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Jay Bruder’s  big Washington music retrospective set, “R&B in D.C. 1940-1960” has been announced for September release by Bear Family Records and is available for advance sale from their website.

Sunday August 1

This week on the Home Town Special The Keystoners kick things off with the “Magic Kiss” followed by two fine Philly groups The Capris and The Revels. Bill Browning worked out of Wheeling, but he had an influence on the Washington record scene through his recording of “Dark Hollow.” The late Ric Nelson gives us a little context on how Luke Gordon first recorded that song at Ben Adelman’s Empire Studio in Takoma and then re-recorded it with The Stonemans at Nelson Funk’s Rodel Studio in Georgetown. Hobo Jack Adkins give us some proto-grass from Kentucky on the Ace and Lucky labels. Lydia Mendoza reprises her timeless “Mal Hombre” for Imperial Records in the late 1940s. She is paired with the great Portuguese Fado singer Amalia Rodriguez. We finish the hour with The Parker Brothers of Norfolk recording right here in Washington in 1950. That sets us up for another in-depth excursion into D.C. R&B in the second hour. Billy Fair’s “Boogie In The Morning” and The Four Dots “You Won’t Let Me Go” show the two opposing trends in band and vocal group recordings coming out of Washington in 1950. We explore the extraordinarily good and bad luck of Washingtonians with RCA Victor in 1951 and 1952. The facilities and arrangements were great, but the sales were not for Jimmy McPhail, TNT Tribble, and the Young Gospel Singers. We delve into the rough edge of D.C R&B with The Chords, Frank “Two Horn” Motely, and Little Sonny Warner and The Rockets. We finish out with fine vocal group ballads from The Clovers, The Blues Jays, and The Five Blues Notes. Hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to Bluegrass Country!
Jay Bruder

Magic KissKeystonersG&M 102Jun1956
That’s What You’re Doing To MeCapris w Rena HintonGotham 304Aug1954
Love My BabyRevelsAtlas 1035Nov1953
Cotton Pickin’Night RaidersProfile 4007May1959
Borned With The BluesBill BrowningIsland  7March1958
Wash Machine BoogieEcho Valley BoysIsland  2Sep1957
Breaking HeartsBill Browning Echo Valley BoysIsland 10circa1958
Dark HollowBill BrowningIsland  7March1958
Ric Nelson explains Dark HollowRic NelsonInterviewOct2012
Dark HollowLuke Gordon w John DuffyL&C 0014circa1955
Dark HollowLuke Gordon w StonemansBlue Ridge 502Jun1958
CulleokaRainbow Valley Boys w Hubert BinkleyExcello 2067Oct55
She’s My SugarHobo Jack[Adkins] and his Kentucky PalsAce AR-3mid1950S
You Have Left Me MemoriesHobo Jack [Adkins] and his Kentucky PalsLucky 2001mid1950S
Going Back To Old KentuckyHobo Jack AdkinsAcme 1265early1950s
Mal HombreLydia MendonzaImperial 279unkunk
Fado do Ciume – JealousyAmalia RodriquesContinental BZ 20.004c1945
In The GardenBetty Johnson w Lydia and ElizabethBliss Tavern 1223-17circa1998
I Come To The Garden AloneSilver Leaf QuartetteAtlantic 882Sep1949
I Can’t Help From Cryin’ SometimesParker Brothers QuartetAtlantic 908May1950
Moving GuitarSonny Dae & His KnightsArcade 123late1953
Boogie In The MorningBilly Fair and His OrchestraDerby 749Oct1950
You Won’t Let Me GoFour DotsDot 1043Apr1951
That’s How Much I Love YouJimmy McPhailRCA Victor 20-4400Dec1951
I Get My Kicks In The CountryTNT TribbleRCA Victor20-4460Jan1952
Hey Miss FannieCloversAtlantic 977Sep1952
Mary LeeRainbowsRed Robin 134Jun1955
Some Folks DoJimmy McPhailRCA Victor 47-4788Jun1953
Does Jesus CareYoung Gospel SingersRCA Victor 20-4674Apr1952
Ride OnClefsChess 1521Jul1952
Big Leg MamaThe Rockets w Little Sonny WarnerAtlantic 988Jan1953
Drag It Home, BabyJetsRainbow 201Jan1953
Heavy Weight BabyJimmy Crawford, Frank MotleySpecialty 454Feb1953
I Wanna KnowDu DroppersRCA Victor 47-5279Apr1953
You’ll Never KnowEva Foster with Van Perry QuintetAtlantic 997Jun1953
I Found OutJimmy CrawfordDC 94-78Jun1953
Here Goes A FoolCloversAtlantic 1000Jun1953
The White Cliffs of DoverBlue JaysChecker 782Oct1953
My Gal Is Gone5 Blue Notes of WashingtonSabre 103Oct1953
Waxin’ For MaxieVan Perry Quintet, Frank WessAtlantic 977Apr1953

Sunday July 25

This week on the Home Town Special we’ll be all over the place, as usual. First up a quick look at the much overlooked tradition of the piano in country music with titles from Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Hall, and Moon Mullican. Then it’s way down south for some great rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll from Bobby Charles, Dale Hawkins and Johnny Jano. We celebrate Washington and Virginia rockers with titles from Bobby Poe and The Poe Cats, The Rock-A-Teens tribute to Janis Martin, and a title called “Rockateen” by the Satellites, before turning to bluegrass from Chapel Hill and Southside Virginia. Piano-man Jimmy McCracklin rocks us up to gospel time where we hear from three great vocal quartets, The Southern Stars, Mitchell’s Christian Singers, and The Fairfield Four,  each of whom have a very different approach to quartet singing. The second hour kicks off with a great boogie courtesy of Marv Goldberg who asked me to dig in my collection for an obscure Harry Crafton/Doc Bagby disc (look for another great research piece coming soon from Marv, just search on Unca Marvy to get to his site). We head down to New Orleans for some old standbys from Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Roy Brown. There were lots of records which anticipated rock ‘n’ roll, but I’ll give you four examples from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Jimmy McCracklin comes back for a second shot with “I’m Looking for A Woman” which leads to a couple of related titles from Little Hudson and Bo Diddley. Lula Reed, Paul Tate, and Sonny Thompson recreate their “Watchdog” theme for Syd Nathan’s King Records. Finally Fay Adams takes us out with the R&B anthem “Shake A Hand.” Hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to Bluegrass Cuntry!

Jay Bruder

Crazy ArmsJerry Lee LewisSun 259Dec1956
Going Down The Road Feeling BadRoy Hall and his Cohutta Mountain BoysFortune 170Jan1953
I’ll Sail My Ship AloneMoon MullicanKing 830Dec1949
Take It Easy GreasyBobby CharlesChess 1628Sep1956
LuluDale HawkinsChess LP 7031958
Havin A Whole Lotta FunJohnny JanoExcello 2099Jan1957
Shorty ShortyBob and RayNasco 6023Dec1958
Call Me ShortyMickey GilleyDot 15706Feb1958
Cut Across ShortyEddie CochranLiberty F-55242Mar1960
Rock and Roll Record GirlBobby Poe and the Poe CatsWhite Rock 1112Apr1958
Janis Will RockRock-A-TeensRoulette LP-25109late1959
RockateenSatellitesCupid 5004Jun1959
You Don’t Have To Be From The CountryHack Johnson and his TennesseansColonial 401Apr1955
Crazy Banjo Medley Allen Shelton banjoHack Johnson and his TennesseansColonial 405May1955
Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight MisterTed PrillamanMart 1457
Arkansas Part 1Jimmy McCracklinImperial 66116circa1965
Arkansas Part 2Jimmy McCracklinImperial 66116circa1965
Everybody RockJimmy McCracklinChecker 893Apr1958
Georgia SlopJimmy McCracklinMercury 71516Oct1959
Nobody’s Fault But MineSouthern StarsCuca 1483circa1969
Famine In The LandMitchells Christian SingersColumbia 37478Aug1940
Poor Pilgrim of SorrowFairfield FourDot 1073Apr1951
Rainbow BluesBill Emerson WV MountaineersMVM LP-155circa1960
Saturday Night BoogieDoc BagbyGotham 195Oct1949
In The Middle of The NightTiny Tim w Doc BagbyGotham 195Oct1949
In The Middle of the NightAmos MilburnAladdin 3026Apr1949
Longhair’s Blues RhumbaProfessor LonghairAtlantic NOINov1949
Hadacol BounceRoy Byrd and his Blues JumpersMercury NOISep1949
Every Night About This TimeFats DominoImperial 5099Sep1950
I Hear You KnockingSmiley LewisImperial 5356Jul1955
Miss Fanny BrownRoy BrownDe Luxe 1128Jan1948
We’re Gonna RockWild Bill MooreSavoy 666Jun1948
I’m Gonna RockConnie JordanCoral 65022Feb1950
Rock and Roll BluesErline “Rock and Roll” HarrisDe Luxe 3220May1949
Rock and RollWild Bill Moore w Scatman CruthersModern 674Jun1949
I’m Looking For A WomanJimmy McCracklinSwingtime 260Mar1951
I’m Looking For A WomanLittle Hudson Showers Lazy Bill LucasJOB 1015Jan1953
I’m Looking For A WomanBo DiddleyChecker 832Feb1956
Watch DogLula Reed with Sonny ThompsonKing 4688Dec1953
I Ain’t No Watch DogPaul Tate with Sonny ThompsonKing4712Jun1954
I’ll Drown In My TearsLula Reed w Sonny ThompsonKing 4527Apr1952
Shake A HandFaye AdamsHerald 416Aug1953
Not A Hand To ShakeFive JetsDeLuxe 6018Oct1953
Zig ZagJulian Dash and his OrchestraVee Jay 117Oct1954