui apprend les rudiments de la guitare. Mais ce n'est qu'après avoir déménagé à Memphis en 1951 que Fenton découvre les guitares des grands innovateurs de la Côte Ouest comme T-Bone Walker ou Oscar Moore, les arrangements des big bands de jazz et les voix des blues shouters tels Eddie Vinson ou Joe Williams. Ce seront toujours ces influences sophistiquées et urbaines qui domineront sa musique.
            Il décide alors de devenir musicien professionnel, forme un groupe avec Charles McGowan et parfait son éducation musicale auprès de différents musiciens chevronnés de la ville. Une démarche extrêmement inhabituelle pour un bluesman du Mississippi qui, plus tard, l'amènera à apprendre à lire et à écrire la musique et arranger l'orchestration.
            Memphis se révélant peu lucratif, Fenton gagne tenter sa chance à Little Rock en 1953, en faisant sa base de rayonnement jusqu'en 1961. Il joue dans les clubs de jazz et de blues, anime une émission de radio sur KXLR, présentant tous les talents de la capitale de l'Arkansas: Larry Davis (alors bassiste), Sammy Lawhorn, Sunny Blair, Ernest Lane... Il joue aussi souvent à Saint Louis, notamment en 1954-55 au Blue Flame Club où il rencontre Ike Turner et ses Kings of Rhythm. Quand Fenton retourne à Little Rock, il est suivi de quelques musiciens des Kings of Rhythm, tel le saxophoniste-ténor Little Cameron avec lequel il enregistrera.
Remarqué par Lester Bihari, Fenton enregistre enfin en 1957 pour Meteor Tennessee woman, ce qui l'amène à signer pour le label de Don Robey, Duke qui saura lui faire graver une série de séances remarquables dans ses studios de Houston: As the years go passing by (une composition originale de Peppermint Harris cédée à Robey qui deviendra le standard que l'on sait), une version supérieure de Tennessee woman, Mississippi steamboat ou l'instrumental The Freeze (qui influencera tant Albert Collins). Fenton accompagne aussi plusieurs chanteurs comme Larry Davis sur le classique Texas flood.
            Mais dans le Sud, Robinson ne réussit pas à vivre, comme il le souhaite tant, de sa musique, et doit travailler en usine le jour (notamment chez Coca Cola). Il gagne donc Chicago. Presque immédiatement, la réputation de ses disques Duke, son jeu de guitare jazzy, fluide, virtuose, expressif, son chant poignant qui ajoute au phrasé distingué des blues shouters la ferveur du Gospel lui permet d'assembler un groupe (Bobby King, Jack Myers, Earl Robinson) qui devient l'orchestre-maison du club Theresa's. Il enregistre pour plusieurs petits labels de Chicago (USA, Palos). En 1967, le magnifique Somebody loan me a dime commence à flirter avec les Hit Parades locaux mais l'hiver précoce et très dur paralyse la ville durant plusieurs semaines, empêchant l'ascension du titre.
Cependant, Somebody n'est pas perdu pour tout le monde, notamment pas pour le chanteur de rock Boz Scaggs qui l'enregistre en 1969 sur Atlantic, s'en approprie la composition et en fait un énorme succès commercial! Malgré ses efforts, Fenton - qui n'a guère les moyens financiers de lutter - ne récupérera jamais les droits qu'il aurait dû percevoir. Robinson continue donc une petite carrière, grave encore quelques 45 t pour le minuscule label Giant puis, dans la foulée du succès de Boz Scaggs, un album entier à Nashville sous l'égide de John Richbourn qui ne trouve rien de mieux que de le priver de sa guitare et l'entourer d'un des groupes de rock les plus rigides du moment.
            Fenton tourne ensuite avec Charlie Musselwhite durant quelques années. Jusqu'à ce que Bruce Iglauer lui permette enfin en 1974 d'enregistrer le merveilleux Somebody loan me a dime (Alligator). Magnifiquement produit, entouré de grands musiciens de blues, Fenton est au sommet de son art et cet album est certainement un des grands chefs d'œuvre indispensables du Chicago blues de cette période. Plusieurs titres de cette sublime séance sont encore inédits et on peut espérer que Alligator va en sortir un jour l'intégrale?
            Avec un tel disque et un label comme Alligator, l'avenir de Fenton semblait enfin prometteur. Malheureusement, impliqué dans un accident de voiture mortel, Robinson est condamné à la prison et incarcéré en 1975. A sa sortie, il enregistre un nouveau très bon album pour Alligator I hear some blues downstairs. Mais le caractère ombrageux et la personnalité de Fenton le brouillent avec beaucoup de monde. Il retourne vivre à Little Rock, cette fois pour trouver une scène du blues agonisante, gagne Springfield (Ill) où il obtient une résidence d'artiste dans un college... Il ne joue plus en public que sporadiquement, disparaît pratiquement de la scène américaine. Heureusement, sa réputation en Europe et au Japon lui permettent d'y effectuer des tournées et d'enregistrer encore sporadiquement quelques albums pour le label néerlandais Black Magic (Blues in progress/ Nighflight; Special road).
            C'est hélas un homme amer, désabusé, sûr de ses talents dont il vivote à peine qui meurt d'une attaque le 30 novembre 1997 à Rockford dans l'Illinois.
            Sa très belle œuvre enregistrée, elle, n'a cessé de grandir avec le temps.
            Si tous ses albums sont relativement disponibles en CD, ses premiers 45t sont difficiles à trouver. Nous les avons donc rassemblés ici.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT
Photo © Emmanuel Choisnel

Although rarely credited as a major figure of the Chicago blues, Fenton Robinson has nevertheless a strong and well deserved reputation as a wonderful smooth singer and subtle and expressive guitarist among blues buffs all over the world.
Born September 23, 1935 in Minter City (Ms), the young Fenton had a very hard childhood, having to quit school at an early age to help his farming mother. A neighbor guitarist, Sammy Hampton, opened up his mind to music, jazz and blues. It was anyway not before Fenton had moved to Memphis in the early 1950's that he was confronted to "real" musicians, live or on records, T-Bone Walker, Oscar Moore, the sound of the big bands, the blues shouters like Joe Williams (from Count Basie's) and Eddie Vinson who, all of them, would stay as his main musical influences. All his life Fenton would want to be a professionnal, classy musician, taking lessons, learning how to read and write music and arrangements. With a friend, the guitarist Charles McGowan, Fenton embarked himself on a musical career with great expectations and ambitions. Relocated in Little Rock (Arkansas) in 1953, Fenton knew and played with all the local musicians (Larry Davis, Sammy Lawhorn, Sunny Blair), hosted a local radio programme and had gigs all around Little Rock up to Saint Louis where he knew and played with Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. Sax-tenor Little Cameron, one of Ike's alumni, even went into Fenton's band whose whom he would record a handful of sides.
            At last, Fenton recorded in 1957, first for Lester Bihari's Meteor label (Tennessee woman), then for Don Robey's Duke label. Well produced, with gound sound and arrangements, the tracks that Fenton waxed for Duke in 1959-60 stand up very well the tests of time. As the years go passing by (an original composition by Peppermint Harris who sold it to Robey), a new superior version of Tennessee woman, Mississippi steamboat or The freeze (which would greatly influence Albert Collins) are some of the best Duke titles.
But despite all that buzz, Fenton had still to work on a day-job (in a Coca Cola plant) for bread and butter. Once again, with great hopes, he went to try his luck in Chicago where he would take more music lessons with Reggie Boyd.
            Quickly, his mellow, jazzy, floating and inventive guitar playing as well as his classy singing (plus the reputation of his Duke 45's) earned him a secure job as leader of the house band (with Bobby King, Jack Myers...) at Theresa's. He also managed to record for several small Chicago labels: USA, Giant, Palos... In 1967, his stunning composition Somebody loan me a dime, for Palos, started to climb the local charts but was unfortunately cut off by an early and severe Chicago winter which froze litteraly all activities in the Windy city.
            Anyway, rising rock star Boz Scaggs heard the song, copyrighted the tune and recorded it for his Atlantic album in 1969, a national smash it that should have earned some needed money to Fenton but instead left him embittered and poorer, the expanses of lawyers and such going nowhere!
            Trying to emulate Boz's music, Nashville producer John Richbourn signed Fenton and made him recording a poor rock-oriented album in which Fenton didn't even had the right to play his guitar! Fenton went for a while on the road with Charlie Musselwhite.
            At last in 1974, Fenton recorded a major album under the wise production of Bruce Iglauer. Somebody loan me a dime (Alligator) is certainly a masterpiece of the "modern" Chicago blues idiom in which Fenton appears at the peak of his considerable talents. Several tracks from this legendary sessions are still unissued. Maybe one day, Bruce and Alligator would give us the "complete" recording session?
            With such an album and a dedicated producer like Iglauer, the future of Fenton Robinson seemed at last promising. But bad luck struck him once again. Involved in a fatal car accident, Fenton had to go to jail for several months in 1975.
            He recorded another good album for Alligator albeit less stunning than the previous one (I hear some blues downstairs) but seemed not to be able to cash on anything. His brood temper, his versatility discouraged many to take care of his career. Fenton quit Chicago to return to Little Rock, just to find a dying blues scene, relocated to Springfield, Illinois, where he chiefly lived upon musical lectures in schools and even day jobs. He dropped off the US blues scene almost completely but, fortunately, his great reputation in Japan and Europe gave him the opportunty to tour overseas and record a handful of (very good) albums for the Dutch Black Magic label.
            But this is a very bitter, suspicious, disillusionned man, still aware of his considerable musical talents largely unrecognized outside some limited circles, that died after an attack on november 30, 1997.
            His mostly first rate recorded legacy speaks for his greatness.
            If his albums are all still available on CDs, his first sides on 45's are quite hard to obtain. I have thus collected his complete early works on those .mp3 comp.                                                                     Gérard HERZHAFT

Complete Early Recordings
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Charles Mc Gowan, g; pno; Robert Williams, t-sax; Larry Davis, bs; J.W. Hughes, dms. Memphis, Tn. mars 1957
01. Tennessee woman
02. Crying out loud
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; David Dean, t-sax; James Booker, pno; Larry Davis, bs; Nat Kendricks, dms. Houston, Tx. 17-26 mai 1958
03. Crazy crazy lovin'
04. Mississippi steamboat
05. The freeze
06. Double freeze (vcl: Peppermint Harris)
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; James Booker, pno; Texas Johnny Brown, g; David Dean, t-sax; Hamp Simmons, bs; Nat Kendricks, dms. Houston, tx. 1959
07. As the years go passing by
08. Tennessee woman
09. You've got to pass this way again
10. Schoolboy
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Hop Wilson, st-g; Elmore Nixon, pno; Pete Douglas, bs; Ivory Lee Semien, dms. Houston, Tx. 27 octobre 1960
11. You don't move me anymore
12. My woman done quit me
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Detroit Jr, pno; Burgess Gardner, t-sax; Eddie Silvers, a-sax; Bob Anderson, bs; Billy Davenport, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1966
13. Say you're leaving
14. Directly from my heart
15. You're cracking me up
16. I put my baby in high society
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Kenneth Sands, tpt; Bobby Forte, t-sax; Alberto Gianquinto, pno; Leo Lauchie, bs; Sonny Freeman, dms. Chicago, Ill. mai 1967
17. I believe
18. Somebody loan me a dime
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; tpt; Little Cameron, t-sax; Wayne Bennett, g; pno; James Green, bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. janvier 1968
19. Farmer's son
20. Let me rock you to sleep
21. Keep on grooving me baby
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; horns; John Logan, og; Mighty Joe Young, g; James Green, bs; Bill Warren, dms. Chicago, lll. 1969
22. 7/11 blues
23. There goes my baby
24. Fen-ton a soul
Fenton Robinson, vcl; Ed Kollis, hca; Troy Seals, g; Mac Gayden, g; Bob Wilson, kbds; Tim Drummond, bs; Karl Himmell, dms. Nashville, Tn. Juin 1970
25. The Getaway
26. Somebody loan me a dime
27. The sky is crying
28. Stormy monday
29. Smokestack lightning
30. Moanin' for my baby
31. Don't start me to talking
32. Little red rooster
33. Sideman
34. Let me come back home
35. Leave you in the arms of another
36. I'm not through loving you
37. Give you some air
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; horns; Sandy Kaye, kbds; Mark Tidwell, g; Neal Dover, bs; Tarp Tarrant, dms. Muscle Shoals, Al. 1971
38. She's a wiggler
39. Little turch
40. Mellow fellow
41. I wanna ooh
42. Laughing and crying blues
43. I fell in love one time
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Little Mack Simmons, hca; Mighty Joe Young, g; James Green, bs; Ashward Gates, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1973
44. Find a way
45. Cryin' the blues
Fenton Robinson, vcl/g; Mighty Joe Young, g; John Logan, og; pno; horns; James Green, bs; Bill Warren, dms. Chicago, Ill. janvier 1974
46. Blue monday blues
47. One room country shack
48. Nothing but a fool

lundi 12 août 2019

IONA WADE/ Complete Recordings

IONA WADE: Complete Recordings

Iona Wade is certainly not a well known female blues singer. Like many of her peers from the immediate post war era she certainly was more interested to play and sing in shows, to be the featured singer of jazz-R&B bands which enjoyed constant touring and well paid venues than to record under her own name and try the near impossible task for a woman at that time to handle bands of her own. Although she had anyway waxed a nice output of recordings as Iona Wade, Iona Harlin or as the singer of great R&B/jazz bands like those of Sherman Williams, Bill Gaither, Joe Lutcher, Eric Von Schlitz or James Moody.
            Very few is known about her life and whereabouts and there are only one or two mentions of her in blues and jazz magazines. According to Blues/ A regional experience (by Eric Le Blanc and Bob Eagle), she was born in march 1918 in Indianapolis from James Wade and Allie Ruth Kennedy. She started a singing career with pianist and bandleader Isaac "Snookum" Russell around 1942. But her first records were made as the featured vocalist of Sherman Williams' band. Sherman, a saxophonist and bandleader from Houston has a fairly large discography recorded in Nashville, Houston and Los Angeles in which Iona delivers silky and smooth vocals on a good number of blues and ballads. The newspapers of the time are praising her vocal talents, her stage control and her sex-appeal:
            " With Sherman Williams will go of course the lovely and sweet singer Iona Wade who has been the rage at the Peacock Club for over five months" (Sid Thompson in "The Houston Informer", February 1947)
            Iona and Sherman are constantly playing in and around Houston's best clubs, blacks or whites (!) during the late 1940's. With Sherman Williams, Iona toured nationally back to back with Johnny Moore's Three Blazes in 1947 and opened for blues shouter and hit maker Wynonie Harris.
            She seemed to have left Williams somewhere during the early 1949 and we found her again in the studios in Los Angeles, this time fronting Bill Gaither's Madcaps band for a very good recording session. The next year, she is back in Houston (under the name Iona Harlin?), waxing some rare 45s with saxophonist Eric Von Schlitz's Big Six band who feature ace pianist Jay Mc Shann. After that, her appearances are getting scarce apart a title in Los Angeles with Joe Lutcher and an odd appearance with saxophonist James Moody's band in 1954.
She returns in the studio for a last 45 in 1962, this time with saxophonist and bandleader Wilbert Jiggs Hemsley for the small independent Vistone label located in San Pedro, California and owned by former Sam Phillips' employee Pete Korelich. Iona then disappears completely and we don't know what she became and when or where she probably died.
            We have tried to gather almost all Iona's recordings but three titles from the super rare Eric Von Schlitz's sessions are still missing. A .mp3 copy would be greatly appreciated.
            A lot of thanks to those who made possible this article and compilation: bluesjumpers33, Jose Yrrabera, and the websites Dead Wax and particularly Wired for Sound, always on top for providing infos from old Texas' recordings.

                                              Gérard HERZHAFT

Iona Wade, vcl; Sherman Williams, a-sax; Charles Gillum, tpt; William Jones, t-sax; Skippy Brooks, pno; James Brown, bs; Alvin Woods, dms. Nashville, Tn. may 1947
01. Keep your man at home
02. Take a ride
Iona Wade, vcl; Sherman Williams, a-sax; Charles Gillum, tpt; Williams Jones, t-sax; Skippy Brooks, pno; William Roberts, bs; Diz Small, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. december 1948
03. So easy
04. It's you in my heart
05. Hello
06. Reminiscence with the blues
Iona Wade, vcl; Sherman Williams, a-sax; Charles Gillum, tpt; Williams Jones, t-sax; Skippy Brooks, pno; William Roberts, bs; Diz Small, dms. Houston, Tx. january 1949
07. Why don't you tell me so?
08. No one in my heart
Iona Wade, vcl; Bill Gaither, t-sax; His Madcaps, band. Los Angeles, Ca. 16 august 1949
09. Lonesome baby blues
10. That's the corkescrew
11. Bouncing with Bill
Iona Wade, vcl; Jay Mc Shann, pno; Eric Von Schlitz, t-sax; His Big Six, band. Houston, Tx. april 1950
12. Come on in, drink some gin
13. Take my number baby
Missin' you
Iona Wade, vcl; Jay Mc Shann, pno; Eric Von Schlitz, t-sax; His Big Six, band. Houston, Tx. mai 1950
Gonna make a change
Keep your man at home
Iona Wade, vcl;  Joe Lutcher, a-sax; band. Huntington Park, Ca. 1952
14. Why not tell me now
Iona Wade, vcl; James Moody, a-sax/t-sax; Dave Burns, tpt; William Shepherd, tb; Pee Wee Moore, b-sax; Jimmy Boyd, pno; John Latham, bs; Joe Harris, dms. Hackensack, Ca. 12 april 1954
15. That man o'mine
16. Over the rainbow
17. Jack Raggs
18. Mambo with Moody
Iona Wade, vcl; Wilbert Jiggs Hemsley, t-sax; His Orchestra, band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1962
19. I love you baby
20. No more dogging