Various Artists

The Mercury Blues Story, 1945-1955: East Coast

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

While New York, and to a much lesser extent Atlanta, turned out several notable conduits of R&B in the mid- to late '40s and the '50s, the East Coast was nowhere as influential as the perpetual flow of R&B emanating from the Southeast United States Delta or musical hotbeds such as Memphis and Chicago. Mercury Blues 'n' Rhythm Story 1945-55: East Coast Blues (1997) serves up a two-volume collection of sides recorded on the Right Coast. This double-CD package has been extracted from the decidedly more comprehensive eight-disc Mercury Blues 'n' Rhythm Story 1945-55 (1996) omnibus, and is a perfect opportunity for parties not wishing to purchase the voluminous anthology to get just the material they desire. Shortly after Mercury Records set up shop in the Windy City, they began to expand their search for talent and likewise to provide greater exposure and distribution for their roster. Alto saxophonist/vocalist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson made his way from Texas to New York via Los Angeles and had even done a stint in Chicago. By the time of the sessions compiled here -- dating from 1945 through 1947 -- Vinson was a celebrated figure and regular performer in the Big Apple. "Somebody's Gotta Go," "Just a Dream," "Have You Ever Missed Your Baby," "Ever-Ready Blues," "Some Women Do," and the definitive "Cleanhead Blues" are a sampling of the seminal Vinson platters documented in N.Y.C. Vocalist Dinah Washington scored several career-defining hits during her association with Mercury. Included here are "Good Daddy Blues," "Baby Get Lost," and her essential reading of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love." Another not to be missed cache comes from Jay Hawkins before he amended his name with the "Screaming" moniker. "(She Put The) Wamee (On Me)," "Talk About Me," "This Is All," and "Well, I Tried" are a few numbers of particular interest. A host of additional entries can also be heard from the likes of Helen Humes, Arthur Prysock, the Treniers -- known as the Trenier Twins -- Junior Tamplin, Joyce Jackson, Joe Houston, Titus Turner, and Stomp Gordon, among others.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:34
2 2:46
3 2:53
4 2:41
5 2:53
6 2:37
7 2:47
8 2:56
9 2:57
10 3:04
11 2:45
12 2:44
13
2:38
14 2:40
15 2:46
16 2:43
17 2:44
18 2:23
19 2:23
20 2:53
21 3:14
22 2:23
23 2:49
24 2:30
25 2:59
26
2:47
27
3:08

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:43
2
2:29
3
2:39
4 2:36
5 2:15
6
2:33
7
3:08
8
2:47
9
2:39
10
2:41
11 2:52
12
2:54
13
2:40
14
3:04
15
2:46
16
2:47
17 2:52
18 2:51
19 2:23
20 3:01
21 2:32
22 2:30
23 2:50
24 2:42
25 2:53
26 2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick