Hound Howl #064 – 20201018

Originally aired October 18, 2020 on thehoundnyc.com.
The Hound Howl is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Tribute to Fortune Records and its Subsidiaries, Celebrating Publication of Mind Over Matter – The Myths and Mysteries of Detroit’s Fortune Records by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt
(Fortune Records Show 2 of 2)


  1. Fortune Bravos – One Stop
  2. Original Mustangs – Jump Lula
  3. Butch Vaden & The Nite Sounds – The Roll
  4. Dave Hamilton & His Peppers – Cooter Bug
  5. Tempos – It’s Tough

Set Break
11:31 – 13:44

2nd Set

  1. The Diablos featuring Nolan Strong – Jump, Shake And Move
  2. Roy Hall & His Cohutta Mountain Boys – Dirty Boogie
  3. Montclairs featuring Eugene Arnold with Ted Walker Orchestra – Golden Angel
  4. Johnny Powers & His Rockets – Honey, Let’s Go (To A Rock and Roll Show)
  5. Nathaniel Mayer & The Fabulous Twilights – Village Of Love

Set Break
26:04 – 27:44

Blues Hangover

  1. John Lee Hooker – Cry Baby
  2. Big Maceo (Merriweather) – Eloise, Don’t Play Me For A Fool
  3. John Brim (featuring Gracie Brim) & His Combo – Strange Man
  4. Big Blues Carson – Why Did You Leave
  5. Big Jack Reynolds & His Blues Men – I Had A Little Dog
  6. Doctor Ross – Cannonball
  7. Richard Brothers – Stolen Property

Set Break
47:25 – 49:40

4th Set

  • Eddie Kirk – The Grunt
  • Dave Kirk & The Candy Men – Oh! Baby
  • Andre Williams – Bacon Fat
  • Five Dollars – Doctor Baby
  • Little Ernest Tucker with Ted Walker Orchestra – Gonna Get Me A Satellite

Set Break
104:09 – 1:05:06

Hillbilly Hangover

  1. Skeet’s McDonald – The Tattooed Lady
  2. Shorty Frog & His Space Cats – I’m Glad We Didn’t Say Goodbye
  3. Pete De Bree & The Wanderers featuring Bernie Sanders – My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It
  4. Floyd Compton & His Western Troubadours featuring Tommy Odim – She Won’t Turn Over For Me
  5. Eddie Jackson & His Swingsters – Rock And Roll Baby

Set Break
1:17:57 – 1:19:59

Gospel Set

  1. Reverend George Morton with Jones Sisters – This Is My Story
  2. Celestial-Aires – I Don’t Know Why
  3. Detroit Songbirds – There’s A Man Taking Names
  4. Reverend Arthur Carruthers – I Know For Myself I’ve Been Changed

Set Break
1:33:05 – 1:34:26

7th Set

  1. Choker Campbell featuring Honey Brown – Rocking And Jumping
  2. Tony Valla & The Alamos – La Bomba
  3. Diablos featuring Nolan Strong – The Wind
  4. Floyd Smith with The Montclairs – Granpa’s Gully Rock
  5. Andre Williams & Gino Parks with The Diablos – (Georgia Mae Is) Movin’

Set Break
1:48:58 – 1:50:53

8th Set

  1. Nolan Strong & The Diablos – I Want To (Wanna) Know (Alternate Take)
  2. Roy Hall’s Alley Cats – Dig Everybody Dig That Boogie

Set Break/Outtro
1:56:51 – 1:57:51

Nathaniel Mayer & His Fabulous Twilights – Well, I’ve Got News (For You)

Hound Howl #063 – 20201011

Originally aired October 11, 2020 on thehoundnyc.com.
TheHound Howl is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Tribute to Fortune Records and its Subsidiaries, Celebrating Publication of Mind Over Matter – The Myths and Mysteries of Detroit’s Fortune Records by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt
(Fortune Records Show 1 of 2)


Catalinas – Destruction
Continental Four – Jack The Ripper
Tony Lee & His Quintette – Suicide
Phaetons – Fling
Nite Sounds – Cheese Cake

Set Break
11:48 – 15:05

Billy Miller’s Picks – Part 1

Earl Chatman – Take Two Steps Back
Dell Vaughn with The Fortune Aires – Rock The Universe
Delteens with The Orbits – Listen To The Rain
Whirl Wind Evangelists – No Grave
Nathaniel Mayer & His Fabulous Twilights – I Had A Dream

Set Break
27:16 – 29:17

Blues Hangover

Doctor Ross & The Orbits – Cat Squirrel
Richard Brothers – Drunk Driver’s Coming
John Lee Hooker – 609 Boogie
Eddie Kirkland & His House Rockers – I Must Have Done Somebody Wrong
Bo-Bo Jenkins – 10 Below Zero
Arthur Griswold & The Organics – Pretty Mama Blues

Set Break
45:14 – 48:32

Billy Miller’s Picks – Part 2

Little Ernest Tucker with Ted Walker Orchestra – Too Small To Dance
Bill Hicks & The Southerneers – Blue Flame
Andre Williams with Ted Walker Orchestra – The Greasy Chicken
Earthquakes with The Rhythm Kings – This Is Really Real
Spyder Turner – Ride In My 225

Set Break
1:02:14 – 1:05:41

Billy Miller’s Picks – Part 3

Nolan Strong – Everything They Said Came True
Lee & The Leopards – Don’t Press Your Luck
Ferros, Nick & His Jaguars – Tough Cat
Gino Parks & The Hi-Fidelities with Charlie Morris Orchestra – Last Night I Cried
Chet Oliver with Joe Weaver & His Blue Note Band – Going Back To Chicago
Del Victors – Acting Up

Set Break
1:23:09 – 1:24:41

6th Set

Melvin Davis with The Nite Sounds – Playboy (Don’t You Play In School)
Pete De Bree & The Wanderers – Long Tall Lou* (From Louisville)
Five Dollars – So Strange
Jim Myers & His Gems with The Montclairs – Blue Stroll
Paul Lewis (The Mighty Swamba) & The Swans – Wedding Bells, Oh Wedding Bells
Terrigan Brothers with The Sterlings – Hi Ho Little Girl
Andre Williams & Gino Parks – Put A Chain On It

Set Break
1:43:31 – 1:45:19

7th Set

Chet Oliver with Joe Weaver & His Blue Note Band – Cool As A Cucumber
Roy Hall & His Jumping Cats – Bed Spring Motel
Gardenias – I’m Laughing At You
Nathaniel Mayer & His Fabulous Twilights – Going Back To The Village Of Love (Recorded Live at a Record Hop)

Set Break/Outtro
1:55:17 – 1:56:48

Nolan Strong & The Diablos – I Want To (Wanna) Know (Alternate Take)


*Misspelled as “You” on label

Doctor Ross

Doctor Ross holding his weapon at parade rest.

Waving goodbye, the last photo taken of Dr. Ross, 1993 (photo by Dan Rose)

Playing left handed and upside down.

Some European TV Show, mid-60’s.

In his final months, still rockin’….

Charles Isaiah Ross was born in Tunica, Mississippi on October 21, 1925. That’s on Highway 61, about 40 miles south of Memphis, a few miles east of the Mississippi river. He wasn’t a real doctor, the title added to front of his name was a nickname said to come from his habit of carrying his harmonicas and a bottle of booze in a black, doctor’s bag. He was one of eleven children who grew up on a plantation, working the fields. His father Jake taught him to play harmonica. He did two stints in the army and by 1951 was back in Mississippi trying to make a living with his harmonica. Soon he was appearing on various radio stations including KFFA in Helena, Arkansas (where Sonny Boy Williamson hosted the King Biscuit Flour Hour), KLCN in Blyetheville, Arkansas, WROX in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and WDIA in Memphis where he was billed as “Medical Director of the Royal Amalgamated Association of Chitlin’ Eaters of America”. In 1951 he was one of the first musicians to be recorded by Sam Phillips at his newly christened Memphis Recording Service, and on November 21st of that year recorded several songs, two of which Phillips would send north to brothers Leonard and Phil Chess in Chicago who released them on their Chess label– Doctor Ross Boogie b/w Country Clown (Chess 1504), on which Ross was accompanied by only guitarist Wiley Galatin (although the label credited “his Jump and Jive Boys”, only Ross and Galatin can be heard on the record). It was a good a start in show biz, although not a hit, it was certainly a unique sounding record. Although quite rare today in its original Chess pressing, someone must have bought it because Phillips called Ross back for another session in early ’52, this time Ross was playing guitar himself, upside down since he was left handed, and brought along pianist Henry Hill and the clattering washboard playing of Reuben Martin. Five or more songs were recorded that day, none of which saw release until the 70’s when they’d show up on various Arhoolie and Charley albums, the best of which was a version of Polly Put The Kettle On, a song much older than the blues. A year later Phillips had Ross back in the studio again, this time without the piano player, and among the tunes he waxed were his first Sun release– Chicago Breakdown b/w Texas Hop (Sun 193), a clattering, rocking, boogie on both sides of the shellac. Another year passed, by now Ross was mastering his one man band approach to music, playing guitar, harmonica and drums simultaneously. But when Phillips recorded him in July of ’54 (only weeks before Elvis’ first session) he used Tom “Slam Hammer” Troy on second guitar and drummer Bobby Parker, although I can’t hear a second guitar, perhaps one of them was unplugged. The disc issued from that session– Boogie Disease b/w Jukebox Boogie (Sun 212) was an absolute classic, and perhaps the finest song ever written about the clap (the Flamin’ Groovies would re-arrange it and record it as Dr. Boogie on their 1971 classic Teenage Head, giving themselves writing credit). “I may get better, but I’ll never get well…gimme one of them penicillin shots”! shouts the good Doctor over a distorted blues shuffle. Phillips would record Ross only one more time in a solo session from which no discs would be issued until the titles showed up on an Arhoolie LP (and later extended CD) in the 70’s and the Charley Sun Blues Box in the 80’s.

Meanwhile, Ike Ross as his friends knew him packed up and headed north looking for work, landing in Flint, Michigan (later home to ? & the Mysterians, the greatest and longest running American rock’n’roll band ever, and Terry Knight & the Pack who would morph into Shea Stadium packing Grand Funk Railroad). Ross got a job on the G.M. assembly line, which he would hold down for the next thirty years, from here on music would be a sideline.
On the music front, in 1958, Doctor Ross tried his hand at the record biz, releasing his next disc on his own DIR (guess what that stand for?) label– Industrial Boogie b/w 32-20 (DIR 101). Although recorded with just an acoustic guitar, Industrial Boogie showed the change in his music working on the assembly line brought. His sound now had the churning, propulsive rhythm of an automobile plant. But running your own label after eight hours on the line is hard work, and he would release no more discs on DIR. In 1959 he was recording for Jack and Devora Brown’s Fortune label, and backed by a group called the Orbits, about which we know nothing other than their name, he cut his greatest masterpiece– Cat’s Squirrel b/w The Sunnyland (Fortune 857), it’s thundering beat takes the normal blues/boogie shuffle and turns it into a supercharged throb. The tune would be covered by U.K. rock bores Cream in ’68, I hope Ross got a big check out of that deal.
Doctor Ross was back in Fortune’s back room studio in 1961 where he recorded with Little Joe’s Band, a double sided winner– Cannonball b/w Number’s Blues issued on Fortune’s HiQ subsidiary (HiQ 5027), and again in ’63 recording as a one man band on Call The Doctor b/w New York Breakdown (HiQ 5033). His fourth session (date unknown) saw him backed by a group called the Disciples of Soul and the single issued as Fortune 538– Sugar Mama b/w I’d Rather Be An Old Woman’s Baby Than An Young Girl’s Slave was released. Fortune had amassed enough tunes to issue an LP, bearing the same unweildly title as his last b-side, it featured such classics as I Am Not Dead and My Black Name Ringing as well as the best of his Fortune 45’s.
By 1965 the white blues audience had “rediscovered” (as if he’d been lost) Doctor Ross, who was recorded solo at the University of Chicago and then again for the Testement label. He began doing package tours of Europe were he entertained other blues singers on the tour bus by dancing something called “The Flying Eagle”. He cut an LP on Blue Horizon called The Flying Eagle, so rare only a handful of copies have ever been seen. He also cut live LP’s in Germany, Switzerland and maybe a few others I missed out on. He even had a track on the Grammy winning LP Rare Blues in 1981. In Japan, P-Vine issued a now rare LP of his best Sun recordings. Despite all this activity he still worked at G.M. to pay the rent and it’s unlikely he ever saw any royalties other than some songwriting mechanicals for Cream’s version of Cat Squirrel. He finally retired from G.M. in 1992. A year later, a day before he was to begin filming his first film role, in Dan Rose’s Wayne County Ramblin’ (an indie feature starring Iggy Pop along with appearances by Jeff “Mono Man” Connelly, the late Bill Pietsch, the Dirtbombs’ Mick Collins, Nathaniel Mayer (the narrator), Tav Falco, Lorette Velvette, and Otha Turner amongst others), he died of a heart attack. I was supposed to have him on my radio show a few days later. Doctor Ross was as great and unique an artist as had ever been heard in American music, and one of only two to have cut sides for both Sun and Fortune Records, perhaps the two greatest and strangest labels ever (the other was Johnny Powers). An illustrated discography can be found here. Doctor Ross, they sure don’t make ’em like that anymore. Come to think of it, they only made one of ’em like that back then.
%d bloggers like this: