January 27, 2016

Key to the Highway 1-27-2016
Mardi Gras annual (Tuesday February 9th)

Allen Toussaint
Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas
Earl King
So, is it better to do a Mardi Gras show 13 days ahead of time or one day late?  I’ll go for the earlier day just to get you in the mood, so that is today!  I really want to accent Allen Toussaint on the show, not so much because he passed away in November as because he remained relatively unheralded considering the effect he had.  And my Mardi Gras annual is about the only time I throw in a healthy dose of Zydeco, and since I have three quality albums by Nathan Williams I chose to give him a lot of room.  This does kinda leave Earl King getting short shrift, but he does indeed make this a show I am very pleased with.  Let’s get it going so you can see if you agree ….
Reminiscent of the many chores Willie Dixon handled on the Chicago Blues scene, Allen Toussaint has been a major contributor to the vibrant Rhythm and Blues sound emanating from the Crescent City for the past sixty-some years.  His talents as a pianist and vocalist are obvious in today’s presentation but if you look a little deeper you would realize that he composed almost all the songs he performed, not to mention his writing many tunes for the favorite artists frequenting the New Orleans recording studios and beyond.  Add to that the fact that he was one of the most prominent producers in the highly productive city and you begin to understand the impact he had for decades.  Born on January 13th 1938 to Naomi Neville, a member of what could easily be thought of as New Orleans’ royal music family of which likely the best known being Aaron Neville (who could actually sing when he wasn’t employing his falsetto style), Allen often listed her name as the composer.

Even before he turned professional, AT (as I will abbreviate Toussaint) was in a band with blind guitarist Snooks Eaglin, and when Huey “Piano” Smith hit big with Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu in 1957, he inherited Huey’s role in the bands of both Earl King and Shirley and Lee (Let the Good Times Roll, Feel So Fine).  Also that year, he worked under Dave Bartholomew, the dominant producer of the 50s, to play piano on some of fellow pianist Fats Domino’s tracks.  That same year he had his first popular production with Walking with Mr. Lee by saxophonist Lee Allen.  A short list of his writings would include Working in the Coal Mine (done by Lee Dorsey), Mother-In-Law (Ernie K-doe), Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Jessie Hill), Fortune Teller (Benny Spellman, then later by The Rolling Stones), Lady Marmalade (LaBelle), Southern Nights (Glen Campbell), and my favorite Get Out of My Life, Woman (The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) just to pick a few.  Other notables who recorded his songs were Otis Redding, Irma Thomas, The Pointer Sisters, Ringo Starr, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Little Feat, Boz Scaggs and, of course, Aaron Neville.

Most of the first hour of today’s show is live music to represent each of our chosen artists.  The opening set today comes from the 1976 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, certainly the most prestigious annual concert in the Bayou area, and AT was given the first series of tracks as well as the most time by any of the eight performers on the disc.

The other two AT sets are from his first recording sessions under his own name, although he made it a little easier by calling himself Al Tousan.  Alvin “Red” Tyler is the baritone sax player but more than that he provided the young AT with stability as he wrote or co-wrote with AT many of the tunes.  Tenor sax alternated between Lee Allen and Nat Perrilliat on the first album at least even though Allen’s name does not appear on the list of players with bassist Frank Fields and drummer Charles “Hungry” Williams providing the rhythm section.  Ray Montrell might be the guitarist on the first album, or it might be Justin Adams.  Melvin Lastie’s cornet is on the Seville sessions.

AT became the producer for Joe Banashak’s Minit Records in 1960 and he also freelanced with other local labels.  Through the mid-60s he had hits as writer, arranger, producer and pianist on several hits for locals Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thmas, Chris Kenner, Art and Aaron Neville, produced Lee Dorsey’s first hit, Ya Ya.  Jessie Hill wrote Ooh Poo Pah Doo but it was arranged and produced by AT.  Ruler of My Heart was released by Irma Thomas but Otis Redding changed the title to Pain in My Heart which was soon picked up by The Rolling Stones.

His work was restricted to recording while on leave after he was drafted in 1963, but after his discharge in 1965 he partnered with Marshall Sehorn, setting up Sansu Enterprises which, over time, their label created would be called Sansu, Tou-Sea, Deesu or Kansu.  The house band for many of their sessions was Art Neville and the Sounds (known as the Meters since 1969) with drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, bassist George Porter, guitarist Leo Nocentelli and Art on keyboards, often with horns arranged by AT.

He produced Dr. John’s 1973 LP In the Right Place and an album for the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardi Gras Indian band led by Big Chief Jolly (George Landry), uncle to the Neville Brothers Art, Cyril (then also with the Meters), Aaron and Charles.  The four brothers, combined with the Meters, made up the Tchoupitoulas.  Out of town artists he he worked with included B.J. Thomas, Robert Palmer, and Solomon Burke.  He arranged the horns for two albums for the Band (1971 & 1972) before doing the same for their 1978 classic The Last Waltz and, of course, for their concert performances.  The 1976 album Notice to appear was a collaboration with John Mayall.


Sorry, this is a very abbreviated entry but I just did not have time to complete or even proofread it.
Another whose contributions cannot be counted by the times his name graced the front of an album cover or the seats he filled in a concert hall would be singer and guitarist Earl King (February 7th 1934 – April 17th 2003).  “I think that one time I stopped performing for maybe seven years to just write for other artists.  Songwriting has always been my priority.” 

Earl’s mother, Ernestine Hampton, must have led a sad life as the first six of her children died before they reached a few months of age.  Then her husband, Earl Silas Johnson III (our Earl was #IV), passed away at at the age of 26 before Earl, the only surviving child, was a year old.  His father “was just a stomp down honky tonk piano player before he went into the missionary thing.  My mother, she was always religiously orientated.”

“Singing came quite easy, ‘cause I used to sing in church when I was about six.”  In addition to singing with friends while he was in high school, Earl was putting together some of his own songs, most notably Big Chief, the nickname of his mother, which was later recorded by Professor Longhair.  The true start of his career came at age nineteen when he met Huey Smith, who was then pianist for the band of Guitar Slim.  Earl and Slim got along well (“Guitar Slim was the performingest man I’ve ever seen.  He inspired me to contemplate a marriage between a song and its solo.”), so, on June 1st 1953, they went together on 4 tracks each as both made their recording debuts for the Savoy label.  Two of Earl’s songs were released under his real name, Earl Johnson.

Some months later, Huey was in a three piece band with drummer Willie “Red Top” Nettles and altoist Lawrence Sutton, and they added Earl as vocalist.  As he was also a guitarist, Huey recommended Earl take up the instrument.  “Most people don’t know he plays guitar.  See, he could play like Slim, when Huey plays guitar, he plays exactly like Slim.  He knew I had an ear, enough to know how to deal with chords.”  In 1954, as Slim was riding the crest of his #1 R&B hit The Things That I Used To Do, he was sidelined by an auto accident and Earl had to cover his touring gigs representing himself as Slim.

Earl got a release from Savoy and signed with Specialty Records.  The first release, A Mother’s Love, was supposed to come out as by King Earl, but somehow the names got transposed and he was from that moment forward Earl King.  Earl put out three more singles for the label, but because his style was too similar to Guitar Slim’s, now also under contract to the record company, they gave him his release.  Earl soon moved to Ace Records which was recently begun by the agent who signed him to Specialty, Johnny Vincent.

Earl’s first 45 with the new company, Those Lonely, Lonely Nights, was released in August of 1955 and the session included Smith and drummer Joe Dyson’s band.  The ninth single for Ace, it was highly popular in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi and could have gone higher than #7 on the Billboard R&B chart had Johnny “Guitar” Watson not quickly covered it for RPM Records.

Our first Earl King set begins with two tunes he performed at the Jazz and Heritage concerts the same year (1976) as what we heard from Toussaint, the rest coming from the CD Earl’s Pearls, The Very Best of Earl King (1955-1960), and he wrote or co-wrote its entire contents, a talent Vincent was well aware of. “Earl was just a bitch of a writer.  That’s what impressed me about him.  He was one of the best young writers in New Orleans.  Basically, I thought Earl was a real good act, too.  He was a good lookin’ guy who had a lot of stage presence.  When he played those dances down in Crowley, Lafayette and Opelousas, the girls used to swoon right in the aisles.”

As the CD titles implies, Earl’s sessions for Ace went from 1955 into 1960, when he began recording for Imperial in October and continued there until November 1962.  After the initial success with Ace, nothing sold more than 5,000 copies and Earl was growing frustrated.  After a 1959 tour with Sam Cooke, Dakota Staton, and Dave Bartholomew’s band, Dave approached Earl in 1960 regarding Come On, a song King used as his show opener.  (I prefer it here as the set closer.)  “He said, ‘Earl, that song you did on the show … that yours?’  I said, ‘Yeah.’  Then Dave said, ‘Did you record it yet?’  I told him I did a demo of the song, but it hadn’t come out.  He wanted to know if I had a contract at the time.  I never signed my option because I was stagnating there, so I was free. Dave paid me an advance and we went into the studio to record it.  We also did Slim’s The Things I Used to Do.”  With high expectations for the two-sided single, Bartholomew contacted Imperial’s owner in Los Angeles.  “I wrote to Lew Chudd and asked him about promoting the record.  He wrote back and said; ‘We don’t promote anything until it gets in the charts.’  I wrote back saying, ‘If it gets in the charts, it’s already on the way up.  Ain’t too much more promoting you need to do.’”

From a 1983 interview, “Joining Imperial really gave me a chance to go in a different, creative direction.  It was a real eye-opener working for Dave Bartholomew.  He had an open ear to production and he listened to suggestions.  We began to use different musicians in the studio.  Even though rhythms were changing then, Dave knew how to do things that were appealing, and not too far out in left field.  It was a real learning experience.”  Bartholomew, Imperial’s main man in New Orleans, felt similarly.  “I really enjoyed working with Earl.  He was a hard worker, had a lot of ideas, and good suggestions that were valuable.  He was talented.  I had a lot of respect for him.”

The sixties were the height of Earl’s success, not only with his own releases of Come On and Trick Bag but, along with Bartholomew, he wrote a couple of songs for Smiley Lewis.  From 1955, I Hear You Knocking is a classic tune covered by many artists including Dave Edmunds while 1958’s One Night was grabbed up by Elvis Presley and run to the top of the charts before Smiley’s version had any chance for impact.

NOTE:  These songs seem to predate Earl’s time with Imperial, so was Bartholomew already his writing partner?

After Imperial shut its doors in 1963 was when Earl devoted all his time to songwriting and producing for the local labels, which did little to enhance his name recognition or his recording career.  In the mid-60s Earl did a session for Motown and three of the tracks eventually were put out on the 1996 album Motown’s Blue Evolution.  Atlantic taped a 1972 session backed up by Allen Toussaint and the Meters which met a similar fate.  Toussaint released the title track as a single on his Kansu label, but the rest of the Street Parade album did not reach the record bins until Charlie Records finally released it in the UK in 1982.  His album That Good Old New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll came out on Sonet in 1977.
Black Top would record three albums, beginning with 1986’s Glazed where Earl was backed up by Roomful of Blues, then in 1990 Sexual Telepathy with some of the tracks utilizing Snooks Eaglin or Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, and finally A Hard River to Cross in 1993. 
While touring in New Zealand in 2001 he was hospitalized, but by the end of the year he was playing on a Japanese tour.  He continued to play locally until complications from diabetes took his life a week before the 2003 Jazz and Heritage Festival, so many of his musician friends were home to attend the funeral.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
High Life
Sweet Touch of Liberty
Brickyard Blues
Shoorah, Shoorah
Freedom of the Stallion
   Allen Toussaint 

Everyone Calls Me Crazy
Come On Home
Hungry Man Blues
Stomp Down Zydeco
Bye Bye Little Momma
   Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas 

Mama and Papa
Trick Bag
You Can Get Your Gun
Little Girl
I’m Packing Up
Those Lonely, Lonely Nights
Take You Back Home
Is Everything Alright
Those Lonely, Lonely Feelings
You Can Fly
Everybody’s Carried Away
   Earl King

Happy Times
Tim Tam
Po’ Boy Walk
Wham Tousan
Pelican Parade
   Allen Toussaint 

Hey Bebe
Steady Rock
I’m Back
You Got Me Walkin’ the Floor
Big Fat Mama
   Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas 

Don’t You Lose It
Come Along with Me
The Things That I Used to Do
Love Me Now
Something Funny
Come On (Parts I & II)
   Earl King  

Your Mama Don’t Know
Everybody’s Gotta Start Somewhere
Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
You Got Me Baby Now You Don’t
In the Same Old Way
Mardi Gras Zydeco
   Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas 

Second Liner
A Lazy Day
(Back Home Again in) Indiana
   Allen Toussaint 

January 18, 2016

Backstroke   (third Mondays 10pm-1am)
     1-18-2016 fill-in

Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins           1969-1990s
Blind Willie Johnson                            1927
Bud Powell                                           1946, ‘47
Blind Blake                                          1926
Nappy Brown                                      
Well, this should be a lot of fun.  Way back when we were still in our Santa Clara studio there was an opening in this time slot on the first Monday of each month and, since there were no applicants with Blues experience and the rest of the rotation was 100% Blues and the hours fit naturally into my schedule, I was asked to apply and covered the shows until maybe three years later when Gil de Leon was having work conflicts on his show.  This slot better fit his hours and he has been able take over that show ever since.  It will be kind of a homecoming for me to this time slot which I believe to be the longest running of any of KKUP’s Blues shows.  Add to that I am looking forward to playing something besides British stuff and you understand why this should be a lot of fun.
So, I went to see Johnnie Cozmik’s band Friday and he had a guest from Chicago, guitarist Pistol Pete, sitting in with the band.  You guys know I always enjoy Johnnie’s stage show, and Pete just added a little something more, something different.  That’s downstating his abilities, actually; I would have been happy to see him no matter who was backing him!  Anyway, the two of them just might be coming by the station tonight and I would be happy to fit some of his music into the show.

And if they don’t, that’s okay because I have a whole lot of music set aside for today’s airing.  Now let me tell you about it …
Jimmy Dawkins is one of those perfect examples of the way I used to introduce myself to new artists.  If you have followed my airings over the last quarter century here at KKUP, you might be aware that Magic Sam’s second album for the Delmark label, Black Magic from 1969, is to this day still my favorite album, EVER, so when I saw that three of the sidemen from that album were on another one backing some guitarist with the nickname “Fast Fingers” (also the title of the LP) there was an extremely good chance this would be my kind of music.  To be found here are saxophonist Eddie Shaw, piano man Lafayette Leake and guitarist Mighty Joe Young, Young having been on both of Sam’s Delmark studio sessions, and indeed I was not disappointed.  Players of note on his second album, All for Business and again for Delmark with three tunes winding up our first set, are guitarist Otis Rush and tenor sax player Jim Conley.  Sonny Thompson, who had done so much for King Records (songwriting, arranging and producing), particularly for Freddie King, is relegated here to only playing keyboards.  Jimmy only sings two songs for the album and we hear Down So Long while Andrew “Big Voice” Odom takes care of all the rest.  Odom also served in the same capacity on some of Earl Hooker’s stuff.

Jimmy had honed his chops on the club scene of Chicago’s West Side for more than a decade before Delmark gave him this, his first recording opportunity under his own name.  Mississippi born and moved to Chicago in 1955, Jimmy gave up his day job in the factory in 1957 once he bought a guitar in order to pursue his music.  “I’m determined at what I do.  I set out to play music, so I play it.  No money, cheap money, small money, no gigs.  And we stayed with it.  I stayed out there.  I didn’t quit . . . scared I couldn’t make it in the business.”  When he came to the attention of Delmark’s Bob Koester, Dawkins backed recordings by Carey Bell, Luther Allison, Mighty Joe Young and Sleepy John Estes before recording three albums of his own.  In the 70s, Willie Dixon used Jimmy many times as a sideman.  “He just kept me in the studio, teaching me a lot, helping me.”  For a couple of years, while Jimmy Rogers was with Muddy Waters, Dawkins was part of Rogers’ road group.

In 1971 Jimmy received France’s Grand Prix du Disc award for the Fast Fingers album and at one point, Downbeat magazine voted him the best Rock / Pop / Blues act worthy of more attention.  Health issues in the 80s, however, caused Jimmy to cut back on his club work and restrict his performances to festivals and foreign tours.  He released two European LPs and started up his own label, Leric, to produce albums by lesser known West Side artists.  Putting in much of his time on the business side of the music world, he also involved himself in booking, promotion and publishing.  Jimmy also contributed articles about the Chicago Blues scene to the British magazine Blues Unlimited.

I skipped a couple of those European albums in my collection because there is plenty of better music for today’s show.  Jimmy came back with a fury in his axe in 1991 when he released an album on the Earwig label, Kant Shek Dees Bluze.  Yeah, my computer’s editor tried to tell me that most of the titles were misspelled but it irritates me like that fairly often.  Nora Jean Wallace takes a couple of the vocals on the album (we only hear A Love L:ike That) and he employs a couple of familiar names in his band – pianist “Professor” Eddie Lusk, who I know had been in the bands of Otis Rush and Luther Allison, and Johnny B. Gayden, who provided some of the best bass playing ever recorded when he backed Albert Collins.  Second guitarist Jimmy Flynn had been in the Legendary Blues Band since 1984 and drummer Ray Scott was a longtime member of the Dawkins ensemble.

While Jimmy didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of my favorites like Howlin’ Wolf or his contemporaries Freddie King, Magic Sam and Luther Allison, he fits comfortably atop the second tier among the likes of Otis Rush and Buddy Guy.
Blind Willie Johnson was a gospel-based Bluesman, backing up his mostly religious lyrics with an excellent slide guitar technique.  Oftentimes heard contrasting his raspy bass vocals was the more angelic voice of his first wife, Willie B. Harris.  Johnson's was the earliest recording that I am aware of, and much more uniquely gruff than those who followed, in the style that became the trademark of Charlie Patton and Howlin' Wolf.

Blind Willie was believed born in Marlin, Texas in 1902. His mother died in his infancy, but it was his stepmother who, while in an argument with his father, made the boy blind by throwing lye in the face of the seven year old.  Like so many of his era with this handicap, teaching himself guitar and singing on the streets became a viable life option.

Johnson recorded for Columbia and his first session in 1927 produced "Dark was the Night (Cold was the Ground)", an eerie instrumental accompanied only by his moans, which was chosen to be included as an artifact on the Voyager One probe into space.  Sorry, I’ve heard it but don’t have it.  Another of his songs got him thrown in jail when, unaware that he was in front of a Federal building in Dallas, he made the innocent choice of playing "If I Had My Way I'd Tear this Building Down".  Although his recording sessions only lasted into 1931, many of his songs would be included in the repertoires of artists as varied as Son House, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Al Kooper, Hot Tuna and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Johnson's ambitions lay elsewhere, and after his brief recording career, he became a Baptist minister whose congregation could be found on the street corners as he performed spirituals just as fervently as he had played his Blues on the streets of his past, and continued doing so until he died of pneumonia in 1947.
For all of 2014 and 2015 I have been consumed with a study of the British Blues and I have been missing the good old stuff from this side of the Atlantic, and I also have decided to include some Jazz on the show when that task is completed.  To that end, I am including here a set of pianist Bud Powell.  While I know there are other great Jazzmen on the keys, Bud is the one I am most familiar with and he is one of the reasons why Bebop is my favorite form of Jazz.  Forget the vocals, just give me those rapid fire instrumentals!

Earl Rudolph Powell was born September 27th 1924 in New York into a musical family.  Returning from the war in Cuba, his grandfather Zachery had become an accomplished Flamenco guitarist and his father William gave up his stride piano aspirations to instead raise his family.  Older brother William was a professional trumpet player and his younger brother Richie learned the piano from Bud and his father.  Richie was with the Max Roach / Clifford Brown band when, on June 25th 1956, at the age of 24, he was killed in an auto mishap that took his life as well as that of Brown.

Bud began playing piano at age six and learned the classical style until his mid-teens when he got interested in Jazz.  At age fifteen, he dropped out of high school after three years to turn pro as he joined his brother William’s band.  After a while, he acquired a residency at the Chicken Coop Restaurant in Harlem followed by the Palace in Greenwich Village.  After work he would hit the late night jam sessions in Harlem where he met Thelonius Monk, who became a friend and musical influence as he introduced Bud to the other musicians.  Our second song, Off Minor, is a Monk composition.

In 1942 Powell became a member of the Cootie Williams band and despite being only nineteen, trumpeter Williams allowed him plenty of solo time.  It didn’t take long before Bud was providing arrangements and was made the band’s musical director.  He went into the studio in January 1944 with a sextet from Cootie’s larger ensemble for his first recording session.  The sextet was back two days later for another four track session and in May was part of two tracks cut fir the Armed Forces Radio Jubilee broadcasts, one with the full band and another with the sextet.

Sources vary about what started an incident January 21st 1945 after a Williams gig, but it is clear he was beaten up by the police.  After a quick patch job of his head wounds, Powell was taken to the police station and put in a cell where he received ammonia showers when he complained of his treatment.  When Bud was released he was in such bad shape he could not be let out alone.  His mother treated him as he recuperated but he would suffer extreme headaches ever after. 

Bud went back to work, including a session with Frank Socolow’s Duke Quintet on May 2nd, but it would be his only recording session in 1945.  His headaches were severe enough that he checked himself into Bellevue Hospital where he was put under observation and from there was shipped off to Long Island’s Creedmoor State Hospital.  Creedmoor was a mental institution where it was commonplace particularly for negroes to be grossly mistreated, ranging from poisonings with drugs to electroshock “treatments”.  Powell was fortunate that eventually a doctor who happened to be a Jazz fan recognized him and took it upon himself to request legitimate tests to uncover the source of the problems.  Bud was finally turned loose in December, again to his mother’s care, but the headaches never went away.

Still, 1946 was a prolific year for Powell playing for the likes of Dexter Gordon and Sarah Vaughan.  We start our set off shortly afterward with as small a group as available to best show off Powell’s talents as he plays two numbers with his trio featuring drummer Max Roach and bassist Curly Russell in a session from January 10th 1947.  We step back to June of 1946 for our next tune and the five piece band of trombonist Jay Johnson’s Be-Boppers, which again included Roach alongside bassist Victor Gaskin and altoist Cecil Payne.  The next two tracks were taped on August 23rd 1946 by the Bebop Boys, another five piece including trombonist Kenny Dorham, alto saxman Sonny Stitt and bassist Al Hall.  Wallace Bishop was the drummer on Bombay before Kenny Clarke came in for the second half of the session.

And then we come to the four tunes by the five members of the Charlie Parker All Stars session from May 8th 1947, the only time Parker and Powell would be recorded together in the studio.  True to their moniker, the ensemble includes Powell and Roach, altoist Parker, Miles Davis on trumpet and Tommy Potter playing bass.  Roach and Powell are together again with bass player Ray Brown rounding out the trio for our closing threesome of tunes recorded quite a bit later in early 1949.  Regarding some of the names from these two sets, Donna Lee was Curly Russell’s daughter, Buzzy was the son of Savoy Records owner and Celia was named for Bud’s newborn daughter.
In between these last two sessions, Bud began to drink more heavily.  According to Ebony magazine’s Alan Morrison, “He began to acquire a bad reputation and was abusive when drunk.  He got into brawls too often and had an irrational fear of getting attacked in the street.”  In November of 1947, Bud suffered a nervous breakdown and found himself back in Creedmoor where he was subjected to more electroshock to little avail.  Toward the end of his eleven months there he was allowed to spend weekends at home with his wife, the former May Frances Barnes, and their daughter Celia.
Just weeks following that 1949 session, Bud was admitted once again to Creedmoor, but this time he seemed to handle it all better.  A young alto saxist, Jackie McLean, became close to Powell during this time and he recalled, “I think Bud got a severe treatment when he was over there. . . Bud didn’t remember too much, actually about his life prior to going to hospital because of the treatment they had given him.  I remember there were times when I would mention names, and they would come back to him, like Sonny Stitt’s name.”  He also recalled that Bud would almost never leave home except to go to a gig.  Of course, McLean reaped benefits from his kind treatment of Powell.  In 1949, Bud took the 17-year-old to Birdland soon after its December 15th opening and let him sit in.  He also introduced him to Miles Davis in 1951 and Miles subsequently hired the youngster.

After coming out of Creedmoor in August of 1949, Powell had two good solid years of music on stage and in the studio, but in the summer of 1951 the fates once more frowned upon him as he again became overindulgent of alcohol.  In June, he, Monk and three others were busted for marijuana possession and while he was incarcerated he freaked out and was again doused with buckets of ammoniated water.  Sent to Bellevue, he was deemed to have delusions of grandeur after telling a psychiatrist he had composed hundreds of songs, and thus he was committed to Pilgrim State Hospital for eleven months of more electroshock treatments.  He ended up again at Creedmoor where he was finally released on February 5th 1953 in the custody of Oscar Goodstein, manager of Birdland.

Goodstein was able to keep Bud busy with his trio playing clubs, mostly at Birdland some of which were broadcast, and studio sessions.  During this time Powell was given drugs for schizophrenia but one of the effects was a muscle decay which showed up in a slowing of his piano technique.  In 1959, after a stay in Kings County Hospital, Bud and his wife-to-be Buttercup moved to Paris and she took over the guardianship that had been attended by Goodstein.  Like so many black artists, Bud loved the respect he received abroad and was kept busy with club dates in Paris and recording sessions.  Buttercup took over his financial dealings and gave him enough drugs to keep him subdued.

Jazz fan Frances Paudras removed Bud from Buttercup’s control and moved him into his home where, with the help of his girlfriend, Bud was cured of tuberculosis which was brought on by years of neglect.  Paudras took Powell back to New York in August 1964 where he maintained a stay at Birdland all the way through October 10th when he failed to make the show.  When Bud was found two days later with friends in Brooklyn, Paudras wanted to take him back to Paris but Powell took off once again, showing Paudras he might as well return home alone.  In the summer of 1965, Powell’s liver gave out and he died in his sleep on August 1st with his daughter Celia at his bedside.
All the tracks here came from the 4-disc Proper compilation Tempus Fugue-It spanning from 1944 to 1950.
Achieving popularity about the same time as Blind Lemon Jefferson was Blind Blake, Florida-based guitarist of whom extremely little is known.  On one recording, he stated his given name to be Arthur (he also recorded as Blind Arthur), and his sponsors claimed him to be from Jacksonville, Florida, a theory I am told is backed up by his accent on spoken asides.  What else is known is mostly about the music, not the man.

Blake first recorded in the autumn of 1926 for Paramount, and his initial success with West Coast Blues was the first (and last) solo instrumental race record.  He had a more structured style than his contemporaries, which leads to the belief that he was used to ensemble play, possibly in a jazz format.  It is fairly certain that in the late twenties he lived in Chicago, often playing house parties with pianists like Charlie Spand (with whom he recorded Hastings Street and Police Dog Blues) or Little Brother Montgomery.  As the go-to guy among Paramount's guitarists, he also performed and recorded with banjo players Papa Charlie Jackson and Gus Cannon as well as Classic Blues singers Ma Rainey and Ida Cox.  Blake toured with the vaudeville show Happy-Go-Lucky in parts of 1930 and 1931.  He would release 79 titles over six years until 1932 when Paramount ceased to exist, but unlike most Blues singers of the time, never recorded a spiritual.  His lack of reappearance in the recording studios presumes his death shortly afterwards.
The write-ups on Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Blake were written a few years back for an ongoing project but came in very handy today.

As I compiled these discs I had more music I wanted to include and I put together a third disc if for no other reason than to include one more long set of Jimmy Dawkins material taken from the two most recent albums in my collection, 1994’s Blues and Pain on Wild Dog and the 1997 release Me, My Gitar and the Blues for the Ichiban label.

Before that, I put in a long set of some dynamite R&B by Nappy Brown.  Whether or not Johnnie and Pete visit the show will see how accurate my playlist is as I might remove some of the sets to make room.  Otherwise, it’s always nice to have a backup disc ready for some occasion, possibly a fifth Wednesday when I share the show with my 2-5pm alternate host Paul.  I have included both of these sets on the playlist just in case.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
I Wonder Why
Triple Trebles
I’m Good for Nothing
Night Rock
It Serves Me Right to Suffer
Breaking Down
Moon Man
Down So Long
Sweet Home Chicago
   Jimmy Dawkins

Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying
John the Revelator
You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond
Let Your Light Shine on Me
Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right
If I Had My Way I’d Tear This Building Down
Church, I’m Fully Saved Today
I’m Gonna Run to the City of Refuge
Take Your Burden to the Lord and
Take a Stand
The Soul of a Man
   Blind Willie Johnson

 (Back Home Again in) Indiana
Off Minor
Mad Bebop
Serenade to a Square
Blues in Bebop
Donna Lee
Chasin’ the Bird
Tempus Fugue-It
   Bud Powell

Hastings Street
Diddie Wah Diddie
Southern Rag
C.C. Pill Blues
Too Tight Blues #2
   Blind Blake

I Ain’t Got It
Wes Cide Bluze
A Love Like That
My Man Loves Me
Luv Sumbody
Made the Hard Way
Rockin’ D Blues
Gittar Rapp
   Jimmy Dawkins

Don’t Be Angry
Two Faced Woman (and a Lying Man)
I’m in the Mood
That Man
Just a Little Love
Is It Really You?
Well, Well, Well Baby La
Open Up That Door
My Baby
A Long Time
Am I
Pleasin’ You
I’m Gonna Get You
Coal Miner
Little By Little
   Nappy Brown

Right to Quit You
Blues and Soul
Back to School
Gitar Jive
Me, My Guitar and the Blues
You Don’t Want Me
Down, Down Baby
Jimmy’s Bag
Tru Love
I’m Running
Tuff Girl
   Jimmy Dawkins

January 13, 2016

Development of the British Blues and Rhythm
  --- show 42 ---   1-13-2016

Eric Clapton                                         1973, 74
Rory Gallagher                                     1971, 72
Dick Heckstall-Smith                              1972
Well, here we are with the first show of our third year in this study of the British Blues.  No way would I have guessed when this all started that we would still be proceeding along this path, and looking ahead I would have to guess we have material I wish to present for about the next six months.  I hope you guys have enjoyed it and learned about some of the more obscure artists, as I have in putting it all together.  So, on to today’s broadcast …
Never letting an opportunity to open with our namesake song, Key to the Highway, pass unobserved we start off with some live Eric Clapton from his 1973 Rainbow Concert.  We mentioned earlier that Clapton had shied away from the spotlight after the extreme exposure he was put under with Cream and Blind Faith, to the point that he didn’t even put his own name on Derek and the Dominoes in 1970.  George Harrison did convince him to join him in his Concert for Bangladesh in August of 1971, but his next stage appearance (to the best of my knowledge) was this concert in January 1973.

The Rainbow Theatre in North London was a longtime music venue which had housed shows by many of Britain’s Rock bands and would be a fitting location for this charity event.  Although the recordings were put out as Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, the chief architect was the Who’s Peter Townsend, one of three popular (more like famous?) guitarists along with Eric and the Faces Ron Wood in the performance.  From Traffic, Townsend recruited percussionist Rebop, drummer Jim Capaldi and keyboardist Steve Winwood, with Stevie sharing vocals with the three guitarists.  Rick Grech played bass and there was a second drummer, Jim Karstein.

Eric would return to the studio in April 1974 for his 461 Ocean Boulevard, the first time since the Dominoes sessions almost three years prior.  The first track of our next Clapton selections was recorded one month later, with the entire set taken from the first two (of four) discs of the live Crossroads 2 collection going up to 1975.  That first track has Jamie Oldaker on drums and Carl Radle on bass, and subsequent tracks have them joined by Dick Sims at the keyboard and George Terry playing second guitar as well as Yvonne Elliman and Marcy Levy providing background vocals.  Discs three and four jump to 1977 & 1978 with essentially the same backing artists and we’ll likely hear from them before this series concludes, which is perhaps indicative of why this has seemingly become such a never-ending saga.
The Irish trio Taste broke up in 1970 just as they were being critically acclaimed for their two albums due to personality conflicts and Rory Gallagher took little time in finding the right players for his new group, again a trio and under Rory’s own name, coincidentally also the name of this, his first album.  Gallagher, at age 23, employed Wilgar Campbell as the drummer and Gerry McAvoy on bass augmented on two tunes (we will only hear Wave Myself Goodbye) by pianist Vincent Crane; Rory played guitar, mandolin, alto sax and harmonica in addition to doing all the singing.  McAvoy would remain with Rory for two decades, while Campbell lasted only a year and a half; both were part of the band Deep Joy which had opened often for Taste.  All the tunes we will hear are Gallagher compositions except the closer, Voodoo Woman, which was written by Muddy Waters.

There have been many examples earlier in this series where American Bluesmen have been recorded with British artists backing them, going all the way back to Sonny Boy Williamson II’s live recordings with the Yardbirds and the Animals in 1963.  He had come to Europe for the American Folk Blues Festival and took on some gigs while he was abroad, winding up deciding to spend most of his last years on that side of the pond.  Similarly, John Lee Hooker went into the studio with his British supporting group, T.S. McPhee and the Groundhogs.  And we heard several sessions featuring many of Britain’s best behind Champion Jack Dupree, who used the excuse of not wanting to fly a return trip across the Atlantic in a rickety airship as his reason to take up permanent residence in Europe.

The other side of this coin was while Fleetwood Mac was touring the U.S. they made special arrangements to record at the Chess studio in Chicago with several of their favorite American sidemen.  Then, beginning with the Howlin’ Wolf London Sessions, we began to see how Chess Records decided to put to their advantage the popularity of the British Blues scene to bolster the sales of their established stars, indeed the originators of some of the most often recorded tunes of the times.

 Today, we listen to the second Chess excursion featuring Muddy Waters along with more of Brit’s best, including guitarist Rory Gallagher.  From the defunct Blind Faith came bassist Rick Grech and Steve Winwood, Stevie having also added to Wolf’s London Sessions and here sharing piano and organ duties with Georgie Fame.  From the Jimi Hendrix Experience came drummer Mitch Mitchell although Herbie Lovelle, an American with more than two decades of studio work, played on three of the tracks.  In addition to Lovelle, Muddy brought along one of his regular guitarists in Sammy Lawhorn and Blues harpist Carey Bell Harrington.  Muddy of course provided his vocals and slide guitar.  A quartet of horn players was added later when the tapes got back to the states.  Something else this album provides us with is the opportunity to open and close with the same song.  You didn’t think I’d leave off another version of Key to the Highway, did you?
A relatively last minute inclusion of Dick Heckstall-Smith’s album, A Story Ended, emits a different mood from the other guitar-centric sets, an album I find mostly enjoyable once I block out the (to me) nonsensical and irritating lyrics of Peter Brown.  Is it really songwriting to throw together phrases that seemingly no one can understand?

From DHS’s former band Colosseum were Mark Clarke who played bass throughout and sang the opening number, Dave Greenslade’s piano is heard on Crabs, while Chris Farlowe’s vocal and Jon Hiseman’s drumming enhance The Pirate’s Dream, a centerpiece for this album that Jon and Dick had worked on for several months but never got as far as the studio with Colosseum.  Guitarist Chris Spedding makes his only appearance on this track and this is one of three that feature Graham Bond’s keyboards as well as the vocal on Moses In, the Bullrushourses (hey, that’s how they spell it!)  Hiseman also produced the album, but on all but Dream the drumming and guitar playing are done by Rob Tait and Caleb Quaye respectively.  Veteran vocalist Paul Williams, perhaps best known to anyone but me for his work with Juicy Lucy (I remember him as a bassist for Zoot Money), takes the lion’s share of the vocals with three numbers, and pianist Gordon Beck appears on one track.

The two closing numbers in this set are live tracks that have no documentation whatsoever.  The liner notes speculate that this version of Pirate’s Dream just might have been a live performance by Colosseum and that No Amount of Loving (not on the original album) might be by Dick’s band Manchild, which he put together just after these sessions.
I’ll be getting away from British Blues for my next couple of airings as I fill in on John Fuller’s Backstroke show beginning at 10pm on Monday evening the 18th of this month.  Up for consideration are Blind Willie Johnson, Nappy Brown, Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, Odetta, Earl Hooker, Blind Blake and even some BeBop piano by Bud Powell.  All that in three hours?  Probably not, but most of ‘em.

Then the following Wednesday will be my annual Mardi Gras show.  I have that show pretty much worked out and it should include a lot of Allen Toussaint, Earl King, and Nathan and his Zydeco Cha Chas.

Toussaint passed away in November and Dawkins in April of 2013 (it seemed more recently) and both ranked high in my esteem so I am hoping to put enough material together to make them both proud.  I should publish a blog the day of each show, as per usual.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
Key to the Highway
Roll It Over
Pearly Queen (not Little Wing as announced)
   Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert 

Just the Smile
Wave Myself Goodbye
It’s You
Can’t Believe It’s True
Gypsy Woman
   Rory Gallagher 

Future Song
What the Morning Was After
Same Old Thing
I Can’t Get It
Moses In, the Bullrushourses
No Amount of Loving
The Pirate’s Dream
   Dick Heckstall-Smith 

Walking Down the Road
Willie and the Hand Jive / Get Ready
The Sky Is Crying / Have You Ever Loved a
    Woman / Ramblin’ on my Mind
Further On Up the Road
   Eric Clapton (Crossroads 2) 

Blind Man Blues
Young Fashioned Ways
Who’s Gonna Be Your Sweet Man
I’m Ready
Walking Blues
I Don’t Know Why
Key to the Highway
   Rory Gallagher with Muddy Waters