Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Man Who Deserved More Success
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Singer/guitarist Arthur Gunter will be regarded by many music historians as a no-hit wonder due to the fact he never had a Billboard Pop hit to his credit. Others may be more charitable, pointing to one lonely R&B hit in early 1955. The fact is, when you listen to these cuts you just know that, with the resources of a bigger operation behind him, he would have had a string of R&B hits at least, many of which probably would have easily crossed over to the Billboard pop charts. He was that good.
Born on May 23, 1926 in Nashville, he was among an older group of local musicians who had been playing juke joints and clubs in the area for years, and who often hung around Ernie's Record Mart, owned by Ernie Young whose target clientele were the young southern blacks. In 1952, many of the local artists were signed by the local Nashboro Records to cut discs for their new Excello subsidiary, an outgrowth of Young's operation.
Over the next 20-odd years they would go on to release some of the best music never heard - at least not on a national scale which would have put most of their artists on an equal footing with the likes of those toiling for Specialty, Imperial, Chess/Checker and Atlantic/Atco.
Names signed back then to Nashboro/Excello included Earl Gaines, Louis Brooks' Hi-Toppers, The Marigolds, Rudy Greene, Guitar Gable, Clarence Samuels, Johnny Jano, The Gladiolas, Lonesome Sundown [Cornelius Green], Al Ferrier, Joe Hudson & His Rockin' Dukes, Lazy Lester [Leslie Johnson], Lightnin' Slim [Otis Hicks], Lillian Offitt, Slim Harpo [James Moore], Hooks Coleman, and Thomas "Shy Guy" Douglas. Some, like Slim Harpo and The Gladiolas, you will recognize. Most you will not. All were, however, very talented, but with limited promotional funds Nashboro/Excello simply could not devote the same attention to all.
One who suffered from this was Arthur Gunter who, in January 1955, put Excello on the map, so to speak, when one of his cuts reached # 12 on the R&B charts. It never crossed over to the pop charts, but it was heard, and covered by, a young man named Elvis Presley who was then recording for Sun. The song was Baby, Let's Play House which also features pianist Skippy Brooks. That rocker, and the bluesy flipside, Blues After Hours, are both here along with 24 other cuts, most of which should also have been awarded with equal attention.
Arthur, after a brief stay with the label, relocated to Detroit where he got a regular-paying job in the auto industry. Until, that is, he won a state lottery and, for a brief while, settled down into a life of leisure. Unfortunately, in 1976 he contracted pneumonia and on March 16 passed away at the young age of 49.
In this package Excello keeps his memory alive with 26 of the songs he recorded for them in the mid-1950s, a compilation with excellent sound reproduction and informative notes."