Joe Turner with Vann ‘Piano Man’ Walls and his Orchestra – Chains Of Love

• “Chains Of Love” set to an image of Big Joe. Thanks to jukejointjohnny48.

9.2 “Classic Blues / Rhythm n Blues from the USA”

Added to my collection c/o its appearance on “Blowing The Fuseː 28 R n B Classics That Rocked The Jukebox In 1951” (Bear Family Records) – you can’t go far wrong with that series. I’m well on my way to collecting them all : – )

By springtime 1951, 40 year old Joe Turner was a veteran of the Big Band vocal jazz scene, although somewhat nomadic and unsettled in terms of where he would base himself and for whom he would record. After watching him perform with Count Basie in New York, Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records sought Joe out and persuaded him to sign a contract with his building Atlantic Records label. Obviously a good judge, Ertegun aligned Joe with “Chains Of Love”, a 12-bar blues centred on the age-old drama of the unfaithful lover. Where can she be at 3 o’clock in the morning when the moon is shining bright? This man got the BLUES. It was recorded on April 19, 1951 with co-writer pianist Harry ‘Van’ Walls playing behind Joe. It was released the following month and climbed all the way to Number 2 on the Billboard R n B chart – easily the biggest hit of Joe’s career to date. It would eventually rack up over a million sales, a phenomenal success for the artist; hitherto any hits he had tended to be at local levels or with niche market sales figures. This set up a settled, golden period for Joe which resulted in a steady string of hits for Atlantic throughout the 1950s including a further three million sellers. It would also re-shape his musical outlook as the world of R n B toughened up the backbeats in the forward march to the Rock n Roll era.

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