Various - Louisiana Roots-The Jay Miller R & B Legacy (CD)

Various - Louisiana Roots-The Jay Miller R & B Legacy (CD)



by John Broven

J.D. ’Jay’ Miller, is the Crowley, Louisiana record man who single-handedly put swamp-blues music on the map. Thanks to his vision and expertise, we continue to enjoy his productions such as I’m A King Bee by Slim Harpo, I Hear You Knockin’ by Lazy Lester, Hoo Doo Blues by Lightnin’ Slim and numerous more classics. These recordings have all been documented in our compre-hensive Excello reissue series. Now, we take a look at Jay Miller’s R&B recordings.

The roots of Louisiana R&B can be traced to a mix of the hit sounds of Texas and New Orleans, with distinct Creole and Cajun undertones. Specifically, the main influences are Clarence ’Gatemouth’ Brown, Guitar Slim and Fats Domino.

Jay Miller scored first time out with R&B on Excello with Guitar Gable’s infectious instrumental Congo Mombo in 1956, followed closely by the swamp-pop standard Irene, sung by Gable’s vocalist King Karl. For the next three years Guitar Gable and King Karl had regular singles on the Excello label, culminating in This Should Go On Forever which provided a US Top 20 hit for swamp-popper Rod Bernard. Not only this but Gable’s band was used as Miller’s session group, recording everything from swamp-blues to rock’n’roll.
Much of the early R&B material here is much sought-after on the original Excello singles, that is the sides by Vince Monroe, Joe Hudson & His Rocking Dukes (with stand-out vocalist Lester Robertson), Eddie Hudson (with superb vocal group accompaniment from the Gaynotes), Carol Fran, and Jay Nelson & the Jumpers. There are also two rare sides from Excello’s sister label, Nasco, by Classie Ballou and Chuck Martin.

By 1961, Jay Miller had formed a new studio group, whose principal members were ex-Clifton Chenier saxophonist Lionel Prevost (who has his own record here as Lionel Torrence), pianist Katie Webster, guitarist Al Foreman, and drummer Warren Storm. This combo generated a joyful, enthusiastic New Orleans R&B-type sound behind artists such as Charles Sheffield, Sonny Martin, Bobby Jay and Tabby Thomas.

Special mention must be made of four previously unreleased sides: King Karl’s storming rocker Baby Baby Come To Papa, Charles Sheffield’s shouter You’re Gonna Need Somebody, Marva Allen’s charming Here Comes The Night Owl and Katie Webster’s Never Let Me Go – with overdubbed full symphonic orchestral accompaniment, which works!

My notes to this CD are based on an unpublished interview with Jay Miller in 1995, shortly before he died. Miller gives a fascinating insight into his business operations, recording techniques and his relationship with Ernie Young of Excello Records. Of his unique sound, he said: It wasn’t technical as far as audio but I had a sense of something. Maybe that was the best thing that could have happened. I didn’t know too much about it, I didn’t go by the book, because I went by these two things – my ears!!! I’ve had so many compliments about the sound I got.”

The exemplary productions from Jay Miller’s tiny country studios in Crowley extend to his R&B recordings. Louisiana Roots is the Jay Miller R&B Legacy.”

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  • 1. King Karl - Baby Baby Come To Papa
  • 2. Vince Monroe - If I Had My Life To Live Over
  • 3. Guitar Gable with King Karl - Cool, Calm And Collected
  • 4. Guitar Gable with - Irene
  • 5. Skinny Dynamo - So Long So Long
  • 6. Joe Hudson & His Rocking Dukes with Lester Robertson - Hoo-Wee Pretty Baby
  • 7. Joe Hudson & His Rocking Dukes with Lester Robertson - Baby, Give Me A Chance
  • 8. Chuck Martin - Emma Lee
  • 9. Classie Ballou - Crazy Mambo
  • 10. Eddie Hudson - That Long Lost Baby
  • 11. Eddie Hudson - She's Sugar Sweet
  • 12. Jay Nelson & The Jumpers - A Fool That Was Blind
  • 13. Carol Fran - Knock, Knock
  • 14. Charles Sheffield - Rock 'N' Roll Train
  • 15. Charles Sheffield - The Kangaroo
  • 16. Sonny Martin - Air Force - US Navy
  • 17. Charles Sheffield - You're Gonna Need Somebody
  • 18. Charles Sheffield - I Would Be A Sinner
  • 19. Lionel Torrence - Flim Flam
  • 20. Bobby Jay - Red Sails In The Sunset
  • 21. Tabby Thomas - Popeye Train
  • 22. Marva Allen - Here Comes The Night Owl
  • 23. Joe Mayfield - How's Things With You
  • 24. Katie Webster - Never Let Me Go

Lisää samalta artistilta: Various