- September 3rd.,1895-- Noah Lewis
- September 14th.,1952-- Darrel Nulish
- September 28th.,1951-- Phillip Jackson, aka Norton Buffalo
Joe's Blues Blog September 2019
Some September Blues Births:
Answer To The August 2019 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/is Robert Percell Ferguson, best- known as H-Bomb Ferguson, born May 9, 1929, in Torrest, South Carolina, the 11th. of twelve children. As Robert was growing up, his father, a Baptist preacher, said he'd pay for piano lessons, but only if Robert learned sacred melodies. In a later interview, H-Bomb said that during the services, he'd play sacred music, then, when the services were over and the congregation would move outside to talk and socialize, he and his friends would run back inside, where Robert would play the blues on the piano. When he was 19, he toured and performed with Joe Liggins (also a piano player) and The Honeydrippers, after which the band ended up in New York. He went out on his own after that, and landed a gig at The Baby Grand Club, a Harlem nightclub, where he was billed as "The Cobra Kid". He first recorded as Bob Ferguson, in 1950, 4 tracks, on the Derby label, in New York City. The band backing him was The Jack "The Bear " Parker Orchestra. Parker became Ferguson's manager, and is credited as the one who gave him the " H-Bomb " nickname. It has also been said that he was given that name by Savoy Records producer Lee Magid, for whom he started recording in 1951, but I find that titles credited to "H-Bomb Ferguson" recorded in 1950 and early '51, on the Atlas and Prestige labels, were prior to his move to Savoy. He went on to record for at least 12 more labels in his career, as the featured artist. He toured with people such as Ruth Brown, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and even Redd Foxx, working clubs, performing as a singer and telling jokes. In '57 he moved to Cincinnati, where he signed with King Records. He formed his own band, "H-Bomb Ferguson and The Mad Lads, with whom he worked, to further develop his own style, focusing on his piano playing, up through the '60's. He quit performing in the early '70's but made a come-back in the '80's and on into the '90's, performing mostly in Britain and Europe, in his own self-developed wild style, wearing different multi-colored wigs. In 1990 he recorded a vinyl album for local Cincinnati record label Papa Lou Recordings, for local only release. In '93 he recorded a cd for Earwig Records, out of Chicago, titled "Wiggin' Out", backed by The Medicine Men. As near as I can tell, this was his last recording. He passed away November 26, 2006, in Cincinnati, of emphysema and cardiopulmonary disease. I only got to meet and talk with him once, at a blues festival at Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where we had a booth and worked that festival. We also met Guy Davis there. We had a bluesman spend those 2 days with us, sitting at our booth, talking with us and festival go-ers. His name was James Reed, and no, not THE Jimmy Reed, but the one with us was also a harp player. I'll never forget the red suit he was wearing!
Blues Question For September 2019: This is an almost totally unknown blues harp player who recorded only four tracks on the now long defunct RAM Records before he more or less, vanished from the business. Any idea who this bluesman might be ??
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) for September 2019: The song is "Airport Blues", and the artist is Silas Hogan. This was recorded in January 1963, in Crowley, Louisiana. It features Silas Hogan on guitar and vocal, Sylvester Buckley on harmonica, Isiah Chatmon on the second guitar, and Samuel Hogan (Silas' son) on drums. This was done long before today’s airport congestion, and the T S A.
Blues Trivia For September 2019: Are you familiar with Alden Bunn, better-known as "Tarheel Slim" ? Probably not, though he recorded in many music genres, including blues, gospel, pop duets of the day, with groups in R & B, and rockabilly. He recorded under the names Alden Bunn, Allen Bunn, Allen Baum, and, of course, Tarheel Slim. Around 1955 he married Anna Lee Sandford, and they first recorded as "The Lovers", and later, going by "Tarheel Slim and Little Ann" on recordings. One of his interesting songs is "The Guy With A .45". The trivia part here is that another guitarist, as a sideman, recorded with him. That was James "Wild Jimmy" Spruill. Never heard of him either, right ? Well, you've probably heard his guitar work on things, such as Dave "Baby" Cortez's "The Happy Organ", Wilbert Harrison's "Kansas City", Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae", and many of Elmore James' recordings. Bunn didn't record in all the genres he played, but Spruill did--and then some. The list of all the people/bands with whom he recorded is waay too long to be included here, but please, check him out, you'll be surprised! One last little bit of trivia on "Wild Jimmy"; he was well-known for playing his guitar with his teeth. Speaking of his guitar, he started out with the traditional "cigar box" guitar, with an elastic band, as a youngster, learning to play. After a few years, he stepped up to a Fender Telecaster. After that, he graduated to a Gibson Les Paul. This part, if you're a guitar player or collector, you might not want to read. He sawed off most of the Gibson's body, leaving maybe 2 inches of it on each side, parallel to the fret board, retained the pick-ups and controls, and replaced the sides to complete the soundboard, to suit his style of play. To hear some of that, listen to his tune "Hard Grind", on the "Fire" label, #1006, or "June's Blues", with King Curtis on sax, on the Symbol label (a subsidiary of Sue Records), #900, with the artist listed on the label as "The Commandos".
12/4/2019 05:46:14 am
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Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.