Contains
 
Chess 1486-1487-1489-1492-1493-1494-1495-1496-1497-1502 Audio Series
 
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Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama
"WALK IN THE LIGHT'' – B.M.I. - 3:09
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 7378
Recorded: - August 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1486-A mono
WALK IN THE LIGHT / NEVER GOW OLD
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records BCD 17310 JK-10-20 mono digital
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama consisting of:
Willie McInstry - Lead Vocal
Leroy Terry - Tenor and Piano
Willie Banks - Baritone Vocal
John Davis - Bass Vocal
Unknown - Drums and Vocal Effect
 
This recording session is not logged in the (MRS) Sun files, but Chess Records' archieves indicate that the masters were purchased from Sam Phillips.
 
The Evangelists are back for another of their Chess outings of indeterminate provenance. If the source is Sam Phillips, then this is almost certainly from a different session than the one producing the first Evangelist disc. The piano is buried more deeply in the mix and there is a driving bass sound throughout. Is it a partial drum kit? Somebody's foot on the floor? There is no pitch to that bass sound so it can't have been sung or provided by a stringed instrument. In any case, it fills in a hole in the sonic range quite effectively. Likewise, handclapping helps to drive the record. All told, this is a good example of jubilee style in full flower. If you listen carefully, you'll hear the ''baser'' singing the wordless part that a Fender bass would play in just a few short years. (HD)

 
Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama
"NEVER GROW OLD" – B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 7377
Recorded: - August 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1486-B mono
NEVER GROW OLD / WALK IN THE LIGHT
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records BCD 17310 JK-10-21 mono digital
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama consisting of:
Willie McInstry - Lead Vocal
Leroy Terry - Tenor and Piano
Willie Banks - Baritone Vocal
John Davis - Bass Vocal
Unknown - Drums and Vocal Effect
 
This recording session is not logged in the (MRS) Sun files, but Chess Records' archieves indicate that the masters were purchased from Sam Phillips.
 
This time the quartet turns to the classic from the dusty hymnal on the table. Credited to a Georgia-born white Baptist minister, James C. Moore, ''Where We'll Never Grown Old'' has been recorded by a Who's Who of gospel performers, including Smith's Sacred Singers, the Vaughn Quartet and Aretha Franklin as well as a wide range of country singers including Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Eddy Arnold. This is one of the first black gospel recordings of the song. On this version you keep waiting for the boys to shake loose of the slow, free tempo, as they did on ''Leaving On The Lord'', but they never do it. That they do offer, however, is a narration that includes a passing plea for world peace. You can be certain that the hymnal version of the song didn't include any such words. (HD)(MH)

 
Rosco Gordon
"BOOTED" – B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Courtney Harris-Robert Henry
Publisher: - Arc Music Corp
Matrix number: - U 7375
Recorded: - August 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 15, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1487-A mono
BOOTED / I LOVE YOU TILL THE DAY I DIE
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-14 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Bobby Bland - Vocal*
Willie Wilkes - Saxophone
Willie Sims - Saxophone
Unknown - Bass
John Murry Daley - Drums
 
Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on the label.
 
In an interview with John Floyd, Rosco Gordon said that WDIA's David James Mattis set up the meeting for him at Sam Phillips' studio. In our biographical entry, Rosco gave two other accounts of how he came to Memphis Recording Service, but the account given to Floyd seems more plausible. ''The only reason I did it was for the wine money'', said Rosco. ''I didn't have sense enough to be nervous. Sam was very nice and he had this song that Courtney Harris wrote called ''Booted'' and he asked if I could play it'' Turns out he could. The mystery of Courtney Harris's identity has never been solved. The original composer credit said T. Courtney & R. Henry, the latter being a Beale Street bar owner, Robert Henry. Today, the song is registered to J. Courtney and David Henry. It's also registered as a Rosco Gordon composition. If it's ever featured in a movie, some lawyers will doubtless figure it out.
 
It's not hard to see why Chess grabbed this title from the stack of dubs Sam shipped north. Rosco's bibulous vocal is irresistible and his amateur-night piano sounds just right. The drummer manages to stay off-beat here (accenting 1 and 3 instead of 2 and 4) for a surprisingly long time. Rosco's charm covers a lot of musical sins. By conventional record-making standards, everything was wrong: Rosco was barely adequate on piano and sounds sloppy drunk. Phillips changes levels on the fly. Couplets are randomly re-used. And it's hard to suppress the feeling that Phillips faded the ending because it fell apart. But it's so wrong, it's right. And it was deservedly a huge hit''. (HD)(CE)

 
Rosco Gordon
"I LOVE YOU TILL THE DAY I DIE" – B.M.I.- 3:15
Composer: - Bobbie Bland
Publisher: - Burton LTD
Matrix number: - U 7376
Recorded: - August 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 15, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1487-B mono
I LOVE YOU TILL THE DAY I DIE / BOOTED
Reissued: - 2010 Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-1 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Bobby Bland - Vocal*
Willie Wilkes - Saxophone
Willie Sims - Saxophone
Unknown - Bass
John Murry Daley - Drums
 
Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on the label.
 
Many of Rosco Gordon's records from this era give the impression that you've arrived midway through a party and the band's already seen off the first jug of moonshine. This ramshackle masterpiece is no exception, from John Murry Daley's machine-gun snare at the beginning, to his lapse onto the on-beat during Willie Sims' increasingly psychotic sax solo, to the Keith-Moon-are-you-listening? confusion at its end. In between is Rosco's tale of being jilted and his planned revenge, delivered in a lazy vocal style which is in fact a wicked parody of the Charles Brown school of singing. Sam Phillips thought it was so good, he leased versions to both Chess and RPM Records. The resulting furore raged over Christmas 1951 and was resolved early in the New Year, when Chess Records got Howlin' Wolf and RPM got Rosco Gordon. No guessing who got the better deal. (MH)(CE)

 
Bobby Bland & Rosco Gordon
"LETTER FROM A TRENCH IN KOREA" - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Robert Bland
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7398
Recorded: - December 4, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1489-A mono
LETTER FROM A TRENCH IN KOREA / CRYING
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Bobby Bland - Second Vocal
Willie Sims - Saxophone
Willie Wilkes - Saxophone
John Murry Daley - Drums
 
Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on the label.

 
Bobby Bland & Rosco Gordon
"CRYING" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Robert Bland
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7397
Recorded: - December 4, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1489-B mono
CRYING / LETTER FROM A TRENCH IN KOREA
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Bobby Bland - Second Vocal
Willie Sims - Saxophone
Willie Wilkes - Saxophone
John Murry Daley - Drums
 
Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on the label. 
 
Bobby Bland's first recording was in December, 1951, as Robert Bland, backed by the Rosco Gordon band. It was produced by Sam Phillips in the Sun Studio, who leased it to Chess Records (Chess 1489 “Crying”/”A Letter From a Trench in Korea”). Around this same time, Ike Turner, who was producing for the rival Bihari Brothers, led two Bland sessions with himself on piano, which resulted in two releases on the Modern label. None of these sides are particularly good. He was then signed by Memphis disc jockey Joe Mattis for his new Duke label. He recorded four sides backed by the Beale Streeters, including Johnny Ace and B. B. King. He then left for a 2 year stint in the Army. 

 
Rufus Thomas
"NO MORE DOGGING AROUND" – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7399
Recorded: - October 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1492-A mono
NO MORE DOGGING AROUND/CRAZY ABOUT YOU BABY
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpmBCD 16695-10 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
''No More Dogging Around'' is misspelled on the label.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas - Vocal
Herman Green - Tenor Saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
Unknown - Guitar and Bass
Houston Stokes - Drums
 
Sam Phillips planned a second release for Rufus Thomas, and in October 1951 Rufus was back in Phillips' studio recording a song called "No More Dogging Around". It was the first of many he would record over the years with "Dog" in the title, though this time he was talking about being led a dance by his woman rather than promoting dance steps. The same band as before sets up a stomping rhythm and Herman Green takes a flowing sax solo. Rufus follows the catchy riff, his voice rising and falling as he sets out how he intends to get out from  under. It is evident that Rufus knew exactly what he wanted his bands to do, and overall the sound on this recordings is one that can be heard on later recordings for Sun, Meteor and Stax.
 
Marion Keisker logged that the master of "No More Dogging Around" was mailed to Chess on October 5, and that Chess "already have "Crazy About You" and the "Christmas Song". Latter whatever it was, has not been found, and it was "Crazy" that was issued along with "Dogging" on Chess 1492. The record gathered some steady but not spectacular sales through the spring of 1952. (MH)

 
Rufus Thomas
"CRAZY ABOUT YOU BABY" – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7400
Recorded: - Circa May/June 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1492-B mono
CRAZY ABOUT YOU BABY/NO MORE DOGGING AROUND
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-9 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas – Vocal
Herman Green - Tenor Saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
Unknown - Guitar
Unknown – Bass
Houston Stokes - Drums
 
This song had been made at the session and the master of "Crazy About You Baby" was sent to Chess at the same time as the masters for Chess 1466. "Crazy" was a pounding proto-rocker of the "Rocket 88" style that had gained Sam Phillips a massive rhythm and blues hit not long before. It is Billy Love pounding piano this  time, rather than Ike Turner, and Rufus reeling off the honking vocals rather than Jackie Brenston. Saxophonists Green and Sanders do as good if not better a job than the Turner/Brenston band, and all the pieces were in place for a hit. Rufus was a few months too late with this one despite it being a considerably good record - and his song was about a girl rather than a car. Mistake. Sales of "Night Workin' Blues" must have been sufficient to encourage Phillips and Chess to plan a second release. (MH)

 
Lafayette Jerl Thomas
"SAM'S DRAG" – B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Lafayette Jerl Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U7393
Recorded: - October 1951 - Instrumental
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1493-A mono
SAM'S DRAG / BABY TAKE A CHANCE WITH ME
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-15 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lafayette Jerl Thomas - Guitar
Unknown - Saxophone, Bass and Drums
 
This instrumental is anything but a drag with its tough, grainy-toned guitar. Clearly, Lafayette Thomas had no shortage of talent, but at this stage in his career he over-reached occasionally. The off-key passage near the end indicated that he had some way to travel along the road to becoming a West Coast guitar star. Although Thomas was from Shrevenport area, he was already based in Oakland, California when this was recorded. Recording as a side-man since 1948, Thomas was touring with Jimmy McCracklin in 1951, so it's at least possible that McCracklin tour stopped in Memphis, and then stopped at the Memphis Recording Service. Certainly, Thomas and McCracklin recorded together in Houston a few months later with two saxes, piano, and rhythm section... in other words, the same line-up heard here. The tune hits a sweet groove, but not an original one; it was based quite closely on the hugely influential ''Junior Jives'', a hit for Roy Milton a few months earlier. Thomas's next solo record came in 1955. His only other oblique connection with Sun came in 1960 when he joined two other Sun alumni, James Cotton and Pat Hare, for one song on ''Muddy Waters At Newport'' LP. (CE)

 
Lafayette Jerl Thomas
"BABY TAKE A CHANCE WITH ME" – B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Lafayette Jerl Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U7394
Recorded: - October 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1493-B mono
BABY TAKE A CHANCE WITH ME / SAM'S DRAG
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-16
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lafayette Jerl Thomas - Vocal - Guitar
Unknown - Saxophone, Bass and Drums
 
Thomas's pinched vocal is clearly from the Texas tradition but his fluid guitar fills and inventive solos point clearly to the prime place such playing was to occupy in the post-war blues. His band plays in a wonderfully doomy vein in counterpoint to their leader. (BT)

 
Harmonica Frank Floyd
"HOWLIN' TOMCAT" – B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1504-A
Recorded: - Unknown Date December 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1494-A mono
HOWLIN' TOMCAT / SHE DONE MOVED
Reissued: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
 
''Howlin' Tomcat'' is not so much a blues as a loving parody of a blues, and an anachronism even in 1951. It is true that folk blues were still selling in 1951 but this is much more folk than blues. It seemed to belong in either the 1930s or the ersatz folk blues revival of the 1960s but barely at any point in between. If it had a direct antecedent, it was Bo Carter's 1931 recording of ''Howlin' Tom Cat Blues'', but that assumes Frank collected blues 78s, and it's a pretty fair assumption that he didn't. He must surely have heard Carter or someone else perform it, though. Perhaps Frank's animal noises gave Phillips a sense of deja vu in 1953 when he was grafting similar noises onto Rufus Thomas's first hits. (HD)

 
Harmonica Frank Floyd
"SHE DONE MOVED" – B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1504-B
Recorded: - Unknown Date December 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1494-B mono
SHE DONE MOVED / HOWLIN' TOMCAT
Reissued: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
 
''She Done Moved'', a straight blues rendering without even a harmonica. Nevertheless, there are still flashes of Frank's wonderfully idiosyncratic phrasing together with some playful touches in the phrasing where his vocal crosses bar lines. As with his other blues, Frank makes no effort to sound like anyone but himself. He absorbed the vernacular of the blues and made it his own. This song comes from the same deep well as Lonnie Johnson's ''Kansas City Blues'', but there are lines like ''she got eyes like a lighthouse on the sea'' that leave you wondering where Frank heard them. (HD)

 
Bob Price
"HOW CAN IT BE" – B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bob Price
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1002
Recorded: - December 2, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1495-A mono
HOW CAN IT ME / STICKS AND STONES
Reissued: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bob Price - Vocal
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Roy Cooper - Steel Guitar
Harold Buskirk - Bass
Dexter Johnson - Mandolin
Bob Smith – Piano
Unknown - Fiddle
 
Sam Phillips records another country artist for Chess Records, Bob Price. Phillips' mid-1950s venture into country music was largely conducted in partnership with the A&R team of Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell, but it seems as if Claunch was there first. He appeared at Phillips' door with Bob Price, and was certainly not joking when he said that Price had an unusual voice. Price and Harmonica Frank marked Chess Records' inauspicious debut into the country market. Both were a long way from mainstream but, unfortunately, this outing has none of the period charm of Frank Floyd, nor the searing hillbilly passion of Phillips' later efforts. In fact it has not weathered the years at all well although Roy Cooper's dancing guitar fills are quite pleasant and Price's vocal has its moments. If Price was aiming for the pop-country mix of Eddy Arnold-George Morgan-Red Foley, he came up with an almost comically inept parody. He had previously recorded for Decca in 1949 together with Eddie Hill, suggesting that he may have been part of the same troup, although Claunch recalled that Price rarely sang except at home. Billboard, though reported in March 1952 that Price was on the point of joining the live on-air staff of KWEM, West Memphis, so perhaps he got around more than Claunch believed. (HD)

 
Bob Price
"STICKS AND STONES" – B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Bob Price
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1003
Recorded: - December 2, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1495-B mono
STICKS AND STONES / HOW CAN IT ME
Reissued: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bob Price - Vocal
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Roy Cooper - Steel Guitar
Harold Buskirk - Bass
Dexter Johnson - Madolin
Bob Smith – Piano
Unknown - Fiddle
 
This uptempo side has a folky, almost nursery rhyme, quality enhanced by the instrumental break which sounds like a musical box. Hank Thompson was doing well with songs like this (''Humpty Dumpty Heart'', ''Whoa Sailor'', etc) but Thompson at least had visibility in the western half of the country. Released to little acclaim in January 1952, this singlel represented the beginning and end of Chess's involvement in hillbilly music until they allied themselves with Stan Lewis in Shreveport. However, shortly after this record was released, Billboard announced that Leonard Chess was heading south to secure more country talent. Perhaps the dismal sales of this outing convinced Chess to stay clear of the country market until Lewis started providing him with saleable product. Note that the master tape from this session was recorded over. Only the very last cut on the tape, a fragment of ''Why So Blue''? remains from the original tape. (HD)

 
Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
''HI, HO BABY''* – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Carl Germany
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7405
Recorded: - December 15, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1496-A mono
HI, HO BABY / LEO THE LOUSE
Reissued: 1984 P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 6027-2-1 mono
JACKIE BRENSTON AND HIS DELTA CATS – ROCKET 88
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston – Vocal - Saxophone
Edna McRaney - Vocal
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Unknown Musicians
 
Note: The session may have been recorded for Chess in Chicago but Brenston was under personal contract to   Sam Phillips and Phillips notebook shows at least from the session(s) at December 15, 1951, as having been recorded by him at the Memphis Recording Service. (CE)

 
Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
''LEO THE LOUSE'' – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Onah Spencer-Randolph
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7411
Recorded: - December 15, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1496-B mono
LEO THE LOUSE / HI, HO BABY
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston – Vocal - Saxophone
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Unknown Musicians
 
Note: The session may have been recorded for Chess in Chicago but Brenston was under personal contract to   Sam Phillips and Phillips notebook shows at least from the session(s) at December 15, 1951, as having been recorded by him at the Memphis Recording Service.

 
Howlin' Wolf
"THE WOLF IS AT YOUR DOOR" – B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited - Arc Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F 1004
Recorded: - December 18, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 14, 1952
Issued as "Howlin' For My Baby" original titled on log sheet.
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess-1497-A mono
THE WOLF IS AT YOUR DOOR / HOWLIN' WOLF BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-5 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Willie Steele - Drums
Unknown - Tenor Sax

 
Howlin' Wolf
"HOWLIN' WOLF BOOGIE" – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1005
Originally titled "House Rockin' Boogie" on log sheet.
Recorded: - December 18, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 14, 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess-1497-B mono
HOWLIN' WOLF BOOGIE / THE WOLF IS AT YOUR DOOR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-4 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Willie Steele - Drums
Unknown - Tenor Sax

 
The Brewsteraires
"WHERE SHALL I BE (WHEN THAT FIRST TRUMPET SOUNDS)" – B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Reverend W.H. Brewster
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1008
Recorded: - September 26, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1502-A mono
WHERE SHALL I BE / WINGS FOR MY SOUL
Reissued: - 2000 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16387 AH-30 mono
SUN GOSPEL
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Brewsteraires
Odell Rice - Vocal
Nathaniel Peck - Vocal
Henry Reed - Vocal
Solomon Ouston – Vocal
Melvin Lee - Guitar
 
Reverend Brewster was a kingpin of the Memphis gospel scene. The quartet bearing his name was formerly known as the Mt. Pisgah Gospel Singers and dates back to 1943. The Brewsteraires that appear on this recording they performed widely on Memphis stage and radio. In fact, Reverend Brewster had his own program on WHBQ, further evidence that he was the man in black gospel in Memphis.
 
It is likely that Reverend Brewster had already employed the service of The Memphis Recording Service for special events at his church and their relationship simply evolved from there. In any case, arrangements were made for Sam Phillips to record.
 
The hymn ''Where Shall I Be'' was an old one, written by African American hymnodist Charles P. Jones back in 1899, and first recorded, as far as we can tell, by the Missouri-Pacific Diamond Jubilee Quartet in 1927. (MH)

 
The Brewsteraires
"(THE LORD GAVE ME) WINGS FOR MY SOUL'' – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Reverend W.H. Brewster
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1009
Recorded: - September 26, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1502-B mono
WINGS FOR MY SOUL / WHERE SHALL I BE
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310 JK-8-18 mono digital
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
  
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Brewsteraires
Odell Rice - Vocal
Nathaniel Peck - Vocal
Henry Reed - Vocal
Solomon Ouston – Vocal
Melvin Lee - Guitar
 
Compared to its original flipside, ''Wings For My Soul'' is a far conventional, less adventurous performance. Again, the roots of 1960s soul music are plainly in evidence here, especially during the final segment. In all respects, this is a solid, tense gospel quartet performance. Both the lead and vocal support are intense and although the arrangement features no rhythmic changes or vocal simulations of musical instruments, it remains memorable. 
 
Following the session, Sam Phillips sent samples of four tracks to the Chess Brothers in Chicago, who accepted two titles for release on Chess 1502. This track reveals everything you need to know about the power, passion and musically of a capella black gospel from its golden age.
 
The first time through, the quartet offers an emotional free-meter reading rich in the kind of mannerisms that soul singers would be taking to the bank in ten years. The second time through, the syncopation kicks in and a really brilliant and varied arrangement ensues. The vocal trumpet solo is an unexpected pleasure, borrowing from a well established tradition regularly employed by secular groups such as The Mills Brothers and Four Vagabonds.
 
Prior to their recordings for Sam Phillips, The Brewsteraires had recorded for Gotham. Following their lone Chess single, they went on to record for Dot, while enjoying their own regular show over WDIA in Memphis. (MH)

 

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