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More than any other city in the world, New Orleans has been responsible for shaping the sound of twentieth century popular music. Sweeping statement that may be, but as the birthplace of jazz, funk and arguably rock’n’roll, it really has no other contenders. At the heart of these three widely different varieties of music lies the rhythmic complexity of second line parade drumming. Its two-beat patterns combining military band and Caribbean rhythms underpin the early recordings of Louis Armstrong as much as they do those of Little Richard and James Brown.

Discs One & Two of this set cover the classic period the New Orleans r&b and rock’n’roll and feature records which most people would now identify as quintessentially New Orleans. On discs Three & Four, we find the music on the cusp between the end of the rock’n’roll era and the birth of soul music.
The tracks on discs Five and Six reflects the final move towards more soulful productions and present the best music produced in the city before the entire scene finally scattered and the musicians dispersed in 1963-64.

After spending the last couple of months basking in the aural joy of this label’s Rhythm & Blues Chronology series covering the 1940s, I’ve reached the conclusion that anything which comes off the Rhythm and Blues Records production line is bound for ‘top of the stack’ status. This exquisitely packaged 6 CD set, presented in a handy hard-back book format, pushes every button a fan of Blues, R&B or Rock “n’ Roll might have. Here’s 160 – yes, 160(!) tracks starting with Rip It Up by Little Richard in 1955 all the way to Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and his Clowns Talk To Me Baby in 1962. The journey from disk 1 to disk 6 is an education, made more so by Nick Duckett’s 24 pages of comprehensive notes which forms the central section of the package. A fine collection like this will always remind us that, no matter how long you’ve been around and listening to R&B, there’s still a helluva lot we’ve missed. Names which represent true rarity, often by long-vanished single record artists whose fine work may well have been buried by time but for the forensic research and digging by true aficionados like Mr. Duckett. There are some terrific items which have been hitherto unreleased, such as Leonard Carbo’s I Don’t Want To Lose Her, Larry Williams’ Oh Baby, Tommy Ridgley’s dynamic Real Gone Jam or the quirky Tell Me The Truth by the Turquinettes. In fact up to 50% of these records feature names a great many of us, R&B devotees or not, may well never have heard of, yet everything on this glorious hours-long listening spree will serve to remind us all that Chicago, New York, Memphis and L.A. may have been important spokes on the blues and rock wheel, but New Orleans was the hub. There is a unique, joyous bounce to the Louisiana sound. It emanates from the small, passion-packed studios which echoed to the rolling rhythms of Professor Longhair and the cheeky thrust of Fats Domino, both of whom feature here, as well as dozens of other luminaries such as Art Neville, Frankie Ford and TV Slim. If you can’t afford the fare to New Orleans, then this is a highly economical alternative. I’ve been firing up my gumbo and stirring my jambalaya to these records. We could all do with a touch of Mardi Gras in our dour British winter – and these six platters will turn anyone’s front room into North Rampart Street. I suppose by now youve reached the conclusion I like this. Damn right – highly recommended. ROY BAINTON


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DISC ONE 1955-1956
1. Rip It Up Little Richard
2. Mellow Saxophone Roy Montrell
3. I’m Wise Eddie Bo
4. I’m In Love Again Fats Domino
5. Is Everything All Right Earl King
6. One Night Smiley Lewis
7. Blueberry Hill Fats Domino
8. Let The Good Times Roll Shirley & Lee
9. Chicken Shack Boogie Amos Milburn
10. You Better Believe It Paul Gayten
11. Tough Lover Etta James
12. Shrimp & Gumbo Dave Bartholomew
13. Slippin’ And Slidin’ Little Richard
14. Take It Easy, Greasy Bobby Charles
15. Ain’t Got No Home Clarence “Frogman” Henry
16. Shame Shame Shame Smiley Lewis
17. Last Ride The Dukes
18. Grandma’s House Chris Kenner
19. Little Liza Jane Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
20. Blow Wind Blow Junior Gordon
21. Rockin’ at Cosmo’s Lee Allen
22. Long Tall Sally Little Richard
23. Chicken – Wah – Wah Bobby Marchen
24. Just To Hold My Hand Big Boy Myles & The Shaw-Wees
25. Troubles, Troubles Clarence “Frogman” Henry
26. Let’s Play Danny White
27. Oooh-Wee Baby Art Neville
28. Tell Me Baby Roland Cook
29. So Glad You’re Mine Charles “Hungry” Williams
30. I’m Glad, Glad Lloyd Price

DISC TWO 1956-1957
1. Monkey Speaks His Mind Dave Bartholomew
2. Lucille Little Richard
3. Why Can’t You Bobby Charles
4. Just Because Lloyd Price
5. Ooh Wow Roy Montrell
6. The Girl Can’t Help It Little Richard
7. Don’t Leave Me Here To Cry The Supremes
8. I’m Walkin’ Fats Domino
9. Free, Single And Disengaged Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
10. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand Professor Longhair
11. Let The Four Winds Blow Roy Brown
12. Rhumba Rock Jimmy Beasley
13. I’ve Got A Girl Roland Cook
14. Look What You’re Doin’ To Me Professor Longhair
15. Oh Baby Larry Williams
16. When I Meet My Girl Tommy Ridgley
17. Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu Pts 1 & 2 Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
18. Nervous Boogie Paul Gayten
19. Short Fat Fannie Larry Williams
20. Keep a Knockin’ Little Richard
21. Sick And Tired Chris Kenner
22. Sound The Bell Clarence Garlow
23. Slow Down Larry Williams
24. Directly From My Heart Little Richard
25. Dirty Woman Champion Jack Dupree
26. Hey, Bo Eddie Bo
27. For You My Love Paul Gayten
28. Stepping High Edgar Blanchard
29. I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday Bobby Mitchell
30. Merry Merry Lou The Sparks
31. Driving Home Pt 1 Paul Gayten

Disc Three 1958
1. Whirlaway Al Tousan
2. Sea Cruise Frankie Ford
3. Don’t You Just Know It Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
4. My Girl Across Town Lester Robinson & The Upsetters
5. Bad Boy Larry Williams
6. Arabian Love Call Art Neville
7. Feeling Alright On Saturday Night The Velvetiers
8. Oh,Oh Eddie Bo
9. Flat Foot Sam TV Slim (Oscar Wills)
10. Honeycomb Edgar Blanchard
11. Pig Tails And Ribbons Leonard Carbo
12. Hattie Malatti Lee Diamond & The Upsetters
13. Loud Mouth Annie Big Boy Myles
14. Don’t You Know Yokomo Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
15. Can’t Let You Go, I Love You So Albert Scott
16. Only Sixteen Tal Miller
17. Walkin’ With Mr Lee Lee Allen & His Band
18. She’s Mine All Mine Eddie Lang
19. Dizzy, Miss Lizzy Larry Williams
20. Everytime I See You Harry Lee
21. I Don’t Want To Lose Her Leonard Carbo
22. Lottie-Mo Lee Dorsey
23. High Blood Pressure Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
24. Roberta Frankie Ford
25. You Can’t Stop Her Bobby Marchan
26. Everybody’s Carried Away Earl King
27. Pleadin’ Mercy Baby
28. Whole Lotta Lovin’ Fats Domino
29. Shirley John Fred
30. Darling Charles ‘Hungry’ Williams
31. Java Al Tousan
32. Poinciana Ahmad Jamal Trio

Disc Four 1959
1. Rockin’ Behind The Iron Curtain Bobby Marchan
2. Go To The Mardi Gras Professor Longhair
3. Be My Girl Chuck Carbo & His Band
4. Educated Fool Charles Brown & Amos Milburn
5. All Nite Long Pt 2 Robert Parker
6. Make You Love Me Ernie K-Doe
7. I Want To Walk You Home Fats Domino
8. But I Love You Elton Anderson
9. Alimony Frankie Ford
10. I Know Ray Washington
11. Sahara Mac Rebennack
12. Cuttin’ Out Professor Longhair
13. Gee Baby (You’re So Fine) Joe & Ann Trio
14. Knocked Out The Gondoliers
15. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Big Al Downing
16. Hurry Up Paul Marvin
17. Come On Johnny Adams
18. I’ll Always Be In Love With You Fats Domino
19. Would You Believe It Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
20. Snake Eyes Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler
21. Real Gone Jam Tommy Ridgley
22. Tootles Lenny Capello & The Dots
23. Be My Guest Fats Domino
24. Carnival Time Al Johnson
25. Mercy Gene & Al’s Spacemen
26. Cat Walk Lee Allen & His Band
27. What’s Going On Art Neville
28. Yours Truly Ford Eaglin
29. Don’t Make No Noise Chris Kenner
30. You Talk Too Much (alt 45 version) Joe Jones
31. Chico Al Tousan
32. Ici Mo-Mo Champion Jack Dupree
33. Boogie Bayou Shuffle The Bill Parker Band

Disc Five 1960-61
1. Ooh Poo Pah Doo Pt 1 Jessie Hill
2. New Orleans Big Boy Myles
3. It Won’t Be Me Lee Diamond & The Upsetters
4. Over You Aaron Neville
5. Mudd Roy Montrell
6. Tell It Like It Is Eddie Bo
7. Darling Honey Angel Child Earl King
8. That Certain Door Ford Eaglin
9. Mary Lou Doing The Popeye Shelton Dunaway & The Cupcakes
10. Gonzo James Booker
11. Double Eyed Whammy Tommy Ridgley
12. Walking To New Orleans Fats Domino
13. A Man Like Me Willie West
14. Scoop Scoobie Doobie Jessie Hill
15. Mother-In-Law Ernie K-Doe
16. Rocket to the Moon Chris Kenner
17. Across the Tracks Robert Parker
18. Ammerette Benny Spellman
19. Suzie Q Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
20. But I Do Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry
21. Somebody Please Help Me Danny White
22. The Peanut Vendor Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler
23. I Got To Know Eddie Bo
24. My Girl Josephine Fats Domino
25. Lonely Street Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry
26. Roll On Benny Spellman & Roland Stone
27. Moo Moo Al Tousan (Allen Toussaint)
28. Good Times Mac Rebennack
29. A Certain Girl Ernie K-Doe
30. Down The Road Roland Stone
31. Somewhere Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
32. I Like It Like That, Part 1 Chris Kenner

Disc Six 1961-62
1. Fortune Teller Benny Spellman
2. Behind The 8 Ball Lee Dorsey
3. Oogsey Moo Jessie Hill
4. Now Let’s Popeye Eddie Bo
5. Popeye Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
6. New Orleans Twist Blazer Boy
7. Let The Four Winds Blow Fats Domino
8. Little Jewel of The Vieux Carre Joe Barry
9. Talk About You Jimmy Jules
10. I Got to Find Somebody Ernie K-Doe
11. Runnin’ & Foolin’ Joe And Ann
12. Do Re Mi Lee Dorsey
13. I Know Barbara George
14. I’m Gonna Put Some Hurt On You Raymond Lewis
15. Who’s Gonna Love You Johnny Adams
16. But I Couldn’t Willie Harper
17. Always Accused Willie Tee
18. Tell Me The Truth The Turquinettes
19. Baby I’m Wise Eddie Bo
20. True Fine Mama The Showmen
21. Valley of Tears Calvin Lee
22. The Pot’s On Strike Jessie Hill
23. Call The Doctor Junior Gordon
24. In the Night Chick Carbo
25. People Gonna Talk Lee Dorsey
26. Land Of 1000 Dances Chris Kenner
27. Curiosity Joe And Ann
28. Roamin-Itis Eddie Bo
29. I’m Coming Down With The Blues Smiley Lewis
30. Lipstick Traces Benny Spellman
31. Talk To Me Baby Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & His Clowns
32. Big Chief Earl King & Professor Longhair

Additional information

Weight0.225 kg