Release Date: 03/22/11
Age Did Not Wither Him
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Big Jay McNeely was the King of the Honkers. Booting sax instrumentals were very much the thing during these years but while others faded into the background, Big Jay bestrode the honking universe. For a while, he hung out with the bebop crowd, befriending Charlie Parker for a while. By late 1947, he began to visit the Barrelhouse, a club owned by Johnny Otis and Bardu Ali, where the foundations of rhythm and blues were being laid down. One appearance led to him being offered a place in the Otis orchestra. Towards the end of 1948, guitarist Prinze 'Candy' Stanzel introduced him to Ralph Bass, of Savoy Records. The label had already had success with Illinois Jacquet, Morris Lane, Wild Bill Moore and Hal Singer and Bass was looking to continue the trend.He wrote Deacon's Hop and cut it on December 15, 1948. Released in January, by the second week of February it hit the No. 1 spot in the 'race' chart. After fourteen weeks in the chart, it was followed by Wild Wig. He never looked back. As of 2014, he was still performing, his energy undimmed. 'Big Jay is one of a kind, a big high-energy man with a powerful stage presence.' Johnny Otis
|Label: Jsp Records|
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