Time to kick off the study of a new Song of the Session, Juke!
It's THE harmonica instrumental anthem, no argument, but what else should we know about it? Here are a few details we outlined last night, with huge credit to Scott Dirks and friends for the details in their book.
- recorded May 12, 1952 in the first studio session intended to feature Little Walter
- they recorded two takes, one later released as the alternate
- Juke was released in late July that year and did what no other harmonica instrumental has ever done, even to this day - it hit the top of the Billboard R&B charts and stayed at #1 for 8 weeks!
- Leap Frog from Les Brown was out in the '40s and makes a melodic theme out of the piece we know as the Juke head (with a one note variance).
- Boogie from Snooky Pryor was released in 1948 and also features the Juke head.
- Johnny's Boogie Blues from Johnny Maddox and the Rhythm Rockers (courtesy of a 78 recording from Joe) appears on the Billboard charts in 1955 and is a full big band cover of Little Walter's song.
We also listened to the other songs that came out of that same recording session in 1952: Can't Hold Out Much Longer (the vocal B side to Juke) and Please Have Mercy, a Muddy tune with Walter blowing harp.
- Joe is only away one more week! Zoe and Grant are on top of classes though so don't miss group lessons at the usual times.