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Piano Red A.k.a. Dr. Feelgood Piano Red - Rocks (CD)

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1-CD Digipak with 48-page booklet, 33 tracks. Playing time 78:04 minutes. The only career... more

Piano Red A.k.a. Dr. Feelgood: Piano Red - Rocks (CD)

1-CD Digipak with 48-page booklet, 33 tracks. Playing time 78:04 minutes.

The only career retrospective to combine the biggest hits of Piano Red and his alter-ego, Dr. Feelgood. His irresistibly cheerful songs inspired Little Richard, Aretha Franklin and a host of rockabillies including Carl Perkins. Five tracks are released here for the first time ever.

The boisterous barrelhouse blues of Willie Perryman were a guaranteed good time no matter which name the Atlanta 88s ace recorded under. After scoring five pounding R&B hits in 1950-1951 for RCA Victor as Piano Red (including the piledriving Rockin' With Red and Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo) and cutting a slew of additional rockers for the firm that stretched into 1958, Piano Red signed with Columbia's OKeh subsidiary, he switched his moniker to Dr. Feelgood and The Interns and nailed a big hit in '62 with his irresistible Doctor Feel-Good.

Bear Family's exhaustive four-CD boxed set 'The Doctor's In!' remains the ultimate Piano Red/Dr. Feelgood collection, but this disc boasts a lot of its high points' Piano Red's Victor hits and a generous array of other Victor standouts (including the blistering instrumental 'Wild Fire'), the best of Piano Red late '50s sides for Checker and Jax, and five previously unreleased OKeh and Columbia sides from 1962 and '66 that were presumed lost when the box was compiled.

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Piano Red A.k.a. Dr.feelgood - Piano Red - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01 Rockin' With Red Red, Piano
02 Jumpin' The Boogie Red, Piano
03 Red's Boogie Red, Piano
04 Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo Red, Piano
05 Diggin' The Boogie Red, Piano
06 Layin' The Boogie Red, Piano
07 The Sales Tax Boogie Red, Piano
08 She Walks Right In Red, Piano
09 She's Dynamite Red, Piano
10 Everybody's Boogie Red, Piano
11 Decatur Street Boogie Red, Piano
12 She Knocks Me Out Red, Piano
13 Chitlin' Hop Red, Piano
14 I Ain't Fattenin' Frogs For Snakes Red, Piano
15 Big Rock Joe From Kokomo Red, Piano
16 Jump Man Jump Red, Piano
17 Woo-Ee Red, Piano
18 Rock, Baby Red, Piano
19 Wild Fire Red, Piano
20 Rock And Roll Boogie Red, Piano
21 Boogie Re-Bop Red, Piano
22 I've Been Rockin' Red, Piano
23 Doctor Feel-Good Red, Piano
24 I Ain't Gonna Be A Lowdown Dog No More Red, Piano
25 What's Up Doc Red, Piano
26 Bald-Headed Lena Red, Piano
27 Blang Dong Red, Piano
28 I'm Gonna Rock Some More Red, Piano
29 Jumping The Boogie aka Jump Red, Piano
30 The Double Twist Red, Piano
31 I Need You Red, Piano
32 Can't Wait No Longer Red, Piano
33 Rock Me aka Rock Rock Rock Red, Piano
Dr. Feelgood and The Interns Most bluesmen were quite content to invent one colorful... more
"Piano Red A.k.a. Dr. Feelgood"

Dr. Feelgood and The Interns

Most bluesmen were quite content to invent one colorful sobriquet to perform under and ultimately be remembered by. Atlanta barrelhouse pianist Willie Perryman was the proud owner of two. For his first batch of early '50s hits and a long time thereafter, the albino ivories pounder billed himself as Piano Red. In 1961, he switched up after a commercial cold spell and rechristened himself Dr. Feelgood. His band was known as The Interns. One of the three Interns guitarists, Curtis Smith, wrote an introductory ditty about Willie's new persona that lived up to its claim: its hopelessly infectious groove sure makes you feel good.

Born in Hampton, Georgia on October 19, 1911, Willie Perryman had a role model in his immediate family. Rufus Perryman, 19 years his senior, was a two-fisted pianist known as Speckled Red (he was also an albino) who began recording for Brunswick in 1929. But the age difference between the two meant his actual influence would be negligible on Willie, who dug Fats Waller instead. Willie's folks left sharecropping in Hampton behind in 1917 for the urban advantages of Atlanta.

Despite his poor eyesight, Willie rambled through the Southeast during the '30s with an array of other itinerant bluesmen. He made his debut sides for Vocalion in 1936, partnered with 12-string guitar wonder Blind Willie McTell, but they were shelved. It would be another 14 years before Willie would enter a studio again; by then he'd established himself as one of Atlanta's top blues attractions. Local record shop owner John Yaughn set Willie up with RCA Victor's Groove subsidiary, and Piano Red finally made his debut platter in 1950, Steve Sholes (Elvis' future producer) supervising at the studios of WGST radio. Both sides of rafter-rattling debut 78, Rockin' With Red and Red's Boogie, dented the R&B charts, as did his first follow-up, The Wrong Yo-Yo, a piece borrowed from his brother's repertoire. Red continued to record prolifically for Groove and RCA for most of a decade, capped off by brief late '50s stops at Checker and Jax. 

The Piano Red moniker was put out to pasture when Perryman issued his first single on Columbia's OKeh logo. Waxed May 31, 1961 at Bradley Film & Recording in Nashville for Don Law, a veteran A&R man far better acquainted with country than blues, Doctor Feel-Good featured the aforementioned three-axe line-up (Smith, Roy Lee Johnson, and teenaged Beverly Watkins), with Howard 'Long John' Hobbs on bass and drummer Bobby Tuggle, once a Checker artist himself. The joyous ode became a #66 pop seller the following year, though the Beatles preferred its dreamy flip Mister Moonlight, sung by an un-credited Roy Lee Johnson (at least he got proper credit for penning it) 

The good Doctor kept on recording for OKeh and then Columbia into 1966, though Johnson cut out to do his own thing. A beloved figure around Atlanta, Perryman long hosted his own radio program, made recordings, and rocked local bars until cancer cut him down on July 25, 1985 in his adopted hometown. Bear Family has issued two Piano Red compilations: 'The Doctor's In!' is a comprehensive four-CD overview of his vast catalog, while 'Piano Red aka Dr. Feelgood Rocks' unearths three additional OKeh masters from '62 unavailable when the box was released.

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

 

 

 

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Tracklist
Piano Red A.k.a. Dr.feelgood - Piano Red - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01 Rockin' With Red
02 Jumpin' The Boogie
03 Red's Boogie
04 Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo
05 Diggin' The Boogie
06 Layin' The Boogie
07 The Sales Tax Boogie
08 She Walks Right In
09 She's Dynamite
10 Everybody's Boogie
11 Decatur Street Boogie
12 She Knocks Me Out
13 Chitlin' Hop
14 I Ain't Fattenin' Frogs For Snakes
15 Big Rock Joe From Kokomo
16 Jump Man Jump
17 Woo-Ee
18 Rock, Baby
19 Wild Fire
20 Rock And Roll Boogie
21 Boogie Re-Bop
22 I've Been Rockin'
23 Doctor Feel-Good
24 I Ain't Gonna Be A Lowdown Dog No More
25 What's Up Doc
26 Bald-Headed Lena
27 Blang Dong
28 I'm Gonna Rock Some More
29 Jumping The Boogie aka Jump
30 The Double Twist
31 I Need You
32 Can't Wait No Longer
33 Rock Me aka Rock Rock Rock