Mickey Baker In the '50s: Hit, Git & Split
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- Released: January 8, 2008
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Rev-Ola Bandstand
- 1.Spinnin' Rock Boogie
- 2.Love Me Baby
- 3.Bandstand Stomp (Ho Ho Ho)
- 5.I'm Tired
- 6.Stranger Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 7.You Better Heed My Warning
- 8.Midnight Hours - (previously unreleased)
- 9.Shake Walkin'
- 10.Down to the Bottom - (previously unreleased)
- 11.Greasy Spoon
- 12.Please Tell Me
- 13.Where Is My Honey?
- 14.No Good Lover
- 15.Rock with a Sock
- 16.Love Is Strange
- 17.Did You Mean Jelly-Bean (What You Said Cabbage-Head)? - (previously unreleased)
- 19.I Need Your Love So Bad
- 20.All Around the World
- 21.Rib Joint
- 22.Anna Mae
- 23.My Baby's Gone
- 24.Caldonia '56
- 25.Country Boy
- 26.The Bear Hug
- 27.Worried 'Bout You, Baby
- 28.Pepper-Head Woman
- 29.Stumbling Block
- 30.Come Back, Uncle John
- 31.Hit, Git & Split
Personnel: Mickey Baker (vocals, guitar); Eddie Riff, Larry Dale, Roy Gaines, Brownie McGhee (vocals, guitar); Dave McRae (vocals, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Louis Jordan (vocals, alto saxophone); Champion Jack Dupree (vocals, piano); Square Walton, Big Tiny Kennedy, Joe Clay, Little Willie John, Titus Turner, Big John Greer (vocals); Clifton Best (guitar); Sonny Terry (harmonica); Leslie Johnakins (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Warren Lucky, Hal Singer, David Van Dyke, King Curtis, Sam "The Man" Taylor , Willis "Gator" Jackson (tenor saxophone); Ernest Williams, Reuben Phillips, Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone); Ernie Royal, Taft Jordan (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Fletcher Smith, George Rhodes, Herman Foster, Al Williams, Sammy Price, Belford Hendricks, Billy Valentine, Ernie Hayes (piano); Roger "Ram" Ramirez (organ); Norman Blake, Joe Foster (synthesizer); Carl Pruitt (double bass); Jimmy Lewis (bass guitar); Dave Bailey , Joe Marshall, Sammy "Stick" Evans, Marty Wilson, Calvin Shields, Gene Brooks, Bobby Donaldson, Charlie Persip (drums); Bill Cook (washboard); Willie Rodriguez (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Dave Penny.
Recording information: Hackensack, NJ (08/21/1952-12/19/1956); New York, NY (08/21/1952-12/19/1956).
Few rock & roll or R&B guitarists of the '50s and '60s have a more consistently frantic body of work than the great Mickey Baker, though his name isn't nearly as well-known as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, or Ike Turner. Baker did most of his work as a sideman, and his best-known recordings as a headliner found him playing second fiddle to Sylvia Robinson as half of Mickey & Sylvia (whose "Love Is Strange" remains a puzzling delight 50 years after it was recorded), but folks who know and love first-era rock & roll are aware of Baker's greatness, and this collection is a superb overview of his work, both as a bandleader and as a hired gun. Containing a hefty 31 tracks recorded between 1952 and 1956, In the '50s: Hit, Git & Split runs the gamut from the low-key acoustic blues of Baker's "Love Me Baby" to the wailing electric dread of Larry Dale's "Midnight Hours," the uptempo rockabilly of Joe Clay's "Did You Mean Jelly-Bean," the easy-swinging jump blues of Sam Price's "Rib Joint," a double-time rewrite of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" on Brownie McGhee's "Anna Mae," and a rockin' re-recording by Louis Jordan of "Caldonia" with Baker's guitar answering the hearty peals of the horn section and Jordan's vocals. The word "Wild" tended to pop up in the titles of Mickey Baker's solo albums, and one spin of this disc will show you why -- the man's rough-and-tumble style screamed and hollered the blues whenever he hit the strings, and Baker's solos are death-defying hoodoo magic no matter what cut you cue up. Hit, Git & Split is a thoroughly enjoyable set of vintage R&B that's good and greasy throughout, and a peerless introduction to one of the great unsung heroes of rock & roll. ~ Mark Deming
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