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Jay Bruder’s  big Washington music retrospective set, “R&B in D.C. 1940-1960” has been released by Bear Family Records and is available from their website.  It’s been reviewed in the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine.  .


Sunday September 25

Tonight on the Hometown Special we jump around from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, and Chicago. Starting out, “It Feels Good” by The Crawford Brothers leads to a little known recording by Patsy Cline called “Don’t Ever Leave Me.” Patsy’s husband Charlie Dick used to comment that Patsy was very loyal to people she knew early in her career and here we have an example of Patsy doing a favor for Mrs. Lilliam Claiborne who had been a supporter when Patsy came to Washington in 1954. Patsy cut the song which was originally credited to James Crawford for Bill McCall of 4 Star Records. While it wasn’t a hit, it did prove that Patsy never forgot a friend. Speaking of friends in Washington, fiddler Buck Ryan and country star Jimmy Dean were much on the scene when Patsy came down from Winchester to get her start in D.C. As were The Howington Brothers who recorded “I Got Mine” for Decca in 1954. While I can’t put my hands on the Frank Stokes’ recording from 1928, I can play some other fine blues from John Lee Williamson, aka Sonny Boy Williamson, and a series of great piano players. I follow with tracks by the other Sonny Boy, Alec Miller, aka Sonny Boy Williamson II who didn’t get to record until after John Lee had died. More boogie woogie piano from Forrest Sykes opens the second hour. He recorded for Aristocrat Records of Chicago and I follow with some cocktail blues in the style of the King Cole Trio done by the little-known Prince Cooper Trio, also from Aristocrat Records. Tenor-man Maxwell Davis and pianist Amos Milburn show how the Texas blues tradition morphed into national hits in the hands of West Coast arrangers. Jerry Lee Lewis answers Amos’ “Empty Arms Blues” with “Crazy Arms.” Louis and Frosty, yet another Los Angeles-based recording duo deliver a fine instrumental called “Train Time,” which tastefully combines a bunch of well-known guitar licks. But the master of the blues guitar around Los Angeles was Lowell Fulson (sometimes spelled Fulsom). We’ll hear tracks from early and late in his career. Around Washington in the early 1950s vocal groups were the things, and D.C vocal groups like to do ballads. The Four Dots, The Bachelors, and The Clovers demonstrate. The Clovers and Ruth Brown helped to keep Atlantic Records afloat during the labels’ early years so we’ll continue with one of Ruth Brown’s solid sellers “Teardrops From My Eyes” and contrast it with Chris Connor’s “I Miss You So,” another Atlantic recording. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to bluegrasscountry.org

Jay Bruder

It Feels GoodCrawford BrothersAladdin 3397Sep1957
Don’t Ever Leave Me AgainAngel Face with Frank MotleyBig Town 114Oct1954
Don’t Ever Leave MePatsy Cline4 Star EP-31Apr1957
Today Tomorrow and ForeverPatsy ClineDecca 30330May1957
Try AgainPatsy ClineDecca 30330May1957
A Stranger In My ArmsPatsy ClineDecca 30406Aug1957
Lee Highway SwingBuck RyanGilt Edge 5088Mar1954
Hillbilly WolfBilly StricklandSylvan 354circa1949
Find ‘Em Fool ‘Em Leave ‘Em AloneJimmy Dean and his Texas WildcatsMercury 70745Nov1955
I Got MineHowington BrothersDecca 9-29225July1954
I Been Dealing With The DevilSonny Boy Williamson 1 and Josh AltheimerBluebird B-8580May1940
New Early In The MorningSonny Boy Williamson 1 and Josh AltheimerMontgomery Ward 8937May1940
Early In The MorningSonny Boy Williamson 1 Big MaceoRCA Victor 20-1875Jun1946
Early In The MorningTampa Red Johnny JonesRCA Victor 22-0123Apr1951
Early In The MorningBoogie JakeChess 1746Dec1959
Don’t Start Me TalkingSonny Boy Williamson IIChecker 824Aug1955
Ninety NineSonny Boy Williamson IIChecker 883Sep1957
Unseeing EyeSonny Boy Williamson IIChecker 9271959
Move On Up A Little HigherSunset HarmonizersQuartet 101circa1950
One DaySunset HarmonizersQuartet 101circa1950
Chuck-A-LuckBaby Boy Warren and Sonny Boy IIExcello 2211circa1960
Forest Sykes Plays The BoogieForrest SykesAristocrat NOIcirca1948
Throw It Out of Your MindPrince Cooper TrioAristocrat 1202Dec1947
My FatePrince Cooper TrioAristocrat 1202Dec1947
It’s A Hit BabyPrince Cooper TrioAristocrat 1201Nov1947
Th’ Adams Bop HopMaxwell Davis Orch on tenor saxSwing Beat 191Apr1949
Empty Arms BluesAmos Milburn Maxwell DavisAladdin 3032Sep1949
Crazy ArmsJerry Lee LewisSun 259Dec1956
You Win AgainJerry Lee LewisSun 281Dec1957
End of the RoadJerry Lee LewisSun 259Jan1957
Train TimeLouis and Frosty [Jackson and Pyles]C Note SL-109circa1955
Rockin’ After MidnightLowell Fulsom Lloyd GlennSwing Time 196Apr1950
Some Old Lonesome DayLowell FulsomRPM 305Oct1950
Why Don’t We Do It In the RoadLowell FulsonJewel LP In A Heavy Bag1970
My DearFour DotsDot 1043Apr1951
Can’t Help Loving YouBachelorsAladdin 3210Dec1953
Blue VelvetCloversAtlantic 1052Jan1955
Teardrops From My EyesRuth Brown, Budd Johnson’s OrchestraAtlantic 919Aug1950
I Miss You SoChris Connor, Ray Ellis OrchestraAtlantic 1105Sep1956
FlamingoEarl Bostic & His OrchestraKing 4444Mar1951

Sunday September 18

Tonight on the Hometown Special we are going back to an interview I did with Otis Ducker in October 2013. Otis spent his teenage years in New Orleans and came back from college to work as a full-time musician in New Orleans around 1947.  He lead the house band at the Dew Drop Inn and toured with such notables as Clarence Samuels which and Lil Green. He knew many of the iconic figures who emerged from New Orleans in the early 1950s such as Dave Bartholomew, Larry Darnell, Annie Laurie, Paul Gayten, Plas Johnson, Erline Harris, Guitar Slim, and Smiley Lewis. In 1950 he landed a recording contract with Decca Records which resulted in two releases. But in January 1951 he was drafted and detailed to an engineer battalion at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He used his musical talents to earn an assignment to a newly established band on the Army post. He stayed in Washington after his Army stint and continued performing, sometimes in the house band at the Howard Theatre, and later with the Harry Curtis band. He became an official of the local musician’s union and that kept him in close contact with the performance scene for decades. You will get to hear Otis narrate bits of his life and career, with first-hand accounts of the people he worked with over the years. It is a fascinating story. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to bluegrasscountry.org

Jay Bruder

Just You and MeLou MilletAce 506Aug1955
Rockin’ By MySelfSammy Gowans [r.n. Cole Ghoens]United Artists 114Apr1958
Come Back Little PalJohn & Bill Garay & the Happy Melody BoysMarlboro 2004circa1952
A Country Boy Goes To TownJoe WheelerKing 993Sep1951
Leaving On A Midnight TrainHelen Marina w Otis Ducker and His Rockets of RhythmDecca 48159Jun1950
Interview Otis DuckerOtis Ducker
Golden Gate Gospel TrainGolden Gate QuartetBluebird B-7126Aug1937
Royal TelephoneSelah Jubilee SingersDecca 76071939
Sent For You YesterdayJimmy RushingDecca 18801938
Going Down SlowSt Louis Jimmy OdenBluebird B-8889Jan1942
Romance In The DarkLil GreenBluebird 8541Oct1940
Cherry Red BluesEddie “Cleanhead” VinsonMercury 8003Apr1946
That’s The Stuff You Gotta WatchElla with Buddy Johnson Orch.Decca 8671Feb1945
Household TroublesClarence Samuels and SextetDown Beat 131May1948
How Come You Do Me Like You DoLil GreenRCA Victor 20-2214Apr1947
Do Me A  Favor [Snake & Little Jimmy]Otis Ducker and His Rockets of RhythmDecca 48178Oct1950
Longhair’s Blues RhumbaProfessor LonghairAtlantic NOIDec1949
Bald HeadRoy Byrd and His Blues JumpersMercury 8175Apr1950
Saturday Night Fish Fry Parts 1 & 2Louis JordanDecca 24725Sep1949
Good Jax BoogieDave BartholomewAllied Transcriptioncirca1950
She’ll Be Mine After AwhileEdgar Blanchard and his  GondoliersPeacock 1514Feb1950
You’re Gonna Break Your Baby’ s HeartHelen Marina w Otis Ducker and His Rockets of RhythmDecca 48159Jun1950
Talkative BabyHelen Marina w Otis Ducker and His Rockets of RhythmDecca 48178Oct1950
I’ll Get Along Somehow Part 2Larry DarnellRegal 3236Oct1949
Since I Fell For YouAnnie LaurieDe Luxe 1082Jul1947
Creole GalPaul GaytenDeLuxe 3215May1949
Jump and ShoutErline Harris with the Johnson Brothers ComboRegal 3233Sep1949
Two WingsRev. Utah SmithTwo Wing Templec1948
Tee-Nah-NahSmiley LewisImperial 5067Apr1950
New ArrivalEddie ‘Guitar Slim’ JonesImperial 5310May1951
Zig-ZagJulian DashVee-Jay 117Dec1954