Monday, January 09, 2012


Today some more saxophone on this blog! Played by Clarence Wheeler, who in 1972 recorded his Atlantic album The New Chicago Blues (Atlantic LP # SD 1636, released in January 1973).

ad from Jet magazine, Feb. 22, 1973
Although entitled The New Chicago Blues, there is little on this album that would qualify as »blues« in the more conventional sense; most of the tunes on this LP are actually jazz numbers. Two songs, however, stand out: »Oblighetto« featuring Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, and »How Could I Let You Get Away«, featuring Brenda Lee Eager & Peaches as background vocal group. It's just the right song for a relaxed evening (in case your life offers any of those, mine does rarely ...).

»How Could I Let You Get Away« was recorded at Paragon Studios, Chicago, on Sept. 19, 1972. Brenda Lee Eager was at that time still teamed up with Iceman Butler (before they broke up, with considerable noise, in autumn 1973). »Peaches« was a female quartet orga- nized by Jerry Butler whose line-up consisted of Brenda Lee Eager (billed separately), Carolyn Johnson, Diedra Tig and Mattie Butler (Butler's youngest sister). The names are quoted in an article in JET; over on Sir Shambling I found the following: »David Cole ... kindly writes to say that in his interview with Brenda Lee Eager she gave the names of the women in Peaches as Mattie Butler (Jerry's sister), Diedre Tigs and Carolyn Johnson. Davie Gordon has written to confirm the group members and by reference to an interview with Jerry Butler in Blues & Soul in 1972 adds that Butler said ""I formed the group about two years ago because I found I needed to use background singers all the time and that if I were to use the same girls all the time I could create a definite sound."«

A number of known session players took part in recording The New Chicago Blues; the group normally appeared as »The Enforcers«. I'd like to single out here organist Sonny Burke and bass player Louis Satterfield who in the '60s was one of the musicians associated with »The Chess Sound«. (You can hear him also on the Checker albums of the Meditation Singers.)

Clarence Wheeler (feat. Brenda Lee Eager & Peaches): »How Could I Let You Get Away« from the Atlantic LP # SD 1636 (1973):

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  1. This album is one of my 'baby records'....something my dad is very fond of, something I've heard a thousand times.

    Thanks for making me smile...

  2. Thank you, that is so nice ... you made my day!! What better could I achieve than making someone smile? :-)))