Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970

Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970

5.0 2

For those unaware of Nashville's rich history as a hotbed of R&B back in the day, this two-disc set from the Country Music Hall of Fame label will be an enlightening adventure. And even for those in the know, Night Train to Nashville's 37 tracks will not only evoke fond memories but also make a welcome addition to the archives, given that this music has neverSee more details below


For those unaware of Nashville's rich history as a hotbed of R&B back in the day, this two-disc set from the Country Music Hall of Fame label will be an enlightening adventure. And even for those in the know, Night Train to Nashville's 37 tracks will not only evoke fond memories but also make a welcome addition to the archives, given that this music has never before been collected on one set, with some of it impossible to find anywhere in the CD era (and for much of the vinyl era as well). Disc 1 features the earliest tracks in the time frame, including Louis Jordan–like jump blues such as Rudy Green & His Orchestra's "Buzzard Pie"; Kid King's Combo's raucous "Skip's Boogie"; Christine Kottrell's mesmerizing slow blues lament from 1952, "Sittin' Here Drinking"; and the red-hot 1958 workout "Rockin' the Joint" from Esquerita, a major influence on Little Richard. Disc 2 cooks mightily on the strength of more familiar material by top-drawer artists: Arthur Alexander's "Anna" (later covered by the Beatles), Bobby Hebb's enduring "Sunny," Joe Simon's "The Chokin' Kind," Joe Tex's impassioned "I Want to (Do Everything for You)," and Robert Knight's original, timeless "Everlasting Love," among others. And that's not to mention two of the greatest R&B/blues singers of any era: Etta James, screeching ferociously through a bristling live take of "What'd I Say," and Ruth Brown, also caught live, storming through a righteous, spiteful version of "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean." Not the least of this set's virtues is its history lesson, which illustrates the evolution of postwar R&B into modern soul. Mark it essential, because it is.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Issued to coincide with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's historic exhibit of the same name, this two-CD set is a treasure-trove of hits, misses, rarities, and smoking grooves. Certainly Nash Vegas is the capital of country music, but in its day it also boasted a wealth of stomping rhythm and blues music that flourished in the city for the better part of three decades, until the bulldozers of "urban renewal" destroyed much of its cultural base and forced it from its terrain. With 35 tracks, plus a pair of bonus tracks that are commercials, this set is an affordable, indispensable introduction to a nearly forgotten part of American musical history. The labels represented here are a cross-section of the great regional independents that were so numerous n the '40s, '50s and '60s. Imprints such as Do-Ra-Mi, who recorded Audrey Bryant, Excello, Champion, Sun, Hickory, Bullet, Dial, A-Bet, Elf, and Sound Stage recorded both luminaries and nobodies. Here are early sides by Hank Crawford when he was in a jump band, the wild and wooly Esquerita, Joe Tex, Arthur Alexander, Roscoe Shelton, Joe Simon, Etta James, Johnny Adams, and Christine Kittrell. And there are cuts by cats like Johnny Jones, Nashville's premier blues guitar slinger, Audrey Bryant, the city's Sarah Vaughan, and others who scored big on Nashville radio and jukeboxes, such as Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson, Clifford Curry, and Robert Knight. While some of these names might not mean much to causal listeners of old rhythm and blues and soul, connoisseurs will be delighted to find these sides, many of them on CD for the first time. However, the appeal of this collection should not be limited to aficionados, as virtually every track is crackling with energy, verve, and raw immediate soul. Sound is better than decent, the selection is impeccable, and the track notes by Michael Gray are top-notch.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Lost Highway


Disc 1

  1. Nashville Jumps  - Cecil Gant
  2. Buzzard Pie  -  Rudy Green Orchestra
  3. Skip's Boogie  -  Kid King's Combo
  4. L & N Special
  5. Sittin' Here Drinking
  6. Just Walkin in the Rain
  7. If You and I Could Be Sweethearts  -  Varieteers
  8. Baby Let's Play House
  9. Christene  -  Little Hank & The Ryhthm Kings
  10. It's Love Baby  -  Louis Brooks & Hi Toppers
  11. Rollin' Stone
  12. You Can Make It If You Try
  13. Rockin' the Joint
  14. Let's Trade a Little  -  Audrey Bryant
  15. Say You Really Care
  16. Somebody, Somewhere
  17. Pipe Dreams  -  Jimmy Beck & His Orchestra
  18. Wlac Commercial
  19. White Rose  - Earl Gaines

Disc 2

  1. Wlac Air Check/Monkey Doin' Woman
  2. What'd I Say ]  - Shy Guy Douglas
  3. Really Part 1  - Etta James
  4. Just Like Him  -  Johnny Jones & The Imperial 7
  5. Anna  -  Frank Howard & The Commanders
  6. Snap Your Fingers  - Arthur Alexander
  7. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean (Single  - Joe A. Henderson
  8. Something Tells Me  - Ruth Brown
  9. Sunny  - Sam Baker
  10. I Want to Do Everything for You  - Bobby Hebb
  11. Bigger and Better  -  Hytones
  12. Since I Met You Baby  -  Hytones
  13. The Chokin' Kind
  14. The She Shot a Hole in My Soul  - Clifford Curry
  15. Gotta Get Yourself Together
  16. Soul Shake  -  Valentines
  17. Reconsider Me  - Jo Jo Benson
  18. Everlasting Love
  19. Everlasting Love  - Robert Knight

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Andy Davis   Group Member
Earl Gaines   Group Member
Morgan Babb   Vocals,DJ
Louis Brooks   Saxophone,Group Member
Ollie E. Brown   Group Member
James Clemmons   Group Member
Paul Easley   Group Member
James Moon   Group Member
Charles Myers   Group Member
Mike Smyth   Vinyl Disks
David Sherry   Vinyl Disks
Johnny Jones & the King Casuals   Bass Guitar
Frank Howard   Vinyl Disks
Stanley Hemphill   Group Member
Buford Majors   Group Member
Clifford McCray   Group Member
Lovell "Knott" Phillips   Group Member
James Stuart   Group Member

Technical Credits

Etta James   Contributor
Floyd Cramer   Contributor
Hank Garland   Contributor
Arthur Alexander   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Esquerita   Composer,Contributor
Joe Tex   Composer,Contributor
Gene Allison   Contributor
Mac Gayden   Composer,Contributor
Arthur Neal Gunter   Composer
Cecil Gant   Composer,Contributor
Grady Martin   Composer
Bobby Hebb   Composer,Contributor
Buzz Cason   Composer,Contributor
Ted Adams   Contributor
Bill Allen   Contributor
Johnny Bragg   Composer
Louis Brooks   Back Cover
Freeman Brown   Artwork
Boudleaux Bryant   Contributor
Lightnin' Chance   Contributor
Shy Guy Douglas   Composer
Charles Grant   Contributor
Rudy Green   Composer
Robert Holmes   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Buddy Killen   Producer
Joseph M. Palmaccio   Mastering
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Contributor
Alex Zanetis   Composer
Clifford Curry   Contributor
Farris Coursey   Contributor
Roscoe Shelton   Composer
Daniel Cooper   Producer
Michael Gray   Producer,Liner Notes
Margaret Lewis   Composer
Don Whitehead   Contributor
Jimmy Sweeney   Contributor
Kira Florita   Art Direction,Licensing
Wade Conklin   Contributor
Ron Wynn   Liner Notes
Ralph Nelson   Composer
John Richbourg   Contributor
Robert Riley   Songwriter,Composer
Ernie Young   Contributor
Edward Brooks   Composer
Ted Jarrett   Composer,Contributor
Christine Kittrell   Composer,Contributor
Earl Gaines Band   Contributor
Johnny Jones & the King Casuals   Artwork
Frank Howard   Artwork
Charlie Singleton   Composer
Louis Brooks & His Hi-Toppers   Contributor
Herschel Carter   Artwork
Jack Charamella   Contributor
Charlie Fite   Artwork
Herman Grizzard   Contributor
Elek Horvath   Licensing
Frank Howard & The Commanders   Artwork
Ted Swinney   Contributor
Gene Nobles   Author
Jim Bulleit   Composer
Robert Knight   Contributor
Johnny Wallace   Composer

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