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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

14 commentaires:



  2. je connais pas cette vedette;merci a toi Gerard pour ce nouveau post

  3. I see that I made a mistake so please disregard my comment Gerard.

  4. can you upload to another server different from zyppyshare.
    This one is bloqued in many countries

    1. Jose, use a VPN to download. It is much better to do that for a lot of reasons. And like that you' be able to relocate your IP in France for instance and use zippyshare without problems. You have many VPN, some free and some - generally way much efficient - with an annual fee. I use the one of my antivirus and it works perfectly.

  5. This a lovely collection. Thank you again for this and all your other generous efforts. She is a new name to me as well. Very nice indeed. and some fine playing by James Moody as a bonus.

  6. Merci beaucoup pour cette disque interessante!

    Stuffy from Sweden

  7. Also completely new to me Gerard - looking forward to listen to her. TYVM.

  8. Many thanks Gerard, all new to me as well.

  9. Excellent, Gerard, thank you very much!

  10. Hi, Gerard! As I said I would, I'm sending a wave, a huge thank you, and a big hug. SO glad to know your regular page is back like it was a year or so ago, and I see you're working as hard as always to bring the best of the best of artists' works. Honestly, you are just wonderful :D

  11. ...and PS/ I love this sound of Iona Wade's. That old-time bluesy sound makes a person get lost in the moment. Well, I'm old so of course I love it, haha. Thank you, my friend!
    (All the way from Virginia, USA)

    1. Thanks Jenny D. Yes I didn't stop my blog but for any reasons (out of my possibilities to understand), the new posts can't be "advertized" on other blogs.