miércoles, 24 de junio de 2009

Lula Reed: I'll Drown in My Tears -The King Anthology (1952-55)

Discovered by noted bandleader and later her husband Sonny Thompson, Lula Reed recorded extensively for King and Federal Records for over ten years interrupted by a brief sojourn with Chess subsidiary Argo in the late '50s, and Tangerine Records in the '60s. Although she seldom troubled the R&B charts, Lula was a consistently good seller for King during her first tenure with the label, and R&B fans of the day regularly wore out copies of her 78s at home or on jukeboxes. She came close to a chart hit a few times, with ‘Watch Dog’, ‘Bump on a Log’ and the original version of the much-recorded ‘Rock Love’, but inexplicably the real big time never beckoned for this pretty and talented thrush. Even so, she was a regular on record for well over a decade and in that time she recorded nothing that wasn't at least worth a listen - and most of it was worth a great deal more than that, as you'll hear here. It's fair to say that Reed was a true prototype for the next decade's ladies of soul. Although owing something to Dinah Washington, Lula had a warm, nasal style that was not directly influenced by anyone or anything. Sonny Thompson simply encouraged her to sing 'em how she felt 'em, and the results were usually ten times more torrid than most anything else around at the time. Echoes of her phrasing can be heard in the recordings of Maxine Brown, Esther Phillips and particularly her contemporary Mable John. This set features every important recording from her first period with King between 1952 and 1955, including four sides she did as vocalist with Sonny Thompson & His Orchestra as well as two previously unissued tracks. The most notable of these cuts is the moving ballad ‘I'll Drown in My Tears,’ - later covered by Ray Charles for a hit as ‘Drown in My Own Tears’-, which made number five in the R&B charts. The pace varies a little into uptempo jump at times, with a little gospel on ‘A Quiet Time with Jesus,’ a bit of a down-home blues flavor in the acoustic guitar on ‘Troubles on Your Mind,’ and a little early rock & roll in 1955's ‘I'm Giving All My Love’ and ‘Rock Love’. Always one of those troubled artists in whom the secular constantly warred with a more dominant spiritual side, Lula Reed quit the world of R&B in the early ‘60s to go back home and the church that had uncovered her talent. All efforts to contact her and interview her about her "wicked" recording career were rebuffed. King's first lady of Chicago R&B passed away a year ago, on June 21st, 2008. http://www.acerecords.co.uk/, http://www.allmusic.com/, http://www.rockabilly.nl/
Here is one of the nice Lula Reed's mid-'60s recordings for Tangerine Records, 'Walk on by Me':

5 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...


txinomandinga dijo...

Thank you!! great blog!! great Lula!!

Rockin' Daddy dijo...

Great Blog!! Thanks for Lula. Regards from Spain

Mike dijo...

Her version of Drown In My Own Tears predates the Ray Charles recording.

Baron dijo...

Thanks for the Reed ... Baron