Tag Archives: third man records

Mississippi Fred McDowell

A few weeks ago I purchased a Seasick Steve single from Third Man Records, on which he covers two tracks by Mississippi Fred McDowell. I’m no expert by the way, I only knew that after reading the Third Man Records blurb about the single. Anyway the other night I was flicking through my Instagram account and saw a video from my local record store, Plaid Room Records, showing their most recent restocks and lo and behold there was a Mississippi Fred McDowell album.

So I called in Plaid Room Records the next day and snagged this beauty,Mississippi Fred McDowell, a self titled album released by Everest Records, Archive of Folk & Jazz Music.

Fred McDowell

 

 

 

 

 

And get this, it only has one of the tracks that Seasick Steve covered on his Third Man Records single, that track being Levee Camp Blues, how neat is that?

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Side1

Mississippi Fred McDowell Side2

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a great piece about Mississippi Fred McDowell on the Mississippi Blues Trail website. Apparently You Got To Move, which is also on this album, was covered by the Rolling Stones on their Sticky Fingers album.

One of the best pieces in the article refers to his friend and neighbor, a certain Eli Green, who, and I quote “was said to possess magical powers”! Eli Green wrote a song called Write Me A Few Lines, which became one of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s signature tunes and was also covered by none other than Bonnie Raitt! Have I ever told you…

Just reading the sleeve notes and he was discovered by folklorist Alan Lomax, who described him as  “a bluesman quite the equal of Son House and Muddy Waters, but, musically speaking, their granddaddy.”

Check this out…

 

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Yet More From Third Man Records

So following my visit to Third Man Records in Nashville and having listened to the five Tamla singles I’d bought, I had to complete the set, so I ordered the remaining four singles.

Well they came yesterday, five days after I ordered them, and they sound great!

They’re part of a series of reissues, by Third Man Records, of the classic early Motown singles.

Barrett Strong – Money (That’s What I Want)/Oh I Apologize

Barrett Strong - Money

Barrett Strong - Oh I Apologize

 

 

 

 

 

This is the original version of the song that The Beatles covered on their With The Beatles album, which I have in my record collection. I know it’s been covered by loads of artists, but The Beatles version is the one I’m most familiar with.

I’ve just been reading about this single on the Motown Junkies website and amongst the comments, there’s mention of a “white teenage” kid who played the guitar solo, who had never been tracked down. Then a few months later a guy called Eugene Grey replied to the comment saying he was that “White Guy”! Don’t you just love the internet? He also played on tracks by The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Mary Wells, as well as Please Mr Postman by The Marvelettes, another song covered by The Beatles. How cool is that?

Wikipedia mentions that “according to George Harrison, the group discovered Strong’s version in Brian Epstein’s NEMS record store”

Nick and the Jaguars – Ich-i-bon #1/Cool and Crazy

Nick and the Jaguars - Ich-I-Bon #1

Nick and the Jaguars - Cool and Crazy

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve just been reading about this group on the Motown Junkies website and apparently they were Motown’s first white act.

Chico Leverett – Solid Sender/I’ll Never Love Again

Chico Leverett - Solid Sender

Chico Leverett - I'll Never Love Again

 

 

 

 

 

Barrett Strong – Let’s Rock/Do The Very Best You Can  

Barrett Strong - Let's Rock

Barrett Strong - Do The Very Best You Can

 

 

 

 

 

So that completes the set of the first reissues by Third Man Records of those classic early Motown singles. I’m so glad I bought these, not only to listen to these early recordings, but also to delve a bit deeper into their history. I’m not sure whether there are any more in the pipeline, but I sure hope so!

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Third Man Records – My first visit

I was in Nashville a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to pay Third Man Records a visit.

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One hour later and one hundred bucks lighter I left with these gems.

I got three singles from their Sun Records reissues collection:

Elvis Presley – My Happiness

Elvis Presley - My Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

This is “the 7” Sun Records Reissue version of the Grammy Nominated Record Store Day Exclusive 10-inch facsimile of Elvis Presley’s first ever recording from 1953″. Later that day I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where I saw the original acetate record on display. Apparently Jack White paid $300,000 at an auction for this.

Elvis Presley - My Happiness - Original Record

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Cash – Got Rhythm/I Walk the Line

Johnny Cash - Get Rhythm

Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t realize until checking out the notes on the Third Man Records website, that I Walk the Line was a B-side.

Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire

Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire

 

 

 

 

 

Great Balls of Fire, need I say more?

These next five are part of their Tamla Records reissues collection.

The Supremes – Buttered Popcorn/Who’s Loving You

Supremes - Buttered Popcorn Supremes - Who's Loving You

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently this is the only Supremes track to feature Florence Ballard as the sole lead singer. Being a Stephen King fan I have to mention that Florence Ballard is one of the deceased artists who perform in the town Rock and Roll Heaven in his short story, You Know They Got a Hell of a Band.

The Miracles – Way Over There/(You Can) Depend on Me

The Miracles - Depend on Me The Miracles - Way Over There

 

 

 

 

 

Way Over There is the first record on which William (Bill) Robinson was solely credited with the songwriting credits. Who is William Robinson, well you may know him better as Smokey Robinson!

Marvin Gaye – Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide/Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

 

 

 

 

 

This was Marvin Gaye‘s first single.

The Swinging Tigers – Snake Walk (Part One)/Snake Walk (Part Two)

The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part One The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part Two

 

 

 

 

 

Ever heard of these?, no me neither!

The Satintones – Going to the Hop/Motor City

The Satintones - Going to the Hop

The Satintones - Motor City

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently the Satintones were the first group to be signed to the Motown label.

These singles were amongst the first nine released on the Tamla Record label, guess who’s going to be buying the other four pretty soon!? Before I move on, I’ve got to mention this wicked website I’ve just come across called Motown Junkies on which the author is reviewing every single Motown release, both A and B sides.

As well as these reissues, I got a few records from Third Man Records Blue Series collection. These singles are by singers and bands who have been invited to record tracks the the Third Man Studio and to be produced by Jack White.

The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl . The cover photos are taken in Third Man Records “blue room” photo studio/live venue.Some acts that play the performance space, the Blue Room, record directly to vinyl through a 1950’s lathe. And get this, that 1950’s lathe once belonged to King Records, the Cincinnati label that was home to James Brown.

Here are the Blue Series records I purchased:

Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu – I Wonder/When My Man Comes Home

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Being an Alabama Shakes fan, as soon as I saw the name Brittany Howard, this was a must buy. I have to admit to having never heard of Ruby Amanfu, but having listened to the single, I’ll be finding some more of her releases. The B-side, When My Man Comes Home, was originally recorded by Memphis Minnie, who composed When the Levee Breaks, which was covered by Led Zeppelin on their classic fourth album.

Beck – I Just Started Hating Someone Today/Blue Randy

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I picked this up as I’ve been hearing quite a lot of Beck‘s latest stuff on my local radio station, WNKU, here in Cincinnati, plus I’ve got no Beck releases in my collection at all. This record’s pretty cool, as it’s got Jack White on backing vocals on I Just Started Hating Someone Today.

Seasick Steve – Write Me a Few Lines\Levee Camp Blues 

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Big Seasick Steve fan here, so this was a must! The Third Man Records write up on this single describes Seasick Steve as a ‘”proper festival headliner in the UK/Europe”. Having seen him a couple of times at Glastonbury Festival, I can certainly vouch for that! Both of these are from the “legendary” Mississippi Fred McDowell catalog. Now I’ have to admit I’ve never heard of him, so I think some research is required, on both him and Memphis Minnie. I mentioned Ruby Amanfu earlier, well she provides some fine backing vocals on Write Me a Few Lines.

Pokey LaFarge – Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County/Pack It Up

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I’m a huge Pokey LaFarge fan, having seen him half a dozen times now both here in the USA and back in England, so this was another “must buy” selection.

Smoke Fairies – Gastown/River Song

Smoke Fairies - Gas Town

Smoke Fairies - River Song

 

 

 

 

 

I picked this single for no other reason than they were British! Plus, the B-side, River Song, is a character from Doctor Who!

I got one single from the Third Man Live collection

Alabama Shakes – Be Mine/You Ain’t Alone

Alabama Shakes - Be Mine

Alabama Shakes - You Ain't Alone

 

 

 

 

 

Again, another in the “must buy” category. And talking of seeing bands live, Alabama Shakes are one amazing live band. I saw them in Atlanta, at the Shaky Knees festival in 2014, and they were incredible.

My final selection is one of Third Man Records latest signings and it’s

Margo Price – Hurtin’ on the Bottle/Desperate and Depressed

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I saw Margo and the Price Tags supporting Pokey LaFarge last December, just over the river at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, now that was one amazing night!

As you can probably gather, I enjoyed my visit to Third Man Records! So much so that I’ve now subscribed to their Vault series, watch this space….

 

 

 

 

 

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