Saturday, May 31, 2014

90s Photo Gallery - Part 2

I've been rummaging in my photo albums again and found some more music photos from the early 90s.
First, here are two New Orleans R and B legends pictured at Jazzfest in 1992: Chuck Carbo (left) and James Sugar Boy Crawford. Chuck, who died in 2008, was a member of New Orleans vocal group The Spiders and went on to record solo R and B and funk from the sixties onwards, including Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On, a copy of which I bought at the time. 
Sugar Boy is best known for his recording of Jock-O-Mo in 1954 (better known a few years later as Iko Iko by the Dixie Cups). He died in 2012 and was the grandfather of Davell Crawford.
Next, here is soul singer L J Hamilton pictured at the Lion's Den club in 1992. At the time he had recently recorded some soul on the Unity label in New Orleans including this one.  
I believe he was also known as Larry Hamilton, who recorded for Wardell Quezerque at Malaco which were released on Pelican in the 1970s. Larry died in 2012.

Here are Ann Peebles and Otis Clay being interviewed at Jazzfest, also in 1992. Two soul greats.
This is New Orleans R and B singer Earl King. Earl died in 2003. Here he is singing Trick Bag.
Next we have some photos of people who played in London in the early 1990s. Here is Roy Rogers at the Mean Fiddler in 1992.
Johnnie Johnson at the Town and Country 2, also in 1992. Johnnie, who died in 2005, worked with Chuck Berry for many years, arranging and playing piano on many of his classic tracks.
Here are a couple of photos of members of the Texas Tornadoes, a tejano super group comprising Doug Sahm (below), Flaco Jimenez ( second photo), Freddy Fender and Augie Meyer. The photos were taken at the Town and Country, London, in 1991. Doug died in 1999.
This is the influential swing and boogie woogie player Merrill Moore at the Town and Country 2 in 1991. He died in 2000.
Also at the T and C 2, this is blues singer Charlie Musselwhite, photographed in 1991.
And this is the very wonderful Ronnie Spector at the same venue, also in 1991.
Another great female singer, this is Betty Lavette at the Jazz Cafe in 1991.
This is Screaming Jay Hawkins at the Town and Country Club in 1991. Jay died in 2000.
Finally, also at the Town and Country in 1991, this the great Nina Simone, who died in 2003.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nineties Music Photo Gallery - Part 1

It's 25 years since my first visit to the New Orleans Jazzfest and over the years I've had the pleasure of seeing some of the greatest R and B, rock and roll, swamp pop and soul musicians perform, many of whom are sadly no longer with us. Here are a few of my photos from the early 1990s showing some of the all time greats.
Here is Allen Toussaint, playing at Irma Thomas's Lion's Den club in New Orleans in 1991.
Here is Irma Thomas herself, also at the Lion's Den in 1991.
This is swamp pop singer Tommy McLain at Jazzfest in 1991.
On board the Creole Queen riverboat in 1991, here is Barbara George.
Also on board was the great Ernie K-Doe.
As was the originator of Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Jessie Hill.
Providing backing to some of the acts, this is one of the world's greatest blues guitarists Wayne Bennett.
At Mulate's in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, in 1989 I caught Richard Thompson (left) playing with Beausoleil.
This is Koko Taylor at Muddy Waters club in New Orleans in 1991.
Back in London, here is Big Jay McNeely at the Jazz Cafe in 1991.
Here is R and B great Charles Brown performing, appropriately enough, at Charlie B's in New Orleans in 1992.
This is the Tan Canary, Johnny Adams, at the Rock 'n' Bowl in New Orleans in 1991.
Finally, in this batch of photos, here are a couple of New Orleans music landmarks. This is the Dew Drop Inn, photographed in 1991,where many R and B and rock and roll greats performed in the 1950s. I believe the building was destroyed by Katrina.
And here is the iconic Tipitina's music club in New Orleans.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Five great 45s

It's a while since I featured some 45s on the blog, so here are five which have caught my attention. Some of them are great double siders, a couple of which I bought at a garage sale in Long Island, while the others are recent charity shop or car boot finds.
1. The Charts - Deserie/ Zoop. Everlast 5001.
The Charts were one of the doowop groups that appeared at the Long Island Doowop weekend and didn't make themselves popular on the night as a result of the lead singer complaining about the backing band. They were accused the following night of failing to provide music charts in advance - ironic, given their name. Nevertheless this double sider is a great doowop record, recorded in 1957 by this Harlem based group.  And the group was one of the stars of the weekend.
2. The Mark IV - (Make With) The Shake/ 45 RPM. Cosmic 704.
Here's another excellent doowop double sider featuring a white group from Chicago who had more than a touch of the Danny and the Juniors sound. Their biggest hit, apparently, was a polka styled novelty number called I Got A Wife, but this double sider takes some beating.
3. Soul Survivors - Expressway To Your Heart/ Hey Gyp. Crimson 1010.
Here's another great double sider, this time by a Philadelphia group. The A side is well known and an excellent Northern soul favourite - the first hit for Gamble and Huff. But the B side is a fantastic garage version of a blues song that was popularised by Donovan as the B side of his third UK single Turquoise. Great double sided 45 from 1967.
4. Kris Jensen - Come Back To Me (My Love)/ You'e Only Got Me To Lose. Hickory 1256.
Roy Orbison's Only The Lonely was one of my favourite records of all time, but it was based it seems on this Kris Jensen song, released in the UK in 1964, which, as you can see, was written by Roy and Joe Melson. Great version of a classic.
5. Dickey Lee - I Saw Linda Yesterday/ The Girl I Can't Forget. Mercury 1196.
Memphis born Dickey Lee recorded for Sun in the 50s and had a couple of major US hits in the early sixties, including Patches and the spooky death song Laurie (Strange Things Happen), but never quite made the big time. This 1963 rocker, covered in the UK by Doug Sheldon, showed that on his day he could compete with the likes of Dion. B side's not bad either. He had success in the 1970s in the country field.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ray Campi - still rocking at 80

One of many highlights of my recent US trip was a visit to the Los Angeles home of the King of Texas Rockabilly Ray Campi. The visit was thanks to the Jive Aces, who extended their invitation to his house to John Howard, Paul Waring, Gordon Fleming and myself. Ray turned 80 a few days before our visit, but he is still rocking. Next month he appears at the Ink-N-Iron festival in Long Beach with a diverse line-up, including the Buzzcocks, Merle Haggard, the Damned, Wanda Jackson, the Skatalites and Si Cranstoun.
Ray was an excellent host at his modest bungalow, happily showing us his music and film posters and mementos of a career that actually  stretches back to the age of one, when he appeared on an advertising poster. Over the years he has recorded cassette interviews with dozens of Hollywood figures which really should be transcribed and published.  His musical career dates back to 1956 when he recorded Caterpillar for the TNT label, which was followed by 45s for Dot, Domino, D, Verve and Colpix, but his career really took off in the 1970s, when, after many years as a teacher, he was rediscovered by Ronnie Weisner , owner of Rollin' Rock Records. and recorded some great rockabilly tracks, including Rockin' At The Ritz and Tore Up. Over the last 20 years or so Ray has been a regular visitor to the UK and other European countries, playing his.exciting brand of rockabilly, and his white stand up bass has become a trademark.
In 1959 Ray recorded the first tributes to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper shortly after their deaths, backed by the Bopper's band, and he has recently re-recorded these tracks - Ballad of Donna and Peggy Sue and The Man I Met - with his long time piano player Rip Masters. He was good enough to give each of us a signed copy.
Here are photos of the reissued record.
And here's one of a 1986 EP featuring some of his best known Rollin' Rock tracks.
Finally, here's one of me with Ray at his LA home.
Nick Cobban.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Ooh la Las Vegas

One of the great things about Viva Las Vegas was the number of glamorous women there, so I thought for a change I would post some photos of a few of these gorgeous females on the blog. Many are from the Burlesque Showcase which featured around a dozen burlesque artists, while the others are of some of the female visitors to the festival and, in particular, the Car Show.
First, here are several of the most impressive of the burlesque artists - Roxy D'Lite (not her real name I suspect). Don't know who the bloke in the mask is!
Here are a couple of a lady by the name of Ophelia Flame.
Here's one of an Italian burlesque artist called Angie Pontani.
And here's a rear view of a twirling couple called, I think, Peekaboo Pout and Gal Friday.
Finally, from the burlesque show, here is British performer Immodesty Blaise.
At the festival, here are a couple of glamorous ladies in leopard prints.
The car show featured a number of sexy models draped over the bonnets of various cars. Here are a couple of pix of a lady named Megan.
Finally, here is the hostess of the Pin Up competition and one of the contestants. Good set of tattoos!
Photos by Nick Cobban.