CD Bullet Records: Jump, Blues and Ballads [Digipak] (CD 6992364),
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Bullet Records: Jump, Blues and Ballads [Digipak]
1. Rag Mop - Chuck Merrill
2. I Wonder - Cecil Gant
3. You Sure Look Good to Me - Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio
4. Signifying Monkey - Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio
5. Take a Ride - Sherman Williams
6. Keep Your Man at Home - Sherman Williams
7. Buzzard Pie - Rudy Greene
8. Delinquency Blues - Max Bailey
9. Sting-A-Ree - Max Bailey
10. Rockin' the Blues - Max Bailey
11. I Love My Baby - Tuff Green
12. Stop That Train in Harlem - Walter Davis
13. I'd Hate to Hate You - Walter Davis
14. House Rockers Jamboree - Tucker Coles
15. Bewildered - Red Miller Trio
16. Nobility Boogie - Red Miller Trio
17. Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy - Chuck Merrill
18. Private Property Blues - Don Q
19. Baby I Don't Need You Now - Don Q
20. Got the Blues - B.B. King
21. Baby Take a Swing with Me - B.B. King
22. I'm All Alone Now - Cecil Gant
23. It's the Girl - Cecil Gant
24. Good Morning Baby - Walter Davis
25. Lonely Nights - Walter Davis
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 30877
Liner Note Author: Fred James.
Bullet Records was one of the first of the post-World War II independent record labels. Formed in Nashville in 1945 by Jim Bulliet (also an early partner in Sun Records), Wally Fowler, and C.V. Hitchcock, Bullet had success right out of the gate with Francis Craig's "Near You" -- it was the biggest-selling single of 1956. The future looked bright, and with a varied artist roster that included country (Boots Woodall's Radio Wranglers), Southern gospel (the Rangers Quartet and the Speer Family), blues-oriented jazz (pianist Cecil Gant and Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio), and straight blues and jump blues (B.B. King and Walter Davis), it sure looked promising. But the label spent too much time chasing a repeat of Craig's "Near You" success and was in financial trouble by 1949, finally folding completely in 1952, with the company's metal masters (tape was a new medium at the time and little at Bullet was recorded to tape) absorbed by W.C. "Red" Wortham's Delta label, which was eventually purchased by Bluesland in the mid-'90s. That brings us to this 25-track set of reissued Bullet sides, which provides a nice portrait of this short-lived but interesting label. Listeners should keep in mind that most of these tracks came from metal masters, so at times it feels like one is listening to a pretty cool field recording -- cuts like Walter Davis' "Stop That Train in Harlem," the mock epic jive of "Signifying Monkey" by Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio, and the gentle piano pop of Cecil Gant's "I Wonder" and "It's the Girl" all shine through in timeless fashion. ~ Steve Leggett
Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Virtually all of the recordings are jazzy urban blues of one hue or another, owing much to post-war 'swing' and those heavily orchestrated big bands of the era."
Uncut (magazine) (p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] the ramshackle piano stompers of Sherman Williams, the laconic blues of Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio, as well as early cuts by BB King..."
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