Friday, 17 November 2017

H-Bomb Ferguson - Good Lovin'

Side One:
01. Slowly Goin' Crazy
02. Preachin' The Blues
03. Sundown Blues
04. Good Lovin'

Side Two:
01. Give It Up
02. Big City Blues
03. Bookie's Blues
04. My Brown Frame Baby

H-Bomb Ferguson - Good Lovin'

or alternatively for fans of intrusive downloads and browser hijackers:

H-Bomb Ferguson - Good Lovin'

"Slowly Goin' Crazy," "Preachin' The Blues," "Sundown Blues" and "Good Lovin'" were recorded in New York City on December 12th, 1951 by the following personnel:

H-Bomb Ferguson (vocal) with: J. Hawkins (trumpet); Julius "Hawkshaw" Watkins (trombone); Ernest "Pinky" Williams (alto and baritone sax); Purvis Henson (tenor sax); Kelly Owens (piano); Leon Spann (bass); Jack "The Bear" Parker (drums)

"Give It Up," "Big City Blues," "Bookie Blues" and "My Brown Frame Baby" were recorded in New York City on January 10th, 1952 by the following personnel:

H-Bomb Ferguson (vocal) with: Leon Comegys (trombone); Ernest "Pinky" Williams (alto sax); Lowell "Count" Hastings (tenor sax); Jimmy Neely (piano); LaVerne Barker (bass); Jack "The Bear" Parker (drums)

"Good Lovin'" / "Slowly Goin' Crazy" was released on Savoy 830 in January 1952.

Above: Good taste is timeless: Billboard January 12th 1952

"Bookie's Blues" / "Big City Blues" was released on Savoy 836 in February 1952. The track "Bookie's Blues" on this collection is an alternate take.

Above: Billboard, 9th February 1952

"Preachin' The Blues" / "Hot Kisses" was released on Savoy 848 in June 1952.

"Tortured Love" / "Give It Up" was released on Savoy 865 in November 1952. "Tortured Love" credited to H-Bomb Ferguson with Varetta Dillard.

"Sundown Blues" and "My Brown Frame Baby" were not released as singles. They were issued in 1980 on the Savoy Jazz 2LP set "The Shouters: Roots Of Rock 'N' Roll Vol. 9" (SJL 2244) and on the 1986 Savoy Jazz LP "Life Is Hard" (SJL 1176).

This little collection in the ongoing Savoy series of mini LP's that never were is a good representation of blues shouter H-Bomb Ferguson's annus mirabilis, 1952. Born Robert Purcell Ferguson in Charleston, South Carolina, the future "H-Bomb" had arrived in New York as a vocalist with the touring Joe Liggins band around 1946/7. The tour having ended in NYC, he split from the band and won a regular gig at the Club Baby Grand in Harlem. At this stage he was billed as "The Cobra Kid" but when he took up with drummer and bandleader Jack "The Bear" Parker he reverted to his own name - Bob Ferguson.

His first recording opportunity and appearance on record was with Derby around 1950/51 as vocalist on a Jack "The Bear" Parker session. In 1951 he was again vocalist on a Parker session for Prestige. Around this time he recorded under his own name for Atlas (backed by the Charlie Singleton band). The Prestige and Atlas sides remained in the can but Bob (by now going under the "H-Bomb" name) got his big break when he started recording for Savoy in December 1951.

His first release on Savoy, "Good Lovin'" / "Slowly Goin' Crazy", in early January 1952, sold well locally but failed to chart nationally. Sales were strong enough to encourage both Atlas and Prestige to issue their own H-Bomb singles at the end of January - "Rock H-Bomb Rock" / "I Love My Baby" (Atlas 1003) was reviewed in Billboard on the 26th January 1952 while the same issue carried an advance notice of the release of Prestige 918, "Feel Like I Do" / "My Love" (credited to H-Bomb Ferguson with Jack "The Bear" Parker Orchestra.)

A second recording session for Savoy followed on 10th January 1952 with a second release "Bookie's Blues" / ""Big City Blues" coming out in February. This disc was another good seller, but not enough to break into the national charts. A further Savoy release, "Hot Kisses" /  "Preachin' The Blues" appeared in June 1952 but also failed to chart. In July H-Bomb recorded "Tortured Love" with Varetta Dillard in his final Savoy session. This side was issued (with "Give It Up" on the B-Side) in November 1952, a release which brought an end to his brief spell with Savoy.

The rest of H-Bomb's career can be briefly summed up - a few one-off record deals in 1953, a move to Cincinnati in the mid 1950's followed by another series of sporadic releases on small labels, culminating in a couple of platters on a big label - Federal - including the much compiled "Midnight Ramblin' Tonight" in 1961, and then nothing for decades.

In the 1980's H-Bomb entered his "wild wig" phase - beginning a series of live appearances wearing a series of increasingly bizarre wigs, while reviving his recording career with singles on Radiation, Finch and Papa Lou Records and a couple of albums on Papa Lou and Earwig, the latter in 1993. By now H-Bomb was something of an institution not only on the Cincinnati blues scene, but also on the festival circuit. There's plenty of footage on YouTube of this stage of his career including videos recorded just a few months before he passed away in 2007. At least he kept rockin' almost to the very end and without the wigs, thank the Lord.

Elsewhere on the blog:

I've revived an old post on H-Bomb's first Savoy single by restoring the streaming audio. Click here for "Good Lovin'" and ""Slowly Goin' Crazy." Not only sounds but also arcane knowledge for your rockin' edification.

Recommended purchase:

Revola CD CR BAND 4. From 2006 and long out of print, but you may be able to pick up a second hand copy at a reasonable price. One drawback about this release is that the track order is totally different from that listed on the cover. Should you locate a copy here is the correct track order (with thanks to whoever uploaded it to the online database):

01. I Love My Baby
02. Rock H-Bomb Rock
03. Slowly Goin' Crazy
04. Preachin' The Blues
05. Sundown Blues
06. Good Lovin'
07. Give It Up
08. Big City Blues
09. My Brown Frame Baby
10. New Way Blues
11. Bookie's Blues
12. Life Is Hard
13. Hot Kisses
14. Double Crossin' Daddy
15. Tortured Love
16. Work For My Baby
17. You Made Me Baby
18. She's Been Gone
19. Nobody Knows
20. Baby Don't Go
21. Josephine
22. Baby Please (alt. of "She's Been Gone")
23. Hole In The Wall
24. On My Way
25. Good Time Gal
26. Feel Like I Do
27. My Love
28. Wine Head
29. Hard Lovin' Woman
30. My Baby's Blues
31. I Need You Baby

Good hunting!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Old King Gold Volume 11

Side One:
01. Move Me Baby - Jimmy Witherspoon
02. The Big Push - Cal Green
03. It Feels So Good - The Swallows
04. No Regrets - Little Willie John
05. I Know - Lula Reed
06. Rub A Little Boogie - Champion Jack Dupree

Side Two:
01. Let's Rock - Johnny Otis
02. Oh Miss Nellie - The Drivers
03. Nosey Joe - Bull Moose Jackson
04. Don't Leave Me This Way - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
05. Light Up Your Lamp - Willie Mabon
06. Must I Cry Again - Todd Rhodes & Lavern Baker

This is an unexpected addition to the Old King Gold series of posts. I am grateful to a generous donor for this set, which continues in much the same vein as the rest of the series. The usual eclectic mix of jump blues, proto soul, frantic rockers and weepy ballads. The sound quality on this one is good to very good so there are no skips, pops or clicks to interrupt your listening pleasure.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Old King Gold Volume 2

Side One:
01. Honky Tonk (Part 1) - Bill Doggett
02. Honky Tonk (Part 2) - Bill Doggett
03. Talk To Me - Little Willie John
04. Sixty Minute Man - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
05. Down The Aisle - Patti Labelle & The Blue Bells
06. White Cliffs Of Dover - The Checkers

Side Two:
01. Harlem Nocturne - Earl Bostic
02. Beside You - The Swallows
03. Sexy Ways - The Midnighters
04. Dedicated To The One I Love - The "5" Royales
05. Well Oh Well - Tiny Bradshaw
06. It Hurts To Be In Love - Annie Laurie

or alternatively:

This is the last of my "Old King Gold" LPs, complete with thick cardboard sleeve, a generic back cover pasted on to the sleeve (which is why so many of them are leaning at a crazy angle), and variable sound quality. This disc was in reasonable condition, so you get the sounds exactly as they are, complete with a few pops and clicks. Sound ripped at a listenable level and quality - same as the previous post. And so we leave the imported U.S. cutouts lying in the bargain bin circa 1978, and head for pastures new.

If you wish to get the complete series, Twilightzone is reposting rips of the Rare Bid (Bellaphon) German issue of "Old King Gold." Volume One is already up - go git it! Tell 'em Boogiewoody sent ya!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Old King Gold Volume 6

Side One:
01. The Twist - Hank Ballard
02. The Bells - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
03. Bloodshot Eyes - Wynonie Harris
04. Walkin' With Mr Lee - Johnny Pate
05. Come Home - Bubber Johnson
06. Hold It - Bill Doggett

Side Two:
01. Gumdrop - Otis Williams & The Charms
02. My Friends - The Strangers
03. The Goof - Big Jay McNeely
04. Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red - Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
05. Big Boy - Bill Jennings

Old King Gold Volume 6


Old King Gold Volume 6

Only eleven tracks, but every one a gem. I've been tweaking the audio settings on my computer and I think that these rips are an improvement on the previously posted Volume 4 with much less clipping this time round. There is a bit of brief distortion on "The Twist" but that's due to a fault in the original vinyl. I've got one more volume to post and then I may revisit the previous volumes in order to improve the sound quality. Keep a groovin', R&B fans!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Old King Gold Volume 4

Side One:
01. Hideaway - Freddy King
02. Fever - Little Willie John
03. Little Things Mean A Lot - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
04. Good Rockin' Tonight - Wynonie Harris
05. Trying - Todd Rhodes & Laverne Baker
06. September Song - Earl Bostic

Side Two:
01. Chica Boo - Lloyd Glenn
02. Kansas City - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
03. All My Love Belongs To You - Bull Moose Jackson
04. Another Woman's Man - Joe Tex
05. Shout Bamalama - Otis Redding
06. Tenderly - Lynn Hope

or alternatively:

I think this was the first Old King Gold LP that I bought back in the mid to late 1970's. I probably chose it because I recognised some of the artists on the back cover - Freddy King, Joe Tex and Otis Redding - and also because I had other versions of some of the songs - "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Elvis) and "Kansas City" (Wilbert Harrison). After one listen that was it, I was hooked on R&B.

This LP is in much better shape than the ones I have already posted, so there was no need to go looking for alternative sources for any of the tracks. This time you are hearing the record as it is. I've solved the problems I was having with getting good rips - it was all caused by settings on Realtek Audio Manager, so I may well revisit some of my recent rips. It took a day and a half of fiddling with PC and HiFi settings before I discovered what the problem was. That's me below, hard at work in Be Bop Wino MegaCorp H.Q. yesterday.

The new volume settings aren't what I'm used to, so you may find that I slightly overcooked the rip. For once I had to use Mp3 Gain to reduce the volume on the sound files as they were at speaker blasting level.

So enjoy more Old King Gold, recorded in all-new Drunkophonic 3D Vivid Distortion Sound. I'll be back with even more Gold in a day or two!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Old King Gold Volume 7

Side One:
01. That's What You're Doing To Me - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
02. Don't Take It So Hard - Earl King
03. The Greasy Spoon - Hank Marr
04. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong - Albert King
05. I Want A Bow Legged Woman - Bull Moose Jackson
06. It Won't Be This Way Always - The King Pins

Side Two:
01. Annie Had A Baby - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
02. Dearest - The Swallows
03. Mellow Blues (Part 1) - Sonny Thompson
04. Mellow Blues (Part 2) - Sonny Thompson
05. I'm Tore Up - Billy Gayles
06. Diamonds And Pearls - The Escos

or alternatively

As this LP was in such a dreadful condition I had to stage an intervention by finding alternative sources for a few of the tracks. So much for my hope of presenting the "Old King Gold" LP's just as they are, warts and all. In this case it simply wasn't possible due to the fact that the disc has a manufacturing fault, i.e. it isn't quite circular, and in addition it's warped. An unholy mess which means that the lead in to the tracks is right on the disc edge, a situation which has led to a mess of scratches on the first two tracks of the first side and the first track on the second side.

The last track, "Diamonds And Pearls," also proved to be problematic. No matter how many changes to settings I made on my computer and to my amp, I ended up with a murky mess consisting of a very loud and clear instrumental backing combined with a muffled vocal pushed way into the background. The only explanation I can think of is that the LP track may be in electronically rechaneled stereo which for some reason my Magix  software couldn't handle. I ended up ripping the track from YouTube.

The remaining eight tracks are from the original LP. Who knows what further sonic adventures await in the remaining volumes of "Old King Gold."

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Old King Gold Volume 3

Side One:
01. Have Mercy Baby - Billy Ward & The Dominoes
02. Let Them Talk - Little Willie John
03. Let's Go Let's Go - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
04. Guess Who - Ivory Joe Hunter
05. This Little Girl Of Mine - The Hurricanes
06. Soft - Tiny Bradshaw

Side Two:
01. Hearts Of Stone - Otis Williams & The Charms
02. I Love You, Yes I Do - Bull Moose Jackson
03. Think - The "5" Royales
04. Tomorrow Night - Lonnie Johnson
05. Over The Rainbow - The Checkers
06. Tonk Game - Hank Marr

The Old King Gold LP series from the mid 1970's was my introduction to the world of "real R&B." The tracks were an ear opener as up until then I had assumed that "blues" and "R&B" were synonymous and yet here were tracks that seemed to belong to the worlds of rock 'n' roll, pop and jazz. A far cry indeed from the guitar and harmonica dominated Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter whose records occupied the blues section on my one record shelf back then (just along from The Doors, Steppenwolf, The Grateful Dead and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac).

I bought five of the series over a period of some months after finding them in the rock and roll section of HMV in Union Street, Glasgow. They were very cheap, being cut outs with holes punched through the thick cardboard covers and no inner sleeves to protect the records. Just what was needed to add even more surface noise to the tracks which seemed to have been mastered from scratched old records or decaying acetates and master tapes.

The sound quality is poor on quite a few of these cuts, though some are surprisingly good. It's not my fading sound system that has come up with muffled versions of "Let's Go, Let's Go" (there's one "Let's Go" missing here) and "Have Mercy Baby." And yes, there really is a fragment missing from "This Little Girl Of Mine." That's the way the record is. I have managed to edit out most of the grosser clicks and pops which were acquired when these records were the soundtrack to many a drunken night back in the '70's and '80's.

So no added research into the history of these tracks. You get 'em just the way I got 'em. A pathway into the then undiscovered (for me) world of Little Willie John, Hank Ballard, Billy Ward (I didn't know that was Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal) and Tiny Bradshaw. Other discs in the series revealed the magic of Wynonie Harris, Roy Brown, Big Jay McNeely and many other (at that time) unsung heroes of R&B. More volooms to come on Be Bop Wino!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Earl Bostic For You (Mono and Stereo Versions)

Side 1:
01. Sleep
02. Moonglow
03. Velvet Sunset
04. For You
05. The Very Thought Of You
06. Linger Awhile

Side 2:
01. Cherokee
02. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
03. Memories
04. Embraceable You
05. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
06. Night And Day

"Earl Bostic For You" (King 395-503) was released simultaneously with "The Best Of Bostic" (King 395-500) in February 1956. The original front cover differed from the one reproduced on this 1980's Sing reissue -

The above cover scan is from "PopBopRocktilUDrop" at

In 1958 "Earl Bostic For You" was reissued as King 503 with a new cover, which is reproduced on this Sing issue.

Like its companion LP "The Best Of Bostic," "Earl Bostic For You" was a compilation of tracks which had previously been released as singles. The recording dates and personnel are listed on the back cover of the LP. The release dates of the singles featuring the LP tracks are listed below. Tracks in italics are not on this album.

Original single release of the tracks on "Earl Bostic For You."

"Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" / "Serenade" - King 4369 - May 1950

"Sleep" / "September Song" (Clyde Terrell) - King 4444 - May 1951

"Linger Awhile" / "Velvet Sunset" - King 4536 - May 1952

"Moonglow" / "Ain't Misbehavin'" - King 4550 - August 1952

"For You" / "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" - King 4570 - October 1952

"Cherokee" / "The Song Is Ended" - King 4623 - May 1953

"The Very Thought Of You" / "Memories" - King 4653 - August 1953

"Night And Day" / "Embraceable You" - King 4765 - January 1955

"Earl Bostic For You" was re-recorded in stereo in Cincinnati on March 26th, 27th and 28th, 1959. The personnel for these sessions was -Earl Bostic (alto sax); Roland Johnson (vibraphone); Jon Thomas (piano); Allan Seltzer (guitar); Herb Gordy (bass); William Erskine (drums). The stereo release had the same front cover as King 503, with the addition of the word "Stereo" of course!

In 1987 King released a CD version of "Earl Bostic For You" (KCD-503) with the 1958 front cover. Although there is no mention of "stereo" on the CD cover, the tracks are in fact the stereo re-recordings from 1959. Some of them are quite different from the versions on the mono release, e.g. the early 50's mono version of "Velvet Sunset" has a wordless background vocal chorus throughout, while the 1959 version is a straight ahead instrumental with no background vocals. Similarly, the 1950 mono version of "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" is a hepcat band vocal combined with bass picking by Keeter Betts, while the 1959 version is a Bostic instrumental.

Above: budget 1980's CD release - in stereo. I've "reconstituted" the stereo version of the LP by combining rips from, well, you-know-where, with a front cover from So here for your delectation is the stereo version of "Earl Bostic For You" -

Track order is the same as the mono version. 

Cash Box, April 25th, 1959, right guy, wrong instrument

And that's the end of our unplanned Earl Bostic season! It's fun when these things just sort of "take off," and I've learned another bit of R&B history as I had little idea that Earl had taken part in such a short, sharp, intensive period of re-recording of previously existing albums. Thanks to everyone who commented and special thanks to Daddy Cool and Bear From Delaware for their insights into the Bostic LP situation. I have no idea what the next blog post will be but I'm sure I can come up with something from the Vinyl Vault. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Bostic Rocks Hits Of The Swing Age

Side One:
01. Southern Fried
02. Jersey Bounce
03. Jumpin' At The Woodside
04. Tuxedo Junction
05. 720 In The Books
06. Air Mail Special

Side Two:
01. Pompton Turnpike
02. Woodchopper's Ball
03. Night Train
04. Stompin' At The Savoy
05. Honeysuckle Rose
06. No Name Jive

1980's reissue of King LP 571 which was originally issued in April 1958. All tracks were recorded in Los Angeles on December 18th and 19th, 1957. Personnel: Earl Bostic (alto sax); Wallace Snow (vibraphone); Ernest Crawford (piano); Tony Rizzi (guitar); Hilmer J. "Tiny" Timbrell (bass); Earl Palmer (drums).

A stereo version of this album was recorded in Cincinnati on April 6th and 7th, 1959, by the following personnel: Earl Bostic (alto sax); Roland Johnson (vibraphone); Claude Jones (piano); Warren Stephens and Allan Seltzer (guitars); Herb Gordy (bass); William Erskine (drums).

I have no issue date for the stereo version. The front cover was the same as the 1958 mono version, with the addition of a bright orange "stereo" sticker.

The above cover scan is from "Lonesome Lefty's Scratchy Attic" where the last post (June 2016) is on the stereo version of "Bostic Rocks Hits Of The Swing Age." The download link is still active and it is well worth grabbing this album as the sound and stereo quality are very good. In addition the download includes front and back cover scans plus label shots. Check it out here:

The post also includes a link to jazz writer and researcher Larry Appelbaum's blog in which Lou Donaldson talks about Earl Bostic. An interesting insight into the standing Bostic had among jazz musicians.

I have one more Earl Bostic LP to post - probably around the weekend as I haven't ripped it yet. In the meantime enjoy both versions of "Bostic Rocks Hits Of The Swing Age."

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Lamplighters - Be Bop Wino

Side 1:
01. You Hear
02. Yum Yum
03. Goody Goody Good Things
04. I Wanna Know
05. Believe In Me
06. Roll On
07. Love, Rock And Thrill
08. Hug A Little, Kiss A Little

Side 2:
01. Be Bop Wino
02. Part Of Me
03. Sad And Lonely
04. Turn Me Loose
05. Crazy Times
06. Give Me
07. Smootchie
08. I Can't Stand It

It simply had to be. Finally an appearance of the source of the title of this illustrious blog, in the shape of a 1980's compilation of some of the Lamplighters' oeuvre on the Federal label. Some of their best known tracks, such as "Bo Beep," "Salty Dog" and "Ride, Jockey, Ride" aren't included but nevertheless this an LP that is well worth a listen. The music is that kind of rockin' vocal group R&B of the first half of the 1950's which I like so much. The influence of the 5 Royales, the Clyde McPhatter led Dominoes and Drifters, and The Midnighters looms large, and if The Lamplighters' recordings are considerably less polished than those of their role models, the music still rocks like crazy.

Unfortunately there's no Marv Goldberg article on The Lamplighters to which I can link, but the sleevenotes by Jim Dawson provide a comprehensive account of the sometimes stormy career of the group, a career which was entirely unburdened by chart success, but which did eventually lead to two fleeting examples of pop glory in Thurston Harris's version of "Little Bitty Pretty One," and the gloriously moronic "Papa Oom Mow Mow" by The Rivingtons.

They were a South Central LA group, who emerged via local talent shows in venues such as Johnny Otis's Barrelhouse Club to be signed to Federal Records, the Ralph Bass run West Coast subsidiary of King Records. The classic Lamplighters line up on their discs during 1953 and 1954 was: Thurston Harris, Willie Rockwell, Alfred Frazier and Matt Nelson. By all accounts they had a pretty wild stage act but the penchant of some members to keep the wildness going offstage was a contributory factor to the personnel changes which affected the group from late 1954 onwards. A classic tale of drink, dope 'n' dames.

When Thurston Harris split in 1955, the rest of the group continued to record for Federal as The Tenderfoots. In late '55 Harris was reunited with the group who once again recorded under The Lamplighters moniker. When their last single was released in March 1956, Thurston Harris had already left for good and The Lamplighters were no more. The surviving members became The Sharps who were reunited briefly with Harris as the backing group on his big hit on Aladdin, "Little Bitty Pretty One." In the early 1960's The Sharps became The Rivingtons and found success with releases on Liberty - "Papa Oom Mow Mow," "The Bird's The Word" and "Hully Gully."

The Lamplighters' singles on Federal

Federal 12149 - Turn Me Loose / Part Of Me - September 1953
Federal 12152 - Be Bop Wino / Give Me - November 1953
Federal 12166 - Smootchie / I Can't Stand It - January 1954
Federal 12176 - I Used To Cry Mercy Mercy / Tell Me You Care - April 1954
Federal 12182 - Salty Dog / Ride, Jockey, Ride - June 1954
Federal 12192 - Five Minutes Longer / You Hear - August 1954
Federal 12197 - Goody Good Things / Yum Yum - October 1954
Federal 12206 - I Wanna Know / Believe In Me - January 1955
Federal 12212 - Roll On / Love Rock And Thrill - February 1955
Federal 12242 - Hug A Little, Kiss A Little / Don't Make It So Good - November 1955
Federal 12255 - Bo Peep / You Were Sent Down From Heaven - February 1956
Federal 12261 - Everything's All Right / It Ain't Right - March 1956

Cash Box gets Lamplighters' disc title wrong

The ACE CD "Loving, Rocking, Thrilling" (CDCHD 1040) is a 28 track collection of the complete Federal recordings of The Lamplighters. The sound quality is much better than on the home ripped mp3s I've posted here and the booklet has updated sleevenotes by Jim Dawson detailing all of the personnel changes in the group. Highly recommended by Be Bop Wino!

Back later in the week with more Bostic!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

(Dance To) The Best Of Bostic - Both Versions


Side 1:
01. Flamingo
02. Always
03. Deep Purple
04. Smoke Rings
05. What, No Pearls
06. Jungle Drums

Side 2:
01. Serenade
02. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
03. Seven Steps
04. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
05. Don't You Do It
06. Steamwhistle Jump

In my previous post on the Earl Bostic LP "Dance Time" I recounted how in 1959 he recorded stereo versions of his 12 inch LPs which had been issued in the King 500 series from February 1956 through to July 1958.

Back in 2010 I posted a 1980's reissue of King LP 500 "Dance To The Best Of Bostic" under the impression that the tracks it contained were the original early 1950's versions. I now know that that LP actually consists of stereo re-recordings from 1959. This post includes both a "reconstruction" of the original 1956 version of the album, "The Best Of Bostic" (King LP 395-500), and the 1980's reissue of the stereo version (originally issued in December 1959), retitled (on the front cover only) "Dance To The Best Of Bostic." (King LP S500.)

You can now download both versions of the album and compare them. They sound quite different, so it's not really like listening to the same album twice! "The Best Of Bostic" is a "reconstruction" of the original LP using tracks from various reissue sources and artwork from the internet.

King Records issued 10 inch LPs from March 1952 until the end of 1955. In early 1956 the label changed its album issues to the 12 inch LP format, launching its 500 series of LPs in February of that year with King LP 395-500 "The Best Of Bostic." The cover was as shown at the top of this post. The tracks were originally recorded and released as singles between 1950 and 1953.

Track Information for "The Best of Bostic" (King LP 395-500)

“Serenade” (T7) and “Seven Steps” (T9) were recorded in New York, March 23rd, 1950. Personnel: Earl Bostic (as) Count Hastings (ts) Gene Redd (vib) Clifton Smalls (p) Al Casey (g) Keter Betts (b) Joe Marshall (d)

“Serenade” was released as King 4369 (B Side of  "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams") in May 1950.

“Seven Steps” was released as King 4387 (b/w "Portrait Of A Faded Love") in July 1950.

“Don’t You Do It” (T11) was recorded in New York, October 13th, 1950. Personnel as above, except Eddie Barefield replaces Al Casey (g)

“Don’t You Do It” was released as King 4683 (B Side of  "Off Shore") in November 1953.

“Flamingo” (T1), “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (T8), “Always” (T2) and “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (T10) were recorded in New York, January 10th, 1951. Personnel: Gene Redd (tp,vib) Earl Bostic (as) Count Hastings (ts) Clifton Smalls (p) Rene Hall (g) Keter Betts (b) Jimmy Cobb (d)

“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” was released as King 4437 (B Side of "Rockin' And Reelin') in March 1951.

“Always” was released as King 4454  (b/w "How Could It Have Been You And I") in June 1951.

“Flamingo” b/w "I’m Getting Sentimental Over You" was released as King 4475 in October 1951.

“Steamwhistle Jump” (T12) was recorded in New York, December 17th, 1952. Personnel: Richard "Blue" Mitchell (tp) Earl Bostic (as) Ray Felder (ts) Gene Redd (vib) Joe Knight (p) Mickey Baker (g) Ike Isaacs (b) George Brown (d)

“Steamwhistle Jump” (b/w "The Sheik Of Araby) was released as King 4603 in March 1953.

“What No Pearls” (T5) was recorded in Los Angeles, June 6th, 1953. Personnel: Blue Mitchell, Tommy Turrentine (tp) Earl Bostic (as) Stanley Turrentine (ts) Luis Rivera (p) Herman Mitchell (g) Mario Delagarde (b) Albert Bartee (d)

“What No Pearls” was released as King 4644 (B Side of  "Melancholy Serenade") in July 1953.

“Deep Purple” (T3), “Smoke Rings” (T4) and “Jungle Drums” (T6) were recorded in Cincinnati, August 24th, 1953. Personnel: Blue Mitchell, Tommy Turrentine (tp) Earl Bostic (as) Stanley Turrentine (ts) Edward Richley (vib) Alexander Sample (p) Charles Grayson (g) Bob Burton (b) Granville Hogan (d)

“Deep Purple” / “Smoke Rings” was released as King 4674 in October 1953.

“Jungle Drums” (b/w "Danube Waves") was released as King 4708 in April 1954.

This is a link to a volume boosted version of the LP, which therefore differs from previously posted versions. The posted LP is a 1980's reissue. The cover confusingly describes it as both monophonic and stereo. It is in fact in stereo.

The track list is the same as "The Best Of Bostic." The stereo version of "The Best Of Bostic" was originally issued in December 1959 with a new front cover and a new title (at least on the front cover - the disc labels and back cover retained the original title). The tracks were recorded as follows:

"Deep Purple," "Flamingo," "Smoke Rings," "Jungle Drums," "Seven Steps," "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "Steamwhistle Jump" were recorded in Cincinnati on March 26th, 1959. Personnel: Earl Bostic (alto sax); Roland Johnson (vibraphone); Jon Thomas (piano); Allan Seltzer (guitar); Herb Gordy (bass); William Erskine (drums).

"Always," "What No Pearls," "Serenade," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Don't You Do It" were recorded in Cincinnati on June 4th 1959. Personnel: same as above.

In this version of the LP the tracks are played at a slightly faster tempo with a more emphasized beat, and with Earl using a more abrasive tone. As the altered title indicates, these versions are probably more suitable for cuttin' a rug in the comfort of one's own home.

We're still a long way from definitively solving the mystery of what exactly is on all those Bostic LPs in their varied forms. For example do mono reissues of the albums which use the new cover art contain the original mono tracks or do they consist of mono mixes of the 1959 re-recordings? I have to say that at this stage I don't know.

I have a couple more 1980's reissue LPs of Earl Bostic to listen to, plus a couple of King CD reissues of his albums, but as I am currently on the verge of Bostic overload the investigation is temporarily suspended and the blog will move on to another aspect of 1950's R&B in the next post. If anyone can enlighten the far flung legions of Bostic fans, please send in a comment.