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Mark Stryker

Ernie Andrews (early years)

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The Tom Lord Discography lists  a lot of Ernie Andrews 78s (or maybe in some cases 45s) on a variety of labels including King, Sparks, London, Trend, Aladdin, Gem -- that appear not to have ever been reissued in any form. Anybody know if that's true? Secondarily, what are good sources on LP or CD for early Andrews sides and any special recommendations?

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Posted (edited)

AFAIK this is true. In fact, when I first came across his name (see hereafter) I figured this was another overlooked former star vocalist who had just faded into collecting obscurity (this was well before I became aware of his much later recordings). I have a handful of early Ernie Andrews 78s on Gem, G&G, Columbia and Excelsior (they were part of a 78s collection - likely the "remainder" of the original collection - that was heavy on 40s vocals and that I bought in one lot about 15 years ago). The vocals remind me of a somewhat rougher Charles Brown. The line-ups of the backing groups often are quite impressive.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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54 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

AFAIK this is true. In fact, when I first came across his name (see hereafter) I figured this was another overlooked former star vocalist who had just faded into collecting obscurity (this was well before I became aware of his much later recordings). I have a handful of early Ernie Andrews 78s on Gem, G&G, Columbia and Excelsior (they were part of a 78s collection - likely the "remainder" of the original collection - that was heavy on 40s vocals and that I bought in one lot about 15 years ago). The vocals remind me of a somewhat rougher Charles Brown. The line-ups of the backing groups often are quite impressive.

Thanks. Like many jazz folks, I only knew him from the live date with Cannonball and perhaps a couple of his later recordings,and I heard him live at the Detroit Jazz Festival maybe a decade ago. But I had never really check him out deeply and was unaware until relatively recently how far back his career actually stretched. Soulful cat. 

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Posted (edited)

Exactly the opposite to how i perceived him first. Initially i figured he was another of those 40s "warblers" who had faded into obscurity in the 50s. Until I heard about his MUCH later albums.

Seems to me that - like in the case of Rusty Bryant - there is a fairly huge gap (at least on records - his GNP album excepted) between his "early" and his "later" career.

(P.S. According to Discogs, his 1957 GNP album WAS reissued on CD - so there you have at least one reissue of material from a RELATIVELY early stage of his career)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Wasn't Ernie Andrews in the audience a lot at Merv Griffin's early 70s CBS talk show? Seems like I remember Merv always (I guess "always", he was never my go-to guy for late-nite) during his monologue taking a break and saying something like "ladies and gentlemen, Ernie Andrews", and the camera would cut to him, he'd smile or something, the audience would applaud, and then on with the show, and I kept thinking who the fuck is this Ernie Andrews guy, is this s joke or something?

If it wasn't MErv, it was somebody else, because I distinctly remember finding out a lot later that Ernie Andrews was a real guy, a real singer, and a real presence, and it was like oh, ok, THAT Ernie Andrews, the guy in Merv's audience all the time.

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I seem to recall one track on a Verve/Polygram/Phillips/? Harry James compilation CD that featured Ernie Andrews from his stint with that band.  Perhaps it was this disc:

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Now this is the perfect artist for our friends at Fresh Sound ...... :P

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Or Uptown.

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I'd be happy for anyone to take up the cause.

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Ernie & Inez, separately or together.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, mikeweil said:

Now this is the perfect artist for our friends at Fresh Sound ...... :P

At least they'd show again (by collating his early stuff) that they go where others can't be bothered. ^_^

26 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Or Uptown.

Is there unissued live material from these early days oout there? Wouldn't that (making up at least part of a CD) be a prerequisite for an Uptown release?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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23 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

This is one I've always loved--introduced to it back in the late 1990s through Rhino's outstanding Central Avenue Sounds box-set:

 

Wilbert BARANCO trio! Says so clearly on the label.

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44 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

 Wouldn't that (making up at least part of a CD) be a prerequisite for an Uptown release?

Not at all, they do archival releases as well as live discoveries. The most recent Dodo Marmarosa things was all 78s. There was the Mingus/LA set as well. Maybe a few others I'm overlooking in the moment.

The time/place of these Andrews 78s lines up perfectly with previous Uptown product, should they be so inclined and have the resources right now to do it right.

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hows he doin, hes 91 now, is he still in LA-  Totally saw him one time, not performing, but at another concert

Edited by chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

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I saw him perform maybe 3 or 4 years ago and he totally rocked the joint!!!  He was 80-somthin' and he sure as hell didn't NEED no damn microphone!  The man can project!

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It was in 2015 that I saw him perform as part of  the San Jose Summer Fest.  Here's what I wrote at the time:

The highlight for me was seeing the performance of Ricky Woodard and special guest Ernie Andrews.  Mr. Woodard is a wonderful tenor sax player, very bluesy, very soulful, unabashedly romantic on ballads.  He performed a few numbers with the trio of local musicians (including pianist Murray Lowe, drummer Wally Schnalle and bassist John Schifflett) ranging from "Day by Bay" to Cedar Walton's "Holy Land" to "My One And Only Love".  That was an excellent set in itself, but once he was joined by Mr. Andrews, things took off to another level.  Mr. Andrews is 87 now, but he has not lost a bit of power and emotion in his singing voice.  The show was in a small room and I swear he could have done the entire set without a microphone.  He may well be one of the last of the great blues shouters.  Even at his age today, he could have gone toe to toe with Joe Turner in his prime and it would have been a close contest.  He sang a couple of standards, "Time After Time" and "Once In A Lifetime", but focused mostly on blues numbers including the riotous "I'd Love Me" and a version of "All Blues" which incorporated snippets of other blues classics  The man was incredible and to borrow the phrase I learned from the Miles Davis autobiography, "clean as a broke dick dog".  If you ever have the opportunity to see him perform live, do not miss it.

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