Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Blues LPs part 4

John Lee Hooker was one of the most prolific and successful bluesman of all time and his recorded output was of a high quality throughout his career. The first photo montage shows another nine of his LPs, ranging from material recorded for Chess and Stax to later LPs on Silvertone. There is also one by Hooker alongside Smokey Hogg and Lighnin' Hopkins and two by Hopkins himself. I saw Hooker several times, including at Jazzfest but never caught Hopkins live.
The next group of albums includes another three by Lightnin' Hopkins, one by Shakey Horton and five by another Chess great Howlin' Wolf. There are also LPs by Ivory Joe Hunter, Mississippi John Hurt on Vanguard and J B Hutto on Delmark.
The third picture includes a couple of LPs by Elmore James, including a 'Best of' on Sue, and seven by Etta James, including four on Chess and later LPs on Warner and Island. Etta James was a great live act and I saw her quite a few times over the years. There are also LPs by Blind Lemon Jefferson (recorded in the 1920s), one by the Jelly Roll Kings (Jack Johnson, Frank Frost and Sam Carr) and one by Johnny Jenkins, who helped launch the career of Otis Redding.
Next we have four LPs by Little Willie John, who had a wonderfully soulful voice but sadly died in prison in 1968 while serving time for manslaughter. There's also an early ten inch LP by James P Johnson, one by the legendary Robert Johnson and four by R and B pioneer Louis Jordan, plus a couple by blues guitarist Albert King.
The final selection shows another six by Albert King, Stax's most successful blues artist, and one by him with Little Milton. There are also five by the great B B King - more of whose albums will follow next time.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Blues LPs part 3

Continuing with blues LPs in my collection we start with a couple more by Bo Diddley and 'Super Blues' by Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Little Walter together. Next we have a US release of 'Blues in the Pot' by Jamiacan born, British based Errol Dixon, recorded with Chicken Shack. This is followed by an LP by pianist/singer Floyd Dixon and two by Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon. There is also an LP by Dr Feelgood, aka Piano Red, one of early recordings by Dr Ross, 'the harmonica boss', on Arhoolie and three by Champion Jack Dupree, who I saw several times in New Orleans and London before his death in 1992.
The next photo includes one by Champion Jack Dupree with King Curtis, one by Sun recording artist Billy 'The Kid' Emerson, and others by H Bomb Ferguson, who I saw at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2005, a year before his death, the Flamingos on Chess, Bobby Freeman and Lowell Fulson. There is also one album by Earl Gaines, who I saw at the Blues Estafette in 1995, Roy Gaines, who was scheduled to appear at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2017 but was thwarted by the hurricane warning, and three by Rosco Gordon, who I had the pleasure of seeing at the Jazz Cafe in 2001. There's also one by Guitar Junior, who went on to find fame as Lonnie Brooks.
The third montage starts with an Excello LP by Arthur Gunter, who recorded the original version of Elvis's 'Baby Let's Play House'. Then there are five by Buddy Guy, including three on Vanguard and two later ones on Silvertone, and one by Buddy and Junior Wells together. There's an autographed album by Travis 'Moonchild' Haddix, who I saw in a village hall in Cambridgeshire alongside Artie 'Blues Boy' White in 2007, and one by Juanita Hall, better known for her work in musicals. There are also three by John Hammond, whose father was so instrumental in popularising blues by recording many early blues artists.
Photo number four begins with three LPs by Louisiana bluesman Slim Harpo, including one on Blue Horizon, followed by a couple by Wilbert Harrison who is best known for 'Kansas City' and 'Let's Work Together'. There is also an LP by R and B singer Thurston Harris and one by Sugarcane Harris, who was one half of rock and roll duo Don and Dewey, who i saw peform at the 100 Club in the mid nineties. There are two by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, whose stage props included a coffin and a skull, one by California bluesman Roy Hawkins, who wrote and recorded 'The Thrill Is Gone', and one by Ted Hawkins, who was a street performer in Venice Beach but made his name in Europe. Finally there's an LP by sax player Chuck Higgins, who appeared in London in the early eighties alongside Big Jay McNeely among others..
The final selection this time features nine LPs by Z Z Hill on labels such as Kent, United Artists, Mojo and Malaco. His track 'Down Home Blues' has been called the best known blues tracks of the eighties. Next is an LP on Flyright by Louisiana bluesman Silas Hogan, followed by the first two (of many) by blues great John Lee Hooker.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Blues LPs part 2

Ray Charles may well have had more LPs issued that any other blues or R and B artist of the fities, sixties and seventies. Certainly I have a lot of them in my collection and I suspect there are many others that I do not own. The first photo shows another three from his Atlantic period and nine from his time at ABC Paramount which were released in the UK on HMV. These include the two Modern Sounds in Country and Western albums and one with Betty Carter.
We continue the Ray Charles theme with some more HMV LPs, a Twist album on Atlantic, and others recorded for his Tangerine label. There are also some on the Probe label.
The next batch includes some more Ray Charles LPs including one on Stateside and one on Bluesway. Next up we move into doowop with the Clovers, including one on UK Atlantic, and rock and roll with four by the Coasters. There is also one LP by Gary B B Coleman on Ichiban and one by Albert Collins on Sonet.
The fourth montage includes two more by Albert Collins and a couple by Johnny Copeland. There's also one by James Cotton, who I saw several times on US trips, and five by the Robert Cray Band, who are still keeping the blues alive today and who I've also seen recently (pre pandemic of course). There are also a couple of albums by Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, including 'Roebuck Man' on United Artists.
The final photo this time shows LPs by Arthir Crudup, James 'Thunderbird' Davis, Jimmy Dawkins and David Dee, who I was impressed by when I saw him at Utrecht in 1993. Then there are eight classic LPs by Bo Diddley from his time at Chess, including six that were released on Pye International and one where he shared a side each with Chuck Berry.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Blues LPs part 1

I am moving on to the blues with the next few selections of LPs. My blues record collection is not bad but is tiny compared with the huge number of albums that have been released over the years. None the less, I hope that the assembled montages pique the interest of at least a few of my readers. Anyway here goes, with the first selection, which features as the first LP the Johnny Ace Memorial Album on Duke. Ace allegedly killed himself playing Russian roulette on Christmas Day, 1954. Next up is the debut album by Arthur Adams on Blue Thumb, followed by another debut LP, on Delmark, by Arkansas blues guitarist Luther Allison. Next we have four LPs by white bluesman Mose Allison, a great influence on Georgie Fame, including one of Columbia and one on Stateside, a boogie woogie LP by Albert Ammons and two by Billy Boy Arnold, who I have seen several times over the years. Finally, there are a couple by the great Lavern Baker.
The next photo montage kicks with another LP by Lavern Baker, followed by one by Frank Ballard on Sun and three by Jesse Belvin, who died in suspicious circumstances in a car crash in Arkansas in 1960 shortly after playing before an integrated audience in Little Rock. A great voice. There's one by Elvin Bishop, who was an original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and half a dozen classic LPs by the great Bobby 'Blue' Bland, including five on Duke and one on UK Action.
The third photo shows another eight solo LPs by Bobby Bland on MCA, Probe, ABC and Charly, followed by one he did with B B King. There are also two by Juke Boy Bonner, including one on Arhoolie, and one by Lonnie Brooks.
Next up we have two more by Lonnie Brooks on Sonet and two of Big Bill Broonzy's 'Last Sessions' LPs on HMV. There are a couple of albums by Buster Brown and one by Charles Brown, who I was lucky enough to see in New Orleans back in the nineties. There are also three by Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and two by Nappy Brown.
The final selection this time includes another LP by Nappy Brown and four by the great Ruth Brown, including one on Atlantic. There is one by Leroy Carr and half a doxen early Ray Charles LPs from his productive Atlantic periot: more to follow soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

New Orleans/ Louisiana LPs part 4

I'm concluding my series of photo montages of LPs from New Orleans and Louisiana with a bumper seven photos, each featuring 12 albums. The first features some more LPs by Lloyd Price, including an instrumental one with his band on his label Double L and several compilations on labels such as Regal, Charly and Ace. There are also five albums by Professor Longhair, including releases on Atlantic and Sonet, and two by Tommy Ridgley.
The next photo includes an LP by Alvin Robinson on Charly, five by zydeco star Rocking Dopsie, including four on Sonet, two by 'My Toot Toot' singer Rockin' Sidney, one by Cajun artist Aldus Roger and two by Shirley and Lee. The final LP is by Louisiana swamp pop band the Shondells, which featured Rod Bernard, Warren Storm and Skip Stewart, on the La Louisianne label.
Next we have a compilation of tracks by the Showmen, with General Johnson as lead singer, and six by Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns, including an original on US Ace and a couple on modern Ace. Also featured are two by Benny Spellman, including one on Bandy, one by New Orleans band the Subdudes and a couple by the Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas.
The fourth selection features a selection of LPs by Irma Thomas. These include a couple of sixties LPs on US Imperial and UK Minit and later ones on Rounder and compilations on Charly.
The next group of LPs includes one by Cajun artist Wayne Toups, a couple by piano genius Allen Toussaint and three by Walter 'Wolfman' Washington. There's also one by Clint West and the Fabulous Boogie Kings on Jin, one by the Wild Magnolias, one by the Wild Tchoupitoulas and one by Marva Wright. There are also two Swallow Louisiana Cajun compilations on Ace.
The sixth group features various compilations including an original one on US Minit, a couple featuring releases on the Ric and Ron Labels and three in the Ace Story series.
Finally, here are some more compilations, including the influential Ace LP 'Another Saturday Night', a Mercury rock and roll LP and a couple of original compilations LPs on Jin.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Sanford Clark RIP

Sorry to hear of the death, from COVID, aged 85 of rockabilly singer Sanford Clark. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, he came to fame in 1956 when Sanford and his friend Al Casey met up with Lee Hazlewood and Sanford recorded Lee's 'The Fool', which was picked up by the Dot label. It sold well in the country, R and B and pop charts, demonstrating Sanford's cross over appeal. The follow up 'The Cheat', backed by 'Usta Be My Baby', was a minor hit but Sanford was to have more success when he signed for Jamie and continued to work with Lee Hazlewood. 'Son Of A Gun' was another successful record as was 'Run Boy Run' and 'Go On Home' - all favourites of mine in the early sixties. In 1964 he recorded Lee Hazlewood's 'Houston' but this was overshadowed by Dean Martin's version. He signed for Hazlewood's LHI label and recorded an album called 'Return Of The Fool' and moved towards the country field, recording an album called 'They Call Me Country', which included a rework of 'The Fool'. He later dropped out of the music industry to work in construction. I saw Sanford perform at Hemsby in 2001 (see photo above) where he appeared with Al Casey, with Lee Hazlewood making a walk on appearance. He was a fine singer who probably should have been even more successful than he was.
Appearing with Sanford at Hemsby that year was Al Casey. who was a session musician, playing on many of Duane Eddy's records and also having success of his own. He died in 2006.
Sanford was introduced on stage by Lee Hazlewood who was involved with Duane Eddy as well as Sanford and found fame alongside Nancy Sinatra. Lee died in 2007.

Monday, July 05, 2021

New Orleans/ Louisiana LPs part 3

I'm continuing with some LPs from New Orleans and Louisiana (and some from Texas) in my collection. The first photo shows an original one by Clarence Frogman Henry on Argo and later ones on Pye and Silvertown and a couple of Jessie Hill including one on Blue Thumb. There's one by rockabilly singer Johnny Jano and three by Tejano artist Flaco Jimenez. There's also an original LP by Joe Jones on Rouelette and a couple by the 'Emperor of the Universe' Ernie K-Doe including one on Minit.
r Next we have two LPs by Chris Kenner, including one on Atlantic, one by Cajun stars Rusty and Doug Kershaw and four by New Orleans R and B singer Earl King, plus one with Roomful of Blues. There are also two albums by Smiley Lewis and two by Barbara Lynn, including one on the Oval label.
The third photo montage includes another one by Barbara Lynn on Atlantic, one by swamp pop artist Charles Mann, an LP by Bobby Marchan, one Ronn LP by Toussaint McCall and one by swamp pop singer Tommy Mclain. There are also some funky LPs by the Meters and three by the great Aaron Neville, including early ones on Minit and Parlo.
The next photo includes two more by Aaron Neville plus one with Linda Ronstadt, one jointly by Aaron and Art Neville and two by Art in solo mode. The rest are by the Neville Brothers and includes 'Yellow Moon', the album which was one of the factors that persuaded me to go to New Orleans for the first time in 1989.
The final selection this time includes a couple more by the Neville Brothers, one by the Olympia Brass band, two by Robert Parker, including an original on Nola, and one by Austin Pitre and the Evanmgeline Playboys and one by Bobby Powell. There are also five early LPs by the great Lloyd Price.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

New Orleans/ Louisiana LPs part 2

Here we go. We are launching into Fats Domino with the first two and a half photo montages. He was the greatest artist to come out of the Big Easy so naturally I have many (possibly too many) LPs by the great man. The first batch features 12 LPs from his early days on the Imperial and London labels. This includes his first Imperial LP 'Rock and Rollin' which was also the title of his first London LP, although with a different track listing. The photo shows the UK and New Zealand London LPs, as well as the Imperial version. There are four other London LPs featured - 'A Lot Of Dominos', 'I Miss You So', 'What A Party' and 'Let the Four Winds Blow' (for which I need a sleeve).
The second photo shows some later Fats Domino LPs on Liberty and United Artists, plus one on Mercury and some assorted live albums.
The third photo montage completes the Fats Domino selection with five of the Fats Domino Story LPs. There are also a batch of LPs by Lee Dorsey, including one of his early material released on Sue and albums on Stateside and Polydor.
The next photo features one more by Lee Dorsey, four by blind blues artist Snooks Eaglin and one by R and B singer Willie Egan who played at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town in the early eightes and subsequently made this LP in London with Juice on the Loose. Also featured are one by Esquerita, who influenced Little Richard, three by Tex Mex country/tejano singer Freddy Fender, and two by John Fred and the Playboys - John Fred was a blue eyed soul singer who had a big hit with 'Judy in Disguise (with glasses)'.
Finally, in this selection , we have a varied bunch, including LPs by Frankie Ford (on the original Ace label), early R and B duo Paul Gayten and Annie Laurie, Barbara George, whose 'I Know' is a New Orleans classic, Mardi Gras favourites the Golden Eagles, Cajun fiddler Doc Guidry, blues man Guitar Slim (whose 'The Things I used To Do' is also a classic), zydeco artist Major Handy and great R and B artist Betty Harris. There are also four LPs by the R and B wild man Roy Head, including one on Stateside.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

New Orleans/ Louisiana LPs part 1

I'm moving on to a different section of records that I own covering New Orleans and Louisiana, with a little bit of Texas here and there. I've been to New Orleans countless times since my first visit in 1989 and love New Orleans R and B and its cousin Louisiana swamp pop. I like zydeco and Cajun music as well, although it always sounds better live to me than on disc. The first batch of LPs features one by Cajun artist Nathan Abshire on the Lafayette based La Louisianne label and several by the Tan Canary Johnny Adams including one on Ariola and a few on Rounder. There are also LPs by swamp pop artist Johnnie Allan including a number on Jin - the two 'South to Louisiana' LPs with similar sleeves are on Jin and Ace and contain different track listings.
The second photo shows one more by Johnnie Allan on Jin, one by Jesse Allen on French Imperial (of whom no photo appears to exist), one by piano great Archibald on Krazy Kat, a couple by Marcia Ball (she's from Austin but I always associate her with New orleans), there's one by UK jazz man Chris Barber doing a New Orleans tribute with Dr John, a country LP by swamp pop artist Joe Barry on Dot, a couple by Dave Bartholomew, one by pianist/singer Jimmy Beasley and two by swamp pop singer Rod Bernard on Jin.
Next up we have another LP by Rod Bernard, a couple by New Orleans R and B singer Eddie Bo and two by popular 60s Louisiana band the Boogie Kings, who had G G Shinn on vocals, for the Montel Michelle label. There's also one by piano genius James Booker, a couple of R and B artist Roy Brown, one by zydeco star Buckwheat Zydeco, one by Louisiana singer/songwriter Bobby Charles and one by zydeco man C J Chenier.
The next photo shows a batch of albums by the King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier, including five on Arhoolie, two by Louisiana swamp pop band Cookie and the Cupcakes, who I was lucky enough to see a couple of times when they briefly reformed in the nineties, and a double LP by James 'Sugar Boy' Crawford.
Finally in this selection we have one LP by Cajun singer Bruce Daigrepont, one by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans institution, two by the Dixie Cups, including one on the UK Red Bird label, and one by early R and B man Larry Darnell, plus a group by Mac Rebennack. AKA Dr John..

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Lovers Rock pioneer Sonny Roberts passes on

I found some Orbitone 'lovers rock' LPs and 12 inch singles yesterday in a charity shop, including some by Joyce Bond and Tim Chandell. This got me thinking about Orbitone founder Sonny Roberts, who recorded them, as well as other Lovers Rock and Soca artists. When I checked I found that he passed on a couple of months ago at the age of 89 suffering from throat cancer. I may have missed it, but I didn't see anything in the UK media or online about this at the time. This is a shame, as Sonny was a true pioneer of Jamaican music and the first black man to open a recording studio in the UK. Sonny came to the UK from Jamaica in 1958 and opened his studio in the basement of 108 Cambridge Road, Kilburn - an address synonymous with ska and early reggae music. Sonny was the tenant of Lee Gopthal, who went on to launch the B and C and Trojan labels, and Sonny's early studio became the base for Island Records in its early days. Indeed Sonny is credited with putting Chris Blackwell, David Betteridge and Lee Gopthal together. thus changing the face of reggae and ska - and music generally. Sonny recorded Jamaican artists such as Rico Rodriguez, the Marvels, Dandy Livingstone and Sugar Simone and set up record labels including Planetone and Sway as well as producing acetates for London sound systems. He also issued Afrobeat records by Nigerian band the Nkengas. He opened the Orbitone record shop above the studio and this later became Island's HQ as Chris Blackwell built up the label. Sonny moved his retail operation to Harlesden and launched his Orbitone label, which focused on Lovers Rock with records by Tim Chandell and Joyce Bond, among others. His biggest success was a number 2 hit 'Can't Be With You Tonight' by Judy Boucher in 1986. Sonny returned to Jamaica in 1997 where his family ran a business making various products, including 'Sonny's All Natural Mosquito and Insect Bite Relief'. Sonny received a lifetime achievement award from the Jamaica Observer in 2019.
It's been a while since I last paid tribute to musicians who have died recently and I won't attempt to cover them all here (I will be back to my LP photos soon). But one I must mention is soul singer Dean Parrish, whose classic 'I'm On My Way' was a favourite at the Wigan Casino and other Northern Soul venues. Dean was quite a regular visitor to the UK but sadly I didn't get to see him live. I'm grateful to Noah Shaffer for this photo of Dean taken at the Skegness Northern Soul Survivors' Weekend in 2017.