Nombre total de pages vues

dimanche 8 décembre 2019



Let's start our fourth volume of those "Ladies sing the blues" series with Laurie Tate. Surprisingly, very few is known about this fine blues and jazz singer who was one of the first in a long line of R&B divas who shaped the success of Atlantic Records. Laurie came, reportedly, from Richmond, Va to New York City to try her luck as a singer and she was signed to Atlantic in May 1950, recording quickly two sessions backed by the Joe Morris band, a solid unit which plays a major role in the success, artistically and commercially, of those eight tracks. The scorching ballad Anytime, anyplace, anywhere climbed n°1 to the R&B Charts, establishing Atlantic as a new important label. Tate joined permanently the Joe Morris' Blues Cavalcade for awhile and toured briefly the West Coast as a featured singer. But soon, for family reasons, this very promising talent quit the music business and she was replaced in Joe Morris' band by Faye Adams. Apparently, nobody knows what happened to Laurie after 1952.
            Tina Dixon, "The Bombshell of blues" started her career as a jazz singer in Detroit clubs like the Ballyhoo before being hired as the featured singer of The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra as soon as 1943. She thus toured the Army and Navy camps during WWII and recorded special
programs for the troops, particularly the first version of E ba ba lee ba in August 1945, claiming she wrote the number before Helen Humes's record that hit the Charts. She left Lunceford to pursue a career of her own, recording a new version of her hit in 1945. Married with the famous tap dancer Louis Collins, Tina toured with her husband, joining King label, waxing some proto-R'n'Roll sides but a real commercial success never came. Anyway, the very wise and brave Tina Dixon switched to a new career in the comedy theatres with (sometimes very) risqué pieces and plays and she became very popular among African-Americans during the late 1950's under the moniker Aunt Tina Dixon, waxing two "dirty" and very commercially successful LP's and appearing in some Television shows, particularly the very popular Sanford & Son series
Madlyn Davis belongs to a former generation of lady singers, contemporary of Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Victoria Spivey. Her life is unfortunately ill-documented but her four sessions for Paramount Records done between 1927 and 1929 are of a very high standard. Kokola blues from November 1927, backed by Richard Jones on piano, is the very first recorded version of Kokomo blues/ Sweet home Chicago. Her great last session (October 1929) finds her alongside Tampa Red and Georgia Tom Dorsey! I don't know what became of her after that.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT
Thanks a lot to bluesjumper33, Jose Yrraberra and Charles F. for their help. Every extra facts about those singers will be very welcome.

LAURIE TATE, vcl; Joe Morris, tpt; horns; Elmo Hope, pno; Roy Gaines, g; bs; dms. New York City, 7 June 1950
01. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere
02. Stormy weather
03. Come back daddy, daddy
04. Rock me daddy
Laurie Tate, vcl; Joe Morris, tpt; horns; Elmo Hope, pno; Roy Gaines, g; bs; dms. New York City, 20 november1950
05. You're my darling
06. I hope you're satisfied
07. Can't stop my crying
08. Don't take your love away
TINA DIXON, vcl; Jimmie Lunceford, a-sax; Omer Simeon, a-sax; Kirkland Bradford, a-sax; Ernest Puce, t-sax; Joe Thomas, t-sax; Earl Carruthers, b-sax; Charles Stewart, tpt; Bob Mitchell, tpt; William Scott, tpt; Russell Green, tpt; Joe Williams, tb; Earl Hardy, tb; Fernando Arbello, tb; Edwin Wilcox, pno; John Mitchell, g: Truck Parham, bs; Joe Marshall, dms. Hollywood, Ca. 4-9 august 1945
09. E ba ba lee ba
10. Stuff like that there
Tina Dixon, vcl; Lorenzo Flennoy, pno; Jimmie Edwards, g; Robert Lewis, bs. Hollywood, Ca. september 1945
11. E-bop-o-lee-bop
Tina Dixon, vcl; Her All Stars, band. Houston, Tx. november 1947
12. Don't you know I want to love you
13. Hello baby
Tina Dixon, vcl; Gene Nero, a-sax; Willie Wells, tpt; Rudy Rutherford, b-sax; Prince Albert, pno; George Washington, bs; Bob Atcheson, dms. Detroit, Mi. 1948
14. Blow Mr Be-bop
15. Parrot bar boogie
16. Walk that walk daddy-o
17. What I say
MADLYN DAVIS, vcl; Dave Nelson, cnt; Norman Ebron, pno; bjo. Chicago, Ill. june 1927
18. Worried down the blues
19. Climbing mountain blues
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Cassino Simpson, pno; kazoo; bjo. Chicago, Ill. september 1927
20. Hurry sundown blues
21. Landlady's footsteps
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Richard Jones, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. november 1927
22. Winter blues
23. Kokola blues
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Tampa Red, g; Georgia Tom Dorsey, pno. Chicago, Ill. october 1929
24. Death bell blues
25. It's red hot
26. Too black bad

Gold tooth blues

dimanche 1 décembre 2019

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72 (Re-up)

Après avoir essayé de regrouper tous les enregistrements effectués "live" par Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), nous tentons d'en faire de même avec Howlin' Wolf.
            La tâche a été - si possible - encore plus compliquée car s'étendant sur une décennie. Même si Howlin' Wolf a été saisi en concert (au Copacabana Club de Chicago) en 1963 pour une parution sur un LP Argo, il lui a surtout fallu se rendre en Europe avec l'AFBF 1964 pour y être substantiellement enregistré, soit dans le cadre de la tournée officielle soit durant la deuxième tournée qu'il a effectué dans la foulée avec Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin et Clifton James. Il faut noter que peu de ces concerts n'ont été enregistrés pour être publié. Il s'agit essentiellement d'enregistrements effectués par des radios nationales et locales à travers l'Europe dont les stations diffusaient des extraits. Leur qualité technique est correcte dans l'ensemble et permet d'apprécier la teneur complète d'un concert du Wolf à l'époque.
            Les choses se précipitent par la suite. Après que les Rolling Stones durant leur première tournée américaine aient insisté auprès de Shindig, l'émission musicale TV de la chaîne ABC, très populaire auprès des ados, pour qu'y apparaisse Howlin' Wolf avant eux, les concerts américains du Wolf se multiplient et avec eux, les enregistrements sur du matériel de fortune et sans passer par le système d'amplification. A l'exception du concert du 26 janvier 1972 à Alice's Revisited, aucune de ces bandes n'était destinée à être publiée. Elles sont apparus sur des labels plus ou moins pirates au cours des années avec un son souvent très médiocre voire éprouvant. Nous avons essayé d'améliorer autant que possible leur "qualité" sonore mais la tâche a été souvent trop rude! Malgré tout, nous les proposons ici en tant que documents.
            Même s'il n'était encore qu'un jeune sexagénaire, Wolf était très malade, les années de son épouvantable enfance marquée par la violence, l'abus et les privations faisant leur néfaste effet sur sa santé. Après un accident de voiture le 1er janvier 1973, son système rénal arrête de fonctionner et, devant plusieurs fois par semaine subir une dialyse rénale, il continue (par nécessité financière) à tourner et jouer en public. Mais il est très diminué et souvent chante entièrement assis et seulement quelques morceaux, laissant l'essentiel du concert à son orchestre, dirigé par Eddie Shaw. Plusieurs disques pirates de ces dernières années ont paru ici et là que nous avons choisi de ne pas les faire figurer ici, la dernière fois où le Wolf apparaît dans toute sa splendeur étant, à notre avis, le Ann Arbor Jazz & Blues Festival de 1972.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            After those of Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), we have tried to gather all (or the most possible!) live recordings of another blues master, Howlin' Wolf!
            The task has been - if any!- even more complicated because spanning on a decade.
            Even if Howlin' Wolf has been recorded live at the Copacabana Club in 1963 for the Argo LP's "Folk Festival of the Blues", the bulk of his 1960's live recordings was mostly done in Europe. He was one of the big star of the AFBF 1964, taking the dedicated European audiences by storm. His success was such that he and some members of the AFBF line-up (Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin and Clifton James) embarked in the wake for a further tour of Europe until November 1964. If few of those European 1964 gigs were recorded to be issued on LP, they were done by radio stations with good technical equipments and for the purpose to broadcast some tunes during their jazz programmes. Now they are a testimony of what the Wolf sounded at that time when he was in full possession of his considerable talent and stage presence.
            In the USA, Wolf's career took a decisive turn when the Rolling Stones - while touring America in 1965 - insisted with ABC's Shindig, a TV programme very popular to teenagers, that Howlin' Wolf would appear before us. Thus, suddenly, Wolf would be able to be lined-up in festival and concert halls throughout the country before a white audience! Apparently, several of those (and probably still much more laying in the vaults) were recorded, very often on primitive equipments. With the exception of the 1972 Alice's Revisited venue, none of those US recordings had to be issued. They appeared throughout the years on more or less confidential bootleg albums. The sound is sometime very poor and, although we have tried to improve it with our home studio, it's quite often still very bad. We have included them anyway here for documentary purpose more than listening pleasure!
            Unfortunately, even he was only in his early 60's, the Wolf was beginning very ill, the dreadful years of his childhood when he suffered greatly violence, abuse and unbelievable bad treatments (he got his hoarse voice because he wasn't allowed by his uncle to sleep in the house, even during cold winters and he had to beg for food to passengers' trains during the nearby stops) took their harmful toll. After a bad car accident during 1973 New Years' eve, Howlin' Wolf had henceforth to undergo kidney dialysis several times a week. Although he had still to play gigs throughout the country for making a living, he was strongly diminished and mostly played and sung seated and only a few numbers, leaving most of the set to his band, led by Eddie Shaw. Several bootleg recordings of those late concerts have also popped up but we have chosen not to feature them. 
                                         Gérard HERZHAFT
 Pour répondre à de nombreuses demandes, je remets à jour cet article avec de nouveaux liens. Mais, ayant eu des problèmes pour conserver ces liens la première fois, je ne peux savoir combien de temps ils pourront rester valides. Ce sera donc la dernière fois que je mes remettrai en ligne. Aussi, prenez les tant que cela est possible.

I've reuploaded this article and links to answer to numerous queries. But, as I have had problems to keep those links available, I can't say how long they will be available. In any case, it is the last time that I'm re-posting them. So grab them while it lasts!

HOWLIN WOLF/ Complete Recordings 1963-72/ Discography

The very best Howlin' Wolf biography that really explains the man, his greatness and his masterworks has been written by Mark Hoffman, certainly one of the very best blues books