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9416Re: Lucille Bogan & Charles Avery

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  • Uncle Dave
    Jan 26, 2013
      Thank you Bob and Howard for your comments, and I wanted to qualify that I'm not trying to bust anyone's chops here. Avery, of course, only has one surviving solo, "Dearborn Street Breakdown," but it's quite distinctive and I was lurking around in the accompaniments accredited to him out of interest and stumbled upon these Bogan sides that do not fit his style.

      Bob wrote:

      Dave, the first thing to say is that you must be using an old edition of B&GR - B&GR4 has the correct mx.

      Howard wrote:

      Be interested to know where else the ³EVERYWHERE² is because it is prima facie proof of uncritical copying, which is of course
      endemic in discography, but in this case mindless as the typo is so obvious.

      >>>

      OK -- indeed, mine is BG&R3. Apologies to Howard as well. By "everywhere" I mean only a few places I looked; actually the correct number is at least seen in Ty Settlemaier's ODP and so it went into the Abrahms data correctly.

      >>>

      Bob wrote:

      That said, I agree that the pianist is not Avery. I doubt that Lucille is the player, because of timing issues, although her son and his best friend both said she could play piano - they just don't sound self-accompanied. One "Smith" shares composer credits on "Black Angel", which may be a hint.

      However, there is another issue. To my ears, the pianist on "Whiskey Selling Woman" (C-5548) is different again - great left hand, interesting and variable right, far more swinging than either Avery or the later pianist. If it *is* Avery, he's playing way above himself! I'm tempted to say Bill O'Bryant, who recorded an excellent title with Tampa Red at about this time, but there are differences. Nevertheless, it is a forward-thinking accompaniment, hinting at what Maceo would later do.

      >>>

      While I don't find the playing on "Whiskey Selling Woman" inconsistent with Avery -- the rising, locked hand tremolandi figure in this accompaniment also appears, in part, in "Dirty Treatin' Blues" -- I agree that it is an astonishing performance. Each verse is treated like a variation on its own, with an evolutionary sense of brilliance throughout. I've not yet heard the Bill O'Bryant side, but I will investigate it, and thanks for the suggestion.

      I note in my BG&R3 that the side on which O'Bryant plays is listed as "C-5563 1/2", so that takes me back to the discographical end of things.

      Howard wrote:

      I think you will listen in vain for an alternative take on Roots RL317. They were working from tapes not 78s and simply and carelessly quoted the first matrix number they came to, 5347, rather than the correct 5547, or maybe it's just a typo, and they always really knew they were issuing 5547 (This was checked aurally long ago and there is a note to this effect in B&GR4)

      >>>

      Thanks Howard; now I know not to look for that. Here, in summary form, is the data that Laird gathers for the matrix range we are discussing. At the time, Brunswick was also cutting sessions for a label called Majestic which was a product of the Grigsby-Grunow Radio Corp. Though through acquisition the "Majestic" name did end up used in the 1940s for a commercial label, there is no relationship between this one and the later one. 1929-31 Majestic was a personal label like Gennett's "Personal." Hardly any of these records have been found, but the empty stock numbers figure significantly in the 1930 Brunswick ledger. Client work for the National Radio Advertising Co. also has a presence in the Brunswick book of 1930.

      C5312-C5349 all personal recordings, unknown (Majestic?)
      this would include C5347-C5349 credited to Bogan and dated "ca. February 1, 1930"; suggesting as you have that the session does not exist.
      C5350-C5352 Ben Bernie
      C5353 Freddie "Redd" Nicholson
      C5354 Charles Avery
      C5355-C5357 Freddie "Redd" Nicholson & J.[H. "Freddie"] Shayne

      C5540-C5546 all personal recordings, unknown (Majestic?)
      C5547-C5550 Lucille Bogan & Charles Avery
      C5551-C5552 Willie Harris
      XC5553-XC5554 Quin A. Ryan (Majestic, from dubbed masters)
      C5555-C5557 No details
      C5558-C5559 Bradley Kincaid
      C5560-C5561 Freddie "Redd" Nicholson & Charles Avery
      C5562-C5563 Lucille Bogan & Charles Avery
      C5563 1/2 Tampa Red vocal with guitar
      C5564 Tampa Red vocal with guitar & piano
      C5565-C5575 No details
      XC5576-XC5577 Quin A. Ryan (different dub of XC5553-XC5554)
      C5578-C5579 Tampa Red & Georgia Tom

      C6843-C6844 No details
      C6845-C6848 Lucille Bogan
      C6849-C6850 Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom
      C6851-C6852 No details
      C6853-C6856 Tampa Red & Georgia Tom
      C6857 No details
      C6858-C6859 Tampa Red & Georgia Tom
      C6860-C6864 No details (not used?)
      C6865-C6876 Bradley Kincaid, recorded in 1931 and not issued on Brunswick

      Note that O'Bryant is mentioned for C5563 1/2, whereas C5564 is shown as the side that has the piano. This is an error, but I note that O'Bryant's credit is carried only on the label copy and may not have noted in the log that Ross was reading.

      David N. Lewis
      Lebanon, OH
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