Click here to go to Various Artists - Long Man Blues, Part 2
Click Here for more Delmark Releases!
Long Man Blues
+ 1. Blue Coat Man 2:31
* 2. Disgusted 3:14
+ 3. Be My Companion 2:46
* 4. Tortured Blues 3:15
+ 5. Weeping Willow Blues 3:15
* 6. Empty Bed 2:50
7. I Could But I Ain’t 2:54
8. Rain On My Window 2:37
9. I Feel So Fine 2:57
10. You’re Gonna Cry 3:06
Dennis "Long Man" Binder
11. I’m A Lover 2:34
12. Feel So Good 2:35
13. The Long Man 2:42
*14. I’m A Lover (alternate) 2:38
+15. The Stuff I Like 2:32
+16. Lonely Broken Heart 3:04
17. Adam’s Rib 3:07
18. Jealous Hearted 2:57
Edward "Gates" White
19. Tired Of Being Mistreated 2:34
20. Love Is A Mistake 2:57
21. Mother-In-Law 2:31
22. Rock A Bye Baby 2:40
Arbee Stidham featuring Earl Hooker
23. I Stayed Away Too Long 2:22
*24. Look Me Straight In The Eye 2:29
*25. I Stayed Away Too Long (alternate) 2:14
recordings from 1951-1957
* previously unissued
+unavailable since the original 78 rpm issue
United Records and its sister imprint States had one of the most varied blues talent rosters of any Chicago label during the early-to-mid-1950s. Long Man Blues spotlights 70 minutes of superb United/States rarities.
United Records was the first successful black-owned record company. Operated by Leonard Allen, tailor, retired policeman and obviously one of exceptionally wide taste in music, the two labels (United and States) issued some of the best performances in the jazz, blues, gospel and R&B idioms between 1951 and ’57. Delmark is proud to release this important body of masters, including many previously unissued, recorded in studios which pioneered high fidelity recording in the ’50s.
United Records and its sister imprint States had one of the most varied blues talent rosters of any Chicago label during the early-to-mid-1950s. This digital incarnation of Long Man Blues has been greatly expanded to spotlight more superb United/States rarities.
Eddie Boyd’s romping “Blue Coat Man” is the only selection here that doesn’t hail from those bountiful archives; it backed the pianist’s 1952 R&B chart-topper “Five Long Years” on JOB. Born November 25, 1914 in Coahoma County, Miss., Boyd migrated to Memphis when he was 14. He cracked the Chicago circuit soon after arriving in 1941; teaming with John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson to play locally, he played behind the harp virtuoso on his Bluebird 78 “Elevator Woman” in 1945. Lester Melrose produced Boyd as a leader for RCA in 1947-49, and the piano man cut for Regal and Herald around decade’s turn. In June of ’52, Boyd summoned Cotton, McKinley, bassist Alfred Elkins, and drummer Percy Walker to Morris Webb’s studio, bringing the finished masters of “Five Long Years” and “Blue Coat Man” to JOB boss Joe Brown. JOB proved fiscally unsatisfactory, so Boyd inked a pact with Al Benson only to learn that the deejay had peddled the contract to Chess. From ’52 to ’57, Boyd recorded regularly for Chess, scoring two #3 hits on Billboard’s R&B charts in ’53 with “24 Hours” and “Third Degree.” Fine 1959 efforts for Bea & Baby preceded his first overseas tour in 1965 with the American Folk Blues Festival. Boyd dug the relaxed racial climate in Europe so much that he stuck around, eventually settling in Helsinki, Finland (where he died on July 13, 1994).
L.C. McKinley’s classy fretwork bore a deep T-Bone Walker influence and was the antithesis of the rough-and-tumble Windy City approach. Born in Winona, Miss. and arriving in Chicago circa 1940, the guitarist made his presence known on an outlaw Tampa Red date for Sabre in January of ’53. Four months later, McKinley cut as a leader for deejay Al Benson’s Parrot logo. Benson didn’t issue the sides, leaving L.C. free to record for States in January of ’54. Three of his four numbers are downbeat: “Tortured Blues,” a previously unreleased “Disgusted,” and “Weeping Willow Blues” showcase his warm vocals and tasty guitar. “Companion Blues” was the lone up-tempo number and the flip of “Weeping Willow Blues”; L.C. cuts loose with a torrent of boogie riffs and a slashing solo, tenor saxman Ernest Cotton having his say as pianist Eddie Boyd, bassist Ransom Knowling, and drummer Odie Payne swing like crazy. McKinley ventured over to Vee-Jay in ’55 for two singles, and he bowed out in ’59 with the torrid rocker “Nit Wit” for Narvel “Cadillac Baby” Eatmon’s Bea & Baby imprint. He died in Chicago January 19, 1969.
Ernest Cotton delivered the stop-time blues “Empty Bed” at McKinley’s session (States left it on the shelf). Cotton had previously waxed “Going Back To Memphis” in ’52 for JOB, Sunnyland Slim rolling the ivories. Like McKinley, Ernest did an unissued Parrot session in ’53. Cotton’s sax work endures as his chief legacy—he contributed meaty wails to Willie Mabon’s ’52 R&B chart-topper “I Don’t Know,” Jimmy Rogers’ ’51 classics “The World Is In A Tangle” and “I Used To Have A Woman,” J.B. Lenoir’s “Don’t Touch My Head” (all for Chess), and Sunnyland’s ’54 JOB outing “Four Day Bounce.”
Bob Koester recalls that Jack Cooley once worked as a waiter at the South Side blues joint Smitty’s Corner, and that his nickname “Cowboy Jack” stemmed from his preference for Western chapeaus. But the singing drummer brought a wealth of experience to the table, having recorded with boogie piano master Albert Ammons in 1946 for Mercury as well as on his own for the Chicago imprint the year before and for Young’s Nashboro imprint in ’51 (his two singles there included a roaring “Dyna-Flow”). Jack’s February 16, 1953 States date paired the swinging “I Could But I Ain’t” with a downcast “Rain On My Window.” The veteran Chicago bluesman bowed out with “Cooley Rock” for Ebony Records in 1956.
Otis Clay and Tyrone Davis always cite singer Harold Burrage as a crucial mentor, but Burrage’s early work was firmly rooted in citified Chicago blues. Born March 30, 1931 on the West Side, Burrage hailed from a gospel background. He debuted on Decca in 1950 with a jumping “Hi-Yo Silver”; a 1952 offering on Aladdin, “Way Down Boogie,” preceded Burrage joining the States roster in ’54. Harold shared his States session with Big Walter Horton, but the harp master didn’t appear on “I Feel So Fine” and “You’re Gonna Cry” (pianist Lafayette Leake, bassist Willie Dixon and drummer Fred Below did). Burrage dabbled in rock and roll at Eli Toscano’s Cobra imprint later in the decade, working sessions behind Magic Sam and Otis Rush as a pianist, then skipped over to Vee-Jay in ’59 to belt “Crying For My Baby” before landing at George Leaner’s One-derful! Records. There he entered the soul arena, nailing his lone chart hit with “Got To Find A Way” in ’65. He passed away much too soon on November 25, 1966.
Dennis Binder took up keyboards in church as a youth in Rosedale, Mississippi, where he was born November 18, 1928. Binder settled in Chicago around 1939, turning his talents to singing after trying his luck as a dancer. A chance encounter with saxman Raymond Hill led to a Clarksdale, Miss. jaunt, where Dennis met young bandleader Ike Turner and fell in with his combo, the Kings of Rhythm. Ike was producing masters for the Bihari brothers’ Modern logo, Binder waxing the double-sided rocker “Early Times” b/w “I Miss You So” in March of 1954. “Ike, he made me do those two songs,” said Binder. “I didn’t think too much about ’em. We had been playing them in the clubs, and everybody liked ’em.” While still associated with Turner’s crew, Binder did session work for Sam Phillips’ Sun label in Memphis, pounding the piano behind Hill, Billy “The Kid” Emerson, and guitarist Vincent “Guitar Red” Duling, who cut the twangy “Go Ahead On” for Sun.
Dennis soon returned to Chicago, and with his Rhythm & Blues All Stars (Duling, saxists Hill and Bobby Fields, and drummer Bob Prindell) augmented by bassist Al Smith, he cut three sides for United on May 12, 1955 at a date split with a doo-**** group, the Drakes. One of the results was a comical musical monologue that gave Binder his nickname, “Long Man.” “It was just a story. I thought it was an awful funny story,” said Binder. Its flip “I’m A Lover” (an alternate take is also here) and “Feel So Good” are similarly inspired. While pacted to United, Binder wrote “Please Come Back” for labelmate Artie Wilkins. After touring the southwest, Binder, Duling, and Prindell settled in Lawton, Okla. to gig around Fort Sill. Chicago saxist A.C. Reed was an All Star for a time, appearing on Binder’s 1958 45 for his own Cottonwood logo, “She’s Sumpin’ Else” b/w “Crawdad Song” (laid down at Norman Petty’s Clovis, N.M. studio). By 1989, Binder was holding down a day job. “I made so many good songs and never got nothing out of it,” he reported, “so I just went into the bail bond business.”
Pianist Eddie Ware also spent quality time with Jimmy Rogers as a member of his Rocking Four. At the same Chess session that produced Rogers’ “The World Is In A Tangle,” Ware laid down five sides that included “Wandering Lover” and its rocking flip “Lima Beans” (an early ’52 encore date produced “Give Love Another Chance”). Ware’s March 19, 1953 States session was his last as a leader. “That’s The Stuff I Like” is a lighthearted boogie spotlighting Eddie’s swinging 88s and youthful vocal (saxist J.T. Brown wails heatedly). Its blues ballad flip “Lonely Broken Heart” sports a mellow West Coast feel.
Folks around Louisville, Kentucky knew Cliff Butler as both a singer and a deejay. Doubling on tenor sax, Butler made his debut session for Cincinnati-based King Records in June of ’49, cutting “Crying Blues” and five more. After a 1951 Signature 78, Butler landed at States, where he sang “Adam’s Rib” on November 17, 1952, displaying a serious Roy Brown influence as his blind longtime accompanist Benny Holton tickled the ivories. States invited Butler back the following June, and he brought along his vocal group, the Doves, to provide harmonies on “Jealous Hearted Woman” (the last of his three States releases). Butler was also the conduit for bringing Johnny Wicks’ Swinging Ozarks into the United fold. Butler’s post-States discography includes two ’53 outings for Dot and four 1957-58 singles for the Nasco and Excello labels.
Philadelphia-born vocalist Edward Gates White epitomized the concept of journeyman blues singer. Born in 1918, White mostly recorded in Los Angeles under the not-so-humble alias of The Great Gates, debuting in 1949 on Selective and proceeding to wax for Miltone, 4 Star, Combo, and others before pausing in Chicago on November 26, 1952 for his States session. The company linked the jumping “Rockabye Baby” to “Mother-In-Law”; “Love Is A Mistake” and the mellow “Tired Of Being Mistreated” were consigned to the vaults for a few decades. Gates went back west to cut a ’55 Aladdin session and 1959's “Everybody’s Happy” for Specialty.
States was on the verge of collapse on July 12, 1957, when Arbee Stidham laid down “I Stayed Away Too Long” and its flip, “Look Me Straight In The Eye,” with guitarist Lefty Bates’ combo (the incomparable Earl Hooker likely shared fret duties). Born February 9, 1917 in De Valls Bluff, Arkansas, the deep-voiced Stidham reportedly hit the road at age 13 with Bessie Smith. He later played Memphis and Arkansas with his Southern Syncopators before heading for Chicago. His debut session for RCA in 1947 produced his only national hit, the R&B chart-topping blues ballad “My Heart Belongs To You.” Singles for Victor, Sittin’ in With, Checker, and Abco kept Arbee’s name visible prior to his sole States outing. His later studio activities included 1960 LPs for Bluesville and Folkways.
These performances reflect the commitment to excellence that United/States bosses Lew Simpkins and Leonard Allen insisted upon. No matter where these singers called home, their dynamic voices translated into first-class 1950s Chicago blues.
Blues Records, 1943-70: A Selective Discography, Vol. 1, A to K, by Mike Leadbitter and Neil Slaven (London: Record Information Services, 1987)
Blues Records 1943-1970: Volume Two L to Z, by Mike Leadbitter, Leslie Fancourt and Paul Pelletier (London: Record Information Services, 1994)
Chicago Soul, by Robert Pruter (Urbana, IL and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1991)
Chicago Breakdown, by Mike Rowe (New York: Drake Publishers, 1975)
Joel Whitburn’s Top R&B Singles 1942-1988, by Joel Whitburn (Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc., 1988)
1. Blue Coat Man (JOB 50-182-1) (Eddie Boyd, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:31
2. Disgusted (1410-5) 3:14
3. Be My Companion (1412-3) (Larry McKinley, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:46
4. Tortured Blues (1411-2) 3:15
5. Weeping Willow Blues (1413-3) (Larry McKinley, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 3:15
6. Empty Bed (1413 1/2) 2:50
7. I Could But I Ain’t (1266-12) (Jack Cooley, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:54
8. Rain On My Window (1267-9) (Vera Coles, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:37
9. I Feel So Fine (1498-8) (Leonard Allen, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:57
10. You’re Gonna Cry (1499-2) (Harold Burrage, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 3:06
Dennis "Long Man" Binder
11. I’m A Lover (1537-12) (Dennis Binder, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:34
12. Feel So Good (1536-2) (Dennis Binder, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:35
13. The Long Man (1535-8) (Dennis Binder, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:42
14. I’m A Lover (alternate) (1537-1) 2:38
15. The Stuff I Like (1296-1) (Eddie Ware, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:32
16. Lonely Broken Heart (1297-3) (Eddie Ware, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 3:04
17. Adam’s Rib (1235-2) (Cliff Butler, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 3:07
18. Jealous Hearted (1345-2) 2:57
Edward "Gates" White
19. Tired Of Being Mistreated (1243-5) 2:34
20. Love Is A Mistake (1244-7) 2:57
21. Mother-In-Law (1245-4) (Edward Gates White, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:31
22. Rock A Bye Baby (1246-9) (Edward Gates White, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:40
Arbee Stidham featuring Earl Hooker
23. I Stayed Away Too Long (1635-9) (Arbee Stidham, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:22
24. Look Me Straight In The Eye (1634-5) (Arbee Stidham, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) 2:29
25. I Stayed Away Too Long (alternate) (1635-4) 2:14
Eddie Boyd, vocal, piano; L.C. McKinley, guitar; Alfred Elkins, bass; Percy Walker, drums. May 30, 1951
L.C. McKinley, vocals, guitar; Eddie Boyd, piano; Ernest Cotton, tenor sax; Ransom Knowling, bass; Odie Payne, drums. January 11, 1954
Ernest Cotton, vocal, tenor sax. Same personnel and date as above.
Jack Cooley, vocals; two tenor saxes; piano/celeste; Willie Dixon, bass; drums. February 16, 1953
Harold Burrage, vocals; Red Holloway, John Cameron, tenor sax; Lafayette Leake, piano; Lee Cooper, guitar; Willie Dixon, bass; Fred Below, drums. November 1, 1954
Dennis "Long Man" Binder, vocals, possibly piano; Raymond Hill, Bobby Fields, tenor sax; Vincent "Guitar Red" Duling, guitar; Al Smith, bass; Bob Prindell, drums. May 12, 1955
Eddie Ware, vocals, piano; J.T. Brown, tenor sax; Ernest "Big" Crawford, bass; Fred Below, drums. March 19, 1953
Cliff Butler, vocals; two saxes; Benny Holton, piano, guitar; bass; drums: The Doves, vocal on "Jealous Hearted". Novermber 17 and June 29, 1952
Edward "Gates" White, vocals; two tenor saxes; piano; possibly Ike Perkins, guitar; bass; possibly Red Saunders, drums. November 26, 1952
Arbee Stidham, vocals; two tenor saxes; possibly Horace Palm, piano; Earl Hooker, Lefty Bates, guitar; possibly Quinn Wilson, bass; drums. July 12, 1957
Album Production: Robert G. Koester
Original Supervision: Lew Simpkins, Willie Dixon, Leonard Allen
Recording: Bill Putnam, Universal Recording Studios with the exception of "Blue
Design: Kate Hoddinott
Special thanks to Victor Pearlin and George Paulus for providing information from original 78s.
Other Delmark albums containing United masters include:
Junior Wells, Blues Hit Big Town (640) with Muddy Waters,
Elmore James, Otis Spann...
Robert Nighthawk, Bricks In My Pillow (711)
Roosevelt Sykes, Raining In My Heart (642)
Big Walter Horton/Alfred "Blues King" Harris, Blues Harmonica Kings (712)
Jump ’n’ Shout (715) with Dave Bartholomew, Ernie K-Doe, Larry Darnell,
Erline Harris, Annie Laurie, Chubby "Hip Shakin" Newsome
Honkers & Bar Walkers, Volume One (438) with Jimmy Forrest,
Tab Smith, Doc Sausage...
The Four Blazes, Mary Jo (704) with Tommy Braden, Floyd McDaniel
Working The Road - The Golden Age of Chicago Gospel (702) with
Robert Anderson & The Caravans, Lucy Smith Singers...
The Danderliers & Other Great Groups on States, Chop Chop Boom
(703) featuring Chicago doowop groups
J.T. Brown, Windy City Boogie (714)
Morris Pejoe/Arthur "Big Boy" Spires, Wrapped In My Baby (716)
Memphis Slim & His House Rockers featuring Matt "Guitar" Murphy,
Memphis Slim U.S.A. (710)
Jimmy Forrest, Night Train (435)
Tab Smith, Top 'n' Bottom (499)
Ace High (455)
Jump Time (447)
Paul Bascomb, Bad Bascomb (431)
Call or write for a free catalog of jazz and blues:
Delmark Records 1800 684 3480
4121 N. Rockwell
Chicago, IL 60618
C P 2000 Delmark Records