YouTube: Vintage 1970’s Blues from the Aces

Posted on: Thursday, Oct 8, 2009

I lifted this post straight from the Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter.  The links to the clips are in the bottom of the post.

1976 BBC Blues Filming on YouTube! This set of videos come with a story, as I had the coincidental privilege of being at their filming. I believe that these were done in 1976, but I cannot recall the exact date. The filming took place at Eddie’s Place, also known as The 1815 Club, located at 1815 West Roosevelt on the West Side of Chicago. I was no stranger to this club, as I had gone to see Howlin’ Wolf there many times, as well as other bands such as Mighty Joe Young, Otis Rush, Johnny Littlejohn, and Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang (Howlin’ Wolf’s band who went on after Wolf died). I once saw Freddie King hanging out there with his old friend Eddie Shaw. I called the 1815 Club one night during the week to see who would be playing over the weekend. The woman who answered the phone asked if I was coming down tonight, since they were having a BBC blues filming. So off I went to see what was up, not even knowing what artists would be playing. Since this filming was early in the week on a Tuesday or Wednesday (if I recall correctly), there were very few people at the club. Mainly the artists performing, the bar staff, the film crew, a few band friends and club patrons were there. This show was not advertised anywhere, and seemed to be on the QT. When I walked in, The Aces were playing, and later in the set, various artists would join them one at a time: Billy Boy Arnold, Good Rockin’ Charles, and Joe Carter. Note that The Aces (best known as Little Walter’s band in the early stages of his solo career for Chess) were one of the most respected blues groups in Chicago, and were often featured as a prime backing band for numerous sessions and musical occasions. The Aces featured Louis Myers on guitar (sometimes harmonica) and vocals, Louis’s brother Dave Myers on the bass, and Fred Below on the drums. After The Aces performed an easy rockin’ version of the Robert Lockwood, Jr. classic “Take A Little Walk With Me“, each of the guest artists called up would do just a song or two with The Aces as their backing band. At that time, film was very expensive, so there were no retakes and very little time between songs. After The Aces and guests completed their part of the program, Fenton Robinson and his band took the stage and did a few numbers. The night seemed to be over after around an hour of filming. I seem to recall that Andrew “Big Voice” Odom was there, but did not perform. I understand that these films were later edited and aired on Alexis Korner’s BBC television special called The Devil’s Music, shown only in the UK. Years later the audio from this night came out on a Red Lightning LP called by the same name as the TV show. That album lists a late January filming date, which I think might not be exactly correct. Anyway, I hope this little background story will add to your enjoyment of these wonderful clips. –Bob Corritore
The Aces/”Take A Little Walk With Me”, click here
Good Rockin’ Charles/”Don’t Start Me To Talkin’”, click here
Fenton Robinson/”Somebody Loan Me A Dime”, click here
Fenton Robinson/”Don’t Know What Love Is”, click here
Billy Boy Arnold/”She Fooled Me”, click here

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