Ernie's Record Mart Various Artists (Excello)


Rhythm & Blues
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:

Continuing with its in-depth re-examination of the long-neglected Nashville R&B scene, Ace Records presents ERNIE'S RECORD MART-.-a 24-track compilation paying tribute to the famous mail order enterprise of that name and original home of Excello Records. As the sponsor of Ernie's Record Parade, a blues programme broadcast over the powerhouse Nashville station WLAC, Ernie's Record Mart rocked at the centre of an R&B broadcast firestorm begun in the late 1940s in a town better known for country music. Host of Ernie's Record Parade was the illustrious disc jockey John Richbourg (John R). Along with fellow WLAC jocks Gene Nobles, Herman Grizzard, and Bill "Hoss" Allen, Richbourg helped revolutionise American radio by broadcasting gutbucket rhythm & blues at a time when Alan Freed was still spinning longhair music. Transmitted nightly on a 50,000-watt skip channel (meaning the signal literally "skipped" along the atmosphere), WLAC blanketed half the United States and, on a good night, shook the airwaves to points overseas with post-war boogie and blues.

While it would be a considerable overstatement to suggest that WLAC broke every hit that Excello Records enjoyed during the 1950s, it's likely that the better known tunes on this CD-such as the Louis Brooks/Earl Gaines collaboration It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day) - owed some of their success to John R's attention. Among the other memorable Excello hits of the 1950s included herein are Larry Birdsong's Pleadin' for Love, Rudy Green's My Mumblin' Baby, Jerry McCain's My Next Door Neighbour, and Lillian Offitt's Miss You So.

As for the many Excello non-hits and obscurities, Ernie's Record Mart had those covered, too. For with John R making the irresistible C.O.D. pitch, the store would offer six-for-a-dollar record packs (the price went up over time) that would generally include five solid hits from other labels and one item of Excello ephemera. The latter might consist of records such as Guitar Red's The Hot Potato-.-Sugar and Sweet's I'll Be Good-.-or Ralph Harris's Slim Lizzard-.-all of which appear on this CD, along with little known gems such as Eddie Williams's It's Love Pretty Baby and a trio of rare, early tracks by soul singer Lattimore Brown. As Excello turned the records out, the mail orders poured in - everyone shopping at Ernie's Record Mart, way down in the middle of Dixie, from every Southern hamlet and Northern city that John R's voice could reach.

by Dan Cooper

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    John R Theme - John R

  • 02
    Miss You So - Lillian Offitt

  • 03
    It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day) - Louis Brooks & His Hi-Toppers with Earl Gaines

  • 04
    Pork And Beans - The Solotones

  • 05
    Front Page Blues - The Solotones

  • 06
    Now Listen Baby - Kid King's Combo with Good Rockin' Sam

  • 07
    Love, Love, Love - Ted Jarrett

  • 08
    Pleadin' For Love - Larry Birdsong

  • 09
    My Mumblin' Baby - Rudy Green

  • 10
    Cool Lovin' Mama - Rudy Green

  • 11
    Hear My Plea Baby - Arthur Gunter

  • 12
    The Hot Potato - Guitar Red

  • 13
    I'll Be Good - Sugar And Sweet

  • 14
    My Next Door Neighbor - Jerry McCain & His Upstarts

  • 15
    We're Gonna Shake - Arthur Gunter

  • 16
    It's Love Pretty Baby - Eddie Williams

  • 17
    Slim Lizard - Ralph Harris with Skippy Brooks

  • 18
    Oh How I Tried - Jimmie Birdsong

  • 19
    Out Of Darkness - Chuck Brown (King Karl)

  • 20
    You Must Be Crazy - Al Garner

  • 21
    Have You Ever - Eddie Williams

  • 22
    Got Plenty Troubles - Lattimore Brown

  • 23
    It Hurts Me So - Lattimore Brown

  • 24
    Gonna Stop My Drinkin' - Al Garner

  • 25
    Somebody's Gonna Miss Me - Lattimore Brown

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” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. 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 Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. 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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Any lover of R&B or black rocking pop of the '50s and '60s will love it.

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