Blues Belles With Attitude!! Various Artists (Kent/ Modern)


Rhythm & Blues
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1234

As the 1940s turned into the 50s girls were supposed to sing about June and moon or the price of doggies in windows, but across town in the black juke joints a more raunchy sound could be heard. Here the girls taunted and challenged with R&B songs that spelled out far more basic emotions. The excitement generated caused many an indie record company to commit such performances to wax, knowing that jukebox sales would follow. The snag was no airplay. In America censorship was in full flow both in film and on the airwaves. This meant it was almost impossible to get major sales, which in turn means that these records are tough to find some 50+ years later.

But here’s where we get lucky. The brothers Bihari, owners of Modern Records, not only recorded much of this genre, but they kept the acetates or tapes. As a result, Ace Records, who now own this material, have been able to put before you 28 tracks of early in-your-face female R&B, 18 of which are previously unissued and a further eight that have not seen prior CD release.

The inspiration for this compilation was Cordella Di Milo sides, whose recordings we have released previously on a Johnny Guitar Watson CD as result of his stunning guitar backing. It dawned on us that this virtually unknown singer deserved to be featured on a collection of similarly aggressive female performances. This led to a trawl of the tracks held in the Modern files, which had not been previously issued or had not seen the light of day for over half a century. After filtering out the pop and smoother nightclub-style vocals, along with material used in the “Mellow Cats & Kittens” series, we were left with a fine collection of R&B, including some by artists of whom we know nothing, not even their names.

After much research and speculation it was decided that the mystery tracks were worthy of issue even if the artists had to remain anonymous. They take their place for your enjoyment alongside stars like Little Esther and Helen Humes and lesser-knowns such as Edna Broughton and Pearl Traylor. Included are two of the best sides ever cut by Effie Smith, Jimmie Lee Cheatum’s only solo vocal and a host of other female talent, included in a mix of storming R&B and tough blues.

Whether it’s Cordella De Milo telling you she ‘Ain’t Gonna Hush’, Effie Smith pronouncing ‘It’s Great To Be Rich’ or Pearl Traylor laying down ‘Daddy, Somebody’s Got To Go’, these Blues Belles have got attitude.

By Ian Saddler


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Ain't Gonna Hush - Cordella De Milo with The Maxwell Davis Orchestra

  • 02 Preview Blue And Lonesome - Jimmie Lee with Jay Franks & His Rockets Of Rhythm

  • 03 Preview Mr T 99 - Del Graham with Johnny Ingram and His Rhythm Czars

  • 04 Preview Two Years Of Torture - Edna Broughton

  • 05 Preview Lonely Girl - Cordella De Milo with The Maxwell Davis Orchestra

  • 06 Preview Be Bop Boogie - Effie Smith

  • 07 Preview Hey, Hey, Baby - Helen Humes

  • 08 Preview Hambone Blues - Edna Broughton

  • 09 Preview Nightmare Blues - Mari Jones & Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers

  • 10 Preview Gee I'm Lonesome - Pearl Traylor with Howard McGhee & His Orchestra

  • 11 Preview I Gotta Guy - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra, vocal by Esther Jones

  • 12 Preview Hey Little Boy - Unknown

  • 13 Preview Great To Be Rich - Effie Smith

  • 14 Preview Georgia Brown Blues aka Hip Shakin' Mama - Edna Broughton

  • 15 Preview Daddy, Somebody's Got To Go - Pearl Traylor

  • 16 Preview I Ain't In The Mood - Helen Humes

  • 17 Preview I'm Tellin' You Baby - The Nic Nacs, lead vocal Mickey Champion

  • 18 Preview That's Fat Jack - Jimmie Lee & Artis

  • 19 Preview 24 Hours A Day - Unknown

  • 20 Preview Down In Texas - Mari Jones & Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers

  • 21 Preview Found Me A Sugar Daddy - The Nic Nacs, lead vocal Mickey Champion

  • 22 Preview Too Many Women - Edna Broughton

  • 23 Preview Play Boy Blues - Pearl Traylor with Howard McGhee & His Orchestra

  • 24 Preview Mean Ole Gal - The Johnny Otis Orchestra, vocal by Esther Jones

  • 25 Preview Good For Nothin' Man - Mickey Champion

  • 26 Preview Be My Lovey Dovey - Unknown

  • 27 Preview The Pick-Up - Unknown

  • 28 Preview Vivianne's Boogie - Vivianne Green

Delivery & Returns


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We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

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