[BluesList] Irma Thomas has mixed feelings about the rediscovery of her 1970s-era 'Lost Cotillion Album'

Jef Jaisun jef@jaisunphoto.com
Sat May 17 14:07:36 EDT 2014


Correct on Ray Charles, because Bumps had worked 
with Ray in Seattle in the late 1940s. My 
recollection is that Art Rupe wasn't getting 
anywhere with Richard stylistically, which is why 
Bumps was brought in to give it a shot. Until 
that fateful "Tutti Frutti" night Bumps had 
Nat-ish designs for Richard. Good thing that changed!

JJ


At 10:54 AM 5/17/2014, Bill Dahl wrote:
>Specialty Records never tried to make Little 
>Richard sound like Nat Cole, nor did any other 
>label (he would have been incapable of it). His 
>historic first 1955 sessions in New Orleans for 
>Specialty had already included the blistering 
>rocker "Kansas City" and some terrific blues 
>ballads (think Roy Brown or Billy Wright, not 
>Nat) prior to Richard and Bumps Blackwell 
>heading out for a bite to eat, where Richard 
>commandeered the piano and performed the 
>then-raunchy "Tutti Frutti." Since Bumps hadn't 
>heard him do the song before, it certainly 
>wasn't his fault it wasn't on the schedule that 
>day, but it sure was when they got back to 
>Cosimo's. Perhaps you're thinking of Ray 
>Charles, who cut a slew of ballads in a very 
>Cole/Charles Brown bag until he found his own 
>rougher, more gospel-influenced style--but that 
>was his own preference, not that of a producer.
>
>I'm quite pleased Real Gone has unearthed these 
>priceless Irma Thomas tapes. They may be uneven, 
>but I'm sure I'll enjoy them a whole lot more 
>than her recent MOR-slanted stuff for Rounder. 
>I'll be reviewing the Thomas CD in my next Blues Music Magazine reissue column!
>
>Bill Dahl
>dahlbill@aol.com
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jef Jaisun <jef@jaisunphoto.com>
>To: Blues_L <Blues_L@listserv.nethelps.com>; 
>BLUES-L <Blues_L@listserv.nethelps.com>
>Sent: Sat, May 17, 2014 12:37 pm
>Subject: Re: [BluesList] Irma Thomas has mixed 
>feelings about the rediscovery of her 1970s-era 'Lost Cotillion Album'
>
>  "Full Time Woman" was originally written and 
> recorded by blues singer Alice Stuart, who is 
> still performing and touring. 
> <http://www.alicestuart.com/>www.alicestuart.com 
>   The song was released on her Fantasy Records 
> album in 1970, and remains in her set list. 
> It's been covered by a number of artists 
> besides Irma, one of them being Grootna, the 
> group produced by Jefferson Airplane's Marty 
> Balin in 1972 for Columbia. Somewhere I might 
> still have the rare single of that release.
>
>Arif Mardin produced a huge number of successful 
>female balladeers. Unfortunately for Irma, one 
>of them was Diana Ross. Also unfortunately, when 
>it came to Irma, Mardin couldn't see the forest 
>for the trees. Maybe it was that failure that 
>helped him do a better job later on, with 
>artists like Anita Baker, Norah Jones and Roberta Flack.
>
>It always bothers me to hear of bonehead 
>recording moguls trying to change the style of 
>inherently great artists to match someone 
>already famous. How many flopped folksingers 
>have been touted as "the next Bob Dylan?" 
>Specialty Records tried to get Little Richard to 
>sound like Nat Cole, til one night producer 
>Bumps Blackwell heard the real Richard on stage. 
>Columbia had no clue what to do with Aretha 
>early on, and those LPs made her sound like a 
>lounge singer. At least Wexler got that one 
>right when he signed her to Atlantic. In 1970, a 
>blues singer friend of mine was told by another 
>top clown at Columbia that he needed to "sound 
>more like James Taylor." Say what? Kind of 
>brings up the retro-rhetorical question: "So 
>what was your first clue the recording industry was on coke?"
>
>Forty years later Irma still rules. Anyone who's 
>see her perform can tell you that.
>
>JJ
>
>
>
>At 05:29 AM 5/17/2014, Jimmy Jacobs wrote:
>>I listened to some of this during my last 
>>visit to NOLA and passed on buying it.Â
>>
>><http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2014/05/irma_thomas_has_mixed_feelings.html#cmpid=nwsltrhead>http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2014/05/irma_thomas_has_mixed_feelings.html#cmpid=nwsltrhead 
>>
>>Â
>>-- Shared using Google Toolbar
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