A Highlife LP on the Decca label from West Africa recorded in 1969.
The sleeve notes say-
"It is over a decade now since Decca started recording local artists in West Africa. During this stretch of time dance bands have sprouted and wilted away to die in the true tradition of musicla groups. Somehow one band has satyed around longer than most; it seems to have succeeded where others have failed. The Ramblers Dance Band, nearly eight years old, have introduced glamour to the West African Highlife scene. the band have provided it's dance fans with their highlife tunes, while for those who prefer to listen it has supplied the necessary innovations to the traditional forms."
"From its early development in Ghana through the 1970s, Highlife was Africa's first big popular music trend. Evolving from the the music of society bands and military marching bands, Highlife music re-africanized these contemporary instrumental ensembles, adding local percussion, indigenous rhythms and crafting local lyrics around powerful local themes. Highlife, named for the lifestyle of the high society Africans who were its early patrons, was the first major popular music trend in West Africa. Some of Nigeria's early highlife luminaries Bobby Benson, Cardinal Rex Lawson, EC. Arinze, Stephen Amechi, Inyang Henshaw, Celestine Ukwu and many others are still revered to this day. Though highlife lost some of its national power during the Civil War years, Highlife Heavies like Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and Oliver DeCoque remain powerful National forces. Recentely a young generation has worked to put highlife back on the map."
I've had this in my collection for many years but can't remember where I bought it for 35p - probably a junk shop in Limehouse. One of the very first releases on Chris Blackwell's Island label in 1963. Director of music - Ernest Ranglin, who probably plays guitar on some tracks here. Excuse the very bad surface noise.
"Island records was founded in Jamaica in 1959 by Chris Blackwel, the son of a white plantation owner. The label took its name from the Alec Waugh novel 'Island In The Sun'. The early releases on the label were by West Indians and in the music styles that were later to be known as Ska, Bluebeat and Rock Steady. It looked a very good investment when one of Blackwell's first productions, "Boogie In My Bones" by the Cuban-born singer Laurel Aitken, stayed at number one on the Jamaican radio chart for eleven weeks. Blackwell opened an office at South Odeon Parade in central Kingston, Jamaica, where he expanded his artistes with recordings by Wilfred 'Jackie' Edwards and Owen Gray. Both singers were already stars on the talent show circuit; so popular that eager youths fought among themselves for the honor of carrying Jackie Edwards' sharp stage-clothes to the dressing room. By 1962 Chris Blackwell was operating from premises in Notting Hill Gate, London. He catered for the large West Indian community in London by releasing records from Jamaica on his Island label. Blackwell also reckoned that, by switching to London, he could not only continue his own productions but also provide an international platform for Island's Jamaican rivals. The company could, therefore, potentially have the pick of Jamaica's hottest records, and hopefully becoming Britain's leading Ska label."
Acually not sure if this is the very last Honky Tonk or bits of the penultimate show and half of the final show as they are on two tapes - one a C60 and the other , one side of a C90. Anyway, I'm sure fans of Charlie will find these fascinating as I do as he plays some of the highlights of the past shows with sessions from Chas & Dave, Darts etc. and demos from Elvis Costello and Charlie Dore etc.
Jazzy flute player from Portugal I found at a car boot yesterday. Released on the Parlophone label back in 1977.
Wikipedia via Babelfish says-
"He was pupil of the Military College, in Lisbon. Estreou it the living creature as interpreter of saxofone tenor to the 19 years of age, having been in this phase inspired for the Jazz. It stops beyond touching in numerous clubs lisboetas, also touched in the foreigner, countries as Denmark, Spain, France and the Netherlands. It was fixed in France. In the end of the decade of 1970 it left for India, trying to redescobrir the lost link between Portuguese music and the music of the east. During this period, it studied Indiana music and flute bansuri. Of this experience, they had resulted the Goa album (1979), and new noises in its work. In 1983, it launched the album bailado Destiny, that it would come to be the first Portuguese album to arrive the platinum record. In this work, it interpreted to saxofone diverse workmanships of Amália Rodrigues, with the contribution of the master of the Portuguese guitar António Chainho. In the following year, it launched the album Road of the light, that would come to become it famous the national level for its interpretations with bamboo flute. In the year of 1996, the album to the Alive living creature returned to the destiny, recording the destiny. In 1999, it composed the official hymn of the cerimónia of the transference of sovereignty of Macau, having in this recorded scope the album Junction, with the Chinese orchestra of Macau. The Macau subject would come to return to its workmanship in 2008, in the album Interior, recorded Port in partnership with the Chinese interpreter Yanan."
More old radio shows from the archive - one from 1977 with Rico Rodriguez playing some of his influences including Don Drummond and Gene Ammons. Rico now plays in Jools Holland's band but has a lengthy career in Jamaica playing on many Ska sessions in the 60's. Also a fragment of another Honky Tonk show that features short snippets of interview with Fats Domino that Martin Newman did in 1978 I think.
I had hoped to include the whole of the fist The City Beats show from 30th September 1984 butthe tape was so damaged I could only manage the last half of it before it gave up the ghost and wobbled to a halt!
Wikipedia says if Rico -
"Rodriguez was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and was taught to play the trombone by his slightly older schoolmate Don Drummond at the Alpha Boys School. In the 1950s, he became a rasta and became closely musically related to rasta drummer, Count Ossie. In 1961, he moved to the UK and started to play in reggae bands there. In 1976, he recorded the album, Man from Wareika under contract with Island Records.In the late 1970s, with the arrival of the 2 Tone genre, he played with ska revival bands such as The Specials. One of his most notable performances was on The Specials' song, "A Message to You, Rudy".
Rodriguez also helmed his own outfit, Rico and the Rudies, to yield the albums Blow Your Horn and Brixton Cat.
In 1995 Island Records released the album Roots to the Bone, an updated version of Rodriguez's earlier work, Man from Wareika.
Since 1996, amongst other engagements, he has played with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and he also performs at various ska festivals throughout Europe with his own band.
He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace on 12 July 2007, for services to music."
"The Olympics were one of the great L.A.-based acts who managed to score regional hits on the West Coast by balancing upbeat and often humorous novelty R&B tunes with those about popular dances of the day (some of the other West Coast groups who fit this description were the Jay Hawks, the Cadets/Jacks, the Marathons, and the DooTones). They are perhaps best remembered for their Coasters-derived "Western Movies," but their other L.A.-area hits include the popular dance number "Baby Hully Gully," "Big Boy Pete" (which stalled out at number 50 pop, but went to number ten R&B), and "Mine Exclusively."
The Olympics' original lineup -- raspy baritone Walter Ward (who sang lead), Eddie Lewis (tenor), Charles Fizer (baritone), and Walter Hammond (baritone) -- started out as Walter Ward & the Challengers, waxing "I Can Tell" in 1958. All three baritone leads rarely exploited their low range, preferring to sing in shrill high tones. They changed their name to the Olympics shortly thereafter, hooking up with the songwriting team of Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, who wrote and produced the act's first hit in 1958 for Si Aronson's Hollywood-based Demon Records. "Western Movies," a Coasters-type novelty number, caught on quickly, right around the same time that all of America was preoccupied with Western-themed movies and TV shows. The single climbed to number eight pop and number seven R&B in 1958."
Not sure how this copy on a Brazilian label "Arvec" got to Brick Lane flea market but I'm glad it did. Some great songs on here but not quite in the same league as the Coasters who had Leiber and Stoller writing for them.
A charity shop find I think from a couple of years ago. I dont know why it's taken me this long to add Karl Denver to this blog. He had an extraordinary voice which seemed to span several octaves.
Wikipedia says -
"Denver was born in Springburn, Glasgow and was well travelled by the time he took up singing, having had a previous career in the British Merchant Navy. He also had a country music influence, having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for a short time before being deported from there as an illegal immigrant in 1959. In the US, he adopted the new name that he retained for the remainder of his singing career. In the early 1960s he formed a trio which included Kevin Neil (b 25 July 1931, Manchester, Lancashire, d. 13 March 2010) and Gerry Cottrell (b. Gerard Cottrell, 18 December 1933, Manchester, Lancashire — d. 24 November 2006, at Trafford General Hospital, Urmston, Manchester) Denver's song, "Never Goodbye", was an entry in A Song for Europe in 1962. After the mid 1960s, Denver worked mainly on the cabaret circuit. However in 1989 he enjoyed a brief raise in profile after guesting on Madchester band, the Happy Mondays' single, "Lazyitis (One-Armed Boxer)", on Factory Records (FAC 222). Denver also appeared in The Happy Mondays' video for the song, although he contracted pneumonia whilst filming the video. Following this collaboration Factory released two further Denver recordings, "Wimoweh '89" (FAC 228) and "Indambinigi" (FAC 278; credited to Karl Denver and Steve Lima). In 1993 he released his final album, Just Loving You, aimed at the country music market. By then, Denver missed almost as many notes as he hit. He was a frail man whose condition was not improved through heavy drinking. The final song he recorded was Burt Bacharach's "The Story of My Life"."
Another upload from the Charlie Gillett archive. Long before Bob Dylan did his Theme Time Radio Hour, Charlie was doing themed shows on the radio back in the 80's. This time a Capital Radio "The Alchemists" themed show based on "Cry Me A River". The first half being crying songs and the second half devoted to river songs. Included are gems by Garnet Mimms, Billie Holiday and Jelly Roll Morton to name but a few.
Another 45 sent to me by Charlie Gillett back in the late 80's or early 90's. Cant find out much about the Zimbabwe Stars on the internet but again typical of the sparkling guitar style pop of the Bhundu Boys and the Four Brothers whose music did make waves over here in the late 80's.
Benning Eyre says -
"Zimbabwe's music also reflects the foreign music styles that filled the airwaves during the colonial years and the war years. American and African jazz had a big impact early on. Later, rock 'n' roll, Congolese rumba and South African township music held sway. After 1970, Zimbabwean musicians became more and more original in their attempts to meld local rhythms, musical moods and melodies with popular sounds from the outside. Many unique and beautiful styles of music emerged in the process.
Distinct guitar-band sounds developed, characterized by lively, independent guitar and bass lines—not unlike Kenyan benga and other East African derivatives of Congolese rumba—and sweetly harmonized vocals that many compare to the early Beatles as well as the thumping downbeat characteristic of much southern African music. Jonah Moyo and Dvera Ngwena along with John Chibadura emphasized the rumba side, while James Chimombe pressed the South African aspect.
The music, variously known as sungura, jit and just Zimbabwe rumba became the mainstay of the nation's pop-music market. By the mid-'90s, the Zimbabwe rumba torch had passed to a new team, headed up by Simon Chimbetu and Leonard Zvakata. By the turn of the century, many guitar pop legends—including Chibadura, Chimombe, the great Leonard Dembo and Robson Banda, the so called prince of chimurenga—had died, some from AIDS. Chimbetu and Zvakata remained popular, but guitar rumba is being steadily overshadowed on one side by a dramatic rise in the popularity of local gospel music and by the encroachment of American hip-hop, Jamaican and U.K. reggae and slick, urban kwaito from South Africa. These styles have begun to dominate Zimbabwean radio, still under government control.
With Zimbabwean society facing political upheaval, a dramatically failing economy, and one of the worst AIDS crises in the world, these harder-edged foreign sounds seem to strike a chord. Once again, traditions and traditional music seem to be taking a back seat, although they now have a loyal international audience and thrive in Zimbabwe both in rural settings and as a kind of underground music in cities."
Charlie Gillett was very generous with his spare records over the years and I would get LP's or singles in the post occasionally . Once a batch of 45's from Zimbabwe from which this single from Pengaudzoke was included. I presume Charlie bought them on holiday and after listening to them he shared them out with his regular correspondents and friends. This is typical jangly guitar band style with a flavour of African thumb piano which the pop music of Zimbabwe had assimilated.
The Music Of Zimbabwe site says -
"Members have included Daiton Somanje, Josphat Somanje, Clever Somanje, Laison Ngowera, Marefura Mgowera, Lameck Fadwick.
Marondera band Pengaudzoke has been a fixture in the sungura scene since the late eighties. Since then the band has steadily risen to be one of Zimbabwe's top acts, along both the musical lines and popularity of Alick Macheso. Pengauzoke's messages often feature tales of love, poverty, and offer moral lessons, advice, and social commentary.
The band was founded by brothers Daiton and Josphat Somanje who took care of vocals and lead guitar, respectively. Poverty and the harsh reality of farm life led them to take refuge in their music and, eventually, carve out their careers. The band, whose name translates to "what goes around comes around", released their first singles in 1989, and also issued their first album, Kwatakabva Nenhamo, that same year. Despite the departure of the Ngowera Brothers (who left in 1993 to form their own band, the Twin Brothers), their success has carried on. Zvibate Pamhaka was released in 1997 to immense success and widespread critical and mass acclaim. The following year they release a greatest hits album, compiling songs from their first eight albums.
However, this wasn't enough to keep the band together. Lead guitarist Josphat Somanje left the band for a solo career, amid rumours of money disputes. He released his first solo album, Sango, in 2002. Daiton has carried on with Pengaudzoke, releasing Upile in 2002 while playing shows with major Zimbabwean artists such as Alick Macheso and Oliver Mtukudzi. "
A more recent radio show from Charlie here with guest Nick Hornby who's book High Fidelity was riding high in the book charts. Interesting "ping pong" with Nick playing some of his favourite records including Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding etc.
"Hornby was born in Redhill, Surrey, England. Hornby's sister, Gill, is married to writer Robert Harris.He was brought up in Maidenhead and was educated at Maidenhead Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge. His parents divorced when he was 11.
Hornby has been married twice. He and his first wife have one son, born in 1992, who has autism. Hornby's second wife is producer Amanda Posey. They have two sons, born in 2003 and 2005.
Hornby's first published book, 1992's Fever Pitch, is an autobiographical story detailing his fanatical support for Arsenal Football Club. As a result, Hornby received the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. In 1997 the memoir was adapted for film in the UK and in 2005 an American remake was released, following Jimmy Fallon's obsession with the Boston Red Sox. With the book's success, Hornby began to publish articles in the Sunday Times, Time Out and the Times Literary Supplement, in addition to his music reviews for the New Yorker. High Fidelity—his second book and first novel—was published in 1995. The novel, about a neurotic record collector and his failed relationships, was adapted into a 2000 film starring John Cusack and a Broadway musical in 2006."
My old mate Jim in Basingstoke sent this tape to me recently of a concert he attended back in 1998 at the Woolwich Tramshed in London. It's Albert Lee and his band - the first headliner gig in the UK apparently. Up until then Albert played on many sessions and in bands such as Heads Hands and Feet and The Thunderbirds.
He grew up in Blackheath, London. His father was a musician, and Albert studied piano. During this time, like many of his age, he became a fan of Buddy Holly, and also of Jerry Lee Lewis. He took up guitar in 1958 when his parents bought him a second-hand Höfner President which he later traded in for a Czechoslovakian Grazioso, the forerunner of the Futurama. Later, he wished he had bought a Fender instead. Albert Lee left school at the age of 16, to play full-time.
Lee was with a variety of bands from 1959 onwards, playing mostly R&B, country music and rock and roll. In addition to Buddy Holly, his early guitar influences included Cliff Gallup, The Everly Brothers, Scotty Moore, James Burton and Jerry Reed. Lee first experienced commercial success as the lead guitarist with Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds. Lee says that he enjoyed playing the Stax-type material, but he really wanted to play country music. Consequently he left Farlowe and the Thunderbirds in 1968. During his time playing with Heads Hands & Feet, Lee became a "guitar hero", playing his Fender Telecaster at breakneck speed.[ Heads Hands & Feet became a very popular live band in the UK, making appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test and also in Europe, where they appeared on the German music programme Beat-Club and later performed with German bassist Georg Grimm who discovered Nasville Singer-Songwriter Sylkie Monoff."
Discover more about Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes HERE.
Another segment of Honky Tonk radio show from back in the mid 70's when Charlie talked to Art Neville about his musical career prior to the Neville Brothers forming. Fascinating insights into the music world of New Orleans and great records including Allen Toussaint, The Meters, Jerry Byrne and Chris Kenner.
Art Neville (born December 17, 1937) is an American singer and keyboardist from New Orleans. Neville is a part of one of the most famous musical families of New Orleans, the Neville Brothers. He was also a founding member of The Meters, and also continues to play with the spinoff group the Funky Meters along with his son Ian on guitar. As a session musician, he has played on recordings by many notable artists from New Orleans and elsewhere, including LaBelle (on "Lady Marmalade"), Paul McCartney, Lee Dorsey, Dr. John and Professor Longhair. Art's daughter, Arthel Neville is a journalist and television personality.
A record I found some years ago in a remaindered record shop in East London.
"The Dark City Sisters were a group of session singers who came together to record an album and in the process popularized an innovative new style of singing. Rather than singing a common four-part harmony, the Sisters used five parts, which created a richer tone. Sometimes known as "vocal jive," this technique was subsumed under the umbrella term "mbaqanga," meaning, literally, dumpling, and figuratively, a homegrown style. ~ Leon Jackson, All Music Guide"
It puzzles me though that there are only three ladies featured on the front cover of this sleeve? No other information found on the interweb sadly though see they have a couple of compilations available on CD on Sterns and World Curcuit records.
"The Spotnicks was formed in GÃ¶teborg, Sweden, in 1957, by guitarist and undisputed bandleader Bo Winberg. The other members were guitarist and singer Bob Lander, drummer Ove Johansson, and bassist BjÃ¶rn Thein, several of whom had already played together in local rock & roll bands like the Blue Caps, Rock Teddy, and the Rebels. The first year, they performed under the name the Frazers, but soon changed it to the Spotnicks. In 1961, they were signed by Karusell and released their first singles containing mostly instrumental covers of famous songs. The selection of songs was as varied as the performance was homogenous, including titles like "Hava Nagila" and "Johnny Guitar." Later the same year, the Spotnicks toured Germany, France, and Spain and in 1962, they released the debut album The Spotnicks in London, recorded on their first trip to England. Featured on this tour were the space suits that the band would wear on-stage until 1969. "Hava Nagila" became a hit in England in 1963 and the same year, Johansson left and was replaced by Derek Skinner. The rest of the '60s meant increasing success in Europe, the U.S., and Japan, and the band even managed to compete with themselves on the Japanese charts when the Spotnicks' song "Karelia" took the first position from the Feenades' "Ajomies." The song was the same, just recorded under different titles. The Feendes were a Finland-based side project to the Spotnicks, built on Winberg and Peter Winsnes, who had joined the Spotnicks in 1965. Winberg also released less successful recordings under the name the Shy Ones. Compared to the following decades, the '60s were a relative stable period for the group when it came to the lineup. Some new members were recruited though, like drummer Jimmie Nicol, bassist Magnus Hellsberg, and drummer Tommy Tausis, who had earlier played with Tages
In 1969, the Spotnicks disbanded, but Winberg continued to record using the name until the group reunited in 1972 on request by a Japanese record company. The same year, "If You Could Read My Mind" from the album Something Like Country became a big hit in Germany. The Spotnicks would keep their popularity there for a long time, even as it faded elsewhere. Only the Japanese audience proved more faithful and accordingly, the Spotnicks located most of their tours during the '70s to these countries. After the release of Something Like Country in 1972, by many fans seen as the Spotnicks' best album, they had practically ended being a band, consisting mainly of Winberg and various session musicians."
I must apologize for the terrible condition of this record. Found at Brick Lane flea market many years ago. The sleeve photo is a classic and the music is pretty good too despite the crackles and jumps!
Two more Honky Tonk shows courtesy of John Mister who kindly sent me the remains of his HT Archive on some very cheap cassettes so please excuse the sound quality.
The first is with guests Charlie Feathers, Buddy Knox and Jack Scott in the midst of a UK Rockabilly package tour. I think they recorded a live album at the Rainbow Theatre that year which was later released. I should check my own blog as it's on here somewhere!
The second is with James Burton the session guitarist who has played with many of the great names in rock and country, including Elvis and Ricky Nelson. He was in town with the band backing Emmy Lou Harris who was touring at the time.
As usual fascinating snippets of conversation and some great records.
Wikipedia says of James Burton-
"Born in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish, Louisiana, Burton moved to Shreveport with his family in 1949. He is self-taught, and was playing guitar from his childhood.
By the time he was thirteen years old, Burton was playing guitar semi-professionally. A year later he was hired to be part of the staff band for the enormously popular Louisiana Hayride radio show in Shreveport. Burton left Shreveport for Los Angeles while in his teens after joining Ricky Nelson's band. In L.A., he made numerous recordings as a session musician. Burton created and played the guitar solo on Dale Hawkins 1957 hit song "Susie Q," a record that would become one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll."
I can't believe I haven't uploaded the Five Smith Brothers before now. Very little can be gleaned from the internet about them , only that they came from Newcastle and very popular in the North East of England in the 40's and 50's. This compilation is one of two volumes on the MWM Records label from the 80's one imagines.
"The Five Smith Brothers were Alfred, Harold, Martin, Royston, Stanley - all born prior to the end of WW1 in Newcastle. Alf Harold Stan had been professional footballers. First prof.sing appearance Gateshead 1932. All served in WW2 but Martin killed in raod accident 1946. Replaced by Ronnie Culbertson who became Ronnie Smith. On radio with Jewel & Warris in Up The Pole. 1948 Summer Season at Blackpool with J&W and Josef Locke. Royal variety Show in 1950 and also 1955 (the one at Blackpool).
Last record for Decca in 1956 - then 7 years later a record by Two Smith Brothers. (Don't know which ones) Interesting to note that in 1954 they covered Bill Haley's ABC Boogie!!"
Charlie Gillett on the left on this photo from the Oval Records website back in the 70's when this Honky Tonk radio show was broadcast, probably in November but not absolutely sure. Guests are the anarchic Dr. Hook whose entertaining banter enlivens a great 90 minutes with songs from Dr. Hook's new album at the time and various records that Charlie thought they might enjoy. He manages to control the proceedings pretty well considering! Thanks go to John Mister for supplying this tape from his archive.
*Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show got their start around 1968 playing the bar circuit in and around Union City, New Jersey. Originally, they were comprised of five people, most notably Ray Sawyer on vocals and guitar and Dennis Locorriere on lead and vocals. Sawyer's trademarks were the cowboy hat and the eyepatch, the result of an automobile accident in 1967. Locorriere was bearded. Both guys were the center of the group because of their crazy antics onstage. Their energy, strange sense of humor (they once appeared as their own opening act!) alternating with the ability to pull off an emotional ballad made Dr. Hook one of the most successful bands in the 1970s, scoring 35 gold or platinum hits."
I love this Philips International label LP recorded in 1961 at the Metropolitan Theatre , Edgeware Road in London which features a few of the very last stars of the music-hall. Sadly the Metropolitan Theatre met the fate of so many old music halls and a hotel was built where it used to stand. Daniel Farson, who used to have his own programme on TV in the 60's and also owned a pub in the East End, takes us on a short history of the genre with the help of Hetty King, Albert Whelan, Ida Barr, G.H. Elliot, Billy Danvers and Marie Lloyd Jnr. As the sleeve notes say- " ... we are lucky that this valuable and poignant record exists to show us what music hall was all about."
Another Honky Tonk radio show with Charlie talking to Errol Dixon for the first half back in 1978. Errol started out making Ska records in Jamaica but soon began his own sould band when arriving in Britain in the mid 60's. He made his first blues record with Mike Vernon in 1967 and has continued as a boogie-woogie and blues pianist ever since, mainly touring central Europe. Errol plays some of his favourite records and chats with Charlie about his career and some of his influences which include Smiley Lewis and Dave Bartholemew.
An old scratchy LP I've had a for many years. I can't remember how I came by it. Its on the Folk Lyric label and recordings done in the field by Harry Oster in 1959/60. Lovely down home guitar and fiddle playing and one can imagine them on the porch of an old shack with chickens and dogs running around. One can clearly hear African roots here especially in tunes like Foxhunt.
"The songs on the album Country Negro Jam Session were recorded in Southwestern Louisiana between 1959 and 1962, some in Angola Prison, others at house parties around Baton Rouge (the remaining 5 titles on CD reissue were recorded by Chris Strachwitz and Paul Oliver in 1960). In it’s earliest incarnation, the first 14 tracks of the 25 title program were released on Dr. Oster’s now-defunct Folk Lyric label, and then re-released on Arhoolie intact after Chris Strachwitz purchased the Folk Lyric catalog. Oster did a series of field recordings, informal jams with a group of obscure blues men and women, only one of whom, Robert Pete Williams, won fame. Otis Webster was recorded extensively by Oster in 1959 and 1960 all in Angola Prison. Many of the sides remain unissued. Willie B. Thomas (vocal & guitar) and James ‘Butch’ Cage (vocal & fiddle) make up a good part of Country Negro Jam Session. The duo’s string band music is reminiscent of Peg Leg Howell and his gang and the two play not only blues but also pop, and religious music. They also back singer/guitarist Clarence Edwards on several numbers. Butch Cage was born in 1894 near Meadville, MS, and whom Oster describes aptly in the liner notes as “a great representative of the now virtually extinct 19th century black fiddle tradition”, while Willie B. Thomas was born near Lobdell, LA in 1912."
An LP on the Somerset label from the late 50's when "limbo" was a big dance craze. This is a weak kind of blue-eyed calypso that was made for tourists and for playing at parties. Great kitsch sleeve though which is the only reason I bought it. The sleeve notes don't tell us much about Ivy pete and his band but says- " Authorities say all you need for a limbo party is three poles ( two upright and one across - see sleeve ) and a group of people with strong backs "bent" on having a ball with "Ivy" Pete and the gang. We recommend you don't try the flame bit on the pole.... this is for real experts or drunks that live near the firehouse."