Saturday, February 5, 2011

Homer Zeke Clemons on Imperial 8088

Homer Zeke Clemons - Sell the Coldest Stuff in Town / Feeling Low - Feeling Blue (Imperial 8088)

"Sell the Coldest Stuff in Town"

"Feeling Low-Feeling Blue"

Homer Clemons' recordings would be notable enough just for their musicianship, which remained at a high level from his earliest session for Swing to his final ones for Imperial. What makes them even more remarkable is his refusal to change with the times, and continue to make risque double entendre songs as if nothing had changed since 1936. "(I) Sell the Coldest Stuff in Town" from 1950 is yet another example of this. Like Clemons' other efforts, this hokum blues had originated during the wild and reckless Depression years, with Whistling Bob Howe and Frankie Griggs' "The Coldest Stuff in Town" (from 1935). I would guess that Clemons had been performing it, and others, like "Operation Blues," since that time. But this type of material was strongly discouraged by the country music industry in the late forties. Lyrics were now supposed to be as generic and homogenous as possible, to ensure maximum radio airplay and sales. Obviously you couldn't play "Sell the Coldest Stuff in Town" over the air.

Homer Clemons on Swing 1001 can be heard here.

Homer Clemons on Imperial 8091 can be heard here.

Below: The Jimmie Davis band in Baton Rouge, May 9, 1944. From left: Joe Shelton (mandolin), Homer Clemons (bass), Moon Mullican, Jimmie Thomason (fiddle), Charlie Mitchell (steel guitar), and Curly Perrin (vocals).