Specialty Profiles

Specialty Profiles

by Percy Mayfield


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Specialty Profiles

Percy Mayfield was blessed with an emotive Louisiana baritone and a poet's sensibility to sadness and pain, and few songwriters in the history of pop or R&B have written a body of work so drenched in beautiful suffering. This set features Mayfield's major hits for Art Rupe's Specialty Records, a label that Mayfield recorded for from 1950 until 1954 before leaving for Chess Records (the bonus disc included here is simply a sampler for other artists who recorded for Specialty). Given depth and atmosphere by Maxwell Davis' saxophone textures, songs like "Cry Baby" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love" were carefully written R&B symphonies to the harsh realities and downside of romance, and at times that downside morphed into relentless darkness, as is the case with the excessively maudlin "The River's Invitation," which is just this side of a melodic suicide note. Also here is the wonderful (and relatively upbeat) "Louisiana" as well as Mayfield's original version of his signature song, "Hit the Road Jack," which Ray Charles would cover and turn into a huge hit. In all, this makes a nice introduction to Mayfield's early work and spotlights his considerable skill as a songwriter. He fell in love with sadness, Mayfield said, because there was more truth in it.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/29/2006
Label: Specialty
UPC: 0888072300569
catalogNumber: 30056

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Percy Mayfield   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jack McVea   Tenor Saxophone
Edward Truman Beal   Piano
Red Callender   Bass
Thomas Maxwell Davis   Leader,Tenor Saxophone
William V. Douglass   Drums
Harold Leonard Grant   Guitar
Jewell L. Grant   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
William K. "Billy" Hadnott   Bass
Joy Hamilton   Vocals
Ralph Hamilton   Bass
Earl Sumner Jackson   Tenor Saxophone
Willard McDaniel   Piano
Hubert Myers   Tenor Saxophone
Jesse Sailes   Drums
Theodore Shirley   Bass
Fletcher Smith   Piano
Floyd Turnham   Baritone Saxophone
Mitchell "Tiny" Webb   Guitar
William B. Woodman   Tenor Saxophone
Lee Young   Drums
Herman Mitchell   Guitar
Jesse & Marvin   Track Performer
Gerald F. Wiggins   Piano
William B. Woodman   Tenor Saxophone
Harold Leonard Grant   Guitar
John Crawford   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Percy Mayfield   Composer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes
Jamie Putnam   Art Direction

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