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Showing posts with label Cash McCall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cash McCall. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Cash McCall (January 28, 1941 - April 20, 2019)

Cash McCall (January 28, 1941 - April 20, 2019)

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Cash McCall passed away on April 20, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer. His gentle spirit, humble nature and genuine kindness were a joy to behold, and he will be deeply missed.

Funeral details for Cash
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Wake: 10:30 am
Funeral: 12:00 pm
The Healing Center Full Gospel Baptist Church, 3885 Tchulahoma Rd, Memphis, TN 38118

Cash McCall
July 1978
Montreux Jazz festival, Switzerland
Photo By Lionel Decoster
Cash McCall
July 2018
Ecko Studio, Memphis
Photo by Nola Blue Records

Born Morris Dollison, Jr. in New Madrid, Missouri on January 28, 1941, Cash McCall spent his early years on Chicago’s North Side.  From there, the family moved to Mississippi, where Cash first learned to play guitar—on a piece of baling wire nailed to the side of their home.  As a young man, he served his country in the US Army, where he was seriously injured while training to be a paratrooper.

After completing his military service, Dollison returned to Chicago where he began his gospel career, singing and playing guitar or electric bass with well-regarded quartets including the Jubilee Hummingbirds, the Pilgrim Jubilees, the Gospel Songbirds, and the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi.  By 1964, he’d appeared on singles by the Jubilee Hummingbirds and the Gospel Songbirds. 

After dabbling in the secular world as a sideman, Dollison recorded his single, “The Earth Worm,” for One-derful’s M-Pac! imprint.  He continued working for One-derful! as a songwriter & session guitarist, writing several songs for Otis Clay including his hit “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)”.  By 1966, Dollison had written a new single, "When You Wake Up," and took it to Thomas Records where he cut it with the house rhythm section.  Later, Monk Higgins added horns and background vocals and Thomas Records issued the single under the fictitious name of Cash McCall. Unbeknownst to Dollison, he learned of his new alias when first hearing his song on WVON radio.  “When You Wake Up” became a national R&B hit.  When Thomas folded in 1967, Higgins convinced McCall to join him at Chess Records. In addition to writing two singles of his own—“S.O.S.” and “It’s Not How Good You Make It”— Cash wrote for many of the label’s major names, including Little Milton (his hits “More And More” and “Let Me Down Easy”), Etta James (“I Prefer You”), and Rotary Connection, as well as Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and many gospel stars. McCall was also a session guitarist on countless Chess/Checker records.

It wasn't until 1974 that McCall released his first full-length album, "Omega Man," on Paula Records (where he also did some producing). When Minnie Riperton offered him a gig as guitarist with Los Angeles-based Rotary Connection, McCall and his wife relocated to L.A.  Cash later released albums "No More Doggin’" for L+R in 1983, "Cash Up Front" on Stone in 1988 and "The Vintage Room" in 2007 on Dixon Landing. His strong connection with Willie Dixon brought McCall one of his proudest moments when he played on Dixon’s Grammy-winning 1988 album "Hidden Charms." He also played on Dixon’s Grammy-nominated soundtrack album "Ginger Ale Afternoon" the next year.

In the early 90’s, McCall and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.  In 2018, upon reuniting with longtime friend Benny Turner, the two returned to the studio to pay homage to their Windy City Roots on the acclaimed album, "Going Back Home," released on Nola Blue Records in 2019. 

(excerpts from bio by Bill Dahl, Music Journalist, on

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

NOLA Blue Records artist: Benny Turner & Cash McCall - Going Back Home - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Going Back Home, from Benny Turner & Cash McCall and it's quite fun. Opening with rumbling R&B track, Got To Find A Way, Turner is upfront on lead vocal and bass joined by Carla Davis. This track has solid horn punch with Jason Mingledorff on sax, Barney Floyd on trumpet and includes Cash McCall and Butch Mudbone on guitars, Raishene Webb on keys and Terry Saffold on drums. McCall steps front and center on Willie Dixon's Spoonful sharing the guitar work with Turner, Joe Krown on keys, Webb on organ, and Johnny Sansone on harmonica. McCall original, Money is a really cool track with spoken dialogue by McCall and only base piano, drums and walking guitar rhythm. Very nice. Elmore James' Shake Your Money Maker has great pace with Turner on lead vocal, Mudbone on slide and a nice sax solo by Mingledorff. Another EJ track, It Hurts Me Too features Billy Branch on harmonica as well as Turner and McCall on vocal and some nice slide by Mudbone. Very cool. On The Dirty Dozen the band really gets into a groove with McCall on lead vocal, Krown on keys, Turner on bass and guitar and Rod Bland on drums. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's Bring It On Home with Branch on lead vocal and harp, Turner on bass, Cash and Mudbone on guitars, Krown on keys, Webb on organ and Saffold on drums. Solid closer for a solid release.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

My Heart Is Crying - Cash McCall

Guitarist Cash McCall has segued from gospel to soul to blues over a distinguished career spanning more than three decades. Born Morris Dollison, Jr. in 1941 in Missouri, he found that the best way to exit his rural existence was to enlist in the Army. After completing his hitch, he relocated in Chicago (where his family lived for a time when he was a child). Gospel was Dollison's initial passion -- he sang with the Gospel Songbirds (he also played guitar with the group, recording with them for Excello in 1964 with fellow future R&B hitmaker Otis Clay singing lead) and the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers. By age 20, he was working as a songwriter for Chess Recording Company in Chicago, writing for such artists as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Johnny Taylor and Little Milton. His list of published songs number over 360. As a guitarist, he developed a style and stage presence he best put to use with his long time friend Minnie Ripperton, as well as with Natalie Cole, Etta James, Willie Dixon, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Coasters and Rotary Connection. McCall was a valuable session guitarist and composer at Chess, learning the business end of his trade from Chess in-house legend Willie Dixon. McCall's blues learnings grew more prominent during the next decade. He cut an LP for Paula in 1973 called Omega Man before relocating to L.A. in 1976. In 1983 McCall released his first solo record in ten years, No More Doggin', and followed it up with Cash Up Front in 1987. McCall's ties to Willie Dixon remained strong; he co-produced Dixon's Grammy-winning Hidden Charms in 1988 and worked as a sideman with Dixon's band, the Chicago All-Stars. McCall has since toured frequently as a solo blues artist and has often appeared on stage with the Chicago Rythym and Blues Kings (who were formerly known as the Mellow Fellows), backed singer Big Twist, and performed in the Chicago Blues Review. Now, after 20 years, Cash was picked by Alex Dixon (grandson of the legendary Willie Dixon) and has come back strong with his new CD titled The Vintage Room. The songs have a true Chicago Blues feel, and were written, arranged and produced by Alex Dixon. His raspy vocals and amazing guitar solos capture a sound unlike many today. If you are a fan of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf… will soon be a fan of Cash McCall! 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!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Funky Situation - Cash McCall

Cash McCall (born Maurice Dollison Jr., January 28, 1941, New Madrid, Missouri) is an American electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1966 R&B hit, "When You Wake Up". McCall's long career has seen him evolve in musical styles from gospel to soul to the blues. He is not to be confused with the 1960 film of the same name.
Cash joined the United States Army, and then settled in Chicago where he had lived for a period as a child. In 1964, he played guitar and sang, alongside Otis Clay, with the Gospel Songbirds, who recorded for Excello Records. Cash later joined another gospel singing ensemble, the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers.

Billed under his birth name, his debut solo single release was "Earth Worm" (1963). Three years later he co-wrote "When You Wake Up" with the record producer, Monk Higgins. His initial soul styled demo was issued by Thomas Records, who chose to call him Cash McCall. The song reached #19 on the US Billboard R&B chart. This led to McCall touring with Lou Christie and Mitch Ryder in Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars. However, subsequent releases for both the Thomas and Checker labels failed to chart. These included the song, "It's Wonderful To Be In Love". In 1967, McCall co-wrote "That's How It Is (When You're in Love)", a Top 30 R&B hit for Otis Clay.

Under the tutelage of Willie Dixon, McCall went on to become a session musician and songwriter for Chess Records. In the late 1960s, McCall, along with Jimmy Dawkins and Johnny Twist, played guitar on some of George "Wild Child" Butler's early recordings.

McCall gravitated towards the blues in the 1970s. He issued Omega Man (1973) before relocating to Los Angeles in 1976 and, by 1983, McCall had released No More Doggin'. In 1985, McCall and his band, appeared at the Long Beach Blues Festival. In 1987, Stony Plain Records released the album, Cash Up Front. The collection included notables such as Nathan East and Welton Gite (bass); Chuck Findley (flugelhorn, trumpet); Hank Cicalo (sound engineer) and Bernie Grundman (mastering); Les McCann and Richard Tee (piano); plus Phil Upchurch (rhythm guitar).

McCall co-produced Willie Dixon's Grammy Award clinching Hidden Charms (1988), and played in Dixon's All-Stars band. Since then he has toured as a solo artist, and appeared with the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings for whom he has written several tracks. He has also provided backing to the singer known as Big Twist, and performed in the Chicago Blues Review. McCall's songs have been recorded by The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Mighty Reapers, Margie Evans, Tyrone Davis and Mitty Collier
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