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Billy Red Love

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There is not a whole lot of tangible information to convey about pianist Billy "Red" Love, who signed to record for fledgling producer Sam Phillips in 1951. Phillips passed off an early Love performance, "Juiced," to Chess as the latest effort by Jackie Brenston (then red-hot as a result of "Rocket 88").

Love's own debut record, "Drop Top," came out on Chess and reportedly did fairly well regionally, but after a 1952 Chess encore, "My Teddy Bear Baby," Chess dropped him. He stuck around Sun through 1954, working sessions behind Rufus Thomas and Willie Nix and recording a wealth of unissued sides of his own.

Love left plenty of jumping blues behind in the Sun vaults — enough to fill half an LP on Charly that he shared with Little Junior Parker. Love's rocking "Gee I Wish," one of those long-delayed masters, has been revived by guitarist Duke Robillard. Love left Memphis in 1955 for parts unknown.

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