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Butterbeans & Susie

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Album Review

Butterbeans & Susie's only LP was recorded at three sessions during the spring of 1960, many years after their heyday as African-American vaudeville's definitive husband-and-wife team. This modern stereophonic recording is actually the best way to appreciate and understand their delightful approach to humor, which is particularly well represented by "Construction Gang" and "A Married Man's a Fool." Even while Butter cuts up nicely during his portion of "Until the Real Thing Comes Along," the unwavering love and affection that these two people shared throughout their lives comes across beautifully. This very enjoyable album is perfectly prefaced by more than 60 recordings from the years 1924-1930 that attest to their youthful skill and popularity. On those early OKeh sessions, they were accompanied by pianists Clarence Williams and Eddie Heywood, Sr., as well as cornetists Louis Metcalf, Louis Armstrong, and King Oliver. Interestingly, the pianist on Butterbeans & Susie's "comeback" album was Eddie Heywood, Jr., who, with bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Jimmy Crawford, teamed with trumpeters Sidney DeParis, Joe Thomas, and Dick Vance, trombonists Benny Morton and Dicky Wells, clarinetist Gene Sedric, and saxophonist Earle Warren to provide the elderly vocalists with ample support. It would be their last recorded collaboration, for Susie Edwards passed away on December 3, 1963, and her husband, Jody Edwards, died on October 28, 1967.

Biography

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s

Jodie "Butterbeans" Edwards and Susie Hawthorne were never household names — at least not in many white households — but from the early '20s through the '50s, they were one of the top comedic music acts on the black vaudeville circuit, from New York to Chicago to Detroit. Working as Butterbeans & Susie, they were masters of comic timing and the double-entendre in their interaction. In her stage and recorded persona, Hawthorne was the model for dozens of other dominant but frustrated...
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Butterbeans & Susie, Butterbeans & Susie
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