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Jukebox Hits

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Album Review

Wynonie Harris thrived on driving jump blues numbers that celebrated the party side of urban life, and his tales of whiskey-soaked nights and relentless hangovers reached its peak during his long stay at King Records. This collection covers his peak years with the label (1946-1954) and a couple of his biggest hits are here, like the cranked-up version of Hank Penny's country classic "Bloodshot Eyes" and the engaging novelty number about trying to outsmart the IRS, "Good Morning Judge," as well as the jazzy pre-proto-funk of "Night Train" and "Greyhound." Harris' earlier sides for Hamp-Tone, Bullet, and Aladdin may have a bit more edge to them, but there's nothing wrong with the King material at all. It's Wynonie being Wynonie. That's what you want.


Born: 24 August 1915 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

No blues shouter embodied the rollicking good times that he sang of quite like raucous shouter Wynonie Harris. "Mr. Blues," as he was not-so-humbly known, joyously related risque tales of sex, booze, and endless parties in his trademark raspy voice over some of the jumpingest horn-powered combos of the postwar era. Those wanton ways eventually caught up with Harris, but not before he scored a raft of R&B smashes from 1946 to 1952. He was already a seasoned dancer, drummer, and singer when he left...
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