Downward Road

The Staple Singers had a unique sound among gospel groups.  In October 1959 Vee-Jay 881 was their latest release – “Downward Road” b/w “So Soon.”

october59 downwardoct1959


Baby What You Want Me To Do

A November 1959 release that was a hit in early 1960, Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me To Do” b/w “Caress Me Baby” on Vee-Jay 333 was a blues that actually charted in the pop Top 40.  His wife sings with him on it. I have a CD from the late 1980s, when studio chatter and alternate takes were all the rage in the reissue market, and just before “Baby What You Want Me To Do” the recording engineer is asking him the name of the next song.  Reed is so intoxicated he can’t remember the name of his own song.


No Shoes

John Lee Hooker’s “No Shoes” backed with “Solid Sender” was Vee-Jay 349, issued in May 1960, and may be Vee-Jay’s final 78 record.  What’s really crazy is that I have heard this in stereo.  So we can see the overlapping of the 78 era with the modern stereo era.  While it would be fantastic to find an American stereo 78 record from 1958 -1960, they don’t exist.