Jesse Stone - Crazy, Crazy Party

The Koko Mojo Songwriter Series album Crazy, Crazy Party (KM-CD-174) explores Jesse Stone’s contribution to the world of Rhythm & Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll music from his writing skills. The album furthermore includes some of his performances using his birth name and his alter ego Charles/Chuck Calhoun, which was also a name he used for writing. The album showcases thirty rhythmic rockers encapsulating the years 1948 through 1962, and numerous songs featured fall into the “must-have” classification. In 1974, the head of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, said, ''Jesse Stone did more to develop the basic rock and roll sound than anybody else.'' This accolade is a strong statement that Stone’s work for the Atlantic Record Company helped shape Rhythm & Blues music and made the cross-over into the emerging Rock ‘n’ Roll music. Several songs on this album often had his physical presence upon them, and the sleeve notes provide were available the session information and indicate his personal involvement. Jesse Albert Stone was born in Atchison, Kansas on 16 November 1901, he was the grandson of Tennessee slaves. From this background, a man whose identity is on over 1,000 writing and arranging credits had a fantastic impact on music history, and music fans should be indebted to him. Stone made his first recording in 1927, and initially performed in jazz clubs around Kansas City. Stone eventually moved to New York, and from the late 1940s into the early 1950s he recorded and wrote swinging jazz-based jive songs which were moving towards Rhythm & Blues in structure. One prime example of Jesse Stone’s developing style is Get It While You Can which comes from his 1948 RCA Victor session. The second song on the album The Jumpin' Jack features Lucky Millinder with vocals from John Greer and was recorded in 1951, and musically it is an up-tempo jazz-infused big band sound. After these recordings, you will hear the change from the big band to the new Rhythm & Blues sound within the album. Stone also performed as Charlie or Charles Calhoun; in 1955 for MGM as Charlie, he recorded the stroll tempo Smack Dab In The Middle, as Charles with The Four Students (who became The Cues) in 1956 for Groove he upped the pace, for the jive tempo Jamboree. Using his birth name in 1958 he recorded a double-sided 45 RPM for the Polar label, and one side Tall And Short is included. The legend from Kansas City Big Joe Turner graces the album; with His Blues Kings for Shake, Rattle And Roll, and with His All Stars for Lipstick, Powder And Paint, and solo for Flip, Flop And Fly, although the band members were not an actual group they were studio musicians. Some of the numerous big names in the music world who recorded Stone’s compositions include; The Clovers with the strolling tempo Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash, The Drifters featuring Clyde McPhatter serve up a must-have stroller entitled Bip Bam, and a different line-up of Drifters vocalists, they sing the up-tempo I Gotta Get Myself A Woman. In later formation, the group members record as The Flyers the energetic hot jiver On Bended Knee. More dance-floor-filling songs are sourced from; The Du Droppers with the R&B romper Dead Broke, The Cues’ sing their dance-floor hit Why, and Jimmy Witherspoon’s superlative All Right Miss Moore should be in everyone’s collection. The album from these songs alone could be sub-titled “Instant Dee Jay with one Album.” The Eagle-Aires 1954 version of Money Honey combines barber shop, gospel harmonies and doo-wop, the arrangement is different to that of for example Caucasians Ella Mae Morse, or Elvis Presley and is a welcome inclusion in the album. Crooner, Gospel artist and occasional rocker Billy Williams sings Lucy Lou which is different from the mainstream R&B rockers Stone wrote, as it is clearly derived from the nursery rhyme Frere Jacques.
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