Label: Document Records.
Release Date: August 15, 1993.
Releases: 1994, 2000, 2005.
Recording Time: 61 minutes.
Recording Date: June 14, 1929 - April 30, 1937.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.
Styles: Pre-War Blues, Country Blues.
Featured Artists: Charlie 'Specks' McFadden, Roosevelt Sykes.
Charlie "Specks" McFadden was not destined to become famous, but at the time he made his debut recordings in 1929, he was considered one of the top blues-oriented singers based in St. Louis. A good friend of Roosevelt Sykes, who plays piano on 12 of the 20 selections included on this CD, McFadden was a fine blues singer. He had a minor hit with "Groceries on the Shelf" which has three versions included on this disc. Apparently, McFadden was quite a character, being arrested 13 times during 1929-1935, including ten times for gambling, which gives credibility to his version of "Gambler's Blues." As with too many of the early blues performers, virtually nothing is known of McFadden's life, especially after his final record date in 1937. All of his recordings, except for four titles that have not been found, are on this CD and Charlie "Specks" McFadden consistently shows that he deserves to be remembered or at least have his performances enjoyed by blues collectors.
by Scott Yanow
Credits: Dobby Bragg - piano; Frank Foster - composer; Lonnie Johnson - violin; Willie Kelly - piano; Charlie McFadden - accordion, primary artist, vocals; Eddie Miller - accompaniment, piano; Eddie Miller & His Orchestra - piano; Johnny Parth - producer; Mike Rowe - liner notes; Aaron "Pinetop" Sparks - piano; Roosevelt Sykes - piano; Tom Webb - piano.
Tracks: 1) Misunderstood blues; 2) Don`t bite that thing; 3) Broken down blues; 4) Weak-eyed blues; 5) Gambler`s blues; 6) Harvest moon blues; 7) People people blues (l-154); 8) Groceries on the shelf (l-155); 9) Groceries on the shelf no. 2; 10) Yellow woman blues; 11) Piggly wiggly blues; 12) People, people (76832); 13) Friendless man; 14) Times are so tight; 15) Low down rounders blues; 16) Last journey blues; 17) Hold it where you got it; 18) Lonesome ghost blues; 19) Groceries on my shelf (91208); 20) People people (91209).