Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jimmy Reed For Gypsy Rose Wine

I love Jimmy Reed. As a singer, guitarist, and songwriter he was the greatest, and the drunkest. I assume you're all familiar with Jimmy Reed's Vee Jay LP's- I'm Jimmy Reed, Rockin' With Reed, Best Of Jimmy Reed, Found Love, t'ain't no big thing but HE is...Jimmy Reed, and Just Jimmy Reed. All his Vee Jay sides are great, but the earliest, maroon label singles and LP's are greatness personified. He made it sound so simple. That said, I love this spot Jimmy did for Gypsy Rose Wine in the early 70's. I heard it as a kid on WLAC, a Nashville station that I could pick up in Florida on rainy nights, it took decades to track it down (if I could only find the Bo Diddley hair straighter spot!), and now here it is again, my present to you readers. Jimmy needed a little help getting through the thing, so his son Jimmy Reed Jr. aka Boonie is actually reading the ad copy. Jimmy must have gotten into the product before the recording started. The Gypsy Rose Wine (a fortified wine like MD 20/20, Night Train and Thunderbird) folks really understood their market. Somewhere in my archives I have a print ad that Carl Perkins did for a toupee company. I'll try and dig that out one of these days. Come to think of it, Jimmy Reed also wore a toupee ...maybe that was the secret their success? The Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame should build a wing for drunk guys in toupees...

16 comments:

Buster said...

Seriously, what could be better than this?

Love your blog.

Ted Barron said...

Whoa!

J.D. King said...

No one ever made an out-of-tune guitar sound SO good.

The Hound said...

"No one ever made an out-of-tune guitar sound SO good."

If you notice, Chuck Berry was always out of tune also, which brings up the question-- who's to say what In Tune is?

Chris said...

one of the best days of my life was when I was 13
and found about a dozen Jimmy Reed records in a trash can!!

another great post.. thanks!

Bob Pomeroy said...

Gypsy Rose Wine, to be drunk while wearing King Kong hair dressing...

I also love JR. The other day I p/u'd an old maroon label Vee-Jay copy of the instro "Ends and Odds," a VG copy at best, but I've still played it many times since buying, coz damn if all that bottom don't melt away the hiss and scratches.

The Hound said...

the instro "Ends and Odds,"

Bob--There's also Odds & Ends where Jimmy jams w/the fiddle player from the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. It's the flipside of I'm Gonna Gete My Baby (Vee Jay 298).

J.D. King said...

"...If you notice, Chuck Berry was always out of tune also, which brings up the question-- who's to say what In Tune is?"

Before I bought a tuner, I was out of tune, too. There is something to be said for that out-of-tune thing. It kinda stretches the tone.

After 43 years, I still can't tune a guitar. Or play one, for that matter.

:)

But like you say, who's to say?

The Hound said...

"There is something to be said for that out-of-tune thing. It kinda stretches the tone".

There's a telling moment in Taylor Hackford's Hail Hail Rock & Roll where Keith Richards tries to tune Chuck Berry's guitar and he takes great offense, if you notice it's the b-string (which is always out of tune on his records), Chuck obviously wants it tuned to whatever he hears in his head. Speaking of out of tune have you heard the track Life Is Hard on the new Dylan record?
He's singing so far off key it's funny. Pitch correction software should be outlawed.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Hound, what did you think about that Jimmy Reed bio that came out some years back?

I thought it was pretty good, myself. I particularly liked the fact that the Ramones opened for Jimmy Reed's last gig ever. Even though the Ramones have boasted, in print, that their music was totally free of any blues influences (they're right), I still like the idea of two different worlds colliding like that.

The Hound said...

"Hey, Hound, what did you think about that Jimmy Reed bio that came out some years back?"

I bought it and read it but honestly all I can remember about it was that his son's nickname was Boonie. I kept the thing so I guess I liked it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the wonderful fortified wine posts, the Eddie Kirkland, the Charlie Christian, the Slim Harpo, and on and on...

Long live self-determination in matters of intonation!

And everybody knows old out of tune pianos make the best music.

Check out Pete Brown's alto playing on the Coleman Hawkins at Newport record. It's like a visit from a differently tempered planet!


thanks again
brian

The Hound said...

"The Jam pt 1" got played in almost every city, it peaked at #39 on Billboard's Pop charts in April of '62 (#16 R&B) and probably went higher on Cash Box's chart since CB was a bit kinder to indie labels.
For more info on Buchanan's career Phil Carson's Roy Buchanan:American Axe (Back Beat Books, 2001) is worth reading. It was probably the success of "The Jam" that brought Leiber & Stoller's attention (Daisy was a subsidiary of their Red Bird label).

The Hound said...

the above was meant to go under the Roy Buchanan comments...

John Lightning said...

Now it's items like this that get you a special tip of the Hatlo hat. I recall Gypsy Rose (or GR as we called it), your basic 69 cent, 24th pressing of long dead grapes rotgut that got me wasted and ill more than a few times growing up and throwing up in the early 70's. Truly foul tasting stuff (hardly accurately described in the spot), but hey it did the job.

Thanks gain. I'll try to stay in touch as my basement is full of reel to reel tapes with airchecks of your FMU show. I was an avid listener back in the day and almost always rolled tape or had someone do it for me. When I move out of my Brooklyn hovel, I hope to sort it all lot.

Met you some years ago at some party and barely got to thank you for all the music you exposed me to, so allow me to do so now.

John Lightning Radio NewYork International & WBCQ

Johnlightning.com

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I did a little tribute to Jimmy Reed. Proably this is a good place to inform people about it. IT is an animated short film of 74 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6t1PXuz7Nc

Greetings from Franco, Deutschland

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