After having a look into early rock-and-roll two weeks ago and presenting a Rhythm and Blues tune last week, I would like to feature another Rhythm and Blues song from the 1950s.
This tune was written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Jimmy Witherspoon and his Orchestra.
It's quite popular among Blues and Lindy dancers, at least in some scenes :).
James Witherspoon (August 8, 1920 – September 18, 1997) was one of the great blues singers of the period after World War II, but he was also successful in the jazz world.
As a child, Jimmy Witherspoon sang in a church choir. In 1945 and 1946, he made his debut recordings with Jay McShann.
In 1949, recording under his own name using McShann's band, he landed a number one R&B hit with “Ain't Nobody's Business.”
His blues shouting style came out of fashion in the mid 1950s, but Jimmy Witherspoon At The Monterey Jazz Festival from 1959 brought him back into the spotlight.
Witherspoon worked with Ben Webster and Groovy Holmes and in 1961, he toured Europe with Buck Clayton and performed overseas on many occasions in the following decades.
After a short break from live performances at the beginning of the 1970s, settling down in L.A. and working as disc jockey, he returned on stage in 1973.
By the early 1980s, Witherspoon was diagnosed with throat cancer. He stayed active but his voice was obviously effected by the cancer. He died at age 77.
When The Lights Go Out
Title: When The Lights Go Out
Artist: Jimmy Witherspoon & His Orchestra
Recorded: June 10, 1954
Tempo: 100 bpm
Dance: Blues, Slow Lindy Hop
You can find all the songs of the series also on my Spotify playlist.
Official hashtag of the series: #djcsotw
Do you like that song? What do you think about the series? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!