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dimanche 22 mars 2020

WALTER SPRIGGS


WALTER SPRIGGS

           
I'm quite often puzzled when finding in Blues Discography (Leslie Fancourt/ Eyeball Publisher) names almost unknown to me who have nevertheless quite a large discography...
            Walter Spriggs, also recording under the names Wally Wilson or Ray Scott, being one of them, Blue Eye couldn't do otherwise that try to gather all or most of all his "blues" records made for Apollo, Blue Lake, Sabre, Atco, Antler, Tri-Ess, Decca, Jubilee....
            Walter Spriggs is largely undocumented in Blues Magazines and the few things I have been able to gather come from Robert Pruter, Rob Ford, Jim O'Neal (who made a sleuth work!) and a few others hardcore researchers' writings, mostly on the net
            Walter was born in Arkansas in 1933, the son of William and Ollie Spriggs who moved to Saint Louis (Mo) when Walter was a child. He seems to have played piano, guitar, drums when still a teenager. Whatever, we find our man in Chicago in 1952, singing the blues backed by Deacon Brown's band and around the same time in New York where he waxed a record for Apollo with saxophonist Charlie Ferguson's unit. According to the same sources (Chicago Defender), Walter Spriggs was quite active in Chicago during the mid-50's, playing in South Side's clubs with different bands like drummer Larry Wrice's Chicago All Stars. This is during those years that Walter recorded his bluesiest tracks for Chance and Blue Lake. And around the same time, he also recorded several singles as the tenor singer of the pre-doo woop vocal group The Five Echoes.
           
To complicate things a little more, Walter changed his name as Ray Scott around 1955 when another different (according to Jim O'Neal) Ray Scott was a Chicago drummer recording behind Little Willie Foster and Jimmy Reed! While Ray Scott-Walter Spriggs was still active in Chicago, Spriggs joined under his real name and as the featured vocalist the Kansas City Tomcats, a band led by guitarist Lucky Enois who was touring extensively from coast to coast. They recorded in New York City for Josie/ Jubilee two singles in 1955 and 1956.
            While coming back to Chicago, Spriggs/ Ray Scott ran the Scotty's Rock and Roll Inn until at least 1957. Spriggs was there leading the house band who featured a very young Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson and in 1959 Little Walter recorded his famous piece Nobody but you, a song composed by Walter Spriggs. The following years, we find Walter recording in New York for the Atco label and singing with the Jesse Stone's band. Other records for the tiny Antler and Tri-Ess labels were made under the name Ray Scott.
            And then here is our man in Los Angeles singing in clubs and recording under the moniker Ray "The Great" Scott. A paper in the L.A. Sentinel on May, 30, 1963 unveils some details:  "Ray Scott, versatile singer, dancer, musician and comedian, who was christened Walter Spriggs and was born in Arkansas. According to the McGee piece, Scott had arrived in LA from New York City for a comedy gig at the Club Hideaway. He had begun billing himself as "The Great Scott." Spriggs/Scott had been doing comedy since 1959, and was said to know George Kirby and Redd Foxx, both of whom he would have had multiple opportunities to meet and observe in Chicago. His most recent recordings were mentioned, including "Silk, Satin & Lace.... He played bongos with Ray Hamilton, Billy Williams and Johnny Ray and toured 27 countries of Europe" !!!
            During the 1960's Spriggs played comedy and also recorded raunchy tracks for Dootsie Williams in L.A. At last, we find Spriggs/Scott in New York City once again, running from his apartment of Central Park West a music publisher company called Spriggs Production in 1974. And a little later, Jim O'Neal spotted Spriggs in a Chicago club where he was opening for Johnnie Taylor! While at that time, Walter Spriggs was living permanently in Texas where he probably died unnoticed!
            Whatever, we have tried to gather the most possible tracks recorded by this quite mysterious singer, bluesman, comedian, doo woop vocalist, etc... hoping to put some "real" music to lines of the current discography.
            A lot of thanks to all those who helped on this research!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


Walter Spriggs, vcl; Charlie Ferguson, t-sax; George Rhodes, pno; band. New York City, février 1953
01. I don't want you
02. Let me love you
Walter Spriggs, vcl; Red Holloway, t-sax; Mc Kinley Easton, t-sax; Willie Jones, pno; Lucky Enois, g; Quinn Wilson, bs; Vernell Fournier, dms. Chicago, Ill. 17 janvier 1954
03. If you don't love me
04. The hunt
Walter Spriggs, vcl; Sonny Cohn, tpt; Leon Washington, t-sax; Mc Kinley Easton, b-sax; Lucky Enois, g; Earl Washington, pno; Jimmy Richards, bs; Red Saunders, dms. Chicago, Ill. 8 octobre 1954
05. I'm not your fool anymore
06. Weekend man
Walter Spriggs, vcl; Lucky Enois, g; Eddie Saunders, t-sax; Brooks Lewis, bs; Jimmy Waters, dms. New York City, octobre 1955
07. Nobody knows
08. Meet me meet me baby
Walter Spriggs, vcl; Sam Taylor, t-sax; Ernie Hayes, pno; Mickey Baker, g; Doles Dickens, bs; Panama Francis, dms. New York City, 3 août 1956
09. I pawned everything
10. Love you, love you, love you
Walter Spriggs, vcl; King Curtis, t-sax; John Mc Farland, pno; Kenny Burrell, g; Doles Dickens, bs; Joe Marshall, dms. New York City 18 novembre 1957
11. You're movin' me
12. Rack'em back
Walter Spriggs (as Ray Scott), vcl/bongos; Harold Ousley, t-sax; LeRoy Glover, pno/org; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; Jimmy Breedlove, bs; Pola Roberts, dms. New York City, 12-15 juillet 1959
13. Happy organ
14. Take it and git it
15. Bongo rock
16. Fulltime baby
Walter Spriggs (as Ray Scott), vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. septembre 1959
What it means to have a friend
17. Let's be friends
Walter Spriggs (as Ray Scott), vcl; band. New York City, 1960
18. We need love
19. Silk satin and lace
Walter Spriggs, vcl; band. New York City, 1962
Joy Ran Dee
20. Looking for you
Walter Spriggs, vcl; band. New York City, 23 mars 1967
21. Love piled on top of love
22. The real thing
23. Can't get over losing you
24. I can't get you on TV baby
Walter Spriggs, vcl; band. New York City, 1970
25. The prayer
26. Lily white mama, Jet black dad

18 commentaires:

  1. WALTER SPRIGGS
    https://mega.nz/#!vQBFxILK!94sygTic9uKF_cqRTkiiO47RMzoyc8jk7VJ-gBIl4hI
    OK? And don't forget to give feedback

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  2. Absolutely right Gerard. Never heard of him until now! TYVM.

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  3. Excellent. Thank you very much

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  4. Many thanks Gerard for another fine comp of rare blues/R&B. The name Walter Spriggs doesn't ring any bells but I notice there are some outstanding names in the backing bands: Mickey Baker, Panama Francis, Wild Jimmy Spruill, and Red Holloway, who I met and interviewed in Australia in the mid-1970s. Thanks again Gerard, as I'm currently in self-isolation I've got plenty of time on my hands to listen to these tracks.

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  5. Thank You Kindly For All Your Contributions !

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  6. Thank you, Gerard and all contributors to this set, for another varied and enjoyable collection by an artist new to me.

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  7. Thank you Gerard-this is a new name to me-look forward to hearing this !

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  8. Thanks. This is for me also an unknown. Like said before, still someone who fitted well in the R&B world.
    Thanks a lot for a discovery.

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  9. Thank you Mr Herzhaft, I love your music choices & respect your impressive insight & knowledge of the artists involved.
    Thanks for the chance to listen & I hope you & yours stay healthy and safe in these times.

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  10. Fantástico material, muchas gracias Sr. Herzhaft

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  11. Thank you, Gerard and all contributors, for another great and varied collection by an artist who was new to me also.

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  12. I am so grateful for your immense knowledge in this area, and your work to put these collections together. AND THEN TO SHARE them.

    Un grand merci à tous les deux !

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  13. Interesting to read this - I came across the name Walter Spriggs when researching the Flamingos' early recordings. There is a substantial amount about him in Robert Pruter's Doo Wop: The Chicago Scene. The Flamingos recorded several songs by him. One, I Found a New Baby, was released in 1976, and was performed acapella by the group 14 Karat Soul in the 80s. I have written about all the Flamingos' recordings on Chance and Parrot in the 50s; the post about On My Merry Way, quoting a passage about Spriggs from Robert Pruter's book, can be found here: http://sweetwordsofpismotality.blogspot.com/2017/08/flamingos-13-on-my-merry-way.html

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  14. Thanks as always Gerard and stay safe!

    Dr Hepcat

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