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dimanche 23 mai 2021

SHELTON DUNAWAY/ Louisiana Swamp Music


SHELTON DUNAWAY/ Louisiana Swamp Music


            Although he has recorded quite a number of 45s under his own name, singer and saxophonist Shelton Dunaway is generally associated with the famous Louisiana Swamp pop band Cookie & The Cupcakes. We have tried here to gather all his recorded works under his name plus a selection of Cookie's records on which he is the lead vocalist. Sometime, to my ears, who is singing what is a little unsure although I've tried to follow what is written in Blues Discography.

            Born on 3d August 1934 in Monroe (Louisiana), Shelton Dunaway was raised by his mother in the more southern town of Lake Charles at the heart of the Acadiana country. At first influenced by the Western Swing bands heard on the local radios, Shelton took the saxophone after he watched R&B big bands touring Southern Louisiana. He quickly became a good player to be able at the age of 17 to play with several Louisiana bands, first Classie Ballou's and then Clayton Broussard's.

            In 1952 he joined Ernest Jacobs's Boogie Ramblers with whom he sang and played the saxophone. The group enjoyed a good following after saxophonist and singer Huey "Cookie" Thierry, a great entertainer and showman, joined the group and soon became its undisputed leader. They recorded several tracks for Eddie Shuler's Goldband label in 1953 although only one single was issued (Cindy Lou sang by Dunaway).

            From now on renamed Cookie & The Cupcakes, the band was constantly in demand all along the Gulf Coast, becoming a favorite of clubs, picnics and venues up to Houston and drawing the attention of several recording labels. One of Cookie's composition Mathilda jumped high
up the Billboard in 1958. Cookie & The Cupcakes continued to record extensively the following years as well as Shelton Dunaway under his own name. They also recorded behind several other singers like Carol Fran and Phil Phillips (on the number 1 Hit Sea of love)


The things changed drastically in 1965 when suddenly Thierry disappeared from Louisiana without warning anybody, apparently following his lady to California! He was replaced by singer/saxo player Lil Alfred Babino but without the charisma of Cookie, the band would never have the same fire and success.

            During the 1970's, Shelton had to make a living outside the music business. He resumed briefly his career during the 1990's, appearing at some festivals.

            He was found decades later on a nursing home by writer and researcher Gene Tomko who interviewed him for the Living Blues magazine. Most of this article comes from this interview.

                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft



SHELTON DUNAWAY, vcl/a-sax; Huey Peter Thierry, t-sax; Marshall Ladee, g; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Joe Landry, bs; Ivory Jackson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1955

01. Cindy Lou

02. I'm going

03. Keep living

04. Such as love

05. In the evening

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Ivory Jackson, dms. Lake Charles, La. november 1958

06. Married life

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1960

07. Just one kiss

08. I had the blues

09. Who would have thought it?

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1962

10. Mary Lou doin' the popeye

11. Franko-Chinese cha cha cha

12. Since your love has grown cold

13. Please stand by me

14. I'm twisted

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 22 july 1963

15. Shake'em up

16. The duck

17. Honey hush

18. Betty & Dupree

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. august 1963

19. Kissing someone else

20. It happens every time

21. Long time ago

Shelton Dunaway, vcl/a-sax; Huey Thierry, t-sax; Sidney Reynaud, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1968

22. Send me some lovin'

23. Something on your mind

24. The peanut

25. Shake rattle and roll



dimanche 16 mai 2021

KING KARL/ Louisiana Swamp Music


(updated and revised)

            Avec King Karl, nous retournons en Louisiane pour un genre entre blues, rock, pop, cajun etc... communément appelé Swamp Pop et dont Bernard Jolivette (dit King Karl) est l'un des indiscutables créateurs.
            Bernard naît à Grand Coteau le 22 décembre 1931. En musique, son mentor est son oncle John Abes, pianiste et accordéoniste renommé de la musique La La qu'on peut considérer comme l'ancêtre du Zydeco. Bernard Jolivette apprend le saxophone, la guitare mais se concentre sur son chant et commence à se produire en public à Beaumont (Texas) en 1949 au sein de divers orchestres dont celui de Lloyd Price.
            La musique ne le nourrissant pas, Jolivette s'installe à Lake Charles et travaille dans le bâtiment. Après un service militaire en Corée, il revient en 1955 à Grand Coteau où il s'associe avec le guitariste Guitar Gable (Gabriel Perrodin) pour former les Swingmasters qui deviendront les Musical Kings avec Bernard comme chanteur/arrangeur et principal compositeur sous le nom de King Karl ainsi que Fats Perrodin (le frère de Gable) à la basse et du grand Clarence "Jockey" Etienne à la batterie. La renommée de ce groupe est bientôt telle qu'ils tournent sans cesse.
            King Karl alimente le répertoire (il a la réputation de composer un titre en quelques minutes) de l'ensemble et en 1956 puis 1957, Gable et Karl enregistrent à Crowley pour l'infatigable J.D. Miller les morceaux les plus plébiscités de l'orchestre comme Congo Mumbo (adapté en fait de Frankie and Johnnie), IreneCool, calm and collectedThis should go on forever ou Life problem qui montent aussi dans les Hit Parades locaux et, pour certains, nationaux. Ces titres sont repris ou réarrangés par quantité d'artistes comme Johnnie Allan, Rod Bernard, Lonnie Brooks (Guitar Jr), Jimmy Clanton... et sont devenus des classiques de la musique louisianaise.

            Miller pense tant de bien des Musical Kings qu'ils deviennent quelque temps l'orchestre-maison qui accompagne presque tous les artistes lors de nombreuses séances d'enregistrement!
            Quand en 1960, Guitar Gable part dans l'armée, Clarence Etienne passe dans le grand circuit du R&B et bientôt de la Soul (Solomon Burke, Joe Simon). King Karl, lui, va enregistrer à Nashville sous le nom de Chuck Brown puis pour divers labels mais sans beaucoup d'impact. Il est bientôt obligé de travailler dans la sécurité à Lafayette pour faire vivre sa famille.
            Affligé d'un asthme sévère, Karl décide de quitter le climat humide de la Louisiane du Sud pour s'installer dans l'Arizona en 1992 où il vivra en dehors de la musique avant d'être redécouvert par l'excellent harmoniciste Bob Corritore qui le refera tourner et enregistrer.
            King Karl décède le 7 décembre 2005 à Mesa (Arizona).
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Let's go back to South Louisiana, this time for a ride with King Karl (Bernard Jolivette), one of the true creators of the so-called Swamp Pop, mixture of blues, rock, pop, Cajun and almost whatever you think of!
            Born in Grand Coteau on December, 22nd, 1931, Bernard is musically influenced by one of his uncle, accordion player John Abes, locally renown as a La La (ancestor of the Zydeco) master. Even learning to play guitar and saxophone, Bernard prefers to concentrate himself on singing and composing songs, having learned to write music. In 1949, he tries his luck in Beaumont (Tx) and plays with several bands, including Lloyd Price's. But he has to make a real living as a construction worker in Lake Charles before being drafted and sent to Korea.
            When back in Grand Coteau in 1955, he join forces with another young ambitious musician, Guitar Gable (Gabriel Perrodin) and launch the Musical Kings, a band with Gable's brother, Fats Perrodin on bass and the great Clarence "Jockey" Etienne on the drums. For the Musical Kings, Bernard Jolivette becomes King Karl and is the singer, arranger and prolific composer of the band (he is able to write and arrange a new song in a couple of minutes!). The Musical Kings gain quickly a strong following and they record in Crowley for J.D. Miller in 1956-57 most of their own favorite songs: Congo Mumbo (based on Frankie and Johnnie), IreneCool, calm and collectedThis should go on foreverLife problem ... almost all becoming local Hits, sometimes climbing National charts and soon gaining the status of all-time standards of Louisiana Swamp Pop being recorded by a lot of artists (Johnnie Allan, Rod Bernard, Lonnie Brooks (Guitar Jr), Jimmy Clanton...)
            Miller is so satisfied with Karl and Gable's group that he uses them as a houseband for numerous sessions. But when Gable is drafted in 1960, Clarence Etienne tries successfully his luck with big national R&B (and soon Soul) acts like Solomon Burke, Joe Simon... So King Karl records for several other labels (in Nashville under the pseudonym of Chuck Brown) but without much success. He has soon to take back a day job for a living before, always afflicted with a bad case of asthma, leaving the dampness of Louisiana swamps to Arizona in 1992. There he will live outside music before being rediscovered by harmonica ace Bob Corritore, soon on stage and recording again.
            King Karl dies in his hometown of Mesa (Az) on 7th December 2005.
                                               Gérard HERZHAFT
This article is largely based on Larry Benicevicz (Journal Blues Art) and John Broven (South to Louisiana).
A lot of thanks to Benoit Blue Boy and Rocky West for their help into gathering those tracks


KING KARL Discographie

King Karl (Bernard Jolivette), vcl; Guitar Gable (Gabriel Perrodin), g; John Johnson, pno; Fats Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms. Crowley, La. 1956

01. Life problem

02. Congo Mumbo

03. Guitar Rhumbo

04. Irene

King Karl, vcl; Guitar Gable, g; Tal Miller, pno; saxes; Fats Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms. Crowley, La. 22 february 1957

05. Please operator

06. This should go on forever

King Karl, vcl; Guitar Gable, g; Gabriel King, t-sax; Tal Miller, pno; John Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms. Crowley, 8 august 1957

07. Gumbo Mumbo

08. What's the matter baby?

09. Walking in the Park with Sally

10. Walking in the Park I

11. Walking in the park II

12. Have mercy on me

13. It's hard but it's fair

14. Cool calm and collected

King Karl, vcl; Guitar Gable, g; Lionel Torrence, t-sax; Gabriel king, t-sax; Tal Miller, pno; John Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms; Lazy Lester, perc. Crowley, La. 1958

15. Goodbye baby

16. Goodbye whiskey I

17. Goodbye whiskey II

18. Mary Lou

19. Long way from home

King Karl, vcl; Guitar Gable, g; horns; Fats Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms. Crowley, La. 10 march 1959

20. So in need of someone

I knew it was love

21. Baby come home to Papa

King Karl (as Chuck Brown), vcl; band. Crowley, La. 1962

22. Lead me to lover's land

23. Hard times at my door

24. Oh! No love

25. Out of darkness

The moon without you

King Karl, vcl; band. Lafayette, La. 1966

26. Everybody's feeling good

27. Blues for men

28. Got the fever child

King Karl, vcl; band. Lafayette, La. 1968

29. Do you like to see me cry?

30. Just because

31. When I leave here

I've never been so wrong


mercredi 5 mai 2021

CLARENCE GARLOW/ Complete Recordings

 CLARENCE GARLOW/ Complete Recordings (updated and revised)

Clarence Garlow, un des grands pionniers de la musique louisianaise de l'après guerre et le premier à populariser le Zydeco, est né le 27 février 1911 à Welsh en Louisiane. Son père, un musicien et danseur renommé localement, lui apprend le violon, la guitare et la contrebasse et un de leurs voisins montre au jeune Clarence comment s'exprimer à l'accordéon diatonique.
            Dans les années 1930, Clarence se retrouve à Beaumont, au Texas, est facteur le jour et joue dans les clubs locaux le soir. A ce moment-là, il est extrêmement influencé par T-Bone Walker. Un soir, une rencontre avec son idole dans un club de Beaumont, décide Clarence à quitter la poste et tenter de vivre de sa musique. Il fonde un orchestre qui alterne blues, ballades, airs de Country Music et musique louisianaise, notamment des la-las noirs de plus en plus appelés zydecos. A l'automne 1949, lors de concerts à Houston, Clarence rencontre Macy Lela Henry et Steve Ponchio, directeurs des disques Macy's qui lui offrent de l'enregistrer. Des cinq titres gravés à ce moment-là, Bon Ton Roulé (Les Bons temps roulent traduction française cajun de Let's the good times roll) sur un rythme de mambo, devient rapidement un succès dans tout le Sud Ouest et pénètre même dans le Top 100 R&B durant l'année 1950.
            Malheureusement, la faillite du label Macy's brise quelque peu l'élan de ce succès. Malgré tout, Garlow y trouve l'opportunité de nombreux engagements et tournées au sein de spectacles de R&B. Il en profite pour créer son club à Beaumont, le Bon Ton Drive In qui présentera la plupart des artistes louisianais, texans ainsi que les stars du R&B de passage.
            Malgré plusieurs excellents disques, Garlow n'arrive pas à retrouver les Hit Parades. En 1953, et malgré de fortes réticences quant aux arrangements trop sophistiqués à son goût de Maxwell Davis, Clarence enregistre plusieurs séances à Hollywood pour le label Aladdin, notamment New Bon ton Roulay, mais ces disques ne se vendent guère. Garlow se replie alors sur ses terres louisianaises, tourne un instant avec un tout jeune Clifton Chenier, grave plusieurs 45t pour J.D. Miller et Eddie Shuler (notamment la seule séance où il joue de l'accordéon sur Za Belle et Fais moi brailler/ Make me cry) qui sont sur les juke boxes de la région.
            Avec les années 1960, Clarence a de moins en moins d'engagements et prend un emploi de Disc Jockey sur la station KJET de Beaumont. C'est là que Mike Leadbitter (le fondateur de Blues Unlimited) le rencontre et l'interview en janvier 1968, le faisant ainsi connaître auprès du public européen du blues revival. Malheureusement, tous les projets de lui faire enregistrer un album échouent et Clarence décède le 24 juillet 1986, laissant malgré tout un bien bel héritage musical.
            Cet article est largement basé sur l'interview de Garlow par Mike Leadbitter et les pages qui lui consacre John Broven dans son indispensable ouvrage South to Louisiana. Merci à Joel Arceneaux, Pierre Monnery et José Y. pour leur aide et le prêt de disques. Quatre titres manquent encore ici et comme toujours toute copie .mp3 serait la bienvenue.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            A true pioneer of the post war Louisiana musical genres and the first to bring Zydeco to a wide audience, Clarence Garlow was born on February, 27th 1911 in Welsh (La). His father, a dancer and musician with a local reputation, taught him how to play fiddle, guitar and string bass while a neighbour showed the young Clarence how to handle the Cajun accordion.
            During the 1930's, Garlow moved to Beaumont at the Texas border and began to play music in the local clubs the week ends while making a living as a postman. He was then a true fan of T-Bone Walker and after a meeting with his idol he decided to become a full time musician, launching his band, playing a little bit everywhere in Texas and Louisiana a wide repertoire of blues, ballads, Hillbilly music and Cajun, particularly the new adaptation of the old la-las favored by the Black Cajuns and more and more called the Zydeco. During the Autumn 1949, while playing in Houston, Garlow met Macy Lela Henry and Steve Ponchio, who offered him to record for their Macy's label. Among the titles recorded during those sessions, Bon Ton Roulé (French Cajun translation for Let's the good times roll) played on a driving mambo rhythm was a hit, even climbing in the Top 100 R&B in 1950.
            Unfortunately the dismiss of Macy's prevented Garlow for a more important hit but nevertheless assured him to have better paid gigs a little bit everywhere in the South West and to be on the bill of several R&B tours among major names. Garlow also opened his own club in Beaumont, the Bon Ton Drive In who would feature local acts as well as R&B touring stars.
            Despite several excellent records, Garlow wasn't able to repeat his initial success. In 1953, despite strong disagreements about the sophisticated West Coast arrangements of Maxwell Davis and others, he recorded two sessions for the major label Aladdin. But despite great hopes from everybody involved, those records went nowhere and Clarence stuck in his Louisiana/ Texas home base the following years, recording for J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler (one great session Za Belle et Fais moi brailler/ Make me cry featuring him at the accordion).
            The 1960's were very lean years for Garlow who had to disband his group and take a job as a DJ on Beaumont's radio station KJET. This is how Mike Leadbitter found and interviewed him for his Blues unlimited magazine in January 1968, spreading his name and reputation among the European public. Unfortunately, all the subsequent projects for a new album by Clarence fell short and Garlow died in Beaumont 24 July 1986, leaving anywhere a great musical legacy.
            This article is largely based upon Leadbitter's interview and the essential John Broven's book, South to Louisiana. Thanks to Joel Arcenaux, Pierre Monnery and as always Jose Y. for their help and loan of records. Four Garlow titles are unfortunately still missing and any .mp3 copies would be most welcomed.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

 Clarence recorded a last 45 in 1982... Thanks to ace sleught collector Gerrit Robbs for this: 
Clarence Garlow 45 from 1982



CLARENCE GARLOW/ Complete Recordings

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Wilmer Shakesnider, a-sax; Shelby Lackey, t-sax; Mildred Smith, pno; bs; Johnny Marshall, dms. Houston, Tx. September 1949

Bound to lose my mind (cf comments)

01. In a boogie mood

02. Jumpin’ for joy

03. She’s so fine

04. Blues as you like it

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; horns; Johnnie Mae Brown, pno; bs; Johnny Marshall, dms. october 1949

05. Bon ton roula (roulet) (Macy’s)

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Curtis Babineaux, t-sax/vcl on*; Shelby Mackey, t-sax; Emma Dell Lee, pno/vcls; bs; Bill Parker, dms. Crowley, La. june 1951

06. New bon ton roola

07. Let me be your Santa

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Curtis Babineaux, t-sax/vcl on*; Shelby Mackey, t-sax; Emma Dell Lee, pno/vcls; bs; Bill Parker, dms. Crowley, La. Lake Charles, La. july 1951

Louisiana blues* (cf comments)

Watch your business (cf comments)

08. Trouble with my woman

09. Wrong doing woman*

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Emma Dell Lee, pno/vcls; band. New Orleans, La. 4 march 1953

10. Hey Mr Bon Ton

11. New bon ton roulay (aka Mr Bon Ton)

12. You got me crying

13. Dreaming

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Maxwell Davis, t-sax and Orchestra. Los Angeles, Ca. 24 july 1953

14. Jumpin’ at the Zadacoe

15. I’m hurt

16. Flip Flop

Clarence Garlow, vcl/acc; Darnell Jackson, pno; Chester Randle, g; Garen Joseph, bs; Matthew Colbert, dms. Lake Charles, december 1953

17. Za Belle

18. Za Belle (alt.)

19. Make me cry (Brailler)

20. Make me cry (alt.)

21. I don’t know

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Curtis Babineaux, a-sax/t-sax; Shelby Lackey, t-sax; Anna Mae Rogers, pno; g; Bill Parker, dms. Crowley, La. july 1954

22. Cry cry baby

23. I’m just a cry cry baby

24. I’ll never hold it against you

25. I keep on worrying

26. Come baby come

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Jewell Grant, a-sax; Maxwell davis, t-sax; Willard Mc Daniel, pno; Red Callender, bs; Peppy Prince, dms. Los Angeles, october 1954

27. Crawfishin’

28. Route 90

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Lionel Prevost, t-sax; Katie Webster, pno; James Williams, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. march 1955

29. Nothing to talk about

30. Train come down the track

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Lionel Prevost, t-sax; Dranell Joseph, pno; Garan Joseph, bs; Matthew Colbert, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1 may 1955

31. No no baby

32. I feel like calling you

33. Jolie tee catin (Purty little dolly)

34. Purty little dollie

35. She’s a bum baby bum

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Lionel Prevost, t-sax; Darnell Joseph, pno; James Williams, bs; Matthew Colbert, dms. Lake Charles, la. 1956

36. Pretty little dollie

37. Sunday morning

Sundown (cf comments)

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Lionel Prevost, t-sax; Katie Webster, pno; James Williams, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1957

38. Bon ton roulé (Good times roll)

39. Sound the bell n°1

Clarence Garlow, vcl/g; Lazy Lester, hca; Katie Webster, pno; Bobby Mc Bride, bs; Warren Storm, dms. Crowley, La. 1958

40. Foggy blues I

41. Foggy blues II

42. Sound the bell n°2 (Flyright)

43. Carry on

 Thanks to the generosity of blues collector William Armstrong the four hitehrto rare missing tracks (in red on the disco) are now available to be downloaded here