Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Record #0651: - Town Hall Concert (EP) – LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND HIS ALL STARS


A1 “Back O’ Town Blues”, A2 “St. James Infirmary”, B1 “Ain’t Misbehavin’ (I’m Saving My Love For You)”, B2 “Pennies From Heaven”,

RCA Victor EPAT 9 (original) US, 1952
Words & Music by:  A1 – Louis Armstrong, Luis Russel; A2 – Joe Primrose; B1 – Razaf, Waller, Brooks; B2 – John Burke, Arthur Johnston
Louis Armstrong (vocals on A1, B1 & B2 and trumpet), Jack Teagarden (trombone, vocals on A2), Dick Gary (piano), Bobby Hackett (cornet), Peanuts Hucko (clarinet), Bob Haggart (bass), Sidney Catlett / George Wettling (drums)
Recording sessions:
Town Hall, New York, on 17. May 1947

Highest chart positions:  Unknown

These four tracks were recorded at the most important concert of Armstrong’s career. This was a huge success and led him and his “All Stars” to tours and also recording sessions with some of the leading singers of the time.

List price:  Not listed in Goldmine Catalog.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Record #0650: The King of Fools / Be-Bop-a-Lula – GENE VINCENT


Capitol CL 15264 (original) UK, Aug. 1962
Words & Music by:  Side ABob Barratt; Side B – Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis / Donald Graves (disputed credit for the words), Gene Vincent
Musicians: Gene Vincent (vocals), Charles Blackwell and His Orchestra
Recording sessions: EMI Recording Studio, Abbey Road, London, 3. July 1962
Highest chart positions:  Did not chart.

By this time Vincent’s career peak was left behind. His last chart success was “I’m Going Home”, which reached #36 in the UK in 1961. He was still very popular in the UK, but not so much in the US.

The flip is a twist version of Vincent’s biggest hit. In my opinion it’s a good cover, but one thing has disturbed me for years; who puts a flute into a rock’n’roll song? Honestly! Flute! This and the celesta in Buddy Holly’s “Everyday” are the most disturbing moments in the early years of rock. 😊

The lead guitar may have been played by Big Jim Sullivan, but I couldn’t find confirmation on that. Possibly Bobby Graham played the drums.

Just a month before this session, a group of four young Liverpudlians had their first session in the same studio. They did their first takes of “Love Me Do” with Pete Best on drums on 6. June 1962.

List price:  UK release not in Goldmine Catalog. These are going for 20-30 EUR in eBay depending on the condition.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Record #0649: Be-Bop-a-Lula / Woman Love – GENE VINCENT AND HIS BLUE CAPS


Capitol F3450 (original) USA, May 1956
Words & Music by:  Side A – Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis / Donald Graves (disputed credit for the words), Gene Vincent; Side BJack Rhodes, Dick Reynolds
Musicians: Gene Vincent (vocals), Cliff Gallup (lead guitar), Willie Williams (rhythm guitar), Jack Neal (upright bass), Dickie Harrell (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Ken Nelson at Owen Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN, May 4, 1956
Highest chart positions:  US #7, US R&B #8, US Country #5, UK #16

This was the great debut single of one of the greatest bands of early rock’n’roll.

The flip was banned from airplay in many radio stations in the States and BBC banned it in the UK. “Woman Love” was originally the title song of the record, but as “Be-Bop-a-Lula” started climbing the charts, Capitol soon flipped the disc.

A superb record with amazing vocals, brilliant lead guitar and the rest of the band isn’t too shabby either. Not a single session musician was needed here; The Blue Caps were that good. Reportedly Owen Bradley had brought Hank Garland and Grady Martin to the session in case Cliff Gallup could not do the job right. When they heard Gallup doing a warm-up with his Gretsch 6128, they smiled and left the studio.

List price:  With large Capitol logo Very Good+ is $37.50, Near Mint is $75; with small Capitol logo Very Good+ is $30, Near Mint is $60. Counterfeits exist with white label on blue vinyl.