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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Smoked Like Lightning - Horace Sprott

Alabama songster and harmonica player Horace Sprott was born February 2, 1890, the son of former slave Bessie Ford, and his surname was taken from the Sprott Plantation where he was born. He took up guitar and harmonica and was soon playing a mix of blues, work songs, spirituals, and old slave songs at local functions and parties in the area. Sprott reportedly got himself into some trouble, however, and ended up spending a stretch at a prison work farm in Montgomery. Folkways researcher Frederic Ramsey encountered Sprott in Marion, AL, in 1954, and impressed with the musician's varied repertoire, which included several a cappella set pieces, recorded him in seven sessions held in April and May of that year. These field recordings were edited down to form an LP, which was released in 1954 by Folkways Records. The album caused a brief stir in the folk world, and Sprott even ended up making an appearance on television for CBS in 1956, but a substantive career as a performer never really took shape, and Sprott drifted away into the haze of blues history, reportedly passing away in the early '90s. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Top Frog Music artist:George Kilby Jr. - Six Pack - New Release Review

I just received a new release, Six Pack, by George Kilby Jr. Joining Kilby on this set of 6 tracks is Neil Thomas (keys, accordion), Eric Halvorson (drums), Arturo Baguer (bass)and Jono Manson (guitar and backing vocals). This release has a strong contemporary pop country flavor. The first track, When The People Sang, has a lighthearted feel not a lot unlike Jimmy Buffet. This track could easily get strong airplay. I Love You In Brooklyn, another strongly earthy track has nice vocal harmonies and again a strong melody line. Something I Can't Find steps up the tempo a little and actually puts me in mind a little of Arlo Guthrie but still remaining true to Kilby's own sound. A surprise track on this release is Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love. Kilby gives this track a bluegrass like makeover with acoustic guitars, dobro and banjo. Interesting take on a traditional rock track. Another heavy hitting pop track, Cro- Magnon Man, has a strong hook that could easily be out of the Pretenders songbook but again not straying far from the roots of country. The final track, You Never See The Hand Throw The Stone, has a bit more of a blues twist but of course with a country delivery. This is a cool little track with sweet harp work by Phil Wiggins and harmony vocal sounding a lot like Ry Cooder recordings. Overall this recording should do very well commercially.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm Sober Now - Pine Top Smith

Clarence Smith, better known as Pinetop Smith or Pine Top Smith (June 11, 1904 – March 15, 1929) was an American boogie-woogie style blues pianist. His hit tune, "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie," featured rhythmic "breaks" that were an essential ingredient of ragtime music. He was a posthumous 1991 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Smith was born in Troy, Alabama and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his nickname as a child from his liking for climbing trees. In 1920 he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked as an entertainer before touring on the T. O. B. A. vaudeville circuit, performing as a singer and comedian as well as a pianist. For a time he worked as accompanist for blues singer Ma Rainey and Butterbeans and Susie. In the mid 1920s he was recommended by Cow Cow Davenport to J. Mayo Williams at Vocalion Records, and in 1928 he moved, with his wife and young son, to Chicago, Illinois to record. For a time he, Albert Ammons, and Meade Lux Lewis lived in the same rooming house. On 29 December 1928 he recorded his influential "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie," one of the first "boogie woogie" style recordings to make a hit, and which cemented the name for the style. Pine Top talks over the recording, telling how to dance to the number. He said he originated the number at a house-rent party in St. Louis, Missouri. Smith was the first ever to direct "the girl with the red dress on" to "not move a peg" until told to "shake that thing" and "mess around". Smith was scheduled to make another recording session for Vocalion in 1929, but died from a gunshot wound in a dance-hall fight in Chicago the day before the session. Sources differ as to whether he was the intended recipient of the bullet. "I saw Pinetop spit blood" was the famous headline in Down Beat magazine. No photographs of Smith are known to exist. Smith was acknowledged by other boogie woogie pianists such as Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson as a key influence, and he gained posthumous fame when "Boogie Woogie" was arranged for big band and recorded by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra in 1938. Although not immediately successful, "Boogie Woogie" was so popular during and after World War II that it became Dorsey's best selling record, with over five million copies sold. Bing Crosby also recorded his version of the song. From the 1950s, Joe Willie Perkins became universally known as "Pinetop Perkins" for his recording of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie". Perkins later became Muddy Waters' pianist and later, when in his nineties, recorded a song on his 2004 Ladies' Man album, which played on the by-then-common misconception that Perkins had himself written "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie". Ray Charles adapted "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" for his song "Mess Around", for which the authorship was credited to "A. Nugetre", Ahmet Ertegun. In 1975 the Bob Thiele Orchestra recorded a modern jazz album called I Saw Pinetop Spit Blood that included a treatment of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" as well as the title song. Gene Taylor recorded a version of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" on his eponymous 2003 album. Claes Oldenburg, the pop artist, proposed a Pinetop Smith Monument in his book, Proposals for Monuments and Buildings 1965-69. Oldenburg described the monument as "a wire extending the length of North Avenue, west from Clark Street, along which at intervals runs an electric impulse colored blue so that there’s one blue line as far as the eye can see. Pinetop Smith invented boogie woogie blues at the corner of North and Larrabee, where he finally was murdered: the electric wire is “blue”and dangerous." If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sea Sick And Water Bound - Bobo Jenkins

Bobo Jenkins (January 7, 1916 – August 14, 1984) was an American Detroit blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He also built and set up his own recording studio and record label in Detroit. Jenkins is best known for his recordings of "Democrat Blues" and "Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night" He was born John Pickens Jenkins in Forkland, Alabama, but when less than a year old his father, a sharecropper, died and Jenkins grew up with his mother and uncle. However, he left home before the age of 12, and arrived in Memphis, Tennessee. He had a wife at the age of 14, the first of ten marriages. Jenkins took casual work in the Mississippi Delta for several years and then enrolled in the United States Army. Following his 1944 military discharge, he relocated to Detroit, working for Packard and managing a garage, before spending twenty seven years working for Chrysler. In the late 1940s Jenkins learned the guitar and starting writing songs. He penned the politically motivated "Democrat Blues" on US Election Day in 1952. Therein Jenkins expressed his disquiet about Dwight D. Eisenhower becoming the first Republican in the White House for almost twenty years. With assistance from John Lee Hooker, Jenkins recorded "Democrat Blues" in Chicago in 1954, which was released by Chess Records. A further issue appeared on Chicago's Boxer Records, and then "Ten Below Zero" (1957) on Detroit's Fortune Records. In 1959 he set up his own record label, Big Star Records, whose first release was Jenkin's single "You"ll Never Understand" and "Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night." He met and played alongside Sonny Boy Williamson II, before self-constructing his own recording studio. He recorded mainly local musicians including James "Little Daddy" Walton, Little Junior Cannady, Chubby Martin and Syl Foreman. Jenkins went on to promote the first Detroit Blues Festival in 1972, and the same year issued his first album, The Life of Bobo Jenkins. The album became known as the "red album", due to the color of the record sleeve. It included a photograph of a younger Jenkins- who was 56 years old- within a star shape. This was a tie-in with the Big Star Records name. Jenkins was one of the headline acts in the Detroit blues review part of the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. Recordings from the festival were released by Schoolkids Records in 1995, which included two tracks by Jenkins. In 1974, Jenkins penned another song with political overtones, "Watergate Blues," which appeared on his next album Here I Am a Fool in Love Again. It boasted the same cover design as the previous release, but with a change in color was alternatively dubbed the "green album". Session musicians used included Ann Arbor based artists such as Sarah Brown, Fran Christina and Steve Nardella. In 1976 Jenkins performed at the Smithsonian Institution, as part of the celebrations marking the US Bicentennial. Detroit All Purpose Blues was issued in 1977, his so-called "yellow album", which utilised other Detroit based blues musicians such as Buddy Folks and Willie D. Warren. In 1982, he went to Europe with the American Living Blues Festival tour, but due to poor health he returned home after his first concert. Bobo Jenkins died in Detroit after a long illness in August 1984, at the age of 68. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Friday, January 4, 2013

Slip Away - Clarence Carter

Clarence Carter (born January 14, 1936) is an American soul singer and musician. Born in Montgomery, Alabama on January 14, 1936, Carter attended the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Alabama, and Alabama State College in Montgomery, graduating in August 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in music. His professional music career began with friend Calvin Scott, signing to the Fairlane Records label to release "I Wanna Dance But I Don't Know How" the following year. After the 1962 release of "I Don't Know (School Girl)," Carter and Scott left Fairlane Records for Duke Records, renaming themselves the CL Boys for their label debut, Hey. In all, the duo cut four Duke singles, none of them generating more than a shrug at radio.. In 1965, they traveled to Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to record "Step by Step" and its flip side, "Rooster Knees and Rice." Atlantic Records took notice and released "Step by Step" on its Atco Records subsidiary, but it flopped. Carter continued as a solo act, signing to the Fame Records label for 1967's Tell Daddy. Several more solid singles followed, until Carter released "Slip Away," which hit number 6 on the Pop Charts. "Too Weak to Fight" hit number 13. Several more soul singles followed, like "Snatching It Back," "Making Love (At the Dark End of the Street)", "The Feeling Is Right," "Doing Our Thing" and "Patches." "Patches" (first recorded by Chairmen of the Board) was a UK number 2 and a U.S. number 4 in 1970, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1971. This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. in September 1970, just two months after its release. Following "Slip Away" and "Too Weak to Fight", it was Carter's third million-seller. That same year Carter married former Fame labelmate Candi Staton (divorced in 1973), with the marriage producing one son, Clarence Carter Jr. With the advent of disco in the mid 1970s, Carter's career suffered, before he found a new audience with songs such as "Strokin'" and "Dr. C.C." in the 1980s and 1990s, which appealed (and still appeal) to a primarily African-American working-class audience that was also interested in contemporary blues and soul artists such as Denise LaSalle, Bobby Rush, Marvin Sease and Sir Charles Jones. "Strokin'" was given further acclaim when it was used in the Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor. It was most recently used in William Friedkin's film Killer Joe. Carter's soul sound also found an audience within the then-nascent hip-hop community. Most notably, the horn break from Carter's song "Back Door Santa", is sampled in the Run-D.M.C. Christmas song "Christmas in Hollis". If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Monday, December 31, 2012

House of the Rising Sun - Odetta

Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Time included her song "Take This Hammer" on its list of the All-Time 100 Songs, stating that "Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music. Odetta was born in Birmingham, Alabama, grew up in Los Angeles, California, attended Belmont High School, and studied music at Los Angeles City College while employed as a domestic worker. She had operatic training from the age of 13. Her mother hoped she would follow Marian Anderson, but Odetta doubted a large black girl would ever perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Her first professional experience was in musical theater in 1944, as an ensemble member for four years with the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre, working alongside Elsa Lanchester; she later joined the national touring company of the musical Finian's Rainbow in 1949. While on tour with Finian's Rainbow, Odetta "fell in with an enthusiastic group of young balladeers in San Francisco", and after 1950 concentrated on folksinging. She made her name by playing around the United States: at the Blue Angel nightclub (New York City), the hungry i (San Francisco), and Tin Angel (San Francisco), where she and Larry Mohr recorded Odetta and Larry in 1954, for Fantasy Records. A solo career followed, with Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and At the Gate of Horn (1957). Odetta Sings Folk Songs was one of 1963's best-selling folk albums. In 1959 she appeared on Tonight With Belafonte, a nationally televised special. Odetta sang Water Boy and a duet with Belafonte, There's a Hole in My Bucket. In 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr. anointed her "The Queen of American folk music".Also in 1961 the duo Harry Belafonte and Odetta made #32 in the UK Singles Chart with the song There's a Hole in My Bucket. Many Americans remember her performance at the 1963 civil rights movement's March on Washington where she sang "O Freedom." She considered her involvement in the Civil Rights movement as being "one of the privates in a very big army." Odetta (Burg Waldeck-Festival 1968, Germany) Broadening her musical scope, Odetta used band arrangements on several albums rather than playing alone, and released music of a more "jazz" style music on albums like Odetta and the Blues (1962) and Odetta (1967). She gave a remarkable performance in 1968 at the Woody Guthrie memorial concert. Odetta also acted in several films during this period, including Cinerama Holiday (1955), the film of William Faulkner's Sanctuary (1961) and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974). Her marriages to Dan Gordon and Gary Shead ended in divorce. Singer-guitarist Louisiana Red was a former companion In May 1975 she appeared on public television's Say Brother program, performing "Give Me Your Hand" in the studio, in addition to speaking about her spirituality, the music tradition from which she drew, and her involvement in civil rights struggles. In 1976, Odetta performed in the U.S. Bicentennial opera "Be Glad Then America" by John LaMontaigne, as the Muse for America; with Donald Gramm, Richard Lewis and the Penn State University Choir and the Pittsburgh Symphony. The production was directed by Sarah Caldwell who was the director of the Opera Company of Boston at the time. Odetta released two albums in the 20-year period from 1977-1997: Movin' It On, in 1987 and a new version of Christmas Spirituals, produced by Rachel Faro, in 1988. Beginning in 1998, she began recording and touring. The new CD To Ella (recorded live and dedicated to her friend Ella Fitzgerald upon hearing of her death before walking on stage}[citation needed], was released in 1998 on Silverwolf Records, followed by three releases on M.C. Records in partnership with pianist/arranger/producer Seth Farber and record producer Mark Carpentieri. These included Blues Everywhere I Go, a 2000 Grammy Nominated blues/jazz band tribute album to the great lady blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s; Looking for a Home, a 2002 W.C. Handy Award nominated band tribute to Lead Belly; and the 2007 Grammy Nominated Gonna Let It Shine, a live album of gospel and spiritual songs supported by Seth Farber and The Holmes Brothers. These recordings and active touring led to guest appearance on fourteen new albums by other artists between 1999 and 2006 and the re-release of forty-five old Odetta albums and compilation appearances. On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton presented Odetta with the National Endowment for the Arts' National Medal of Arts. In 2004, Odetta was honored at the Kennedy Center with the "Visionary Award" along with a tribute performance by Tracy Chapman. In 2005, the Library of Congress honored her with its "Living Legend Award". In mid-September 2001, Odetta performed with the Boys' Choir of Harlem on the Late Show with David Letterman, appearing on the first show after Letterman resumed broadcasting, having been off the air for several nights following the events of September 11th; they performed "This Little Light of Mine". The 2005 documentary film No Direction Home, directed by Martin Scorsese, highlights her musical influence on Bob Dylan, the subject of the documentary. The film contains an archive clip of Odetta performing "Waterboy" on TV in 1959, and we also hear Odetta's songs "Mule Skinner Blues" and "No More Auction Block for Me". In 2006, Odetta opened shows for jazz vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, and in 2006 she toured the US, Canada, and Europe accompanied by her pianist, which included being presented by the US Embassy in Latvia as the keynote speaker at a Human Rights conference, and also in a concert in Riga's historic 1,000 year old Maza Guild Hall. In December, 2006, the Winnipeg Folk Festival honored Odetta with their "Lifetime Achievement Award." In February, 2007, The International Folk Alliance awarded Odetta as "Traditional Folk Artist of the Year." On March 24, 2007 a tribute concert to Odetta was presented at the Rachel Schlesinger Theatre by the World Folk Music Association with live performance and video tributes by Pete Seeger, Madeleine Peyroux, Harry Belafonte, Janis Ian, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Josh White, Jr., (Josh White#Posthumous honors) Peter, Paul and Mary, Oscar Brand, Tom Rush, Jesse Winchester, Eric Andersen, Wavy Gravy, David Amram, Roger McGuinn, Robert Sims, Carolyn Hester, Donal Leace, Marie Knight, Side by Side, and Laura McGhee (from Scotland). In 2007, her album Gonna Let It Shine was nominated for a Grammy, and she completed a major Fall Concert Tour in the "Songs of Spirit" show, which included artists from all over the world. She toured around North America in late 2006 and early 2007 to support this CD On January 21, 2008, Odetta was the keynote speaker at San Diego's Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration, followed by concert performances in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Mill Valley, in addition to being the sole guest for the evening on PBS-TV's The Tavis Smiley Show. Odetta was honored on May 8, 2008 at a historic tribute night, hosted by Wavy Gravy, held at Banjo Jim's in the East Village. In summer 2008, at the age of 77, she launched a North American tour, where she sang from a wheelchair. Her set in recent years included "This Little Light of Mine (I'm Gonna Let It Shine)", Lead Belly's "The Bourgeois Blues", (Something Inside) So Strong", "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and "House of the Rising Sun". She made an appearance on June 30, 2008 at The Bitter End on Bleecker Street, New York City for a Liam Clancy tribute concert. Her last big concert, before thousands of people, was in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on October 4, 2008, for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. She last performed at Hugh's Room in Toronto on October 25. In November 2008, Odetta's health began to decline and she began receiving treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She had hoped to perform at Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009 On December 2, 2008, Odetta died from heart disease in New York City. At her memorial service in February 2009 at Riverside Church in New York City, participants included Maya Angelou, Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte, Geoffrey Holder, Steve Earle, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Peter Yarrow, Tom Chapin, Josh White, Jr. (son of Josh White), Emory Joseph, Rattlesnake Annie, the Brooklyn Technical High School Chamber Chorus, and videotaped tributes from Tavis Smiley and Joan Baez If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

My Destination - Johnnie Mae Matthews

Johnnie Mae Matthews (December 31, 1922 – January 6, 2002) was an American blues and R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer from Bessemer, Alabama. Known as the “Godmother of Detroit Soul” and as the first African American female to own and operate her own record label (Northern Recording Company) she was an early influence on the careers of many of the now-famous recording stars who began their careers in Detroit, Michigan such as Otis Williams, David Ruffin, and Richard Street of the Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin, Joe Hunter of the Funk Brothers Band, Richard Wylie, Norman Whitfield, Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, Timmy Shaw, Barbara Lewis, Bettye LaVette and many more. Johnnie Mae Matthews was born December 31, 1922, in Bessemer, Alabama. She learned to sing in her church choir, and also performed with her mother at military bases throughout the Deep South. When she was twelve years old, the family relocated to New Jersey, and in 1947 Matthews left her parents home and moved to Detroit, Michigan where she married and started her own family. In 1957 she joined a local quintet called the Five Dapps, assuming lead vocals on "You're So Unfaithful," which was the B-side of their 1958 debut single, "Do Wop a Do". The Instrumental backing on the record was done by pianist Joe Hunter, who would frequently collaborate with Matthews in the years to follow, and later led Motown's famed studio band, the Funk Brothers. In 1958, Matthews formed her own record label, dubbed the “Northern Recording Company”. Headquartered in an office at 2608 Blaine in Detroit, just a few blocks from her home, she used $85 borrowed from her husband's paycheck to become the first African-American woman to own and operate her own label. With sessions typically recorded at either nearby “Special Studio” or at radio station WCHB, Northern Recording Company was largely used as a vehicle to launch her own solo recording career. Her first release, "Dreamer", in 1959, was credited to “Johnnie Mae Matthews & the Daps”. Her follow-up single, "Mr. Fine", featured on its B-side, a song named "Someday", which was a solo tune by local singer Chet Oliver. Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy has often credited Matthews with teaching him the ropes of the recording industry. He acknowledged her assistance in helping land a distribution deal with “Chess Records” for “The Miracles” 1959 hit "Bad Girl". Matthews also fostered the early careers of such future Motown stars as David and Jimmy Ruffin. Some say that she is the un-credited author of Mary Wells’ breakthrough hit, "Bye Bye Baby." It's impossible to know how differently Matthews' own recording career might have turned out had she accepted any of invitations of Berry Gordy to record for Motown, particularly during the mid-'60s, when she was delivering some of her finest material, most notably "Lonely You'll Be" and "Cut Me Loose," in 1967, the latter of which was subsequently licensed for national distribution on the Atco Records label In her 1960 tune, "So Lonely," Matthews dropped the Dapps altogether. She then, quickly followed up with her second solo, "Ooh Wee Baby." On both of these recordings she was backed by a band called the “Groovers”, a group that was led by Joe Hunter, and also included bassist James Jamerson, guitarist Eddie Willis, saxophonist Eli Fontaine, and drummer Uriel Jones, all of who would become staples of Motown's greatest sessions as members of the, now famous, Funk Brothers Band. Northern also nurtured the early career of Richard Wylie whose backup group, the Mohawks, included Norman Whitfield who later became one of Motown's most visionary songwriters and producers. Also in 1960 the label issued "Come On," the debut single by “The Distants” who were later renamed “The Temptations”. In time, Northern spun off a series of sister labels, most notably “Reel”, which was the label of several of Ms. Matthews’ singles, such as "Oh, Baby", "No One Can Love Me the Way You Do", "The Headshrinker", and "Come Home", all of which were released in 1961. In 1963 Reel issued "I Don't Want Your Love", a duet that paired Matthews and Timmy Shaw, her longtime songwriting collaborator who is best known for his 1964 solo effort "Gonna Send You Back to walking", a song which was later recorded by “The Animals” and a few other artists. However, Matthews' biggest hit, "My Special Angel", in 1962, appeared, not on her own labels, but rather, on the New York-based “Sue Records” label. In 1963 she hired manager Ollie McLaughlin, who had previously launched the career of “Barbara Lewis”. McLaughlin brought Matthews to the attention of Mercury Records’ new Blue Rock subsidiary, where he eventually produced both of her singles for that label, "Baby, What's Wrong", and "My Man (The Sweetest Man in the World)". He also produced her lone “Spokane” label effort, "Worried About You".During the late '60s Matthews also cut a series of excellent singles for her “Big Hit” label, including "I Have No Choice", "My Momma Didn't Lie", and "Don't Be Discouraged" However, as the decade of the sixties came to a close, so did Northern Recording Company and all of her subsidiaries, and as the 1970s were being ushered in, Matthews turned her attention to “Black Nasty” an up and coming funk group that featured two of her children, Artwell and Aubrey. In 1973, Matthews produced the band's only album, “Talking to the People”, which was released on the “Stax” record label. “Black Nasty” was later renamed “The ADC Band” and the group resurfaced in 1978 with the R&B smash "Long Stroke". Encouraged by their success, Matthews revived Northern Recording Company around this time, with the ADC Band supplying the musical backing on the disco-inspired tune "It's Good", which was later re-issued on the “Cotillion Records” label for national distribution. After one final Northern effort, 1980s "I Can Feel It," she closed the label for good, effectively ending her recording career. Matthews died after a long bout with cancer on January 6, 2002. She was 79 years old. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Every Night and Every Day - Big Mojo Elem,Wayne Bennett,Fred Below,Willie James Lyons

Willie James Lyons b. 5 December 1938, Alabama, USA, d. 26 December 1980, Chicago, Illinois, USA. A west side Chicago blues guitarist in the 50s, Lyons worked as an accompanist with many artists, including Luther Allison, Jimmy Dawkins and Bobby Rush. Unaccountably ignored by Chicago record companies, he was taken up by French blues enthusiasts in the 70s. He recorded as an accompanist, made a disappointing half album, and in 1979 visited Europe, where he recorded his only full album. This proved to be the work of a fine singer and guitarist, influenced by B.B. King and Freddie King, ‘ T-Bone’ Walker and Lowell Fulson. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TEA BOX - SIMTEC SIMMONS

Walter "Simtec" Simmons (b. Chicago, December 23, 1944) was raised in Orrville, Alabama but moved back to Chicago at age 14, where he played guitar in local outfit the Vermaharms. Simtec's brother, Ronald, played bass, and after a chance meeting with DJ Herb Kent, Kent asked them to record a single over a drum machine. The resulting 45, "Tea Box" b/w "Tea Pot", was a local hit and convinced Simmons to put together his own band, the T-Boxes. This outfit eventually became the backing band for Simtec as a vocalist along with new vocalist and King Records veteran Wylie. As Simtec Simmons & Wylie Dixon, they issued "Socking Soul Power" in 1969, then became Simtec & Wylie for the 1970 Shama Records singles "Do It Like Mama" and "Gimme Some of What You Got". The group signed with the Mercury-distributed label Mr. Chand and issued a full-length, Gettin' Over the Hump, in 1971, which proved to be their only album; however, the track "Gotta Get Over the Hump" became a hit single on the R&B charts, reaching #29 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart. They appeared on Soul Train on Christmas Day 1971. The group released singles together through the mid-1970s but saw no further success, and Simtec released a few solo singles in 1975 and a self-titled album in 1977. Simtec also did some work as a producer and songwriter; after his career in music he worked in Chicago in real estate. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm Down Now, But I Won't Be Down Always - Leroy Dallas

b. 12 December 1920, Mobile, Alabama, USA. Dallas travelled the south in the 30s and 40s, teaming up for some time with Frank Edwards, and sang in the Chicago streets for a while before settling in New York from 1943. His 1949 recordings for Sittin’ In With are in a small group format with Brownie McGhee (with whom Dallas had played guitar and washboard in the 30s) and Big Chief Ellis; they bear little sign of urbanization (indeed his springy guitar rhythms positively countrify ‘Jump Little Children, Jump’, usually a preserve of blues shouters). By 1962, he had ceased to play professionally, but was still a capable guitarist and a convincing singer. His subsequent whereabouts is unknown. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Early One Morning - Big Mama THORNTON

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The record was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953; the single sold almost two million copies. Its B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama." Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his even more broadly successful rendition of "Hound Dog," based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. Similarly, Thornton wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain", which became a hit for her, yet Janis Joplin's later recording of it made a bigger impact in the late 1960s. Thornton was born in Ariton, Alabama, United States. Her introduction to music started in a Baptist church, where her father was a minister and her mother a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at very early ages. Thornton left Montgomery at age 14 in 1941, following her mother's death. She joined Sammy Green's Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue. Her seven-year tenure with them gave her valuable singing and stage experience, and enabled her[vague] to tour the South. In 1948, she settled in Houston, Texas, where she hoped to further her career as a singer She was also a self-taught drummer and harmonica player, and frequently played each instrument onstage. Thornton began her recording career in Houston, signing a recording contract with Peacock Records in 1951. While working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis, she recorded "Hound Dog," written by young songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as requested by Johnny Otis. Both songwriters were present at the recording with Leiber singing the song in the style they had envisioned. The record was produced by Johnny Otis, and went to number one on the R&B chart. Although the record made her a star, she saw little of the profits. She continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed with R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. In 1954, Thornton was one of the eyewitnesses to the accidental self-inflicted handgun death of blues singer Johnny Ace. Thornton's account was that Johnny was sitting with girlfriend Olivia on his lap, waving his pistol around, pointing it at Willie Mae. "Don't snap that on me," she told him. Johnny grinned and put the gun to Olivia's head. "Stop that, Johnny, you'll git someone killed," Willie Mae shouted at him. "Nothin' to worry about," Johnny replied, coolly, "ain't but one bullet here and I know exactly where it is." He turned the gun on himself, put it to his temple and pulled the trigger. Her career began to fade in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She left Houston and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she mostly played local blues clubs. In 1966, Thornton recorded Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, with Muddy Waters (guitar), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Luther Johnson (bass guitar), and Francis Clay (drums). Songs included "Everything Gonna Be Alright", "Big Mama's Blues", "I'm Feeling Alright", "Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues", "Looking The World Over", "Big Mama's Shuffle", and "Since I Fell For You", amongst others. Her Ball 'n' Chain album in 1968, included other artists: Lightnin' Hopkins and Larry Williams. Big Mama's portion included only the songs "Wade in the Water", "My Love" and "Ball 'n' Chain". Songs by Hopkins included "Money Taker" and "Prison Blues". One of Thornton's last albums was Jail (1975) for Vanguard Records. It captured her performances during a couple of mid 1970s concerts at two northwestern prisons. She became the talented leader of a blues ensemble that featured sustained jams from George "Harmonica" Smith, as well as guitarists Doug Macleod, B. Huston and Steve Wachsman, drummer Todd Nelson, saxophonist Bill Potter, bassist Bruce Sieverson, and pianist J.D. Nicholson. Thornton performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 and 1968, and at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe. While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the 1970s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs. In the 1970s years of heavy drinking began to hurt Thornton's health. She was in a serious auto accident but recovered to perform at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a recording of which is called The Blues—A Real Summit Meeting on Buddha Records. Thornton died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on July 25, 1984, at age 57 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Friday, December 7, 2012

sure 'nuff, sure 'nuff - Sonny Phillips

Sonny Phillips (b. December 7, 1936, Mobile, Alabama) is an American jazz keyboardist. His primary instrument is electric organ but he often played piano. Phillips began playing jazz organ after hearing Jimmy Smith in his twenties. He studied under Ahmad Jamal, and played in the 1960s and 1970s with Lou Donaldson, Nicky Hill, Eddie Harris, Houston Person, and Gene Ammons. His debut album was released in 1969, and he released several further records as a leader before suffering a long illness in 1980. He went into semi-retirement after this and moved to Los Angeles; since then he has performed and taught occasionally. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Rockabilly Heaven - Teddy Hill

Teddy Hill (December 7, 1909, Birmingham, Alabama – May 19, 1978, Cleveland, Ohio) was a big band leader and the manager of Minton's Playhouse, a seminal jazz club in Harlem. He played a variety of instruments, including drums, clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone. After moving to New York City, Hill had early gigs with the Whitman Sisters, George Howe and Luis Russell's orchestra in the 1920s, later forming his own band in 1934, which found steady work over the NBC radio network. Over several years it featured such major young musicians as Roy Eldridge, Bill Coleman, Frankie Newton and Dizzy Gillespie. Hill's band played at the Savoy Ballroom regularly, and toured England and France in the summer of 1937. After leaving the band business, Hill began to manage Minton's Playhouse in 1940, which became a hub for the bebop style, featuring such major musicians as Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke. Hill left Minton's in 1969, long after its musical significance had declined; he then became the manager of Baron's Lounge. In 1935, he recorded a four-tunes session for ARC (Banner, Conqueror, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, Romeo). In 1936, he recorded two sessions (four tunes) for Vocalion. He signed with Bluebird in 1937 and recorded 18 tunes over three sessions. Teddy Hill married Louise Welton in the 1920s. Their daughter Gwendolyn Louise Hill was born in 1930. Over time, Teddy and Louise separated and eventually divorced. Then, in the late 1930s, a singer named Bonnie Davis started working as a singer in New York, initially in Teddy Hill's band. She and Hill had a daughter together, Beatrice Hill (born October 29, 1945 in New York City), who later became the singer Melba Moore. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

RABBIT EYE PINK AND CHARCOAL BLACK - BOYD BENNETT & HIS ROCKETS

Boyd Bennett (December 7, 1924–June 2, 2002) was an American rockabilly songwriter and singer. His two biggest hit singles, both written and performed by him, were "Seventeen" with his band, the Rockets (U.S. No. 5); and "My Boy, Flat Top" (U.S. No. 39)."Seventeen" reached No. 16 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1955. He later became a disc jockey in Kentucky. Bennett was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his contribution to the genre. Bennett was born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, but attended high school in Tennessee and formed his first band there. He grew up in North Davidson, Tennessee, just outside Nashville. His family was musically oriented and very talented. His grandfather taught members of churches within the community how to read music. He also taught Boyd by the age of four years how to read the notes in music, before Boyd could actually read song lyrics. Growing up during the Great Depression, Bennet did anything he could to make money. He sang in quartets and played guitar and sang outside of bars for extra funds. At the age of 16, however, his career was interrupted by World War II in which he served for four years; and in his free time perfected his playing of the guitar. During the early 50's, Boyd Bennett and his "Rockets" performed consistently at local dances and on variety TV shows. In 1952, while working at WAVE-TV, Boyd came up with the brilliant idea of a musical variety show called "Boyd Bennett and His Space Buddies." For Foster Brooks, a famous comedian, this was his first big break in show business. The show was a take off of the "Gene Autrey Show". Instead of singing cowboys, it was singing space cadets. The humor, music, and originality made the show a great hit with local fans. Unfortunately, the owner of the station was not so farsighted and the show was canceled after only 7 shows. The next couple of years they performed at numerous dances and shows in the Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio area. Every Saturday night you could see 1,500 to 2,000 people in the Rustic Ballroom in Jasper, Indiana. Boyd and his group played there on a regular basis for a number of years. "Boyd Bennett and His Rockets" eventually came to the attention of Sid Nathan, owner of King Records. They produced a couple mediocre country hits Time and Hopeless Case. In 1955, the same year "Bill Haley and the Comets" topped the pop music chart with Rock Around the Clock, Boyd created a new sound while playing the drums during a number of recording sessions with such musicians as Earl Bostick, Bill Dogget, and "Otis Williams and the Charms" Boyd realized country music was not the best music for future success. He began to experiment with songs that would appeal to teenagers. Boyd and his band rented the King Record’s studio to produce revolutionary new songs. They recorded Poison Ivy, You Upset Me Baby and Boogie at Midnight. When sales topped 100,000 copies on each session, Boyd leased the masters to King Record Company. Singles were then re-released under King Records. They eventually signed Boyd to a contract. In 1955, "Boyd Bennett and His Rockets" hit pay dirt…tapped into the pot of gold, the goose that lays the golden eggs. They produced the chart topper, Seventeen and the rest is history. After World War II, Bennet worked as a disc jokey and a TV announcer. It was during this time that he started his band, The Rockets. With this band he performed and produced his two biggest songs: "Seventeen", one of the first songs to target teenage girls in rock and roll; and "My Boy, Flat Top" aimed at teenage boys. "Seventeen", his most popular single which sold over three million copies, launched his career.[citation needed] In 1955, Boyd, worked as a disc jockey, singer and announcer at a radio/TV station in Louisville, Kentucky. He performed a musical, comedy and variety show three times a week, along with his band, "The Rockets." One day, while at work, Boyd was inspired by a friend who had a 17 year-old daughter to write the song Seventeen. Boyd wrote the lyrics and music. They performed the song at dances. It was an immediate hit with their many fans. Seventeen created a new musical sound that was copied and enhanced by hundreds of artists and performers in the years to come. Teenage pop rock and roll fans became a consistent money maker for music industry executives. King Records executives liked the sound of this new music but were doubtful that it would ever sell…unsure of the record’s commercial appeal. They decided to lease the rights anyway, to produce the song Seventeen in March. It was one of the best financial decisions they ever made. Seventeen hit the charts in June and rocketed to the number one slot by September. Boyd and "the Rockets" traveled across the nation, performing their big hit to raving fans. It definitely was one of the best-selling records in King Records’ history. There were several cover versions that extended the release of the song. Over 3 million copies of Seventeen sold worldwide, making it one of the biggest sellers in the history of the record industry. Alan Freed, a famous disc jockey in New York, coined the term "Rock and Roll" after listening to Seventeen. Boyd and his band followed Seventeen with the song My Boy Flat Top that focused on teenage boys. Boyd and Jim Muzey, affectionately known as Big Moe sang this popular song. My Boy Flat Top ricocheted around the Top 40 for a number of months and was considered a respectable hit, although never attaining number one on the pop charts. Most people familiar with the early days of rock and roll realize Boyd’s songs revolutionized the music industry. Boyd, along with his band "The Rockets" created an entirely new sound that was duplicated and enhanced by other artists. Teenagers suddenly became a huge marketing focus. During his 24-year career in music, Boyd performed many country songs, but never received the recognition he deserved from country music fans probably because his music sounded more like the emerging rockabilly than the hardcore honky tonk sound. Bennett traveled around the world and played with many new bands. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame before his death in 2002. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I've Got Troubles On My Mind - Willie James Lyons

b. 5 December 1938, Alabama, USA, d. 26 December 1980, Chicago, Illinois, USA. A west side Chicago blues guitarist in the 50s, Lyons worked as an accompanist with many artists, including Luther Allison, Jimmy Dawkins and Bobby Rush. Unaccountably ignored by Chicago record companies, he was taken up by French blues enthusiasts in the 70s. He recorded as an accompanist, made a disappointing half album, and in 1979 visited Europe, where he recorded his only full album. This proved to be the work of a fine singer and guitarist, influenced by B.B. King and Freddie King, ‘ T-Bone’ Walker and Lowell Fulson. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FREIGHT TRAIN BOOGIE - DELMORE BROTHERS

Alton Delmore (December 25, 1908 – June 8, 1964) and Rabon Delmore (December 3, 1916 – December 4, 1952), billed as The Delmore Brothers, were country music pioneers and stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s. The Delmore Brothers, together with other brother duets such as the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers (Birch, Charlie and Bill Monroe), the McGee Brothers, and The Stanley Brothers, had a profound impact on the history of country music and American popular music. The brothers were born into poverty in Elkmont, Alabama, as the sons of tenant farmers amid a rich tradition of gospel music and Appalachian folk. Their mother, Mollie Delmore, wrote and sang gospel songs for their church. The Delmores blended gospel-style harmonies with the quicker guitar-work of traditional folk music and the blues to help create the still-emerging genre of country. In addition to the regular six-string acoustic guitar, the duo was one of the few to use the rare tenor guitar, a four-string instrument that had primarily been used previously in vaudeville shows. In 1925 Alton wrote his first song "Bound For the Shore" at the age of 13, (co-written with his mother). It was published by Athens Music Co. The Brothers did their first recording session for Columbia in 1931, recording "I've Got the Kansas City Blues" and "Alabama Lullaby", which became their theme song. They signed a contract with Victor Record's budget label Bluebird in 1933 and became regulars on the Grand Ole Opry variety program. Within three years, they had become the most popular act on the show. Disagreements with Opry management led to the brothers leaving the show in 1939. While they continued to play and record music throughout the 1940s, they never achieved the same level of success they had with the Grand Ole Opry. In 1941, their song "When It's Time For The Whippoorwill To Sing" made the Billboard "Hillbilly" top three. Their best-known song, "Blues Stay Away From Me," is regarded by some as the first rock and roll record. It was covered by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, The Louvin Brothers and The Everly Brothers. Rabon died of lung cancer in 1952. Following Rabon's death, Alton suffered a heart attack, the loss of his father and his daughter Susan, all within a three-year period. He moved back in Huntsville, Alabama. He taught some guitar, did odd jobs, and devoted his creative energies to writing prose. He wrote a series of short stories and his autobiography, Truth is Stranger than Publicity, published posthumously in the 1970s. Over the course of their careers, the Delmores wrote more than one thousand songs. Some of the most popular were Brown's Ferry Blues, Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar and Fifteen Miles from Birmingham If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

COW COW BLUES - COW COW DAVENPORT

Charles Edward "Cow Cow" Davenport (April 23, 1894 – December 3, 1955) was an American boogie woogie piano player. He also played the organ and sang. He was born in Anniston, Alabama. Arnold Caplin, on the liner notes to the album Hot Pianos 1926-1940 reports that Davenport started playing the piano at age 12. His family objected strongly to his musical aspirations and sent him to a theological seminary, where he was expelled for playing ragtime. Davenport's career began in the 1920s when he joined Banhoof's Traveling Carnival, a medicine show. His first fame came as accompanist to blues musicians Dora Carr and Ivy Smith. He also performed with Tampa Red. He recorded for many record labels, and was a talent scout and artist for Vocalion Records. Davenport suffered a stroke in the early 1930s and lost movement in his hands. He was washing dishes when he was found by the jazz pianist Art Hodes in 1938. Hodes assisted in his rehabilitation and helped him find new recording contracts. His best-known tune was "Cow Cow Blues". In 1953, "Cow Cow Blues" was an influence on the Ahmet Erteg√ľn-written "Mess Around" by Ray Charles' which was Charles' first step away from his Nat "King" Cole-esque style, and into the style he would employ throughout the 1950s for Atlantic Records. "Cow-Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" [1943] was probably named for him, but he did not write it. It was penned by Benny Carter, Gene de Paul and Don Raye. It combined the then popular "Western song" craze (exemplified by Johnny Mercer's "I'm an Old Cowhand") with the big band / boogie-woogie fad. The track was written for the Abbott and Costello film, Ride 'Em Cowboy. Davenport claimed to have been the composer of "Mama Don't Allow It". He also said he had written the Louis Armstrong hit "I'll be Glad When You're Dead (You Rascal You)", but sold the rights and credit to others. Cow Cow Davenport, who died in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, of hardening of the arteries is a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Cripple Clarence Lofton called him a major influence. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do What The Lord Say Do - Clarence Fountain/ Sam Butler

Clarence Fountain was one of the founding members of the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama, a group that was formed when he was a 12-year-old student at the Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Alabama. The group, which drew all of its members from the school, was originally known as the Happy Land Jubilee Singers. They made their first recordings in 1948 after adopting their permanent name and had a recording career that extended over a more than 60-year span. Fountain broke with the group in 1969 to pursue a solo career and recorded two albums with Jewel, then rejoined the group in 1980. In 1983 the group performed as the chorus in the Obie-winning adaptation of a Sophocles play, The Gospel at Colonus, and continued to revive their roles in that play several times in the following years. Fountain continued to record for Jewel in the '90s, as well as issuing compilations of his work on a variety of labels. Working with fellow Blind Boys' alumnus Sam Butler (Fountain had actually mentored Butler in the group), Fountain and Butler released the wonderful Stepping Up & Stepping Out album, an emotionally balanced set of both gospel and secular numbers, on Solomon Burke's Tyscot Records in 2009. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

When a Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge (born November 25, 1941, Leighton, Alabama) is an American R&B and soul performer who recorded the hit "When a Man Loves a Woman" in 1966. Percy Sledge worked in a series of blue-collar jobs in the fields in Leighton, Alabama before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid 1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract. Sledge's soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages." "When a Man Loves a Woman" was Sledge's first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. The song's inspiration came when Sledge's girlfriend left him for a modeling career after he was laid off from construction job in late 1965. Because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached #1 in the U.S. and went on to become an international hit. "When A Man Loves A Woman" was a hit twice in the UK, reaching #6 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at #2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge's career, and was followed by "Warm and Tender Love" (Covered by UK songstress Elkie Brooks in 1981), "It Tears Me Up", "Take Time to Know Her" (his second biggest U.S. hit, reaching #11 and written by Steve Davis), "Love Me Tender", and "Cover Me". Sledge charted with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 1970s, and has become an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent, and South Africa in particular. Sledge's career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s once "When a Man Loves a Woman" re-entered the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #2, behind the reissued Ben E King classic "Stand By Me", after being used in a Levi's commercial. In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced his new album, Blue Night, for Philippe Le Bras' Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records. It featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album. In 2004, Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album which led to his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. In the late 1990s, Michael Bolton brought "When A Man Loves A Woman" back into the limelight again on his smash hit album "Time, Love, & Tenderness." In December, 2010, Rhino Handmade issued a 4 CD retrospective "The Atlantic Recordings" which covers all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the US. What makes this limited edition release frustrating is that many of the mono tracks on discs 2, 3 and 4 have previously been issued in stereo (disc 1 comprises Sledge's first two LPs which were not recorded on stereo equipment). In October 2011 Sledge featured on the Cliff Richard album Soulicious, also appearing live on stage in the tour of the same name, reprising his top hit "When A Man Loves A Woman" as well as dueting with Sir Cliff. Sledge was an inaugural Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award honoree in 1989. He won the W.C. Handy Blues Awards in 1996 for best Soul/Blues album of the year with his record Blue Night. In 2005, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In May 2007, Percy Sledge was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame for his contributions to the state's music. Sledge is also an inductee of the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, Louisiana. In November 2004, Percy Sledge was inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall Of Fame. Among the many notable performances of Sledge's career was a cabaret appearance in 2005 alongside Liverpool's infamous "Steam Packet" at The Pumphouse, Albert Dock. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lil Greenwood & The E.B. Coleman Orchestra

Lil Greenwood (November 18, 1924 – July 19, 2011) was an American Jazz and R&B vocalist. Greenwood was born in Prichard, Alabama and attended Alabama State College. In 1949 she moved to San Francisco to pursue a singing career. She worked as a vocalist for 'Roy Milton & His Solid Senders' for 3 years, beginning in 1950. During this time, she also recorded her own sides for the Modern and Federal labels. In 1956 she began working as a soloist for the Duke Ellington Orchestra where she remained through the early 1960s. In the 1970s, she guest starred in the television series Good Times and The Jeffersons. Greenwood died in her hometown of Prichard on July 19, 2011. She was buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Mobile, Alabama. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!