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dimanche 10 mars 2019

LITTLE SONNY JONES/ Complete Recordings

LITTLE SONNY JONES/ Complete Recordings

Little Sonny Jones is certainly not a major and well known figure of the New Orleans R&B scene and his musical career never hit very high in charts but he has nevertheless recorded a nice amount of very good or even excellent tracks, strongly representative of the great New Orleans sound of the 1950's.
            Born Johnny Jones, 15th April 1931 in the Jane Alley section of New Orleans, he lived near Louis Armstrong's home and heard at a very early age pianist Little Brother Montgomery who had a regular spot around. He thus developed quite early in life a great interest for music and started to sing in his mother's Church choir when still a kid while he also sang at many famous New Orleans Saturday Night Fish Fries, those open parties with lots of food, drinks, music and revelry, a red kerosene lamp indicating which houses were hosting this very night!
            At the age of sixteen, Jones is taken under Fats Domino's wing who even gives him his "Little Sonny" nickname. For years (in fact until 1961), Little Sonny would open for Fats' shows as a warm-up act. This is probably thanks again to Fats that he starts his recording career in 1953 with a single for Specialty and the following year with two more for the Imperial label. Although very good, those records go nowhere and Little Sonny stays in Fats Domino's shadow while trying to launch a more personal career under the nickname Skinny Dynamo without more luck anyway. In 1961, tired to be just an opening act, he leaves Domino to join the Lastie Brothers, Dave and Melvin, singing in front of their band which is a favorite of New Orleans' clubs. Until 1968 when, completely disappointed by his lack of success in music, Little Sonny quits completely the music business to make a living on the more steady and secure sugar industry.

            In 1975, following a tip from Clarence Ford, Sonny is "rediscovered" by the Danish label CSA, specialized in recording New Orleans jazz and he waxes an LP with an array of first rate local R&B stalwarts. This excellent record will be later reissued twice on CD by Black Magic and Black Top. But once again the record doesn't open any door for Sonny who sticks to his daily job while singing regularly with the new Lastie Brothers' band, A Taste of New Orleans and appearing almost every year at the famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. I had the chance to watch his act and chat a little bit with him while in New Orleans in 1982 and I can tell that Little Sonny's big voice and showmanship were absolutely first rate.
            Unfortunately, Sonny Jones died at the early age of 58 from a heart attack at his New Orleans home on 17 December 1989.
            His complete recorded works are offered here for the first time, minus one elusive track (thanks by advance to anyone who would like to fill this gap) and show how a very nice R&B artist was the too neglected Little Sonny Jones.
            A lot of thanks to Xyros (Don't ask me...) and bopping blogs for providing me some rare early tracks. And thanks to Terry Pattison for his liner notes (on Sonny's LP) that I have been widely using over here.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Little Sonny Jones (Johnny Jones), vcl; Salvador Doucette, pno; prob. Justin Adams, g; band. New Orleans, La. 1952
01. Do you really love me?
02. Is everything all right?
03. Got a gal in Nashville
04. Looked at the moon
Little Sonny Jones, vcl; Dave Bartholomew, tpt; Joe Harris, a-sax; Clarence Hall, t-sax; Clarence Ford, b-sax; Salvador Doucette, pno; Justin Adams, g; Frank Fields, bs; Earl Palmer, dms. New Orleans, La. 14 January 1954
05. Winehead baby
06. Tend to your business blues
07. Going back to the country
08. I got booted
Little Sonny Jones (as Skinny Dynamo), vcl; band. Miami, Fl. Augusr 1955
09. My baby is crying
10. You know this story
11. Baby baby mine
Can't you see
(Thanks to Mike Gray and Mike Kredinac)
Little Sonny Jones (as Skinny Dynamo), vcl; band. Crowley, La. December 1956
12. So long so long
13. Jingle bells
Little Sonny Jones, vcl; band. New Orleans, La. 1961
14. Give my heart back to me
15. Don't lie to me
Little Sonny Jones, vcl; band. New Orleans, 6-19 June 1967
16. Suffering
You got the power
Little Sonny Jones, vcl; Dave "Fat Man" Williams, pno; Dave Lastie, t-sax; Clarence Ford, t-sax; Justin Adams, g; Frank Fields, bs; Bob French, dms. New Orleans, La. 28 March 1975
17. I would if I could
18. Don't you hear me calling you?
19. Do you really love me baby?
20. Further up the road
21. Is everything allright?
Little Sonny Jones, vcl; Dave "Fat Man" Williams, pno; Justin Adams, g; Frank Fields, bs; Bob French, dms. New Orleans, La. 15 April 1975
22. I'm loaded
23. Certainly all
24. Worried blues
25. I called you baby

26 commentaires:

  1. LITTLE SONNY JONES/ Complete Recordings

    OK? And thanks for any feedback

  2. Excellent....many thanks Gerard.

  3. Hello Gerard

    Here is a zipfile for
    Little Sonny Jones - Chart 601 - Can't you see.

    from the Mike Kredinac collection (Australia)
    forwarded by Mike Gray.

    Thanks for all your fantastic collections

  4. Fantastic collection of a very good musician Gerard. Many thanks for your consistently high quality contributions to the Blues.

  5. Having lived in New Orleans almost my entire 60 yrs on this planet, I was fortunate to have seen Sonny perform many times. Great artist who for inexplicable reasons, never could catch a break and get the attention he deserved. Many thanks for this comp, Gerard. Brings back a ton of great memories.

  6. ohoh one more fantasic Collection WONDERFUL
    many many thanks

  7. Thanks a lot, more gem to add to others you give us generously

  8. Another very rewarding treat at your wonderful blog. Thank you!

  9. What Else Can I Say...
    Much Appreciated, Thanks Again !

  10. Bonjour Gérard. Le 78 orignal de "Do you really love me"/"Is everything allright" fut publié par Specialty (# 443). Je possède ce 78 tours.

    1. Bien sûr, je m'en doute et c'est d'ailleurs pour cela que j'ai bien signalé d'où j'ai eu ce 78t original (sur ton excellent site bopping pour lequel j'ai bien ajouté un lien hypertexte). Quoi qu'il en soit merci!

  11. Un petit bijou en provenance de la Nouvelle Orleans. Je n'avais malheureusement que quelques morceaux épars. Me voilà comblé. Un grand merci pour le super boulot !

  12. Merci Gérard, pouvoir découvrir d'autres titres de Little Sonny Jones est un très grand plaisir.

  13. Thanks Gerard-another great collection

  14. Merci a 1000 times, great as always

  15. Thanks Gerard, and hwolf, for this comprehensive collection by another little known but worthwhile artist.

  16. Wow I have not visited the blog in a bit but I am so glad I did. This is a real gem and I am pretty sure I had very little chance of finding the earlier tracks included here anywhere. Thank You!!

  17. Gerard, would it be possible for you to refresh the zip file for "Can't You See"?