Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band - Bluebird 8469, 8525, 8815 (1940-1941)

Robert Brown (July 15, 1910 – November 6, 1966), known professionally as Washboard Sam, was an American blues singer and musician.

Born in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, United States, and reputedly the half-brother of Big Bill Broonzy, Brown moved to Memphis, Tennessee in the 1920s, performing as a street musician with Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon. He then moved to Chicago in 1932, performing regularly with Broonzy, and appearing with him and other musicians including Memphis Slim and Tampa Red on innumerable recording sessions for Lester Melrose of Bluebird Records.

In 1935 he began recording in his own right for both Bluebird and Vocalion Records, becoming one of the most popular Chicago blues performers of the late 1930s and 1940s, selling numerous records and playing to packed audiences. He recorded over 160 tracks in those decades. His strong voice and songwriting talent overcame his stylistic limitations.

By the 1950s, his audience began to shrink, largely because he had difficulty adapting to the new electric blues. His final recording session for RCA Victor was held in 1949, he retired from music for several years, and became a Chicago police officer. He recorded a session in 1953 with Broonzy and Memphis Slim, and in 1959 Samuel Charters included his "I've Been Treated Wrong" on the compilation The Country Blues for Folkways Records. Brown made a modest but short-lived comeback as a live performer in the early 1960s.

He died of heart disease in Chicago, in November 1966, and was buried in an unmarked grave at the Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery in Homewood, Illinois.

What Are YOU Doing New Year's Eve?

Land Norris - Okeh 45006 (1925)

A Christmas gift from Mom that she found on her recent trip through Mississippi.

Not much about this Georgia banjo player out there. This banjo website seems to have the most info.

Recorded in June of 1925, possibly in Atlanta.

Fess Williams' Royal Flush Orchestra - Brunswick 3589 (1927)

Here we have Charles Mingus' uncle, Fess Williams and his band from 1927.

Click here for Williams' first recording.

Fess Williams cl, as, ldr / George Temple t / Kenneth Roane t / David 'Jelly' James tb / Otto Mikell as / Perry Smith cl, ts / Henry Duncan p / Ollie Blackwell bj / Clinton Walker bb / Ralph Bedell d.

Recorded in New York on June 15, 1927.

Click here for Williams' first recording.

Carl Perkins - Sun 234 (1955)

From wikipedia...

Johnny Cash planted the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, Elvis Presley, and other Louisiana Hayride acts toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had referred to his military regulation air shoes as "blue suede shoes." Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes. Carl replied, "I don't know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?"

When Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, Carl heard a stern, forceful voice say, "Uh-uh, don't step on my suedes!" Carl looked down and noted that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes, thought Carl.

That night Perkins began working on a song based on the incident. His first thought was to frame it with a nursery rhyme. He considered, and quickly discarded "Little Jack Horner..." and "See a spider going up the wall...", then settled on "One for the money..." Leaving his bed and working with his Les Paul guitar, he started with an A chord. After playing five chords while singing "Well, it's one for the money... Two for the show... Three to get ready... Now go, man, go!" he broke into a boogie rhythm. He quickly grabbed a brown paper potato sack and wrote the song down, writing the title out as "Blue Swade"; "S-W-A-D-E – I couldn't even spell it right," he later said. According to Perkins, "On December 17, 1955, I wrote 'Blue Suede Shoes'. I recorded it on December 19." Producer Sam Phillips suggested that Perkins's line "go cat go" be changed to "go man go," but it wasn't.

Carl Perkins lead g, v / Jay Perkins acoustic g, background v / Clayton Perkins sb / W.S. Holland d.

Recorded December 19, 1955.

The Ravens Featuring Jimmy Ricks - Jubilee 5203 (1955)

In my opinion, Green Eyes is Jimmy Rick's best work. This song, along with others such as the Domino's Sixty Minute Man and the Coasters' Brazil, was on a mixtape of Carolina beach music tunes my aunt made for me in the early 80s.

Jimmy Ricks lead vocal / Jimmy Stewart lead vocal (Green Eyes) / Louis Frazier lead vocal (The Bells Of San Raquel)

Recorded in May of 1955.

Elvis Presley - Sun 209 (1954)

Just got a call from my "record guy" and he told me a person in the next state over had just called wondering if he'd be interested in an Elvis on Sun. Within two hours, I was driving home, dodging potholes with precious cargo on board.

Here is the first commercial release by a nineteen year old Elvis that introduced him to the world...or at least Memphis. It would go on to sell 20,000 records and reach #4 on the Memphis chart. It didn't hit any national charts.

Elvis Presley v, g / Scotty Moore g / Bill Black sb.

Recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis on July 5 (TA) & 6 (BM).

Clarence Williams Stompers - Okeh 40598 (1926)

I'm a big Bubber Miley fan.

Bubber Miley, Thomas Morris c / ? Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton tb / Don Redman cl, as, v / Clarence Williams p / Leroy Harris or Buddy Christian bj / Harry Edwards bb.

Recorded in New York on April 7, 1926.

Jimmy McCracklin & Orchestra - Peacock 1615 (1953)

From wikipedia...

Jimmy McCracklin (August 13, 1921 – December 20, 2012) was an American pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. His style contained West Coast blues, Jump blues, and R&B. Over a career that spanned seven decades, he said he had written almost a thousand songs and had recorded hundreds of them. McCracklin recorded over 30 albums, and earned four gold records. Tom Mazzolini of the San Francisco Blues Festival said of him, "He was probably the most important musician to come out of the Bay Area in the post-World War II years."

McCracklin was born James David Walker on 13 August 1921. Sources differ as to whether he was born in Helena, Arkansas or St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the United States Navy in 1938, later settled in Richmond, California, and began playing at the local Club Savoy owned by his sister-in-law Willie Mae "Granny" Johnson. The room-length bar served beer and wine, and Granny Johnson served home-cooked meals of greens, ribs, chicken, and other southern cuisine. A house band composed of Bay Area based musicians alternated with and frequently backed performers such as B. B. King, Charles Brown, and L. C. Robinson. Later in 1963 he would write and record a song "Club Savoy" on his I Just Gotta Know album.

His recorded a debut single for Globe Records, "Miss Mattie Left Me", in 1945, and recorded "Street Loafin' Woman in 1946. McCracklin recorded for a number of labels in Los Angeles and Oakland, prior to joining Modern Records in 1949-1950. He formed a group called Jimmy McCracklin and his Blues Blasters in 1946, with guitarist Lafayette Thomas who remained with group until the early 1960s.

His popularity increased after appearing on the TV pop Dick Clark's American Bandstand in support of his self-written single "The Walk" (1957), subsequently released by Checker Records in 1958. It went to No. 5 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 7 on the pop chart, after more than 10 years of McCracklin selling records in the black community on a series of small labels.

He died in San Pablo, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area, on December 20, 2012, after a long illness, aged 91.

(Check out this track from 1999...it's my favorite McCracklin tune)

Butterbeans & Susie With Joe King Oliver & Clarence Williams - Okeh 8163 (1924)

Been after a Butterbeans and Susie with King Oliver for quite a while. (I do believe that this only one of two sides Oliver recorded with the husband and wife duo)

As coincidence might have it, I unknowingly purchased it from someone I had been emailing back and forth with due to this blog and facebook page. Small world of 78 collectors!

Butterbeans (Joe Edwards) and Susie (Sue Edwards) v / Clarence Williams p / King Oliver c (CG side only)

Recorded in New York on September 12 (CG) & 15 (A to Z), 1924.

Cab Calloway & His Orchestra - Perfect 15500 (1931)

From wikipedia...

William Thornton Blue (1902 – 1968), sometimes credited as Bill Blue, was an American jazz reed player.

Blue grew up playing in local bands in St. Louis, Missouri, where his father was a part-time music instructor. He played with Wilson Robinson's Bostonians, a territory band, and worked with Charlie Creath and Dewey Jackson in the middle of the 1920s. Later that decade he worked with Andrew Preer's Cotton Club Orchestra in New York City and on tour in Europe as a member of Noble Sissle's ensemble. He remained in Paris briefly, playing with John Ricks.

When he returned to New York, he joined The Missourians, led by Cab Calloway, then worked with Luis Russell. Due to failing health, Blue played little in the late 1930s and afterwards; he spent the last several years of his life in a sanatorium.

Cab Calloway v, dir / Edwin Swayzee, Lammar Wright, Reuben Reeves t / De Priest Wheeler, Harry White tb / Arville Harris, William Thornton Blue cl, as / Andrew Brown bcl, ts / Walter Thomas as, ts, bar, f / Bennie Payne p / Morris White bj / Jimmy Smith bb, sb / Leroy Maxey d.

Recorded in New York on July 9, 1931.

Cab's sister, Blanche, recorded It Looks Like Susie a little less than a month earlier...that date being one of Ben Webster's earliest on wax. Click here to take a listen.

Snub Mosely's Band (With The Tampa Boys) - Decca 8586 (1941)

From wikipedia...

Lawrence Leo "Snub" Mosley (December 29, 1905, Little Rock, Arkansas – July 21, 1981, Harlem) was an American jazz trombonist.

Mosley played trombone in high school and then joined Alphonse Trent's territory band, playing with him from 1926 to 1933. Following this he played with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra (1934), Claude Hopkins (1934–35), Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong with the Luis Russell Orchestra (1936–37), in addition to playing with his own groups. After this Mosley settled in New York City.

Mosley spent most of his career on trombone, but also invented an instrument called the slide saxophone, which had both the slide portion of a trombone and a saxophone mouthpiece. The instrument is prominently featured in his 1940 recording The Man with the Funny Little Horn.

He recorded for Decca in 1940-1942, Sonora in 1946, Penguin in 1949, Columbia in 1959, and Pizza in 1978.

He died on July 21, 1981 at his home at 555 Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem.

Courtney Williams t / Snub Mosley slide s, tb, v / Don Stovall as / Hank Duncan p / John Brown sb / A.G. Godley d / The Tampa Boys v.

Recorded in New York on October 21, 1941.

Rudy (Ray) Moore - Federal 12276 (1956)

From wikipedia...

Rudy Ray Moore (March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008) was an American comedian, musician, singer, film actor, and film producer. He was perhaps best known as Dolemite (the name derived from the mineral dolomite), the uniquely articulate pimp from the 1975 film Dolemite, and its sequels, The Human Tornado and The Return of Dolemite. The persona was developed during his earlier stand-up comedy records.

Moore, who was raised in his birthplace of Fort Smith, Arkansas, as well as Cleveland, Ohio, began his entertainment career as an R&B singer and continued singing through his comedy career. He developed an interest in comedy in the Army after expanding on a singing performance for other servicemen. Moore released many comedy records throughout the 1960s and 1970s, developing a rude and explicit style similar to Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor. This kept him off of television and major films, but cultivated an enduring fan base.

Some of Moore's X-Rated comedy records were recorded at his home with friends in attendance as the audience.

He appeared on Big Daddy Kane's 1990 album Taste of Chocolate and 2 Live Crew's 1994 album Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4. On an episode of Martin titled "The Players Came Home," he appeared as himself in the Dolemite character. He also reprised his Dolemite character in an appearance on Snoop Dogg's 1999 album No Limit Top Dogg and Busta Rhymes' When Disaster Strikes... and Genesis.

In 2000, Moore starred in Big Money Hustlas, a movie created by and starring the hip hop group Insane Clown Posse, in which he played Dolemite for the first time in over 20 years.

In 2006, Moore voice acted in the show Sons of Butcher, as Rudy in season 2. In 2008, Moore reprised the character Petey Wheatstraw on the song "I Live For The Funk," which featured Blowfly and Daniel Jordan. This marked the first time Blowfly and Rudy collaborated on the same record together—and the 30-year anniversary of the movie Petey Wheatstraw and was also the final recording Rudy made before his death.

On October 19, 2008, Moore died of complications from diabetes. He was never married, and his mother survived him.

New Orleans Owls - Columbia 1045 (1926)

Inching closer to completing the Owls.

Benjie White cl, as, dir / Bill Padron c / Frank Netto tb / Pinky Vidacovich cl, as / Lester Smith ts / Mose Farrar p / Rene Gelpi bj, g / Dan LeBlanc bb / Earl Crumb d.

Recorded in New Orleans on April 14, 1926.

Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington & Orchestra, Mills Bros., Cab Calloway, Don Redman & Orchestra - Brunswick 01518 (UK) (6517 US) (1932)

Unfortunately, I only found this (UK pressing) record from the six song Blackbirds set.

So many great names jammed into 6 minutes.

Ethel Waters v / Duke Ellington p, a, dir / Arthur Whetsol, Freddy Jenkins, Cootie Williams t / Tricky Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown tb / Juan Tizol vtb / Johnny Hodges cl, ss, as / Harry Carney cl, as, bar / Otto Hardwick as, bsx / Fred Guy bj, g / Wellman Braud sb, Sonny Greer d.

Recorded in New York on December 22, 1932.

Cab Calloway, The Mills Brothers v / Don Redman as, dir / Shirley Clay, Sidney De Paris t / Claude Jones, Fred Robinson, Benny Morton tb / Edward Inge, Rupert Cole cl, as / Robert Carroll ts / Horace Henderson p / Talcott Reeves bj, g / Bob Ysaguirre bb, sb / Manzie Johnson d, vib.

Recorded in New York on December 29, 1932.

Louis Armstrong With Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra - Decca 949 (1936)

Happy Halloween all you shellacaholics!

Louis Armstrong t, v / George Thow, Toots Camarata t / Bobby Byrne, Joe Yukl, Don Mattison tb / Jimmy Dorsey cl, as, ldr / Jack Stacey cl, as / Fud Livingston, Skeets Herfurt cl, ts / Bobby Van Eps p / Roscoe Hillman g / Jim Taft sb / Ray McKinley d.

Recorded in Los Angeles on August 7, 1936.

Bram Martin & His Band (Vocal By Al Bowlly) - Rex 9590 (1939)

Recently came into a large batch of R&B 78s and sorely outta place was this one. I didn't pay much attention to it until later that evening, when flipping it over, I saw Al Bowlly's name in parentheses.

While more of a fan of instrumentals from the shellac era, an appreciation for Bowlly's vocals has recently set in.

Checking the online Bowlly discography, this does appear to be his only side with bandleader Bram Martin.

Recorded in London on June 8, 1939.

King Carter & His Royal Orchestra - Columbia 2439 / 2504 / 2638 (1931)

I do believe that this is the first full run of a group...or a pseudonym of a group...I've acquired other than one-off's. (I almost had The Savannah Six run...aka The Original Memphis Five...but after I had won the auction for the missing disc, the seller informed me that it was broken while being packed)

Here we have all six sides recorded by the Mills Blue Rhythm Band under the name King Carter & His Royal Orchestra.

Wardell Jones, Shelton Hemphill, Ed Anderson t / Harry White, Henry Hicks tb / Charlie Himes cl, as / Ted McCord, Castor McCord cl, ts / Edgar Hayes p / Benny James bj / Hayes Alvis sb, bb / Willie Lynch d / Dick Robertson (as Dick Rogers) v.

Recorded in New York on March 23, 1931.

Wardell Jones, Shelton Hemphill, Ed Anderson t / Harry White, Henry Hicks tb / Charlie Himes cl, as / Ted McCord, Castor McCord cl, ts / Edgar Hayes p / Benny James bj / Hayes Alvis sb, bb on Low Down / Willie Lynch d / George Morton v.

Recorded in New York on June 25, 1931.

(Posted in order of recording during the session)

Bonus Disc: Here we have the first two sides by the Mills Blue Rhythm Band.

Wardell Jones, Shelton Hemphill, Ed Anderson t / Harry White, Henry Hicks tb / Crawford Wethington cl, as, bar / Ted McCord cl, ts / Edgar Hayes p, a / Benny James bj / Hayes Alvis sb / Willie Lynch d / Charlie Lawman v.

Recorded in New York on January 21, 1931.