A reader contributed these images for us to enjoy. It’s an April 1960 issue on Checker 951 titled “Crawdad” backed with “Walkin’ and Talkin'” by the great Bo Diddley. I’m not used to seeing the font used on Bo Diddley’s name on Checker.
From July 1959 here is Little Walter’s “Everything Gonna Be Alright” backed with “Back Track” on Checker 930. Again here is Checker trying to use up their different styles of labels at the end of 78 production.
And now for some late 78 Zydeco. Clifton Chenier’s “Bajou Drive” b/w “My Soul” on Checker 939 from December 1959. “Bajou” is a nice instrumental and “Soul” is a blusey vocal.
“Say Man” b/w “The Clock Strikes Twelve” by Bo Diddley on Checker 931 was a surprise hit when it was released in August 1959. About this song Bo Diddley told Rolling Stone magazine, “Although it sounds like a spur-of-the-moment jam, Diddley maintained it was written down long before it was recorded. ‘A lot of the things I did in the Chess studios, we were just goofin’ around,’ he said. ‘They played it back, and it shocked all of us! Of course, they cut out all the dirty parts.'”
November 1959 saw the release of Bo Diddley’s “Say Man Back Again” b/w “She’s Alright.” This was Checker 936. After the success of “Say Man” Diddley and the Chess Brothers went back for more. But I always thought the vocals were mixed down too low in the mix of this one.
Checker 945, Little Walter’s “Ah’w Baby” backed with “I Had My Fun” was released in February 1960. Billboard described it in their February 22, 1960 issue: “Solid, funky blues is sold with sincerity and feeling.” I didn’t know that records were being described as “funky” as early as 1960.
December 1959, Checker 938, Little Walter, “Me and Piney Brown” b/w “Break It Up.”
From March 1960 – Checker 947, “Trying to Make a Living” by Bobby Saxton b/w “Dynamite” by Earl Hooker. The “A” side is a vocal by Mr. Saxton, with a really tasty guitar solo, and the “B” side is a rhythm and blues instrumental.