Tag Archives: boogie woogie

Boogie and Blues | Monkey Joe recordings from the 1930’s

There is little known about the early life of Jesse “Monkey Joe” Coleman. He was most likely born in Mississippi, he did work there for some period of time.  This American country blues pianist and singer recorded sporadically from the 1930s into the 1970s.

Monkey Joe performed in Mississippi juke joints in the 1930s, and recorded with Little Brother Montgomery in 1935 on Bluebird Records. He began using the moniker “Monkey Joe” during that decade.

In 1936 he recorded boogie woogie song “Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis Tennessee”. This song is worth listening for several reasons, but above all for its structure, clear vocals and catchy piano.

Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis Tennessee

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Monkey Joe pianist and session musician

In rhe late 30s he worked as a sassion musician for Lester Melrose, and recorded under his own name with Charlie McCoy, Fred Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, and Buster Bennett as backing musicians.

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Song of the Day: Lightnin’ Hopkins – Jake Head Boogie

Texas bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins Plays the Boogie

You know Texas bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins mostly for his slow blues songs like ‘Mojo Hand’, but in ‘The Jake-head Boogie’ we meet Hopkins in another way. This song is fast, swings and is full of boogie rhythms.

It will take days to get through Lightnin’ Hopkins repertoire. He recorded for various labels like Arhoolie and Aladdin formed by the Messner Brothers in L.A, but over time you will discover more and more Lightnin’ songs that blow you away, and one of them is the Jake Head Boogie. It is one of the cool things about discovering the world of blues. That’s how I see it.

Lightnin’ Hopkins Jake-head Boogie

People have learned how to strum a guitar, but they don’t have the soul. They don’t feel it from the heart. It hurts me. I’m killin’ myself to tell them how it is.
 – Lightnin’ Hopkins –

Find out more about Lightnin’Hopkins by watching the documentary that filmmaker Les Blank put together in 1968, called The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins. In this documentary you see an interesting portrait of the Texas Bluesman and meet fellow Texan Mance Lipscomb.

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The Honeydripper Bluesman Roosevelt Sykes

Roosevelt Sykes Black bull blues album

The Honeydripper Bluesman Roosevelt Sykes

He was always present in the studio ready to play the piano. And you could recognise the bluesman of this article by his stylish suit and hat. Roosevelt Sykes the Honeydripper bluesman had a career in blues which lasted seven decades. He made fame in four Blues cities Helena. St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans and performed with a whole lot of great musicians.

Sykes music was divers, but always groovy


You will like Roosevelt Sykes for his diversity. For example: ‘Sputnik Baby’  is an electric Blues song with  influences from Boogie Woogie, to Chicago Blues. On the other hand St. James Infirmary is a jazzy New Orleans blues song that is slow emotional and goes through your bones. Sykes sings beautiful his piano style is soulful and grooves fine on the slow rhythm.

“The Blues Player, he ain’t worried and bothered,but he’s got something for the worried people” 

Roosevelt Sykes – Sputnik Baby

Recording His First Songs for Okeh

According to All music’: Sykes began recording in 1929 for OKeh and was signed to four different labels the next year under four different names (he was variously billed as Dobby Bragg, Willie Kelly, and Easy Papa Johnson)! Sykes joined Decca Records in 1935, where his popularity blossomed. After relocating to Chicago, Sykes inked a pact with Bluebird in 1943 and recorded prolifically for the RCA subsidiary with his combo, the Honeydrippers, scoring a pair of R&B hits in 1945 (covers of Cecil Gant’s “I Wonder” and Joe Liggins’ “The Honeydripper”).

I listed some of my favorite tunes of the Honeydripper in this article  Scroll down and experience for yourself!

Feel like Blowing My Horn


Roosevelt Sykes – “Gulfport Boogie”

ROOSEVELT SYKES- SWEET OLD CHICAGO

Roosevelt Sykes – St. James Infirmary

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Clarence Samuels – Lolly Pop Mama

Clarence Samuels – Lolly Pop Mama

Clarence Samuels could sing the doowop, the swing and the boogie. He was an excellent blues shouter like Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner. During the forties he work alongside the finest blues orchestra’s and blues band and toured alongside Johnny Copeland.

Clarence Samuels, born in Baton Rouge a son of Beulah Woodward Samuels made quite some fame alongside Roy Brown the Rhythm and Blues musician, who recorded the original song and hit recording “Good Rocking Tonight“. All though there isn’t a lot of music of Samuels available online, Clarence Samuels is absolutely worth listening!

If you listen to Samuels music you will feel the boogie and the swing. The jazzy bassline and horn section really make a like song “Lolly pop Mama” . Clarence voice smoothly grooves over the orchestral music. “Boogie

Woogie Blues” is a song Clarence Samuels sang together with Dave Young’s Orchestra in September 1947.

Clarence Samuels – Boogie Woogie Blues

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Big Joe Turner the Singing Blues Bartender

Big Joe Turner the Singing  Blues Bartender

Joe Turner was born in Kansas City in 1911. Big Joe started as the  singing Blues bartender at the Hole in The Wall at Independence Avenue in Kansa City. Later on he worked at the Sunset for owner Piney Brown. At that time Big Joe made money as a singing-bartender, but Turner became a sensation when he met Pete Johnson. Continue reading Big Joe Turner the Singing Blues Bartender

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