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Various Artists Collections - Post War Memphis Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Titanic TRC 6006 Red Hot About The Blues - Unreleased Sun Recordings ● CD $18.98
29 unreleased Sun recordings - mostly alternate takes along with a few never before issued songs - Billy Emerson, Houston Boines, Hot Shot Love, Willie Nix, Doctor Ross, Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson, Eddie Snow, Raymond Hill, Little Milton and Roscoe Gordon.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hi (UK) 118 River Town Blues ● CD $16.98
Compact disc reissue of the double album Hi UKLP 427 featuring all the blues recordings cut for Memphis's Hi label and its MOC subsidiary in the 60s and early 70s and are among the last commercial recordings of blues made in Memphis by a relatively good sized label. Many of the recordings were produced by the multi-talented Willie Mitchell. There are 6 tracks by the fine soul flavored Don Hines including an excellent version of Stormy Monday Blues and the intense Trouble Is My Name. Big Amos Patton and Big Lucky Carter are more down home flavored and have six tracks each. There are four tracks by the very fine Detroit singer Joe L. Carter including his topical Please Mr Foreman and a searing version of As the Years Go Passing By. The rest of the set features the more blues oriented recordings of R&B/ soul artists Don Bryant, Willie Mitchell, Gene Miller & George Jackson. 76 minutes of music on this 30 track CD. Excellent sound and informative, if microscopic, notes by Clin Escott. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 265 The Original Memphis Blues Brothers ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 74 min., highly recommended. Not just a simple, straight forward reissue of the 1989 Ace LP CHAD 265, this new improved version omits two alternate takes, re-credits a track, includes 11 new tracks, and uses the same Ernest C. Withers photo of Junior Parker-Elvis Presley-Bobby Bland. For the record, the brothers are now : Johnny Ace, Bobby Bland, Earl Forest, Rosco Gordon, B. B. King, Little Junior Parker, and Ike Turner. The 11 new tracks include 4 alternate takes of B. B. King's first RPM sides (3 available for the first time), 5 Rosco Gordon tracks new to CD reissue, and Ike Turner's first (RPM) release of 1952, You're Driving Me Insane/Trouble And Heartaches. Of the other brothers, singer-drummer-songwriter Earl For(r)est is featured on 7 titles, including I Cried, originally credited to Johnny Ace. The accompaniment on all these tracks have yet to be determined, but I would guess that when it comes to the guitar solos, even B. B. King helps out (say on a few of the early Earl Forest Meteor sides), while on the Bobby Bland/Junior Parker sides, we have either Matt Murphy or even Calvin Newborn. (EL)
JOHNNY ACE: Midnight Hours Journey/ BOBBY BLAND: Crying All Night Long/ Drifting From Town To Town/ Dry Up Baby/ Good Lovin'/ Love Me Baby/ EARL FOREST: I Can't Forgive You/ I Cried/ I Wronged A Woman/ Rumpus Romp (Instr.)/ Sad And Lonely/ She Calls Me Daddy aka Whole Heap Of Mama/ Trouble And Me/ ROSCO GORDON: Don't Have To Worry 'Bout You No More/ Run To Me Baby/ She Rocks Me/ So Tired/ That Gal Of Mine/ B.B. KING: B.B.'s Boogie/ Mistreated Woman/ The Other Night Blues/ Walkin' And Cryin'/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: You're My Angel/ Bad Women, Bad Whiskey/ IKE TURNER: Trouble And Heartaches/ You're Driving Me Insane

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 15801 The Sun Singles, Vol 1 ● CD $89.98
4 discs, 104 tracks, 5 hrs., essential Once again, you can depend on Richard Weize of Germany's Bear Family Records to do it right. Bearing witness to that is this, the first of five boxed sets chronicling the history of Memphis's preeminent 50's record label, the home of rockabilly, the home of more than a few solid blues artists, and, as a label, one arguable candidate for the birthplace of rock 'n' roll - Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Here then, in chronological order are the first 52 single records, sides A and B, put out by that venerable and undeniably influential label. The sound quality is superb, newly remastered from best available sources; the accompanying 68 page booklet, filled with rare photos, is nothing short of wonderful, and the music - in its variety, its spontaneity, and its intensity - captures some of the very essence of what is meant by "roots music." Disc one opens in 1952 with Sun 175, two after-hours instrumentals by sax player Johnny London,Drivin' Slow and Flat Tire. Subsequent numbers include Joe Hill Louis's We All Gotta Go Sometime, Willie Nix's Baker Shop Boogie, Rufus Thomas's Bear Cat, Jimmy De Berry's Take a Little Chance, the Prisonaires' Just Walkin' in the Rain, and Little Junior's Blue Flames' Fussin' and Fightin' Blues. Disc Two opens in 1953 with the Ripley Cotton Choppers, a white string band, performing Silver Bells and Blues Waltz. The program then features I Know by the Prisonaires, Mystery Train by the Blue Flames, Chicago Breakdown by Doctor Ross, Beggin' My Baby by Little Milton, No Teasing Around by Billy 'The Kid' Emerson, the extraordinary and wonderful Troublesome Waters by white gospel soloist Howard Seratt, and Fallen Angel by Hardrock Gunter. Disc three begins with Raymond Hill's Bourbon Street Jump, then offers The Great Medical Menagerist by Harmonica Frank, Buddy Cunningham's jarring pop efforts Right or Wrong and Why Do I Cry?, a record whose ownership is described in the liner notes as "the cruellest part of being a completist," Elvis Presley's first eight sides including That's All Right and Good Rockin' Tonight, the Jones Brothers' rare gospel single, Look to Jesus and Every Night, and Slim Rhodes's Uncertain Love. And disc four finishes off 1955 with Red Hot by Billy 'The Kid' Emerson, Cry Cry Cry by Johnny Cash, Phillips's rare foray into doo-wop, Sitting by the Window by the Five Tinos, Let the Jukebox Keep on Playing by Carl Perkins, Weeping Blues by Rosco Gordon, The Signifying Monkey by Smokey Joe, the great country ballad I've Been Deceived by Charlie Feathers, and Someday You Will Pay by the Miller Sisters. Without the slightest exaggeration: Much too good to miss! (DH)


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