Dave Bartholomew

The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew: 20 of His Milestone Productions 1949-1960

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The last time EMI/Capitol's reissue division prepared a large reissue series of Imperial's rich catalog of New Orleans R&B it was in the early '90s, and Dave Bartholomew was given a generous double-disc set that showcased his productions, songwriting, and performing. That set was used as the basis for 2002's The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew, a single-disc, 20-track collection (released as part of EMI/Capitol's Crescent City Soul series) that does the job of that double-disc somewhat better, largely because of its conciseness. With only 20 tracks to work with, the compilers are forced to put the best of the hits and cult favorites on one disc, and the results are dynamite. Apart from Smiley Lewis' hit "One Night" and Bartholomew's record-collector favorites "The Monkey" and "That's How You Got Killed Before," there aren't that many acknowledged classics here -- there are songs better known by other performers (Smiley Lewis and Fats Domino's "I Hear You Knocking" and "Blue Monday" are performed by the respective other artist, Bobby Mitchell's "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" is better known by Fats), but much of this is known primarily to fanatics of the scene, and it's great that they're given an airing such as this. Perhaps there aren't songs that should have been hits, but many of these songs stand as excellent sides from the peak of New Orleans R&B and any serious collector should pick this disc up -- even if they already own The Spirit of New Orleans.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
feat: Chris Kenner
02:31 Amazon
2 02:29 Amazon
feat: Smiley Lewis
02:42 Amazon
4 02:22 Amazon
5 02:27 Amazon
6 02:39 Amazon
feat: Fats Domino
8 02:06 Amazon
feat: The Bees
02:22 Amazon
feat: The Spiders
02:37 Amazon
11 02:18 Amazon
12 02:15 Amazon
feat: Jewel King
02:35 Amazon
feat: Smiley Lewis
feat: Archibald
02:32 Amazon
16 02:33 Amazon
feat: Smiley Lewis
02:27 Amazon
18 02:50
19 03:04 Amazon
20 02:24 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick