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.
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!
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