Have you heard the news? Good Rockin’ Brown is back in town! After a highly acclaimed start a few years ago, Ace’s King Acetates series has been conspicuous by its absence of late. Happily for lovers of vintage R&B and hillbilly, its comeback is well and truly underway in 2015, with several packages in the pipeline, including a radically reworked and expanded version of the Wynonie Harris set that was scheduled for release a couple of years ago. Meanwhile, the series is re-launched with a no less exciting project – a second volume of great R&B drawn from the surviving acetates by Wynonie’s contemporary, Roy Brown.
“Good Rockin’ Brown”, our previous collection of Roy’s DeLuxe acetates, covered the first six months of his recording career, leading up to the start of the AFM recording ban of 1948. “Pay Day Jump” focuses predominantly on the first few sessions Roy cut in late 1949 and early 1950, after DeLuxe was bought by Syd Nathan at King Records. Roy Brown classics from this period include ‘Boogie At Midnight’, ‘Hard Luck Blues’ and ‘Love Don’t Love Nobody’. You can hear them all here in their best-ever sound, along with 21 other killers, eight of which have not been issued before, including some songs Roy never returned to later in his career
Most of these sides were cut in King’s Cincinnati studio under Syd Nathan’s personal supervision. King’s superior production values were often counteracted by the somewhat questionable pressing quality of many of their 78s, which makes hearing them in this kind of sonic superiority even more of a bonus. You might well feel like you are on the studio floor with Roy and the Mighty, Mighty Men at times, so vibrant is the sound.
Roy Brown was, without dispute, New Orleans’ first R&B superstar and, although his time at the very top was shamefully brief, his influence on what came in his wake can never be disputed as long as there are collections like “Pay Day Jump” around.