Types and Fonts
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Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup Delmark Records “Look On Yonder’s Wall, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane” (1969). The human voice has rarely been as movingly rich as that of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup nor has the human experience been so thoroughly mirrored as in the simple blues poetry of this big and gentle man from Mississippi. Some have commented that Crudup’s voice sounds similar to that of Elvis Presley but the truth is the other way around; Crudup wrote several of Presley’s hits and seems to have been an early Presley idol. – Delmark Records His last few gigs were with Bonnie Raitt. He passed away in 1974. You can see here in the design, the melding of blues legends into popular music and the youth culture of the sixties.
American Folk Blues Festival 1964 Fontana Records (UK) Recorded in the Musikhalle in Hamburg that year including Sonny Boy Williamson, Sugar Pie Desanto, Howlin Wolf and others. Courtesy of Chess Records. GO Sugar go!
“THE SUPER SUPER BLUES BAND” Checker Records HOWLIN WOLF! MUDDY WATERS! BO DIDDLEY! A Mount Rushmore of Blues Legends! In early 1967, Chess Records decided to shore up its fortunes by placing three of its aging stars in the studio to record together. Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Little Walter played off each other on the session that would result in the Super Blues album which, in turn, would sell enough copies to keep the ball rolling and merit a second all-star session.
Later that year, Waters and Diddley were joined in the studio by the great Howlin’ Wolf who replaced the ailing Little Walter, for a similar blues jam session. With a top-notch band that included guitarists Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy (who also played bass), pianist Otis Spann, and drummer Clifton James, the trio of Chess legends laid down the songs that would become The Super Super Blues Band album.
Zoot Sims plays Alto, Tenor and Baritone ABC-Paramount Records (1956) With John Williams (p), Knobby Totah (b), Gus Johnson (d) Music by George Handy. Bob Brookmeyer describes the power of Zoot’s playing: “Zoot plays earthy. He is direct, simple, logical, and above all, emotional”. Here Zoot blows alto, tenor and baritone saxophones in unison, opening and closing passages, and soloing individually on each horn. Dom Cerulli, in his highly enthusiastic review in Down beat, said: “Handy’s writing is as constantly alive and imaginative, as Zoot’s playing is forceful and swinging.”
I remember where I bought this LP as I surprisingly often do when pulling one down from the shelf. Funny that. This one came from the only used record store in Key West on a short trip I took there in 1986. It was on the wall next to a Sun Ra on Saturn that I also picked up that day. Then it was off to Duval street for a beer and Pepe’s for oysters. Sometimes a record can bring it all back.