Cracking The Cosimo Code: 60s New Orleans R&B And Soul Various Artists (Studios)


Louisiana/New Orleans
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP 1402

What is the Cosimo Code? Quite simply, it’s an ongoing, website-based discographical tool at documenting the 1960s recordings from Cosimo Matassa’s studios in New Orleans. This CD release has been compiled by website co-founders Red “Soul Detective” Kelly, John “Sir Shambling” Ridley and yours truly. It brings to life the Cosimo Code data, which is unveiling many of the mysteries surrounding New Orleans R&B and soul recordings from the post-Fats Domino era.

As the 60s started, Domino and his producer Dave Bartholomew, with their timeless brand of R&B, still dominated the New Orleans recording scene. Soon there would be a changing of the guard, led by producers Allen Toussaint, Harold Battiste, Wardell Quezergue and Eddie Bo. Under these younger men, the music would take on a funkier soul edge while still imbued with the eternalNew Orleans streetrhythms. The outstanding session men, who replaced the 1950s studio band, include Nat Perilliat (tenor sax), George Davis (guitar) and Smokey Johnson (drums). 

Among the jewels to be found here are the pivotal New Orleans national hits ‘Ooh Poo Pah Doo’ by Jessie Hill, ‘Get Out Of My Life, Woman’ by Lee Dorsey, ‘Barefootin’’ by Robert Parker and ‘Tell It Like It Is’ by Aaron Neville. Then the big regional breakouts include Earl King’s ‘Trick Bag’, Oliver Morgan’s ‘Who Shot The LaLa’ and Willie Tee’s ‘Teasin’ You’. The set is rounded off by relatively unfamiliar local records which all bear that unique New Orleans stamp, including ‘Lover & A Friend’ by Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham which is a big funk anthem, Blazer Boy’s thunderous hand-clapper ‘New Orleans Twist’, the Party Boys’ hilarious ‘We Got A Party’ in true Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns goodtime style, and Dave Bartholomew’s red-hot remake of his old favourite ‘The Monkey’. There are 18 tracks new to Ace CDs.

The 1960s New Orleans R&B story took a major twist when Cosimo Matassa formed Dover Records as a one-stop recording-to-manufacturing-to-distribution-to-marketing organisation to give the local music community an outlet to regional and national markets. For a while Dover was a huge success, and was directly responsible for two significant national hits: ‘Barefootin’’ and ‘Tell It Like It Is’. However, when the distributors didn’t pay up, Dover was faced with massive record-pressing costs and collapsed in a heap in 1968, taking the studio and, essentially, New Orleans R&B with it.

Oddly enough, comprehensive New Orleans R&B and soul reissues from the 1960s are thin on the ground, mainly because of ownership and rights problems surrounding the many small record labels that proliferated under the Dover Records umbrella. By overcoming these licensing problems, we have arrived at this rather special release.

Ultimately, this compilation and the website itself are fine tributes to Cosimo Matassa, the man in the control room of the only local recording studio that mattered during the golden age of New Orleans R&B and soul.

By John Broven


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Ooh Poo Pah Doo - Jessie Hill

  • 02 Preview I Got To Know - Eddie Bo

  • 03 Preview Trick Bag - Earl King

  • 04 Preview New Orleans Twist - Blazer Boy

  • 05 Preview Something You Got - Chris Kenner

  • 06 Preview We Got A Party (Part II) - The Party Boys

  • 07 Preview The Joke - Reggie Hall

  • 08 Preview Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye - Danny White

  • 09 Preview Second Fiddle Girl - Barbara Lynn

  • 10 Preview You Told Me - Willie West

  • 11 Preview I'm Gonna Get You Yet - The Tick Tocks

  • 12 Preview This Is The City - Berna-Dean

  • 13 Preview Who Shot The LaLa - Oliver Morgan

  • 14 Preview The Monkey Speaks His Mind - Dave Bartholomew & His Orchestra

  • 15 Preview Did She Mention My Name - Ronnie Barron

  • 16 Preview Get Out Of My Life, Woman - Lee Dorsey

  • 17 Preview 99 Plus 1 - June Gardner

  • 18 Preview Teasin' You - Willie Tee

  • 19 Preview Barefootin' - Robert Parker

  • 20 Preview Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville

  • 21 Preview Poor Sam - Earl King

  • 22 Preview Release Me - Johnny Adams

  • 23 Preview Lover & A Friend - Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham

  • 24 Preview Play A Cornbread Song For Me And My Baby - Joe Haywood

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

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.

Press quotes



Record Collector

A memorial to the discreet architect of much of what we now know as the New Orleans sound - and perhaps even rock'n'roll itself. 9/10




Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought