August 21, 2009

In Pursuit of Bo-Consciousness - Part 4

MOVING ON AFTER RIC & RON
[Updated 8/25/2009]
[Updated (with added audio) 8/26/2009]

The Last At Last

Part 3 ended more or less with Eddie Bo leaving the Ric and Ron labels behind in 1962, due to dissatisfaction with his compensation and owner Joe Ruffino's reluctance to seek national distribution for the labels' product. Of course, Ruffino's subsequent death closed the business and underscored the wisdom of Eddie's decision. Soon thereafter, Bo cut a couple of records for At Last, a recently started subsidiary of A.F.O. (All For One) Records, headed by
Harold Battiste, who co-owned the labels with a group of like-minded African-American session musicians seeking more creative control and financial rewards from the music business (an eternal quest). Battiste had done some arranging and producing for Ric and Ron, and the other owners had played on many of the sessions.

By the time Bo came aboard as an artist, things were getting shaky for Battiste and his partners, as their one big hit-maker on A.F.O.,
Barbara George ("I Know"), had been stolen away by 'Juggy' Murray, owner of Sue Records. Sue was supposed to be distributing A.F.O.'s releases; but Murray ditched the deal without warning once he had George's contract, leaving A.F.O. with not much more than a local market for their records. Since the main label's releases were not getting traction, the group came up with At Last to try to put a fresh face on some of their offerings. Ultimately, there were only five known singles issued on At Last (#1004 has never been accounted for); and Bo had two of them. None caused much of a stir due to lack of exposure; and, before long, both labels ran out of steam.

Eddie's two singles for At Last in 1962 were its final releases and had no chance of success given the unraveling business situation. When you consider how good the A-sides were, the missed opportunity to be appreciated seems tragic. Remastered versions of both those tracks are on the Ace (UK) three CD series,
Gumbo Stew, an excellent compilation of the highly significant but ultimately unsuccessful A. F. O. enterprise. "Te Na Na Na Nay", from the penultimate #1005, was a good mover with an upbeat shuffle groove further enhanced by punchy horns and rousing female backing vocals; but, one of Eddie's best efforts as a writer, arranger, and performer appeared on the absolutely last At Last.



"I Found A Little Girl" (Edwin Bocage)
Eddie Bo, At Last 1006, 1962
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

Another one of the essentials, in any format, for Eddie Bo fans and collectors, "I Found A Little Girl" is a knocked-out, transcendent rave-up. As noted in previous parts of this series, Eddie's early writing and performing became heavily influenced by soul progenitor Ray Charles; and, until he developed more of a style of his own later in the 1960s, the influence was obvious on many Bo recordings. What set "I Found A Little Girl" apart from a typical, tightly played, in-the-pocket Charles-style gospel/R&B hybrid was how Eddie tricked it out to make it his own. In particular, the exceptional, broken-up drumming established the stutter-stepping second line feel of the New Orleans streets. The piano playing, surely his own, was also highly percussive, syncopated and a bit on the dissonant side, with wild flourishes and runs that played against the pumping horns. Add to all of that his joyous vocalizing which grew more raucous as the song went along, flipping at times into falsetto mode, and you have a risk-taking, high-energy performance that richly paid off. It still sounds as fresh, hip and in-your-face today as, I am sure, it did back then.

In true celebratory New Orleans style, Eddie took At Last out on a high note, backed by any of a number of outstanding players from the A.F.O. fold, including John Boudreaux or James Black on drums, 'Chuck' Badie on bass, Roy Montrell or Mac Rebennack on guitar (my vote is for Mac here), 'Red' Tyler on baritone sax, 'Nat' Perilliat on tenor sax, and Melvin Lastie on trumpet/cornet . The record became an immediate obscurity and is still not widely appreciated, although Martin Lawrie sings its praises on his fabulous Eddie Bo Discography.

Ripping And Running

Meanwhile, also in 1962, Bo hooked up with another small, local outfit, Rip Records, owned by Ripolle 'Rip' Roberts, concert promoter, gambler, and all-around hustler - a type the music business has never had a shortage of. Probably the most well-known record Roberts was involved with (in some fashion) was Reggie Hall's novelty number, "The Joke", which came out on Chess (#1816) in 1962 and did fairly well. It has been on several compilations. Roberts' connection with Chess may have been what attracted Bo to sign on to his new label.


Eddie did a mere three singles under his own name for Rip, not five (or more) as shown by The R&B Indies, the Eddie Bo Discography at soulgeneration, and Bo's own website (!). Although the discographies show Bo as the artist for Rip 154, "When You Cry Your Heart Out" b/w "Bless Us All", the single seems to have no apparent connections to him at all - he did not even write the tunes. I found this out from my friend, Peter, over in the European Union, who sent me scans of the single showing it was actually by Dick Richards (with Wardell Quezergue's name in smaller letters under his - ???). A quick listen to an mp3 Peter also provided confirmed that it was not Bo singing under and alias, either. Where the confusion arises is that Bo's first single for Rip, "Let's Limbo" b/w "Mo-Jo", was also numbered 154 by Roberts. Big oops.

"Let's Limbo" was . .well. . .beneath Eddie's superior talents - an ineffective, gimmicky novelty tune that had him singing with a cheesy faux Caribbean accent over a generic calypso groove that thankfully not many people heard. "Mojo" was much more tolerable, though still not great work. Thankfully, his next 45, "You're The Only One" b/w "You're With Me" (#156) was far better and quickly got noticed. "You're With Me" was the cut that began getting airplay and sales around town; and Chess soon optioned it for national release (#1833, hear/see it at The B-Side), giving Eddie another flirtation with the big time that didn't result in a hit, but must have been encouraging, at least.

After Chess picked up that single, the confused and/or numerically challenged Mr. Roberts re-assigned #156 to Reggie Hall's next 45, "Always Pickin' On Me" b/w "Work". Guess he didn't consider that 47 years later, some geek would be paying attention. I haven't established that Bo had anything to do with the production on Hall's 156, having never laid eyes on a copy; but do I know that Reggie wrote both sides. Be that as it may, I am sure that Roberts let loose one more release by Bo, "Woman" b/w "Temptation", which appeared on Rip 159 in 1963. Eddie was definitely swinging for the mainstream bleachers on "Woman", which he structured and arranged as a pop tune. In an unusual touch, he also sang about an octave below his normal high tenor, I guess to give the tune more substance - something I don't recall him doing anywhere else. On the flipside, he reverted to his regular range on an effective soulful ballad with more complex changes. But, once again, the single didn't generate any action.

Because Rip 45s are so hard to get a look at, I assume, all three previously mentioned discographies also give Bo artist credit for the next Rip single, #160, "Tee-Na-Na" b/w "Mama Said". Again, Peter provided me with a label scan that shows it was instead a Reggie Hall record that Bo arranged, conducted, and wrote (under the his wife's name). Peter tells me "Tee-Na-Na" is an inferior version of Eddie's earlier At Last side, "Tee Na Na Na Na Nay". So, let's listen to the other side.



"Mama Said" (Delores Johnson)
Reggie Hall, Rip 160, 1963

Sounds like Reggie Hall to me. If you can listen through and mentally filter out the surface noise, you'll find an unexceptional but not bad little novelty tune with the nearly ubiquitous, early Sixties, mildly syncopated popeye shuffle groove. It was simple, rather unadventurous fare with the lyrics referencing barnyard animals having a bad day. Never much of a vocalist, Hall (a good songwriter and pianist) delivered them in a rather lackluster way. What perked up the track more than anything were the three (!) sax solos. Obviously, Eddie did not pull out his prime material on this project. I'm sure it was just a session paycheck for him.

Probably the most enjoyable tune Eddie recorded during this period was not released at the time. I featured it back in 2005, right after Katrina rolled in, before we all realized how bad off New Orleans was. The date I have for the session is supposedly the same day Bo cut his Rip 156 sides. As I said in the original post, that date, which may or may not be accurate, comes from the notes to the essential Charly LP,
Vippin' and Voppin', which compiled this and several of Eddie's Rip sides with material he cut for Seven B a few years later.

"I Just Keep Rolling" (E. Bocage)
Eddie Bo, recorded June 9, 1962
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

Essentially working another popeye-groove, the relaxed, broken-up drumming (perhaps, Smokey Johnson) had the tight-but-loose feel that would come to be a hallmark of good funk on down the road; and it put some swing into the proceedings to boot. No, it's not Eddie's most exciting vocal; but its casual feel suits the track and carefree mood of the lyrics well. If this indeed was done during the Rip-era (which is very likely), it's far and away the best of the bunch. What really amazes me is how good the recording quality is. Charly obviously had access to session tapes of some kind. The soundstage is open, the fidelity excellent. As I mentioned back in '05, probably what kept this from release was Eddie's flub after the sax solo. He came in too early and had to improvise for a bar. It's a minor thing that he probably meant to fix later and never got to do. The Charly LP also has another unissued track with the same date, "Something's Working", an upbeat, double-time shuffle with a searing sax break, that was likely meant to be the other side of the projected single. It, too, sounds marvelous. Martin Lawrie still holds out hope that "I Just Keep Rolling" came out on vinyl that has yet to be discovered - but I sincerely doubt it at this point.

Eddie finished off his run with Rip writing and producing Reggie Hall's last single (#160) for the label, as discussed, as well as the final Rip release that came out in early 1964, "You've Got The Nerve" b/w "Walking In Circles" (#576) by the popular local singer, Bobby Mitchell. Definitely the best vocalist to have recorded for Rip, Mitchell, who was Bo's cousin, did an admirable job on the songs, which Eddie personally tailored to fit the singer's style. The A-side was another typical popeye mid-tempo dance groover, while the other was a deep soul ballad that had Mitchell digging down and testifying to great effect. Unfortunately, it was his last record, as he soon retired from the music business and went to medical school. The fact that another single met with total indifference in the musical marketplace was probably the main reason Roberts pulled the ripcord and bailed out of the record business.

All of Eddie's Rip single material has been complied by Tuff City/Night Train on the CD, New Orleans Twist Party, along with four tunes from Reggie Hall's releases, Bobby Mitchell's two sides, and some very obscure Professor Longhair numbers. Transferred from obviously well-worn vinyl to digital, the CD is short on decent sound quality; and there are no notes - but it is still the only extensive Rip audio overview available.

Bo's Cinderella Story


In 1963, Eddie Bo recorded two singles under his own name and produced one for Tommy Ridgley on the Cinderella label, which had just been started by businessman Irving Smith, who ran a successful family-owned record store at the 2019 St. Charles Avenue address shown on most of the records. Contrary to information at the otherwise informative Eddie Bo Discography, it does not seem likely that Bo owned or had a financial interest in this label, as far as I can tell. Prior to Cinderella, Smith became a partner in the formation of Instant Records in 1960 with Joe Banashak and popular local DJ Larry McKinley, the owners of Minit Records. Both of those labels did well for several years, having Allen Toussaint as their young-gun, hit-making producer, arranger and primary songwriter; but, by 1963, things were deteriorating. Toussaint was drafted, McKinley bowed out, and Banashak encountered serious financial difficulties with another of his businesses. After a disagreement with Smith about a decision affecting Instant, Banashak offered to buy out his interest; and Smith accepted. Soon thereafter, Cinderella appeared; and The R&B Indies tags Smith as the sole owner.

Cinderella's first single was by Art Neville, popular local vocalist on loan from Instant where he had a recent substantial hit with the Toussaint ballad, "All These Things". Smith released a swinging, pop version of Toussaint's "Lover Of Love" (#1201) by Art, which Toussaint may have produced. As I speculate, this single, with just the instrumental accompaniment as the B-side, could have been sourced from an unissued Instant track that was part of Banashak's payoff to Smith. Regardless, even though Neville was hot at the time, this single didn't do much business. Then, after a non-starter split-session featuring Harold Battiste and Willie Tee ("Foolish Girl") released on #1202, Bo came into the picture on label's third 45, a party record that hearkened back to the days of rock 'n' roll past.




"Shake, Rock, And Soul" (Eddie Bo)
Eddie Bo, Cinderella 1203, 1963
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

Dancing on the blurry, arbitrary line betwixt and between rock and soul, this record came down on the side of pure fun. Sure, it was something of a throwback that managed to quote the intro lyrics to "Blue Suede Shoes" and recall Big Joe Turner's classic jump blues, "Shake, Rattle And Roll"; but it was just an excuse for Bo to pull off a great dance groove. There was nothing profound going on as he urged his girl to get out on the floor, called out the popular dances of the day, and let loose with some screams. While it's refreshing to hear a song from this era that didn't have the popeye shuffle under it, record buyers at the time did not agree. Meanwhile, reassuringly (or not), the popeye groove was back on the filp side, "Reassure Me", the kind of song that Eddie could toss off in his sleep and not break a sweat. Pleasant enough, but forgettable.

For the next release, Tommy Ridgley was the featured vocalist, with Bo writing the A-side, "No One But You", and more than likely producing and arranging. It was a generally straight, well-executed. mid-temp pop tune, except for some annoying, far from soulful, female backing singers. Also, I think it was misnamed, since Ridgley and the girls consistently sang "no one but me" in the choruses. As a matter of fact, BMI listis it as "No One But Me". Things improved a bit on the back side, though.




"The Goose" (Gus E. Lewis & Rosemary White)
Tommy Ridgley, Cinderella 1204, 1963

On yet another dance record, the lyrics encouraged everybody to get out and do the Goose - which, despite being danceable, might have been a hard sell for several reasons - including the slang meaning of "goose". That's a different dance altogether from the one described, in which case, it is far better to do it than have it done to you! When I didn't recall anything about the writers, I checked the BMI database and discovered that Gus Lewis was also shown as a co-writer on both sides of Bo's previous Cinderella single,too, and several of his later songs. Then I remembered that I had a grapevine comp (now out of print?), Crescent City Funk and more..., that had a great track, "Let The Groove Move You", by Gus 'The Groove' Lewis. The notes further refreshed me that Gus was a local DJ and small label owner (Libra), who recorded and wrote for Inell Young - Eddie also worked with her later. Small world. Since Gus worked in radio, I suspect Eddie gave him a song on Ridgley's 45 and some co-writing credits to encourage airplay.

Although "The Goose" has grown on me, it was pretty generic dance fodder and had those same backing vocalists from the other side, but sounding somewhat more tolerable. And so, Bo and Ridgley's hitless streak continued, as the payoff for this one was chickenfeed or less, as you might expect by this point.

Bo stepped up again on #1205 with two more of his own songs, "Just Like A Monkey" b/w "Have Mercy On Me", also from 1963 - a devilishly rare 45 and his last for the label. Martin at the EBD doesn't even have one. He borrowed his label scans of it from Larry Grogan, who displays and discusses the single at his Funky16Corners webzine
Eddie Bo Archives. I had never heard the songs until my friend, Peter, recently furnished the audio and scan; and the top side proved to be revelation.

"Just Like A Monkey" (Eddie Bo)
Eddie Bo, Cinderella 1205, 1963
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

Larry Grogan described this cut as a transitional record for Eddie, as he began writing more in the style of Chicago (think Impressions) and Detroit soul (think Motown), which was selling at the time, pursuing the ever-elusive hit. Specifically here, he likens the cut to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Mickey's Monkey" on Tamla/Motown, also from 1963 (as does Ana in the comments section); and I can hear why. Besides the obvious monkey references, playing off the popular dance of that name, the beat used is similar on both tunes. You might call it part Bo Diddley, part hambone/hand-jive. But I also hear something of the New Orleans second line in both versions - Bo's in particular; and, to me, it marks a much bigger transition for Eddie.

Now, those of you who actually read these posts, and/or who know about New Orleans music of the 1960s in general, will recall the story about Joe Jones taking a bunch of New Orleans players and singers to Motown in 1962 to audition for Berry Gordy. Earl King got the nod and was signed (and had no releases!); but the player who most impressed Gordy was drummer Smokey Johnson, who was asked to stick around when the others left and show the in-house drummers how to play those tricky New Orleans rhythms. It often took two of Motown's drummers to deliver what Smokey was playing by himself; but they got it, pretty much. I humbly suggest that one of the early results of that teach-in by Smokey can be heard in the groove of "Mickey's Monkey", one of the great party records.

Now, what Eddie brought to the party was maybe derivative and inspired by the success of "Mickey's Monkey" which was a big, big record; but Eddie reclaimed the spirit of the thing for his hometown, turning it into a percussion-heavy second-line jam. This track instrumentally was mostly drums and handclaps, with a bass and guitar mixed way down, and that hypnotic repeating horn pattern. If you want what just might be Eddie's first foray into the linear groove territory of what came to be known as funk - I think this was it, six years before "Hook & Sling". How sweet is that? Bo's lyrics were playful, describing how the music brought out the simian in those who heard it. The only distraction for me is the background singers, a soulless lot, who probably were the culprits on Tommy Ridgley's earlier session, too. But, Bo didn't give them much room to mess things up on this significant groover.

The B-side, "Have Mercy On Me", was much more straight ahead, R&B/blues shuffle material, well done, but pretty generic. No matter, the top side made all worthwhile, although, lest we forget, this single tanked just like the other ones. The world just wasn't quite ready for Bo-funk.

Sometime soon after Bo's final single, Cinderella released two more on Art Neville, "My Babe" and "My Dear Dearest Darling" (#1400), then "Little Liza Jane" with the same backside (#1401). Both of these singles are quite rare, as well. Jon at the nevilltracks Complete Nevilles Discography reminds us that Neville's cover of "My Babe", made famous in the 1950s by Little Walter Jacobs and written by Willie Dixon, was comped by Night Train/Tuff City on the New Orleans Soul A Go-Go CD. Bluesy in a New Orleans kind of way, it doesn't sound like a Bo production to me. I thought the B-side of both singles might be a version of Eddie's song, "My Dearest Darling" recorded first by Bo for Chess in 1957 and taken to hitdom by Etta James in 1960 on Argo; but I just got in a label scan and audio of the tune which lead elsewhere. Although Art is credited as the writer, the song sounds a lot like "Dearest Darling" by Huey Smith & the Clowns from 1959 on Ace (thanks to Ana for bringing the song to my attention). Compared to the Smith tune, Neville's song has a very similar doo-wop style, chord changes, melody line; and the first verse is almost identical. So, I'd venture that Art lifted it from Huey; and Eddie was not involved one way or the other. Also, I got to hear "Little Liza Jane", which sounds almost country! I don't know who could have produced that session. All in all, I detect no signs of Bo-consciousness among Neville's final Cinderella sides.

One final note on Cinderella.
The R&B Indies lists two Cinderella singles for Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, numbered 1021 and 1024; and I have seen a label shot of another Cinderella 45 by 'Gatemouth', "Here I Am" b/w "Chicken Shake" (#1053?). While the 45 label looks similar, the cursive script of the logo is not the same; and I am pretty sure this was not the New Orleans Cinderella. The producer shown on the 'Gatemouth' single I saw was Jimmy Duncan; and the record label says "distributed by Cue Records, Inc." Cue Records seems to have been a Houston, Texas label that operated in the 1960s, according to the Indies; and Jimmy Duncan was one of its artists. So, we won't worry about any Eddie Bo connections there and can conclude that Irving Smith's Cinderella ceased operation after Art Neville's releases, having issued just seven singles.

Some Stuff On The Side. . .


I'm going to finish up Part 4 with a couple of fine projects for other artists Bo was involved with probably during or right after his work with Cinderella. I'm not exactly sure about the extent of what he did, if anything, on the production side of one of these; but he wrote both of the featured tracks. Of course, he had prior experience working with and writing for both artists on Ric.



"Going To The City" (E. Bocage - D. Johnson)
Johnny Adams, Gone 5147, 1964
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

Released nationally on Gone, a subsidiary of Roulette Records in New York, this gospel-inspired R&B mover had an irresistible groove and effective arrangement. Martin at the EBD doesn't think this sounds like a typical Bo production; but it reminds me of the fantastic side Bo wrote and produced for Johnny on Ric, "Tra-La-La", from 1962, which also had a similar gospel style and a swing to the groove. So, there was a precedent. What is most unusual about the cut is how well it was recorded and mixed - the sound is big, open, and compelling - surprising, since the backing on the track is pretty simple - drums, handclaps, guitar(s), chorus, and substantial but sparingly used horns (why no piano?).

Speaking of inspirational, it must have been so righteous as a composer to have Johnny Adams do your songs. His voice was purely soulful, with an incredible range, and packed a powerful emotional punch. He came up singing in the church before signing with Ric and going secular at the end of the 1950s; and it shows. For me, the goosebumps come up listening to "Going To The City" about a minute and a half in, before the break, when Adams hit that incredibly high multi-note run on the word "soon". Holy shit! He had it goin' on.

"Going To The City" was the B-side of "I'm Grateful", also written by Bo, a stately, conventional deep soul ballad, until, at the end, Johnny jumped up to his helium-like falsetto range. Information about the single is slim to none. The sides also came out on Dynamics (#1101), an obscure Detroit label. But I strongly suspect the sessions were based in New Orleans. Jeff Hannusch mentioned in his feature on Adams in
I Hear You Knockin' that Bo recorded him for Al Scamuzza's Scram label, saying that the session "came close to being leased by Roulette". Hmmm. If it was this session and was done for Scramuzza , it must have been during the unsuccessful attempt to get Scram established in the early Sixties, between 1962 and 1965; and there is no evidence, as yet, of a Scram release of this 45. Then again, this arrangement has some features in common with Wardell Quezergue's production work for the Watch label (see/hear the next track), especially the big assemblage of horns and the impressive sound of the recording in general - plus Adams made some records for Watch at this time. But, Bo did not work with Watch, as far as I know. Either way, how did the sides get onto Dynamics in Detroit and Roulette/Gone? I don't rightly know, but can venture a guess on the Detroit angle. Joe Jones had taken Adams and a number of other New Orleans artists to Motown to audition for Berry Gordy in 1962. Johnny was the one Gordy wanted, but he was signed to Ric at the time, so Gordy passed. Perhaps during that trip, Adams or Jones made a connection that got Johnny a release on Dynamics. [Some further digging leads me to think the Dynamics single came out after the Gone release - several years later; but I remain at a loss to explain why or how it all happened. I'll keep you posted. . . .]

As good as the efforts of Eddie and Johnny were, and no matter what label was slapped onto that record, where it went was nowhere - a black hole of a bad luck story. The Gone single was the final release from the label, which may be the main reason nobody much heard it. It also looks like the Dynamics release may have marked that label's demise into a final state of entropy, as well. Man, that 45 was a killer, alright, literally.

Tommy Ridgley also had a another release that Bo was involved with to some extent; and it had a connection back to Ric Records. In 1963, Joe Assunto, owner of the One Stop Record Shop and brother-in-law of the late Joe Ruffino , established the Watch label with partner Henry Hildebrand of All South Record Distributors in New Orleans. They took over Adams' Ric contract, such as it was, and began recording other artists, too, including Dell Stewart (a protege of Earl King), Benny Spellman , and Professor Longhair over the next few years. Having a deal with London Records to distribute their records nationally, they hired the multi-talented Wardell Quezergue to run the sessions. The partners gave Ridgley a shot in 1964, putting out the single on a subsidiary label they set up, Johen Records; and the A-side was this strong Eddie Bo-penned contender.




"I Want Some Money Baby" (Bocage-Terry)
Tommy Ridgley, Johen 9200, 1964
(Tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

As leader of his own horn-heavy band, the Royal Dukes of Rhythm, Quezergue naturally went for the sound of a big horn section and uptown R&B arrangements, which was a perfect match for Bo's tune. Lyrically, it was a rehash of the Barrett Strong Tamla/Motown 1959 classic, "Money" (written by Berry Gordy). One of New Orleans' best R&B singers, Ridgley did a fine job delivering those lyrics over a more sophisticated musical structure; but, as he told Jeff Hannusch in
The Soul Of New Orleans, London did not hold up their end of the bargain, failing to deliver any promotion for the single, which ensured that it go no attention. Stung, Assunto and Hildebrand did not use the Johen imprint or record Ridgely again. But Bo continued collaborating with Tommy for the next few years on other labels, trying to find something that clicked commercially. More on that soon. . . .

Bo's co-writer here, "T. Terry", was Theresa Terry, who shared several songwriting credits with him in the mid 1960s, as I have discussed in another post. I don't know anything about her, or if she was an active collaborator or just another name of some family member Eddie used to evade the IRS (as if he were making any money at this!); or, perhaps, Terry was the wife of some DJ who Eddie promised a cut of royalties to in return for airplay. As a general rule, Bo wrote both the lyrics and music; and, if other names appeared in the credits for his songs, such as his wife, Delores Johnson, they were not actual contributors.

Next time, which I promise will not be so long in coming, I will highlight the labels that Bo started on his own in the mid-1960s, which turned out to be a terrible time to get into the R&B/soul record business. We'll see Eddie still struggling for his financial rewards, experimenting with different sounds, and growing as a producer, composer, and performer. So stay tuned for more adventures in Bo-consciousness.

[Great thanks to Peter for label shots of Rip 154 (Dick Richards) and Rip 160 (Reggie Hall), plus the audio for 160, and for the shots of Dynamics 1101 and Cinderella 1205. Equal appreciation to Martin at the Eddie Bo Discography for shots of At Last 1006 (now replaced with a shot from my own copy) and Rip 154 (Eddie Bo). General background information for this post was sourced from Jeff Hannusch's books shown above, plus John Broven's Rhythm and Blues In New Orleans. As mentioned in the post, Larry Grogan's Bo info and audio at Funky16Corners (the webzine and blog) are always crucial. Discography information was derived mainly from The R&B Indies and the EBD. Rick Coleman's notes for Charly's Vippin' and Voppin' and Bear Family's Bobby Mitchell and the Toppers were also helpful. Thanks to all the real music writers and documentarians for the continuing education! I couldn't do it without y'all.]


22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SO MUCH

10:25 PM, August 21, 2009  
Blogger ana-b said...

Yet another great post...

Many thanks for filling in missing info....

Just Like a Monkey is rare? wow, I'll remember that next time i'm trading records with a certain pal. [i'm kidding, i'd be very surprised if he doesn't know it]

That said, yeah, I've heard the song.....to my ears it sounds like an obvious attempt to jump on the coattails of Smokey Robinson's Mickeys Monkey. Which is not to say that it's bad, or that i don't really really want a copy, just that it's somewhat derivative.

As far as I know I've never heard Art Neville's My Dear Dearest Darling. But I have heard a similarly titled song which is quite different than My Dearest Darling..

It's basically a doo-wop song. I can't remember if Bobby Marchan sings it, but i'm pretty sure it was released as a Clowns record....

I thought it worth mentioning as My Dear Dearest Darling was paired with Little Liza Jane. Maybe they were issued together because of the Clowns connection?

It's just a thought.

ana..

btw, I posted Bo's, You're The Only One, just yesterday. In my opinion, a nice song that doesn't get played often enough.

http://desosquichante.blogspot.com/

2:14 PM, August 22, 2009  
Blogger Funky16Corners said...

Very nice Dan! I wish someone would do a comp of the Cinderella material, if only to get some cleaner sound than some of my 45s.
Larry

4:25 PM, August 22, 2009  
Blogger Ford MF said...

You are a jewel as usual. Thanks!

10:49 AM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger Kees said...

Excellent
This made my week !
Thank you so much

3:19 PM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Thanks, y'all! I'm still weeding out the typos and other oversights. But glad you find this stuff useful.

Thanks, too, Ana for your information. In particular, your memory is spot on about Huey 'Piano' Smith and the Clowns recording a tune called "Dearest Darling". I looked it up, found it in my archives, and listened. And, yes, it was a doo-wop sorta thing with Marchan on lead vocal. The song was the flipside of "Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues" on Ace 571. Also, I was not aware you had a blog, too, (not paying enough attention), but have now added it to my blogroll. Let me know if I can link to your post of "You're The Only One". Thanks.

And, yo, Larry, the Cinderella catalog would fit nicely on one CD, or LP. Let's hope that comp happens some day some way.

4:35 PM, August 23, 2009  
Anonymous Jon Tyler said...

Great job as always, Dan (and, as always, thanks for mentioning Nevilletracks!) I’ve been wondering what the story was behind Cinderella Records for many years. I should have known that HOTG would be the place where my questions would be answered!

I have all three of Art Neville’s Cinderella 45s, but have never been able to listen to them, so I can’t tell you anything about “My Dear Dearest Darling” other than the fact that Art Neville is listed on the label as the song’s composer.

I second Larry’s thought (that some CD label needs to issue a collection of all of the Cinderella sides) but I can’t help wondering if the original tapes even exist any more. To my ears, it sounds like Rhino might have used vinyl as its source when it included Art’s “Lover of Love” on its Neville Brothers “Treacherous Too!” compilation.

9:30 PM, August 23, 2009  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Keep up the good work, Dan. We never heard any of this stuff up here in Wisconsin. Keep taking us to school.

2:12 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Thanks, John. I incorporated some of your comments into the post the other night. I am working on those Art Neville sides. . . .

I continue to amend the post today as new info comes in, or pops back into my head, in some cases. Peter provided the label scan of Dynamics 1101 and in an email asked me about the date for that single, which led me to do some more web digging from which I came up with a date of around 1967 (which I will try to verify from another source), much later than the Gone version.

Peter has also just provided more scans and some audio of other sides discussed. I will be checking those out soon. Again, stay tuned. And thank you, Peter, for keeping me extra busy!

4:45 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Isosceles Diego said...

Man, I can't thank you enough for clearing up the Rip Records discog stuff...it's bad enough trying to find some records that *do* exist!

I have an MP3 of "Just Like a Monkey" (*not* the 45 itself, sadly), I'll dig it up tonight.

-Travis

12:51 PM, August 26, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Thanks, ID. Glad I've helped narrow your search! I got audio and scan of "Just Like A Monkey" soon after the post went up. I've got the scan posted and will try to get the song and amendments incorporated into the post. Man, this one has really been interactive!

7:38 PM, August 26, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Me again. I've just updated the post with mp3 of "Just Like A Monkey", which, the more I listened, took on increasing significance in terms of ultimate Bo-consciousness, which I discuss. Hear/read it for yourself and decide.

Just a note, too, about the Art Neville song "My Dear Dearest Darling", which was the B-side of his last two Cinderella 45s. Before hearing it, I wondered if it might be the same song as Bo's "My Dearest Darling". Ana suggested that it might be related to the Huey Smith & the Clowns song, "Dearest Darling". And she was RIGHT! What does she win? We have no prizes. So, she wins my worthless recognition for great guesswork, anyway.

After getting the audio (thanks again, Peter!) and comparing Art's song to Smith's, I find that they have very similar chord structure, melody, and an almost identical first verse. As the Clowns version pre-dates Neville's by maybe 4 years, I would suggest that he "borrowed" heavily from the other tune. Not that it did him any good. That's showbiz.

That reminds me, I need to update that part of the post, too. Will it ever end?

10:59 PM, August 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

n.o.soul a go go has some e boes lost songs like" baby baby baby" joyce harris .there was another cd album nothern soul of the crescent city which has many of rare recordings listed at tunebags betty harris,willie t. wallace johnson,etc. and e- boes fun record is on that cd also dan thanks for your site!

5:22 PM, August 27, 2009  
Blogger frans said...

Hey, Dan

this is Snarfii from Belgium

Can you post once Tommy Ridgley's -No One But Me - please :-))

I heard that song a few weeks ago on a internet-radio, and i love it.

Keep up the good work and let soul alive

Greatings from Belgium

Ps. sorry my englisch is not 100%

4:42 PM, September 01, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Snarfii, please email me about the song: hotgblog (at) gmail (dot) com

I'll let you know more details in reply. And, don't worry, my English is not 100% either!

10:31 AM, September 02, 2009  
Anonymous Jipes said...

As usual a great post Dan, Eddie Bo really get this funky touch and I found a little girl is a great number I love the drummer work ! You're a true amazing source of information on those New Orleans gems Thanks a lot for letting us dicover theses hidden teasures ! I'm sure shaking my legs to do "The Goose" ;o)

4:58 AM, September 22, 2009  
Anonymous Jipes said...

Dan one omre thing, I have a kind of Guitar nerd question I realized that on several cuts presented in your feature, the sound of guitars is crispy and sound like "plugged directly on board" rather than plugged in a tube amp or something more greasy. Do you have any idea how the guitars were recorded there ? It's obvious for me in particular in the Johnny Adams "Going to the City"

5:06 AM, September 22, 2009  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

A VERY late response to your question, jipes; but I don't think they plugged guitars directly into the boards in the mid-1960s. Everything was mic-ed as far as I know. Audio engineers, speak up now.

12:53 PM, October 30, 2010  
Blogger statman54 said...

Is it possible that At Last 1004 was to have been Drits and Dravy's "Talk That Talk?" The matrix numbers in the runout are "AL 1007" and "AL 1008."

-M.L.

9:02 PM, October 06, 2013  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Hey, M.L.,
Good question - meaning I dunno! I don't have a copy of the Drits and Dravy 45 on Another, so I have never seen the runout, but will take your workd for it. With the "AL" before the numbers, it could very well be that the release was orginally meant for At Last. By the way, the R&B Indies show the matrix numbers (a/k/a Cosimo Code for that single to be 69-229/230.

I think you should direct your question to the guys over at the Cosimo Code (link on my my left sidebar or just google) think tank. I don't see that they even have that single listed yet; but your info help them help you.

12:02 AM, October 07, 2013  
Blogger statman54 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:53 PM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger statman54 said...

I have a record in my modest collection that you don't? Wow. When I posted "Talk That Talk" on 45cat.com, I noticed the (very faint) "AL" matrix numbers and my reaction was "Hmmm..." It's indeed included in the Cosimo Code listings; see the 1961 block. The five At Last releases show matrix numbers similar to "Talk That Talk," but don't include 1007 or 1008. So was this meant for At Last? As the Magic Eight Ball would say, "Signs point to Yes."

Thanks! -M.L.

8:49 PM, November 02, 2013  

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