Saturday, January 12, 2013

I Can't Think Of Nothing Baby



JubilationTCornpone said...

Wow, sometimes you play one that's just like instantly my new favorite song. Phenomenal.

Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

This side is even better. Thanks.

Bruce said...

I can see what you mean about Lois thinking this was her one shot and wanted to get the most out of her 45, guess I would too, why waste good wax. (and if you can get it in one take why make any more)

I've got an idea of where to look for more info. Hopefully I can post back a bit more.

Great song, it just sort of bounces along with that real cool sort of barrel-house piano rolling in the back. THanks!

Bruce said...

Update of sorts...I'm still working on this, here's a tidbit to wet the appetite it seems that Willie Ghent was a women, not sure of her real name, I'll see what else I can find.

Bruce said...

I just had the pleasure of talking to Charles Powell, the lead guitarist on this record. When we first started talking he claimed that he’d never been interviewed and that his memory was bad. I don’t believe him on either account. Not only was he an engaging conversationalist who patiently answered all my questions, but his memory was sharp enough to remember details I would have long ago forgotten.
At present Charles is 70 years old, a retired welder happily building birdhouses, occasionally playing his guitar and enjoying the company of his twin daughters and 6 grandchildren. He was only 18 when these sides were cut, it was the early 60’s and the group, having practiced in the living room decided that it was time to cut a 45. His sister, Louis, made a phone call and they headed into a small studio in Little Rock run by two brothers (he couldn’t remember the name), and cut these two sides. Willie Ghent a neighbor, then in her 70’s was on piano, and James “Cootie” Brown in his 30’s was on drums
Like many musicians Charles got his start playing guitar through his brother. Back in the mid 50’s his brother, Nicky, played in group that included Text Denton and a black drummer, James “Cootie” Brown. The group used to practice at Cooties house in the “Blactown” section of Searcy. Cootie tried to get the young 13 year old Charles to play drums and while he tried he decided “it wasn’t my thing, I was never good at it”. He later picked up a guitar and found it more to his liking and also started singing.
Charles practiced, improved his skills and joined with his brother and sister and formed a band. “I wasn’t too good at doing two things at once so I focused on singing and left the lead guitar work to his brother, I played the rhythm guitar” They played around the local area in “so many bars and halls I can’t remember em all”, but were regulars at the Tin Top in Jacksonville Arkansas where they brought in the crowds. Lois was the leader of the group who kept her two brothers on task. As Charles noted “there was a lot more to concentrate in those places than just playing music”.
According to Charles these are not the original recordings of the two sides, but a re-recording that was done at the JR Cheatum Studios in Dallas Texas in the late 60’s. The original he said came out on the Twik label. After they recorded the sides they had a couple of hundred pressed up and “loaded them into jukeboxes”, got them to radio stations, and sold them at their shows. They did get a bit of airplay, but never broke out of the local area.
The re-recordings occurred when Lois acquired a manager, Lee Harold, who decided that these should be re-recorded and some new songs recorded. The new recordings, recorded at the JR Cheatum Studios in Dallas using studio musicians to sweeten the sound, were distributed in the local area and on Jukeboxes in the Illinois area. Charles said that Lee had the connections to get them on the syndicate controlled jukeboxes in Illinois.
Other songs that the group recorded.
Goodbye Daddy
Skid Row Women
Fishin’ in the Spring
One of the Gunman
Juke Box Blues
Wild Stallion
Ooh Wee Baby
In reminiscing Charles broke into song on the phone and sung me his favorite, Juke Box Blues. It’s a beautiful song and Charles’s impromptu performance and description of the recording with the inclusion of steel guitars makes me hope I can someday hear the recording. Post it if you find it Howdy!