Friday, 21 January 2011

Joe Weaver & His Blue Note Orchestra

01 Joe Weaver - Baby I Love You So
02 Joe Weaver - Do You Wanna Work Now
03 Joe Weaver - Baby I'm In Love You
04 Joe Weaver - 1540 Special
05 Joe Weaver - Soft Pillow
06 The Starlighters - Zoom
07 Joe Weaver - Tootsie Roll
08 Joe Weaver - Too Hot To Trot
09 Joe Weaver - It Must Be Love
10 Joe Weaver - Lazy Susan
11 Chet Oliver - Cool As A Cucumber
12 Joe Weaver - J.B.'s Boogie
13 Joe Weaver - I'm On My Merry Way
14 Andre Williams-Don Juans - I Wanna Know Why
15 Joe Weaver - Look-A-here Pretty Baby
16 The Five Jets - I Am In Love
17 The Diablos - That's What Your Doing To Me
18 Joe Weaver - Baby Child
19 The Five Dollars - Hard Working Mama
20 Joe Weaver - Going Back To Chicago
21 Joe Weaver - Loose Caboose
22 The Five Dollars - Weekend Man
23 The Starlighters - Big Feet
24 Joe Weaver - All I Do Is Cry
25 Andre Williams - Jailhouse Blues
26 The 5 Jets - Not A Hand To Shake

Joe Weaver - 'Baby I Love You So'

Joe Weaver & His Blue Note Orchestra were one of Detroit's hottest Blues and Rhythm & Blues bands in the early fifties. They recorded for labels like: Chess Records (the recordings are and remain unreleased), Deluxe, Jaguar, Fortune Records, J.V.B, HI-Q and Federal Records. Joe and his band recorded some fine discs, that were issued under their own name, and were also used as the back up band for many other Rhythm & Blues talents like: Andre Williams and The Don Juans, The Diablos, The Starlighters, Chet Oliver and many many more...Lovers of Detroit and Rhythm & Blues are getting now the unique chance with this CD to hear for the first time, what's considered by most collectors to be the very best recorded work of Joe Weaver & His Blue Note Orchestra. - CD notes
Joe Weaver also helped shape the sound of Motown in the early 60s. Other artists he worked with include; The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, John Lee Hooker, Nathaniel Mayer, The Miracles, Martha Reeves, Nancy Wilson and Stevie Wonder!! Wonder how many people have heard of him? More info here

Andre Williams - 'Jailhouse Blues'

Monday, 17 January 2011

"The Royal Jokers"

'You Came Along' ('63)
'I Don't Like You That Much' ('58)

Staying in Detroit we have The Royal Jokers on the Fortune label. If my facts are correct, the group evolved from The Serenaders (as heard in the last post) and one of the results is this majestic slice of soulful harmony. The recording quality is 'rough', but for me this only adds to its beauty.

An earlier Fortune release was 'I Don't Like You That Much'.  You can also hear this on Spanking Doo Wops Volume 1.....This one is WILD!!!

Hear 'I Don't Like You That Much'

If you're interested in learning more about the Serenaders/Royal Jokers, Marv Goldberg is always a good bet.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Rhythm & Blues Detroit Style

01 Teardrops - Sweet Lovin Daddy-O (’52 Sampson)
02 Teardrops - Come Back To Me (flip)
03 Five Scalders - There Will Come A Time (’55 Sugar Hill)
04 Five Scalders - If Only You Were Mine (flip)
05 Five Scalders - Girl Friend (’56 Drummond)
06 Five Scalders - Willow Blues (flip)
07 Thrillers - I'm Going To Live My Life Alone ('53 Thriller)
08 Twilighters - Water Water (’57 J-V-B)
09 Twilighters - How Many Times (flip)
10 Serenaders - Tomorrow Night (’52 J-V-B)
11 Serenaders - Why Don't You Do Right (flip)
12 Gales - Darling Patricia (’55 J-V-B)
13 Gales - Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying (’56 J-V-B)
14 Gales - My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble (flip)
15 Voilinairs - Joy In The Beulah Land (’54 Drummond)
16 Voilinairs - Another Soldier Gone (flip)
17 Imperials - You'll Never Walk Alone (’53 Gem)
18 Imperials - Ain't Gonna Tell It Right (flip) 
19 Fresandos - Your Last Goodbye (’57 Star-X)
20 Fresandos - I Mean Really (flip)
21 Five Emeralds - I'll Beg (’54 SRC)
22 Five Emeralds - Let Me Take You Out Tonight (flip)
23 Five Emeralds - Darling (’55 SRC)
24 Five Emeralds - Pleasure Me (flip)
25 Dee Jays - Love Me Baby (’54 SRC)
26 Dee Jays - Baby Please Don't Leave Me Here To Cry (flip)

What we have here is a collection of super rare R&B and gospel infused Detroit vocal groups. Most, if not all of these songs are ripped straight off the original vinyl or shellac. To add to the almost non-existent CD notes, I've come up with an easily digestible list of random 'facts' on those groups I could find info on; mostly using Marv Goldbergs site.
  1. The Teardrops released one record. The risqué lyrics on 'Sweet Lovin' Daddy' prevented any air-play - "The way I do my loving / They always come back for more".
  2. The Five Scalders were so called because - "we were hot". One of the members, Mack Rice (baritone), went on to join The Falcons of 'You're So Fine' fame.
  3. The Thrillers had an unusual R&B record that expounded on the evils of drink.
  4. The Twilighters - No idea!
  5. The Serenaders later changed their name to The Royals, and then again to The Royal Jokers.
  6. The Gales - Blank
  7. The Voilinairs - You can hear the gospel influence in many of these songs (listen above).
  8. The Imperials - "We loved to sing. Not for money, fortune, or fame, but for the joy of singing, competing, and being together in harmony with one another as friends" - Milton Harris (lead tenor)
  9. The Fresandos were a group Otis Williams (The Temptations) admired as a youth
  10. The Five Emeralds - Sorry!
  11. The Dee Jays -  See scanned insert for an unfortunate yet amusing anecdote.
    Hey bobba ree bop,
    This is the Teardrops, you know!
    My name is "Carlos the King",
    All the women love to hear me sing.
    My name is "Little Pepperdini",
    When I sing, all the women start screaming.
    My name is "Ala Fons",
    And I'm the cutest one.
    My name is "Pepe Le Moko",
    When I sing, all the women go loco.
    Hey bobba ree bop,
    This is the Teardrops, you know!

    This was the way the Teardrops would introduce themselves at the beginning of their act!

    The Teardrops
    'Come Back To Me' was given a slating review in Billboard magazine. The reviewer called it "a weak blues ballad." I must be a sucker for them weak blues ballads! See what you think....

    The Teardrops - 'Come Back To Me' 

    Friday, 14 January 2011

    "The Premiers"

    'Jolene' ('58)

    Bbbbbbrrummm! Not a big fan of white doo-wop, but I can make an exception now and then! The Premiers were from Connecticut and also recorded as Roger & The Travellers / and also The Frontiers - this one was released on the Alert label. Dolly Parton would later cover this song in the 70's, minus the car sounds and everything else. More info on the group can be found on whitedoowopcollector.

    Wednesday, 12 January 2011

    "The Sharps"

    'Our Love Is Here To Stay' & 'Lock My Heart' ('57)
    plus a few more!

    The Sharps do a powerful version of this Gershwin song (released on the Lamp label). The song is also a popular jazz standard but this is by far the best version I have heard; utterly sublime and just keeps on getting better with each listen.

    The history of The Sharps is a bit complicated. From what I can gather they started out as The Lamplighters and ended up as The Rivingtons, with Thurston Harris going solo along the way; they sang backing on Thurston Harris' song 'Little Bitty Pretty One'. Another Sharps track (I think the same group) is 'Love Me My Darling' - a wonderful woozy ballad with a great speaking part mid-way. They also recorded the song 'Have Love Will Travel' with Duane Eddy laying down his trademark rhythm guitar - the song being inspired by the TV western series "Have Gun Will Travel."

    Flip over to the rockin' side. Don't miss it!!

    Hear 'Lock My Heart'


    Sunday, 9 January 2011

    Music City - Vol 2

    01 The Four Deuces - WPLJ
    02 Wanda Burt & The Crescendos - Your True Love Is Standing By
    03 The Gaylarks - Tell Me Darling
    04 The Midnights - She Left Me
    05 The Rovers - Why Oh
    06 The Kliks - It's All Over
    07 The Gaylarks - Church on The Hill
    08 The Five Crystels - Heaven's Own Choir
    09 The Rovers - Whole Lot Of Love
    10 The Crescendos - Take My Heart
    11 The Five Lyrics - I'm Travelling Light
    12 The Gaylarks - Lil' Dream Girl
    13 The Five Campbells - Hey Baby
    14 The Midnights - Hear My Plea
    15 The Gaylarks - Teenage Mambo
    16 The Five Swans - Lil' Girl Of My Dreams
    17 The Honeydrops - You're The One For Me
    18 The Five Rovers - Change Your Mind
    19 The Gaylarks - Somewhere In The World
    20 The Crescendos - Teenage Prayer
    21 The Gaylarks - Ivy League Clothes
    22 The Kliks - This Is The End Of Love
    23 The Four Deuces - Down It Went

    I first heard the song WPLJ on the Frank Zappa album Burnt Weeny Sandwich. I had no idea the original was written by Luther McDaniels of The Four Deuces. WPLJ stands for white port & lemon juice - a popular alcoholic concoction favoured by Luther and group.

    Around June 1955, the 4 Deuces drove up to see Dobard and auditioned for him. The very next day, he called them back for a recording session. Back they went and in only 44 takes laid down "W-P-L-J." "None of us had any musical knowledge," says Luther. "We were greenhorns. We did 44 takes, but we were having fun." This was the only song they recorded that day. - more info here
    Johnny Heartsman was the in-label band leader at Music City. He was a young gifted musician and used Dobbard's two-track tape recorder to overdub bass, guitar and sometimes piano on many recordings. You can hear his excellent guitar playing on Tiny Powell's 'My Time After Awhile' (covered soon after by Buddy Guy) and his own 'Johnny's House Party' which was the first and last charting release on the Music City label (see previous post for sound clip). The vocal shenanigans going on during 'Johnny's House Party' was provided by The Gaylarks.

    The Gaylarks
    Heartsman's most vivid recollections are of The Gaylarks. "It amazes me that they were as popular as they were. They were the no-singingest group I ever heard." - from CD notes
    My favourite Gaylark's song  is 'Tell Me Darling.' They weren't great singers, but the rawness in the vocals give an added charm.

     Both volumes can be purchased here at a very reasonable price.

    Monday, 3 January 2011

    Music City - Vol 1

    01 The Crescendos - My Heart's Desire
    02 The Gaylarks - Mr. Rock And Roll
    03 The Midnights - Cheating On Me
    04 The Rovers - Ichi - Bon Tami Dachi
    05 The Gaylarks - Romantic Memories
    06 The Five Campbells - Morrine
    07 The Fidels - Love Me Tender
    08 Wanda Burt & The Crescendos - Scheming
    09 The Rovers - Salute To Johnny Ace
    10 The Honey Drops - Honey Drop
    11 The Gaylarks - Doodle Doo
    12 The Five Crystels - Path Of Broken Hearts
    13 The Five Swans - Lip Tipa Tina
    14 Mr. Undertaker - Here Lies My Love
    15 The Midnights - Annie Pulled A Humbug
    16 The Five Rovers - Down To The Sea
    17 The Crescendos - I Don't Mind
    18 The Holidays - Never Go To Mexico
    19 The Gaylarks - My Greatest Sin
    20 The Four Deuces - The Goose Is Gone
    21 The Kliks - Elaine
    22 The Honeydrops - Rockin' Satellite
    23 Johnny Heartsman & The Gaylarks - Johnny's House Party (pts 1 & 2)

    The recordings on the Music City label are incredible to say the least; from raw soulful ballads to wild surf rock outs, there is plenty to get your teeth into! Here is a taster by the Rovers. The song is a tribute to the untimely passing of R&B star Johnny Ace (age 25).

    Johnny Ace
    Tragedy Strikes R&B Field; Johnny Ace Dies in Russian Roulette Game HOUSTON, Jan. 1, 1955 - Rhythm and blues recording star Johnny Ace accidentally killed himself while playing Russian roulette at a holiday dance here on Saturday (25). The shooting occurred at a show featuring the popular singer and his band. Ace had gone backstage for a five-minute break and had been fooling around with a revolver with one bullet in the chamber. Ace, whose real name was John Alexander, was one of the brightest stars in the r&b field.... - more info here

    The Rovers aka The Five Rovers

    Excellent CD notes provided by Jim Dawson - here is the first paragraph:
    Ray Dobbard's Music City label in Berkley, California, primarily recorded vocal groups. Since producer Bob Geddins in neighbouring Oakland had already tied up the Bay Area blues scene, it made sense for Dobbard, owner of the Music City Record Store at 1815 Alcatraz Avenue, to establish his own preserve in the local black music market. Besides, when Dobbard activated the label in early 1954, harmony groups were the best sellers. The Chords' "Sh-Boom" had just sneaked into the national Top 10, despite the group's definite Negro sound. The Dominoes, Ravens, Clovers, Spaniels, Moonglows and Charms were not only having huge hits on the R & B charts; their songs were also being recorded by top white acts like the Crewcuts and the Andrews Sisters on major labels. A small businessman who recorded vocal  groups and owned these songs could, with luck, get rich from both record sales and publishing royalties.........
    I'll leave you with one more audio sample, this time from Johnny Heartsman & The Gaylarks. Sounds like a great party!

    'Johnny's House Party' (pts 1 & 2)

    Both volumes can be purchased here at a very reasonable price.

    Sunday, 2 January 2011

    "The Majestics"

    'Nitey Nite' & 'Caveman Rock' ('54)

    Sam Moore recorded these songs with The Majestics several years before teaming up with Dave Prater to create the famous R&B duo Sam & Dave! Sam is singing lead on both sides of this Marlin release.
    Sam & Dave
    Don't forget to check the flip out.

    Do the 'Caveman Rock'!!

    Saturday, 1 January 2011

    Doo Woppin' The Blues LP

    (Rarin' Records RARIN 777, undated)
    01 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - Rooster
    02 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - Baby Don't Go
    03 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - Come Back To Me
    04 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - Whoee
    05 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - Soup Line
    06 Leon Tarver & The Cordones - It's My Fault
    07 Dozier Boys - Hey Jack
    08 Larks - She's A Good One
    09 Clouds - Baby Wants To Rock
    10 Arbee Stidham - Blues Why Do You Pick On Me
    11 Arbee Stidham - Baby Stop The Clock
    12 Moonlights - Love Me True

    Leon Tarver & The Cordones - 'Soup Line'

    Why don't you listen to one of the highlights from the LP whilst you read the LP gumf:

    "The Chicago ghettos in the late 1940's and 1950's were on fire with black talents, both known and unknown. Blues, jazz, gospel, and the first stirrings of doo wop were on the streets. Countless groups, hearing the street-corner sounds of the early Moonglows, Flamingos, Little Walter and Muddy Waters as well as the more polished jazzman like Gene Ammons, Tab Smith, and Johnny Griffin among many others developed a hybrid style known "doo wopping blues." Groups that originated in the ghettos modeled their style on the better known groups such as the Orioles, Ravens, Ebonaires, and Delta Rhythm Boys, but infused with a stronger blues emphasis, gospel-style wailing, and backed it up with the same musicians who played on many epochal Chicago blues and jazz sessions. In many cases little is known of the groups whose previously unreleased songs are heard on this LP, but the light they shed on their era is not dimmed and the music comes through strongly for us to enjoy.

    The earliest recording here is the Dozier Boys' 1949 "Hey Jack." The group enjoyed 11 single releases in the 1948-1960 period, making them one of the longer-lived groups on the scene. The harmonies here are in the popular cool style of the era, but the mood is definitely low down and blue.

    Arbee Stidham is a much recorded bluesman who has recorded for a galaxy of major and minor labels. His two 1952 cuts "Blues Why Do You Pick On Me" and "Baby Stop The Clock" feature an unknown but very effective group behind his oldish lead. Interestingly, additional takes were made of these tunes at the session without the group, but nothing from the date was ever released until now.

    The mystery surrounding the Larks' 1956 "She's A Good One" is deepened by the fact that there were several different and unrelated Larks' groups. However, our 'blue-woppers' are not associated with any of them. Similarly, nothing is known of the Clouds' 1954 offering "Baby Wants To Rock" or of the mysterious Moonlights, whose "Love Me True" is an interesting variation of a traditional blues theme.

    Leon Tarver & The Chordones enjoyed only one 1954 release on a now defunct Chicago label. Their six cuts which make up the first side of this LP really capture the all-too-fleeting time & place when doop(!!)-wop and the blues became one."
    My first vinyl post is kindly provided by a friend. I really enjoyed this LP, check it out!

    Happy New Year!!!