viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009

Ruby Johnson meets Pearl Reaves (1993)

Anyone who thrilled to the Stax compilation that gathered Johnson's 3 released singles and 16 superb unreleased tracks, will want to hear these rare pre-Stax recordings. Ruby was born on 19 April 1936 in Elizabeth City near Norfolk VA but made most of her recordings in Washington DC. After gigging around the Carolinas she settled in the capital city where she was spotted by DC entrepreneur Never Duncan who hired the multi-talented Dicky Williams as arranger/producer for her 45s. Included here is Johnson's first release (done for V-Tone in 1960), 'Pleadin' Heart' b/w 'Calling All Boys', as well as 'Stop Wasting Your Tears,' cut for Pledge. But it is via her excellent series of 45s for Neb’s (Duncan’s own label) that she made her considerable reputation, like the fine 'I've Been Hurt', 'Worried Mind', 'Let Me Apologize', 'I Want a Real Man', 'Here I Go Again', and others. The remainder of the songs belong to the obscure Pearl Reaves, a singer originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, who had moved to Rahway, New Jersey in the late '40s. After winning some local talent shows, she started singing at the Palace Blue Room, owned by bandleader/drummer Paul Farano. She not only sang, but played guitar with the Paul Farano Trio there for two years (and ended up marrying Farano). In early 1955, Morty Shad had Pearl Reaves do a couple of songs for Harlem, and used the Concords to back her up. The result is the great up-tempo 'You Can't Stay Here' (aka 'Step It Up and Go') and 'I'm Not Ashamed', wherein Pearl talks about being an "ugly woman". This one was released in April 1955. Considering what a wonderful voice Pearl had, she mostly limited her career to singing with her husband's band. The rest of her sides, including 'Cool with a Groove' and 'Same Old Love', seem to come from her own Pearlsfor label, and probably date from the early to mid '60s. On these, her name is spelled both "Reaves" and "Reeves" (Note: The cover art is very similar to the Stax set I posted last April, but the two albums have not a single track in common. Unfortunately, the sound quality - as it usually happens with all the releases on the Titanic label - is pretty bad, but that's better than nothing!) Thanks again, Martin, for this one!!,,

2 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

Dee dijo...


Love your blog.

There was a great version of Expressway To Your Heart in your playlist.

May I please have a link to it?

Also could you post some Keellee Patterson if possible?

It would be greatly appreciated.

And thanks for all the hard work you do!