Julia Lee on rare Foremost 105
As long time readers of this blog know, I am interested in Leavenworth KS saxophonist Big Bob Dougherty. So about two years ago I acquired Bear Family’s Julia Lee 5cd box “Kansas City Star”, because I knew that Dougherty played on Lee’s last session for Capitol Records and on her later recordings done for small Kansas City labels Damon and Foremost.
Bear Family’s 5-CD box was supposed to contain all of Lee’s recordings, but unfortunately, as the liner notes say “despite a 2-year search we have not been able to find a copy of Foremost 105”.
And – I can happily add – it took me another two years to finally get a copy (see above) – though it is rather rotten, as you can hear:
Note that this is a promotion copy, but there are regular copies as well. I noticed one on ebay two weeks before I spotted my DJ copy.
Both “Blues Discography” as well as the discography to the booklet of the Bear Family Julia Lee box set have “probably same” personnel for the four tracks recorded for Foremost as for Julia Lee’s 1954/1955 Damon session. This would be Big Bob Dougherty, ts; possibly a second unidentified ts; Ted Williams; g; Howard “Jack” Lewis (b); Richard “Corky” Jackson; dms. Bear Family also notes Gene Carter on alto saxophone for the Damon session, but there is no alto to be heard. Instead there may be a second ts.
Now on the Foremost session (or sessions, there may have been two) there are definitely two tenor saxes to be heard on all tracks. If Dougherty was one of the saxes he probably brought his band along. But I find it hard to say whether Dougherty is there or not and the coarseness of the scratched record does not make it much easier.
Foremost 104 was announced in the Billboard of march 3, 1957. The standard discographies give the date as 1957. Note though that the foundation of Foremost records was announced in Billboard of August, 18 1956. There Julia Lee is mentioned in the “talent line-up”. On September 22, 1956, two fifths of a Billboard page are covered by a Foremost ad announcing among others a new release by Julia Lee: “’She’s Shoutin’ Those Blues Again” – Her Newest Comin’ Soon”. From then it took half a year until Billboard announced the release of Foremost 104 in the march 23 issue of 1957. Foremost 105 was not mentioned in the trade press, nor was there an ad for it.
The composer of “Saturday Night” (matrix no. FB-3123) is given as one “Rita Swift”. This may not be so, since Swift is also given as the composer for Richard M. Jones’ famous “Trouble In Mind” (matrix no. FB-3122) on the other side of Foremost 105.
Of course you are probaby not here for all that discographical mumbo jumbo but for some music. So here – exclusively for readers of my blog – is my not-on-youtube christmas special:
Julia Lee doing “Trouble In Mind”