Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Today In Blues History September 13

Today in Blues History

September 13

In 1922, Tony Russell “Charles” Brown was born in Texas City, TX. After honing his craft in various groups and clubs, Brown struck out with his own trio. In the late 1940s, a rising demand for blues was driven by a growing audience among white teenagers in the South which quickly spread north and west. Blues singers such as Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris and Roy Brown were getting much of the attention, but what writer Charles Keil dubs "the postwar Texas clean-up movement in blues" was also beginning to have an influence, driven by blues artists such as T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn and Brown. Their singing was lighter and more relaxed, and they worked with bands and combos that had saxophone sections and played from arrangements. Despite some success, Brown was often overlooked by the new blues audiences of the 1960’s. In the 1980s Brown made a series of appearances at the New York City nightclub Tramps. As a result of these appearances he signed a recording contract with Blue Side Records and recorded One More for the Road in three days. Blue Side Records closed soon after, but distribution of its records was picked up by Alligator Records. Soon after the success of One More for the Road, Bonnie Raitt helped usher in comeback tour for Brown.

On this date in 1984, Titus Turner died in Atlanta, GA. Also born in Atlanta, Turner's debut single release in 1950 was "Where Are You" on Aladdin Records, billed as Mr. T and his Band. In 1951 his follow-up "Stop Trying to Make a Fool Of Me" appeared on Regal Records. He followed this a year later on Okeh, issuing eight tracks including "Got So Much Trouble." He had a spell with Mercury Records' imprint, Wing, but was not commercially successful until 1955, when Little Willie John recorded Turner's "All Around the World." The track, re-titled "Grits Ain't Groceries," was covered by Little Milton. Turner and John then co-wrote "Leave My Kitten Alone," later covered by Johnny Preston, The Beatles and Elvis Costello. In 1959 the King label issued Turner's first hit single, "The Return of Stagolee," an answer song to Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee".

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