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jeudi 7 novembre 2019



For this 14th opus of our Detroit Blues Masters Series, we are featuring some more obscure Detroit and Toledo dwellers who nevertheless waxed some good to great blues.
            Alberta Adams (Roberta Louise Osborne born 2 July 1917 in Indianapolis and died on 25 December 2014 in Detroit) is certainly well known thanks to her "rediscovery" during the late XXth Century, a time when she recorded several very good albums and appeared on stages a little bit everywhere. But her recording debuts didn't bring her neither fame nor money. We feature here four from the five fine tracks she recorded in 1953 and 1962. Very much a great talent who has been too much neglected during her prime years.
            Fred Harris is a very obscure piano and organ player from Toledo, a city
100 kilometers South of Detroit situated in Ohio. He has recorded seven titles between 1950 and 1957 as Fred Harris and his Orchestra or The Red Tops Organ Trio who featured the hard blowing tenor saxophonist and sometimes singer Big Joe Burrell.
            Singer Alex Thomas has started as a vocalist and guitar player with no other than famed bands of Paul Williams and King Porter in 1947 and 1948 but his records were issued only years later and under the nickname...Muddy Waters or Muddy Walters! He recorded under his (almost) own name as Playboy Thomas in 1953. But whoever he was, his records are fine examples of Detroit blues.
            I must confess my total ignorance of who was the fine soul blues singer Irene Scott who recorded a handful of tracks in Detroit during the late 1960's backed by the Chicago band of the Scott Brothers. She is of course probably a relative of this musical family.
            And last but not least two much more downhome blues tracks by singer-guitarist Earl Chatman (sometimes spelled Chapman) from 1958. Chatman had also recorded a test for Fortune Records some years earlier in the company of pianist Henry Smith.
            Much of the meager facts I have been able to grab for this article come from the excellent website Detroit Blues Society. And of course every additional details about those very obscure bluesmen/women would be great!
                                                          Gérard HERZHAFT

ALBERTA ADAMS (Roberta Louise Osborne), vcl; Sonny Cohn, tpt; Leon Washington, t-sax; Mc Kinley Easton, b-sax; Earl Washington, pno; Jimmy Richardson, bs; Red Saunders, dms. Detroit, Mi. 16 July 1953
01. Messin' around with the blues
02. Remember
This morning
Alberta Adams, vcl; band. Detroit, Mi. March 1962
03. I got a feeling
04. Without your love
FRED HARRIS, vcl/pno; Frank Mc Kinley, tpt; William Newsum Jr, a-sax; Clarence Sherrill, bs; Erman Terry, dms. Toledo, Oh. 1950
05. Sad man blues
06. Cincinnati breakdown
07. Uptown
Fred Harris, og; Big Joe Burrell, t-sax; Louis Lee, dms. Toldeo, Oh. 1957
08. Organ rocker
09. In love with a woman (vcl: Big Joe Burrell)
10. Flang dang do
11. The bull
ALEX THOMAS (as Muddy Walters), vcl; Paul Williams, a-sax; John Lawton, tpt; Walter Cox, t-sax; T.J. Fowler, pno; Hank Ivory, bs; Clarence Stamps, dms. Detroit, Mi. 5 septembre 1947
12. Way late
Alex Thomas (as Muddy Walters), vcl; King Porter, tpt; Wild Bill Moore, t-sax; Detroit Count, pno; bs; dms. Detroit, Mi. 1948
13. Dissatisfied
14. Good morning pretty baby
Baby look at you
Alex Thomas (as Playboy Thomas), vcl/g; Floyd Taylor, pno; band. Detroit, Mi. 1953
15. Too much pride
16. No doubt about it
17. End of the world
Time will tell
IRENE SCOTT, vcl; The Scotts Brothers, band. Detroit, Mi. 1967
18. I'm stuck with my baby
19. Why do you treat me like you do?
Irene Scott, vcl; The Scott Brothers, band. Detroit, Mi. 1969
20. Everyday worries
21. You're no good
EARL CHATMAN, vcl; band. Detroit, Mi. 1958
22. Love you baby
23. Take two steps back

20 commentaires:

  1. The usual excellent selection of artists. TYVM Gerard.

  2. Many thanks Gerard, I'm looking forward to hearing these rare tracks.

  3. Salut Gerard,merci a toi pour ce nouveau post;comme d'habitude c'est magnifique;bon weekend et encore une fois,bon anniversaire.

  4. Thank you for #14....Wondering why my search for Detroit Blues Masters 12? I cannot seem to find it.

  5. Gérard,

    Thank you very much for this new edition of your marvelous series.
    Concerning the numbering I think something went wrong. Number 11 is Brother Will Hairston and then came Little Sonny Willis. So I think that one is number 12. Maybe I am making a mistake now?

  6. Another fine compilation in this series! Thanks, Gerard!

  7. Bonjour Gérard,

    Voici fort longtemps que j'apprécie ton énorme travail sur le blues que tu nous délivre avec passion.
    Je pense avoir manqué le Detroit Blues Masters volume 12 et je ne le trouve pas. Peux-tu m'aider ?
    Bien cordialement

    1. Derroit blues masters vol. 12 est en fait le volume consacré à Calvin Frazier

    2. Merci Bien et encore félicitations pour tout ce que tu nous offres

  8. Help ! Gérard, le fichier Calvin Frazier n'est plus sur le serveur.....I got the Blues !

  9. Hi Gerard,

    I cannot locate Detriot Blues Masters Vol.12 in the archive... is it still available to download?

    Thanks from Rootbear

    1. This is my mistake. Volume 12 is in fact Little Sonny/ Complete Recordings

  10. I have found another EP album of Johnny Wright on YouTube Music, Johnny Wright And The Hi-Way All Stars (No label) released in 2020. This has 5 tracks on it with a title called "Come Here Baby" that is not mentioned above.
    The details of personnel is qvery good on Discogs.

    1. I know Dave Rusin who rediscovered Johnny Wright.see my post on my Facebook page

  11. New links for this DETROIT BLUES MASTERS Volume 14


  12. Toledo has the right to have the Blues, of course! But as far as my heart beats for the Blues, it's in Cleveland that you can find me still!