Stupendously rare or unissued New Orleans R&B and blues in incomparable sound quality.
Despite being based in Linden, New Jersey, DeLuxe recorded all across the USA in the company’s formative period in an attempt to score hits. DeLuxe was the first indie to tap into what was going on in the Crescent City in the years immediately following WWII. The label’s biggest find during that time was Roy Brown, the subject of two CDs in our “King & DeLuxe Acetates” series. In “Beef Ball Baby!” you can hear the surviving acetates of some of the other highly talented people DeLuxe recorded in New Orleans in the acetate era.
Long before Fats Domino took the city’s music to the masses, “Beef Ball Baby!” shows that the New Orleans R&B revolution was already under way. In this package we bring you Chubby “Hip Shakin’” Newsom and her husband-to-be Eddie Gorman, future hit-maker Jewel King and three all-time legends of New Orleans music: Cousin Joe, Smiling (Smiley) Lewis and Dave Bartholomew. In the case of Lewis and Bartholomew, the tracks mark their studio debuts as named artists. Their historical significance is just as significant as their musical value
For years a rumour circulated that the early DeLuxe acetate masters had perished in a warehouse fire. When Alec Palao and I painstakingly packed the surviving King acetates to be shipped to Ace, around a decade ago, we were delighted to find at least 80% of them were not only intact but, for the most part, in pristine condition. Just how clean most of them are can be judged from the sound of this CD – particularly in the four “Smiling” Lewis tracks, which sparkle with such clarity that listeners could almost have been in the room with him when he cut them at what was his first session. The quality of the shellac on which DeLuxe 78s were pressed being as poor as it was, we guarantee you will never have heard any of these tracks, eight of which are previously unissued, sound as good as they do here.