Rufus Thomas - Tiger Man: Earliest Recordings 1950-1957 (CD)

$ 14.99


Release Date: 05/16/08

In 1950 Rufus Thomas was performing at a north Memphis club called 'Currie`s Club Tropicana' when he was approached by Dallas record man Jessie Erickson who asked if he could record Rufus and his band. An agreement was made and the first four tracks on this CD are the result of that meeting, although only the first two titles were issued. Three of the titles are 'woman trouble' songs, and the fourth Who`s That Chick is the celebration of a probable Beale Street beauty, and all her attributes, as she walks down the street. During the summer of 1950, Rufus travelled at least as far as Nashville, with Bobby Plater`s Orchestra, and recorded for the Nashville-based Bullet label. These titles used a bigger band with four horns and had reasonably sophisticated R & B arrangements by Plater. His next move was to Chess, which should have meant hits, but sadly none of his three issues made any real dent in the R & B Charts, although all were good sides. All were recorded at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios. The final two Chess titles and the two unissued use Rosco Gordon`s band and have that beautifully primitive, dirty sound Rosco generates with his percussive piano and the honking guttural baritone sax of Richard Sanders. Juanita shows off Rufus at his wonderful best. If there can be such a thing as a comedy blues, then this is it. And after that sobbing gem: 'No more pistols, no more knives, no more messin' around with wives. Man, I'm off that stuff.' Rufus' next issue was to be on the Sun label. Recorded in the same studio but this time guitar-dominated, when Sam Phillips got the idea to cut an answer record to Big Mama Thornton's huge 1953 R & B hit 'Hound Dog'. All of the Sun sides are far more downhome in style than any of his earlier records and feature Joe Hill Louis and Floyd Murphy playing powerful guitar. It was to be three years before Rufus would record again, this time for Meteor Records, the Memphis branch of the L.A-based RMP/Modern record company. The session included both Evelyn Young, sax player from his very first record and Louis Steinberg, who was to go on to be part of Booker T and the MGs. This Meteor 45 made only ripples and was to be his last record for several years before he and his daughter Carla gave Stax their first hits and Rufus was to follow on with many more on Stax including another remake of the Meteor title I'm Steady Holding On.

Label: Document Records
Genre: Blues
Run Time: 70 mins

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