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Album Review

The younger brother of folk blues musician Brownie McGhee, Stick McGhee specialized in ragged jump blues numbers, most of them dealing with drinking and alcohol-fueled romances (he authored the classic "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," after all) and all delivered with a joyful abandon. McGhee worked with a limited stylistic pallet, it's true, but what he did he did well, and the best of his numbers temper the booze parade with some genuine consequential remorse at the destruction wrought by excess. This set, the second of Classics' survey of his complete recorded work, picks up in the later stages of McGhee's time at Atlantic Records and proceeds through his stints with the Essex, King, Savoy, and Herald record labels. "Whiskey Women and Loaded Dice" and "Jungle Juice" are typical of McGhee's style and approach.


Born: 23 March 1917 in Kingsport, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s

He may have not been as prolific or celebrated as his brother Brownie, but guitarist Stick McGhee cut some great boozy blues and R&B from 1947 to 1960 -- including the immortal "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" (a tune that Jerry Lee Lewis, for one, picked up on early in life and has revived often since). Young Granville McGhee earned his nickname by pushing his polio-stricken older brother Brownie through the streets of Kingsport, TN, on a cart that he propelled with a stick. McGhee was inspired to...
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1951-1959, Sticks McGhee
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