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Friday, 13 November 2015

Blue Lu Barker born 13 November 1913

Louise "Blue Lu" Barker (née Dupont) (November 13, 1913 – May 7, 1998) was an American jazz and blues singer. Her better known recordings included "Don't You Feel My Leg" and "Look What Baby's Got For You."
Barker was born Louisa Dupont Barker and her father ran a grocery store and pool hall, cashing in big time during prohibition with a stock of bootleg liquor. At 13, she left school and married Barker. In 1930 the couple moved to New York, hooking up a variety of performing situations including the contact with Morton.
At the 1938 Vocalion session during which she cut her first vocals, the producer checked her out and came up with the Blue Lu Barker stage name. The couple were contracted to Decca in the '30s and the Apollo label the following decade, joining a roster at the latter label that included rhythm & blues and jazz greats such as Wynonie Harris, Dinah Washington, and Luis Russell. One of the couple's Apollo sessions even featured a jam with the mighty Charlie Parker.
Blue Lu Barker was born, raised, and buried in New Orleans; her funeral even turned into a popular video broadcast spotlighting the town's jazz funeral traditions. Like many early Louisiana performing artists, claims to her paralyzing influence over the entire country's jazz and blues scenes tend to be made with great regularity. Thus the tale of Blue Lu Barker is one in which jazz critics on one side of the fence comment on her limited vocal range, while others come up with quotes such as this one, attributed to legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday: "Blue Lu Barker was my biggest influence."
 In both the '30s and '40s she was one of the more popular blues performers, often appearing alongside artists such as Cab Calloway and Jelly Roll Morton. Sometimes it was her husband, musician Danny Barker, who opened the doors to musical groups such as Sidney Bechet's, but no bandleader ever tossed her offstage when she clambered up for a vocal, especially once she started cutting hit records.
Barker's most famous recordings were done in 1938. "Don't You Feel My Leg" was a well-crafted song that seemed to encourage promiscuity and restraint simultaneously, always a good thing for the music business. The song got a second round of popularity in the '80s courtesy of Maria Muldaur.

The recording of "A Little Bird Told Me" by Barker was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 15308. It first reached the Billboard chart on December 18, 1948 and lasted 14 weeks on the chart, peaking at #4.
The early Barker material features her husband on banjo and guitar and the couple would continue performing together until his death. Her career continued after that, all the way up to a last recording taped live in 1998 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Barker was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 1997, one year before she died in New Orleans at the age of 84.

Although a peripheral figure in the history of American Rhythm & Blues history, Blu Lu (and by his contribution, Danny Barker) contributed so much to the entire scene that they deserve their place with all the other pioneers in the music of their time.
 (Info edited from Wikipedia & mainly AMG)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Blue Lu Barker – Remastered Collection” go here;

1.You're Going To Leave The Old Home Jim - Remastered 2015 (02:34)
2.New Orleans Blues - Remastered 2015 (02:48)
3.He Caught That B & O - Remastered 2015 (02:42)
4.Don't You Make Me High - Remastered 2015 (02:34)
5.I Got Ways Like The Devil - Remastered 2015 (02:55)
6.That Made Him Mad - Remastered 2015 (02:48)
7.Scat Skunk - Remastered 2015 (02:53)
8.Nix On Those Lush Heads - Remastered 2015 (02:43)
9.Georgia Grind - Remastered 2015 (02:58)
10.You Ain't Had No Blues - Remastered 2015 (02:44)
11.Marked Woman - Remastered 2015 (02:49)
12.Midnight Blues - Remastered 2015 (02:51)
13.Down In The Dumps - Remastered 2015 (02:56)
14.Blue Deep Sea Blues - Remastered 2015 (02:51)
15.Never Brag About Your Man - Remastered 2015 (02:55)
16.He's So Good - Remastered 2015 (02:48)
17.I Don't Dig Your Jack - Remastered 2015 (02:55)
18.Handy Andy - Remastered 2015 (03:07)
19.Jitterbug Blues - Remastered 2015 (02:54)
20.You Been Holding Out Too Long - Remastered 2015 (02:55)
21.Lu's Blues - Remastered 2015 (03:00)
22. (Bonus track) A Little Bird Told Me