Cover image for Midwest blues the Mercury blues 'n' rhythm story, 1945-1955.
Midwest blues the Mercury blues 'n' rhythm story, 1945-1955.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Mercury, [1997]

Physical Description:
2 audio discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Mercury: 314 534 770-2 (314 528 293-2--314 528 294-2).

Compact discs.

Program notes by Jim O'Neal and discography ([21] p. : ports.) inserted in container.
Disc 1. It's just the blues (Four Jumps of Jive) -- Bedroom blues ; Buzz me (Sippie Wallace with Albert Ammons & his Rhythm Kings) -- My baby left me ; Come back to me Baby blues ; She is going to ruin me (T-Bone Walker) -- Joy juice (Dinah Washington) -- If it's good ; Show me Missouri blues ; Dream lucky blues (Julia Lee) -- Doin' the boogie woogie (Albert Ammons, his Piano & Rhythm Kings with Mildred Anderson) -- Suitcase blues (Albert Ammons, his Piano & Rhythm Kings) -- Tell your best friend nothing (Myra Taylor) -- Railroad porter's blues ; Gonna send you where I got you from (Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and his orchestra -- Hold that money (Gene Ammons Sextet with Earl Coleman) -- I'm in my sins this morning ; Booted (Myra Taylor) -- Long John blues (Dinah Washington) -- (I'm a) wonderin' man ; I love my wiskey ; You've been mistreating me ; I stay blue all the time ; Water coast blues (Big Bill Broonzy and his Fat Four) -- Shame on you Baby ; I'm not satisfied (St. Louis Jimmy) --

Disc 2. Mud kickin' woman ; Everytime I get to drinkin' (Sunnyland Slim and his Sunny Boys) -- Train is comin' ; The question (Memphis Slim and his orchestra) -- I'm a good rockin' Daddy (Ray Snead) -- Drivin' me mad ; Never let me love ; Train time ; Blue evening (Memphis Slim and his orchestra) -- Get back (black, brown and white) ; Willie Mae ; I know she will (Big Bill Broonzy) -- Leavin' day ; South bound train ; Tomorrow ; You changed (Big Bill Broonzy and his Big Little Orchestra) -- (I'm gonna) dig myself a hole ; Dust my broom ; Glory for man ; My daily wish (Robert Jr. Lockwood and his band) -- No mail blues ; You're gonna need my help someday (Memphis Slim and his orchestra) -- Ain't nothing but a child ; Brown skinned woman ; Hit the road again ; Gin drinkin' baby (Sunnyland Slim and his trio) -- Leap year blues (Sax Mallard & his orchestra with Andrew Tibbs).
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CD #695 DISC #2 Compact Disc Audio Visual

On Order



Of the multitude of R&B labels to have come from the Windy City, Mercury Records can proudly claim to be among the most diverse. Their roster expanded beyond talent in and around Chicago and over time they enlarged the scope of their releases into the genres of country, pop, and rock & roll. The two-CD Midwest Blues (1996) contains prominent material drawn from the archives of the imprint's first decade (1945-1955), focusing chiefly on local and regional artists. At first, Mercury's primary emphasis was urbane jump, jive, and orchestral counterparts to the comparatively raw Delta style that had seeped up from the southeastern United States. The contents are presented in a chronological fashion, commencing appropriately enough with the boogie-woogie shouter "It's Just the Blues" by the Four Jumps of Jive, whose membership boasted bassist Willie Dixon. This is followed by seminal sides by vocalistSippie Wallace, featuring support from pianist Albert Ammons & His Rhythm Kings on Wallace's co-composition "Bedroom Blues." Performances by the trio led by guitarist/vocalist T-Bone Walker are underscored by an early reading of "My Baby Left Me," with pianist/vocalist Marl Young & His Orchestra providing the accompaniment. The pair of disparate Dinah Washington selections includes an upscale big-band arrangement of "Joy Juice" circa 1946 and the markedly different bawdy double entendre of the rural and relaxed "Long John Blues" (aka "Dentist Blues"). Among the additional essentials on Midwest Blues are primal platters by Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson ("Railroad Porter Blues" and "Gonna Send You Where I Got You From"), Sunnyland Slim ("Mud Kickin' Woman," "Gin Drinkin' Baby"), Memphis Slim ("No Mail Blues," "Drivin' Me Mad" -- with vocals by Terry Timmons -- and "Train Time"), and lesser-known acts such as Myra Taylor, Ray Snead, and Sax Mallard, whose aggregate was graced by pianist Roosevelt Sykes during this era. Last but certainly not least are three distinct caches of Big Bill Broonzy -- one on electric guitar as a leader of the Fat Four, as well as another highly charged offering with Broonzy instrumentally augmented by bassist Ransom Knowling and a final batch backed by the Big Little Orchestra, the latter turning in a definitive take of "Southbound Train." The Robert Jr. Lockwood titles, which have been previously difficult to locate on compact disc, are a major coup for inclined parties. His covers of "Dust My Broom" -- purportedly learned from Robert Johnson -- and Big Boy Crudup's "I'm Gonna Dig Myself a Hole" are alone worth the price of admission. The superior audio quality is further incentive for collectors and the curious alike to find not only Midwest Blues, but the other three anthologies extracted from the Mercury Blues 'n' Rhythm Story (1945-1955) eight-volume box set. ~ Lindsay Planer