OK, so I aint been around much and I really donвЂ™t have much to say these days so IвЂ™ll just cut to the chase. Here is a great 45 from 1955 by a great artist; Big Joe Turner. I wish I had more records by him but then again I wish I had a lot of records I donвЂ™t haveвЂ¦
there is no need for me and my poor writing skills to try and do justice to the man just read the following lifted from the R&R hall of f(sh)ame...
Big Joe Turner (vocals; born May 18, 1911, died November 24, 1985) Big Joe Turner was the brawny-voiced вЂњBoss of the Blues.вЂ� He was among the first to mix R&B with boogie-woogie, resulting in jump blues - a style that presaged the birth of rock and roll. Indeed, TurnerвЂ™s original recording of вЂњShake, Rattle and Roll,вЂ� cut for Atlantic Records in 1954, remains one of the cornerstones numbers of the rock and roll revolution. TurnerвЂ™s lengthy career touched on most every significant development in popular music during this century, taking him from the big bands of the Swing Era to boogie-woogie, rhythm & blues, and rock and roll. James Austin of Rhino Records noted that вЂњ[TurnerвЂ™s] raucous style first blended R&B with boogie-woogie. The result was jump blues, and Joe was its foremost practitioner.вЂ�
But how important was he to the development of rock and roll?
вЂњRock and roll would have never happened without him,вЂ� opined legendary songwriter Doc Pomus.
The duo brought their routine to New York in the late Thirties, and their appearance at the вЂњSpirituals to SwingвЂ� concert in December 1938 proved to be a major turning point. Turner sang without a microphone, his forceful pipes carrying into the furthest reaches of the sold-out hall with ease. In New York, Turner and Johnson became regulars at the Cafe Society nightclub and signed to Vocalion Records, cutting some seminal versions of вЂњRoll вЂ?Em PeteвЂ� and вЂњCherry RedвЂ� for the label.
Turner recorded prolifically in the Forties for various labels, including Decca, National and Aladdin. He worked with Johnson as well as a number of other pianists, including such giants as Albert Ammons, Willie вЂњthe LionвЂ� Smith and Meade Lux Lewis. In 1946, Turner had his first R&B hit, вЂњMy GalвЂ™s a Jockey,вЂ� released on Herb AbramsonвЂ™s National label. Abramson would go on to co-found Atlantic Records with Ahmet Ertegun 1948. Meanwhile, Turner - who recorded for a bewildering variety of labels during this period - charted again in 1950 with вЂњStill in the Dark,вЂ� issued on the Houston-based Freedom label.
In 1951, Ertegun brought Turner to Atlantic Records, where he cut a string of rhythm & blues and early rock & roll classics over the next decade. Among them were вЂњChains of Love,вЂ� вЂњSweet Sixteen,вЂ� вЂњHoney Hush,вЂ� Shake, Rattle and Roll,вЂ� вЂњFlip Flop and Fly,вЂ� and вЂњCorrine Corinna.вЂ� Pianist Fats Domino accompanied Turner on the romping вЂњTV Mama.вЂ� вЂњShake, Rattle and RollвЂ� and вЂњHoney HushвЂ� were particularly massive hits, topping the R&B charts for three and eight weeks, respectively. For a spell Turner was a bonafide rock and roll star, cutting such songs as вЂњTeenage LetterвЂ� for the burgeoning youth market and appearing in the teen flick Shake, Rattle and Rock. No other figure straddled rock and roll and rhythm & blues with such authority as Turner. Capitalizing on his reputation as a pioneer, Turner shuttled easily between the two worlds, sharing stages with Fats Domino, the Clovers, Bo Diddley and a variety of other acts on Alan FreedвЂ™s package tours.
But TurnerвЂ™s musical roots were too deep to limit him to the faddish teen market. TurnerвЂ™s definitive work for Atlantic came in 1956, and the title said it all: The Boss of the Blues: Joe Turner Sings Kansas City Jazz. A sequel of sorts, Big Joe Rides Again, appeared in 1960. In the Sixties, after the first wave of rock and roll had died down, Turner returned to blues and boogie-woogie. He moved to Los Angeles, where he recorded with jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Roy Eldridge for some well-received albums on the Pablo label. He also schooled a young backup band that eventually became the Blasters.
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