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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 15 August 2009

All tracks in this edition of Charlie’s programme were recorded in 1928. Duke Ellington’s Black Beauty and Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues are classics but it’s almost impossible to find out much about the Cuban all-female Grupo de la Alegria, recently rescued from obscurity by Robert Crumb. Guitarist Lonnie Johnson played with both Armstrong and Ellington but is now perhaps best remembered for his recordings of solo ballads, such as Careless Love.
Cow Cow Davenport’s colourful life would make a great biopic: for now, we have his recordings which confirm his status as a leading boogie piano player of his day.

Part country music singer, part railroad employee, Jimmie Rodgers cut the best-selling recording of In the Jailhouse Now on 15th February 1928 and it still stands out amongst the dozens of other versions of the same tune.

Wilmoth Houdini was born in Trinidad but found his success in New York. Similarly, the Sexteto Nacional was a Cuban group but their recordings were made in the USA.

Tracks played in this week's programme:

Country: USA
Title: In the Jailhouse Now
Artist: Jimmie Rodgers
CD Title: The Very Best of Jimmir Rodgers
Label: BMG Camden
Cat. Number: 74321 535852

Country: USA
Title: West End Blues
Artist: Louis Armstrong
CD Title: Complete Hot 5 & Hot 7
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Cat. Number: C4K 63527

Country: USA
Title: Black Beauty
Artist: Duke Ellington
CD Title: Ken Burns Jazz
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Cat. Number: C3K 65841

Country: Trinidad
Title: Sweet Like a Honey Bee
Artist: Wilmoth Houdini
CD Title: Poor But Ambitious
Label: Arhoolie
Cat. Number: CD 7010

Country: Cuba
Title: Siboney
Artist: Sexteto Nacional
CD Title: Music of Cuba: 1909 - 1951
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Cat. Number: 498709 2

Country: Cuba
Title: El Tambor de la Alegria
Artist: Grupo De la Alegria
CD Title: Hot Women
Label: Kein & Aber
Cat. Number: EFA 23284

Country: USA
Title: Careless Love
Artist: Lonnie Johnson
CD Title: Hot Fingers
Label: Proper Records
Cat. Number: P1422

Country: USA
Title: Cow Cow Blues
Artist: Cow Cow Davenport
CD Title: Roll 'Em Pete
Label: Indigo
Cat. Number: IGOTCD 2551


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