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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

Eddie Cleanhead Vinson

Honk For Texas

Eddie Cleanhead Vinson Honk For Texas 4 CD
$26.97 New
 
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Texas has a thing about the Tenor Sax, played by such as Herschel Evans, Budd Johnson, Arnett Cobb, George 'Buddy' Tate, Illinois Jacquet and Clifford Scott. But the most popular Texas alto saxman was Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson. He was born in Houston in 1917. 'My dad played honky-tonk piano, my mother plunked away a little,' His father bought him an alto horn. 'The first night he bought the saxophone I got my first lesson that night,' he said. 'I was kinda swift. I ran through the book before he even got through there.' He joined Chester Boone's band - a powerhouse that had featured Arnett Cobb and Illinois Jacquet. And as well as playing alto, Vinson became the band's singer. Around this time, Eddie had an accident. 'In those days black boys used to try to keep their hair straight,' he recalled 'So, I put some stuff on my head and it had so much lye in it, it ate all my hair out. So by shaving it off rather than letting it grow back, I got a little attention.' Cootie Williams came to Houston to sign Arnett Cobb but decided Vinson was the man. On April 1, 1942, Cleanhead made his recording debut with Williams' orchestra. In January 1944, he was present on three sessions. At the last date, he cut his first version of the song that became a signature tune, 'Cherry Red Blues'. Seven months later, he cut 'Somebody's Gotta Go' - which became a No. 1 hit. Soon after WW2 ended, the Williams Orchestra signed with Capitol. Two singles were released. And, encouraged by his success as the band's vocalist, Cleanhead left Williams. At the end of the year, he signed with Mercury where he cut 'Juice Head Baby' and a couple of instrumentals. His session of July 1952 marked the end of intensive recording. He continued to tour in the US and Europe, making a series of jazz-oriented LPs. In the 1970s, he became part of Johnny Otis's Blues Caravan and at the end of the decade joined A Roomful Of Blues. He died in Los Angeles on July 2, 1988.

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