Five more 45’s off the shelves. Let’s start where we left off on Tuesday with Dossie Terry, this time with “Thunderbird” as his middle name as a selling point, proving that the last posting must have sold some records despite it not showing up in the R&B charts. I’m still trying to figure out who this guy was/is although Dick Blackburn wrote to report he is listed in the latest edition of Blues Records 1943-1970 and his first release was in 1946 on the Chicago label. This one here, on the Amp-3 was issued in ’59. The a-side, Skinny Ginny is an attempt at a Larry Williams style saxophone led rocker, Terry sounding a bit too old to pull off such a dumb song with much enthusiasm but the band is solid enough, I prefer the flip, an equally dumb barnyard rocker– Fool Mule which has more prominent guitar and while the lyrics are just as dumb as the a-side, Terry sounds more comfortable with them. Not a great record, I guess you’d call this a rock’n’roll genre record, but I still like it quite a bit. While we’re still on the subject of the mysterious Mr. Terry, Barry Stoltz checked in again and provided us with this one– Railroad Section Man which came out on the budget Extra label. A nice piece of mush mouthed R&B slop if I ever heard one. Barry also reports that according to Blues Records Kenny Burrell is playing the guitar on Thunderbird not Mickey Baker. This makes sense, if you listen to the Sammy Price records on Savoy it’s hard to tell which ones feature Mickey Baker and which are Burrell. This is a case of two guys with a similar style of rock’n’roll playing, but Baker can’t play jazz to save his life, Burrell is a fantastic jazz player (my favorite example being BlueNote LP 1152- Live At The Village Gate) Thanks, Barry. I’ve made it my personal mission to find this Dewey Terry if he’s alive, or at least find out his story if he’s dead. Lets move on to some really great discs.
New Orleans based Dave Bartholomew is one of the most important names in the history of rock’n’roll– band leader, talent scout, producer, songwriter, he’s been involved with more great records than any living human being. Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Shirley & Lee, etc all made their best sides under Bartholomew’s tutelage. He cut dozens of fine discs with his crack band (which included the cream of New Orleans players like Earl Palmer and Lee Allen) for King and Imperial, including this one. The Monkey, however is something of an anomaly in the Bartholomew catalog–no wailing, sax section, no rolling piano, no second line beat, just a distorted guitar playing one chord over bass and drums with Dave doing this pre- Planet Of The Apes recitation about an indignant chimp, much offended that he’s been accused by Charles Darwin of begetting the loathsome mankind. Great record, Bartholomew even did an updated, lounge rendition of it at the first Ponderosa Stomp back in 2003. The flip– Shufflin’ Fox is more typical Bartholomew’s output, a sort of mutated Night Train riff R&B instrumental, and I don’t think it’s ever been re-issued.
Royal Earl and his Swinging Kools, now there’s a great name. They cut this one for the Gem label out of Dallas, Texas which I’m pretty sure is the only record the label ever released. Talking Guitar pt1 and pt2 is basically a goofy tune made into a great record by Earl’s out of control guitar workout. He gives Guitar Slim a run for his money on the b-side. It’s hard to date this one, probably late from the late fifties.
Willie Dixon is best known as a songwriter (Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush and so many others) as well as bass player, producer and all around man. He started his own Yambo label in the early 70’s and the best release on it was this double entendre Petting The Baby which Dixon didn’t write, but features somebody makes obscene sounds by rubbing up against a balloon while Dixon coos along. I think this is Willie Dixon’s best solo record. The flip is rather jaunty take on the old gospel standard You Gotta Move. Thanks to Phast Phreddie Patterson who gave me this one years ago. Phreddie dj’s all over the NYC area, you can find his latest whereabouts here.
The mystery record today is The Prowlers’ Bongo Rock, errr… I mean “Bongo Rock”, a home made job, no record company name needed. The a-side is a dreary version of Gershwin’s Summertime, but the flip– Bongo Rock sounds like the Fenderman jamming with Preston Epps (two guitars, drums and bongos being the only instruments). If I had to guess I’d date it around ’59, where these guys were from is anybody’s guess. I don’t think it’s the same Prowlers that made two killer singles for Aaragon, who were Canadian, I think.