"Boss Man Of The Blues"
(LMI Records LMI-1004 - 1973)

01. Flip, Flop & Fly
02. Twenty-Nine Ways (To Get To My Baby's Door)
03. I've Been Up On The Mountain *

01. Big Joe's Lonesome Blues
02. Can't Read, Can't Write Blues
03. Matchbox Blues
04. Honey Hush *


Big Joe Turner - vocals
Rod Piazza -
blues harp, harmonica
Jimmy "Night Train" Forrest -
George Phelps -
Jerry Smith -
Mark Leonard -
Dick Innes -

Paul Mitchell - piano *
T-Bone Walker -

Rod "Gingerman" Piazza far top!







Piazza's releases

Produced by Lee Magid. Recorded at Eldorado Studios, Hollywood, California. Artwork by Bill Harrison. Contributing photographer: Everett Hayes Jr.

* Recorded "Live" in Atlanta, Ga., 1969.

This is faboulous blues-LP by The Blues Shouter in the world of Blues! I was fortunate enough to find it quite cheap on internet. Strange enough, it ain't mentioned in Piazza's latest collection: "Modern Master: The Best Of Rod Piazza

Anekdotes from the flip-side of the record:

"JOE TURNER is the greatest blues shouter of them all. He's the Bossman Of The Blues". These words of the late and great Kansas City Jazz pianist, Pete Johnson. Noted Blues and Jazz critics have stated, 'The ageless beauty and performance by the Blues by Joe Turner, creates a modern classic.' There is only one Blues singer, a powerful force, shouting the midwest kind of Blues, Jazz tunes - for more than five decades, Joe Turner from Kansas City.

It all began on May 18, 1911, Kansas City, Missouri, for Joe Turner. Music was all around the city as he grew up in 'Jazztown, U.S.A.'. Turner was singing as far back as he can recall - he sang at home, at church, later forming his own kids' quartet, singing in the parks and streets for pennies. In his teens he worked in bars and local clubs as club bouncer and bartender, staying close to the piano players so as to sing some of his own songs. He worked in practically all the KC clubs during the late 20's and early 30's and earned the reputation as 'a great singing bartender'. During this time, he took a turn singing with the fine pianist Pete Johnson at the Sunset Crystal Palace where the two formed a friendship that lasted until Johnson's death in 1967.

By about 1930, Turner was working regularly with Pete Johnson's six-piece band. It wasn't long before he was singing to the sounds of Count Basie, Bennie Moten, George Lee, Andy Kirk, and their famous hard swing bands. It was at one of his many radio broadcasts from the Sunset Crystal Palace which caught the attention of New York's John Hammond, who was responsible for bringing the Turner Johnson Combo into the 'Big Apple' to work clubs and theatre dates.

Joe and Pete worked all around New York. In 1938 working the Camel Radio Show with Benny Goodman's Orchestra. Then came Hammond's famous 1938 "Spirituals To Swing" in Carnegie Hall, also concerts which thrust Joe Turner into the music spotlight - and national stardom.

Later Turner followed by recording duets with Johnson - his first the now famous, "Roll 'Em Pete", a boogie blues, which today is a collectors item. During the next five years he also recorded with Jazz greats, Hot Lips Page, Buster Smith, Art Tatum, Sam Price, Freddie Slack and many others. He was the idol of of New Yorks Cafe Society during the early pre-war years. He also worked with Duke Ellington's "Jump For Joy" 1941 review throughout California - and appeared nationally on the Willie Bryant Touring Show with Meade Lux Lewis the following year.

After World War II, America showed many changes in the music field. It was now the emergence of Be-Bop and Rock 'n' Roll. During the last part of the 40's, things got tight as interest in the Blues were fading. Finally, in 1951, Atlantic Records wisely called him out of the Welfare lines and recorded him doing some ballads and Blues-type material. His recordings immediately hit the charts. It re-established Turner as a fine contemporary singer with suchs hits as "Honey Hus", "Chains Of Love", "Flip, Flop And Fly" and "Shake Rattle And Roll". He is definitely one of the early great rockers. A new sound to the young ears of a new generation who was simply shouting the Blues which he had been doing all long. A new career opened for Turner during the 1950's. He appeared at the Newport Jazz Festivals, the Berkshire Music Barn, throughout Europe on the 'Jazz At The Philharmonic' jazz tour, American Folk Blues Festival, Montery Jazz Festival etc.

During the early 60's, Joe settled and worked out of New Orleans. In 1967, he appeared for a touching reunion with, the then ill, Pete Johnson in the new 1967 version of 'Spirituals To Swing' concert in New York; Johnson died two months later.

Joe Turner is the best of America's Blues-Jazz singers who brings modern Blues the knowhow of experience and the rare quality of musical talent. Today 'The Bossman Of The Blues', on top of the world's greatest Blues singers of all time. Joe Turner is the 'Boss Holler Man' from Kansas City who's been around and at this writing, April 1974, is still around, shouting his brand of Blues.

This album was cut in Hollywood one night in early 1974, 'after hours'. That's when Big Joe started wailing, 3:00 A.M., in the morning with six musicians including Jimmy "Night Train" Forrest, Rod Piazza and backup men from The Dirty Blues Band. No rehearsal, no music, no clock watching, just a talk over kind of rundown. Call the keys, let the tape roll. His hand came down, 'That's the break!, man, when my hand comes up, that's the end, follow me'. He's right, never loses count, that's the Bossman, so they listen... "Big Joe's Lonesome Blues", "Can't Read, Can't Write Blues", "29 Ways To Get To My Baby's Door", "Honey Hush", all of the top of his head, a born genius of the Blues. He knows his craft, the beat, the sounds. His sound is big and clear. No microphone when he was coming up. 'Big Joe' is Blues shoutin', Blues wailin', just Blues singin'. When 'Big Joe' Turner sings, you can't help but listen. He's the Bossman of the Blues."