March 18, 2003
Jazz, Early R&B, Jump Blues

Album Review

Subtitled "His Complete King Recordings 1949-52," Bald Headed Blues has a couple dozen sides Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson cut for the King label, two of them ("Sittin' on It All the Time" and an alternate take of "Person to Person") previously unreleased. Vinson had peaked commercially just before going to King, with just one of these tracks, "Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red," becoming an R&B hit. As an artist Vinson was still at the top of his game, though, coming about as close as any artist did to hitting the midway point between big-band jazz and early R&B. Vocally he distinguished himself by a sort of strangled, good-natured high squeal at the end of many of his phrases, a tic that gets a little overdone when so many of these sides follow each other at once on CD. A little variety to the menu is heard in the straight, smooth instrumental bop of "Eddie's Bounce" and the balladeering on the standard "Time After Time." Some of these lyrics get ribald even by the usual R&B measures of double entendre, like "Bald Headed Blues" ("just ask anybody, I've got fine jelly roll") and "Good Bread Alley" ("we have no trouble with our women, 'cause there ain't no pimps around").
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Ashes on My Pillow
  2. I'm Gonna Wind Your Clock
  3. Wineola
  4. Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red
  5. Eddie's Bounce
  6. I'm Weak But Willing
  7. Sittin' on It All the Time
  8. Featherbed Mama
  9. No Good Woman Blues
  10. Bald Headed Blues
  11. I Trusted You Baby (But You Double Crossed Me)
  12. Peas and Rice
  13. Big Mouth Gal
  14. My Big Brass Bed Is Gone
  15. Queen Bee Blues
  16. If You Don't Think I'm Sinking
  17. Jump and Grunt
  18. Rainy Mornin' Blues
  19. Home Boy
  20. The People on My Party Line
  21. Time After Time
  22. Lonesome Train
  23. Person to Person [Alternate Take]
  24. I Need You (Tonight)
  25. Good Bread Alley
  26. Person to Person
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