Dust My Rhythm & Blues The Flair Records R&B Story 1953-55 Various Artists (Kent/ Modern)


Rhythm & Blues
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1382

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Dust My Rhythm & Blues The Flair Records R&B Story 1953-55 (MP3), MP3 (£15.98)

The life of a compiler/annotator is an enjoyable one, filled with great projects that almost originate themselves and as many more again that require a greater degree of TLC on their way to realisation. There are projects for which the track listings almost pick themselves, and there are others that require a greater degree of audio assessment as they slowly, painstakingly come together. For me, an example of the former would be my recent King Floyd project, while into the latter category falls the much acclaimed “Beating The Petrillo Ban” 2CD set.

As well as real, concrete projects I also maintain – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – a list of ideas that fall into the category of I know I’ll get round to this eventually. Some of these stay on the list for a short time, others hang about for years. I’m not going to confirm what category “Dust My Rhythm And Blues – The Flair R&B Story” falls into, but I will admit that I didn’t just come up with it yesterday.

However, now that it’s finally arrived “The Flair R&B Story” will be the first in a series of comprehensive histories devoted to the assorted subsidiaries of Modern Records. Flair did not last as long as some of the Bihari brothers’ imprints, but its value as a label cannot be overestimated – particularly as it featured both Elmore James and Richard Berry frequently during its two year run.

The Biharis started Flair as a hillbilly imprint, but changed its focus almost exclusively to R&B after 10 straight country releases found their way to nowhere in short order. No disrespect to the men in cowboy boots and western shirts, but for this 2CD collection we’ve ignored those – many of which are anyway featured on our “Swingbillies” CD - and kept it 100% rhythm and bluesy.

Every major name who recorded for Flair is featured here at least once and – wherever possible – with an alternate take, if the master take is already out on an Ace CD. Where an artist released a number of Flair 45s and 78s, tracks have been carefully chosen to represent the full spectrum of their repertoire (so Elmore’s tracks, for example, are not simply 1001 variations on the ‘Dust My Broom’ riff). We’ve also freshly re-dubbed and re-mastered any tracks that had to be taken from 78s due to the disappearance of the original tapes. And it will be a pleasant surprise to many to find that a healthy percentage of the tracks here have either never been reissued by Ace before or, in some cases, not in the CD era.

Now that I’ve “got round to it eventually”, this chronicling of the Flair label will be followed by 2CD sets on the Crown and RPM labels plus two separate 2CD sets on Kent to cover earlier and later years of the label.

by Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Dirty By The Dozen (Sweet Little Woman) - Little Johnny Jones & The Chicago Hound Dogs

  • 02 Preview Early In The Morning - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 03 Preview She Wants To Rock (Take 2) - The Flairs

  • 04 Preview I Wonder Why (Take 1) - The Royal Hawk & His Orchestra

  • 05 Preview Can't Stop Lovin' - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 06 Preview Midnight Hours Journey - Johnny Ace

  • 07 Preview Down At Hayden's - The Hunters feat Young Jessie

  • 08 Preview Hello Baby - Big Duke & His Orchestra

  • 09 Preview Send Him Back (Take 6) - Shirley Gunter with Monroe Tucker & His Orchestra

  • 10 Preview Route "90" - Clarence "Bonton" Garlow & His Orchestra

  • 11 Preview Strange Kinda Feeling - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 12 Preview Pleadin' Heart - The Whips

  • 13 Preview Found Some Good Lovin' (Take 1, breakdown & Take 2, master) - Shirley Gunter with Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra

  • 14 Preview Gettin' High (Take 1) - The Flairs

  • 15 Preview Baby Beat It (Take 4) - Big Duke & His Orchestra

  • 16 Preview This Time It's Real - Ricky & Jennell

  • 17 Preview My Mama Told Me - James Reed

  • 18 Preview Beggin' & Pleadin' (Take 1) - Big Duke & His Orchestra

  • 19 Preview My Close Friend (Take 1) - Saunders King & His Orchestra

  • 20 Preview I've Got The Feeling - Baby "Pee Wee" Parham

  • 21 Preview Baby Please (Take 4) - Mat Cockrell

  • 22 Preview Night Howler - Billy Gale & His Orchestra

  • 23 Preview Sho' Nuff I Do - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 24 Preview You Better Hold Me (Take 1) - James Reed & His Orchestra

  • 25 Preview Loosely - Ike Turner & His Orchestra

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Chop House (Take 1) - Blinky Allen & His Orchestra

  • 02 Preview Let's Make With Some Love (Take 2) - The Flairs

  • 03 Preview Quit Hangin' Around Me (Take 1) - Saunders King & His Orchestra

  • 04 Preview An Angel Cried - Anna Marie & The Stardusters with Blinky Allen & The Stardusters

  • 05 Preview Blue Mambo - Bobby Rey & His Orchestra

  • 06 Preview Oop Shoop (Take 2) - Shirley Gunter & The Queens

  • 07 Preview Love Me, Love Me, Love Me (Take 2) - The Chimes

  • 08 Preview Sputterin' Blues - Walter Robertson

  • 09 Preview Hard Times - Johnny Fuller

  • 10 Preview The Big Break - Richard Berry

  • 11 Preview Standing At The Crossroads - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 12 Preview Daddy Daddy (Take 1) - Richard Berry & The Dreamers

  • 13 Preview Cuban Get Away - Ike Turner & His Orchestra

  • 14 Preview Dizzy (Take 1) - The Carroll County Boys featuring Pee Wee Crayton

  • 15 Preview Farewell - Bobby Relf & The Laurels

  • 16 Preview Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car - Richard Berry

  • 17 Preview She Loves To Dance - The Flairs

  • 18 Preview Stubborn Woman - Mercy Dee

  • 19 Preview Next Time (Take 4) - Richard Berry

  • 20 Preview Oh, Oh, Please - Mercy Dee

  • 21 Preview Ipsy Opsie Ooh (Take 1) - Shirley Gunter & The Flairs

  • 22 Preview Dust My Blues - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

  • 23 Preview Together (Take 2) - Richard Berry & The Dreamers

  • 24 Preview Have You Ever? - Mercy Dee

  • 25 Preview Goodbye - Elmore James & His Broomdusters

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This collection demands attention. ★★★★

Record Collector



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