Jukebox Hits

Jukebox Hits

by Erskine HawkinsErskine Hawkins


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This chronologically arranged series of hit records forms an arc that spans ten years in the life of Erskine Hawkins, trumpet-wielding leader of a remarkably hot big band and instigator of popular trends. Even though this core sample misses out on Hawkins' exciting recordings from the late '30s, it is a valuable time capsule filled with excitement. Dave Penny's excellent liner notes place the music popularity rating system in historical context. Billboard created the first national black music chart, the Harlem Hit Parade, in 1942. In 1945 for some reason the Hit Parade was renamed using the 1920s recording industry term "Race Records." Then in 1949 the language changed again, and black recording artists could aim to secure hits on the "Rhythm and Blues" chart. Since 1958 the music industry has called it the Hot R&B chart. Placing all of this in perspective, one may trace a decade of social evolution by following the trail of recordings that happened to sell well. Half of the titles included here are dynamic instrumentals. The saxophonists include Bill Johnson, Paul Bascomb, Haywood Henry, and Julian Dash, father of world-renowned filmmaker Julie Dash. Dud Bascomb was Hawkins' hurricane force assistant trumpeter, often stepping out for flashy solos. As pianists Hawkins had Avery Parrish, Ace Harris who also sang, and a one-armed keyboard player named Don Michael. Most but not all of the vocals are of the smooth or even slightly sugary sort. Laura Washington made a very successful recording of "I've Got a Right to Cry," and saxophonist Jimmy Mitchelle crooned out six romantic vocals in a surprisingly OK style, considerably hipper than Lunceford's Dan Grissom, for example. Given the year-by-year progression of hits, this album will enable any listener to better understand not only Erskine Hawkins' band but the overall evolution of popular music during this very transitional segment of the 20th century.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/25/2003
Label: Acrobat
UPC: 0824046401122
catalogNumber: 4011
Rank: 93244


  1. Tuxedo Junction
  2. Whispering Grass
  3. Dolemite
  4. Five O'Clock Whistle
  5. Song of the Wanderer
  6. Nona
  7. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
  8. Bicycle Bounce
  9. Don't Cry Baby
  10. Cherry
  11. Tippin' In
  12. Caldonia
  13. Fifteen Years (And I'm Still Serving Time)
  14. Sneakin' Out
  15. I've Got a Right to Cry
  16. After Hours
  17. Hawk's Boogie
  18. Gabriel's Heater
  19. Cornbread
  20. Tennessee Waltz

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Erskine Hawkins   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Paul Bascomb   Interviewee

Technical Credits

Joe Liggins   Composer
Erskine Hawkins   Composer
James P. Johnson   Composer
Julian Dash   Composer
Buddy Johnson   Composer
Hal Singer   Composer
Don Redman   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Josef Myrow   Composer
Harry Barris   Composer
Kim Gannon   Composer
William Johnson   Composer
Billy Moll   Composer
Avery Parrish   Composer
Dave Penny   Liner Notes
B. Smith   Composer
Marty Symes   Composer
Bobby Smith   Composer
A. Harris   Composer
Sammy Lowe   Composer
Ted Koehler   Composer
Neil Moret (Chas. N. Daniels)   Composer
Doris Fisher   Composer
Fred Fisher   Composer
Fleecie Moore   Composer
Stella Unger   Composer
Gene Irwin   Composer
Eric Townley   Interviewer

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