Friday, 10 April 2015

Rosco Gordon born 10 April 1928

Rosco Gordon (April 10, 1928 – July 11, 2002) was an American blues singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1952 #1 R&B hit single, “Booted”. 

Born on Florida Street, in Memphis, Tennessee, Gordon was one of the Beale Streeters, a moniker given to a group of musicians who helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. He was just 15 when he wrote his first song, "Love You Till the Day I Die", with Bobby Bland as co-author. Later, Bland made his first record with Gordon's band as backing. The following year Gordon won an amateur contest, which led to a weekly show on the WDIA radio station. 

Gordon used a style of piano playing known as ‘The Rosco Rhythm’ and made a number of his early recordings for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. This rhythm placed the accent on the off beats, and although other influential R&B pianists such as Professor Longhair (on Willie Mae among other songs) recorded in the same off beat style before him, through his influence on Jamaican pianist Theophilus Beckford (Easy Snappin’), Rosco Gordon is cited as the foundation of Jamaican bluebeat and reggae music. “Booted” (1952) gave his career a sound start, and was followed by “No More Doggin’” the same year. 

Sam Phillips later sold the master tape of “Booted” to two competing labels, Chess and RPM, both of whom released it as a single. This seeming mix up did not prevent the song from hitting number one on the Billboard R&B chart. However there were no further hits despite Gordon’s youth, talent and exuberant and oddball personality. In 1957 Gordon hit the cinemas with the teen-exploitation movie Rock, Baby, Rock It!, appearing alongside Johnny Carroll, the Fats Domino-style piano of Preacher Smith and the Deacons, the Texas doo-wop group the Five Stars, and Don Coats and the Bon-Aires.

In 1962, he gave up the music industry and moved to Queens, New York with his new wife where he purchased a partnership in a laundry business. 

In 1969 he started his own record label, Bab-Roc, which he operated from home. But he did not play concerts again until 1981 and began to tour Europe and America after the death of his second wife, Barbara, in 1984. Although suffering from diabetes, heart disease and a herniated disc in his lower back, Rosco jumped into his second coming with an energy and enthusiasm that delighted audiences everywhere. He participated in several major documentaries about early rock and R&B and performed in festivals at every opportunity. 

In May 2002, he returned to Memphis, joining old friends B.B. King, Ike Turner and Little Milton for a performance tribute to Sam Phillips during the W.C. Handy Awards Show.  Called The Road To Memphis, the documentary aired on PBS television. Six weeks after filming finished, Gordon died of a heart attack at his apartment in Rego Park, Queens. He was 74 years old. He was interred in the Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey. (Info edited from Wikipedia & Black Cat Rockabilly)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For No More Doggin - A Proper Introduction To Rosco Gordon go here:

1. Rosco Gordon - Roscoe's Boogie (2:45) 2. Rosco Gordon - City Women (3:13) 3. Rosco Gordon - Ouch! Pretty Baby (2:19) 4. Rosco Gordon - Saddled The Cow (And Milked The Horse) (2:51) 5. Rosco Gordon - Dime A Dozen (2:26) 6. Rosco Gordon - A New Remedy For Love (2:12) 7. Rosco Gordon - Booted (Chess Version) (3:02) 8. Rosco Gordon - Booted (RPM Version) (3:06) 9. Rosco Gordon - Love You Til the Day I Die (3:10) 10. Rosco Gordon - Cold Cold Winter (3:07) 11. Rosco Gordon - Two Kinds Of Women (3:03) 12. Rosco Gordon - No More Doggin' (2:42) 13. Rosco Gordon - What You Got on Your Mind (1:50) 14. Rosco Gordon - New Orleans Wimmen (2:38) 15. Rosco Gordon - Dream Baby (2:55) 16. Rosco Gordon - Hey Fat Girl (2:29) 17. Rosco Gordon - T Model Boogie (2:33) 18. Rosco Gordon - Too Many Women (2:50) 19. Rosco Gordon - Three Cent Love (3:01) 20. Rosco Gordon - Lucille (Looking For My Baby) (2:39) 21. Rosco Gordon - Blues For My Baby (2:53) 22. Rosco Gordon - Just In From Texas (2:34) 23. Rosco Gordon - Tomorrow May Be Too Late (2:15) 24. Rosco Gordon - We're All Loaded (Whiskey Made Me Drunk) (3:08)

A big thank you to the Rockin’ Bandit for the original link.