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Jimmy Witherspoon Dr. Blues (2-CD)

Dr. Blues (2-CD)
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(1947-59) (150:11/50) more

Jimmy Witherspoon: Dr. Blues (2-CD)

(1947-59) (150:11/50)

Article properties: Jimmy Witherspoon: Dr. Blues (2-CD)

Witherspoon, Jimmy - Dr. Blues (2-CD) CD 1
01 Cain River Blues
02 Ain't Nobody's Business
03 Ain't Nobodys's Business Pt.2
04 Third Floor Blues
05 Money's Getting Cheaper
06 Skidrow Blues
07 Frogimore Blues
08 In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down
09 Drunk, Broke & Hungry
10 Thelma Lee Blues
11 Sweet Lovin' Baby
12 Connie Lee
13 T.B. Blues
14 Big Fine Girl
15 Who's Been Jivin' You
16 Doctor Blues
17 No Rollin' Blues
18 Better Love Next Time
19 Falling By Degrees
20 There Ain't Nothing Better
21 I'm Just Wanderin' Pt.2
22 Just A Coun try Boy
23 Love And Friendship
24 Blowing The Blues
25 It's Raining Outside
26 Live So Easy
27 I Can make It With You
28 When The Lights Go Out
29 Danger
30 It Ain't No Secret
31 Crying
32 I Don't Know Why
33 Ain't Nobody's Business
34 Congratulations
35 Going Down Slow
36 Garfield Avenue
37 Mack And Jay
38 Just To Prove My Love To You
39 When I've Been Drinking
40 All That's Good
41 It Ain't What You're Thinking
42 Wee Baby Blues
43 Times Are Changing
44 There's Good Rockin' Tonight
45 Midnight Blues (Red Skirt)
46 S.K. Blues
47 Then The Lights Go Out
48 Spoon's Blues
49 Sweet's Blues
50 'T Ain't Nobody's Business
Jimmy Witherspoon Although he hailed from the Kansas City blues shouting tradition led by... more
"Jimmy Witherspoon"

Jimmy Witherspoon

Although he hailed from the Kansas City blues shouting tradition led by Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing, Jimmy Witherspoon made the great majority of his early solo sides out in Los Angeles, where there were more than enough R&B indie labels to keep him busy in the studio virtually non-stop. Chief among them was Modern Records, which cut him extensively during the postwar years. But they were by no means the only label to welcome 'Spoon to their rosters.

"Boy, I think I ran out of companies, I was on so many," the late singer said. "They didn't give you that much money anyway. If you didn't have a hit record, they didn't need you no more."  Witherspoon was born August 8, 1923 in Gurdon, Arkansas. "I've been singing all my life, in church, since I was about five years old," he said. "I always did want to sing." He got his big chance in 1943 in Calcutta, India, of all places. "I was in the Merchant Marines in World War II, and I was singing there with Teddy Weatherford's band," he said. "In '44, I came back to Vallejo, California, where my mother was living, and I joined Jay McShann then. That was my first job, really. I stayed with Jay for about four years."

 Spoon replaced Walter Brown in pianist McShann's mighty orchestra (its alumni included Charlie Parker). He fronted the band on sides for Philo/Aladdin, Premier, and Mercury before making his own debut 78s for the L.A.-based Supreme logo in late 1947.  That's the label he waxed his eternal calling card for: the two-part Ain't Nobody's Business, recast dramatically from Billie Holiday's downtrodden version, copyrighted as T'aint Nobody's Bizness If I Do in 1922, and first recorded by Anna Meyers and the Original Memphis Five. "Somebody came up with it—Al Patrick, who owned Supreme Records,"  he said. "Then I changed the lyrics. It's not the same as 'T'ain't Nobody's Business.' It's a takeoff steal from it, but it's not the same lyric." McShann was there to roll the 88s. "That was in Los Angeles, and he came out there to play, and I asked him to do it with me, which he did. The changes and everything, that was his." The two-sider sat on theR&B charts an unbelievable 34 weeks in 1949, including one at number one.

Witherspoon jumped to Modern in 1948 and made a motherlode of swinging R&B and mellow blues, displaying his way-behind-the-beat phrasing on the latter. Who's Been Jivin' You falls into the former camp, driving like mad over guitarist Chuck Norris' relentless chord work (Maxwell Davis and Vido Musso were the saxists, with Henry McDade on piano, Ralph Hamilton on bass, and Jesse Sailes on drums). Spoon shared writer's credit with Modern co-owner Joe Bihari (as Joe Josea).

From Modern, Jimmy migrated to Federal, Checker, Atlantic, RCA Victor, World Pacific, and Vee-Jay before an acclaimed appearance at the 1959 Monterey Jazz festival introduced him to a new demographic. He remained highly active, even triumphantly coming back from a 1981 bout with throat cancer, until the disease came back to permanently silence him on September 18, 1997.

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

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Tracklist
Witherspoon, Jimmy - Dr. Blues (2-CD) CD 1
01 Cain River Blues
02 Ain't Nobody's Business
03 Ain't Nobodys's Business Pt.2
04 Third Floor Blues
05 Money's Getting Cheaper
06 Skidrow Blues
07 Frogimore Blues
08 In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down
09 Drunk, Broke & Hungry
10 Thelma Lee Blues
11 Sweet Lovin' Baby
12 Connie Lee
13 T.B. Blues
14 Big Fine Girl
15 Who's Been Jivin' You
16 Doctor Blues
17 No Rollin' Blues
18 Better Love Next Time
19 Falling By Degrees
20 There Ain't Nothing Better
21 I'm Just Wanderin' Pt.2
22 Just A Coun try Boy
23 Love And Friendship
24 Blowing The Blues
25 It's Raining Outside
26 Live So Easy
27 I Can make It With You
28 When The Lights Go Out
29 Danger
30 It Ain't No Secret
31 Crying
32 I Don't Know Why
33 Ain't Nobody's Business
34 Congratulations
35 Going Down Slow
36 Garfield Avenue
37 Mack And Jay
38 Just To Prove My Love To You
39 When I've Been Drinking
40 All That's Good
41 It Ain't What You're Thinking
42 Wee Baby Blues
43 Times Are Changing
44 There's Good Rockin' Tonight
45 Midnight Blues (Red Skirt)
46 S.K. Blues
47 Then The Lights Go Out
48 Spoon's Blues
49 Sweet's Blues
50 'T Ain't Nobody's Business