Monday, April 6, 2015
I'd like to wish all the followers of Scratchy Attic a Happy Easter, and share this (somewhat unholy) LP of "Risky (aka risqué) Blues". Having posted some of the King label's great country titles of late, here attention is turned to the other side of King's classic catalog. Part of the "King Blues Master Series" of albums released during the time after Syd Nathan's death in 1967 when the company was absorbed into a merger which created Starday-King Records, "Risky Blues" appeared in 1971, although the copy transferred here is a post-Gusto pressing and bares the date 1976.
The liner notes (by William "Hoss" Allen of WLAC Radio, Nashville) are as follows:
"Sixty Minute Man", "Annie Had A Baby", "Don't Stop Dan", "Keep On Churnin' "! Are those song titles familiar? Probably not; but they kept another generation "twisting and turning", "laughing and clapping", plus running to their nearest record shop. The reason? Simple.... Raw, Congoritualistic rhythms and suggestive lyrics (at least for that time).
They just aren't heard on the air anymore, they weren't then very much. People primarily heard them on Juke Boxes, at a friend’s house or from a small group of stations around the country who allowed their D. J.'s to play what they wanted to play and what they thought their listeners wanted to hear. Station management either turned a deaf ear or didn't care because guys like Gene Nobles in Nashville, Zenas Sears and "Alley Pal" Patrick in Atlanta, Bob Umbark in Birmingham, "Jack the Cat" and "Poppa-Stoppa" (the original) in New Orleans, Al Benson and Sam Evans in Chicago, Jack Walker and Al Cooper in New York were tremendously popular, sold-out commercially and the fore-runners of a great new movement that saw "race" music evolve into the more acceptable "rhythm and blues" idiom.
These early groups who became the influence behind the equally early rock groups like Bill Haley and The Comets, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and eventually the Beatles were versatile in their appeal to their particular musical form as the amplified guitar sounds and pulsating electric bass tone They had within the urgency and insistence of this pulsating hybrid of movement with lyrics to match, something "tart and ironic", authoritative and double-edged sensuality! As some one has written, "To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be PRESENT in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread."
Well, I can promise you there's no effort involved in listening to this album....other than trying to stay completely still or glued to one spot. And yet some of the cuts are so listenable that you'll play them over and over again before the full impact gets to you. "Silent George" by Lucky Millinder for example. "Mountain Oysters" by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis is a classic as is "Big Ten Inch Record" by Bull Moose Jackson.
Risque, you bet your sweet button; double entendre, to be sure; entertaining.
Right on, Brother, Right on!
Includes jacket and label scans.
1. Bull "Moose" Jackson-Big 10 Inch Record
2. The Swallows-It Ain't The Meat
3. The Midnighters-Annie Had A Baby
4. Wynonie Harris-Wasn't That Good
5. The Checkers-Don't Stop Dan
6. Wynonie Harris-Lovin' Machine
7. Lucky Millinder-Silent George
8. The Dominoes-60 Minute Man
9. Robert Henry-Somethin's Gone Wrong With My (Lovin' Machine)
10 Jesse Powell & Fluffy Hunter-The Walkin' Blues
11 Wynonie Harris-Keep On Churnin'
12 Bull "Moose" Jackson-I Want A Bowlegged Woman
13 Todd Rhodes-Rocket 69
14 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis-Mountain Oysters