Roy Brown - Diddy-Y-Diddy-O
It's the mid-fifties and New Orleans vocalist Roy Brown, the man who gave the world Good Rockin' Tonight, has been down on his luck. In 1952 he successfully sued King Records for royalties, but that may have resulted in him being blacklisted. But now he's working with Dave Bartholomew, who, together with Fats Domino, has come up with a song called Let The Four Winds Blow. Released on Imperial in '57, the record climbs to #5 on the R&B charts. It's Brown's last hit and, sadly, his on-going musical career doesn't reflect the impact his songwriting and musicianship had on rock'n'roll and rhythm & blues, and therefore popular music in general. He also spent some time inside for tax evasion, despite Elvis apparently writing him a cheque for $1600 on a piece of paper when Brown showed up unexpectedly at his birthday party.
Still, today at Diddy Wah we celebrate Roy Brown by posting the b-side of Let The Four Winds Blow. Not only is Diddy-Y-Diddy-O almost eponymous for this blog, it's a banging example of pure NOLA R&B. Also, speaking of Diddys, if you haven't already, make sure you listen to my latest NTS Diddy Wah radio show. I put together a one-hour Honey Bee special and (since there were less technical problems than usual) I'm pretty pleased with the results.
Labels: elvis presley, rhythm and blues