Who was/is Speckled Red ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Speckled Red, born in Monroe. LA. October 23, 1892, is another of O'Brien's discoveries. After a spell playing and touring with minstrels and bluesmen such as Jim Jackson and Tampa Red. he cut his first session for Brunswick.
The Dirty Dozens (the great grandfather of rap) sold well enough that he cut a sec-ond version before the depression brought on a lot of blues but killed the blues record business. Three sides from those sessions were reissued in the early 40s and stayed in print until well into the 60s. Red wanted out of the deep south after a KKK incident. He played some whorehouses in Detroit, moved to St. Louis by 1938 where he remained, playing local bars and traditional jazz clubs and occasional concert tours (including the U of Chicago Folk Festival and a European tour with trad jazzman Chris Barber) until his death lan.2. 1973.
He was the first bluesman to record for Delmark (The Dirty Dozens. Delmark 601). The expansion of that LP for CD included some very naughty versions of The Dirty Dozens that couldn't have been issued at the time of the recording. (Red insisted the ladies leave the room before he would do them.) Boogie Woogie is alive and well, primarily among gui-tarists in the blues world but also in country music (where it's been a factor since the 30s). Pianists like Erwin Helfer, John Bentley, Charles Rasch, Barrelhouse Chuck, etc. have continued the piano tradition. Before closing I better mention that we haven't forgot-ten Jimmy Yancey.
His 35th/State apartment was a center for piano blues and boogie music in the 30s and 40s. Delmark's acquisition of the Session material means a full CD of he Yancey family will be forthcom-ing, including the first vocals by Mama and the only recordings of brother Alonzo Yancey.
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