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Saturday 26 June 2010

Down South in New Orleans

Some good time music for you to get you in the mood for Saturday night.

There is an excellent three CD compilation called "Heavy Sugar: The Pure Essence of New Orleans R 'n B" available for download on Amazon and eMusic. The title is self-explanatory. There are 75 tracks from roughly the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.

All the big names from the New Orleans scene of the time are represented - Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Smiley Lewis and so on - though usually with less well-known numbers. Then there are plenty of obscure gems, including these four:

"I Think You're Jiving Me" - Huey & Jerry

"Loud Mouth Annie" - Myles & Dupont

"Hatti Malatti" - Lee Diamond

"Take It Home To Grandma" - Lester Robertson

There was one name that took me completely by surprise - John Fred & The Playboys. Like most people I had only ever heard "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" and there is nothing in that to suggest that a few years before they were pumping out top notch New Orleans R 'n B. But they were. Here is the evidence.

"Shirley" - John Fred & The Playboys

Also featured is the great, and recently late, songwriter Bobby Charles. Some years later he was befriended by The Band and performed at "The Last Waltz". Their rendition of his "Down South In New Orleans" made the album but not the film. Here is some shaky bootleg footage of that performance. Bobby is the one with the beard and, yes, that is Dr John on guitar.

That's it from me for a few days - off to Madid tomorrow (work unfortunately), back with more on Wednesday.

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