(2000 ´Delmark´) (68:48/14) Gutes neues Album der starken Sängerin, die sich diesmal neben klassischen Bluesthemen z.B. auch ´Nutbush City Limits´, bekannt von Tina Turner, vorgenommen hat / fine new effort from this powerful singer. Besides her classic Chicago style blues you´ll also find songs like ´Nutbush City Limits´. ZORA YOUNG - voc, JAMES WHEELER - gtr, DANNY DREHER - gtr, KEN SAYDAK - pno, JOHNNY B. GAYDEN - bass, TIM AUSTIN - drums. Learned My Lesson is the celebration of Zora Young´s lifelong love affair with the blues.This is Zora´s first album on an established American label which is surprising since she is one of the most creative blues singers in Chicago. Zora was born in West Point, Mississippi and raised in Chicago where she grew up singing gospel music in a south side church. After years in the R&B ´´chittlin circuit´´, she switched to blues and since then has shared the stage with B.B. and Albert King, played the Chicago Blues Festival many times and tours Europe regularly. Zora´s voice ranges from a melancholy whisper to a rock ´n´ roll scream, and she will have you in her corner with one listen. With this album Zora Young has finally arrived to claim her rightful place as a contemporary blues powerhouse.
(2004 ´Delmark´) (66:30/13) In Mississippi geborene Sängerin, die heute zu den bekannteren Bluessängerinnen in Chicago zählt. Gutes Studioalbum / Born in Mississippi, Zora Young´s regarded one of the finest blues vocalists today in Chicago. Superb studio album. ZORA YOUNG - voc, PETE ALLEN - gtr, BOBBY DIRNINGER - pno/kbd, LEE CAIN - bass, KERMAN FRAZIER - drums, plus horns (2 tracks). Of her first Delmark CD Learned My Lesson (Delmark 748) Living Blues magazine said ´Her rough-edged croon can raise welts or love bumps. She has the versatility to strut comfortably from back-alley funk to uptown jump sophistication.´ Tore Up From The Floor Up features five original compositions, some choice covers and an interview. Guitarist Pete Allen provides most of the musical direction while The Chicago Horns provide support on ´Til The Fat Lady Sings´ and ´Ace Of Spades.´
(Dolly/Star-Club) 12 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1961 ´Mercury´ LP album ´A Dynamic Singing Personality . .´ This description by a noted critic, referring to Damita Jo, is a fitting tribute to Mercury´s tiny singing sensation. Born in Austin, Texas, her New Orleans-born parents named her Damita Jo Dublanc (´Little Lady Of White´). An only child, show-ered and guided by the love and talent of an artist mother, Damita began to ´sing out´ long before she could walk. In Santa Barbara, California, where her family moved from Austin, she was quickly recognized as ´Star Material´ as she was her high school´s leading performer and choreographer. After college, during the post World War II years, Damita began to make her mark in Los Angeles night spots and was in constant demand for radio and television appearances. Hollywood had beckoned for her when she was a youngster of 13, but her dad wanted her to stick to her lessons, and nixed a screen test and an offer to tutor her for dancing roles. Her first records were recorded on a Spanish label while she was still in her teens. In 1951 she was signed as featured singer with Steve Gibson & his Red Caps. This led to appearances around the country and starring stints on the nation´s top TV outings. It was with the Red Caps that she attracted national attention. Some of her early 50´s recordings were released on an RCA album in the mid 60´s. In 1958 she decided that the time was right to make it on her own. She signed with Mercury Records and recorded in 1960 ´I´ll Save The Last Dance For You´, her first hit that reached No 22 on the Billboard list. The song was an answer to The Drifters hit ´Save The Last Dance For Me´. She had two more hits in 1961: ´Keep Your Hands Off Of Him´ (which reached No 75) and the slow ´I´ll Be There´ (which reached No 12). In 1961 she also had a big hit in Sweden with ´Dance With A Dolly´, however this song had no success in the US. She also had a minor hit in 1966 with ´If You Go Away´ on EPIC Records. Damita Jo, in short, was a singer in the top rank of girl vocalists in the 50´s and early 60´s. The Big Bopper
(2003/And More Bears) 12 tracks 1956 (32:55) 16 page booklet (english). - Dickson Hall was born in North Carolina as Floyd Sherman Riley. He lived in the West during his teens and has studied folk music since his childhood. - Viele der Outlaws aus dem alten Westen sind längst unsterbliche Ikonen, etwa Jesse James und Billy the Kid. In den Texten der hier vertretenen Songs wurde der Versuch unternommen, all jene ´´Outlaws´´ historisch korrekt darzustellen. Heraus kam eine spannende, abwechslungsreiche Zeitreise durch den alten Westen. JOAQUIN MURIETA He was an outlaw of the Old West whose life has been so romanticized that it has become difficult to separate truth from fiction. His story as presented through the lyrics of this reaffirms the picture that has persisted through the years… JESSE JAMES Beginning his career with Quantrill’s guerrillas during the Civil War, Jesse James formed his own gang at war’s end and became an outlaw… possibly the most famous Western outlaw of American history. It is not known exactly how many banks and trains he robbed, but the number is roughly estimated at 17. That he ever gave any part of the $200,000 he obtained to widows and other poor people... BILLY THE KID (William H. Bonney) Born in New York City on November 23, 1859, Billy the Kid is supposed to have killed at least 12 men before the range war in Lincoln County, New Mexico brought him to national prominence. The facts of the early years of his life are difficult to pin down, but it is generally established that he killed his first man when he was just 12 years old. However, his career as an outlaw did not really begin until the spring of 1877 when the Lincoln County War got underway… BELLE STARR, The romantic treatment of her life by writers of novels and film scripts means that Belle Starr enjoys a reputation she does not deserve. Born near Carthage, Missouri on February 5, 1848, she grew up to be a crude, vulgar, and somewhat ugly woman who spent her life in the company of various outlaws, including the notorious Cole Younger. She reached the peak of her fame when she moved into Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and took up with Sam Starr, a half-blood Cherokee and cattle-thief. They were both finally sent to the penitentiary, sentenced by the notorious ´Hanging Judge´ Isaac Parker, for stealing a horse from a crippled boy… THE DALTON BROTHERS (Robert, Emmett and Grat) Law officers at first, the Daltons were related to Jesse and Frank James through marriage and were blood relatives of the Younger brothers. If the fate of their relatives taught them anything, the Daltons ignored the lesson… BLACK BART (Charles E. Boles) Born in Jefferson County, New York, Bart was the last of the great stage robbers, and became the most famous outlaw in California after the Civil War…
(1995/Brill Tone) Original Brill Building recordings - 57 tracks (31 unreleased) with 12 page booklet. - Gerry Goffin and Carole King are always and rightfully described as the most popular and prolific songwriters of their era, the early Sixties. It was a golden age for minority sounds: the music of soulful, urban or black vocal groups, the best of whom Were perhaps the Shirelles and the Drifters, given material by writers and producers who were young, gifted and Jewish. Gerry Goffin was born in Queens, New York, on 11 February 1930. Although he started writing lyrics over his own one-dimensional melodies when he was eight, he became a qualified chemist before making a career of songwriting many years later. Carole King, née Klein, was born in Brooklyn on 9 February 1941. She started piano lessons at four, tutored by her school-teacher mother. Outgoing and determined, she had formed her own group, the CoSines, by the age of 14 and danced in the aisles at the Alan Freed rock´n´roll shows. By her mid-teens King was signed to ABC-Paramount Records. She then teamed up with Paul Simon to make demo records of other writers´ songs for Frankie Avalon, the Passions and the Fleetwoods. It was not a stunning beginning. At Queens College, however, the quiet lyricist who wrote terrible music crossed paths with the chirpy composer who wrote bad lyrics. Their musical collaboration grew into something more, and they married in 1958. It was Neil Sedaka who opened the door for Goffin and King to join Don Kirshner´s songwriting team at Aldon Music. By the end of 1960 they had written numerous songs but had met with little success. The news that producers Leiber and Stoller were looking for a follow-up single to the Drifters´ ´´Save The Last Dance For Me´´ changed all that. Goffin and King took demo singer Tony Orlando into the studio and cut four songs, including ´´Some Kind Of Wonderful´´ (which the Drifters actually used) and Will You Love Me Tomorrow´´. Arranged by Carole King and sung by the Shirelles, ´´Will You Love Me Tomorrow´´ gave the team their first and biggest hit song. It became a US Number 1 in early 1961 and reached Number 3 in the UK.
(RCA - Special Collector´s Edition) 10 tracks Mono - may be played on either monaural or stereophonic phonographs - few copies The sensational Astronauts, RCA Victor´s five-man space team that orbits at 33 1/2 rpm, have won for themselves an A-OK rating the world over. In this country they have made numerous appearances on network TV—including ´Hullabaloo,´ the top-rated teen show—and theirs is the only group of its kind that has played over 100 universities, performing for concerts and dances. The boys have their own TV program, ´Count Down with the Astronauts,´ which is seen in four major West Coast markets, and there are plans to syndicate the show nationally. Ever since the group´s formation in Boulder, Colorado, the Astronauts have traveled quickly in one direction UP ! Bob Demmon, the oldest of the Astronauts, is the group´s leader. Born in Boulder, Bob can´t remember ever wanting any career other than one in music. He started trumpet lessons in the fifth grade, sang in a choir in junior high school, studied piano, and won six straight blue ribbons at Colorado solo contests during high school. When he started school at the University of Colorado, his mother put four hundred dollars in a bank account for him, and that very afternoon he went to Denver and spent it on a new electric guitar. Bob also managed to keep his college average at a B, and was graduated in 1962 from the University with a Bachelor of Music degree. Rich Fifield plays lead guitar for the Astronauts and does half the up-front singing. Born in Nebraska, Rich too always wanted to be a musician— and made his ´unprofessional´ debut when he was five, singing for ice cream cones at a local malt shop. He made his professional debut in high school, singing with a local combo, and since 1958 (when he was seventeen) , Rich has supported himself as a musician. He studied at Colorado State University, and joined the Astronauts in August of 1961. Of all the Astronauts, Jim Gallagher (youngest of the Astronauts, who are all in their twenties) comes from the most musical family. His father played trumpet for bands in Chicago for about ten years and his mother was a vocalist with the Hal Kemp band, among others. But Jim didn´t always want to be a musician ; until the third grade, he had his heart set on medicine ! By the time he reached eighth grade, drumming ´in any form´ was what he wanted to do— and drumming is what he has done ever since. For the Astronauts, Jim is a one-man percussion section who builds the big beat behind the group´s four twanging guitars. Jim studied at the University of Colorado in Boulder, but left school to join the Astronauts. Dennis Lindsey writes most of the Astronaut´s comedy material, plays guitar, and also displays a unique talent for vocal imitations. A Coloradan born and bred, Dennis studied at the Pasadena Playhouse in California and at the University of Colorado. He enjoys dramatics and has composed music. His spare time is devoted to activities ranging from painting and Spanish guitar playing to hunting, fishing and skiing—favorites of most of this action group. ´I had a lot of ambitions when I was a child,´ says Stormy Patterson, the Astronaut´s bass guitarist. ´First I wanted to own a large ranch, then I wanted to be a movie star.´ Storm began his musical career by learning to play the ukulele when he was ten. He bought his first guitar at thirteen, and at fifteen was playing in his first rock-and-roll band. Storm studied at Colorado State College in Greeley, but left school to play with the Astronauts. He shares the up-front honors with Rich Fifield. The Astronauts, all five, are GO all the way, as this collection of rousing favorites proves.
(1996 ´Delmark´) (70:15/13) Eine Benefiz-Veranstaltung für die privat-finanzierte Blues-Radiosendung Steve Cushings. Grundsolider, wenngleich wenig spektakuläre Aufnahmen aus dem ´B.L.U.E.S.´ in Chicago - eine typische Bluesnacht in Chicago For 17 years DJ Steve Cushing has aired Blues Before Sunrise, the ´Blues Heritage Showcase´, over Chicago´s public radio station 91.5FM WBEZ, and for the last six years the rest of the country has also had a chance to hear his show via satellite syndication. Broadcast from midnight to 5 a.m., Blues Before Sunrise has long served an audience that includes loyal home listeners, musicians lounging on break, lovers in their living rooms, cab drivers and other service workers pulling the graveyard, and even teen airwave surfers discovering an entire musical world peopled by cats who were hip before them. Blues Before Sunrise showcases blues as part of a cultural landscape that includes jump and jive, rhythm and blues, swing, doo wop, gospel, comedy, and recitation, and never is the music presented as kitsch or retro fashion in the way that some music has been exploited and trivialized. For Cushing the blues is a living African-American tradition with deep roots. As a musician himself bearing substantial credentials with Magic Slim and The Teardrops, the Lee Jackson band and Smokey Smothers and The Ice Cream Men, Steve Cushing numbers among his friends and closest associates the artists on this recording-fellow musicians to whom this is a vital, thriving music as well as a means of making a living. Now gone independent and seeking permanent sponsors, Blues Before Sunrise held a benefit concert at Chicago´s B.L.U.E.S. on October 20, 1996 to purchase satellite time to keep the show on the air. The packed-to-the-doors fund-raiser featured artists Billy Boy Arnold, John Brim, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Taildragger, Big Wheeler, Jimmy Burns, Lurrie Bell, Willie Buck, Lester Davenport, Dave Myers, Sammy Fender and others&emdash;each an extraordinary practitioner of Chicago blues and together a full-credit, higher education history lesson in the blues. The portion of the show preserved on this CD is hair-bristling proof of among other things the constancy of the post-war sound and of the vitality of the ever-fruitful Chicago scene. Vocalist and harp player Big Wheeler leads off backed by Rockin´ Johnny Burgin, Dave Waldman and Cushing, as he was on his 1993 Delmark release Bone Orchard (Delmark 661), performing three original compositions solidly in the musical style of his other two selections, Muddy´s ´I´m Ready´ and Little Walter´s ´Got To Go.´ Gary, Indiana native John Brim reprises four of his now-classic Chess sides supported by some of the original Ice Cream Men (named by Illinois Slim when they played behind Otis ´Big Smokey´ Smothers who was one, and only coincidently also the name of one of Brim´s numbers) Cushing, Dave Waldman, Slim (Tom Morris), and Sho Komiya on bass, and on the last cut, Martin Lange on harp. Billy Boy Arnold still sounds like the young man he was when he waxed classic 45s ´Ain´t Got You´ and ´I Wish You Would´ in the mid-1950s. ´Streetwise Advisor´, a sly paean to the Bronzeville patter of his youth, is followed by a rock-the-house-down musical pastiche that begins as ´Stormy Monday´ and leads into a medley of verses from his mentor Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson. Johnny Burgin and The Lazy Boys provide crack period back-up with a contemporary freshness behind both Arnold and Jimmy Burns (they were also the studio band in Burn´s recent release Leaving Here Walking (Delmark 694) and they appear with him weekly at Smoke Daddy´s). Burns makes Jimmy Rogers´ ´You´re The One´ sound brand new, then closes out in thrilling fashion with the soulful, minor-key title track to his CD, a fitting end that effortlessly stretches the blues boundaries. These musicians (all of them heard regularly on Blues Before Sunrise) aren´t ´revival´ acts. They´re out there every day playing music that would never occur to them as being ´old´ or ´retro´ but instead is part of an ongoing cultural tradition. Put this platter on and spin your own private Chicago blues festival featuring some of the best current practitioners of the genre, courtesy of Blues Before Sunrise and Delmark Records. Then go out and see them live. And afterwards, tune in to the show. And may the sun never set on Blues Before Sunrise, or the Chicago Blues. --Justin O´Brien