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EVERY Billboard #1 rhythm & blues hit discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tomstockman, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Capitol Records settled with the American Federation of Musicians on October 11, 1943. As shown by its need to lease masters from other labels to keep going, the label had run out of its limited pre-ban backstock of recordings.

    "Shoo Shoo Baby" was from a session held October 20, 1943, just nine days after the settlement.
     
  2. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
  3. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Discogs tells us that this hit, the b-side to a version of "Don't Cry Baby", was recorded on October 19th, 1943, making it our third full-band recording since the beginning of the ban, after the King Cole Trio and Ella Mae Morse.
     
  4. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Now that we've finished our first full year with an r&b chart I'm going to post these two Spotify playlist I've made for anyone interested who can access them. I made them for my own edification, but they're interesting enough to post here. I'll keep them up on Spotify until we arrive at the end of 1944 and replace them.

    First, a playlist of every hit we've heard from the Harlem Hit Parade in 1943: R&B #1 Hits 1943, a playlist by Tom Stockman on Spotify »

    and second, for fun and contrast, a playlist of every number one pop song of the same year (there's a little overlap!): #1 Pop Hits 1943, a playlist by Tom Stockman on Spotify »
     
  5. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    For those who don't have Spotify



    Another song I don't ever recall hearing before. Quite sweet, another late-nighter

    I see I have a track of Lucky Millender on the Rhino Blues Masters series, but I suspect it is from the 1950s.
     
  6. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    This date is correct.

    On September 30, 1943, Decca and the AFM announced the terms under which they had agreed to end the ban. The actual end of the strike against Decca occurred several days earlier. It appears as if the first new Decca session with musicians took place September 27, 1943 with Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen's ork (to use the common abbreviation of the era); the result was the two-sided hit "Pistol Packin' Mama" and "Vict'ry Polka." The former was a cover of Al Dexter's original, which he had recorded March 18, 1942, before the ban; it was held for more than a year and was finally released in August 1943 by Okeh (at the time Columbia's C&W label, for the most part). Dexter's version was #3 on the pop charts the week of the Decca/AFM settlement; with no competing versions, it was a prime target for a cover. The Crosby version would become the very first #1 country single when Billboard started that chart on January 8, 1944 until it was replaced by Dexter's more authentic original.

    How important was the end of the ban to the Decca label? Consider that in 1944, it had 15 of the 17 #1 singles on the pop charts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  7. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Larry Mc likes this.
  8. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    tim_neely mentioned the new-as-of 1944 country & western charts, and for our purposes it's interesting to note the frequent intersections between the r&b and c&w charts when the c&w charts were new. It would be unheard of today, but today's hit was a #1 for both charts - and yesterday's hit made it to #4 on the c&w chart. Louis Jordan will find great success on both charts for a while - he'll even have a couple c&w hits that won't land on the r&b charts at all.
     
  9. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    You Tube version, with a video of British Life During Wartime. Was this song even heard over there?



    Quite a long intro, I was thinking it was an instrumental.
     
  10. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    "Ration Blues" and its B-side, "Deacon Jones," were Louis Jordan's first new sides after the Decca/AFM settlement. Both were recorded in Los Angeles on October 4, 1943.
     
  11. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Agreed! I guess this is just further evidence of the sort of shift we'll see, by the end of the decade the vocalists are hands down the stars of the show, but right now people are still accustomed to the band being just as important.

    Good song - there's a note on it's Wikipedia page that it's his first crossover hit, landing at #11 on the pop chart (and #1 on the new country western chart, which I mentioned before). After his first hit you could have mistaken Louis Jordan for a novelties act, and while this doesn't yet move him firmly away from that distinction it is a step away, with more focus on the song and less on the joke. If I hadn't cheated and listened to his Greatest Hits after our first encounter with him I'd be pretty curious how this guy becomes one of the most successful rhythm and blues artists of the century - not that this is bad, it's a charming little song, but it's not exactly grabbing ahold of my consciousness or anything!

    hear it: Ration Blues »
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  12. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
  13. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada


    And you never will :)

    Great song, though I've never heard this version before. Actually, the first You Tube clip I listened to was only instrumental. This clip says Al Hibbler is doing the vocal.

    I must have 2 0r 3 other versions somewhere among my cd collection.
     
  14. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Today's hit:

     
    Larry Mc likes this.
  15. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada


    Jive is one of those old cool words I like.

    Are we really up to 1944?
     
  16. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Sorry about the delay, I'll return tomorrow!
     
  17. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    As Victor was still affected by the recording ban, the label was digging deep into the archives for "new" releases. "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" was recorded on March 15, 1940 and originally released on Victor 26598 under the title "Concerto for Cootie," as it was designed as a showcase for trumpeter Cootie Williams.

    Bob Russell, who also had retrofitted lyrics to Ellington's "Never No Lament," did the same to "Concerto for Cootie." The biggest hit vocal versions were by Woody Herman on Decca and Stan Kenton (vocal by Red Dorris) on Capitol, two labels that, as we've noted, had already settled with the musicians' union.

    Because of the ban, Ellington was unable to record a vocal version, so Victor reissued the 1940 recording with the new title. On both the pop and R&B charts, the original instrumental was the biggest hit.

    Ellington finally recorded the song with lyrics on November 18, 1947 with Al Hibbler on vocal. By then, Duke was on the Columbia label.
     
  18. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    It appears as if, unlike the older majors, Capitol did very little stockpiling of masters before July 31, 1942. Perhaps it optimistically thought the strike would be short. From what I've been able to piece together, Capitol's last session before the ban was a July 31 session by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra, which resulted in seven sides that were released slowly over the next year. The masters were numbered 70 through 76.

    I have no record of Capitol master #77. Numbers 78 through 83 all were recorded on October 15, 1943, four days after the settlement. "G.I. Jive" was master #80, and its B-side, "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter)," was #81. (Masters 78 and 79 were by Jo Stafford, who made her debut as a solo artist with those sides, and 82 and 83 were by the Pied Pipers, who were making their first Capitol recordings this day.)
     
  19. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Thanks for the info (and for the patience!) Note we'll see G.I. Jive again in a few days as Louis Jordan's first #1 pop hit.
     
  20. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Yeah! But to be fair, we started pretty late in 1942, so the only full year we've gone through is 1943.
     
  21. tomstockman

    tomstockman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Shanghai
    Today's hit, another pre-ban instrumental:

     
    greelywinger and Larry Mc like this.
  22. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    It was fairly common at the time for a song to have an instrumental verse-and-chorus before the vocalist appeared at all. I remember listening to a lot of my granparents' old records when I was a kid and being surprised at which records had vocals at all (and, once I came to expect that, which didn't!).
     
  23. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada

    Another I've never heard before, but really like. Here's a You Tube listen



    Waited quite awhile for the clarinet, but the guitar was fantastic anyway!
     
    greelywinger likes this.
  24. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    This was recorded on March 4, 1941, more than a year before the ban, and, as best as I can tell, was not previously released.

    The guitar was played by the legendary Charlie Christian, who had been dead for two years when "Solo Flight" hit #1 on the R&B chart. Indeed, he was given a special credit on the 78.

     
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  25. profholt82

    profholt82 Resident Blowhard

    Location:
    West Michigan
    Grooving track, makes me want to grab a dame and do the fox trot. :agree:
    Charlie Chritian's guitar really sounds great on that record. I'd be surprised if Wes Montgomery wasn't influenced by him. He has a very similar sound on many of his 50s records.
     

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