Label: Document Records
Release Date: May 14, 1996
Releases: September, 2000; July 5, 2005
Recording Time: 64 minutes
Recording Date: December, 1923 - June 7, 1927
Styles: Classic Female Blues, Country Blues, Pre-War Blues
The last recordings of three classic blues singers from the 1920s whose total output exceeded one CD are included on this interesting disc. Except for two lost numbers from 1924, Edna Hicks only recorded in 1923. Her six selections feature backing from either Porter Grainger's Sawin' Three or a Fletcher Henderson Trio with cornetist Joe Smith and clarinetist Don Redman. Hicks sounds strong for the period, but sadly her life would be cut short in 1925 by an accident. Hazel Meyers is represented by 11 selections. She is joined by a variety of groups including the Choo Choo Jazzers, selections with pianist Louis Hooper (and either cornetists Bubber Miley or Louis Metcalf, or clarinetist Bob Fuller) and two wonderful duets in 1924 with pianist Fats Waller ("Maybe Someday" and "When Your Troubles Are Just Like Mine"). The disc concludes with Laura Smith's final session, a four-song duet set with pianist Clarence M. Jones that includes two songs having to do with the Mississippi floods of the period. Overall, this gap-filling release is a must for completists and classic blues collectors, but beginners to the idiom are definitely advised to check out Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters first.
by Scott Yanow
Featured Artists: Edna Hicks, Hazel Meyers, Laura Smith
Credits: Shirley Clay - cornet; Bob Fuller - clarinet; Fletcher Henderson - piano; Edna Hicks - accordion, primary artist; Louis Hooper - piano; Preston Jackson - tuba; Clifford "Snags" Jones - drums; M. Clarence Jones - piano; Louis Metcalf - cornet; Hazel Meyers - performer, primary artist; Bubber Miley - cornet; Don Redman - clarinet; Joe "Fox" Smith - cornet; Benjamin Franklin Spikes - composer; Artie Starks - sax (alto); Fats Waller - piano.
Tracks: 1) Hard luck blues - Edna Hicks; 2) I don`t love nobody so I don`t have no blues - Edna Hicks; 3) Cemetary blues - Edna Hicks; 4) Poor me blues - Edna Hicks; 5) Where can that somebody be? - Edna Hicks; 6) If you don`t give me what I want - Edna Hicks; 7) War horse mama - Hazel Meyers; 8) Cold weather papa - Hazel Meyers; 9) Hateful blues - Hazel Meyers; 10) Frankie blues - Hazel Meyers; 11) Lost my sweetie blues - Hazel Meyers; 12) Maybe someday - Hazel Meyers; 13) (I`m gonna see you) When your troubles are just like mine - Hazel Meyers; 14) You`ll never have no luck by quittin` me - Hazel Meyers; 15) Lonesome for that man of mine - Hazel Meyers; 16) Blackville after dark - Hazel Meyers; 17) Heartbreaking blues - Hazel Meyers; 18) Lonesome refugee - Laura Smith; 19) The Mississippi blues - Laura Smith; 20) Fightin` blues - Laura Smith; 21) Red River blues - Laura Smith.