The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bill Black Combo


10-12-07 Bill Black Combo

BEAT GOES ON, THE HI US SHL 32041 1968 12 TRKS stereo

BILL BLACK'S RECORD HOP HI US SHL 32006 1961? 12 TRKS stereo

BLACK LACE HI US SHL 32033 1966? 12 TRKS stereo

GOES BIG BAND HI US SHL 32020 1965? 12 TRKS stereo

GOES WEST HI US SHL 32013 1963? 12 TRKS stereo

IT'S HONKY TONK TIME HI US SHL 32104 1976 10 TRKS stereo

KING OF THE ROAD HI US SHL 32036 1967 12 TRKS stereo

MORE BILL BLACK MAGIC HI US SHL 32061 1971 12 TRKS stereo

MORE SOLID & RAUNCHY HI US SHL 32023 1965 12 TRKS stereo

MOVIN' HI US HL 12005 1961? 12 TRKS mono

MR. BEAT HI US SHL 32027 1965 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS ALL-TIMERS HI US SHL 32032 1966 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS THE BLUES HI US SHL 32015 1964? 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS TUNES BY CHUCK BERRY HI US SHL 32017 1964? 12 TRKS stereo

SAXY JAZZ HI US SHL 32002 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

SMOKIE HI US HL 12001 1959? 12 TRKS mono

SOLID & COUNTRY HI US SHL 32088 1974 10 TRKS stereo

SOLID AND RAUNCHY HI US SHL 32003 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

SOLID AND RAUNCHY THE 3RD HI US SHL 32052 1969 11 TRKS stereo

SOULIN' THE BLUES HI US SHL 32047 1969 12 TRKS stereo

THAT WONDERFUL FEELING HI US SHL 32004 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT HI US SHL 32044 1968 11 TRKS stereo

UNTOUCHABLE SOUND, THE HI US SHL 32009 1963? 12 TRKS stereo

WORLD'S GREATEST HONKY-TONK BAND HI US SHL 32093 1975 10 TRKS stereo

Looks to me like the “classic” run of Bill Black Combo LP’s is approx. 24 titles. Mr. Black was, of course, one of the original musicians who worked with Elvis Presley – he was his bassist. As far as I know, these 24 albums are 100% instrumental – no vocals of any kind. The ‘combo’ continued releasing records after Mr. Black’s untimely death in the mid-60’s – eventually releasing records on both the ‘Columbia’ and ‘Mega’ labels. Looks to me like the “Hi” label was created just to release records by the Bill Black Combo.

Only 2 of the titles that I have are in mono – and I think the 2nd of the 2 (“Movin” HL 12005) was actually released in stereo. I have never been clear if “Smokie” (HL 12001) and “Saxy Jazz” (SHL 32002) are actually the same album or not. Is “Saxy Jazz” true stereo? I must remember to check it out.

I got interested in the Bill Black Combo when a used “Greatest Hits” CD got traded in to a record shop I worked at in the early 90’s. I put in on the store’s stereo, and the owner says out-loud, “Roller rink – Houston, TX, 1962”. That about sums it up. When I started looking for their LP’s, it was fairly easy pickings. Plenty of $1 copies and a few (sealed) $5 copies. I also have a ton of Bill Black Combo 45’s. I do not remember if there were ever any non-LP B-sides. I even found some Bill Black Combo jukebox EP’s!

What a different time it was – looks to me like they made an album every 6 months for nearly all of the 1960’s!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ron:

Don't you remember the "industry" pre-1970s "superstars?" I thought EVERYONE made 2, if not 3 albums a year! Then by the mid-70s groups of the day were spending thousands a day on recording albums that weren't coming without lots of "inspiration" and then labels shifted into more-than-one-hit-per-album mode in the promotion department to maximize ROI which was hitting hundreds of thousands of dollars. I remember being shocked when Fleetwood Mac excreted multiple hits from the bland "Rumoours." It was nonetheless a shock to my pre-teen ears that this paradigm shift had happened. Thus, album pace began to lag behind this maximum promotion curve. Promotion became the tail that wagged the dog and by the 80s it became hard find a group that even reliably put out one album per year. There was no economic incentive for more than that! And if you didn't get that one "beachead" hit per album, you were soon on the drop list for many a label. Of course back then you usually got three chances to get it right.

7:22 AM  

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