Night Train to Nashville, Volume 2: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970

Night Train to Nashville, Volume 2: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970

4.5 2

The second double-disc survey of Music City's R&B heritage follows its Grammy-winning predecessor's approach in unearthing some long-forgotten but still vibrant recordings by artists both familiar and obscure. Like the first volume, this set is a virtual history lesson in the evolution of rhythm and blues to soul, beginning with the small swing band era exemplified by…  See more details below


The second double-disc survey of Music City's R&B heritage follows its Grammy-winning predecessor's approach in unearthing some long-forgotten but still vibrant recordings by artists both familiar and obscure. Like the first volume, this set is a virtual history lesson in the evolution of rhythm and blues to soul, beginning with the small swing band era exemplified by raucous workouts such as the scorching "Well Daddy," a 1952 track from Charlie Powell & Orchestra featuring a wailing, knockout vocal from Willie Lee Patton. From there we go to gritty combos epitomized by the driving sounds of Dr. Feelgood & the Interns on 1962's "Dr. Feelgood" and on to the more sophisticated contemporary soul of the impeccable Joe Simon, whose timeless single "(You Keep Me) Hangin' On," from 1968, expertly blends gospel moans and pop subtlety. Some of the rare gems uncovered this time around include Freddie North's original 1971 recording of "She's All I Got," rendered in a southern soul setting with a Joe Simon–like vocal performance. (This song was to become better known in Johnny Paycheck's hard-country incarnation.) Also of note are Arthur Alexander's original 1962 recording of his powerful "Soldier of Love" (a Beatles favorite), Esther Phillips's stunning 1962 treatment of "Release Me" -- with the mournful strings and haunting vocal chorus that Engelbert Humperdinck lifted almost note-for-note for his 1967 hit version -- and the quintessential soul love ballad "Next to Me," from the then-struggling giant Clyde McPhatter, who sounds in rare form. Do yourself a favor and accept this hearty invitation to board the irresistible Night Train.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Oh yeah! Those who bought the first volume of Night Train to Nashville have been licking their chops for a long while now for this second installment and with good reason. Both compilations coincide with the exhibition of the same name at the Country Music Hall of Fame and reflect the deep roots R&B that flourished in Music City in the years immediately after the second World War and continued to thrive in recordings studios and in the venues of Jefferson Street all the way up until 1970s despite the town being country music's Valhalla. Most of the artists here are Nashville-based, but in order to reflect the true culture of the scene several out-of-town acts are included as well such as Clyde McPhatter and transplant Gay Crosse, who featured a young John Coltrane playing tenor in her band! There are many well-known names here, from Ivory Joe Hunter and Roscoe Shelton to Helen Foster, Arthur Alexander, and Esther Phillips (a native Texan). But they aren't the focus of this set. There are the Kinglets with Leroy Thomas and their killer single "Pretty Please" from 1959, and Bernard Hardison's "Too Much," issued on the Republic label in 1955. There's Lillian Offitt's heart-wrenching "Miss You SOP," issued on Excello in 1957, and Richard Armstrong's "Gene Nobles Boogie" on Checker from 1949. Jimmy Sweeney is also present here in both his incarnations. First under his own name with "Boogie Woogie Jockey" (a tribute to DJ Gene Nobles as was the Armstrong cut), and later as Jimmy Bell in 1960 with "She Wears My Ring." Willie Lee Patton is also here as are the Neptunes, the Gladiolas, and Billie McAllister. What it adds up to at over 39 cuts is another excellent orgy of foot-stomp and heartbreak that offers not only another view of music history, but a wealth of some of the finest tunes ever recorded in the genre and is highly recommended.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
A swell party album for any old-soul or early-rock fan. (B+)

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
Lost Highway


Disc 1

  1. Boogie Woogie Jockey  - Jimmy Sweeney
  2. Gene Nobles' Boogie  - Richard Armstrong
  3. All States Boogie  - Ivory Joe Hunter
  4. Wail Daddy  -  Charlie Dowell Orchestra
  5. 31 E. Blues  - Billie McAllister
  6. No Better for You  -  Gay Crosse & The Good Humor Six
  7. You Belong to Me  - Helen Foster
  8. Too Much  -  Bernard Hardison
  9. If Things Don't Change  - Gene Allison
  10. Love, Love, Love  - Ted Jarrett
  11. Miss You So  - Lillian Offitt
  12. Little Darlin'  -  Gladiolas
  13. No Fool No More  -  Charles "Wigg" Walker & the Daffodils
  14. Pretty Please  -  Kinglets
  15. She Can Rock  - Little Ike
  16. I'm Coming Home  -  Neptunes
  17. You Better Change  -  Hal & Jean
  18. OK, So What?  - Freddie North
  19. She Wears My Ring  - Jimmy Sweeney

Disc 2

  1. Doctor Feel-Good  -  Feelgood & the Interns
  2. I'm a Woman  - Christine Kittrell
  3. Don't Pity Me  - Herbert Hunter
  4. Next to Me  - Clyde McPhatter
  5. Release Me  - Esther Phillips
  6. Soldier of Love  - Arthur Alexander
  7. Don't Take My Kindness for a Weakness  - Earl Gaines
  8. That's My Man  - Marion James
  9. Strain on My Heart  - Roscoe Shelton
  10. Soul Poppin'  -  Johnny Jones & the King Casuals
  11. Swinging Soul Medallion Commercial  - John Richbourg
  12. Right on Time  - Jimmy Church
  13. Judy  - Frank Howard
  14. Leave It Up to the Boys  - Sandra King
  15. Don't You Forget That You're My Baby  -  Spidells
  16. I'm Free (The Prisoner's Song)  - Johnny Bragg
  17. Screamin' and Shoutin'  -  Fabulettes
  18. (You Keep Me) Hangin' On  - Joe Simon
  19. (Don't Take Her) She's All I Got  - Freddie North
  20. Lucky Lou  -  Imperials

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tommy Turrentine   Trumpet
Oliver Jackson   Drums
Harold Bradley   Guitar,Spoken Word
John Jarette   Drums
Stanley "Stash" O'Laughlin   Piano

Technical Credits

Ivory Joe Hunter   Composer
Gary "U.S." Bonds   Composer
Maurice Williams   Composer
Mac Gayden   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Freddie Hart   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Morgan Babb   Composer
Buzz Cason   Composer
Johnny Bragg   Composer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
Billy Cox   Composer
Jerry Kennedy   Composer
Quedillas Martin   Composer
Joseph M. Palmaccio   Mastering
Mike Stoller   Composer
Fred Waters   Composer
Daniel Cooper   Producer
Michael Gray   Producer,Song Notes
Tony Moon   Composer
Margie Singleton   Composer
Jimmy Sweeney   Composer
Gay Crosse   Composer
Robert Riley   Composer
Ira Allen   Composer
Dub Williams   Composer
Robert Yount   Composer
Allen Orange   Composer
Ted Jarrett   Composer,Audio Production
Andrew McAllister   Composer
Richard Armstrong   Composer
Eddie Frierson   Composer
Bernard Weinman   Composer
Chilton Price   Composer
Buddy Mize   Composer
Reavis L. Mitchell   Liner Notes
James Stuart   Composer
Lee Rosenberg   Composer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Night Train to Nashville, Volume 2: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time - CD1 (47:00), CD2 (54:34) Continuing with a desire to re-release “hits and rarities” from a great 25-year era of Music City R&B, the Country Music Hall of Fame has compiled a second volume from 25 different record labels. There’s also one live track never before heard on record (The Imperials’ “Lucky Lou”) which was recorded on the bandstand by guitarist George Yates. Both of the volumes in this series coincide with an exhibition that was held at the Museum in 2004-5, held to document an underreported era in Nashville’s music history, the story of Nashville’s R&B heyday from pre-World War II roots through its ongoing connections to country music. Disc #1 captures Nashville in the late 1940s and 50s. Rhythm & blues is the black popular music genre, emerging at that time, and which became a big influence on rock ‘n’ roll and even pop music today. Check out pianist Bernie Hardison’s 1955 rendition of “Too Much,” a song that Elvis took to the top of the pop charts two years later. The roots of R&B were the country blues, vaudeville ‘hokum,’ big band and swing. As the big band era came to an end, groups got smaller, and vocalists fronted combos presenting blues and pop. Lyrics were often fun and humorous. The music was very danceable too. Volume 2 has rollicking barrelhouse piano, steaming saxophone, smooth vocals, raucous singing, and even some doo wop groups that accented soulful singing. The Gladiolas’ “Little Darlin” is imparted with a calypso beat. One of Little Ike’s only known recordings is “She Can Rock.” We know that the electric guitar made inroads into R&B, and I’m curious about the instrument’s minor roll in the music of this release. We hear Johnny Jones playing it on the 1959 release of Charles Walker and the Daffodils’ “No Fool No More.” The electric guitar also gives Freddie North’s “OK, So What?” a sweet country twang. Christine Kittrell’s bluesy “I’m a Woman” wouldn’t be the same without electric guitar and sax. Johnny Jones’ “Soul Poppin’” has some swinging trumpet too. A colorful commercial message at track 11 on disc#2 encourages us to buy a swinging soul medallion for only $3. Many of the great musicians on this release are unnamed Nashville cats who really knew how to jump with their jive. With a 32-page booklet insert, this CD is a splendid introduction to some fantastic music of not so long ago. These remastered tracks have very high fidelity. At the time, Nashville seemed open-minded to new musical ideas, and record producers were encouraging boundaries to be expanded. Just like the ground-breaking television show back then, “Night Train,” this 2-disc CD will reinvigorate an interest in R&B music of fifty years ago. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Two-Disc follow-up to the original Night Train To Nashville is even better! It's all rhythm and blues straight from Music City. If you enjoy what little, if any Nashville R&B you've heard you will love this collection. It has some essentials such as "I'm A Woman" by Christine Kittrell (featured on a commercial for detergant) and some rarities like "Doctor Feel-Good" By Doctor Feel-Good and His Interns, better known as Piano Red. This amazing collection contains some of the greatest records ever to come from Nashville's Golden Era. If you like classic Ryhthm and Blues, I strongly suggest you buy this great collection