Friday, November 30, 2012

Record #0192: Lost Highway / I’ve Just Told Mama Goodbye – HANK WILLIAMS

MGM 30453 (original, kind of) USA, 1952
Words & Music by:  Side ALeon Payne; Side B – Slim Sweet, Curley Kinsey
Musicians:  Hank Williams (vocals and guitar), Dale Potter (fiddle), Don Davis (steel guitar), Zeb Turner (lead guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), Clyde Baum (mandolin on side A), Ernie Newton (bass on side A), Velma Williams-Smith (bass on side B)
Recording sessions:  Castle Studio, Nashville, TN; Side A – Mar. 1.; Side B – Mar. 20, 1949
Highest chart positions: Not found in neither singles nor album charts. 1949 release went #12 in US Country

Hank Sr. Released the title song already in 1949 as a 78 rpm single with “You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave)” as the flip side. Next year he released the same songs as a 45 rpm single with switched sides.  Now this particular record is part of a singles album (four records, MGM K107) that was released in 1952. I’m missing one of the singles in the album (and the album cover). The two other records will be posted here later.

Hats off to Leon Payne for writing this great country song and to Hank Sr. for the great cover version of it.

Payne (who was blind) came up with the song when he was hitching a ride from California to Texas, to visit his sick mother.

List price:  Not listed in Goldmine guide

Record #0191: School Room Rock / Blues After Hours – ERNIE FREEMAN

Imperial X5551 (original) USA, Nov. 1958
Music by:  Side A – Ernie Freeman; Side B – Jules Taub, Pee Wee Crayton
Musicians:  Ernie Freeman (piano), others were probably: Irving Ashby (guitar), Plas Johnson (tenor sax), Joe Comfort (bass), Earl Palmer (drums)
Recording sessions:  Los Angeles, CA, Side A –  Jun. 4.; Side B – Sep. 4, 1958
Highest chart positions: none

Ernie Freeman was one of the most notable session pianists of the 50’s and the 60’s. Just like Earl Palmer, he seemed to be playing on every other classic of the era (more here). He also had some groups of his own like “Ernie Freeman Orchestra” and “Ernie Freeman Combo”. This record was made by the latter.

Freeman had his biggest hit with a cover version of Bill Justis’ “Raunchy” in late 1957 (US #4, US R&B #1, US Country #11), but this record didn’t find success.

Neither of these tracks are in YouTube. I put Pee Wee Crayton’s original “Blues After Hours” (1948) here.

List price:  Very Good+ $6, Near Mint $12

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Record #0190: Sha La La / John Hardy – MANFRED MANN

Ascot 2165 (original) USA, Nov. 1964
Words & Music by:  Side A – Robert Napoleon Taylor, Robert Mosley; Side B – Jones, Mann, Hugg, McGuinness, Vickers
Musicians:  Paul Jones (vocals, harmonica and maracas), Manfred Mann (keyboards), Mike Hugg (drums), Tom McGuinness (bass), Mike Vickers (guitar)
Recording sessions:  Produced by John Burgess at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, 1964
Highest chart positions: US #12, UK #3

This was the group’s second single release in the US. The first one was “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, which was #1 in both US and UK charts.

“Sha La La” was originally recorded by The Shirelles in 1964 (Scepter 1267).

List price:  Very Good+ $5, Near Mint $10

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Record #0189: A Letter To an Angel / A Part of Me – JIMMY CLANTON

Ace 551 (original) USA, Sep. 1958
Words & Music by:  Jimmy Clanton, Cosimo Matassa
Musicians:  Jimmy Clanton (vocals) and Cosimo’s session musicians – probably the same ones who played on Clanton’s preceding single.
Recording sessions:  Cosimo Recording Studio, New Orleans, LA, 1958
Highest chart positions: Side A – US #25; Side B – US #38, US R&B #28

This was Clanton’s third single. He was moving away from the Big Easy R&B influences towards pop. The title song didn’t even hit US R&B charts.

List price:  Very Good+ $10, Near Mint $20

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Record #0188: Make Yourself Comfortable / Idle Gossip – SARAH VAUGHAN

Mercury 70469 (original) USA, Nov. 1954
Words & Music by:  Side A – Bob Merrill; Side B – Floyd Huddleston, Joseph Meyer
Musicians:  Sarah Vaughan (vocals) and an orchestra conducted by Hugo Peretti
Recording sessions:  Fine Sound Studios, New York, NY, Sep. 24, 1954
Highest chart positions: US #6

Vaughan had just left Columbia Records and joined Mercury in the beginning of 1954. She recorded potential hit songs for Mercury label and more jazz type of material for its subsidiary label “EmArcy” during her Mercury years.

This record was Vaughan’s first hit with Mercury.

List price:  Very Good+ $7.50, Near Mint $15