Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.
• Added info on Reavis Recording Studio.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Roots of Rock'n'Roll

 
Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five - I Want You to Be My Baby (Decca 9-28883), 1953
 
Lillian Briggs - I Want You to Be My Baby (Epic 5-9115), 1955

Another Bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin!

Louis Jordan & His Typani 5 had numerous R&B hits from 1939 right up until the early 50's. Some even went high on the pop charts. He had 4 million sellers and was a well known sax player, singer, and comedian. He recorded "I Want You To Be My Baby" on May 28, 1953, at the end of his contract with Decca Records. It was released that same year and reviewed by Billboard in October. Jordan went on to record or re-record for several labels and had a dynamite stage show for many years. As far as recordings, he was considered "old school" and D.J.'s pretty much ignored him after he left Decca.

The song came to the attention of Alan Freed and he took it to his recent protegé Lillian Briggs, then age 24, having just signed a contract with Epic records, recorded a cover version which went to the top 20 on Billboard in September 1955 and sold over a million copies. Decca re-released Jordan's version in late summer 1955 (Decca 29655) in order to catch some of the thunder of Lillian Briggs' recording. Ms. Briggs was a trombone player, singer, comedienne, whose wild stage act and tight dresses earned her the name "The Queen Of Rock-n-Roll", and it stuck.

One hit record and the right connections had her playing Las Vegas, Miami and many other venues for many years. She did movie soundtracks, made TV appearances galore all over early TV and piled up a fortune before settling in Miami with several successful business holdings. Both are long deceased, Jordan in 1975 and Ms. Briggs in 1998, but it's fun to check them out again.

Billboard's October 23, 1955, review of
Louis Jordan's version

"Bobsluckycat", a frequent contributor to this page can now be revealed as Bob O'Brien of Columbus, OH, USA. He has written a new Western Novel set in 1892 Montana. Further information is available at his web page on his publisher's web-site http://booklocker.com/books/7052.html 
Thank You, "Mellow".

1 comment:

Karel said...

Great version! Thanks for sharing :)