Contains
 
Chess 1504-1508-1510-1515-1516-1517-1528-1529-1532-1547 Audio Series
 
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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 
Doctor Ross
"COUNTRY CLOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Isiah Ross
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1012
Recorded: - November 29, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1504-A mono
COUNTRY CLOWN / DOCTOR ROSS BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-17 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isiah Ross – Vocal, Harmonica & Footstomping
Wiley Gatlin - Guitar
 
Just as ''Doctor Ross Boogie'' was based on Pinetop Smith's ''Pinetop Boogie Woogie'', so ''Country Clown'' was more of a country clown. In all but title, it was Li'l Son Jackson's ''Bad Whiskey, bad Women'', released on Gold Star three years earlier. That doesn't mean there isn't much to love. The long harmonica intro on an earlier version had been trimmed in the interest of sales, but the urgency remains. Phillips noted Ross's guitarist as 'Wilie Gallatin' but no one of that name appears to have been living around that time, and Ross later confirmed that he was really Wiley (or Wylie) Gatlin. Ross, Gatlin and Robert Moore aka Mook had played together for some years on Arkansas radio stations either side of Ross' stints in the Army and they'd found themselves a slot on WDIA, where A.C. Mooha Williams dubbed Ross the Medical Director of the Royal Amalgamated Association of Chitlin' Eaters of America. (CE)(MH)

 
Doctor Ross
"DOCTOR ROSS BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Isiah Ross
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1013
Recorded: - November 29, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1504-B mono
DOCTOR ROSS BOOGIE / COUNTRY CLOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-18 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isiah Ross – Vocal, Harmonica & Footstomping
Wiley Gatlin - Guitar
 
Courtesy of Sam Phillips' developing relationship with Chess Records in Chicago, the good Doctor and his small band were able to treat the wider public to the hypnotic one-chord style that cured all ills. Ross was just out of the Army and came into the Memphis Recording Service as a singer and harp player accompaniment by his Jump and Jive Boys; guitarist Wiley Gatlin and Robert Moore aka Mook who used a broom to make a percussive sound. Ross would soon develop the ability to play rhythm guitar, harmonica, and drums simultaneously, but he and his boys already had the formula down pat. It ain't Gershwin or Charlie Parker but it sure is hard to resist. Can you imagine how Sam must have felt the first time he listened to this music coming through the speakers in his tiny studio? Probably much the same as when Joe Hill Louis began to play, because in some respects they were quite similar. One possibility is that Sam Phillips feared he might lose Louis to Modern in the fall-out from ''Rocket 88'', and saw the Doctor as a replacement. This is fact happened; Modern recorded a session or two with Louis away from Phillips' studio before dropping him. Ross bases this song on Pinetop Smith's  1928 classic ''Pinetop's Boogie Woogie'', the record that jumpstarted the boogie, but his approach goes back to the African dance music that underpinned the blues as we know it. (CE)(HD)(MH)

 
Billy Red Love
"DROP TOP" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1014
Recorded: - Possibly October/November 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1508-A mono
DROP TOP / YOU'RE GONNA CRY
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-20 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love - Vocal and Piano
Charles Walker - Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr – Drums
 
''Rocket 88'' spawned many sequels, a fair number of them emanating from Phillips' studio (''My Real Gone Rocket'', ''T-Model Boogie'', ''Mr. Highway Man'', ''Hydramatic Woman'', etc.). This time it's the turn of Billy Love to follow in the slipstream of ''Rocket 88'', and using his own name too. He's cruising around town in his fantasy convertible. Musically, it's a simple 8 to the bar boogie driven by Love's rock solid left hand and hugely confident vocal. Once again, his debt to plummy-voiced Roy Brown is clear. The automobile becomes a metaphor for nookie by the halfway point. As a songwriter, singer, and pianist, Billy Love was a triple threat. (HD)(CE)

 
Billy Red Love
"YOU'RE GONNA CRY" – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - F 1015
Recorded: - Possibly October/November 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1508-B mono
YOU'RE GONNA CRY / DROP TOP
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-21 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love - Vocal and Piano
Charles Walker - Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr – Drums
 
This a mid-paced blues about the perils of getting too high and mighty was the song backed ''Drop Top'' on Chess. There is a throaty sax solo, probably from Charles Walker, and good understated support from Calvin and Phineas Newborn, Sr, on guitar and drums. Phillips paid Love an advance of $70 on the disc on November 2, 1951 and loaned him $15 on December 11 when he noted that ''Chess has masters on ''Ain't No More'', ''You're Gonna Cry'' and ''Drop Top''. However the disc was not issued immediately and some months later on March 16, 1952 Phillips noted that he had sent another master of ''Drop Top'' to Chess. The disc was finally issued in April, but appears to have been given little promotional support and did not show up significantly on regional sales charts. (MH)

 
Howlin' Wolf
"GETTIN' OLD AND GREY" – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7426
Recorded: - January 23, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 15, 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1510-A mono
GETTIN' OLD AND GREY / MR. HIGHWAY MAN
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-7 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
Albert Williams or L.C. Hubert - Piano
Unknown – Saxes
 
Again, Wolf is worried about preparing for his old age, and by all accounts it truly weighed upon his mind, perhaps because he was relatively old when he began recording. Johnny Temple's ''Getting Old Blues'' doesn't fret like this, and neither does any other blues song that comes to mind. Just as Sleepy John Estes extolled the virtues of the burial policy, Wolf almost seems intent on selling you a retirement account. Nevertheless, this track becomes a timing nightmare pretty quickly and despite Wolf's distinctive and spectacular voice, it could have used another couple of takes. (CE)(HD)

 
Howlin' Wolf
"MR. HIGHWAY MAN (CADILLAC DADDY)" – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7427
Recorded: - January 23, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 15, 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1510-B mono
MR. HIGHWAY MAN / GETTIN' OLD AND GREY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-6 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
Albert Williams or L.C. Hubert - Piano
 
Like all the genuine greats whom Sam Phillips recorded, Howlin' Wolf arrived at 706 Union with a style which he neither cared to alter, not could possibly have improved. He plays and sings with such bite and attack on this track he sounds like he could have saved the South at Gettysburg! Sure, its something of a "Rocket 88" spinoff, but it has an added sparkle and vitality which owes nothing to any other record.  Louis Calvin Hubert   's piano is rock solid, whilst Willie Johnson's guitar fairly bristles with energy - and although Wolf pops his "p's" into the mike, that merely adds to the abandon of the recording. The original working title of the song was "Cadillac Daddy", which was arguably stronger.
 
So Howlin' Wolf played the blues at Chess Records while Chuck Berry played rock and roll, but this rocks harder and with more abandon than just about anything else on Chess.. or Sun, come to that. (MH)

 
Howlin' Wolf
"SADDLE MY PONY" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1028
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1515-A mono
SADDLE MY PONY / WORRIED ALL THE TIME
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500 AH-9 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal, Harmonica and Guitar
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown - Bass / The bass is barely audible
Willie Steele - Drums / May not be present on all cuts
Bill "William" Johnson - Piano
James Cotton - Harmonica
 
Originally titled "Pony Blues", on the Chess 78, the full title is "Saddly My Pony
(Gonna Find My Baby Out In The World Somewhere)". This was Howlin's early Chess sides, had been popularised two decades earlier by Charlie Patton, whom Wolf knew from his days living in Ruleville. ''It was Patton who started me off playing'', Wolf remembered. ''He took a liking to me, and I asked him would he learn me, and at night, after I'd get off work, I'd go and hang around''. Wolf's deep, rasping vocal style instantly recalls the older man's, just as his howl, actually a jump from natural to falsetto voice, is modelled on a Mississippi contemporary of Patton, Tommy Johnson.

 
Howlin' Wolf
"WORRIED ALL THE TIME" - B.M.I. - 3:09
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Probably May-June 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1, 1952.
First appearance: - Chess Record (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1515-B mono
WORRIED ALL THE TIME / SADDLE MY PONY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500 AH-8 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal, Harmonica and Guitar
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Willie Steele - Drums
William Johnson – Piano

 
Billy Red Love
''POOR MAN'' - B.M.I. - 3:17
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1034
Recorded: - June 10, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1516-A mono
POOR MAN / MY TEDDY BEAR BABY
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149 mono
GEE... I WISH
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love – Vocal & Piano
Arthur Martin – Drums
Jimmy Johnson – Tenor Saxophone
Harvet Simmons – Tenor Saxophone
Lee Patterson – Trumpet
 
For some reason the June session for Love, featured an entirely different band featuring Jimmy Johnson and Harvey Simmons on saxes, Arthur Martin on drums and Lee Patterson on trumpet. The June session here produced two instrumentals, neither of which have survived, and a song lodged as ''Poor Poor Man'' but issued correctly as ''Poor Man''. If ''Teddy Bear'' was great tun, in contrast ''Poor Man'' was a seriously slow blues, sung from the heart. Billy lists how every penny he gets goes to pay some kind of bill, and how he can't understand why he works hard but for nothing. His pleading vocal is underscored by an excellent, sax solo from Harvey Simmons. (MH)

 
Billy Red Love
''MY TEDDY BEAR BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1033
Recorded: - May 28, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1516-B mono
MY TEDDY BEAR BABY / POOR MAN
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149 mono
GEE... I WISH
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love – Vocal & Piano
John Murry Daley – Drums
Richard Sanders – Baritone Saxophone
Willie Wikes – Tenor Saxophone
 
One version of this session was pulled out for release and retitled ''My Teddy Bear Baby''; the other versions have not survived. ''My Teddy Bear Baby'' shimmies up to us in similar style to the cute girl Billy describes in his song. This is a clever lyric about a woman who "takes Billy's appetite", the prettiest woman he's ever seen in his life. This is all very endearing until we realize the significance of the descriptions he uses. Her pretty, smooth, skin is just like an elephant's hide, her walk wobbles all over the street on oversized feet, and her cute face is like a bald teddy bear! There is a jazzy sax solo from Willie Wilkes and in all this is a very appealing track. (MH)

 
Rufus Thomas
"JUANITA" - B.M.I. - 3:27
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limite
Matrix number: - 1024
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1517-A mono
JUANITA / DECORATE THE COUNTER
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-13 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas - Vocal
Willie Wilkes - Tenor saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
John Murry Daley – Drums
 
The song that was chosen for release along with "Decorate" was "Juanita", an impassioned ballad complete with mock crying and wailing, a style that found favour in the early 1950s and was exemplified in hits like Tommy Brown's "Weepin' And Cryin" on Dot Records which was the number one rhythm and blues hit of December 1951. If anyone was going to be able to carry off this histrionic style, then Rufus Thomas - the entertainer - was probably the man. No doubt his performance of "Juanita" went down a storm in live performance, but this is a  very slow song and although Richard Sanders contributes a moving baritone sax solo, the performance drags a little on record. It was left to Chuck Willis - with a different song - to take "Juanita" into the top ten and rhythm and blues history four years later.
 
When Rufus Thomas recorded "Juanita" for Sun Records, Sam Phillips didn't believe in its commercial possibilities. As a result, it had been sold to Chess Records in Chicago, who released it a few months later. It failed to make the charts. "Sam Phillips sold me the damned song to get even with me", Leonard Chess recalled. Some have said that Elvis Presley sang "Juanita", on tour in 1955 and may have recorded it while at Sun Records. Possible dates: February 6, 1955, November 13, 1954; or something in December 1954. Why Elvis Presley selected the song for his act is a mystery. Rumour has it that Elvis Presley watched Thomas perform "Juanita" in local clubs in Memphis. Combined with that, it probably was simply due to his penchant to experiment with rhythm and blues songs, couplet with the fact that he had just visited with Rufus Thomas in Memphis. Source Rufus Thomas. (MH)

 
Rufus Thomas
"DECORATE THE COUNTER" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - R. Henry-T. Courtney
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1025
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1517-B mono
DECORATE THE COUNTER / JUANITA
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-12 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas - Vocal
Willie Wilkes - Tenor saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
John Murry Daley – Drums
 
When Rufus Thomas come into the studio on April 21, he would have been able to hear two versions of this song on a tape by Rosco Gordon. They contained a number of vocal asides and had a generally anarchic sound, faithfully reproduced by Rufus. If anyone was going to be able to carry off the required histrionics on this sloppy-drunk song, then Rufus Thomas - the consummate entertainer - was probably the man. There is little wonder that the difference between the two men's recordings was small because with Rufus were Willie Wilkes, Richard Sanders and John Murry Daley - the same players Rosco used. Rufus calls ''What you say Richard'' as Sanders is about to take his solo, as had Rosco. Only Rosco himself is missing, replaced by Billy Love on piano. Rufus's vocals are slightly more prominen and assured than Rosc's even though it is not his own song. According to the session logs, Rufusrecorded four other songs at the ''Decorate'' session. One of these was the intriguing ''Beale Street Bound'', a recording that has not apparently survived. (MH)

 
Howlin' Wolf
"OH RED" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1037 - Take 3
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1528-A mono
OH RED / MY LAST AFFAIR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500 AH-10 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
William Johnson - Piano
Walter "Tang" Smith - Trombone
Charles Taylor - Tenor Sax
Billy Love - Piano
 
Howlin's Wolf last known appearance in Sam Phillips' studio. Phillips' log book noted that Wolf was to return and cut some more titles to fulfil his obligation, but there is no indication that he ever did. The tape box was marked "Wolf With Big Band" and the session featured an often ragged horn section.
 
This uptempo cut, was derived from a pre-War song by The Harlem Hamfats but Wolf may have recorded it in deference to local pianist and fellow Chess artist, Billy "Red" Love (Also known as Drop Top Red) who might be playing piano on the session. (MH)

 
Howlin' Wolf
"MY LAST AFFAIR" - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1038 - Take 2
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1528-B mono
MY LAST AFFAIR / OH RED
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500 AH-11 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
William Johnson - Piano
Billy Love - Piano

 
Walter Horton
"LITTLE WALTER'S BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1041 - Take 1 - Instrumental
Recorded: - September 15, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Chess 1529 was cancelled before release.
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1529-A mono
LITTLE WALTER'S BOOGIE / WEST WINDS ARE BLOWING
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524 AH-9 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Jack Kelly - Piano
Joe Hill Louis - Guitar
Willie Nix - Drums
 
On this time, Little Walter (Jacobs) cracked the rhythm and blues charts with '''Juke'' and was firmly entrenched at number 1. It would, of course, have been absurd to have two Little Walters in the same field of music, never mind on the same label, and it was clear which horse the Chess brothers intended to back. Around the same time, October 1952, Phillips send dubs of Raymond Hill and Willie Nix to Chess, and both were refused. The relationship that had started so promisingly with ''Rocket 88'' eighteen months earlier was ending. The Chess brothers had plans to get Howlin' Wolf to Chicago, and were happy to see the back of Phillips' other artists. Horton didn't get another shot at leading a Chess session until 1964, but he was in Chess's Chicago studio as early as January 9, 1953, first with Gus Jenkins and then as Little Walter's replacement with Muddy Waters. (MH)

 
Walter Horton
"WEST WINDS ARE BLOWING" - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1042 - Take 1 - Instrumental
Recorded: - September 15, 1952
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Chess 1529 was cancelled before release.
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1529-B mono
WEST WINDS ARE BLOWING / LITTLE WALTER'S BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3-14 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Vocal and Harmonica
Jack Kelly - Piano
Joe Hill Louis - Guitar
Willie Nix - Drums
 
An alternate take of the track originally earmarked for the other side of Chess 1529 (i.e. "West Winds Are Blowing") - and perhaps the title of this side gives a clue as to why Chess pulled the plug on this release, as they were having huge success with Little Walter Jacobs at the time. Mind you, they could easily have retitled this powerful instrumental (what would have been wrong with "Big Walter's Boogie"?) - but it seems that this coincided with their decision not to take any further product from Sam Phillips anyway. Instead they began to concentrate more on in-house productions, and Horton didn't get another chance with Chess Records until 1964.
 
Why Chess shelved this and its projected flip is baffling, as musically it is extremely powerful, the combination of harp and lead guitar from Joe Hill Louis during the break being particularly effective. The instruments blend together perfectly, and the musicians play with an empathy which is notoriously difficult to capture in a studio setting. 
 
Chess scheduled a presently unidentified take of each of the above for issue on Chess 1529, but it was never released. (MH)

 
Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats 
''BLUES GOT ME AGAIN'' – B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Jackie Brenston
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7407
Recorded: - December 15, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1532-A mono
BLUES GOT ME AGAIN / STARVATION BLUES
Reissued: 1984 P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 6027-2-7 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
 
In mid-December, Chess sought to follow up on the success of "Rocket 88" by bringing Jackie Brenston to   Chicago to record his own session. Much was obviously expected, as the singer and baritone saxophonist   laid down no fewer than 8 sides. But just four were released, and the sales of Chess 1496 and 1532 must not   have been up to expectations. Chess 1496 has shown up in quite a few collections; 1532, which would be   Brenston's last release on Chess, is less often seen. The full band personnel for the session is not known, but   two Memphis stalwarts were on hand: Phineas Newborn Jr. at the piano and his brother Calvin Newborn on   guitar. Calvin is also credited as the composer on "Starvation'', a solid jazz instrumental. The band was  rounded out with an alto sax, a tenor sax, bass, drums, and guest singer Edna McRaney, who appeared on   ''Eighty Eight Boogie" and "Lovin' Time Blues" as well as "Hi, Ho Baby".
 
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, as having been   recorded by him at the Memphis Recording Service.

 
Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
''STARVATION BLUES'' – B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Calvin Newborn
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7412
Recorded: - December 15, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1532-B mono
STARVATION BLUES / BLUES GOT ME AGAIN
Reissued: - October 22, 2007 Rev-Ola Bandstand MP3-10 mono digital
THE MISTREATER
 
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, as having been   recorded by him at the Memphis Recording Service.

 
Joseph Dobbin & The Four Cruisers
"BEALE STREET SHUFFLE" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Joseph Dobbin
Publisher: - Arc Music
Matrix number: - U-7522
Recorded: - June 3, 1953
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 8, 1953
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1547-A mono
BEALE STREET SHUFFLE / ON ACCOUNT OF YOU
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310 JK-10-10 mono digital
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joseph Dobbin - Piano
The Four Cruisers
More Details Unknown
 
So what led discographers to think that this might be one of Sam Phillips' recordings? A couple of reasons: the leader of the Four Cruisers, Joe Dobbins, was based in Memphis throughout most of his long career, and Phillips was supplying masters to Chess around this time. Against that, you could argue that Dobbins's  single sounds nothing like a Memphis Recording Service session and Phillips had fallen out with Chess several months before it was recorded. Recently, some researchers have suggested that Howlin' Wolf's post-Phillips Memphis session was held at Lester Bihari's Memphis studio. Bihari, of course, ran Meteor Records, but it seems unlikely that Leonard Chess would record there because he'd stolen Bihari's  charter act, Elmore James. Dobbins' session was roughly contemporaneous with Wolf's last Memphis session, though, so it's at least possible that Leonard Chess A&R'd them both at a studio other than Phillips.
 
Over the course of a long and fairly detailed oral history, Dobbins didn't go into much depth about this single. ''I wrote my first number in 1943 or 1943'', he told Harry Godwin in 1967. ''I wrote ''Beale Street Shuffle'' and ''On Account Of You''. They didn't do so good because I didn't know how to arrange at that particular time, and I quit playing again for about eight or nine years''. Dobbins probably meant 1952 0r 1953, and gave no clue as to the identity of the three unidentified Cruisers or where he recorded the session. So we're left with a pleasant, if innocuous, instrumental that's of interest only because it appeared on Chess and might have been Sam Phillips' last recording for that label. (CE)

 
Joseph Dobbin & The Four Cruisers
"ON ACCOUNT OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Joseph Dobbin
Publisher: - Arc Music
Matrix number: - U-7523
Recorded: - June 3, 1953
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 8, 1953
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1547-B mono
ON ACCOUNT OF YOU / BEALE STREET SHUFFLE
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310 JK-10-11 mono digital
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958 
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joseph Dobbin - Piano
The Four Cruisers
More Details Unknown
 
As Joe Dobbins (Nor Dobbin as the label stated) comes to the fore, it again becomes clear that this doesn't sound like one of Phillips' recordings if for no other reason than the vocal is poorly recorded. By 1953, Phillips had achieved a very bright, urgent, and ballsy vocal sound. It would be wrong to say that Phillips didn't record this type of music, though. Within weeks of Dobbins' session, wherever it was held, Philips recorded Big Memphis Mar Rainey, who played much the same places in much the same style. And although Chess has become indelibly associated with Chicago blues it's easy to forget that the Chess brothers began their music career in the nightclub business and always recorded what can best be described as suppperclub entertainment. Although not as studiedly cool as Charles Brown, this was still supperclub blues. Thus we're left with more questions than answers about a record that deserves few of either. (CE)

  

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