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mardi 6 février 2018

TABBY THOMAS/ LOUISIANA SWAMP BLUES



TABBY THOMAS

           
Ernest Joseph Thomas naît le 5 janvier 1929 à Baton Rouge, la capitale de la Louisiane et chante très jeune dans la chorale religieuse de sa mère, tout en écoutant les disques de jazz et de blues de sa famille. C'est sa rencontre avec Roy Brown dans un club de Baton Rouge qui l'encourage à tenter une carrière musicale.
            Après son service militaire effectué à Guam, Thomas s'installe à San Francisco, travaille dans les chantiers navals et participe à des radios crochets. Il remporte celui de la station de radio KSAN, ce qui lui permet d'enregistrer son premier 78t en 1952.
            De retour à Baton Rouge, il devient Tabby Thomas et forme son orchestre les Mellow Mellow Men (qui, selon Tabby, comprenait un tout jeune Buddy Guy), joue tous les week ends dans les clubs locaux, enregistre en 1953 pour le label Delta de Jackson, Ms, auditionne sans succès pour J.D. Miller à Crowley. Mais sa réputation locale est telle qu'il retourne dans les studios louisianais de façon régulière à partir de 1959, gravant plusieurs succès locaux dont le superbe Hoodoo Party. Le blues devenant de moins en moins commercial, Tabby s'essaie à la Soul sous divers pseudonymes mais là encore sans succès.
            En 1970, Tabby Thomas fonde son propre label Blue Beat dont il distribue lui-même les disques et ouvre parallèlement son propre club à Baton Rouge, le célèbre Tabby's Blues Box qui attire les danseurs de toute la région et bientôt des amateurs de Swamp blues du monde entier. Tabby enregistre en nombre 45t et albums et anime aussi sa propre émission de radio à Baton Rouge.
            En 2002, il est victime d'un grave accident de la route et doit abandonner la musique. En 2004, son club est préempté par la capitale de la Louisiane pour élargir une rocade d'autoroute.
            Tabby Thomas, devenu une légende du Swamp blues, décède le 1er janvier 2014 dans sa ville de Baton Rouge.
            Si son œuvre blues est désormais bien connue, nombre d'autres de ses disques des années 1960-70 demeurent des raretés et ne sont même pas mentionnées dans Blues Discography!
            Nous avons essayé de regrouper la plupart de ses titres enregistrés jusqu'en 1970 mais, malgré nos efforts et les aides de plusieurs de nos généreux correspondants, il en manque encore plusieurs. Merci à ceux qui les posséderaient et voudraient en partager une copie!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Born 5th January 1929 at Baton Rouge (La), Ernest Joseph Thomas starts singing at a very young age in his mother's church choir while listening to his father's huge jazz and blues records collection. It's when meeting Roy Brown in a Baton Rouge venue that Thomas thinks to try a career as a blues singer.
            After a service in the Air Force Reserve Base at Riverside, California, Thomas settles in San Francisco in 1949 and while working by day in the industry, he tries his luck singing in local clubs and taking part to talent shows. He wins the KSAN radio station's one that leads him to his first recording in 1952.
            Back to Baton Rouge, he becomes "Tabby" Thomas, gathers his own band, the Mellow Mellow Men (whose guitarist, according to Tabby, was a very young Buddy Guy!), plays every week end in local clubs and venues, records a 78t in Jackson, Ms for the Delta label in 1953, some tapes for J.D. Miller but with no success. But his reputation as an entertainer grows and he finally got several local hits during the years 1959-61, particularly the wonderful Hoodoo Party. Unfortunately, the mid-60's are lean years for the kind of music Tabby is delivering and, despite trying recording Soul and Pop 45s under several names, the success eludes him.
            In 1970, Tabby finally launches his own Blue Beat label, records 45s and albums he distributes himself and sells at his own club, the famous Tabby's Blues Box which draws local patrons as well as, progressively, blues fans from the whole world! Tabby also hosts his own radio show from Baton Rouge's KBRH.
            Unfortunately he suffers a major road crash in 2002 and must slow down his musical activities. In 2004, he has to sell his club to the city of Baton Rouge for the building of a highway overpass!
            Tabby Thomas, a Swamp blues legend, dies at his Baton Rouge's home January 1st 2004.
            If his blues and Swamp Pop main recordings are well known, many of his 1960's 45s, made for tiny local labels, are still rarities, many being not even mentioned in Blues Discography!
            We have tried to gather most of his early records but, despite our efforts and the help of friends, several are still missing (in red in our disco). Thanks to anyone who would have them and share a copy!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Tabby Thomas, vcl; Que Martyn, t-sax; band. San Francisco, Ca. 1952
01. I'll make the trip
02. I'll make the trip (alt.)
03. Midnight is calling
Tabby Thomas, vcl; poss. Buddy Guy, g; Buddy Stewart, t-sax; The Mellow Mellow Men, band. Jackson, Ms. 1953
04. Thinking blues
05. Church Member's ball
Tabby Thomas, vcl; Blue Charlie Morris, g; band. Crowley, La. 1954
06. Tomorrow
07. Mmm I don't care
Tabby Thomas, vcl; Woody Guidry, g; band. Baton Rouge, La. 1959
08. Don't say
09. Too late blues
10. Brother Brown
11. So hard to bear
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Crowley, La. 1960
12. My baby's got it
13. Tomorrow I'll be gone
14. Teenage queen
15. Teenagers
Tabby Thomas, vcl; Rudoph Richard, g; Lazy Lester, hca; Katie Webster, pno; Sherman Webster, bs; Warren Storm; dms. Crowley, La. janvier 1961
16. Hoodoo party
17. Boogie woogie children
18. Roll on mule I & II
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Crowley, La. late 1961
19. C.C. Rider
20. I'd love to tell
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Crowley, La. juin 1962
21. Popeye train
22. He's got the whole world in His Hands
A dollar ain't nothing anymore
23. I don't want anybody else but you
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. New Orleans, La. juin 1965
Closer to my heart
Let me have two
Tabby Thomas, vcl; Rudoph Richard, g; band. New Orleans, La. septembre 1965
24. Play girl
25. Keep on trying
26. I say!
27. You put a hole in my head
28. We can make it
29. Mr Buzzerd
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Baton Rouge, La. janvier 1967
Moonshine party
Cat out of the bag
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Baton Rouge, La. juin 1967
30. Soul time (In New Orleans)
31. Daddy Juicy
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Baton Rouge, La. 1969
32. There ought to be a law
Don't do it baby
Love is the name of the game
Never get rich in bed
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Baton Rouge, La. 1970
33. Goin' to New Orleans
Candy
I wanna rock you
34. Mary Jane
35. No use anymore
Tabby Thomas, vcl; band. Baton Rouge, La. 1972-73
36. My baby's gone
37. One day
38. Sugar daddy
38. What's the matter baby?



16 commentaires:

  1. Tabby Thomas/ Louisiana Swamp blues

    http://www82.zippyshare.com/v/vEniDajz/file.html

    OK?

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    Réponses
    1. Great posting, the world needed this early collection. Thank you!

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  2. Another great post from Blue Eye !
    Question : who is Tab (T.N.T.) Thomas on Tic-Toc 104 (Luberta/We can Make it ) ?

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  3. Another great post from Blue Eye !
    A question : is Tab (T.N.T.) Thomas on Tic-Toc 804 (We can make it/Luberta ) Tabby Thomas ?

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    Réponses
    1. Yes of course Tab Thomas, Ernest Thomas... are Tabby Thomas

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  4. Saw the master many's a time at his Blues Box...even better it was right by Didee's, home of the most amazin' duck you ever ate in your life. Much as folks in BRLA loved Mr. Thomas, he never got the appreciation or due the way he should have. Henry Gray, who had played with Muddy Waters and haunted The Blues Box never did either. Great musicians, good men.

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  5. Very good, thanks for putting this together Gerard.

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  6. Thank you very much for your soul share!

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  7. Thank You, Gerard. Great stuff!
    Best,
    ML
    Brooklyn, NY

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  8. Gerard,

    You are an international treasure. Thank you for all that you do.

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