Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Drinkin' Blues - Jo Jo Adams, Tom Archia
Jo Jo Adams (often billed as Doctor Jo Jo ) was born in rural Alabama in 1918. His first notices in the field of music was for his efforts in the gospel music field in the late nineteen thirties. One of the gospel groups he was part of was known as the Big Four Gospel Jubilee Singers. By his late twenties Adams had gone over into secular music and began to make performance appearances in clubs on Chicago's south side. He soon adopted a Cab Calloway like persona affecting flashy tuxedo jackets with very long tails that he swung out from him while whirling about the stage delivering a song. He hooked up with the band led by Freddie Williams and soon got a chance to record with Williams own record label called Melody Lane . Adams first recording for Melody Lane was in 1946 with the two part "Jo Jo Blues" on # 11. That was followed by "Please Don't Give It Away" and "Corine" on Melody Lane # 12. Soon Melody Lane Records had morphed into the Hy-Tone label. Both records were re-released on Hy-Tone with the same numbers. The next year saw Jo Jo Adams record with the Floyd Smith combo. "I'm Weak For You" with a vocal by Jo Jo was coupled with a re-recording of Smith's "Floyd's Guitar Blues" on # 29, which he had recorded with Andy Kirk a few years before with great success. Adams next record was "Around The Watch" parts one and two on Hy-Tone # 30, and "I Get The Blues Every Morning" and "Voodit" on # 31. For a time in 1946 and early 1947, Adams was on the West Coast and did some recording for the Aladdin label with the band of Maxwell Davis. "Disgusted" and "Thursday Evening Blues" was released on Aladdin # 142. This record was followed by "Jo Jo's Troubles" and "Upstairs" on # 143, and "When I'm In My Tea" and "Hard Hearted Woman" on # 144. In 1948, back in Chicago, Jo Jo Adams recorded with a combo under the direction of Tom Archia for the Aristocrat label ( forerunner of Chess ). The recordings were "Love Me" and "Drinking Blues" on Aristocrat # 801, followed by "If I Feel Like This Tomorrow" and "Crying By My Window" on # 802, and "Cabbage Head" parts one and two on # 803. In 1949 Adams had a part in the motion picture "Burlesque In Harlem", a musical variety film with an all Black cast in which he did a version of "The Hucklebuck". In 1950 during the summer, Jo Jo joins Memphis Slim's Houserockers and appears with the band and Terry Timmons in club dates in Chicago. At the end of the year Adams plays a big New Year's Eve show with Lester Young and others at the Giles Avenue Armory in that city. In 1952 Adams had a recording session for another Chicago independent label, Chance Records. He recorded with the Melvin Moore band and cut six songs of which two were released - "Didn't I Tell You" and "I've Got A Crazy Baby" on Chance # 1127. Jo Jo made a final record for the Parrot label in 1953. The songs were "Call My Baby" and "Rebecca" on # 788. When not recording during the year he headlined the "Jo Jo Show" which also sometimes featured vocalist Joe Williams (who would rise to great fame with Count Basie in the mid fifties and beyond), Willie Mabon, the Melvin Moore combo, Bill Pinkard, and Shirley Harvey. In the mid fifties Jo Jo was still at it appearing at a number of all star R & B shows headed by Al Benson at area theaters, halls, and clubs such as Budland on South Cottage Grove. By the ende of the decade of the nineteen fifties Dr. Jo Jo Adams disappeared from the field of music. He passed away in February of 1988 in relative obscurity. Surviving is his music wonderfully compiled by the French label Classics with the 2004 cd "Jo Jo Adams : 1946-1953" with twenty tracks of his very best recorded performances. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, - ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!