Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Willie Mitchell With the 4 Kings: Tell It to Me Baby

Willie Mitchell, Memphis trumpeter and band leader most famously known for running Hi Records, for cutting a string of great instrumentals in the 60s, and for producing Al Green and Ann Peebles in the 70s, died yesterday. He was 81.

For decades Mitchell worked his magic at his own Royal Studios, in Memphis, TN, often with great session guitarist Teenie Hodges leading the Royal house band. On the Al Green & Ann Peebles records these guys were the Kings of Quiet, achieving a rare level of warmth and intimacy in the studio. Still, great as all that music is, it’s all a little too “suede denim” for me. I prefer the earlier Willie Mitchell, of 4 Kings fame, here performing their first single “Tell It To Me Baby,” from 1958, on Memphis Rockabilly/C&W great Eddie Bond’s Stomper Time label. The song was written by 4 Kings lead singer Don Bryant. In fact, Willie Mitchell wasn’t actually in the band, tho he finagled song credit nonetheless, as he was more like the band’s leader and manager. Anyway, it’s a rocker. Tell it to me baby!


peterrocker said...

Marvelous talent. With Al Green visiting Oz at the moment it's hard not to think of Willie at the same time


Bob Pomeroy said...

So Pete, did you get a chance to catch Reverend Al on his visit to Oz?

Anonymous said...

So sorry for missing the opportunity to hear this single. I guess you can only keep so many links up at a time. Thanks for making me aware of its existence though.

Bob Pomeroy said...

Sorry for the delayed reply Marie. It turns out that DivShare, the hosting service that I use for all of the song files here, randomly deleted a bunch of files!?! So I reposted the song. You should be able to hear it now. Thanks for your interest.