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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 West Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Virginia. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Love for Sale - Bumps Myers with Big Sid Catlett's Band

Hubert 'Bumps' Myers - solo tenor sax, Joe Guy - trumpet, Ben 'Bull Moose' Jackson - alto sax, Illinois Jacquet - tenor sax, Horace Henderson - piano/arranging, Al Casey - guitar, John Simmons - bass, Sidney Catlett - drums A fine swing tenor player influenced by Coleman Hawkins, Bumps Myers, who occasionally played alto and baritone, had many interesting musical experiences during his career although he never gained much fame outside of the Los Angeles area. Myers became a professional musician in 1929 when he was 17 and freelanced around L.A. including with Curtis Mosby. Myers played in Shanghai with Buck Clayton's big band (1934-36) and Teddy Weatherford, and in L.A. with Lionel Hampton and Les Hite. Myers was part of the short-lived Lee and Lester Young band from 1941-42, had two stints with Jimmie Lunceford in 1942 and 1945, and worked with Benny Carter off and on during 1943-48, Benny Goodman in 1947 and Red Callender from 1952-54. He appeared at several mid-1940s Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts and in countless settings (many commercial) during the 1950s, including with Harry Belafonte in 1958. After touring with Horace Henderson from 1961-62, Myers retired due to ill health. Myers, who recorded with Sid Catlett in 1945, only led six obscure titles in 1949 for the Selective and RPM labels.

  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!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fire Eater - Rusty Bryant

Royal G. "Rusty" Bryant (November 25, 1929, Huntington, West Virginia - March 25, 1991, Columbus, Ohio) was an American jazz tenor and alto saxophonist. Bryant grew up in Columbus, Ohio and became a fixture of the local jazz scene. He worked with Tiny Grimes and Stomp Gordon before founding his own ensemble, the Carolyn Club Orchestra, in 1951. He signed with Dot Records in 1955 and released several albums as a leader in the second half of the 1950s. In 1952, his live recording "All Night Long", a faster version of "Night Train", became a hit R&B single in the U.S. Bryant's contract with Dot ended in 1957, and he returned to Columbus to do mostly local engagements, playing often with pianist-organist Hank Marr. Nancy Wilson also sang in his group. It wasn't until his appearance on the 1968 Groove Holmes album That Healin' Feelin that he resurfaced beyond regional acclaim, and soon after he began leading dates for Prestige Records. He recorded extensively for the label from 1969 through the middle of the 1970s, being a sideman with Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones, Johnny Hammond Smith, Sonny Phillips; his 1970 release Soul Liberation was his most commercially successful, reaching No. 35 on the U.S. Black Albums chart and No. 15 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. Bryant continued to record into the early 1980s, then returned to mostly local dates in Columbus. He died there in 1991. Rusty Bryant was the father of Eric Royal Bryant (b. July 7, 1950 in Washington, D.C.) and pop singer Stevie Woods (b. July 2, 1951 in Chatham, Virginia), who would enjoy a moderately successful recording career in the early '80s with the Top 40 hit songs "Steal the Night" and "Just Can't Win 'Em All." Rusty was the grandfather of Tiana Woods, an L.A. based singer/songwriter and front woman for the band "Living Eulogy." Though they resemble and share the same surname, Rusty Bryant and jazz pianist Ray Bryant are not related.  

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!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Slow Down Baby - Bob Gaddy

Bob Gaddy (February 4, 1924 – July 24, 1997) was an American East Coast blues and rhythm and blues pianist, singer and songwriter. He is best remembered for his recordings of "Operator" and "Rip and Run," and musical work he undertook with Larry Dale, Wild Jimmy Spruill, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Gaddy was born in Vivian, West Virginia, a small town based around coal mining. He learned to play the piano at a young age, both playing and singing in his local church. In 1943 he was conscripted and served in the Navy, being stationed in California. He progressed from learning the blues and, using his gospel background, graduated towards the boogie-woogie playing style. He played in blues clubs in Oakland and San Francisco, but after World War II finished he relocated to New York in 1946. Gaddy later commented "I came to New York just to visit, because I was on my way to the West Coast. Somehow or other, I just got hooked on it. New York got into my system and I've been stuck here ever since." He found work as a blues pianist, and in the late 1940s Gaddy provided accompaniment to both Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. He later backed Larry Dale, and befriended Champion Jack Dupree. Dupree penned "Operator" for Gaddy, one of his best selling numbers. Gaddy recorded firstly for Jackson Records with his debut single being "Bicycle Boogie" in 1952. Gaddy later spent time with the Jax, Dot and Harlem record labels, before joining Hy Weiss' Old Town Records in 1956. It was here that Gaddy had his most commercially successful period, particularly with "I Love My Baby," "Paper Lady," and "Rip and Run." His earlier recordings often had McGhee in the recording studio with Gaddy, although his Old Town recordings utilised the guitarists Jimmy Spruill and Joe Ruffin, plus saxophonist Jimmy Wright. Gaddy ceased his recording activities around 1960. However, along with his long time friend Larry Dale, Gaddy remained a mainstay of the ongoing New York blues scene. In April 1988, Gaddy, Dale and Spruill reunited to play at the Tramps nightclub in New York. Bob Gaddy died of lung cancer in the Bronx, New York in July 1997, at the age of 73 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, January 30, 2013

C.C.'s Blues - C.C. Richardson

Clarence Clifford "Peg" Richardson, Vocals & Slide Guitar d. December 30, 1984 in Charleston, West Virginia. Born December 18, 1918, Sumter, SC. Richardson got his foot in the blues doorway by performing in his uncle"s quartet in Brown Chapel Church in Sumter, SC. Sadly, he lost part of one foot in a train accident as a child. He performed in bands with such notable leaders as Jay McShann and Nat Cole and claimed to be influenced most by Blind Boy Fuller. 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, January 18, 2013

Diamond Teeth Mary with Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues

Mary Smith McClain was born on August 27, 1902. She was an African-American blues singer and entertainer. Better known as "Walking Mary" and later "Diamond Teeth Mary," she was born in Huntington, West Virginia. Mary McClain and was the half sister of Bessie Smith (Smith's mother was one of Mary's four stepmothers). At the age of 13, young McClain couldn't stand the beatings any longer and left home to join the circus disguised as a boy in her brother's clothes. It was Mary's own skills as an acrobat and singer that enabled her to survive. McClain spent the 1920’s and 1930’s performing in a variety of medicine and minstrel shows. She traveled in troupes like Irwin C. Miller's Brown Skin Models, the Davis S. Bell Medicine Show and for 11 years as part of the infamous Rabbit Foot Minstrels. She toured with the USO and sang at the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, and other prominent night clubs, where her show-stopping charisma received standing-ovations. Night spots from Boston to Miami billed her as "Queen of the Blues," and she shared billings with her sister Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Big Mama Thornton, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Nat King Cole, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. McClain also lived with baseball great Satchel Paige, and was never short of stories about her life and times. One evening in Memphis she recalled that a young Elvis Presley "would bring Howlin' Wolf and me liquor from the liquor cabinet." During the 1940s, McClain had diamonds removed from a bracelet and set into her upper and lower front teeth, creating a dazzling stage effect. The diamonds, earned McClain her nickname, and although the original stones were sold to help pay her mother's medical bills, she later got a new set of teeth, new diamonds, and her first album release, IF I CAN'T SELL IT, I'M GONNA SIT ON IT on the Big Boss label. Tragically, McClain witnessed the heartbreaking death of Bessie Smith. She once remembered “Bessie was lying in a hospital waiting room, her arm hangin' by a thread and bleedin' in a pan while the white doctors stood by and watched doing nothin'. They let her die." Mary Smith came to Manatee County, Florida, in 1960 when she was booked at the Palms Club, and decided to settle down. She met and married Clifford McClain, her second husband, in 1964 and followed him to church. Mary moved her genre of focus from the blues to gospel music, which she claimed she had never sung before that time. Mary became a star at church, singing spell-binding renditions of Precious Lord and Amazing Grace, while falling into relative obscurity on the club circuit as interest waned in the blues. Clifford McClain died in 1983. Mary contented herself by continuing to sing hymns and gospel music in area churches until her rediscovery in the 1980s. Folklorist Steven Zeitlin at the Smithsonian Institution tracked her down and gave her national exposure that led to her "comeback" in the 1980s. She went on to perform at the Smithsonian's American Folklife Festival and toured Europe in 1981, made it to off-Broadway in 1983 with a show that was a re-creation of the travelling medicine shows, "The Vi-Ton-Ka Medicine Show," and sang for President Reagan. "Diamond Teeth" Mary McClain died on April 4, 2000. As she wanted, her ashes were sprinkled on the railroad tracks in West Virginia where she hopped her first train. Her gowns are in the Florida State Museum and the Memphis Blues Museum. In Miami, Tobacco Road named the performing room upstairs the Diamond Teeth Mary Cabaret in her honor. 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!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cry Baby - Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters

Garnet Mimms (born Garrett Mimms, 16 November 1933, Ashland, West Virginia) is an American singer, influential in soul music and rhythm and blues. He is best known for the hit "Cry Baby" (later recorded by Janis Joplin) and "A Quiet Place," a popular song in the Carolina Beach Music community. Mimms grew up in Philadelphia, where he sang in gospel music groups such as the Evening Stars, the Harmonizing Four, and the group with which he would record his first record in 1953, the Norfolk Four. He returned to Philadelphia after serving in the military and formed doo-wop group, the Gainors in 1958. In 1961, Mimms and Sam Bell from the Gainors left to form a new group, Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters, with Zola Pearnell and Charles Boyer. The group moved to New York and began to work with the songwriter and record producer, Bert Berns. Berns signed them to the United Artists label and wrote the hit, "Cry Baby" for them with songwriting partner Jerry Ragovoy. The song topped the R&B chart and went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Mimms and the group had a follow-up double sided hit, "For Your Precious Love" and "Baby Don't You Weep", both tracks entering the Billboard Top 30, before he went solo in 1964. In 1966, Berns and Ragavoy produced another big hit for Mimms, "I'll Take Good Care Of You", which climbed to #15 in the R&B chart and #30 in the Hot 100. He worked with Jimi Hendrix in the UK the following year. He did some recording on the MGM and Verve labels. In 1969, Led Zeppelin performed an extended version of Mimms' "As Long As I have You" at various stops on their U.S tour. In the 1970s, he released a few funk songs as Garnet Mimms and the Truckin' Co. He had his only hit in the United Kingdom at this time, when "What It Is" reached number 44 for one week on the UK Singles Chart in June 1977. Mimms was given a Pioneer Award in 1999 by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In the 1980s, Garnet found his calling ministering to lost souls in prison, but in 2007, returned to recording and a year later, released a new gospel album Is Anybody Out There? on the Evidence label, produced and (primarily) written by Jon Tiven. 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, July 8, 2012

Honky Tonk - Ry Cooder with Johnnie Johnson


Johnnie Johnson (July 8, 1924 – April 13, 2005) was an American pianist and blues musician. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He was born Johnnie Clyde Johnson in Fairmont, West Virginia and began playing piano in 1928. He joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II where he was a member of Bobby Troup's all serviceman jazz orchestra, The Barracudas. After his return, he moved to Detroit, Illinois and then Chicago, where he sat in with many notable artists, including Muddy Waters and Little Walter.

He moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 and immediately put together a jazz and blues group, The Sir John Trio with drummer Ebby Hardy and saxophonist, Alvin Bennett. The three scored a regular gig at the Cosmopolitan Club in East St. Louis. On New Year's Eve 1952, Alvin Bennett had a stroke and could not perform. Johnson, searching for a last minute replacement, called a young man named Chuck Berry, the only musician Johnson knew who because of his inexperience, would likely not be playing on New Year's Eve. Although then a limited guitarist, Chuck Berry added vocals and showmanship to the group. As Bennett would not be able to play again because of his stroke, Johnson hired Berry as a permanent member of the trio.

They would remain the Sir John's Trio until Berry took one of their tunes, a reworking of Bob Wills' version of "Ida Red" to Chess Records. The Chess brothers liked the tune and soon the trio were in Chicago recording "Maybellene" and "Wee Wee Hours" – a song Johnson had been playing as an instrumental for years for which Berry quickly penned some lyrics. By the time the trio left Chicago, Berry had been signed as a solo act and Johnson and Hardy became part of Berry's band. Said Johnson, "I figured we could get better jobs with Chuck running the band. He had a car and rubber wheels beat rubber heels any day."

Over the next twenty years, the two collaborated in the arrangements of many of Berry's songs including "School Days", "Carol", and "Nadine". The song "Johnny B. Goode" was reportedly a tribute to Johnson, with the title reflecting Johnson's usual behavior when he was drinking. The pianist on the "Johnny B. Goode" session was Lafayette Leake, one of the two main session pianists for Chess (the other being Otis Spann). Leake also played on "Oh Baby Doll", "Rock & Roll Music", "Reelin' and Rockin'", and "Sweet Little Sixteen".

Berry and Johnson played and toured together until 1973. Although never on his payroll after 1973, Johnson played occasionally with Berry until Johnson's death in 2005.

Johnson was known to have a serious drinking problem. In Chuck Berry's autobiography, Berry tells of how he declared there would be no drinking in the car, while on the road. Johnson and bandmates complied with the request by putting their heads out the window. Johnson denied the story but said he did drink on the road. Johnson quit drinking entirely in 1991, after nearly suffering a stroke on stage with Eric Clapton.

Johnson received little recognition until the Chuck Berry concert documentary, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll in 1987. That attention helped Johnson, who was supporting himself as a bus driver in St. Louis at the time, return to music. He recorded his first solo album, Blue Hand Johnnie, that same year. He later performed with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and George Thorogood on Thorogood's 1995 live album Live: Let's Work Together. In 1996 and 1997, Johnson toured with Bob Weir's band, Ratdog, playing 67 shows.

In 1999, Johnson's biography was released, Father of Rock and Roll: The Story of Johnnie B. Goode Johnson by 23-year-old Travis Fitzpatrick. The book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by Congressman John Conyers, and garnered Johnson more recognition.

In 2000, Johnson was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

In late 2004,Johnson recorded his final project, "Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad!" it was recorded in St.Louis, and all the songs were originals (written with the producer, Jeff Alexander), this was a first for Johnson. the project was released the same week he died in April 2005.

In 2005 He played piano on Styx's Big Bang Theory album on the rerecording of Blue Collar Man, entitled Blue Collar Man @ 2120, since it was recorded at the legendary Chess Studios at 2120 S. Michigan Ave in Chicago. Recorded on the 46th anniversary of the recording of Johnnie B. Goode, at that studio
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Slow Down Baby - Bob Gaddy And His Keys


Bob Gaddy (February 4, 1924 – July 24, 1997) was an American East Coast blues and rhythm and blues pianist, singer and songwriter. He is best remembered for his recordings of "Operator" and "Rip and Run," and musical work he undertook with Larry Dale, Wild Jimmy Spruill, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
Gaddy was born in Vivian, West Virginia, a small town based around coal mining. He learned to play the piano at a young age, both playing and singing in his local church. In 1943 he was conscripted and served in the Navy, being stationed in California. He progressed from learning the blues and, using his gospel background, graduated towards the boogie-woogie playing style.

He played in blues clubs in Oakland and San Francisco, but after World War II finished he relocated to New York in 1946. Gaddy later commented "I came to New York just to visit, because I was on my way to the West Coast. Somehow or other, I just got hooked on it. New York got into my system and I've been stuck here ever since."

He found work as a blues pianist, and in the late 1940s Gaddy provided accompaniment to both Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. He later backed Larry Dale, and befriended Champion Jack Dupree. Dupree penned "Operator" for Gaddy, one of his best selling numbers. Gaddy recorded firstly for Jackson Records with his debut single being "Bicycle Boogie" in 1952. Gaddy later spent time with the Jax, Dot and Harlem record labels, before joining Hy Weiss' Old Town Records in 1956. It was here that Gaddy had his most commercially successful period, particularly with "I Love My Baby," "Paper Lady," and "Rip and Run." His earlier recordings often had McGhee in the recording studio with Gaddy, although his Old Town recordings utilised the guitarists Jimmy Spruill and Joe Ruffin, plus saxophonist Jimmy Wright.

Gaddy ceased his recording activities around 1960. However, along with his long time friend Larry Dale, Gaddy remained a mainstay of the ongoing New York blues scene.

In April 1988, Gaddy, Dale and Spruill reunited to play at the Tramps nightclub in New York.

Bob Gaddy died of lung cancer in the Bronx, New York in July 1997, at the age of 73
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