- Audio CD (14 Nov. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD
- Label: Fantastic Voyage
- ASIN: B005OVETLQ
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,705 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
My Baby Left Me - The Definitive Collection CD
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You d think the man that contributed two songs to Elvis Presley s early repertoire would become a rich citizen. But it didn t happen to Arthur Big Boy Crudup. Royalties for That s All Right , My Baby Left Me and So Glad You re Mine were never paid during his lifetime. But he d had success during the decade before Presley s arrival, with six top ten hits between 1945 and 1951. Both sides of a single, Rock Me Mama and Who s Been Foolin You , reached #3 and # 5 respectively in May 1945, followed by another #3, Keep Your Arms Around Me , the following December. In October 1946, So Glad You re Mine also reached #3, while its B-side, Ethel Mae got to #4 the following month. His final hit, I m Gonna Dig Myself A Hole , reached #9 in November 1951. Born in 1905 in Forest, Mississippi, Crudup didn t pick up a guitar until he was in his thirties. He moved to Chicago in 1941 and came to the notice of session fixer Lester Melrose. His first session contained two stark masterpieces, Death Valley Blues and If I Get Lucky . A second session in April 1942 included Mean Old Frisco Blues , which joined the ranks of blues classics. He had a high-pitched voice for a large man and his guitar playing was functional rather than accomplished. Nevertheless, his forceful, declamatory vocals grabbed the listener s attention in a way that more sophisticated artists failed to do. He also had excellent musicians backing him, with bassist Ransom Knowling and drummer Judge Lawrence Riley forming a productive partnership. In the early 1950s, Crudup made singles for Champion, Checker and Trumpet before retiring from recording to support a large family. He re-emerged in 1962 to make an album for Bobby Robinson s Fire label. Toward the end of the decade he made two albums for Delmark and set off on tours of Europe and the antipodes. Efforts were made to locate his royalties; he was promised $60,000 but never received it. Crudup died in 1974 but the following years his manager managed to get a $248,000 cheque for his family. Since then, more than three million dollars have been paid. Crudup never got lucky but his family did.
Top Customer Reviews
He had an individual style in the late 1930's and 40's that went into the magical blend of what would become Rock n Roll in mid to late 1950's America, and which then surged worldwide almost at the same time.
With a distinctive playing style, Arthur Crudup took blues and made the rythm faster and more exciting, it is interesting to note that as early as 1942, this adjunct of blues music he was forming and playing was to my mind the embryonic seed of what the end result would come through in the music of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and many others. What we might define now as Rock n Roll.
This double CD really gives you the complete best of Arthur Crudup. For a musician who was not a full time player when the majority of these recordings were made, it is amazing that he recorded so many songs and wrote so prolifically.
To call him the founding father of Rock and Roll is not something that should be said lightly of this man, you can hear him in Elvis, Bill Haley, Buddy and many more. His 'My baby left me' recorded in the late 40's is perhaps ten years early of that day when Elvis went to Sun records in 1954 and recorded 'that's alright mama,' an Arthur Crudup song, for his mother.
That day changed musical history and Arthur Crudup was the catalyst that made that happen.
Sadly, Arthur Crudup never saw the royalties he should have enjoyed, he lived a hard life without a great financial reward, often doing menial jobs to make ends meet. Like Johnny Cash, he served his apprenticeship, got his hands dirty, earned a working man's wage and made music. Johnny Cash later found the famer and fortune, but the road to that point was a hard one.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
She's Nothin' In The World But Trouble
Goin' Back To Georgia
Shout, Sister, Shout
Oo-Wee, Baby, Love Me With A Thrill
The first three of these are included on this 2 CD set, but alas the last one is missing. However, the nostalgia and joy hearing the other three stirred in me is staggering.
As is hearing the other selections, most of which I've heard in the years since 1960 on various CD compilations.
Too much Crudup at once might create blues surfeit, because he plays basically two or three tunes, though there are significant variations. He does play almost everything in the same key, the capo on the 4th or 5th fret (though it's on the 3rd fret in the cover photo), key of E chords. His vocals are outstanding: he doesn't sound like any other blues singer I've ever heard and I've heard a lot of them.
I would say he was a good singer for Elvis and other rockabillies to imitate, though he was strictly a bluesman.
His accompanists know how to make him sound good, especially Jump Jackson on SO GLAD YOU'RE MINE and the guys who back him on the session that produced the four songs I heard on that EP long ago.
The sound is excellent and the price is a bargain. Buy this set and listen to it in short stretches to get the full impact.
For a man who never even picked up a guitar until sometime in the 1930s, his obviously natural talent nevertheless landed him a contract with the large Bluebird/RCA Victor consortium, and in May 1945 he scored his first charter - actually a two-sided hit as Rock Me Mamma reached # 3 on what then passed as the R&B charts (Most-Played Juke Box Race Records), while the flipside, Who's Been Foolin' You, made it to # 5 on Bluebird 34-0725. And before the year was out he had Keep Your Arms Around Me climbing the charts, eventually getting to # 3 early in 1946 b/w Cool Disposition on Bluebird 34-0738.
In October 1946 he hit again with a two-sided hit when So Glad You're Mine topped out at # 3 with Ethel Mae right behind at # 4 on RCA Victor 20-1949. He wouldn't have another charter until November 1951 when I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole ot o the # 9 slot b/w Too Much Competition on RCA Victor 50-0141. All of these are in this great set compiled by Neil Slaven, with excellent sound reproduction and informative liner notes, along with many more of his Bluebird/RCA Victor sides (the release pattern and numbering was very confusing), and some later cuts with the Champion, Checker, Trumpet and Groove labels. What you can be certain of is that these are the original sides, something not always evident in some Crudup compilations since he did re-record a lot of his material after being "re-discovered" in the 1960s.
His influence on a young Elvis Presley became evident when The King would record That's All Right at Sun and My Baby Left Me and So Glad You're Mine at RCA Victor. Unfortunately for Crudup, with the way the industry functioned back then he would never see a thin dime in royalties, although some time after his death following a stroke on March 28, 1974, his rather large family did receive a $248,000 payment. And with a proper recognition of his composing finally established, since then his heirs have been awarded millions.
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1994, but if you're wondering why his name has yet to appear in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, not even in the Early Influence category, you'd have to ask the authorities in Cleveland who seem to have their own unique and weird way of honouring the original movers and shakers.