Sleazy rhythm and blues — cult classics like Jail Bait, Greasy Chicken — kicking off a career including production and writing for Stevie, Ike, Funkadelic and co, and stints at Motown and Chess. Detroit legend.
Her 1956 Atlantic debut, key to the splitting of jazz singing into rhythm and blues and soul. Lavern was Memphis Minnie’s niece. Her stage-name in her teens was ‘Miss Sharecropper’.
For Your Precious Love started out as a Bandera recording (subsequently leased to Vee-Jay), made by co-owner Vi Muszynski — and there are eleven Impressions sides here, seven of them previously unissued.
From the end of the 1940s, amazingly — heady with New Orleans traditions and innovativeness, a riotous blend of heavily syncopated Caribbean rhythms and laid-back Southern swagger.
Hats off every time to the founding father of New Orleans rhythm and blues. DB holds the master recipe for soul-ska-rhumba-blues gumbo. Just check the tracklisting for a sense of his achievement. Don.
Twenty-eight stonking, in-your-face female rhythm and blues cuts from sixty years ago — Cordella Di Milo kicking it off, Little Esther, Anonymous… Nobody does this better than Ace. Killer.
Sensational Texan guitar blues. Gatemouth comes out of T-Bone Walker. Don Robey started the Peacock label, just to put his records out. Without Clarence there is no Johnny Guitar Watson. Killer, killer, killer.
Intimate, unforced performances from Motormouth Maybelle, with piano-trio accompaniment, recorded in the late-1970s.
Two shots of deadly rhythm ‘n’ blues with a Latin twist: a rollicking rumba screamer; and the mid-tempo Please Don’t Freeze, sexual appetite incarnate.
Nuts, jazzy exotica, with driving percussion, and vocals unhinged in lust. The flip is an infectious, shuffling rhythm and blues dancer, and paean to Lincoln’s new beloved… a monkey.
A version-to-version emblematic of the momentous shift in early-60s Detroit soul — one foot in the tumultuous waters of the 1950s; the other tutored by Berry Gordy in more sophisticated and profitable moves.