Wednesday, December 31, 2014

OYSTERS AND WINE AT 2 A.M. !


Old South Quartette • Oysters and Wine at 2 A.M. • 1928



Old South Quartette: vocal quartet; unknown guitar. Long Island City, c. August 1928

Get your oysters and wine anytime at Tompkins Square!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I BELONG TO THE GRAB SOCIETY


Frank Stokes • I Got Mine • 1928



Frank Stokes, vocal/guitar. Memphis, 27 August 1928

Monday, December 29, 2014

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING!

“Mother Nature does wonderful things. . . .”


Roy Rogers & His Saddle Pals
Time Changes Everything • 1940



This is unissued take B with lots of hot playing. Roy Rogers, vocal; Woodrow Wines, guitar; Gene Haas, electric guitar; Homer Rhodes, electric steel guitar; Rufus Cline, string bass; Spade Cooley, fiddle; Carl Cotner, fiddle. Los Angeles, 29 November 1940

Photo: Lynda Carter and Roy Rogers, 1977 from Vonter Voman

Sunday, December 28, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 6

ABOUT THIS RECORD

It was inevitable that sooner or later our series would touch on the genre known to many as surf music, or surfing music. What many may not know is that surf music didn’t start out as a genre known as surfing music but instead was and is music that surfers listen to, hence the name. Now we know that this will undoubtedly raise the hackles of the academicists in our community but we have decided to step bravely forward into memory lane and present to you, the listener, what it was like to sit in a living room just blocks from the beach in 1962, watching homemade 8mm surfing movies and spinning 45s of the latest surf tunes. The Fireballs, from Raton, New Mexico, were and are favorites and their landlocked geography might fool one into thinking they would not be able to convey the feeling of catching a wave and turning on to its fullest extent. But one listen to their tune “Bulldog” will be sure to disabuse one of that theory. And Ray Charles with his great two-part “What’d I Say”? Of course it’s surfing music. Ditto “Take Five,” “Harlem Nocturne,” and “Desafinado.”

We hope you enjoy listening to it, before, during, and after your next trip to the shore.
—Melvin “Kukai” Cowznofski


The Fireballs • Vaquero (Cowboy) • 1960


Photo copyright © 2014 by Brad Barrett. Used by permission.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

HE’S IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW

In 1955 a friend of Carrie Rodgers, Jimmie’s widow, came up with the bright idea of having Jimmie’s 1930 recording overdubbed with modern country instruments. Mrs. Rodgers took the idea to RCA, and Chet Atkins and members of Hank Snow’s band did the overdubs. It came out pretty nicely and gave Webb Pierce’s current hit on “Jailhouse” a little friendly competition, charting a mere 22 years after Rodgers’ death. . . .


Jimmie Rodgers & The Rainbow Ranch Boys


Jimmie Rodgers, vocal/guitar. Hollywood, 12 July 1930
Overdubbed with Chet Atkins, guitar; Joe Talbot, steel guitar; Ernie Newton, bass; Tommy Vaden, fiddle. 

Nashville, 18 March 1955

Get it: The Singing Brakeman

Jimmie Rodgers photo: Bluegrass Today

Friday, December 26, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 5


Jimmy Murphy • Electricity • 1951


Jimmy Murphy, vocal/guitar; Anita Carter, bass. Nashville, 29 January 1951

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A CHRISTMAS BOOGIE

“This is 1968, brother, not 1958. . . .”


Canned Heat & The Chipmunks • The Chipmunk Song • 1968



Canned Heat • Christmas Blues • 1968



Photo copyright © 2014 by Blues All Kinds. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 2


Freddy King • Have You Ever Loved A Woman • 1960



Freddy King, vocal/guitar; Sonny Thompson, piano; Bill Willis, bass; Philip Paul, drums. Cincinnati, 26 August 1960

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I WALK IN THE MOONLIGHT,
I WALK IN THE STARLIGHT


Phil Alvin • Starlight • 1994



Phil Alvin, vocal/banjo/marksaphone; Robert Lily, guitar.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

LAST WEDNESDAY EVENING


Blind Uncle Gaspard • Mercredi Soir Passé • 1929



Blind Uncle Gaspard, vocal/guitar. Chicago, c. 26 January 1929

Photo of Alcide “Blind Uncle” Gaspard: Yazoo Records via The Old Weird America

In the next ten days on BAK we’ve got the usual mix of soup to nuts (or mice): Jackie DeShannon, Phil Alvin, and Freddy King; we’ll turn the heat up on Christmas day, and then finish out the year with music from Jimmy Murphy, Jimmie Rodgers (and friends), The Fireballs, Roy Rogers, Frank Stokes, and the Old South Quartette. . . .

Saturday, December 20, 2014

THAT’S THE STUFF

Here’s a tasty little Saturday night bonus from the truly great Lonnie Johnson. From his sixties “comeback” period, this is one song from a fruitful 1960 session featuring Lonnie and his old cohort Elmer Snowden, that produced one Bluesville LP and years later a CD filled with outtakes that are just as good as what was issued in 1960.


Lonnie Johnson with Elmer Snowden • Blue and All Alone • 1960



Lonnie Johnson, vocal/guitar; Elmer Snowden, guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 
5 April 1960.

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 2


Lowell Fulson • River Blues, Pts. 1 & 2 • 1948



Lowell Fulson, vocal/guitar; Martin Fulson, guitar. Oakland, 1948

cf. Smokey Hogg, Mance Lipscomb, and Johnny Shines.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ONCE I WAS B-O-N-E BORN

in the name of J-e-s-u-s
to v-i-c-t-o-r-y
I am f-r-w-e



The Maytals • Hallelujah • 1963




Album cover: Reggae Discography

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MILK COW’S TROUBLES

Trouble I love
Peace I do despise
I whip the devil every mornin’
Just to get my exercise


Johnny Shines • Milk Cow’s Troubles • 1970



Johnny Shines, vocal/guitar. Altadena, CA, November 1970

LP cover: Testament 2221, first pressing. Photo copyright © 2014 by Brad Barrett. Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

EL DELFO

“Instrumental accordion music was the traditional dance music of the rural working people in the border area [of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico] and continued to be popular and sold widely via records throughout this period [of the 1940s and 1950s] and is still in demand today. Los Hermanos Cardenas (the Cardenas brothers) grew up on a ranch south of Reynosa, Tamaulipas playing for family and friends which they continue to do today and in much the same style popular several generations ago. Chencho Cardenas has always played a two row accordion and both brothers take great pride in playing traditional material in the traditional way.” —adapted from Chris Strachwitz’ 1978 liner notes to Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol. 13: Norteño Acordeon – Part 3 – South Texas and Monterrey, N.L. – The 1940’s and 50’s (Folklyric 9020)


Hermanos Cardenas • El Delfo • c. early 1950s



Chencho Cardenas, accordion; Lupe Cardenas, bajo sexto; E. Gutierrez, bass. Recorded c. early 1950s

Monday, December 15, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 5


Floyd Tillman • Cold Cold Beer • 1956


Floyd Tillman, vocal/guitar; Ted Daffan, baritone ukulele; Lew Frisby, bass; Pete Burke, piano. Houston, 
ca. early 1956

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GIRL GROUPS DOWN FOR THE COUNT,
BROUGHT LOW BY A BAD CASE
OF THE BLUES, Pt 1


Millie • My Boy Lollipop • 1964


As we head into the week before Xmas, you won’t find any seasonal fare here. But you can take a “holiday music holiday” with tunes from Floyd Tillman, Hnos Cardenas, Johnny Shines, The Maytals, Tenderfoot Edwards, and Lowell Fulson. Don’t touch that dial!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

MISTERIOSO


The Thelonious Monk Quartet • Misterioso • 1948



Milt Jackson, vibes; Thelonious Monk, piano; John Simmons, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums. New York City, 2 July 1948

Thursday, December 11, 2014

C’EST LA GOUTTE D’OR QUI FAIT
DÉBORDER LA VALSE


Les Primitifs du Futur
C’est la goutte d’or qui fait déborder la valse • 2000

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 5


Mustard & Gravy (Dixie’s Tastiest Combination)
The Whale Did, I Know He Did • 1938


Frank Rice, Ernest Stokes, vocal duet; prob. one of them, guitar. Rock Hill, SC, 28 September 1938

More tasty combinations on Turn Me Loose: Outsiders of Old-Time Music (Tompkins Square, 2013).

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 2

Part Two shuffles in with a joyous so glad I got good religion post-Army late night Nashville party session and the white boys gettin’ all the way down to Lowell Fulson blues and “E” commanding those blues to give yourself just a little more time as drum rolls sax & git-tars collide with Monday morning and Fulson himself back on the county farm till Texas & Oklahoma migrate to Oakland & L.A.: Hot dogs & barbecue on the avenue OK, just stay far from Tin Pan Alley: pistol shots, two by fours, shouts of “Needed Time” ascend from the mourners bench as back in Alabama Jerry McCain holds steady.


Elvis Presley • Reconsider Baby • 1960




Elvis Presley, vocal/guitar; Scotty Moore, Hank Garland, guitars; Bob Moore, bass; Buddy Harman, D. J. Fontana, drums; Floyd Cramer, piano; Boots Randolph, sax. Nashville, 4 April 1960

Monday, December 08, 2014

WHAT ARE THEY DOING RIGHT NOW

Paul Owens, whose exquisite lead vocals graced several of the top postwar gospel quartets beginning in 1949 with the Nightingales (a couple years before Julius Cheeks arrived), recorded two sessions with the Dixie Hummingbirds in the early fifties before moving on to the Swan Silvertones and later, the Brooklyn All Stars. Here his clear baritone leads out on “What Are They Doing in Heaven Today”, the ’Birds’ first single for Peacock.


Dixie Humming Birds • What Are They Doing in Heaven Today • 1952



Paul Owens, lead; Beachey Thompson, tenor; Paul Owens, Ira Tucker, James Davis, baritones; William Bobo, bass. Unknown drums. February 1952

“What Are They Doing in Heaven Today” can be heard on the Canary Records comp When the Moon Goes Down in the Valley of Time: African-American Gospel, 1939–51.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

PARDON ME IF I’M SENTIMENTAL


Hank Snow, The Singing Ranger & the Rainbow Ranch Boys
(Now And Then, There’s) A Fool Such As I • 1952

Saturday, December 06, 2014

FETCH IT ON DOWN

“Mama’s in heaven, / Papa’s in jail,
Make my livin’ / By wigglin’ my tail. . . .”


Hartman’s Heart Breakers • Fetch It On Down To My House • 1936



Elmer Warren, fiddle; Cecil “Curly” Campbell, banjo; Harry Blair, guitar; unknown, guitar; Dick Hartman, tenor guitar; Fred “Happy” Morris, string bass; Kenneth “Pappy” Wolfe, traps/slide whistle; Betty Lou, vocal; band, spoken. Charlotte, 22 June 1936

Album cover: MusicStack

Friday, December 05, 2014

PARADISO


Konono No 1 • Paradiso • 2005



Wednesday, December 03, 2014

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 1


Charley Musselwhite’s South Side Band • 4 P.M. • 1967



Charlie Musselwhite, harmonica; Harvey Mandel, guitar; Barry Goldberg, piano; Bob Anderson, bass; 
Fred Below, drums.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 5

“Here’s a waltz, here, entitled ‘The Bogue Chitter Waltz’”


The Hodges Brothers • Bogue Chitto Waltz • early 1960s

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

YOU SALTY DOG

“Papa Charlie done sung this song!”


Freddie Keppard’s Jazz Cardinals • Salty Dog • 1926
“vocal chorus: Charlie Jackson”



Freddie Keppard, cornet; Eddie Vincent, trombone; Johnny Dodds, clarinet; Arthur Campbell, piano; Jasper Taylor, woodblocks; Papa Charlie Jackson, vocal. Chicago, September 1926

Saturday, November 29, 2014

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 1

“Oh, take me wit’cha, man, when you go!”


Muddy Waters • Louisiana Blues • 1950



Muddy Waters, vocal/guitar; Little Walter, harmonica/exclamation; Big Crawford, bass. Chicago, 23 October 1950.

Friday, November 28, 2014

GOT TO BE ON MY WORRIED WAY


Johnny Shines • Last Night’s Dream • 1969




Johnny Shines, vocal/guitar; Willie Dixon, bass. Chicago, 10 June 1968

Thursday, November 27, 2014

LES JOURS GAIS ONT PASSÉ

Here’s a Russian record recorded in Paris around 1930 with a French song title and artist credit, and a melody that reminds me of Ed McCurdy’s folkie anthem “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.”


A. Scriabine & Ses Cosaques • Les Jours Gais Ont Passé • ca. 1930



More “Holy Grail” tunes here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

PANAMA BLUES


State Street Stompers • Panama Blues • 1928



Junie Cobb, soprano sax/tenor sax; Alex Hill, piano; Tampa Red, guitar; Jimmy Bertrand, drums; Thomas A. Dorsey, spoken. Chicago, 14 December 1928

Saturday, November 22, 2014

HE’S A MIGHTY GOOD LEADER


Skip James • Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader • 1931



Friday, November 21, 2014

YOU DO IT

“That’s the only way to get it done”


Down Home Boys • You Do It • 1929



Alex Hill, vocal/piano; Ikey Robinson, vocal/guitar. Chicago, 10 December 1929

Find it here: Frog Records

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 5


Jimmy Reed • Odds and Ends • 1957


Jimmy Reed, harmonica/guitar; Eddie Taylor, guitar; Remo Biondi, violin; Earl Phillips, drums. Chicago, 
3 April 1957.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE BLUES WHAT AM Pt 1


Jimmy Reed & His Trio • Roll and Rhumba • 1953



Jimmy Reed, harmonica/guitar; John Brim, guitar; Albert King or Morris Wilkerson, drums. Chicago, 
poss. 6 June 1953.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

DON’T LEAVE ME HERE

Here’s Henry’s “remake” of “Don’t Ease Me In”; recorded about a year and a half after the first song, and taken at a slower pace, it’s still one of his top sides. There’s room for both. . . .


Henry Thomas “Ragtime Texas” • Don’t Leave Me Here • 1929

Saturday, November 15, 2014

ANGELS IN HEAVEN DONE WROTE MY NAME


Blind Willie Johnson • Let Your Light Shine On Me • 1929




Good sound on this one on Yazoo’s The Half Ain't Never Been Told, Vol. 1.

Friday, November 14, 2014

MON-GU TUUL

“Voice Masking” is at once a universal shamanic practice, yet in many ways is viewed as a primeval imitation of various sounds of nature and the music produced by the wind in natural formations. . . . The remarkable mechanics behind the xhöömeij style of throat singing have been widely discussed in recent times; yet few vintage recordings have ever surfaced save for some expeditionary and institutional collections. . . . [About 1930] a contingent of Oriental musicians and singers made their way to Berlin . . . specifically to record examples of traditional song. . . . On “Mon-Gu Tuul 2”, a vocal duet, we hear the lower or “hoarse” part (no pun intended) sung in the style the Tuvans refer to as Kargara on the type of song that would fill a winter’s night or an autumn hunt’s eve. 
—adapted from Pat Conte’s notes to The Secret Museum of Mankind: Central Asia (Yazoo, 1996).  



Anonymous • “Mon-Gu Tuul” 2 • ca. 1930
(xhöömeij duet from Mongolia)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CAN'T LIVE AT ALL LIKE THIS

“I live with Angel, she’s a roadhouse queen
Makes Texas Ruby look like Sandra Dee. . . .”



Waylon Jennings • I Ain’t Living Long Like This • 1979



LP cover: LPCD.de

Tuesday, November 11, 2014