THE KING AND DELUXE ACETATE SERIES: BEEF BALL BABY! THE NEW ORLEANS SESSIONS.

THE KING AND DELUXE ACETATE SERIES: BEEF BALL BABY! THE NEW ORLEANS SESSIONS.

While Deluxe Records headquarters were in New York, the label’s founders David and Jules Braun weren’t averse to heading out on the road in search of new artists to add to their rooster.  Previous trips to L.A. and Charlotte, North Carolina during 1946 had proved fruitful. So in February 1947, the Braun brothers prepared for a trip to the Big Easy. 

New Orleans always had a rich musical heritage. That had been the case since the dawn of the twentieth century. Ever since then, New Orleans was known to have a vibrant and thriving music scene. The Braun brothers had high hopes for their first trip to the Big Easy.

Having made their way to New Orleans, the Braun brothers struck musical gold when they got the opportunity to record a veteran of the city’s music scene, singer and pianist Walter “Fats” Pichon. Then the Braun brothers got the opportunity to record the Cajun band of Luderin Darbone. Gradually, the Braun brothers were making inroads into the New Orleans’ musical scene. Guiding them was Paul Gayten. 

He would soon become Deluxe Records’ A&R man in New Orleans, and was signed to the label. Paul Gayten is also one of the artists that features on Ace Records’ recent released compilation The King and Deluxe Acetate Series: Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions. It’s the eighth and latest instalment The King and Deluxe Acetate Series. 

The King and Deluxe Acetate Series: Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions features twenty-four tracks from Eddie Gorman, Paul Gayten and His Band, Smiling Lewis, Cousin Joe And His Sextette, Jewel King Dave Bartholomew and His Sextette and Chubby “Hip Shakin’” Newsom and Her Hip Shakers. Eight of the twenty-four tracks have never been released before. This includes some real finds, which are a reminder of New Orleans’ illustrious musical past.

Opening The King and Deluxe Acetate Series: Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions is Answer To Chubby’s Bedroom Blues, the first of six tracks from bluesman Eddie Gorman. They were recorded just before New Year’s Eve 1947, when the recording ban came into effect. Sadly, only one the six tracks Eddie Gorman recorded was ever released.

Beef Ball Baby was released by Deluxe Records in 1949. The remainder of the tracks Eddie Gorman recorded with producer Paul Gayten lay in Deluxe Records’ vaults.

This included Answer To Chubby’s Bedroom Blues, Hey Now,  Telephone Blues, You Don’t Move Me No More and an alternate take of Eddie Gorman’s 1948 single Worrying About My Love. Each of these tracks showcase Eddie Gorman’s versatility, and his ability to breath life and meaning into the lyrics. Sadly, Eddie Gorman’s recording career lasted just the two years he was signed to Deluxe Records. 

Paul Gatyen played an important part in Deluxe Records’ musical mining expeditions to New Orleans. He was the company’s talent A&R man and producer. However, at one point, Paul Gatyen and His Band were signed to Deluxe Records. 

In 1948, Paul Gayten and His Band released Don’t Worry ‘Bout Nothin’ as a single. It featured a vocal from one of Paul Gayten’s discoveries, Eddie Gorman. However, the single failed commercially, and Paul Gatyen decided to concentrate on his work as A&R man and producer.

Smiling Lewis was another of Paul Gatyen’s discoveries. He recorded two singles during 1947. The first was Swimming Blues, which featured Turn On Your Volume, Baby on the flip side. The follow was meant to be Here Comes Smiley, with Love Is Like A Gamble on the B-Side. Both singles were recorded with David Braun. However, it’s unknown if either single was ever released? They were given a catalogue number, but whether the New Orleans’ bluesman’s singles were ever released is unknown?

It was Cousin Joe who recorded the first R&B side for Deluxe Records. Previously, Cousin Joe had recorded for various labels. Mostly, the sessions had taken place in New York. This was a long way from home for the Louisiana born singer. Then in 1947, Cousin Joe and His Sextette got the opportunity to record four sides in the Big Easy.

Sadly, only three of the sides that Cousin Joe And His Sextette recorded have survived. One of the the acetate was so badly damaged, that it was unplayable. At least Phoney Women Blues, Little Woman Blues and It’s Dangerous To Be A Husband have survived, and are a reminder of the first R&B session recorded for Deluxe Records.

Jewel King made her recording debut in 1948, when she recorded a session with Dave Bartholomew. The session was split, with Jewel King and Dave Bartholomew both recording tracks.

For her recording debut, Jewel King recorded three songs. The first was an impassioned version of Give Me A Clue Baby. Her defiant take of Go Now heads in the direction of jump blues. Then on Passion Blues, Jewel King delivers a heartfelt, soul-baring vocal. It’s so full of hurt and heartache, that it’s as if Jewel King has lived and survived the lyrics.

After Jewel King had laid down her trio of tracks, it was time for Dave Bartholomew And His Sextette to record nine tracks. Sadly, only two of the acetates remain. This includes what’s regarded as Dave Bartholomew And His Sextette’s finest hour, She’s Got Great Big Eyes (And Great Big Thighs). Playing a part in the track’s sound and success is drummer Earl Palmer. 

He would go on to play a huge future in shaping the rock ’n’ roll sound during the fifties. However, Earl Palmer doesn’t play a starring role on Dave’s Boogie Woogie. It’s a reminder of New Orleans’ illustrious musical past, from Dave Bartholomew And His Sextette.

Chubby “Hip Shakin'” Newsom and Her Hip Shakers contribute the five remaining tracks on The King and Deluxe Acetate Series: Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions. The five tracks were recorded in 1949, and were an attempt to match the commercial success of Chubby Newsom’s hit single Hip Shakin’ Mama. It had been released in December 1948, and gradually, went from being a local number one, to reaching number eight on the US R&B charts. Sadly, Hip Shakin’ Mama doesn’t feature on the compilation, as the acetate hasn’t survived. At least, the flip-side to Hip Shakin’ Mama, Chubby’s Confession has survived. So have the other four sides Chubby Newsom cut for Deluxe Records.

This includes the followup single Back Bitin’ Woman, and the B-Side Bedroom Blues. While Back Bitin’ Woman sold reasonably well, it failed to match the success of Hip Shakin’ Mama. So  Chubby “Hip Shakin'” Newsom and Her Hip Shakers returned to the studio with Dave Bartholomew.

The next single Chubby “Hip Shakin'” Newsom and Her Hip Shakers recorded was Close To Train Time. On the B-Side was New Orleans Lover Man. However, Close To Train Time failed to replicate the success of Hip Shakin’ Mama. Since then, Close To Train Time and Back Bitin’ Woman have been a tantalising taste of what Chubby Newsom was capable of.

Just a few weeks after cutting Close To Train Time, the Braun brothers left New Orleans for the last time. Their time in New Orleans had been productive. 

They had discovered Roy Brown, one of the label’s most successful artists. Later, they discovered Chubby “Hip Shakin'” Newsom and Her Hip Shakers, who was responsible for one of Deluxe Records’ most successful hits nationally, Hip Shakin’ Mama. While her other releases weren’t as successful nationally, they sold well locally. These singles brought to an end Deluxe Records’ two year adventure in the Big Easy.

The Braun brothers moved on, in search of the next big thing. There were still plenty of cities with musical gold awaiting discovery. Similarly, those that had played an important role in Deluxe Records’ New Orleans adventure moved.

A&R man and producer Paul Gayten, and Dave Bartholomew both moved on. So did Chubby Newsom, who in 1951, was reunited with the Braun brothers, when she signed for their latest venture Regal Records. Chubby Newsom was a reminder of the two years the Braun brothers spent travelling between New York and the Big Easy, seeking musical riches.

Not everything that glittered proved to be musical gold. Some of the music the Braun brothers discovered in New Orleans wasn’t a commercial success. Some of the recordings made in New Orleans weren’t even released, and make their debut on Ace Records’ recent released compilation The King and Deluxe Acetate Series: Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions. It’s the eighth and latest instalment The King and Deluxe Acetate Series, and documents the Braun brothers’ two year musical adventure in the Big Easy.

THE KING AND DELUXE ACETATE SERIES: BEEF BALL BABY! THE NEW ORLEANS SESSIONS.

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