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mardi 11 février 2020

DUKE HENDERSON/ Complete Recordings

DUKE HENDERSON/ Complete Recordings

Despite his quite important numbers of recordings, Sylvester C. Henderson aka Big Duke aka Studs Henderson or more often Duke Henderson is largely undocumented. Very few (if none?) articles in magazines, few researches, only mentions in some books... the blues shouter doesn't seem to have raised a big interest among blues and R&B circles.
            Born in Liberty, Mo. 5th April 1925, Sylvester whereabouts are not known. The facts are that Henderson was living in the Los Angeles area during the 1940's, singing in cabarets with several bands as a blues shouter a la Big Joe Turner. Duke was introduced to the Apollo label by Jack McVea in 1945, waxing a number of sessions for the label, backed by the cream of West Coast jazz and R&B musicians of the era (Jack McVea, Mingus, Gene Phillips...). Despite their high quality, those recordings were not commercially successful and Duke will have to wait almost two years before entering again in a studio, this time for Modern Records and backed by the Al "Cake" Wichard Sextette. Those once again great 78s must have been selling better because Henderson would be back in the studios quite often during the subsequent years. He recorded regularly for some of the best indies West Coast labels like Downbeat, Swing Time, Specialty, Imperial and until a final session for Flair in 1953. On all those records, Henderson displays a very "big" voice, emulating Turner for the better with strength, subtlety and drive.

            During the early 1950's, Big Duke turned himself into religion, putting down his blues shouter past. Under the name of Brother Henderson, he started a ministerial career, being a pastor of Bethany Apostle Community Church, preaching Gospel on several radio stations. At the end of his life, he was running a small record shop from where he was operating the Proverb label.
            Sylvester Henderson died at his Pacoima, Ca. home on 9 April 1973.
            This short article is largely based on Kirk Silsbee's liner notes and the essential book Blues/ A regional experience by Eric LeBlanc & Bob Eagle. Thanks also to bluesjumper 33 for providing us some of the rarest tracks here. Despite my efforts, I was still missing three titles by Big Duke. Thanks a lot to Mike & Mike from Australia for providing those three extremely rare tracks!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Duke Henderson, vcl; Karl Georgen tpt; Jewell Grant, a-sax; Lucky Thompson, t-sax; Gene Porter, clt; Gene Phillips, g; Wilbert Baranco, pno; Charlie Mingus, bs; Lee Young, dms. Los Angeles, 28 november 1945
01. Don't keep me waiting
02. Mama bear blues
03. S.H. blues
04. Not worth a dime
05. Fool hearted woman
06. H.D. blues (Hot Dog blues)
Duke Henderson, vcl; Teddy Buckner, pno; Happy Johnson, tb; Wild Bill Moore, t-sax; Wilbert Baranco, pno; Gene Phillips, g; John H, bs; Rabon Tarrant, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 4 december 1945
07. Let's get vootin'
08. Boogie man blues
09. Don't slam the door
10. Blues in the background I & II
11. Don't forget I'm a married man
12. Woman's blues I & II
13. Don't fall in love with me baby
14. Homecoming blues
Duke Henderson, vcl; Jesse Perdue, tpt; Marshall Royal, a-sax; Jack Mc Vea, t-sax/b-sax; Bob Mosley, pno; Gene Phillips, g; Frank Clarke, bs; Rabon Tarrant, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 5 december 1945
15. Oo wee baby oo wee
16. Get your kicks
17. Lottery blues
18. Wiggle wiggle woogie
Duke Henderson, vcl; Tiny Webb, g; George Mason, pno; Orville Austin, bs. Los Angeles, Ca. mai 1946
G.I. blues
Leona of L.A.
Those two extremely rare tracks are now on my YouTube channel. Thanks a lot to Mike & Mike from Australia for sharing.
Duke Henderson, vcl; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. december 1946
19. Did you ever love a woman?
20. His Majesty's boogie
Duke Henderson, vcl; Maxie Ward, tpt; Ralph Bowden, tb; King Perry, a-sax; Earl Payton, pno; Ike Brown, bs; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. december 1947
21. Leona's boogie
22. 18th Vine Street boogie
23. I am the blues
24. San Quentin quail
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. november 1948
25. Get your mind outta the gutter
26. Blues in the morning
27. Old maid's prayer
28. Dr Duke boogie

Duke Henderson, vcl; horns; Jay Mc Shann, pno; Bill Davis, bs; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 11 december 1948
29. Gravels in my pillow
30. Trouble in mind
31. In the evening
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 23 december 1948
32. Low down dog
33. Bewildered
34. Proposition baby
35. K.C. boogie
36. I'm not fooling
37. Stud's boogie
Louse in the hen house
A lot of thanks to Mike & Mike for providing this extremely rare track
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 2 march 1949
38. I hung my head and cried
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. june 1950
39. Rock me in your chair
40. Mama's clock stopped ticking
41. Situation blues
42. Worried and blue
Duke Henderson, vcl; Monroe Tucker, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 6 december 1950
43. Live my own life I & II
44. Kinfolks
45. Ten days of agony
Duke Henderson, vcl; Pete Johnson, pno; bs; dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1951
46. Hard luck women and strife
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 27 august 1952
47. Country girl
48. Lucy Brown
Duke Henderson, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1953
49. Hey Dr Kinsey
50. Hello baby
51. Beggin' and pleading
52. Baby beat it

18 commentaires:

  1. DUKE HENDERSON/ Complete Recordings


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  2. Mucho thanks for this fine offering Señor!

  3. Fantastic collection. Merci, Gerard.

  4. An absolutely unknown for me, thanks Sr.Herzhaft

  5. Many thanks Gerard for another interesting collection of rare blues/R&B recordings. I've heard the name before but really can't recall if I've heard any of his recordings in the past, so I'm looking forward to having a close listen later today.

  6. Thank you Gerard , much appreciated .

  7. Lovely - thanks for posting, Gerard!

  8. Thank-You Gerard,Big Duke Henderson is a much underrated west coast blues shouter, I've never heard many of these, so fantastic work man

  9. Gerard,
    There are 2 live tracks by Duke Henderson on ' Hunter Hancock Presents Blues & Rhythm Midnight Matinee' on KIX 1200 from Jonas Bernholm. Low Down Dog and We're Gonna Rock. I'm sure you know this but great in a live context !

  10. Not real familiar with Henderson-really looking forward to learning more about him-thank you

  11. Thanks again, Gerard, for another fine collection by a lesser-known artist - and with excellent accompanists.

  12. Excellent, Gerard, thank you very much!