- July 7th.,1913-- Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins
- July 14th.,1935-- Dick Waterman
- July 23rd.,1942-- Linsey Alexander, aka "Hoochie Man"
- July 7th.,2011-- Frederick "Fred" Neal
- July 18th.,1983-- James Scott Jr.
- July 22nd.,1978-- Lillian Glinn
Some July Blues Births:
Answer To The June 2023 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/ is Arthur Neal Gunter, born May 23,1926, in Vesta Georgia. I know in the June Blog I stated that he was born in Nashville (Tennessee), but further research indicated that the Vesta, Georgia location is correct. You can look on the 'net' and see some pictures of different buildings, built with local granite in the '20's and '30's, with the wooden parts long gone. One picture that is clear shows the Vesta Baptist Church (name shown on sign in edge of picture), built in 1912, and still in service (?). These pics are by Brian Brown. Point of the church shot is that Arthur's father, William, was a preacher. That church is most likely where Arthur, brothers Al "Little Al" and Jimmy, along with cousin Junior Gunter, sang gospel songs as the Gunter Brother's Quartet. I believe the Gunter family moved to Nashville sometime in the '40's, where the brothers quartet continued to sing in various local churches, using the same name as before. Having learned guitar from older brother Larry, Arthur was playing with many blues bands in and around Nashville, and building a reputation. In '54 he was heard by Ernie Young, who thought he had a unique sound. If you're not familiar with Ernie, he was the owner of Ernie's Record Mart in Nashville, which in '51 was the largest mail order source for "Black" music of all genres. He sponsored a radio show that played all those types of musics, but specialized in blues and R & B/ soul types. It was one of only two stations with 50,000 watts of power, in Tennessee, both in Nashville. It was WLAC (1510 AM). The other was WSM (650 AM), which broadcast country- western music, and was, at one time, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. But, I digress, so-- Ernie founded Nashboro Records in '51 to record Black gospel groups and individual artists who didn't have the connections to record for the major labels. In '52 he started Excello Records to do the same for those performing blues and R & B musics. So having heard Arthur in early '54, he brought him in to record some cuts. One of those was "Baby, Let's Play House", with the flip side being "Blues After Hours", recorded in November of '54, by Excello, #2047, A and B sides respectively Arthur had written it in answer to Eddy Arnold's country song "I Wanna Play House With You". When Arthur's song was played on WLAC, the requests started rolling in--"where can I get a copy" & "play it again". Sales of it really took off from there.It was Arthur's biggest hit, as well as being the first real hit for the Excello label. In '55, Elvis Presley did a cover of it, and it too was a big hit, bigger than Arthur's. Arthur later said his first royalty check from RCA was for $6,500.00. From then up into '61 he recorded a total of 24 cuts for Excello. His brother, "Little Al" recorded 4 cuts for the label too. He'd have recorded more, but he was murdered in a bar fight shortly after the release of his last recordings. He'd done 2 in '56 and 2 in '58. During those times, obviously before Little Al's death, the two brothers frequently worked gigs together. In '55 Arthur had moved to Port Huron, Michigan, but continued to tour and perform with the Kid King Combo, all over the South and into Arkansas, in the late '50's and into the '60's. He worked mostly outside of the music field, around Port Huron, from '66 into the '70's. In '73 he won $50,000.00 in the Michigan State Lottery, and quit the music field altogether. He passed away at his home on March 16,1976, of pneumonia. A little further note about his biggest hit song , "Baby, Let's Play House": the last line of that song, recorded word for word on both his and Elvis's version was "I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man". That line was "borrowed" by John Lennon for use in the Beatle's song "Run For Your Life", released on the Rubber Soul label in 1965.
Blues Question For July 2023: This is a Blues (and other genres) sideman. He's recorded with most of the greats in all genres of music. He's a band leader, a song writer, a vocalist, and a musician. It's amazing that he's performed/ recorded with so many blues musicians that most blues fans have never heard of him, though they've heard him on hundreds of recordings. Any idea who this bluesman might be ??
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) For July 2023: The song is "Sunny Land", and the artist is Elmore James, recorded in August of 1954, in Los Angeles. It was recorded and released on the Flair label, a subsidiary of Modern Records, # 1057 on the A side, with "Standing At The Crossroads" on th B side. The performers were: Elmore on vocals and guitar, James Parr on trumpet, Maxwell Davis on tenor sax, Jewell Grant on baritone sax, Willard McDaniel on piano, Ralph Hamilton on bass, and Jesse Sailes on drums. This is the original quiet countryfied version. You sometimes will see it listid in one word-- Sunnyland. Also, there's another version of the full-bore Elmore style you're more familiar with, but you'll find it titled "Sunnyland (Train)", which was recorded on the CBS label, #66218 in '61 (sometimes shown as '63).
Blues Trivia For July 2023: This is just for a point of information, using the above song as an example. I showed the Sunnyland (Train) version as being on CBS label, but as you would search for it, you'd also find it listed as being recorded on the Fire/ Fury label, owned by Bobby Robinson, located in Harlem. Further digging shows that it was done at a session that Bobby managed but not necessarily recorded on his label. This is why, when you're looking for an older recording, you must try to get/ have as much info about it that you can, to make sure you're getting the version you want. Just tryin' to help people to understand that it isn't that easy sometimes, to get it right. Good luck in your hunting !!
Some Blues Passings for July:
Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.