Archive for the R’n’B Category

The Chaunteurs with King Kolax (1961)

Posted in 45 rpm, clips, Doo Wop, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by crownpropeller

Twelve years ago I went to Paris for a week. One reason for my trip was to meet with Gil Petard of reissue label Chronogical Classics and the well known jazz, r’n’b and soul researcher Kurt Mohr.  I had a CD with me that held a lot of tracks by Chicago tenor saxophonist. Tom Archia (the resulting CD, “Tom Archia 1957–1948” was released in 2011). I was also hoping to get a glimpse of Kurt Mohr’s files on several artists from Chicago and have Robert Campbell add them to the pages of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.  At that time Mohr had basically given up research and two months before had given his archives to Soul Bag Magazine. I called up the magazine and was allowed to look through Mohr’s files for an hour on the next day.

Indeed I could gather some details we had not known before about different recording sessions. I also found an intriguing entry noting a record that the band of trumpeter King Kolax – on whom there is an entry at the Red Saunders Research Foundation – accompanied Chicago vocal group The Chaunteurs for drummer and producer Armand “Jump” Jackson’s own tiny label La Salle around 1961.

This was intriguing: How was I ever to hear that record? Now a while ago someone put one side of that record, the euphoria inducing “Wishin’ Well”, on youtube – but only for a hot moment, then it was gone again. A few weeks later a copy of this very rare 45rpm finally appeared on ebay. So I tried my luck – and won!

So here are the Chaunteurs accompanied by King Kolax and his Band doing “Wishin Well”. According to Robert Ferlingere’s Discography of Rhythm and Blues and Rock ‘n Roll Vocal Groups, (2nd ed., Vol. 1, 1992) and Bob Pruter’s Doowop: The Chicago Scene, the Chaunteurs  consisted of  Sollie McElroy (lead tenor, formerly of The Flamingos); Eugene Record (1st tenor); Robert Laster (2nd tenor); Clarence Johnson (baritone); Eddie Reed (bass). Besides King Kolax (heard only faintly here) and Jump Jackson the personnel is completely unidentified. I really wonder who the tenor saxophonist is and who is playing the organ.

Get ready:


Bill Doggett: Honky Tonk (Live 1978)

Posted in Bill Doggett, clips, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by crownpropeller

[Revision note: Thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakht and Dani Gugolz the complete personnel has been identified.]

Bill Doggett (1916–1996) started out on piano. In 1947, he took Wild Bill Davis’ place in Louis Jordan’s Tympany Five and slowly became famous for his organ playing in this band. He started his own band in 1951, first as a trio, later with one or two saxophones and a guitar added. Up to the late fifties Doggett made a series of LPs for King Records, followed in the early sixties by albums on Warner Bros. and Columbia after which the spotlight turned away from his as his brand of organ playing fell out of fashion with the dance as well as the jazz crowd.

But Doggett kept on playing and in the mid-seventies he became quite popular in France, where Black and Blue records published a couple of LPs with Doggett.

So here is another clip from the July 1978 Newport Jazz Festival on tour in the Cimiez Gardens in Nice which was filmed by a french TV station. It’s Bill Doggett on organ, the legendary David “Bubba” Brooks on tenor, guitarist Pete Mays (he is also singing on other tracks from this gig), Larry Trott on electric bass and Howard Overton on drums playing Doggett’s 1956 megaseller “Honky Tonk”.


Jo Jo Adams with Tom Archia – and in person

Posted in 78 rpm, clips, Jo Jo Adams, R'n'B, Tom Archia with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by crownpropeller

Jo Jo Adams (circa 1918–February 27, 1988) was one of the most colorful persons on the R’n’B scene of post war Chicago. A short biography by Dave Penny can be found here. Adams recorded for small labels like Hy-Tone, Aristocrat, Parrot, he also worked as MC in different clubs in Chicago.

One of my favorite sessions by Jo Jo Adams is the one he did with almost forgotten Chicago tenor saxophonist Tom Archia in July 1947 (read more about Tom and this session on the Tom Archia page of the Red Saunders Research Foundation). Here’s Jo Jo singing “Drinking Blues” on a copy of Aristocrat 801:

Adams was mostly known for his flamboyant personality, his risqué songs and his colorful dresses – with long coat tails that he swung around while dancing. Here you get a chance to see Jo Jo in action as part of William Alexander’s 1949 movie “Burlesque in Harlem (sometimes dated as having been made in 1953 or 1954, but Alexander had moved to London in 1950). Unfortunately Adams is only accompagnied by a piano – and how I wish it would be Tom Archia’s Combo! And sound and video are slightly asynchroneous on my source.

But hey: Better Jo Jo Adams with a piano and asynchronous sound than no Jo Jo Adams at all!


Dallas Bartley with Bill Martin: You Fine And Healthy Thing (1945)

Posted in clips, King Kolax, R'n'B, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by crownpropeller

In 1940 bassist Dallas Bartley (1916–1979) joined Louis Jordan’s Tympany Five. After he left Jordan in 1943 he formed his own band, Dallas Bartley’s Small Town Boys. With his band he recorded for Coral (September 1944), Cosmo (1946) and National (1947). His band also can be seen in a couple of soundies filmed in 1945.

Here they are playing “You Fine And Healthy Thing”:

The reason why I exactly choose this Dallas Bartley clip to present here, is my interest in Chicago trumpet player King Kolax who in jazz circles is mostly known because young John Coltrane played in his big band for a while in 1947 – you can find more about Kolax at the Kolax page at the Red Saunders Research Foundation. While googling around for Kolax material, I found out that it was composed jointly by Bartley and Kolax!

But what about the personnel?

Although different discographies say that the trumpeter player and singer is Walter Fuller, it definitely is Bill Martin, about whom you may learn more on the Hy-Tone page of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.

What about the alto player?

Les Fancourt’s and Bob McGrath’ “Blues Discography 1943–1970” suggests that it is Porter Kilbert. Below you see a picture of Kilbert taken from a 1961 Quincy Jones concert clip. I would say it is well possible that it is the same man – 16 years later.

“Blues Discography 1943–1970”  does not mention the tenor player:

Who can this be? A possibility would be Joshua Jackson, who according to “Blues Discography 1943–1970” recorded with Bartley for Cosmo. Does anyone have a photo of Jackson and could compare it to the one above?

Following “Blues Discography”, the pianist is Bob Mosely, is that true?

Unfortunately I can not extract a better picture from the clip. So what about the drummer?

According to “Blues Discography 1943–1970”  this is Jack Parker. But if you look  at the bass drum you see a logo that seems to be made from the letters H, L and B. This points to the drummer being Hillard L. Brown, who according to this page, was a member of Bartley’s band in 1945. He later had his own band, which Bill Martin joined later.

Etta James R.I.P.

Posted in Etta James, R'n'B with tags , on January 20, 2012 by crownpropeller

Just received the sad news that singer Etta James has passed from Leukemia today, a few days before her 74th birthday. I would have liked to upload a small musical tribute to Etta, but I have to leave the house soon to start my work as DJ Crown Propeller at the Helsinkiklub in Zürich (Geroldstrasse 35). I surely will be doing a small tribute to Etta during the evening, so you might want to come. The evening’s band is Nadja Zela with Mr. Fisch & The Sea Shanty Singers (hereby strongly recommended).

Jimmy Coe / Red Holloway / Blue Flagships

Posted in clips, R'n'B, Red Holloway with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2011 by crownpropeller

In 2002 the swiss newspaper company Ringier organized a small tour with the Blue Flagships band featuring guest artist Rusty Zinn on guitar, singer Carrie Smith and R’n’B saxophone legends Jimmy Coe and Red Holloway. On September 14 2002 parts of the concert at Teatro di Locarno in Locarno were filmed by my friend, the late Otto Flückiger. Here we have them playing Flying Home featuring solos by Jimmy Coe and Red Holloway.
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Lynn Hope – fully dressed

Posted in documents, R'n'B with tags , , on September 17, 2011 by crownpropeller

UPDATE (June 4. 21, 2012): The source for the photos has been identified as a mid-fifties “Ebony” magazine.
UPDATE (sept. 21, 2011): The day of Lynn Hope’s passing has been established as February 24, 1993 (see comments)

I know some of you have – as I do – a faible for idiosyncratic  r’n’b saxophonist Lynn Hope. Hope was born in Birmingham, Alabama on September 26, 1926 and nobody seems to know what ever  became of him (or do you?).

Down in Otto’s archives I found some gorgeous photos of Lynn. These were published in an unidentified publication – which therefore is also undated. I decided to present them here.

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Cecil Payne on Decca: Angel Child

Posted in 78 rpm, Cecil Payne, documents, jazz, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by crownpropeller

After reading my entry on Cecil Payne’s Hippy Dippy, Dani Gugolz has sent me this ultra rare photo of  Brownie McGhee (left) and Cecil Payne at the club Jazzland in Vienna, Austria:

Brownie McGhee and Cecil Payne at "Jazzland", Vienna 197X

(click to enlarge)

Thanks, Dani! The photographer of this shot from an unknown date in the mid-seventies is not identified. Brownie McGhee recorded with Cecil Payne on Payne’s second session for Decca on November 25, 1949. Here McGhee was named “Henry Johnson”, a pseudonym he used at different times in his career. The full band:

Leonard Hawkins (tp), Cecil Payne (as, bar, ldr), Ray Abrams (ts), Billy Taylor (p), John Simmons (b), Joe Harris (dr), Brownie McGhee (“Henry Johnson”) (voc).

McGhee sang on two tracks, the mock sermon The Worst Is Yet To Come and the slow blues Angel Child, on which Cecil Payne plays alto sax. You can hear Angel Child here:

Cecil Payne / Brownie McGhee: Angel Child (1949)

The music is taken from an original 78 rpm copy of Decca 48127 from the Otto Flückiger Collection. Dani has also send me a better version, but it’s on my other computer right now. But this one sounds fine enough, i think. Enjoy!

Cecil Payne on Decca: Hippy Dippy

Posted in 78 rpm, Cecil Payne, clips, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by crownpropeller

Cecil Payne (dec 14, 1922 – nov 27, 2007) broke through with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band (1946–1949, see photo above). In the fifties he became one of the best known baritone saxophonists of the hard bop movement. Not nearly as famous as his work with Gillespie and his later efforts – for example with Randy Weston – are the eight sides of jazzy r’n’b Payne recorded with a septet in june and november 1949.

Here’s one of them: “Hippy Dippy” from Decca 48114 recorded june 21, 1949.

The band consists of: Cecil Payne (bars), Bruce Hinkson (ts), Irvin Stokes (t), Billy Kyle (p), Franklin Skeete (b), Heyward Jackson (dr).

This is what Billboard had to say (sept. 24, 1949):

“One of those tenor-bary sax groan-and-moan deals with a big beat and some fresh themes.”

It may be “one of those”, but I like it. Enjoy!

High Speed Harris

Posted in 78 rpm, documents, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2011 by crownpropeller

Today I went through a batch of old “Jet” magazines from the collection of Otto Flückiger. Here’s a nice photo of singer Wynonie Harris from the september 4, 1958 issue, when his days of glory were long over.

To go with it, I have some music for you from Wynonie’s younger days:

This is Wynonie Harris on a rare Bullet 78 pm from my collection playing “Dig this Boogie”, recorded 1946 in Nashville. Featured on the piano is none other than Herman “Sonny” Blount, later known as extraterrestrial big band leader Sun Ra! The drummer is most probably Wynonie himself. Enjoy!

To find out more about this session, go to: