The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Let the Good Times Roll: Dr. John, Barbara Lynn, Johnny Adams Featured On New Box Set

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When it comes to two of the most influential labels in New Orleans music history, the vinyl renaissance (celebrated just this past weekend with another successful Record Store Day) is definitely in full swing.  Ric Records and its sister label Ron Records were founded in 1959 by Joe Ruffino, based in New Orleans.  Though the labels were only active for roughly three years, some of New Orleans’ greatest talents passed through the company’s doors.  Mac Rebennack, or Dr. John, served as a writer and producer, and even spent time as label president!  Harold Battiste (Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You, Babe”) was among the other arrangers, and artists on Ric and Ron included Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, Johnny Adams and Joe Jones.  It was Jones who provided Ric with its biggest hit, “You Talk Too Much”, which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1960. The now-legendary Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas recorded her first single “(You Can Have My Husband but) Don’t Mess with My Man” for the Ron label.

Rounder Records is celebrating the Ric Records and Ron Records labels with a 10-record box set, From the Vaults of Ric & Ron Records: Rare and Unreleased Recordings 1958-1962.  The box, which was first available on Record Store Day, contains ten 45 RPM singles of rare and unreleased material, including the audition recording by Johnny Adams of “I Won’t Cry.”  This special set is being released in conjunction with the Numero Group in North America and Ace Records in the United Kingdom.  In addition to this vinyl collectible, digital customers have a big treat in store for them.  CD purchasers, however, are being left out in the cold with the digital release of all 140 songs released as 45 RPM singles by Ric and Ron.  These have been released on seven 20-song digital albums.

Hit the jump for more details on Rounder’s new reissue program!

Between 1958 and 1962, when Ruffino passed away and the labels folded, Ric and Ron captured the sound of this transitional period of New Orleans music.  As the press release for this new initiative states, “in these recordings, you can hear incipient funk in Eddie Bo, and the sanctified sensibility of soul music in everything Johnny Adams sang. It was, in every sense, its own era, when shuffling second-line parade beats laid the foundation for a new and uniquely New Orleans groove, and musicians broke free of the strictures of standard jump blues and 6/8 ballads.”

The box set, From the Vaults of Ric & Ron Records: Rare and Unreleased Recordings 1958-1962, offers demo recordings of Eddie Bo’s “Every Dog Has Its Day” and Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time” among its previously unreleased discoveries.  Two more songs premiere from Barbara Lynn (“You’ll Lose a Good Thing”).   Many of these records made in Cosimo Matassa’s studio, and feature arrangements from the future Dr. John.  Each track has been remastered from the original tapes.

The songs on the box set, which is limited to a worldwide edition of 1,500, will not be available digitally for the time being.  The other 140 tracks, representing the Ric and Ron labels’ complete singles, are available now from all digital service providers as seven volumes of The Complete Ric & Ron Recordings.  We’ll have order details on the box set soon!

Various Artists, From the Vaults of Ric & Ron Records: Rare and Unreleased Recordings 1958-1962 (Rounder, 2012)

Johnny Adams:

  1. “I Won’t Cry” (audition),*
  2. “Who Are You” (audition),*
  3. “My Baby Done Closed the Door” (demo),*
  4. “No Way Out for Me,”*
  5. Walking the Floor Over You”*

Edgar Blanchard & The Gondoliers:

  1. “Blues Cha Cha,”*
  2. “Bopsody in Blue”*

Eddie Bo:

  1. “Nothing With Out You”*
  2. “Satisfied With Your Love”*
  3. “Every Dog Has Its Day”
  4. “Every Dog Has Its Day” (demo)*
  5. “Ain’t You Ashamed,”*
  6. “I’ll Do Anything for You”*

Al Johnson:

  1. “Carnival Time” (demo)*
  2. “Carnival Time”
  3. “Lena, Let Come What May”(demo)*

Barbara Lynn:

  1. “Found My Good Thing”*
  2. “Question of Love”*

Paul Marvin:

  1. “Hurry Up” (alternate take)*
  2. “Goofer”*

*denotes previously unreleased track

Written by Joe Marchese

April 25, 2012 at 10:02

Posted in Compilations, News, Reissues

3 Responses

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  1. I’d buy the 140 song “albums” in a heartbeat on CD . . . but I’d be willing to shell out for lossless digital files as well, so it’s a shame they’ll lose my sale because there’s no way to get this stuff digitally save via lossy files. Considering that offering lossless files would cost essentially nothing, and this is pretty much entirely profit for the labels involved, you’ve got to wonder when they will learn!


    April 25, 2012 at 11:01

    • They are available on ITunes


      April 25, 2012 at 21:55

  2. iTunes does not offer lossless downloads.


    April 26, 2012 at 14:30

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