collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

When somebody blazes a path to a highway that never end, you should appreciate 'em some - Brownie McGhee

Author Topic: Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither  (Read 3406 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither
« on: February 28, 2004, 01:42:50 PM »
Hi All,

Anyone know anything about either of these two, do you enjoy listening to them? There are releases of the "Story of Blues" label in my local used CD shop. I don't believe I've heard either of them. The Gaither disc is called "Leroy's Buddy." I'm presuming then that Gaither is in the Leroy Carr vein. Sonny Scott is from Alabama and recorded in 1933 - there's bit on him in Wardlow's Chasin' That Devil Music.

Just wondering if these make good listening.

Online Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10848
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2004, 11:45:24 PM »
Hi Uncle Bud,
I've only heard a very little bit of Sonny Scott, and can't remember my impression.  Little Bill Gaither's sound I have in my head a bit better.  He was a really good singer, one of those '30s guys like Bumblebee Slim or Washboard Sam, very popular, and for the most part ignored by present day Country Blues fans because he was not a player, or at least not a distinguished player.  He had a great voice, though, and sometimes these guys can be good sources for material because they've been so neglected.
All best,
John

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2004, 08:33:40 AM »
sometimes these guys can be good sources for material because they've been so neglected.

Thanks John. I always get curious when I see lesser knowns in a CD shop. They can be great sources for material. But then again there's sometimes a reason they've been consigned to the obscure ranks of an already obscure genre. :D


gus30tavo

  • Guest
Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 12:25:43 PM »
Hello.
 I?ve been searching information about this bluesman for a while and I would like to ask the Forum a questions.
My information tells me that the "official" pianist teamed with Bill is a guy named George "Honey" Hill and Leroy?s is (of course) Mr. Scrapper B..
His nickname (Leroy's Buddy) is taken from Leroy Carr (after his death) but Did Leroy and  Bill Gaither played together any time?. Just friends?.
Does anybody knows his death date?.
According to this source (scroll down) he died in 1970.
Any other source or information?
Thanks a lot.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2006, 12:38:48 PM by Slack »

Offline MTJ3

  • Member
  • Posts: 165
  • Howdy!
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 10:35:26 PM »
Gaither is another under-appreciated blues luminary.  He was originally from Louisville, KY and played there until about the mid-1930s.  His piano playing partner was, in fact, Honey Hill, who was from either Louisville or Indianapolis. (Try as I might, I have not been successful in tracking him down definitively, and I have read accounts of both points of origin.)  Gaither never recorded with Leroy to be sure; whether he played/sang with him routinely or at all or just capitalized on his name and possibly (probably) acquaintance is open to speculation as far as I know.  (Gaither was not, IMO, a strong guitarist, and why would Leroy want to back Gaither's singing?)  After all, even though he was supposed to be a "sweet guy drunk or sober" (Guitar Pete Franklin's characterization), Leroy was also The Superstar of his time.  Who wouldn't have wanted to be associated with him?  (See, e.g., Bumble Bee Slim's "The Death of Leroy Carr," penned by Scrapper, and "Smoky Mountain Blues," both seemingly opportunistically recorded by BBS, then a major artist in his own right, shortly after Leroy's passing). 

Gaither's first recordings, which were unissued, were in Louisville in 1931.  His first issued sides were recorded in Chicago on December 15, 1935, after Leroy's death, and issued under his own name.  By that time he was resident in Indianapolis, with which Louisville had a lot of connections, musically and otherwise.  (For example, Scrapper talked quite knowledgeably about Louisville.)  Gaither wasn't "Leroy's Buddy" until Gaither's session of May 4, 1936.  IMHO, it was an AR man's con.  At Gaither's first Chicago session (December 15, 1935), he recorded the unissued (!) "Leroy Carr's Blues."  If you compare his work to Leroy's, you will appreciate that Gaither was directly and very deeply influenced by Carr.  Gaither was supposed to have played guitar like Scrapper, but I certainly can't hear it.  Gaither was accompanied on a number of sides (1941 sessions) by Jesse Ellery, whose pre-War sides were strongly indebted to if not simply imitative of Scrapper (listen in particular to Ellery's backing of Champion Jack Dupree--and I think Dupree claimed that Scrapper had played on Dupree's early sides, but then again that was a Dupree claim).  Teddy Bunn (most likely) really lights up, I think, some of Gaither's 1939 sides.

Gaither has 5 Document CDs devoted to him.  Pen Bogert wrote the liner notes for them; well over a decade ago, Bogert was reportedly writing a book on blues in Louisville, which, I don't believe, has ever hit the presses. 

Gaither had over 100 sides to his credit, yet he is virtually unknown today. 

There's a light side to all this.  In Big Bill Broonzy's autobiography, there is a photo of LBG with BBB, Tampa Red and Dupree posing with none other than TR's whiskey drinking dog.

I will try to post more information on him in the coming weeks.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 02:07:02 PM by MTJ3 »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 10:41:29 AM »
His piano playing partner was, in fact, Honey Hill, who was from either Louisville or Indianapolis. (Try as I might, I have not been successful in tracking him down definitively, and I have read accounts of both points of origin.) 
I think I'm right in saying, but will happily be corrected, that all we know of Hill is still based upon what Albert McCarthy discovered in the mid-40s and wrote about in an Australian magazine, Jazz Notes, in 1946.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2006, 10:56:26 AM »
As nobody has yet supplied birth/death details, here they are:

Belmont, Kentucky 21 April 1910
Indianapolis 30 october 1970

It should be pointed out that there was a 50s tenor sax player in Los Angeles whose birth/death details (1927-85) were, more often than not, given as those of 'our Bill Gaither'. It took some wag to point out that if that were the case our Bill G would have been minus two years old when he first recorded. ::)

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2006, 11:17:41 AM »
.....(listen in particular to Ellery's backing of Champion Jack Dupree--and I think Dupree claimed that Scrapper had played on Dupree's early sides, but then again that was a Dupree claim). 
To be fair to CJD when he was first in Britain in 1959 he told at least one discographer that the guitarist in his Okeh recordings was Jesse Edward, obviously a bit of misremembering on his part. As no trace could be found of such a guitarist this was dismissed and theories of Blackwell or Gaither were put forward.Ellery himself confirmed it was he in 1960ish. MTJ3 will probably know more about that than I.

Offline MTJ3

  • Member
  • Posts: 165
  • Howdy!
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2006, 04:41:54 PM »
MTJ3 will probably know more about that than I.

Oh, puhlease! I doubt that I will ever know more about anything--even my breakfast--than BH does. 

I wonder if Ellery wasn't a pseudonym.  I have been unable to find anyone in or near Indianapolis in census, social security, marriage, death, etc. records with a surname of or sounding like "Ellery."  I will have to do some checking under Edwards to see if anything interesting pops up.  Thanks, as always, for the tip.

In addition to "our Bill Gaither" and the L.A. tenor man, there is a contemporary Christian singer of that name, which makes, for example, internet research a bit of a challenge. 

Any idea if Albert McCarthy is still wandering among us?

BH, You know me well enough for me to suspect that you are tempting me with citations to sources (or at least that you know that I am hoping that you are). >:D 

Anyone know anything about the current status of Pen Bogert's work to which I referred in my earlier post?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 11:09:44 PM by MTJ3 »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2006, 11:36:00 PM »
I wonder if Ellery wasn't a pseudonym.  I have been unable to find anyone in or near Indianapolis in census, social security, marriage, death, etc. records with a surname of or sounding like "Ellery."  I will have to do some checking under Edwards to see if anything interesting pops up.  Thanks, as always, for the tip.
Interesting. That possibility hadn't crossed my mind.
Looking at the sleevenotes written by Art Rosenbaum in 1961 to Pete Franklin's Bluesville LP (Bluesville BV-1068) he mentions that Franklin cited Jesse Ellry [sic] and Blackwell as the best guitarists in Naptown.
Quote
Any idea if Albert McCarthy is still wandering among us?
'Fraid not, left this mortal coil in 1987, aged 67. But I'm sure that feature of his can be located.
Quote
Anyone know anything about the current status of Pen Bogert's work to which I referred in my earlier post?
As far as is known it's still a 'work in progress'. I have an old email address I'll send a speculative enquiry and see what happens.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2006, 01:29:05 AM »
One a point of interest, and for those unaware, it was jazz discographer Bert Whyatt who in the 40s turned up the Decca publicity photo showing Gaither, Honey Hill and Bumble Bee Slim, a slightly cropped version of which can be seen in Story Of The Blues (p.108, 1969 edition and 1972 Penguin reprint but for some reason omitted from the photographic plates in 1997 Pimlico ed).

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2006, 11:41:10 AM »
Anyone know anything about the current status of Pen Bogert's work to which I referred in my earlier post?
Here follows his response to my enquiry:

At the moment I'm finishing research for a book I'm writing on the
history of slave trading in Kentucky. When this project is out of the
way - next year - I plan to get back to finishing my Kentucky blues
research and the book. I'll have much more time then.

Offline MTJ3

  • Member
  • Posts: 165
  • Howdy!
Re: Questions about Bill Gaither (AKA: Leroy's Buddy)
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 12:05:05 PM »
Re:  The Elusive Jesse Ellery

John [Brim]: "Well, I worked on a farm, but I didn't really teach myself how to play guitar. I had help. A couple of friends...they heled (sic) me some...and when I was 19 I had some help from Pete Franklin, Jesse Everett...and I ran around with Scrapper Blackwell and shirley (sic) Griffith and peoples like that."  (Emphasis supplied.)
http://harpamps.com/servlet/Archives/199616277.html

"Brim also spent a lot of time watching Champion Jack Dupree's guitarist, Jessie Eldridge." http://blueslim.m78.com/john_brim_e.html
http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?t=1651&page=72&pp=20

Thus far we have Ellery, Ellry, Elridge, Everett and Edward as possible surnames.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 02:08:26 PM by MTJ3 »

Offline doctorpep

  • Member
  • Posts: 290
Re: Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 02:32:12 PM »
I just wanted to say that I now have all of the Gaither Document discs, and, in addition to being a fine vocalist, the fidelity of the recordings is excellent. More than anything, though, Gaither is a brilliant, first-rate lyricist. He seems to have very few floating verses in his songs. His lyrics are highly original and rank right up there with those of Blind Lemon, "Funny Papa" Smith, Willie Blackwell, etc. Even though the musical accompaniment to many of his songs is very similar, I can listen to this man's POETRY for two straight hours, which, I believe, is saying a lot. It's a real shame how Gaither, Bumble Bee Slim and that genius named Lonnie Johnson have been forgotten. I could also go on about Memphis Minnie plugging in really early and  not getting much credit for it, but let's stick with Gaither! I think he definitely owed a lot to Leroy Carr, but he was a far better lyricist in my humble opinion.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline hortig78rpm

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Sonny Scott, Bill Gaither
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2009, 10:21:13 PM »
hello

gaither was drafted during WW II and returned from the japanese war completly
changed. his beloved woman left him and he never took up his musical career.
he operated a radio store in chicago and a pic of the 5o`s of him was printed in big bill`s story.
honey hill is a complete mystery, we even don?t know his first name. but his only recording:"boogie woogie/set em" rank among the finest blues sides ever waxed. it was also re-issued in many boogie albums of the 4o`s.

mike

 


anything
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal