Shot in the Dark-Nashville Jumps
In 1945, the town we now know as Music City U.S.A. had no pro-quality studios, no career session men, no record companies and only one or two music publishers. But then the independent-label scene blew up, buoyed by the local radio stations WLAC and WSOK (whose R&B programming was heard all across eastern North America) and by the vibrant local music scene. This 8-CD set chronicles the rock ’n’ roll, blues and R&B that came out from 1945–55 on Bullet, Tennessee, Republic, Excello, Nashboro, Dot, Hickory and a handful of other labels. A big, beautiful 284-page hardcover book traces the growth of the Nashville music business over that decade, complete with song-by-song notes and hundreds of rare period photos. On the CDs, you’ll hear classics by Cecil Gant (I Wonder; Nashville Jumps; Boozie Boogie; Sloppy Joe’s), Wynonie Harris (Lightnin’ Struck the Poorhouse; Dig This Boogie; Drinkin’ by Myself), St. Louis Jimmy (Goin’ Down Slow), Red Miller (the #1 R&B hit Bewildered), Guitar Slim (Certainly All; Feelin’ Sad) and the Big Three Trio with Willie Dixon (Get Up Those Stairs; Signifying Monkey). Also here are the first two ultra-rare singles—recorded for Bullet in 1949—by B.B. King (his tracks include I Got the Blues; Take a Swing with Me; Miss Martha King, and When Your Baby Packs Up and Goes), plus songs later recorded by Elvis Presley (Too Much Bernard Hardison; Baby Let’s Play House Arthur Gunter) and key cuts by local legends Christine Kittrell, Don Q. Pullen and Louis Brooks. A comprehensive, thoroughly compelling account of Nashville’s early days! Bear Family.