Nombre total de pages vues

jeudi 24 juin 2021

ERVIN "BIG DADDY" RUCKER/ Complete Recordings


ERVIN "BIG DADDY" RUCKER/ Complete Recordings



   Despite the fact he has recorded more than 30 titles, enjoyed some minor hits and played music spanning a career of at least three decades and even having toured Europe with the Johnny Otis Show, Ervin "Big Daddy" Rucker's life has been poorly documented. As far as I know, there is almost nothing on him in the Blues Magazines throughout the world outside some chronicles about his 45s, a few lines on LP's and CD's anthologies where he is featured, and most of the time utterly irrelevant except Ray Topping's liner notes on an old LP, very few on the web and, once again, mostly wrong...

            OK, so thanks a lot to the indefatigable and very reliable Marv Goldberg for his help in sharing his information about the great and underrated blues singer Big Daddy Rucker.

            First of all, as Marv says with a great sense of humour: " Repeat after me: "Ervin Rucker IS NOT Ervin Groves" (louder; I want the whole Internet to hear you). Rucker was another entertainer from San Diego (at least in 1972). When Rucker married in 1969, he gave his age as 34, therefore born in 1935 and several years younger than Groves. He had releases on Groves' Musette and GME Records (for example, "She's Alright" & "Kids Together", both written by Groves). In 1972, when Groves was in Hawaii, Rucker was part of Johnny Otis' entourage "

          Ervin (Irvin) Rucker was born 12 July 1936 in Augusta (Ga) from Sidney and Lean (Lena?) Rucker. He began to sing into his parents' church before switching to blues and R&B around 1952, mostly under the influence of Bobby Bland. At that time, Rucker was living in Miami and he was soon singing with local bands particularly with tenor-sax/singer Mattie Jackson's Blues Nighthawks . He first recorded with them for the Linco label from Fayetteville (Tennessee) in January 1957 before being discovered by Jimmy Liggins who was looking for new talents for his fledgling Duplex label. Liggins recorded Rucker for Duplex, probably around fall 1957. While Liggins relocated his recording and musical activities in San Diego (Ca) in 1959, Rucker followed him and was again in the studio in 1959-60, backed this time by the Liggins brothers (Joe and Jimmy) for a couple of excellent tracks

            During the 1960's, Big Daddy Rucker continued to play in California clubs and venues and to record for several small labels, produced sometimes by Big Boy Groves (hence the confusion about the two), enjoying some hits with Big Daddy's shake and Christmas in the ghetto. The early 70's find him as a featured vocalist to the Johnny Otis Show. He recorded four titles with Johnny Otis' small band with a young Shuggie Otis as the lead guitarist. He went to Europe in 1972 with Johnny Otis. And then seems to have disappeared from the radars although even Marvin Gaye mentioned Big Daddy Rucker in his 1976 song Since I had you!

            Thanks to Marv Goldberg we know that Rucker married Diaann Brown in 1969 in San Diego, a short union that ended by a divorce in 1973. What have he done after that remains a mystery. He probably died 2 June 1996 in Los Angeles but this is not for sure!

            Anyway, here are the almost complete recordings of this very fine bluesman (I'm still missing two tracks). And once again a lot of thanks to Marv Goldberg without whom this article would have been way less documented.

                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT


ERVIN "BIG DADDY" RUCKER, vcl; Mattie Jackson, vcls/t-sax; The Blues Knighthawks Orchestra. Fayetteville, Tn. janvier 1957

01. I want to do it

02. I want to flop (as Mattie Jackson)

03. I want to slop (I want to do it)

04. Two people in love

Ervin "Big Daddy" Rucker, vcl; Ed Collins, g; Mattie Jackson, t-sax; band. Miami, Fl. late 1957.

05. Whoa whoa whoa

06. Did you evere love a woman? I

07. Did you ever love a woman? II

08. Hurry up

09. Working man blues

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Jimmy Liggins, g; band. San Diego, Ca. 1959

10. Searching for love

11. Done done the slop

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Jimmy Liggins, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1959

12. So good

13. No more rivers to cross

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Joe Liggins, pno; Jimmy Liggins, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. janvier 1960

14. Baby you were meant to me

15. If you really really love me

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Blues Blenders, band. Los Angeles, Ca. mars 1960

16. If you have it

17. Hideout

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Froebel Brigham, tpt; Teddy Pico, t-sax; James Cole, b-sax; Sam Bolan, pno; William Brown, g; Bill Wood, bs; Jimmy Witherspoon, dms. San Diego, Ca. octobre 1960

18. I'll make it alright I & II

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; The Kings, band. San Diego, Ca. 1964

19. Christmas in the ghetto

20. Big Daddy's shake

21. Just do your thing

22. Jealous woman

Bad understanding

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; band. San Diego, Ca. 1965

23. She's alright

24. Kids together

25. True love

26. I'm going home

Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Shuggie Otis, g/bs; Johnny Otis, kbds/dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1972

27. He made you mine

28. This is my song

29. You got me moving

30. Best friend blues

My friend Pierre Monnery has provided me a last (?) track by Ervin Rucker, recorded in 1979 in San Diego.

Ervin Big Daddy Rucker, vcl; Larry King, pno; T-Bone Terrell, g; Nate Young, bs; Tony H.B. Robinson, dms. San Diego, Ca. 13 october 1979

jeudi 10 juin 2021






This fourth volume of our Los Angeles blues series gathers four quite obscure artists.

We start with Andy Belvin. I didn't find much about this singer who recorded in L.A. but with a noted New Orleans R&B manner. He issued at least five 45s with the two first (which are here) being blues and R&B. He recorded later with the Third Generation group and is also mentioned as a producer for several other Soul or Pop artists during the 1960s/70's.

            Willie Garland (Garland Manuel) is a singer and harmonica player who recorded a couple of tracks under the moniker Garland The Great in 1955 and then again twelve years later in 1967 with the Maxwell Davis unit.

            Carl Green, a R&B singer, must not be confused with other Carl Greens, particularly the tenor sax player who backed many Bay Area bands. This Carl Green (on whom I don't have much details) waxed a couple of tracks in 1953 and maybe ten years later with the female vocal group The Aquinetts.


At last Mamie Perry (or Mamie Reed, Mamie Ree, Mamie Jenkins...) is a little better known as she was the wife of Gus Jenkins who produced most of her records. She started her career as a vocalist for the Jake Porter band and then and hereafter recorded fifteen titles, even enjoying a modest local hit with I'm hurted in 1958. A fine singer.

            I've unfortunately been unable to grab more about those blues artists, not even their birth and deaths dates! But their music happily stands as a testimony of their real talents.

                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT


ANDY BELVIN, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1962

01. Prettiest girl

02. Walking the blues

Andy Belvin, vcl; Harmonica Fats, hca; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 16 february 1963

03. Travellin' mood

04. Flip flip

WILLIE GARLAND (Garland Manuel), vcl/hca; band. Los Angeles, Ca. november 1955

05. Tree stump jump

06. Strike a match

07. Hello Miss Sims

Willie Garland, vcl/hca; Maxwell Davis, pno; Irving Ashby, g; Thomas Cox, g; James Crutcher, bs; Abraham Mills, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 31 january 1967

08. Black widow spider

09. Soul blues

10. Address in my hand

CARL GREEN, vcl; Willard Mc Daniel, pno; Maxwell Davis, t-sax; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 4 february 1953

11. Boogie freight

12. Four years seven days

13. Horizon

14. My best friend

MAMIE PERRY, vcl; poss. Gus Jenkins or Jimmie O'brien, pno; Jake Porter, tpt;  Reginald Jones, bs; Jimmy Burns, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1955

15. Your lovin' is just all right

16. I wake up this morning

Mamie Perry, vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno/vcls; prob. Jake Porter's band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1955

17. You lied

18. Caught

19. No need acting like that

Mamie Perry, vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. august 1957

20. Hambone

21. Jump with me baby

Mamie Perry, vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. august 1958

22. I'm hurted

23. My baby waited too long

Mamie Perry, vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1959

24. Lament

25. Love lost

26. Someday baby

Mamie Perry, vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1960

27. Jealous of you baby

Mamie Perry (as Mamie Lester), vcl; Gus Jenkins, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1964

28. What a dream

29. All by myself