The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 176

Legends Mix

This transcript of the radio show is an approximation of what I said in the show. The real spoken parts may differ slightly.

And welcome back listeners to another hour of the best of Rhythm & Blues from the era when music was just great. It's a whole lotta great music that I selected again so let's just make a jump start with a blues from 1941. Recorded in Chicago for the Bluebird label, here is Lil Green with You're Just Full Of Jive.

01 - Lil Green - You're Just Full Of Jive
02 - Erskine Hawkins - Caldonia

On the Victor label, Caldonia in the version of Erskine Hawkins and his band from 1945, recorded shortly after the version of Louis Jordan had been released. Jordan had written the song himself, but it was his wife Fleecie Moore whose name is on it. According to Jordan, Moore had nothing to do with it and she knew nothing about music. She kept on receiving the royalties for it, after Jordan and she divorced following a whole number of arguments, and in one occasion she had stabbed Jordan with a knife.

The version of Erskine Hawkins was reviewed in Billboard Magazine as 'Right rhythmic rock and roll music' and for that first printed use of the phrase rock and roll in a musical context, this line has been quoted many times - and now also here on the Legends of the Rocking Dutchman.

For the next one I go to the Decca label with the flip of a record I played a few weeks ago when I spotlighted some issues from 1941 of the label. On that occasion I played Somebody's gotta go of Joe Turner - and here is the other side of the record - the Ice Man.

03 - Big Joe Turner - Ice Man
04 - Blue Lu Barker - After You've Gone


05 - Albert Ammons - Early Mornin' Blues
06 - Brown Skin Woman - Gene Gilmore

A whole lotta music - after Joe Turner, I played for you Blue Lu Barker with After You're Gone. Then came the jingle and Albert Ammons and his Rhythm Kings with the Early Morning Blues. The Rhythm Kings included Jimmy Hoskins on drums, Israel Crosby on bass and guitarist Ike Perkins. With his band he brought the boogie-woogie, that is essentially a piano solo style, to the jazz and jump blues combo.

It also marked the way up to success for Ammons. Before he had only been playing solo in small clubs in Chicago and with some very obscure small bands supplementing his income with a job as a taxi driver. His real breakthrough was his 1938 piano trio in Carnegie Hall in the Sprituals To Swing concert. He and Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson gave away a thundering boogie woogie concert that started a renewed interest in the style - or rather, a boogie woogie craze.

Well I have to account for one track more that I played, the last one, that was the Brown Skin Woman, a recording for Decca from 1939 of Gene Gilmore backed up on piano by Sammy Price. Gene Gilmore is most remembered for his 1940 blues The Natchez Fire commemorating the fire in the Rhythm Club of Natchez. MS when 209 people died, including most of the band of Walter Barnes that was playing that night.

Next from 1935 a tribute to one of America's the most popular boxers of the thirties - Joe Louis. 1935 was the breakthrough year for the boxer but his most famous fight would be three years later, the rematch against German boxer Max Schmeling. Schmeling had defeated Louis in '36, a match that Joe had lost due to underestimating his opponent. But in Nazi Germany, Hitler had used Schmeling's victory as a proof of supremacy of the Aryan race and that made the rematch a highly political event. President Roosevelt had personally said to Louis: Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany. Joe won the match - and how. He battered Schmeling for two minutes and four seconds with three knockdowns, and then the trainer of Schmeling threw the towel in the ring.

But that was all to come when this tribute song was released, on the Champion label. Here is Fighting Joe Louis of Ike Smith And His Chicago Boys.

07 - Ike Smith And His Chicago Boys - Fighting Joe Louis
08 - Buddy Moss - Broke Down Engine

From 1933 the Broke Down Engine of Buddy Moss - a track that was released on several labels of the ARC record group. This Atlanta-based bluesman was extremely popular in the thirties. This is from his second trip to New York to record at the studio of ARC, in September of 1933.

Next a blues from an obscure singer of whom only four recordings are known, two of them have been lost that were released as OKeh 6667 - a 78 of this never has surfaced. The other two were never released on 78, but the masters survived and so they've been re-released on a CD of the Document series, named Chicago Blues Vol. 2.

Here is Ruth Ladson with the Windy City Blues.

09 - Ruth Ladson - Windy City Blues
10 - Pete Brown feat. Helen Humes - Gonna Buy Me A Telephone (Can't Read, Can't Write)

Unmistakably the voice of Helen Humes with a recording from 1942 of Pete Brown and his Band released on Decca - Can't Read, Can't Write, Gonna Buy Me A Telephone. Wonderful arrangement of a composition of Leonard Feather. Helen did a great session with the band of Pete Brown after leaving Count Basie and before she moved to Los Angeles where she gained fame of her own - and this is one of the three tracks that were released on Decca.

Next a forties re-recording of Monette Moore of a blues she done in 1924 for the Paramount label. Here is the Rockin' Chair.

11 - Monette Moore - Rockin' Chair
12 - Lonnie Johnson - The Victim Of Love

Lonnie Johnson in an unreleased recording - the Victim Of Love and I found that on a CD set on the Document series titled Too Late Too Late, a mixed bag of recordings that never made it to the regular anthologies - as the title suggests, I guess they surfaced after the project on the artist was done and the CDs had been released. It's very enjoyable stuff on that CD that's good for a good deal of tracks here on the Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - later in this show you'll get another one.

Next on a Decca recording from 1941 the band of Joe Brown fronted by Jewel Page - here is I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jelly Roll.

13 - Joe Brown feat. Jewel Page - I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jelly Roll
14 - Five Breezes - Minute And Hour Blues

On the Bluebird label the Minute and Hour Blues from 1940 and that featured a young Willie Dixon in his first group after he quit his career as a boxer. He formed The Five Breezes after the example of popular vocal groups of the end of the thirties - such as the Ink Spots. They were pretty succesful but they broke up when America got involved in the war. This group already included Leonard 'Baby Doo' Caston, also the pianist of Dixon's group after the war, the Big Three Trio.

Now earlier I played a track from a CD box of the Document series titled Too Late Too Late. From that same box here is the Mississippi Blues in a test pressing that remained unreleased. Listen to Charlie Spand.

15 - Charlie Spand - Mississippi Blues
16 - Cab Calloway - Black Rhythm
17 - Jimmy Lunceford - Swingin' Uptown

And with Jimmy Lunceford's orchestra playing Swingin' Uptown from 1934 on the Victor label this show has come to an end with a great instrumental. Before that you got a 1931 recording for Brunswick of Cab Calloway titled Black Rhythm.

Now I got extremely little time left, so I just can briefly mention my e-mail address - that's for any comment, suggestion or whatever you wanna tell me - and all of today's story is on my website, and that's easiest found with a Google search for the Legends of the Rocking Dutchman. Today's show was number 176 in the episodes list.

Time's really up so see you next week, here on the Legends of the Rocking Dutchman!