Monday, February 25, 2013

New Orleans obscurities

I had the good luck today to pick up a batch of classic New Orleans R and B 45s in a charity shop in Reading. How did they get there? Who knows, as they are obscure, to say the least. There are four singles from around 1962 on one of the great N'Awlins labels, Instant, and I've also included a later soul hit in the Memphis style, also picked up at the same time. There are links to the tracks where I've been able to find them
1. Raymond Lewis - Miss Sticks/ Miss Sticks Again. Instant 3233.
I know little about Raymond Lewis (although I believe he was a member of Huey Smith's Clowns) but this is co-written by Allen Toussaint during his Naomi Neville period and the piano backing is pure Toussaint genius, with awesome backing possibly from the Huey Smith group. Absolutely brilliant and well worth a listen. New Orleans R and B at its best.

2. Chick Carbo - Two Tables Away/ What Does It Take. Instant 3254.
Chick Carbo, brother of Chuck, was a member of one of New Orleans' few major vocal groups The Spiders and this is another great double sider written by Allen Toussaint with his distinctive piano style. According to the excellent Red Kelly, Chick's solo recording career was extremely limited and he died in 1998. Why he didn't go on to record more great sides like these I have no idea.
3. Wayman Dixon - It's no fun/ You put love on my mind. Instant 3253.
This one is a slow soulful ballad by a guy with a great voice with some greasy sounding sax backing. I know nothing about him, but again it's classic New Orleans R and B. The B side is equally good, with some Toussaint-sounding piano and some typical N'Awlins style vocal backing.

4. Errol Dee - I love you/ Love or money. Instant 3240.
Another obscurity, this time rather in the style of Clarence Frogman Henry. Like many of the Frogman's songs it's an oldie, first written for a musical Little Jesse James in 1923 by Harry Archer and Harlan Thompson and recorded by Frank Sinatra among others.
5. Bill Coday - Get your lie straight/ You're gonna want me. Galaxy 777.
Finally here's something different - some wonderful soul by Bill Coday, a man who was discovered by Denise Lasalle and who appeared at Porretta in 1998. This was his biggest hit, recorded first for Lasalle's Crajon label, before being picked up by Galaxy, and produced by Willie Mitchell. Bill died in 2008. A brilliant slow scorching B side as well.


At 9:48 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the hell do you stumble across these while I just find Slim Whitman, James Last and Val Doonican?
John S

At 9:54 pm , Blogger Nick said...

It's because I search virtually every day. Sooner or later you're bound to get lucky! Believe me there are far more failures than successes. These 45s cost me £2.99 each so hardly cheap!


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