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Johnny Adams I Won't Cry - The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (CD)

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(Ace Records) 24 tracks with 12 page booklet.  - It was a lucky day for music lovers when... more

Johnny Adams: I Won't Cry - The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (CD)

(Ace Records) 24 tracks with 12 page booklet.
 -
It was a lucky day for music lovers when Johnny Adams’ songwriter neighbour Dorothy La Bostrie knocked on the young gospel singer’s door and asked if he would consider singing the demos for two R&B songs she was hoping to pitch to record man Joe Ruffino of Ric and Ron Records. One of the songs was ‘I Won’t Cry’, which started the 'Tan Canary' on a career that spanned five decades, gave so much pleasure to fans of New Orleans soul and R&B, and which now features as the title track of a must-have CD.

It was only a local hit, but ‘I Won’t Cry’ set standards for the great music collected in the first-ever compilation to include the A and B-side of all 11 of Adams’ Ric and Ron singles – along with two otherwise unrecorded demos that made their first appearance on a vinyl single in a boxed set of Ric and Rons 45s issued for Record Store Day a couple of years back. It beggars belief that, of these 11, only ‘A Losing Battle’ became a national R&B hit, so high is their overall quality. Ruffino recorded Adams at Cosimo Matassa’s studio with the best musicians the Crescent City had on tap at the time.

Many tracks feature such renowned outfits as Edgar Blanchard’s Gondoliers, Harold Battiste’s A.F.O Studio Combo and individual talents like Mac Rebennack – who also composed several of the best tracks including ‘A Losing Battle’ and its stellar follow-up ‘Showdown’. With arrangements by Battiste and the equally respected Wardell Quezergue, it’s a pity and a surprise that they didn’t reach a greater audience when new. Over 50 years later, original success or failure is somewhat irrelevant. Johnny Adams’ Ric and Ron 45s provided the first steps to success that would eventually arrive at the end of the 60s via recordings such as ‘Release Me’, ‘Reconsider Me’ and a remake of ‘I Won’t Cry’, and are the foundation on which Johnny’s reputation as one of the great New Orleans song stylists rests.
(Tony Rounce)

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Article properties: Johnny Adams: I Won't Cry - The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (CD)

  • Interpret: Johnny Adams

  • Album titlle: I Won't Cry - The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (CD)

  • Genre R&B, Soul

  • Year of publication 2015
  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667066525

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Adams, Johnny - I Won't Cry - The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (CD) CD 1
01 I won't cry
02 Who you are
03 Come on
04 Nowhere to go
05 The bells are ringing
06 Teach me to forget
07 Someone for me
08 Let the wind blow
09 You can make it if you try
10 Closer to you
11 Wedding day
12 Ooh so nice
13 I solemnly promise
14 Life is just a struggle
15 A losing battle
16 Who's gonna love you
17 Showdown
18 Tra-la-la
19 Lonely drifter
20 I want to do everything for you
21 Comin' around the mountain
22 Cold cold heart
23 No way out for me
24 Walking the floor over you
Johnny Adams Reconsider Me Johnny Adams Reconsider Me   They called Johnny... more
"Johnny Adams"

Johnny Adams

Reconsider Me

Johnny Adams

Reconsider Me

 

They called Johnny Adams the Tan Canary around his New Orleans homebase, so mellifluous were his rich, burnished tones. In a city with a musical legacy built around the funky second-line parade beat, Adams was a classy balladeer with a multi-octave range whose melismatic pipes were capable of swooping down into a deep baritone and then up to a falsetto with the greatest of ease.

Born January 5, 1932 in the Big Easy, the rail-thin Adams got a late start in the music biz because he was busy singing in service of the Lord. His secular jump in 1959 came at the behest of his neighbor, composer Dorothy LaBostrie (she'd cleaned up the lyrics to Little Richard's Tutti-Frutti). "She always knew I could sing, so she just decided to ask," said the late Adams. She wrote him the tasty ballad I Won't Cry, produced by a young Mac 'Dr. John' Rebennack for Joe Ruffino's Ric label. Johnny had a local hit his first time out, and more fine Ric 45s followed. "I was more or less just a singer then," he said. "I wasn't an artist. I was just a singer."  Rebennack co-wrote the Ray Charles-tinged A Losing Battle, which did dent the R&B charts on Ric in 1962.

Adams was part of a Crescent City contingent that journeyed up to Detroit in '63 to audition for Berry Gordy (others included Earl King and Chris Kenner). But Ruffino reportedly threatened a lawsuit, knocking a Motown deal off the table. After Ruffino's death, Johnny's contract went to Joe Assunto at Watch Records. There he revived Release Me, a country classic that first hit for Jimmy Heap in 1954. "We just heard that playing, between Esther Phillips and Engelbert Humperdinck," said Adams. "We just decided to do it." Shelby Singleton's Nashville-based SSS International logo picked it up in '68, and Adams joined a long list of singers to hit with the weeper.

The gut-wrenching soul ballad Reconsider Me, penned by Singleton staffers Mira Smith and Margaret Lewis and cut in Nashville, proved Johnny's biggest SSS hit, sailing to #8 R&B and #28 pop. "These ladies were doing a lot of writing for Jo Jo Benson and Peggy Scott at the time," said Adams. "You know, changing country songs into blues." Lewis and Smith also supplied his next hit, I Can't Be All Bad.

Beginning in 1983, Johnny reached a new demographic at Rounder Records. He gave the songbooks of Percy Mayfield and Doc Pomus album-length examinations, exquisitely delving into contrasting blues and jazz material without ever faltering. "They got a whole lot of New Orleans music," Adams reasoned. "I try to make mine different when I can." Prostate cancer killed him on September 14, 1998. 

- Bill Dahl -

Various - Sweet Soul Music

Various - Sweet Soul Music 30 Scorching Classics From 1965

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