BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MADE IN THE SHADE.

BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MADE IN THE SHADE.

For the last hundred years, Louisiana has been a musical hotbed. It’s given the world cajun, creole, Dixieland, swamp blues, swamp pop and zydeco. That’s not all. Many blues, country and jazz artist were born and bred in Louisiana. Despite being such a musical hotbed, Louisiana was for far too long, been overlooked by compilers.

Instead, compilers headed to Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, New York and Philly. They became favourite destinations for compilers of blues, country and soul compilations. That’s no longer the case. Some compilers dig deeper, much deeper. This includes Ian Saddler the man behind Ace Records Boppin’ In The Bayou compilation series. 

Ian was one of the first compilers to head to Louisiana. Others, realising that Louisiana is a musical treasure trove, have followed in his wake. However, Ian was a trailblazer. He’s now a familiar face in the Bayou state, having compiled nine instalments of the in Boppin’ In The Bayou compilation series. 

For the ninth instalment in Ace Records Boppin’ In The Bayou series, compiler Ian Saddler heads to South Louisiana and South East Texas. That’s where the twenty-eight tracks on the recently released Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade were recorded. 

Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade includes twenty singles and eight previously unreleased tracks. Some of the tracks date back to the late fifties, the golden age of rock ’n’ roll. This includes tracks from Gene Dunlap and The Jokers, Guitar Jeff and The Creoles, Bobby Wheeler and Coastaleers and Gene Rodrigue. These tracks are just the tip of a musical iceberg.

The other sixteen tracks were released between 1960 and 1983. There’s contributions from Joe Carl, Shelby Martin, Gene King and His Mecaton Band, Norman Wood, Pee Wee Trahan, Arnold Broussard and Erwin Babin. Then there’s unreleased tracks.

There’s a total of  eight previously unreleased tracks on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. This includes contributions from Vorris (Shorty) Leblanc and The Sugar Bees, Pee Wee Trahan, Peto Marlow and The Rhythm Kings, Frankie Lowery and Warren Storm and The Miller House Band. Then there’s two totally intriguing tracks.

The identity of the artists who recorded Can’t Stand This Living Alone and John (Don t Love Me No More) are unknown. Can’t Stand This Living Alone was recorded in J.D. Miller’s studio. However, despite the best efforts of Ian Saddler, the identity of the singer is unknown. This is also the case with John (Don t Love Me No More). Ian has been unable to identify the band who feature on John (Don t Love Me No More). Hopefully, someone listening to Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade will recognise these hidden gems. However, there’s many more hidden gems on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

Opening Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade is the first of two tracks from Gene Dunlap & Jokers, Made In The Shade. It was released on Hitt Records in 1957. Written by Gene Dunlap, this is a track that harks back to the golden age of rock ’n’ roll. It explodes into life. What follows is best described as joyous and dance-floor friendly. This proves the perfect start to Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. Gene’s other contribution is Because I Love Her. It’s in a similar vain to Made In The Shade. Penned by Gene, it was the B-Side to the 1960 single on Hitt, What A Fool I’ve Been. Because I Love Her is a hook-laden hidden gem.

Singer and songwriter Clifford Trahan released singles as under a number of aliases. One of them was Pee Wee Trahan, who features twice on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. His first contribution is Baby Hurry Home. It was written by Clifford and J.D. Miller.  It was released as a single in 1974, and is a fusion of country and rock ’n’ roll. Pee Wee’s other contribution is the previously unreleased Keeping All My Loving. It’s a guitar driven ballad that showcases Pee Wee’s skills as a singer and songwriter. 

Joe Carl released Too Hot To Handle in 1960. It was recorded at J.D. Miller’s studios. Accompanying Joe, were The Dukes Of Rhythms, a South Louisiana swamp pop band. They’d been formed by Joe Barry. However, Joe parted company with The Dukes. Saxophonist Harry Simmoneaux asked Joe to replace Joe Barry. He also cowrote Too Hot To Handle with Joe Carl. It sounds not unlike Too Much Monkey Business. Despite this, it’s a glorious melange of blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll.

By 1959, Jimmy Dart was playing with Gene Dunlap and The Jokers. He was a talented singer and multi-instrumentalist. Jimmy could switch seamlessly between drums, guitar and piano. It was time for him to take centre-stage. So in 1959, as Jimmy Dart and Gene Dunlap and The Jokers, he recorded Please Don’t Doubt My Love. It’s a single that oozes quality. 

Released on the Texas based Hitt label, Please Don’t Doubt My Love failed commercially. Despite this, Jimmy went on to enjoy a long career, playing until his death in 2000.

Singer and songwriter Arnold Broussard features twice on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. He wrote both tracks. His first contribution is Somebody Knocked At My Door. It was released on Flyright Records’ 1980 compilation Boppin’ It. Moody and bluesy, it’s a cathartic outpouring of pain and hurt. Has Anyone Seen Spider? also featured on Boppin’ It. It sees the tempo rise and Arnold fuse elements of blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll. Irresistible, dance-floor friendly and full of hooks, Has Anyone Seen Spider? is one of the highlights of Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. Tragically, Spider who the song is about, died in the same car crash that killed Arnold. 

Not much is known about Johnny Bass. Rumour has it, that he was a hillbilly singer from Oklahoma. He contributes Don’t So Slow, which was recorded at J.D. Miller’s studio, Crowley, Louisiana. It featured on Flyright Records’ 1980 compilation Bayou Boogie. Johnny’s other contribution, Boppin’ it, features on Flyright Records’ 1980 compilation Boppin’It. These two compilations introduced music lovers to one of Louisiana music’s best kept secrets, Johnny Bass.

From the opening bars of Mickey Galley’s My Baby s Cheatin On Me, three words came into my mind…Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s no surprise, as Mickey and Jerry are cousins. Some of Jerry’s talent and charisma have rubbed of. My Baby s Cheatin On Me was recorded during the sixties at J.D. Miller’s studio. It’s an irresistible two minute soap opera, where cheating, hurt and heartbreak are omnipresent. Sadly, My Baby s Cheatin On Me was released until 1983, when it featured on a Flyright Records’ compilation.

There can’t be a compilation of music from Louisiana without some zydeco. It comes courtesy of Vorris (Shorty) Leblanc and All The Sugar Bees. He’s a talented accordionist who made his name playing with the Venicor Brothers. By the late fifties, Vorris was the singer with Cleveland Crotcher’s Hillbilly Ramblers. He featured on their classic Midnight Blues. After that, his solo career began. Kaw Liga was a cover of a Hank Williams song, that was released on Goldband Records. This is a previously unreleased stomping track, that was recorded at J.D. Shuler’s studios. It’s a tantalising taste of zydeco from Vorris (Shorty) Leblanc and All The Sugar Bees.

Back in 1962. Norman Wood released Black Lake Boogie on Tamm. Penned by Norman Wood, there’s briefly a nod to Bill Haley and The Comet’s Rock Around The Clock. Black Lake Boogie is thought to be Norman’s only record. Norman’s wandering vocal is accompanied by a tight, talented band. They play their part in an antediluvian slice of rockabilly.

Warren Storm is another artist who features twice on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. He’s a familiar face to veterans of the Boppin’ By The Bayou series, having featured on every instalment. No wonder. Whether it’s playing drums or singing, Warren goes down a Storm. That’s the case on his version of Clifton Chernier and Jerry West’s Hey Ma Ma. Not only does he keep a jazz-tinged beat, but delivers a needy, pleading vocal. Accompanying him are braying horns and a pounding piano. It’s a musical masterclass. This Storm hasn’t blown out. He makes a welcome return on the previously unreleased Crowley Stomp. Never has a track been so aptly titled.

The version of Frankie Lowery’s Hey Little Girl on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade has never been released before. It’s an alternate take of a single released during  Frankie’s short and sadly, unsuccessful time at Columbia. This slice of rockabilly was recorded at J.D. Miller’s studio. On its release, it never troubled the charts. Despite that, Frankie went on to enjoy a long career. That’s no surprise, given how good a voice he has.

My final choice from Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade is Paul Marvin’s Cinderella. He’s another artist who we know very little about. What we do know, is he certainly didn’t lack talent. That’s apparent on the previously unreleased Cinderella, which epitomises everything that’s good about New Orleans rock ’n’ roll.

One thing never ceases to surprise me about the music of Louisiana, its sheer variety. That’s apparent on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. There’s everything from blues, country, jazz, R&B, rockabilly, rock ’n’ roll and zydeco. This eclecticism makes Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade a delicious musical roller coaster. Maybe a better comparison, is Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. It’s a case of “you never know what you’re gonna get.” That’s part of the fun on  as compiler Ian Saddler takes you on a journey to South Louisiana and South East Texas. 

That’s where the music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade was recorded. Familiar faces from previous volumes of the By The Bayou series sit next to newcomers. Similarly, singles, album tracks, unreleased tracks and hidden gems rub shoulders. They’ve one thing in common, is their quality. Sometimes, that’s not all.

Many of the tracks are dance-floor friendly. That is an understatement. They’re akin to a call to dance. Resistance is impossible. All you can do is submit to the call to dance.  Much of the music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade is also a reminder of a much more innocent musical age.

Especially with the tracks from the late fifties. This was the golden age of rock ’n’ roll. Tracks from Gene Dunlap and The Jokers, Guitar Jeff and The Creoles, Bobby Wheeler and Coastaleers and Gene Rodrigue feature on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade. Then there’s contributions from Joe Carl, Shelby Martin, Gene King and His Mecaton Band, Norman Wood and Pee Wee Trahan. Many of these tracks are a reminder of much more innocent times. That’s also the case with some of the tracks that weren’t released until the eighties. They were recorded in the sixties, but didn’t make their musical debut until released on compilations released by Flyright Records. Now thirty years later, these same tracks will be heard by a new generation of music lovers.

This isn’t new. For the past few years, music lovers old and new, are discovering the music of Louisiana, thanks to Ace Records’ By The Bayou series. Compiled by Ian Saddler, Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade is the ninth instalment in the By The Bayou series. Just like a fine wine, By The Bayou series is maturing with age. Boppin’ By The Bayou-Made In The Shade, which was recently released by Ace Records, is the best, and most eclectic and dance-floor friendly, in the By The Bayou series. 

BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MADE IN THE SHADE.

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