Frankie Lymon & The Early Success of Rock-and-roll

One of the most famous and influential bands in doo-wop music history is The Teenagers, with Frankie Lymon as the lead singer. The five kids from Washington Heights are most celebrated for their contribution to the early success of rock-and-roll music. They introduced the world to a new brand of doo-wop music by speeding up the … Continue reading Frankie Lymon & The Early Success of Rock-and-roll

Little Mummy – A Rarity on Federal Records

Little Mummy, whose real identity is unknown, was a rhythm-an-blues singer who recorded only two songs with Federal Records in New Orleans. The songs were officially released decades after being recorded and, both tracks are true rhythm-and-blues dance floor fillers. The titles “Where You At Jack” and “Oh Baby Please” were distributed by Federal Records as … Continue reading Little Mummy – A Rarity on Federal Records

The Rhythm of Shirley Ellis – The Name Game

Shirley Ellis, born Shirley Marie O’Garra in 1929, was an American soul singer and songwriter who gained international fame during the 1960s. Although her active recording span was short, Shirley Ellis left us with many great songs before she retired from the music business in 1968. Songs such as ‘The Name Game’ and ‘The Nitty Gritty’ are an … Continue reading The Rhythm of Shirley Ellis – The Name Game

Old Folks at Home (Way Down Upon Swanee River)

One of my all-time favorite boogie-woogie piano songs is Swanee River Boogie performed by Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings. Ammons plays a steady and repeating boogie baseline with the left hand, accompanied by the adaptation of the melody from Old Folks at Home (also known as Swanee River) with the right hand. Old Folks … Continue reading Old Folks at Home (Way Down Upon Swanee River)

The Real Nitty Gritty – A Tribute to Shirley Ellis

This article is written in memory and honor of Shirley Elliston († October 5, 2005, New York City) Shirley Ellis is one of the most exciting performers in the world of popular music today. This excitement, which has consistently captivated audience in the nation’s leading night clubs and concert appearances is immediately apparent as you … Continue reading The Real Nitty Gritty – A Tribute to Shirley Ellis

Boogie-woogie: An Invitation to Dance

Boogie-woogie is, without doubt, one of the most complex piano styles developed in America. The pianist needs to demonstrate exceptional hand-independence skills and an excessive sense for rhythm and timing to play syncopated right-hand licks and riffs on the left-handed base patterns. Boogie-woogie piano music was often played at barrelhouses and later, at so-called “House-Rent … Continue reading Boogie-woogie: An Invitation to Dance

Jim Dandy To The Rescue

With a recognizable drum intro from David Albert ‘Panama’ Francis, and with guidance on the tenor sax by Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor, LaVern Baker hit the charts in 1956 with the song ‘Jim Dandy’. The song would later take number 325 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. LaVern Baker recorded … Continue reading Jim Dandy To The Rescue

Work with Me, Annie

“Don’t be ‘shamed“, “Call my name“, “Oh, our hot lips kissing, Girl, I’ll beg mercy, Oh, hugging and more teasing, Don’t want no freezing” are fragments of the original song lyrics. Although the title ‘Work With Me, Annie’ is a double entendre, the lyrics don’t lie. ‘Work With Me, Annie‘ came from the creative hand … Continue reading Work with Me, Annie

Shake, Rattle, & Roll

It was the co-founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, who approached Jesse Stone with the question to write an up-tempo 12-bar blues song for Big Joe Turner. Little did he know that the song to be produced would be listed at number 127 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. American … Continue reading Shake, Rattle, & Roll

Introduction To 45 rpm Record Collecting

As a deejay and music collector, I purchase as many 45’s as I buy LP’s. Columbia Records copyrighted the term LP (Long Playing) so, let’s use the word ‘album’ going forward. You can say that there is more sense in buying albums instead of a 45 rpm (revolutions per minute). You receive the completed studio … Continue reading Introduction To 45 rpm Record Collecting