WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D

Friday, February 3, 2012

JOE TEX - Rock and Roll Cowboy: The Ace Years

After Joe moved on from King records he released a half a dozen singles on the New Orleans label ACE. All of them are comped on this early 70s (Post-"I Gotcha") Pride budget label comp "History of Joe Tex".

caveat emptor - rechanneled stereo!!

The Ace recordings continue to see a Tex in development - heavily under the thrall of Little Richard and not penning a whole lot of his own tunes. Nickname king Joe was this time billed as "The Rock 'n' Roll Cowboy" and the persona didn't always suit him. But, like the King recordings, there are hints here of things to come, and some pretty great music in its own right.

On his first single for Ace - the Chuck Willis penned "Cut It Out" - we hear what as far as I can tell is the first appearance of one of his most crucial performance techniques - the mid-song laugh.

On the self-penned Mother's Advice, the B-side of the hot "You Little Baby Face Thing", Joe seeks counsel from his mom, launching a long series of songs about moms, grandmas, dads and granddads and really sticking in the autobiographical details (the bit at the end about his dad dying early shows up in later songs). The song's narrative style of balladry is of course, with a few tweaks, what eventually made him a star.

sorry for the crappy photo above and for no photo for Mother's Advice
I tragically don't actually own these records!

But what's probably the hottest performance Joe released on ACE didn't even come out under his own name! The smokin' hot and DJ-scaringly short "Open the Door" was released by Little Booker as the flip of the instrumental "Teenage Rock". Little Booker was in reality NOLA piano and organ MEGAGENIUS James Booker, but the vocal on the flip was actually sung by an uncredited Tex.


phipps11 said...

Joe Tex is a great choice for the month. He never fails to entertain. Bravo! -- Jon

Holly said...

The great & in-print Ace [UK] cd "Get Way Back: The 1950s Recordings" compiles all of Joe's King & Ace (US) singles from the original masters, super highly recommended.

However, does not include the Little Booker 7in.