Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bill Dogett - Soft


I hope everyone had a decent year and here's to an even better 2014.
Stay tuned for more posts from Dad's 45s in the coming year.

For our last post of 2013, please enjoy this 1957 classic from the late great Bill Doggett which was written by Tiny Bradshaw.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tiny Bradshaw - "The Gypsy"

Recorded April 5, 1954.
Tiny Bradshaw really had a two-part career, in the 1930s in swing and from the mid-'40s on as a best-selling R&B artist. He majored in psychology at Wilberforce University but chose music as his career. Bradshaw sang early on with Horace Henderson's Orchestra (in addition to playing drums), Marion Hardy's Alabamians, the Savoy Bearcats, the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and Luis Russell. In 1934, he put together his own orchestra and they recorded eight spirited numbers for Decca later that year. A decade of struggle lie ahead and, when Bradshaw's big band recorded again, in 1944, the music was more R&B and jump-oriented. The majority of Bradshaw's recordings were cut during 1950-1954, although there would be one session apiece made in 1955 and 1958. All of his post-1947 output was made for King including the seminal "Train Kept A-Rollin'" in 1951. For several decades, that song became a staple of numerous garage bands along with notable recorded versions by the Yardbirds in the '60s and Aerosmith in the '70s.

In 1954, Bradshaw suffered the first of two strokes, the second would be two years later. He spent the next few years recovering in a Florida hospital. In the meantime, King tried to keep his name from disapearring altogether by releasing a single made up of previous sessions. By early 1958, Bradshaw slowly returned to touring and leading his band. A final single was released by King, "Bushes" backed with "Short Shorts," which failed to gain any interest. Essentially Tiny Bradshaw's career was over. The record-buying public, led by teenagers, had already discovered Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Elvis. While trying to make the transistion to the rock & roll market, Bradshaw passed away of a third stroke on November 26, 1958, at his home in Cincinatti. He was 53 years old. Bradshaw is remembered not only as a fine jump blues shouter, but a bandleader who employed some of the greatest jazz players as sidemen along the way including Shad Collins, Russell Procope, and Happy Caldwell (all in 1934); Sonny Stitt (who recorded with Bradshaw in 1944); Big Nick Nicholas; Red Prysock; Bill Hardman; and Sil Austin.

Biography by: Scott Yanow & Al Campbell

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Ventures - "Walk - Don't Run"

One of the more well known singles in dad's crates is this classic instrumental version of "Walk - Don't Run", by The Ventures.
"Walk, Don't Run" is an instrumental composition written and first recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954. The tune is essentially a contrafact of the chord changes to the standard "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise".
The Seattle-based instrumental rock band The Ventures released their version of the tune as a surf rock single in autumn 1959 on Dolton Records, which quickly became a hit. In the UK, the tune was covered by the John Barry Seven, whose version, while only peaking at #11 on the Record Retailer chart, compared to the Ventures' #8, outcharted them to reach the Top 10 on other UK charts, such as that of the NME. The Dolton release of this record had two backing sides, the first release (Dolton 25) had "Home", and after initial sales were so great (to gain royalties), the B side was replaced with a Bogle-Wilson (The Ventures) original composition, "The McCoy" (Dolton 25-X).
The Ventures' version is believed to be one of the first surfing songs to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #2 and reaching #3 on the Cash Box magazine chart for five weeks in August and September 1959.