Mr Blues Lives Again in 4 disc box
R. Weinstock | Falls Church, VA USA | 06/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing, Wyonnie Harris is regarded as the greatest of the blues shouters, and one of the most popular and influential artists in the years after World War II. First emerging on record with Lucky Millender's Big Band, Harris' vocal "Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well," was a success for the Millender band. He recorded for several labels including Philo/Aladdin, Apollo, Hamptone, and Bullet before signing with King in July 1947. With King, he enjoyed his greatest success. The British Proper label has put together a four-disc box, "Rockin the Blues," which contains all of recordings (81 in total) through 1950. It is handy to have all of Harris' Philo/ Aladdin and Apollo recordings along with rarities from Hamptone and Bullett along with his first 37 King recordings in one place. Harris was accompanied by bands that included some of the finest jazz players of the postwar era including Howard McGhee, Teddy Edwards, Illinois Jacquet, Charles Mingus, Jack McVea, Gene Phillips, Arnett Cobb, Milt Buckner, Sun Ra (credited as pianist on the four sides recorded for Bullett in Nashville in March/April 1946), Tab Smith, Bill Doggett, Hot Lips Page, Hal Cornbread Singer, Tom Archia, Buddy Tate, Sonny Thompson and Cat Anderson). This is quite a roster of players and they provide terrific support on a collection of earthy blues, bawdy rockers and jump numbers. Its been over thirty years since Harris died, and, thus never enjoyed the type of career revival that Big Joe Turner enjoyed in the seventies and eighties. And so many of the songs here have become classics. The level of the music on these is consistently first-rate. Wyonnie Harris may have be a bit of a bragger when he called himself Mr. Blues, but few shouted the blues with the power and skill that he did."
There *will* be good rockin' tongiht ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 05/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, a bit of a warning... if this is going to be your first taste of WYNONIE, I highly recommend BLOODSHOT EYES... less tunes, but a bit more "punchy" and to the point. And if it isn't... welcome back, and welcome to heaven (yes, who'd ever imagine that sinners DO go to heaven?)
As for Wyononie - - who was he ? I think there are a few great ways to describe him - - 1. As the true father of Rock and Roll (via the genre of so called "jump" and "rhythm and blues". 2 Louis Jordan's evil twin. (Will explain...) 3. One of the greatest (if not most perverse) blues shouters to ever live. As for the Louis Jordan comment - - the similarities are apparent - - both forged the way for rock and roll, but while Jordan tended to keep it clean, Wynonie didn't mind playing it blue... and his tunes are full of sexual references perhaps tame by today's standards, but still quite funny - - take I LIVE MY BABY'S PUDDING, ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS SIT ON IT - - and LOVIN' MACHINE. Wyononie is also the hard drinkin' bad boy who reminded his listners to "keep on churning until the butter comes," meaning he was good, wholesome and encouraged people to drink milk... Thumbs up to him.
Added surprized on this album include backing vocals by the HARLEMAIRES (one of the original R&B/Doo Wop vocal groups, featuring Frankie Lymon's Dad, and Dottie Smith, who also played timbale's and sang and strawbossed for Jordan) - - In addition tunes like OH BABE and GOOD MORNING JUDGE make you wonder who was copping who when it came to another Louis - - and finally there is one of the most swinging, jumping, houserockin' versions of TEARDROPS FROM MY EYES ever recorded.
Ample reasons to purchase this... you bet.
Of interesting note... the terms ROCK AND ROLL and R & B were actually terms concocted to describe this type of music long after it existed... Rhythm and Blues supposedly wasn't a genre but two types of music - - The Blues and "Rhythm" music, which were both RACE music and often played together... hence the DJs would say they were spinning Blues and Rhythm (or Rhythm and Blues) at that time... I mention that because in Wynonie's music you can really hear the cross roads and roots of the great American backbeat in all its forms from Jazz and Swing to Rhythm, Blues and Rock and Roll, hence the music isn't only soulful, humorous and toe tapping, its enlightening too !
For this reason, Wynonie definitely belongs in your player and I hope you'll agree !"
Good set, great bargain.
HardyBoys.us | Long Island USA | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rockin' The Blues showcases the work of the great blues shouter Wynonie Harris in his prime.
Surrounded by excellent musicians, Mr. Harris belts out some classic blues tinged with the big band sound.
The quality of the recordings is first rate and there is a booklet with detailed liner notes.
As with all the box sets from Proper, this set provides excellent quality music and great value for the money."