A mid-morning documentary on the life and work of Billie Holiday was a timely reminder of her sumptuous voice which could convey blues as readily as jazz. I also learned that "Lady Day" was actually the name Lester Young used for Billie's mother before Billie took it for herself. Mickey Champion's skill came from her glamourous and stylish clothes sense at odds with her uncompromising earthy world weary voice - audible right through to that project she did for Cannonball a few years ago. To the best of my research Linda Hayes is still with us, her brother was in the Platters and she had some R&B success in her own right circa 1953.
Vaneese Thomas has the pick of the newest crop with a tribute project to her father, the irrepressible Rufus Thomas. Digital trickery means they can duet on a previously unissued take of a Rufus piece. Sister Carla is also on hand but if you love Betye LaVette's work as much as me you're in for a treat. I had to write myself a note to remember to take the disc out of the car into the studio, it had been a fixture in my system all week. Bob Coritorre came over twice, once on the album he did with John Primer that showed why Chicago Blues is so good at the moment; he was also helping out Dave Specter on a new thing he's done on Delmark.
Lavern Baker's material was sometimes tinged with novelty, at others with fire and one imagines her rivalry with label mate Ruth Brown would have been the stuff of legend. Ruby Glaze was the female voice on a handful of songs put out under Blind Willie McTell, her track on STAR BLUES was in her own name but seemingly had Willie on string support. The much missed Jo Ann Kelly did a version of Louisiana Blues to round out the feature for us.
Birthday boys Cray and Guy couldn't be more different in temperament and approach to playing, both men have been massively influential. When Eric Clapton left the Bluesbreakers he wanted Cream to be a power-trio just like Buddy Guy's West side of Chicago outfit. We had one of Buddy's earliest Chess sides that Eric would have heard then a 1979 live effort Buddy did with Junior Wells at that years Blues Estefayette festival. Both our selections on Young Bob had roots in his soulful side; one from Stax era William Bell, the other a cover of a Bobby Parker classic. Our opening pair of tracks we for Pretty Blue whose birthday it was; since little more than a twinkle in Lady Blue’s eye she has always loved those two songs – it is every parent’s legal duty to ensure the finest music is on hand during a child’s formative years.
Prof. Longhair and Floyd Dixon were in the piano tent in their different forms, those folks are always welcome here. Though we didn't strictly have a gospel number, Marie Knight was on hand doing one of her occasional secular performances.
It was a pretty decent night for blues guitar players all of which prompts me to plug next week's show where the guitar must be unplugged if you're coming in here. Auntie Beeb has a penchant for the guitar riff at the moment with the great and the good voting for the best one (not sure how you measure it). STAR BLUES is pleased to act as antidote because our music has always been about songs and people not about showing off. Gets down off soapbox while other blues radio shows stand and stare open-mouthed.
|Sell My Monkey||B. B. King||5||Introducing B. B. King||B. B. King||MCA|
|Little Bitty Pretty One||Thurston Harris And The Sharps||3||Let The Good Times Roll - The Aladdin Story||Various Artists||One Day Music|
|Share What You Got Keep What You Need||Robert Cray||12||Bad Influence||Robert Cray||DEMON|
|Steal Your Heart Away||Bobby Parker||2||Soul City Philadelphia||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Southern Central Blues||Vaneese Thomas||1||Blues for My Father||Vaneese Thomas||Segue Records|
|Bam-A-Lam||Mickey Champion||1-26||Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties Females||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|voodoo voodoo||lavern baker||3-31||Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties Females||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|'tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do||billie holiday||1-14||that old devil called love||billie holiday||retro|
|Coal Miner||Nappy Brown||11||New Breed R&b With Added Popcorn||Various Artists||Kent|
|Slop Around (Chess 1759)||Buddy Guy||10||R&b Humdingers Volume 11||Various Artists||Vee-Tone Records|
|Bad Dream||James Davis||21||Duke Blues Brothers||Various Artists|
|Between Midnight And Day||Professor Longhair||12||Mardi Gras In New Orleans||Professor Longhair||SPV Blue|
|Bad Neighbourhood||Floyd Dixon||14||Blues Tunes||Various Artists||HIT|
|man or mouse||John Primer and bob coritorre||9||knockin around these blues||John Primer and bob coritorre||delta groove|
|Blues Get Off My Shoulder||Robert Cray||6||Nothing But Love||Robert Cray||PROVOGUE|
|One Room Country Shack||Buddy Guy||4||The Story Of Black And Blues :1976-1988||Various Artists||FREMEAUX ET ASSOCIES|
|Atomic Baby||Linda Hayes||30||Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties Females||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Smooth Operator||Ruth Brown||13||Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties Females||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Grasshopper Baby||Marie Knight||12||Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties Females||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Salt In My Coffee||Betty James||16||A Greyhound Bus And Ride - Moonshine Blp 117||Various Artists||moonshine|
|Tell Me, Is There Still A Chance?||Goree Carter||15||Deep Feeling||Various Artists||Fantatsic Voyage|
|I Can't Help It||Guitar Crusher||4||Boogie On Broadway ( Moonshine Blp 119 )||Various Artists||moonshine|
|Bop Cat Stomp||King Charles feat. Left Hand Charlie||16||Deep Feeling||Various Artists||Fantatsic Voyage|
|be careful with the blues||hop wilson||3-25||Deep Feeling||Various Artists||Fantatsic Voyage|
|too late to change||johnny fuller||3-8||Deep Feeling||Various Artists||Fantatsic Voyage|
|Lonesomeday Blues||Ruby Glaze||8||The Great Women Blues Singers||Various Artists||RETRO|
|Louisiana Blues||Jo Ann Kelly||7||Key To The Highway||Jo Ann Kelly||Sanctuary Records Group Ltd|
|Why Do Things Happen To Me||W. C. Clark||4||Texas Soul||W. C. Clark||BLACK TOP|
|Don't Take My Kindness For A Weakness||Earl Gaines||1||Crankshaft Blues||Earl Gaines||Blue Label / SPV|
|louisiana stomp||dave specter and bob coritorre||10||message in blue||dave specter||delmark|