Friday, March 31, 2017


RIP Rosie Méndez Hamlin. . . .

One of the few consolations to being in the 8th grade in the early ’60s was listening to the latest tunes on a little desktop radio after school. “Angel Baby” by Rosie & The Originals was one of the highlights of 1960–1961. Something about Rosie’s wistful, high-pitched vocals, the shambling Originals, and especially, the almost completely airless sax solo by bass player Tony Gomez, really made this song stand out, one you hoped would come on at least once during your afternoon listening session. (And then there was the rumor that she was attending your local high school but you wouldn’t be going there for two more years and by then she’d probably already have graduated. . . .)

Rosie & The Originals • Angel Baby • 1960

Originally posted April 22, 2015


Elvis Presley • I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago • 1972

Get it: Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential 70’s Masters

Monday, March 27, 2017


The first time I heard the original single version of this song on a reissue LP back in the mid-60s it caused “total destruction to [my] mind”; fifty years later it retains that power. Recently I was comparing that version with an earlier attempt and apart from an unfortunate faded ending I think this early version gets my vote for being the most dangerous of all Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom” iterations.

Elmore James • Please Find My Baby (Version 1) • 1952

Image: booklet to Ace ABOXCD 4

Friday, March 24, 2017


Here’s a haunting Bill Monroe “quartet” recording from 1951, with just Bill and Carter Stanley on mandolin and guitar respectively, and on the “get down”s Gordon Terry, Rudy Lyle, Carter, and Bill, in that order.

Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Quartet

Monday, March 20, 2017


609 Boogie!

John Lee Hooker • Six O’Nine Boogie (Take 1) • 1949

Source: Danceland Years

Friday, March 17, 2017


Luke the Drifter • Ramblin’ Man • 1951

Get it: Low Down Blues and elsewhere

Monday, March 13, 2017


Little Brother • The First Time I Met the Blues • 1936
(mistitled on original release as “The First Time I Met You”)

Source: When the Sun Goes Down: The First Time I Met the Blues

Friday, March 10, 2017


Here’s a note perfect take on Roy Orbison’s classic 1956 Sun single from Creedence’s 1970 album Cosmo’s Factory. This album also has, mixed among several big Creedence radio hits like “Travelin’ Band” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” covers of Big Boy Crudup’s “My Baby Left Me” and Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me” as well as the Marvin Gaye version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival • Ooby Dooby • 1970

Get it: Cosmo’s Factory

LP cover: PopSpots

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


Recorded live in Chicago’s Maxwell Street market in 1964 as part of the soundtrack to Mike Shea’s film And This Is Free.

Fannie Brewer • I Shall Overcome • 1964

Find it: And This Is Maxwell Street

Image from And This Is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago’s Legendary Maxwell Street (DVD)

Monday, March 06, 2017


Here’s a nice acoustic honky tonk blues by Floyd Tillman, from an unfinished “blues” LP project Floyd was working on with Ted Daffan. This one goes out to The Swede.

Floyd Tillman • Floyd’s Song • 1957

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

Image: Floyd Tillman, Amarillo, Texas, 1950 (detail) from book accompanying I Love You So Much It Hurts

Friday, March 03, 2017


Johnny Cash. . . ? Try the big man from Smackover, Arkansas.

Sleepy LaBeff & His Versatiles • Ridin’ Fence • 1959

Get it: Sleepy Rocks

Please note: Sleepy and Linda LaBeef are currently experiencing difficulties due to medical issues. Click here to read more and help if you are inclined. . . .