Wynonie Harris - Rock n Roll Music

Wynonie Harris in suit WYNONIE HARRIS

Wynonie Harris was born on the 24th August 1915,
in the mid west city of Omaha Nebraska.

A scholar of Creighton University "Mr Blues" as he later liked to be known began his career locally playing the drums as well as singing and dancing and telling jokes before moving to California.

His influences were Big Joe Turner & Jimmy Rushing, but unlike Big Joe modesty was never to be his strongest point.

First impressions say a lot and King Records of Cincinnati Ohio boss
Sid Nathan would never forget the first time he met Wynonie Harris.

Wynonie Harris LP Bloodshot EyesSid and fellow King executive visited him in a back street hotel in Harlem New York in December 1947.

They knocked on the door and were invited in only to
find Wynonie Harris lying on the bed in pink underwear accompanied by 3 naked ladies.

At this point one of the ladies apparently spoke out of turn and was thrown out into the corridor still in her birthday suit !

Needless to say subsequent negotiations were a little strange to say the least as Sid Nathan thought Wynonie Harris to be a drunken stupid individual.

It is rumoured that the only time this ladies man par excellence wasn't involved
in hanky panky was when he was either to drunk or suffering from a hang over.

Battle Of The BluesNever the less the hillbilly label boss was smart enough to recognise the growing popularity of black artists and they signed the former Lucky Mallinder big band singer and transformed a promising performer into a consistent R & B hit maker.

Good Rockin Tonight is unquestionably a defining moment in Rocknroll and its funny that Mr Blues shunned writer Roy Browns offers to record it - that was of course until Roy himself started to have a hit with it and then he willingly recorded a more swinging and rocking version and took it to number 1 in the R & B Charts in 1948.

Many songs like Grandma Plays the Numbers,
All She Wants to Do Is Rock, I Want My Fanny Brown, Sittin' on It All the Time,
I Like My Baby's Pudding, Lovin Machine and Bloodshot Eyes made him a major
rhythm and blues star of the era.

Whilst other shouters like Big Joe Turner would use subtle double entendre
with song lyrics, when it came to Wynonie Harris there was absolutely
no mistaking in what he was referring too.

Thankfully his talent easily matched his ego, but even so as with others
1955 brought in the new breed and post 1956 he did very little.

He moved back to LA in 1964 and died of throat cancer on the 14th June 1969.

Wynonie Harris - The Ultimate Lovin Machine !

 

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