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Mercy Dee Walton

Mose Allison certainly recognized the unusual brilliance of pianist Mercy Dee Walton. The youthful, jazz-based Allison faithfully protected Walton’s downtrodden “One Area Nation Shack” in 1957, four years after Walton acquired waxed the initial for Los Angeles-based Area of expertise Records (his first was an enormous R&B smash). Walton was a Tx émigré, like therefore a great many other postwar California R&B pioneers, who acquired performed piano around Waco from age 13 before striking the coastline in 1938. Once there, the pianist gigged along along the Golden Condition before debuting on record in 1949 with “Lonesome Cabin Blues” for the small Spire logo design, which became a nationwide R&B strike. Those sides had been trim in Fresno, but LA hosted a number of the pianist’s greatest periods for Imperial in 1950 and Area of expertise in 1952-1953. Walton, who generally recorded beneath the deal with of Mercy Dee, was a talented songsmith whose compositions went the gamut from lowdown blues to jumping R&B products. A half-dozen songs for the Bihari brothers’ Flair imprint in 1955 included “KEEP COMING BACK Maybellene,” a rocking sequel to Chuck Berry’s then-current strike. After a extended layoff, Walton came back to the studio room inside a big method in 1961, documenting prolifically for Chris Strachwitz’s Arhoolie label along with his north California compatriots: K.C. Douglas on acoustic guitar, harpist Sidney Maiden, and drummer Otis Cherry (a few of this materials finished up on Prestige’s Bluesville subsidiary). It is rather lucky that Strachwitz required a pastime in documenting Walton’s versatilit in Dec of 1962, the pianist passed away.

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