June 2, 2010

(Paul Gayten - one of the unsung luminaries in the pantheon of Blues)

I first ran across the music of Paul Gayten by way of some 78's I found at a Salvation Army thrift shop when I was fifteen. What got me was the sound of his orchestra. Gayten was a band leader from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s and some of the people who came in and out of his band read like a Who's Who of Jazz of the 1950s. But Gayten was also a great songwriter and singer who had many hits on the R&B charts and had a long career working for Chess Records.

Many years ago I had the pleasure of working on a reissue album of Paul Gayten's music. I was handed a small mountain of early tapes containing masters of released songs and, in a few cases, masters of songs that were never released. It's this song that's up tonight, I Love You So, that's never been released, never been reissued and for all intents and purposes not heard since it was recorded in 1950. I loved it the second I heard it - the band and arrangement kill me. Why it's never been available is a complete mystery to me.

But that doesn't mean it has to be a mystery to you. All you get to do is turn up the volume and relax. Enjoy.

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