Saturday, August 11, 2012

VA - Night train to Nashville:Music City Rhythm and Blues 1945-1970


Issued to coincide with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's historic exhibit of the same name, this two-Lp set is a treasure-trove of hits, misses, rarities, and smoking grooves. Certainly Nash Vegas is the capital of country music, but in its day it also boasted a wealth of stomping rhythm and blues music that flourished in the city for the better part of three decades, until the bulldozers of "urban renewal" destroyed much of its cultural base and forced it from its terrain. With 35 tracks, plus a pair of bonus tracks that are commercials, this set is an affordable, indispensable introduction to a nearly forgotten part of American musical history. The labels represented here are a cross-section of the great regional independents that were so numerous n the '40s, '50s and '60s.
Imprints such as Do-Ra-Mi, who recorded Audrey Bryant, Excello, Champion, Sun, Hickory, Bullet, Dial, A-Bet, Elf, and Sound Stage recorded both luminaries and nobodies. Here are early sides by Hank Crawford when he was in a jump band, the wild and wooly Esquerita, Joe Tex, Arthur Alexander, Roscoe Shelton, Joe Simon, Etta James, Johnny Adams, and Christine Kittrell. And there are cuts by cats like Johnny Jones, Nashville's premier blues guitar slinger, Audrey Bryant, the city's Sarah Vaughan, and others who scored big on Nashville radio and jukeboxes, such as Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson, Clifford Curry, and Robert Knight. While some of these names might not mean much to causal listeners of old rhythm and blues and soul, connoisseurs will be delighted to find these sides, many of them on Lp for the first time. However, the appeal of this collection should not be limited to aficionados, as virtually every track is crackling with energy, verve, and raw immediate soul. Sound is better than decent, the selection is impeccable, and the track notes by Michael Gray are top-notch.

Volume 1 :


DISC 1: 
1. Nashville Jumps - Cecil Gant
2. Buzzard Pie - Rudy Green & His Orchestra
3. Skip's Boogie - Kid King's Combo
4. L&N Special - Christine Kittrell
5. Sittin' Here Drinking - Christine Kittrell
6. Just Walkin' in the Rain - The Prisionaires
7. If You and I Could Be Sweethearts - The Varieteers
8. Baby Let's Play House - Arthur Gunter
9. Christene - Little Hank Crawford & The Rhythm Kings
10. It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day) - Louis Brooks & His Hi-Toppers/Earl Gaines
11. Rollin' Stone - The Marigolds
12. You Can Make It If You Try - Gene Allison
13. Rockin' the Joint - Esquerita
14. Let's Trade a Little - Audrey Bryant
15. Say You Really Care - Roscoe Shelton
16. Somebody, Somewhere - Larry Birdsong
17. Pipe Dreams - Jimmy Beck & His Orchestra
18. Wlac Commercial - Little Richard (bonus track)
19. White Rose - Earl Gaines (bonus track)

DISC 2: 
1. WLAC Air Check / Monkey Doin' Woman - John Richbourg/Shy Guy Douglas - (bonus track)
2. What'd I Say - Etta James (live)
3. Really (Part 1) - Johnny Jones & The Imperial 7
4. Just Like Him - Frank Howard & The Commanders
5. Anna (Go to Him) - Arthur Alexander
6. Snap Your Fingers - Joe Henderson
7. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean - Ruth Brown (Nashville version)
8. Something Tells Me - Sam Baker
9. Sunny - Bobby Hebb
10. I Want to (Do Everything For You) - Joe Tex
11. Bigger and Better - The Hytones
12. Since I Met You Baby - The Avons
13. Chokin' Kind, The - Joe Simon
14. She Shot a Hole in My Soul - Clifford Curry
15. Gotta Get Yourself Together - The Valentines
16. Soul Shake - Peggy Scott/Jo Jo Benson
17. Reconsider Me - Johnny Adams
18. Everlasting Love - Robert Knight

Volume 2 :



DISC 1:
1. Boogie Woogie Jockey - Jimmy Sweeney
2. Gene Nobles' Boogie - Richard Armstrong
3. All States Boogie - Ivory Joe Hunter
4. Wail Daddy - Charlie Dowell/Willie Lee Patton/Charlie Dowell Orchestra
5. 31 E. Blues - Billie McAllister
6. No Better for You - Gay Crosse & The Good Humor Six
7. You Belong to Me - Helen Foster
8. Too Much - Bernard Hardison
9. If Things Don't Change - Gene Allison
10. Love, Love, Love - Ted Jarrett
11. Miss You So - Lillian Offitt
12. Little Darlin' - The Gladiolas
13. No Fool No More - Charles "Wigg" Walker & the Daffodils
14. Pretty Please - Kinglets/Leroy Thomas/The Kinglets
15. She Can Rock - Little Ike
16. I'm Coming Home - The Neptunes
17. You Better Change - Hal & Jean
18. OK, So What? - Freddie North
19. She Wears My Ring - Jimmy Sweeney

DISC 2:
1. Doctor Feel-Good - Dr. Feelgood & the Interns/Piano Red
2. I'm a Woman - Christine Kittrell
3. Don't Pity Me - Herbert Hunter
4. Next to Me - Clyde McPhatter
5. Release Me - Esther Phillips
6. Soldier of Love - Arthur Alexander
7. Don't Take My Kindness for a Weakness - Earl Gaines
8. That's My Man - Marion James
9. Strain on My Heart - Roscoe Shelton
10. Soul Poppin' - Johnny Jones & the King Casuals
11. Swinging Soul Medallion Commercial - John Richbourg
12. Right on Time - Jimmy Church
13. Judy - Frank Howard
14. Leave It Up to the Boys - Sandra King
15. Don't You Forget That You're My Baby - The Spidells
16. I'm Free (The Prisoner's Song) - Johnny Bragg
17. Screamin' and Shoutin' - The Fabulettes
18. (You Keep Me) Hangin' On - Joe Simon
19. (Don't Take Her) She's All I Got - Freddie North
20. Lucky Lou - The Imperials (previously unreleased, live)






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