FIRST ANNUAL SOUL DETECTIVE MYSTERY CONTEST
WHO WILL BE OUR LUCKY WINNER?
Latest Update: 11/12/07
In 1957, Chris Kenner wrote the incredible "Sick And Tired" with Dave Bartholomew. It became Kenner's first single for Imperial, and shot to #13 on the R&B charts.
Fats Domino would release his own version for the label the following year, and THAT went to #14. This was some song! On the perennially incomplete Second Hand Songs page, they have these other cover versions listed:
Sick and Tired by Waylon Jennings (November 1970)
Sick and Tired by Alex Chilton (1995)
Sick and Tired by Roland Stone (October 7, 1997)
Sick and Tired by The Forever Fabulous Chickenhawks (July 6, 1999)
Sick and Tired by Jimmy Cavallo with Ron Spencer & Jumpstart (2002)
Now, about twenty years ago, my friend Bernie made me a tape of a radio show that aired on WBGO in Newark. It was around Mardi Gras, and they were doing a New Orleans R&B thing. The tape was just a mind-blower! I mean, I had no idea that there was such a depth of music beyond the obvious stuff we had all come to associate with "Sugartown". I played it constantly. For years it was in my car...
Then, I lost it. Oh well, I said, CDs are the next big thing coming down the pike anyway...
Well, I was cleaning out some old stuff in my basement a few months back and I FOUND IT! That's right, the legendary tape was back!
This was around the same time that I figured out how to hook up my stereo to the computer... SO, I copied the INCENDIARY version of "Sick And Tired" that was on there, and e-mailed it out to our resident New Orleans expert, Dan Phillips, to try and figure out who it was. He, like me, was stumped!
And so, mein detectives, here ya go:
sick and tired
I think you'll agree with me that this song just COOKS! I mean, "...before I go to work, I even brush your teeth!", is that like GREAT or WHAT? I think you'll also agree that this version blows both Kenner's and Domino's out of 'da wahtah'...
SO, there's your challenge, gang... name that artist! The first one to leave the correct answer in the 'comments' wins! (the interesting thing about this contest, though, is that even I don't know the answer...)
Anyway, I'm not sure what the prize is yet either, but ol' red is heading down South for the second weekend of Jazz Fest in the town where this song was born, and then driving to Memphis to stomp around with the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau... SO, I'm sure I'll find something cool to bring home for the lucky winner!
GOOD LUCK, and I'll be back (with the official judges) around the middle of May.
The Envelope Please...
(originally published as a follow-up post on 5/15/06)
Well folks, I'm back... and what a long, strange trip it's been!
I'm not going to bore you with the details (yet), but just let me say that both Jazz Fest and The Ponderosa Stomp were even better than anticipated... they positively cranked!
Anyway, on my last day in Memphis I found this absolutely 'skated' copy of the original Chris Kenner side (you can't make this stuff up!), and I figure I'd put it up for us:
sick and tired
NOW, the official judges (Dan Phillips and bbb) have confirmed our lucky winner to be none other than the very cool TODD LUCAS, proprietor of the vinyl diggers hangout, It's Great Shakes, who correctly identified our mystery artist as the immortal Elton Anderson.
The song was released as the flip (score another point for the other side...) of his Swamp Pop classic, "Life Problem" that was originally released as LANOR 509 around 1962, and later picked up by Capitol for national distribution. (I just found a copy on GEMM, I'll let you know when I get it...).
As I said, I wasn't sure what the prize was gonna be until I found it. Well, as it turns out, i had a pretty productive trip vinyl-wise, and so our prize is made up of the cream of my flea-market, thrift shop, moldy record store safaris, along with some other cool stuff (like a nifty set of STAX museum coasters, and a Sonny Burgess record that I bought from the man himself at the Stomp...)
Enjoy, Todd, and thanks for entering our first ever contest!
NOW, Dan says that Elton Anderson's version of Sick And Tired was recorded at Cosimo's studio in New Orleans. Anybody have any idea who 's playing that smokin' piano on there? James Booker? Mac Rebennack?
For that matter, anyone have any more information on Anderson himself... like a photograph?
Thanks for playing everybody, I'll talk to you soon!
This just in (from Dan Phillips):
Elton Anderson, from Lake Charles, LA, was a guitarist as well as a vocalist. During 1956 and 1957, he was featured with the Sid Lawerence Band regularly at the Southern Club in Opelousas, LA.. Wayne Shuler, who was working with his dad, Eddie, who ran Goldband Records, cut a record on Anderson at Goldband during that time and brought it to Johnny Vincent (Imbragulio), who owned Ace Records, and was recording a lot of New Orleans artists at Cosimo Matassa’s studio in the French Quarter. Vincent released the Anderson sessions, "Shed So Many Tears" b/w "Roll On Train", on his new subsidiary label, Vin Records, in 1958. When that single didn't connect, Shuler started working through Joe Banashak in New Orleans, who was just starting Valiant Records, (which would be renamed Minit, to be followed by Instant, 7B, Bandy, and other related imprints). Banashak and Shuler partnered on the Trey label, releasing two 45's on Anderson in 1959. The second of these, "Secret Of Love" b/w "Cool Down Baby" was picked up by Mercury Records, which was also releasing other regional Louisiana R&B and/or rock 'n' roll (later to be known as Swamp Pop), such as Phil Phillips' "Sea Of Love". Anderson’s "Secret Of Love" charted in 1960 and did very well nationally. But his two follow-up 45's for Mercury in 1960 and 1961 did not fare nearly as well; and the label dropped him.
Thus, around 1962, Wayne Shuler contacted Lee Lavergne, who had recently started Lanor Records in Church Point, LA, about releasing several sides by Anderson that Mercury had passed on. Since Anderson was a well-known regional artist who had had a hit, Lavergne jumped at the chance and issued "Humpty Dumpty Heart" b/w "Don't Touch Me Baby" to little avail. Undaunted, Lavergne next had Anderson record "Life Problem", originally done by Guitar Gable, with King Karl on vocal, for Excello in 1956.
The sessions for Lanor 509 were done at Cosimo Matassa's studio in New Orleans. Doing the arrangement on "Life Problem" was Wardell Quezergue; and it is probable that Mac Rebennack ran the sessions. A cover of the Chris Kenner classic, "Sick and Tired", was chosen for the other side; and, with those top shelf New Orleans cats, Anderson laid down a hot rendition. Rebennack might have been the piano player on these sessions, but I doubt it, because, in late 1961, his left ring finger was severely damaged by a gunshot, from which he had a lengthy recovery. He was more likely to play organ on sessions and gigs for quite a while afterward, as it required less left hand dexterity. So, I would vote for one of Mac's runnin' partners, James Booker, as a likely candidate, especially on "Sick and Tired". I'll research this some more.
"Life Problem" became very popular locally and interested Captiol Records enough to arrange with Lanor to release it nationally. But, Lavergne has said that Capitol really didn't know how to market Louisiana R&B, and the record ended up not doing much for them. After Capitol tried again with another Anderson 45, they lost interest; and the guitarist/vocalist's few remaining releases were issued on Lanor around 1963. When they did not sell, Elton Anderson left Louisiana for California; and, as far as I know, did not record again.
Elton Anderson Discography (by Dan Phillips)
Vin 1001 “Shed So Many Tears” / “Roll On Train” – 1958
Trey 1002 “I Love You” / “Want A Come Back Home”– 1959
Trey 1011 “Secret Of Love” / “Cool Down Baby” – 1959
Mercury 71542 “Secret Of Love” / “Cool Down Baby” – 1959
Mercury 71643 “Walking Alone” / “Crying The Blues” - 1960
Mercury 71777 “Please Accept My Love” / “I Love You Cheri” -1961
Lanor 507 “Humpty Dumpty Heart” / Don’t Touch Me Baby” – 1962
Lanor 509 “Life Problem” / “Sick And Tired” – 1962
Capitol 4762 “Life Problem” / “Sick And Tired” – 1962
Capitol 4830 “Shed So Many Tears” / “That’s How It’s Been” - 1962
Lanor 514 “(Sorry) I’m Gonna Have To Pass” / “I Love You So” –1963
Lanor 516 “The Crawl Pt 1” / “The Crawl Pt 2” - 1963
Lanor 518 “Bye Bye Little Angel” / “Don’t Touch Me Baby” - 1963
He's a good guy to have around that Dan, huh?
Ace detective Triple Bs sent along an addition to Anderson's discography:
Goldband GNG-107 - Guitar Jr. : Family Rules/The Crawl bw
Elton Anderson : Shed So Many Tears/Cool Down Baby (EP)
...it was released in between the VIN and TREY sides.
He also sent along this great unreleased track:
if i don't see you
Great piano on this one too... ya think maybe it's the same guy as on 'sick & tired'?
Ol' 3bs, who apparently is quite the swamp pop afficionado, has informed us that none other than the great KATIE WEBSTER played the piano on the session that produced "Life Problem" at Cosimo's... SO, I would imagine that that's her crankin' it out on "Sick And Tired" as well... she certainly had the chops to pull it off!
A quote from her 1999 obituary:
"...by age 15 she had become one of the most requested studio musicians in the region. Her music appears on more than 500 singles cut in the 1950s and 1960s."
I'll take it, and for "If I Don't See You" too.
Another mystery solved by the soul detectives!
Way to go 'Triple Bs'!
Here's the 'A' side of our mystery record, I just got it recently, and figured you'd all like to hear it:
It's got this swamp-pop meets Rampart Street feel, don't it? I wonder if that's Lee Allen taking the sax solo...
Hey guys, while perusing a great little book called Swamp Pop: Cajun And Creole Rhythm And Blues by Shane Bernard, I found this:
HOW COOL IS THAT???
I'm not sure if you saw this, but Detective Dan recently put up another of Elton's Lanor sides over at Home Of The Groove.
Here's what I had to say in the 'comments':
"...I've been meaning to update the Elton Anderson post at SD for a while with this interesting bit of information:
- In firstname.lastname@example.org,
John Glassburner wrote:
'Today we'll feature Eddie Jackson and the Corinthians' THAT'S ALRIGHT. I'm very impressed with lead singer Elton Anderson on this piece. I wonder if he went on to make other recordings?'
(Mr. Glassburner is the man who's been posting all that amazing Gospel over there)
to which I replied:
'Very interesting... we've been checking into 'swamp pop' great Elton Anderson over on soul detective for a while now, and nobody is sure what became of him. There were rumors that he took off for California some time in the late sixties. Just recently, the very cool Warren Storm told one of our detectives (backstage at last month's Fats Domino tribute) that as far as he knew, Elton passed away sometime in the early eighties...
So far we've been unable to confirm that. The fact that he may have 'crossed back over' to Gospel could account for this lack of information about him after his Lanor days. Hmmm...'
John was also kind enough to provide me with a scan of a photo from the back of the album, and I plan to put that, and the Eddie Jackson & the Corinthians track, up on SD soon...."
SO, without further ado, here's the photograph of 'Eddie Jackson & The Corinthians', along with the track that 'Elton Anderson' sings lead on:
After comparing the pictures and listening to the song over and over, both John and I are still unsure if it's the same Elton Anderson. One thing is certain though, this is a GREAT tune! Thank you detective John!!
What do you think?
You know, one of the cool things that's developed here on soul detective is that, once a case has been opened, it's never really closed again. Super sleuth Cies is always sniffin' around, and has come up with an interesting new development for us to check out.
First, let's listen to the 1963 B side of the record our man Dan Phillips put up on Home Of The Groove last April:
LANOR 514 B
I Love You So
Written by George Khoury, the man who gave us the ultimate Swamp Pop record Sea Of Love in 1959, this beautiful number has that certain atmospheric quality that Wardell Quezergue was so good at creating in those days. A hidden classic, I love Elton's understated, sweet vocals. The whole production puts me in mind of something that Johnny Ace might have done... I wonder who's playing that organ?
Now, if you check out Cies' excellent Gospel Blog Just Moving On, you'll find that he recently found a 45 on the Jackson, Mississippi Talk Of The Town label by 'Elton Anderson Jr.':
Once again, I don't know if this is the same man who sang with Eddie Jackson & The Corinthians, but he sure sounds like it. According to the label, he's backed by "The Dixons and Natural High," and I'm not sure who's who, but the band is sure cookin' - I love the guitar! As Cies said over at his site:
"...Is this the Lanor guy? Is this the Gospel guy? Or is it a totally different guy? Here's my theory, after listening over and over to the guys singing: Elton "Lanor" Anderson isn't the gospel guy, as the the Lanor sides sound as if they were sung by a mature/older voice than the Corinthians sides where Elton Anderson sings lead. Voices are similar, but not identical. With the Lanor sides recorded around 15 years before the gospel sides, my theory is that the Lanor Anderson is the father of the Gospel Anderson. Why else would he use the Jr in his name?"
Why else indeed... I've heard that theory before, from a guy named George that I've run into both in Louisiana and New York. George, if you're out there, can you definitely connect those dots for us?
Thank you, Cies, for your tireless efforts. You are a true Soul Detective!