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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

24 commentaires:


    OK? And don't forget to send feedback

  2. Salut Gerard,
    merci pour ce nouveau post ;c'est tres interessant,j'y connais pas.Garde-toi nienet prend soin mon ami;bon weekend.

  3. What a great survey Gerard. Thank you so much again!

  4. Another wonderful collection! We are fortunate to be able to share in your work. Many thanks!!!

  5. TYVM Gerard - new artist to me

  6. Thanks Gérard. Petite précision au sujet de la chronologie : le premier enregistrement fut pour le label Duplex, donc Jimmy Liggins avait déjà découvert Ervin Rucker à ce moment-là. Ce premier simple, pressé par Southern Plastics, sortit début 1958. Les deux morceaux du Duplex 9001 furent pubiés par Linco Music. Linco Records ne fut lancé que l'année suivante en 1959.

    Je n'ai pas pu découvrir comment Liggins a eu son premier contact avec le propriétaire de Linco Music (Ernest Tucker, musicien et disc-jockey pour WEKR pendant plus de cinquante ans). En tous cas, les trois premiers simples de Duplex ont tous pour adresse Fayetteville, Tennessee.

    1. Merci. J'ai recopié la discographie de Blues Discography (dernière édition) qui reprenait, je pense, ce que Ray Topping avait écrit au sujet de Linco et Duplex.

  7. As always many thanks Gerard for gathering all these rare tracks and sharing them with us.

  8. Looking forward to listening to this. Many thanks, Gerard.

  9. Thanks for another fine collection. Some very enjoyable material here.

  10. Many thanks Gerard for compiling these rare recordings and sharing them with us.

  11. Thank you for this complete collection. I only have a couple of tracks on compilations, so a nice addition.

  12. Congratulations Gerard on a great Big Daddy Rucker collection
    you have got together here, a lot of work must have gone into this . Thanks' Bill

  13. thanks all your works mr Herzhaft
    but i think this is McKinley "Soul" Mitchell see:
    anyway thanks again please go on this amazing works of yours

    1. ???. I don't see the relation between your link with this post

    2. He's referring to the photo on Mitchell's P-Vine LP and the same shot being used on your Rucker collection.

    3. thank you Daddy Cool
      i wanted to say so
      many thanks Gerald
      i respect your work much
      i'm sorry if you feel offended

  14. Gracias Gerald, por compartir esta hermosa colecciòn de Blues.
    saludos desde Quito-Ecuador.

  15. Thank you so much Gerald, I've listened at length and really enjoyed this post. Quite interesting! Warm regards

  16. I'm always amazed by the number of artists you compile that I've never heard of, which of course are quite amazing.