Beating the Petrillo Ban: The Late December 1947 Modern Sessions

Beating the Petrillo Ban: The Late December 1947 Modern Sessions

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During the first years of his nearly two-decade tenure as the president of the American Federation of Musicians, James Petrillo was instrumental in organizing a strike of musicians that effectively halted the recording industry from 1942 to 1944. Concerned that juke boxes were severely undercutting live revenue for touring musicians -- and that recorded music would

Overview

During the first years of his nearly two-decade tenure as the president of the American Federation of Musicians, James Petrillo was instrumental in organizing a strike of musicians that effectively halted the recording industry from 1942 to 1944. Concerned that juke boxes were severely undercutting live revenue for touring musicians -- and that recorded music would similarly replace live radio sessions for professional musicians -- the AFM went on strike, leading to no recording company recording a musician they had under contract, either as leaders or as support for singers. This two-year strike hurt the recording industry, and so when the threat of another strike surfaced toward the end of 1947 -- this time, the point of contention was distribution of funds to musicians losing work due to juke boxes and radio -- the labels decided to stockpile tons of recordings, just in case this second strike lasted as long as the first. It didn't. This second strike only lasted throughout 1948 and when it ended, many musicians wanted to record new material, leaving labels with a surplus of recordings that eventually trickled out over the years. Ace's 2013 double-disc set Beating the Petrillo Ban: The Late December 1947 Modern Sessions rounds up 49 of these sessions, many of them alternate takes of cuts that were released elsewhere. This reliance on unheard material does mean there aren't so many unearthed classics, but that's also the pleasure of the set: it's the sound of working musicians working, knocking out songs in their repertoire or quickly running through new tunes because they know the clock is ticking. There is a looseness on these recordings, something that surfaces no matter what group is playing, probably because the artists had to produce so much music while under the gun. They're just hammering out the takes, and so while there's nothing exceptional, the consistency is rather remarkable: whether it's Hadda Brookes laying back with his trio or Gene Phillips jumping with his Rhythm Aces, or the Al "Cake" Wichard Sextet tearing it up with Jimmy Witherspoon, this is heartfelt groove music, everything relying on feel, not improvisation. And that's why this, even if it is admittedly second-tier and the kind of music that didn't make the cut the first time around, is so enjoyable: it's robust, swinging, humorous R&B, gospel, and jump blues. That it isn't exceptional almost makes it easier to cherish, because you wish that you could walk into any club and hear music this good.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/06/2013
Label:
Ace Records Import
UPC:
0029667055420
catalogNumber:
6705542

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Waterboy
  2. I'll Never Do it Again
  3. The Old Folks at Home
  4. Poor Butterfly
  5. Old Fashioned Love
  6. Take Me
  7. The Best Things in Life Are Free
  8. This Will Make You Laugh
  9. Gravels in My Pillow
  10. His Majesty's Boogie
  11. Cake Jumps
  12. T.B. Blues
  13. Snuff Dipping Mama
  14. Gene's Guitar Blues
  15. Broke and Disgusted
  16. Royal Boogie
  17. A Sailboat in the Moonlight
  18. Why Was I Born
  19. Mary Lou
  20. Moonlight on the Ganges
  21. The Glory of Love
  22. Play Fiddle Play
  23. The Jazz Me Blues
  24. Beatin' the Ban

Disc 2

  1. Connie Lee Blues
  2. Big Fine Girl
  3. That's Your Red Wagon
  4. Sweet Lovin' Baby
  5. Grandma Grandpa
  6. Geneva Blues
  7. Piece of Cake
  8. Boogie Woogie Baby
  9. Anna Lucasta
  10. I Can't Get Started
  11. I'll Get By
  12. Little Willie's Boogie
  13. Shasta
  14. Baby
  15. Someday, Somehow, Somewhere
  16. My Feet's Too Big
  17. Put Your Brakes on Mama
  18. Little Girl
  19. Baby Face
  20. Lonesome Road Blues
  21. He'll Make the Way
  22. What More Can Jesus Do
  23. Go Devil Go
  24. See Jesus
  25. My Record Will Be There

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmy Witherspoon   Vocals
Duke Henderson   Vocals

Technical Credits

Victoria Spivey   Composer
Stephen Foster   Composer
Billy Hill   Composer
James P. Johnson   Composer
Vernon Duke   Composer
Gene Phillips   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
Rube Bloom   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Gene DePaul   Composer
Tom Delaney   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Don Raye   Composer
Butch Stone   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Billy Vera   Photo Courtesy
Jimmy Witherspoon   Composer
Duke Henderson   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
Emery Deutsch   Composer
Carmen Lombardo   Composer
Peter Vacher   Photo Courtesy
Wichard   Composer
Harry Akst   Composer
Reginald Connelly   Composer
Arthur Altman   Composer
Benny Davis   Composer
Fred Fisher   Composer
Irene Higginbotham   Composer
Cecil Mack   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Avery Robinson   Arranger
Jacques Wolfe   Composer
Ada Benson   Composer
Willie Jackson   Composer
Francis Henry   Composer
John Golden   Composer
Raymond Hubbell   Composer
Sherman Myers   Composer
Richard Jones   Composer
Ira Mae Littlejohn   Composer
Ebonaires   Composer
Ross Parker   Composer
Forrest Powell   Composer
Hugh Charles   Composer
Harry Tilsley   Composer
John Loeb   Composer
Madeleine Hyde   Composer
B.D. De Sylva   Composer
Art Shackelford   Composer
Joseph Dubin   Composer

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