Tampa Red Vol 1 1928-1929 – Full Album
Complete Recorded Works (c. May 1928 to 4 December 1953)
Vol. 1: c. May 1928 to January 1929
Featuring the recordings of:
Tampa Red, vocal / guitar; unknown, tuber. Foster And Harris (Ma Rainey’s Boys), male vocal duet; accompanied by Tampa Red, guitar. Tampa Red and Georgia Tom, vocal duet; accompanied by Tampa Red, guitar; Georgia Tom (Thomas A. Dorsey), piano. Madlyn (Red Hot Shakin’) Davis, vocal; acc. Georgia Tom, piano; Tampa Red, guitar. Tampa Red’s Hokum Jug Band: Georgia Tom, piano; Tampa Red, Martell Pettiford, guitar; Herman Brown, kazoo / washboard; Carl Reid, jazzhorn / jug; Frankie ‘Half-Pint’ Jaxon, vocal. Tampa Red ‘The Guitar Wizard’, with Georgia Tom: Tampa Red, vocal / guitar; Georgia Tom, piano / vocal. Papa Too Sweet, vocal; acc. Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano; Tampa Red, guitar; Harry Jones, vocal added on 14. The Hokum Boys: Tampa Red, vocal / guitar; Georgia Tom, vocal / piano. State Street Stompers: Junie Cobb, vocal on 18, 19/ soprano sax / tenor sax; Alex Hill, piano /speech on 20; Tampa Red, guitar; Jimmy Bertrand, drums. Tampa Red ‘The Guitar Wizard’ With Georgia Tom, vocal / guitar; Georgia Tom, piano.
Genres; Blues, Country Blues, Georgia Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Hokum, Blues Guitar, Blues Piano, Bottleneck-slide Guitar, Jug Band, Hokum,
Abridged from this album’s original booklet notes. Through Train Blues was a strange one to kick off a recording career with and one cannot help but wonder if the gentle huffing and puffing of a tuba to fill out a bass rhythm was Tampa’s idea or that of someone else trying to be creative at the recording session for Paramount records. Either way, it kind of works, depending on ones mood and at least it gets Tampa off the mark with some characteristic slide guitar playing and a song. For the moment, that was it’, one side and no more! The recording was issued as a flip side to Blind Lemon Jefferson ‘How Long How Long’ (Document DOCD-5019) maybe as a ploy to encourage the market to listen to Tampa. After four months Tampa Red was in the recording studio again but this time only as a session man for Foster And Harris (Ma Rainey’s Boys) as they played out The Alley Crap Game a performance which would be taken up by the two blues brothers from Georgia Robert ‘Barbecue Bob’ Hicks and Charlie “Laughing Charlie” Hicks in 1930 with their ‘Dark Town Gamblin’ Part 1 (The Crap Game) ” (Document DOCD-5048). Dodging the ricocheting dices, Tampa provides a gentle slide guitar accompaniment and keeps out of the arguing between the two gamblers. A month later, in September 1928, Tampa arrived at the Vocalian studios with a piano player called “Georgia Tom” (Thomas A. Dorsey). In the same month, like Tampa, Tom had been on the fringe of trying to make recording part of his musical career having had two sessions for the Vocalion label. Of six sides cut only one was released coupled with a single recording made for the label later that year. Their first recording of Tampa Red and Georgia Tom which took place in 1928 was a bawdy ragtime number, Its Tight Like That. It was an instant and massive hit with record sales catapulting into the hundreds of thousands. It has been reported that the sales breached the million mark and went much higher. The sessions on this album see two revisits to the Tight Like That theme but there are other recordings which added greatly to their success including the lively Selling That Stuff and Beedle Um Bum both of which were subsequently covered by many other blues, jazz and hokum artists. The duo are found in accompanying role providing backing for recordings with vocalists Madylyn (Red Hot Shakin’) Davis, Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon as lead vocalist for Tampa Red’s Hokum Jug Band, Papa Too Sweet, and Junie Cobb as vocalist for the State Street Stompers. Many of the recordings are good time, raucous performances and it doesn’t take much of the imagination to think of them being the dance music of parties and in particular the rent parties of the time as described by Big Bill Bronnzy in his autobiography. The last five of the twenty five tracks presented here are solid blues performed by Tampa Red with his partner, Georgia Tom. Having had something of an uncertain start to their recording careers, they are assured and confident in their performances, having already been established by their first recording together as one of the most successful piano / guitar duos from the “pre-war blues” era.
Teddy Doering Copyright 1991 Document Records